Best Cordless Impact Wrench 2017 – Reviews and Top Picks

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 wrenches 2017 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.

Best Cordless Impact Wrenches 2017 - Comparison Chart

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Product Name

Weight

Editor Rating

Price

DEWALT Bare-Tool DC820B Cordless Impact Wrench

2.2 lbs

Check Price

Makita XWT04M 18V LXT Cordless High Torque Impact Wrench Kit

16 lbs

Check Price

Milwaukee 2763-22 M18 1/2 Inch Impact Wrench

​(Editor’s Choice)

15 lbs

Check Price

DEWALT DCF899HB 20V MAX XR Brushless Impact Wrench

​(Editor’s Choice)

6.4 lbs

Check Price

AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

4.6 lbs

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Milwaukee 2763-20 M18 Fuel High Torque Impact Wrench

6.6 lbs

Check Price

DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit

​(Editor’s Choice)

10.6 lbs

Check Price

Best Cordless Impact Wrenches Review

1. 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

2. Makita XWT04M 18V LXT Cordless High Torque Impact Wrench Kit

Much like DeWalt, Makita is yet another brand that is well-known for making some of the best power tools on the market. In this case, we are looking at a full-service impact wrench kit, which means that you get a few extra goodies in addition to the tool itself.

Performance-wise, this wrench is not as powerful as some of the other models on this list, but it should provide more than enough power for a wide variety of jobs. It can generate up to 325 pounds of torque, and it has a max rpm of 1600. Also, it can perform up to 2200 impacts per minute.

One of the features that we like the most about this kit is the fact that it comes with two high-performance lithium-ion batteries. This way, you have a backup that you can keep in the charger (also provided) so that when the first one runs out of juice, you can swap it out immediately and continue working.

Other features that are included with this cordless impact wrench are a carrying case to hold everything, a shock absorbent handle that protects the batteries and keeps them in pristine condition, and a ½ inch anvil. This should work with most sockets, making it a versatile and reliable tool.

Pros

  • 325 lbs of max torque
  • 1600 rpm, 2200 ipm
  • Shock absorbent handle
  • Two battery packs included
  • Battery charger provided
  • Forward and reverse option
  • Soft comfort grip handle
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Carrying bag for all components
  • Long-lasting lithium-ion batteries
  • ½ inch square drive anvil

Cons

  • Not as powerful as other impact wrenches
  • Heavier than other models

3. Milwaukee 2763-22 M18 1/2 Inch Impact Wrench

As we mentioned above, one of the better features you can choose when picking out a best cordless impact wrench is the ability to adjust the speed and the torque. For the most part, you will need a higher amount when pulling nuts and bolts off than when putting them on, so it can be nice to have that option. Fortunately, the M18 Wrench from Milwaukee has two distinct settings that deliver 700 and 1100 pounds, respectively. Best of all, switching is as easy as pushing a button, meaning that you can go back and forth quickly without any delay.

While the torque settings are a powerful feature, what we also like about this wrench is the fact that it uses a brushless motor. This means that it won’t break down as easily as other models, making it much more reliable and versatile. The anvil also measures ½ inches, making it ideal for most jobs.

To help improve the performance of the anvil it comes with a friction ring that ensures that the socket will stay on no matter what. That, coupled with a soft grip handle and a lightweight design means that you can do a lot more with less.

Finally, this wrench also comes with two batteries and a charger so that you can keep one fully loaded at all times. This is especially handy when working for extended periods since you don’t have to wait for your batteries to recharge.

Pros

  • Powerful brushless motor
  • Delivers 700-1100 pounds of torque
  • Long lasting battery
  • Low maintenance design
  • Two fastening modes
  • Uses lithium-ion batteries
  • ½ inch anvil for more versatility
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Soft comfort grip handle
  • Anvil friction ring for faster operation
  • Battery charger and carrying case included
  • Backup battery included
  • Forward and reverse option

Cons

  • In rare cases, the unit may arrive damaged
  • On rare occasions, the unit may overheat after a while

4. DEWALT DCF899HB 20V MAX 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

5. 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

6. Milwaukee 2763-20 M18 Fuel High Torque Impact Wrench

We’ve already seen what a Milwaukee Impact Wrench can do, but if you’re searching for a backup or secondary model, then you will want to get this one. Unlike the unit above, this M18 does not come with any batteries, chargers, or carrying cases. As such, this makes an ideal replacement if something happens to your original model and you don’t want to buy the whole kit.

Overall, the performance is the same, with two fastening options. For tightening, this wrench provides up to 700 pounds of torque. For loosening, it ramps it up to 1100 lbs. You can switch back and forth with the press of a button, making it even more efficient.

It uses a ½-inch anvil that comes with a friction ring so that you get better traction on your sockets. The whole thing is ergonomic and lightweight so that you can work longer, and when you do have batteries, they will last longer than most of the competition. Overall, this is a fantastic impact wrench.

Pros

  • Powerful brushless motor
  • Delivers either 700 or 1100 pounds of torque
  • Two fastening options
  • Runs cooler than the competition
  • Long lasting battery life
  • ½-inch anvil with friction ring for stability
  • Compact and lightweight design

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • In rare cases, the trigger may get stuck

7. 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

How to Choose the Best 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 Milwaukee 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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Garry Harris
 

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