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If you work with a lot of lug nuts you’ll know the importance of a reliable impact wrench.
You’ll also know what a hassle it can be to carry an air hose with you everywhere just to get a productive days work. Fortunately, with recent advancements in technology and competition between the big brands, you can now ditch the hose and go with a cordless impact wrench for most of your days’ work!
However, in a growing market, it can be hard to distinguish between what is actually a worthwhile product and which are just there to try and cash in on demand.
The following guide walks you through 7 of the most well-rounded cordless impact wrenches in an attempt to make your decision a whole lot clearer, let’s start!
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
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The Best Cordless Impact Wrench with reviews
Here is a list of the best cordless impact wrenches we found:
1. Makita XWT08Z Lxt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless High Torque Square Drive Impact Wrench, 18V/1/2"
- Tool hook for securing the device when not in use
- Plenty of torque for professional use
- Precise speed control
Not so Good
- Battery and charger are not included
- Isn’t the lightest or smallest of impact wrench’s
The Makita XWT08Z features an electronically controlled brushless motor for optimal run times and battery usage. It is capable of producing 740 ft. lbs of maximum torque and 1180 ft. lbs of breakaway torque.
The 3-speed power selection switch delivers 0 – 900, 0 – 1,000, 0 – 1,800 RPM and 0 – 1,800, 0 – 2,000 & 0 – 2,200 impacts per minute (IPM) for precise control over your fastening applications. A ½’’ anvil with friction ring allows users to perform quick and easy socket changes.
Dual LED lights with after and pre-glow ability help illuminate your working environment no matter how dark it is. Battery and charger are not included and
Our best pick choice, the XWT08Z is part of Makita’s growing 18V lithium-ion series. It gives the user total control over fastening which makes it ideal for a range of users ranging from forming carpenters, automotive mechanics, steelworkers and more. The XWT08Z is a top of the range tool made with professionals in mind.
2. Milwaukee 2767-20 M18 Fuel High Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
- Rubber over-mold casing
- Amazing power & torque
- 5-year tool warranty
Not so Good
- Batteries not included
- Weight will become more apparent with long periods of use
The brushless motor of the Milwaukee 2767-20generates a substantial 1000 ft. lbs of fastening torque and 1,400 ft. lbs of nut-busting torque on its highest setting.
A 4-mode drive control takes user control to the next level, allowing you to tailor the delivery of power with each unique application. Can perform up to 2,100 impacts per minute. LED lighting positioned at the base of the tool points slightly up to provide the best lighting possible while you are trying to work.
One feature of the 2767-20 that is essential in its longevity is the integrated overload and burnout prevention technology that protects the battery and motor from damage. To further protect the tool itself from impacts and potential corrosion it has been cased with a rubberized over-mold.
The Milwaukee 2767-20 delivers all the torque to get the job done, you won’t find anything on a car or small truck this wrench can’t loosen. Also, the 4-mode drive control will make sure you never apply too much torque and break a bolt. Brilliant value from a well-known and trusted brand, the 2767-20 is a sure-fire success.
3. CRAFTSMAN CMCF900B V20 Cordless Impact Wrench
- Excellent price point
- Compatible with Versatrack hang hooks
- High amount of IPM
Not so Good
- Battery and charger sold separately
- Will struggle to fit into smaller spaces
Part of Craftsman’s V20 lithium-ion range, the Craftsman CMCF900B impact wrench features a maximum torque rating of 350 ft. lbs. It has a variable speed trigger for total user control of up to 1,700 RPM and 2,500 IPM.
A ½’’ hog ring anvil allows for easy socket changes and the LED lighting system is positioned at the base of the wrench to help light up poorly light working conditions. Due to its size, it isn’t the best option for tight spaces. This is a tool only item, battery and charger sold separately.
Being on a budget doesn’t have to be a hindrance. This could not be any more apparent than with the Craftsman CMCF900B cordless impact wrench. From the garage to the job site, the CMCF900B is designed to work wherever there is work to be done.
4. DEWALT DCF899B 20v MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2" Impact Wrench
- Tough and drop resistant build
- Plenty of torque
- Easy to use forward & reverse switch
Not so Good
- Battery and charger are sold separately
- Heavier than some of its competitors
The brushless DEWALT DCF899Bdelivers 700 ft. lbs of peak torque and up to 1200 ft. lbs of max breakaway torque. A multi-speed control function with 3-speed settings offers up to 2,400 IPMs and speeds of 0 – 400, 0 – 1,200 and 0 – 1,900 RPM for total control over a wide range of application types.
The detent pin anvil prevents sockets from falling out unexpectedly and help the process of changing between socket sizes. An in-built LED work light operates with a 20-second delay which means you can check your work after it has been done
The tool itself is made with a solid build. It’s so good in fact that Dewalt are happy to claim it can survive 6ft drops. It may be true but we’d advise you not to try it, not on purpose at least! Battery and chargers are sold separately and it could be lighter.
The DEWALT DCF899B is a powerhouse cordless impact wrench that has been consciously designed with durability and performance in mind. The DCF899B will stand up to years of heavy usage, ensuring you get your monies worth.
5. Ingersoll Rand W7150-K1 ½” Hi-Torque Impact
- Durable construction
- Soft-touch over-molded grip
- Extremely powerful
Not so Good
- Slightly top heavy
- May be too noisy for some users
The Ingersoll Rand W7150 can generate up to780ft. lbs of max tightening torque and 1,100 ft. lbs of loosening torque. It can also reach a speed of 1,900 RPM and impacts speeds of 2,300 IPM.
With a chemical and impact resistant housing along with a steel-reinforced frame, the W7150 is designed to withstand years of harsh usage. The handle is over-molded with a soft touch grip for reduced vibration, fatigue and added user comfort.
Comes with 1 x IQV20 charger, 1 x 20V lithium-ion 3.0 Ah batteries and a blow-molded case. Balance wise it is slightly top-heavy but the soft-touch over-molded handle will ease user fatigue and make it easier to hold for extended use. It can also be quite noisy.
Upon startup, you will notice the incredible power of the Ingersoll Rand W7150. Previously back-breaking jobs such as removing rusted over lug nuts or breaking overtightened bolts will know be nothing more than a slight inconvenience.
6. DEWALT DCF890B 20V MAX XR 3/8" Cordless Impact Wrench
- Incredibly light
- Low price point
- Belt clip included
Not so Good
- Battery and charger sold separately
- Ear protection is recommended during use
The DEWALT DCF890B is powered by a brushless motor for increased runtime and efficiency and can output 150 ft. lbs of torque. A variable speed trigger gives users total control over how much speed they need to match the application. Can produce up to 3,200 IPM and 2,800 RPM.
With a head length of just 5.5’’ and weight of 2lbs the DCF890B is a compact tool great for those jobs in smaller confined areas. It also has 3 LEDs to brighten those confined working environments, keep you safe and your work accurate. A belt clip is included while a battery and charger are not.
The DEWALT DCF890B stands out for its compact and ergonomic design. However, for the size and convenience, it offers more than enough power
7. Milwaukee 2852-20 M18 Fuel 18V Lithium-Ion 3/8" Cordless Impact Wrench
- Good size to power ratio
- Easy to control
- Highly rated by customers
Not so Good
- No LED lighting
- Tool only, battery or charger not included
The Milwaukee 2852-20 houses a powerstate brushless motor that can deliver 450 ft. lbs of fastening torque and 600 ft. lbs or nut-busting torque. A push-button control pad at the base of the tool allows the user to adjust the speed between three settings; 0 – 575, 0 – 2,000 & 0 – 2,300 RPM with respective impact speeds of 450, 2,900 and 3,200 IPM.
The 2852-20 features a 3/8’’ anvil with friction ring allows for seamless socket changes and a rubber over mold grip for added user comfort. Redlink Plus intelligence protects the tool and battery from overheating and overload damage.
The Milwaukee 2852-20 is part of their popular M18 lineup. The 2852-20 focuses on the 3/8’’ market of impact wrenches while still offering the same torque of the ½’’ version. Plenty of power wrapped in a small yet durable tool, the 2852-20 is ideal for many construction and automotive based applications.
How much Torque do you need in an Impact Wrench?
The amount of torque you need from an impact wrench depends entirely on your intended application.
The first thing we must take into consideration is the size of the bolts you will be removing. Why, because larger bolts can take higher amounts of applied torque without stripping. It is common for mechanics to apply too much torque to an application thinking more is better, it isn’t! E.g. putting 500ft lbs of torque into a bolt that only needs 100ft lbs.
If too much torque is applied you run the risk of over-tightening a bolt which can lead to stripping and stretching of the threads, potentially causing it to break or crack. On the other hand, apply too little torque and you increase the likelihood of the bolt vibrating loose and falling out.
Remember, with an impact wrench the user has no sense of how much torque is being applied or how tight the bolt is. This is why it is so important to use the correct impact wrench with suitable torque for the application.
Let’s get to the numbers. Most people will be fine with a low to mid-range 3/8’’ or ½’’ cordless impact wrench in the range of 300 – 500ft lbs. This should suffice for the majority of automotive and industrial applications. For the few working on heavy-duty equipment beyond your standard truck or car, aim for a ½’’ cordless impact wrench capable of producing torque in the 750 – 100ft lbs range.
Will a Cordless Impact Wrench Remove Lug Nuts?
A general rule of thumb for removing a lug nut is that you’ll need about 100 ft. lbs of torque. We know this because it takes around that much torque to put it in place.
However, it isn’t always that straight forward. Most lug nuts tend to be in position for a long time before they need to be removed. During this time, they come under the effect of several factors, each changing the amount of torque needed to remove it.
For example; lug nuts can accumulate rust, especially if they have been regularly exposed to water. It may have become stuck or frozen due to environmental conditions or maybe it has a broken thread due to over-tightening when it last underwent maintenance.
As you’d expect these factors will increase the amount of torque required to remove it. Just how much isn’t an exact science. Under perfect conditions 100ft lbs of torque should remove a lug nut, assuming it was tightened correctly in the first place, but chances are you’ll need a lot more.
If you are buying an impact wrench primarily to remove lug nuts, be safe and go with one that can generate plenty more than 100ft lbs. I would suggest 350ft lbs as a bare minimum.
Tip: If your current impact wrench isn’t quite doing the job, try using a breaker bar to loosen the lug nut then use your impact wrench to spin it completely off.
Wrapping it up
After many hours of extensive industry-specific research, we are confident to present what we believe to be the 7 best cordless impact wrenches on the market. In our eyes, a good cordless impact wrench must be reliable, offer comprehensive control over its output of torque and have a build quality that will stand up to years of repeated use.
It is for these reasons our best pick goes to the Makita XWT08Z. Built with the most durable materials that house a piece of machinery that will take on any job you throw at it. It is certainly more of an investment than a standard purchase!