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Best Cordless Impact Wrench 2018 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Best Cordless Impact Wrench

If you had to determine the one power tool that is most useful to your work, which would you say tops the list? For our money, an impact wrench is one of our priorities, considering that it can be used for all kinds of nuts and bolts. Although a power drill can be equally versatile, an impact wrench generates superior performance with both torque and raw power.

When trying to find the right impact wrench, however, we highly recommend using a cordless model. This will enable you to work in any environment unencumbered by a cord. This way, you can operate in all corners and areas of your workshop, not to mention outside.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best cordless impact wrench 2018 on the market, but before we dive into them, we first want to show you the most crucial aspects of this power tool so that you can make an informed decision. Since an impact wrench can be such a valuable component in your work, we want to make sure that you pick the best.

Cordless Impact Wrenches 2018 - Comparison Chart

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Product Name

Weight

Torque

Price

DEWALT DCF899HB 20V MAX XR Brushless Impact Wrench

DEWALT DCF899HB 20V MAX XR Brushless Impact Wrench

(Editor’s Choice)

6.4 lbs

700 ft-lbs

AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

(Editor’s Choice)

4.6 lbs

900 ft-lbs

DEWALT DCF899HB 20V Brushless Impact Wrench

DEWALT DCF899HB 20V Brushless Impact Wrench

6.4 lbs

700 ft-lbs

Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V Cordless Impact Driver Kit

9.6 lbs

1460 in-lbs

DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit

DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit

10.6 lbs

700 ft-lbs

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver

3.25 lbs

1375 in-lbs

10 Best Cordless Impact Wrenche Reviews

1. DEWALT DCF899B 20V MAX XR Brushless Impact Wrench 

When picking out a top-quality impact wrench, one of the more crucial elements is how the model connects to your socket. There are two primary methods from which to choose. First, you can get a hog ring model, which is easier to use but not as strong.

The second is a detent pin anvil, like the one on this wrench from DeWalt. The benefit of using a detent pin is that it’s much more secure and you don’t risk losing your socket. Also, it won’t spin in place due to a softer hold.

The downside of a detent pin, however, is that it requires an extra tool to change sockets. If you’re using the same one for most of your work, then this is not a problem. However, if you want extra speed and efficiency, a hog ring will usually be better.

Nonetheless, we like what the DCF899B has to offer. Whether or not you prefer a detent pin, you have to appreciate the brushless motor that ensures longer life of the product. Since there aren’t as many moving parts rubbing into each other, you can rely on this wrench for years to come.

When it comes to torque, this model has more than enough for most jobs. Standard torque is 700 foot-pounds, but you can get up to 1,200 when you’re using breakaway torque. As such, this model is perfect for both casual users and professionals.

Pros

  • Detent pin anvil for security
  • Stable brushless motor
  • Heavy-duty impact mechanism
  • 700 ft-pounds of torque
  • Breakaway torque is 1200 pounds
  • Three-speed selector switch
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Rubberized grip for comfort
  • Battery level indicator
  • LED work light for visibility
  • ½ inch pin fits most sockets
  • Three-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Battery not provided
  • Socket changes are not tool-free

2. AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

Next, we have a high-torque impact wrench from Aircat. If you’re looking for something with a lot of power and muscle, then this could be a great option for you. It uses a ½-inch anvil and provides up to 1200 pounds of torque for nut busting. The RPM rating is 9000, and the IPM rating is 1400. Best of all, it has a variable speed adjustment so that you can customize the levels based on your current project.

What we like most about this wrench is the fact that it has a powerful motor and a quiet operation. Unlike most models, this one won’t be too loud while you’re working. 

We would prefer to have a brushless motor, but overall this one does just fine. Finally, it comes with a two-year warranty on parts and labor.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • ½ inch anvil
  • Generates up to 1200 pounds of torque for removal
  • 900 lbs of torque for tightening
  • 1400 IPM rating, with 9000 RPM
  • Larger rotor creates more power
  • Soft grip handle for stability
  • Quiet operation
  • Variable speed adjustment
  • Two-year limited warranty

Cons

  • No battery provided
  • In rare cases, the trigger may stick

3. DEWALT DCF899HB XR Brushless Impact Wrench

If you liked the DeWalt Impact wrench above, but you prefer to have something that is a bit more versatile and requires less maintenance, then you may want this model instead. Although it still doesn’t come with a battery or a charger, it does have some improved features that make it an upgrade over the older unit.

First of all, this impact wrench comes with a brushless motor. As we’ve discussed, this means that it requires less maintenance because there is less wear and tear on the internal components. When compared to the other DeWalt Wrench, this is a huge benefit.

Secondly, this one comes with a hog ring anvil, which allows you to swap out sockets much faster. The tradeoff, however, is that you don’t get quite as much traction, so it won’t work as well for bolts that need extra power to stay on.

Performance-wise, this wrench has three speed settings, and it can generate between 700 and 1200 pounds of torque, depending on what you need. It still comes with a soft grip handle for stability, and it’s even shockproof if you drop it up to six feet. Finally, it comes with DeWalt’s signature three-year warranty.

Pros

  • Powerful brushless motor
  • Shockproof housing up to six feet
  • High-impact mechanism for more power
  • LED light included to help you see
  • Soft grip handle for stability
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Three-year limited warranty
  • ½ inch anvil with hog ring for convenience
  • Provides either 700 or 1200 pounds of torque
  • Three-speed selector switch for added control

Cons

  • Does not come with battery or charger
  • In rare cases, the unit may stop holding a charge

4. Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V LXT  Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Another high-quality consumer brand of power tools is Makita. The signature blue means that you’re getting a pristine piece of equipment and this compact impact wrench is a testament to the kind of quality control that Makita offers.

In this case, the XDT111 is designed for smaller jobs. Unlike most other impact wrenches, it uses a ¼ inch hex instead of a half inch. While you can still use a variety of sockets, it’s crucial to remember that it’s not going to be ideal for big nuts and bolts.

That being said, it’s compact design is helpful for a lot of situations. It has a shorter nose so that you can reach into tight spots without any problems. It weighs less than four pounds (with the battery) so that you don’t get fatigued as quickly.

This unit also comes with dual LED lights so that you can see in dark corners. The lights also provide ambient illumination so that you can see more of what you’re doing. It also has an ergonomic grip that reduces vibrations.

The power of this model is more than you would expect. It has a variable speed trigger that can go up to 2,900 rpm and 3,500 ipm (impacts per minute). This wrench also delivers up to 1,460 inch-pounds of torque.

Pros

  • Variable speed settings
  • Up to 2,900 rpm and 3,500 ipm
  • Long-lasting lithium-ion battery
  • Battery charger and carrying case included
  • Four-pole motor increases speed without reducing torque
  • Durable metal housing for reliability
  • Compact design weighs less than four pounds
  • Lighter weight reduces fatigue
  • Short nose allows you to work in tighter spaces
  • 1,460 inch-pounds of torque max
  • LED light increases visibility
  • Soft grip handle reduces vibrations
  • Dust and water resistant housing
  • Three-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Smaller hex doesn’t fit all socket sizes
  • In rare cases, the battery may drain quickly

5. DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit

Our final stop is with yet another DeWalt, although this is the fully-loaded model. So, if you want to get a best cordless impact wrench with everything you need to get started, this is the kit to buy.



Unlike the other ones we’ve seen from this brand, the DCF899P1 comes with a battery, a charger, and a carrying kit to hold everything. We still suggest that you buy a secondary battery so that you always have one ready to go, but that’s up to you.

Performance-wise, this impact wrench comes with all of the same materials and features that you would expect. A variable speed adjustment allows you to go from 400-1900 rpm, with a max IPM rating of 2400. For tightening, the torque goes up to 700 pounds, and when loosening a bolt, it can go up to 1200 lbs.

Other features include an ergonomic handle, a LED light so that you can see better, and a battery level indicator so that you’re never caught off guard. As always, this comes with DeWalt’s three-year warranty so that if anything breaks you can get it fixed ASAP.

Pros

  • Powerful brushless motor
  • Tightening torque of 700 pounds, breakaway torque of 1200 lbs
  • Three-speed selector switch
  • LED work light built in
  • Battery and charger included
  • Carrying case provided
  • Battery indicator light
  • ½-inch anvil with hog ring for convenience
  • IPM rating of 2400, up to 1900 RPM
  • No load speed
  • Shockproof up to six feet
  • Three-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Can feel a bit heavy at times
  • Only one battery provided
  • In rare cases, the trigger may stick

6. BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver

For the casual user, you don’t need a ton of power to get the job done. In that case, a professional-grade impact wrench will be overkill for your projects, making it a waste of money. Instead, you may want to get something like this unit from Black + Decker.

The BDCI20C is built for light fastening and drilling, so plan on using it around the house or your workshop. It works well for both driving screws and tightening bolts, thanks to its quick-change ¼-inch hex.

When comparing power and performance, this cordless impact driver holds its own. It has a variable speed trigger that goes up to 3000 rpm and 3900 ipm. It also delivers up to 1,375 inch-pounds of torque. For a consumer-grade model, this is more than you’ll likely need.

The other cool thing about Black + Decker is that they make lithium-ion batteries that work for all kinds of devices. Thus, if you have different cordless power tools, you can use the same battery for each one. Also, it can ensure that you always have a spare lying around.

Finally, this model comes with a limited two-year warranty. It also comes with a screwdriver bit already, but it fits any ¼ inch bit you may already have.

Pros

  • Small and compact design
  • Quick-release ¼ inch hex
  • Up to 1375 inch pounds of torque
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Up to 3,000 rpm and 3,900 ipm
  • Weighs just over three pounds
  • Lithium-ion battery recharges quickly
  • Ideal for drilling and tightening
  • Two-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Battery doesn’t last as long as other models
  • In rare cases, bits may get stuck in the hex

7. PORTER-CABLE PCC740B  Cordless Impact Wrench

As you may have noticed, when comparing the power and performance of a cordless impact wrench you can measure the torque in inch-pounds or foot-pounds. But what’s the difference? Technically, there is none, since you can convert it easily.

As you might imagine, since there are 12 inches in a foot, changing the torque level is just as easy. For example, 1200 inch-pounds would be 100 foot-pounds, and so on. In this case, the Porter-Cable PCC740B has 330 foot-pounds, making it an ideal choice for many different high-end applications.

The other thing to note is that it has a variable speed trigger. You can get up to 1,650 rpm, which is ideal for when you’re trying to fasten a lot of bolts. If it goes too fast, then you risk stripping the material.

Overall, this cordless impact wrench is designed for automotive use. It even has a chemical-resistant housing so that you can use it without worrying about different liquids seeping in and ruining the mechanics.

Finally, this particular product comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • ½-inch hog ring for efficiency
  • Variable speed settings
  • Up to 1,650 rpm
  • 330 foot-pounds of torque
  • Soft grip handle reduces fatigue
  • Durable housing lasts longer
  • Chemical-resistant materials
  • Weighs just six pounds
  • Ideal for professional applications
  • Three-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Battery not included
  • Not as powerful as other models

8. DEWALT Bare-Tool DC820B Cordless Impact Wrench

One component that may or may not influence your buying decision is the brand name of your new wrench. Usually, we recommend that you stick with any brand that you currently have, particularly if you already have battery packs that are compatible with a new product.

 In this case, DeWalt is one of the top manufacturers of power tools, and this Cordless Impact Wrench is a testament to the level of quality that you can expect. However, it doesn’t come with a battery, so that’s something to think about.

What we like about this model is the level of power and performance that it brings to the job. First, it is fully adjustable, so you can customize its output based on the kind of work you’re doing at any given time. Second, it produces up to 1,740 pounds of torque, with a max rpm of 2400 and a max ipm of 2700. When compared to other impact wrenches in its class, this is a remarkable machine.

The other thing that we appreciate about this product is the motor. It’s frameless, which means that it requires less maintenance than other models, and you can quickly replace the motor brushes when necessary, thus ensuring that this wrench will last a long time. Finally, it comes with DeWalt’s premiere three-year warranty.

Pros

  • Durable frameless motor
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Soft grip handle for better accuracy
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Reduces fatigue and fits into tighter spots
  • Operates at up to 2400 rpm
  • Produces up to 2700 ipm
  • Brushes are replaceable for easier maintenance
  • Variable speed settings
  • Generates 1740 lbs of torque
  • LED light built-in
  • Three-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Battery pack not included
  • In rare cases, the trigger may stick
  • On rare occasions, the motor may disconnect from the bearings

9. Ryobi P261 18 Volt One+ 3-Speed Cordless Impact Wrench

For the most part, cordless impact wrenches come with 20-volt batteries. While this provides sufficient power, the problem is that they tend to drain quickly. With this unit from Ryobi, however, you can use an 18-volt battery instead.

Overall, when comparing the longevity of these devices, you’ll notice that the Ryobi will outlast most of the competition. What makes this particular impact wrench even better is that it also has a lot of power behind it.

As far as torque goes, you get up to 300 foot-pounds. This rating is enough for most jobs, allowing you to fasten and loosen nuts and bolts quickly and efficiently. It also delivers up to 3,200 ipm, enabling you to work even faster.

What we also like about this cordless impact wrench is that it comes with a ½ inch hog ring. Since many standard sockets are this size, you can do a lot more with this device than other units.

As far as stability goes, this impact wrench comes with a notched rubber grip. This allows you to get more traction while working and it also ensures that you won’t accidentally slip if the surface is wet. Additionally, it has built-in LED lights to provide more visibility.

Pros

  • 300 foot-pounds of torque
  • Three speed settings available
  • Max speed of 3,200 ipm
  • ½ inch hog ring for convenience
  • Notched rubber grip for extra stability
  • Built-in LED lights for visibility
  • 18-volt battery provides better performance

Cons

  • Battery not included
  • Heavier than other models

10. DEWALT DCF883B 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench 

As we’ve seen, DeWalt is a company that provides heavy-duty tools for the working professional. However, if you don’t need all of the raw power offered by some of the more reliable models, you may prefer something like the DCF883B instead.

The first thing we noticed about this impact wrench is that it uses a hog ring instead of a detent anvil. This allows you to work faster and switch sockets more easily. However, because it doesn’t offer the same kind of stability, you don’t get as much torque.

In this case, the DCF883B is more of a casual product. With 130 foot-pounds of torque, it’s ideal for household projects or light fastening. That being said, it’s also lighter and more compact than other DeWalt models.

At just 3.4 pounds, you won’t get tired while working with this impact wrench. It also has three LED lights for increased visibility, and they are even on a 20-second delay so that you can work better in the dark.

As with all DeWalt products, you get a three-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • ⅜-inch hog ring anvil
  • Anti-slip grip for better handling
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Shorter nose fits into small areas
  • Three built-in LED lights
  • Light has a 20-second delay for convenience
  • Variable speed settings
  • Up to 2,300 rpm and 2,700 ipm
  • Max torque of 130 foot-pounds
  • Three-year limited warranty

Cons

  • No battery or charger provided
  • In some positions, the battery may come loose

How to Choose the Right Cordless Impact Wrench

Torque

First and foremost, you want a machine that can generate the kind of power that you need to get the job done. Since the primary function of this tool is turning power, it’s imperative that you measure its abilities based on the level of torque it produces.

For the most part, impact wrenches will generate anywhere from 300 to 1800 pounds of torque, but you don’t always need the highest number. Unless you are working with some truly tough bolts that need extra effort to tighten correctly, you should be okay with around 500-800 pounds.

Socket Size

To fully be able to use an impact wrench you need a set of sockets to go around the nuts and/or bolts. Thus, it’s critical that you pick a model that fits the kinds of sockets that you have so that they will be compatible. Usually, impact wrenches will be from ¼ inch to one full inch, with variations in between such as 3/8, ½, and ¾ inches.

There is not really any particular benefit to using a specific size, so pick the one that fits more than anything else. If you don’t currently have sockets, then just make sure that they are the same as your wrench.

Inline vs. Pistol

There are two primary configurations that your impact wrench can have, and each one will factor into the kind of work that you do. Inline models resemble a large screwdriver, with a grip that sits behind the motor and the hammer (the part that goes into the socket).

This type is ideal when you’re working in tight spaces and don’t have a lot of room in which to move. For example, working on cars or other vehicles may require an inline impact wrench since a pistol-grip won’t be able to fit.

Pistol wrenches are similar to a standard power drill, with a trigger system for activation. Unless you specifically need an inline model, we highly suggest that you choose a pistol wrench. The reason for this is that it’s much more ergonomic and puts less strain on your hand and wrist.

Size and Weight

Speaking of strain, one important factor to consider is the bulkiness of your impact wrench. Usually, these devices will weigh a couple of pounds, but that’s not including a battery pack. Also, if you are working at odd angles, a few pounds can feel like a hundred after a few minutes.

Size is also important as it will dictate what kind of spaces in which you can work. Cordless impact wrenches are already pretty versatile, but if it’s too bulky, then it might as well be a paperweight.

RPM and IPM

When looking at different impact wrenches, you’ll see some important numbers regarding its performance. The first is usually the rotations per minute (RPM), and it refers to how fast the hammer can spin. If you want to work faster and tighten bolts much more rapidly, then you want a higher rpm.

IPM refers to the number of impacts per minute, which is when the hammer strikes the anvil. Usually, this rating will be similar to the rpm because they are both required to get a tighter seal on your nuts and bolts. Again, the higher the rating, the faster you can work.

Also, if you have to loosen items that are really stuck, having a faster rpm and ipm can ensure that you won’t have any problems removing it.

Speed and Torque Adjustment

Not all jobs are the same, which means that if you have an impact wrench that only operates at one setting you may or may not be able to make it work across a variety of situations.

For the most part, you want to get a unit that enables you to adjust the speed setting so that you can work on a wider range of projects. This way, you are only using the right amount of power for the job, so you aren’t over or under doing it at any point.

Also, being able to change the torque is a huge benefit since you can adjust it to fit the specific needs of the nut or bolt you’re currently working on, rather than having it the same across the board.

How to Use a Cordless Impact Wrench

One of the most versatile tools in any garage is an impact wrench, considering that it can be used to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts of any size. However, if you’re new to this tool, then it’s important that you understand how to use it correctly.

Because impact wrenches are so powerful, it’s easy to go a little overboard with them, particularly when tightening. As such, you should follow these steps to ensure that you get the most out of your tool without doing any damage.

Step One: Air vs. Electric

For most professional shops, an air-powered impact wrench is a necessity because it allows them to work fast and efficiently. However, if you are just doing some light work in the home or your own garage, an electric unit is most likely an ideal choice.

When using an air impact wrench, you have to connect it to a compressor via a hose, which can add some significant cost to your bottom line. However, electric models are now cordless, meaning that you have a lot more freedom.

Step Two: Place the Socket

This tool will only work when you have a socket on the front to loosen or tighten the bolt, so it’s imperative that you have a full set from which to choose. Most wrenches are either ½ or ⅜ inches, so check to ensure that your sockets are compatible.

Step Three: Check the Direction

Impact wrenches can either move clockwise or counterclockwise, and it’s crucial that you know which way it’s moving before you start working. Pull the trigger to watch the direction of the spin, and adjust if necessary.

Step Four: Adjust the Settings

In some cases, you can customize the speed and torque of your impact wrench for better results. If your tool has that capability, then make sure that everything is optimized for the job at hand. As a rule, you will need higher torque when loosening than when tightening.

Mistakes to Avoid

As we mentioned, it’s common for beginners to overcompensate when using this kind of power tool because it almost makes things too easy. So here are some things to keep in mind.

● Don’t Over Tighten: when putting a nut or bolt on, pull the trigger in short bursts, and check the tightness as you go. Over time, you’ll learn how to feel when it’s tight enough, but until then double check.

● Don’t Damage the Threads: rather than trying to put the bolt in with the wrench, get it started by hand so that you know it will go in correctly. If you come in at the wrong angle with the tool, it could cause a lot of problems.

● Use the Right Socket: if it’s too loose, then you will have to work harder to get the job done, and you could strip the threads. Make sure that it fits properly each time you pull the trigger.

Overall, an impact wrench is a relatively simple tool, but don’t underestimate its capabilities. If necessary, practice a bit before you do the real job so that you can get a feel for how it operates.

Final Verdict

When looking through these impact wrenches, we have to say that our top two picks are either the AIRCAT or the DeWalt models. For obvious reasons, we highly recommend that you buy the full-service kits, but if you are in the market for replacements or backups then go with the bare tools. Overall, these units have the best performance and reliability of anything we’ve seen.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Wrench guides - November 22, 2017

Well, you have described the best products. I love the content template and the way you described.

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Darrel Cox - May 5, 2018

Thanks for the review. I am actually going to buy the Aircat model.

Thanks!

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James Anderson - May 22, 2018

It sure is nice to know that when choosing a backup wrench, one should choose the right socket, as the wrong one results in the threads stripping, making it harder to do the work. My brother is in need of tools and he mentioned that he needs this for one of his projects. While he is the expert one when it comes to these things, I’ll still mention this to him so that he can be mindful of the size and only buy the wrench that has the right size.

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