09 Facts – Is Impact Wrench Worth It?

An impact wrench is a higher torque power tool, which is used for the lug nuts works. Impact driver and impact wrench, both have impact mechanisms. But impact wrenches have higher torque than an impact driver. As a result of this, mostly it uses for automotive works.

Impact wrenches are really worth it for tightening and removing lug nuts. Due to its higher torque, it can be used for the nuts that impact drivers can’t be used. Due to its higher amount of torque sockets have been specially designed as thicker and stronger.

It is really worth having an impact wrench for higher torque tasks such as tight and loosening the lug nuts. More than that we can find electric and pneumatic impact wrenches in the market. Both have higher torque but pneumatic impact wrenches are specially designed for specific tasks. So let’s see what are the advantages of having an impact wrench in your toolbox.

Impact Wrench Can Operate Higher Amount of Torque

Impact Wrench Inside Mechanism

It employs both rotational force (torque) and short-burst concussive blows (impacts) to deliver an unparalleled amount of power. An impact wrench was invented by Robert H. Pott of Evansville, Indiana. Torque can learn physics and mechanics.

Simply, torque is the rotational equivalent of linear force. Force is the basement of an idea of physics. All the activities are based on the force. Power is a force exerted between two objects, which can simply be a pull or a push.

An impact wrench is needed for major construction projects, car repairs, heavy equipment maintenance as well as any other situations or works that require high torque output. This device can be used with 95% efficiency more than a slow standard device that requires a large amount of effort. The impact wrench has an electric or air motor.

It usually applies a sudden, sharp rotation motion to the reactive lug nut during short bursts (every five seconds or more). Continuous short, strong bursts that try to grind on the buckle eventually bring about some movement (loosening or tightening the lug nuts).

In addition, the pressure also pushes the working buckle forward, providing a force to increase the torque of the impact key. Therefore, an impact wrench simplifies the process by making it easier for a person to operate on a locking key than is possible.

There are three types of impact wrenches.

  1. Air (pneumatic) wrench
  2. Electrical (corded) wrench
  3. Cordless impact wrench

Read More About – Corded Vs. Cordless Impact Wrench – Mechanic Advice to Buy!

An air impact wrenches tend to be less expensive, and a little bit faster. A compressor and a hose are also needed for this.

Impact Wrenches Are More Powerful Than Impact Drivers

An impact driver has a similar appearance to a cordless regular drill. Although an impact driver uses rapid concussive rotary force to increase the torque output of the tool. The difference in strengths between the two devices depends on the type of an impact wrench.

One of the major differences between an impact wrench and an impact driver is the driving style. An impact driver uses a ¼ inch hex collet that accepts ¼ inch hex shank bits. The impact key usually uses a rectangular drive to which a socket can be attached.

  • Impact drivers have higher speeds, with a maximum speed of 3600 RPM or higher. The speed of a good wireless impact key is often less than 2000 RPM. If you use pneumatic (air) pressure keys the speed can be up to 8,000 RPM or more.
  • In terms of power, it usually takes more torque from an impact wrench than from impact drive. An impact driver can exceed 2000 in labs of torque. Although the torque of an impact driver which has more than 1600 in labs is suitable for professional duties.

On the other hand, an impact wrench starts at about 100 feet lbs. and has the potential to increase torque to more than 1000 feet lbs. Most basic work requires an impact wrench with a torque of at least 200 feet. And also; when the lugs are removed, we switch to a medium torque model with at least 400 feet.

Impact Wrenches Need A Special Sockets


When thinking about a socket; an impact socket can be used safely on a hand tool. However, these should not be used with a normal hand tool socket on an impact wrench, as this can be extremely dangerous. This is because the wall of a typical socket has a thin wall design and is prone to breakage when using power tools due to the material from which they are made.

An impact socket is the powerful socket designed for impact drivers such as; an impact wrench. It can give higher torque than other wrenches. These sockets are designed to bear the shocks and impacts. The walls are designed to be 50% thicker than normal sockets for high efficiency and vibration resistance. It will help to achieve optimal tool efficiency.

The special socket is made from chrome-molybdenum steel, it gives extra elastic and helps to create features that tend to bend or elongate without cracking. The regular sockets are made from chrome vanadium steel.  These regular sockets are strong. Although generally more brittle and therefore more likely to break when exposed to shock.

Read More About – Impact Socket Vs Regular Socket – Engineering Aspect!

Impact Wrenches Can Be Used As an Impact Driver

Similar to an impact drive, an impact key is used to rotate the shaft of the tool and to produce rapid vibratory rotation. This is the main difference between an impact driver and an impact key.

Impact wrenches can typically provide nearly twice the amount of torque as an impact driver. As well as impact wrenches can be used as an impact driver using an adaptor. Specially, impact wrenches can be used for removing or installing large nuts and bolts. An impact wrenches are commonly used to remove and install the lug nuts that hold on wheels in automotive shops.

Impact drivers use a chuck and accept many of sockets. Although impact wrenches must need rated sockets only. An impact driver can use easily. Determining which tool is needed between these two tools depends on the fact that it is used.

Impact Wrenches Can Deal With Lug Nuts

Lug nuts are the hardware used to secure vehicle wheel and tire assembly to the vehicle. The correct lug nut ensures that your wheel is safely and securely installed. A good quality electric impact wrench has a torque of 500 – 700 lb-feet nut breaking.

An impact wrench has to apply more torque when there are more obstacles. Such as; rust, over-tightened, and freezing of lug nuts.

Read More About – Impact Wrench Won’t Remove Lug Nut – Reasons and Solutions

Pneumatic Impact Wrenches Are More Powerful Than Electric Impact Wrenches

Pneumatic Impact Wrench

Air wrenches use compressed air to power the internal hammer and turn the driver. This does not depend on an internal motor, the compressed air does all the work. Accordingly, it requires a powerful air compressor. The pneumatic impact wrenches usually do not have a variable speed trigger. By adjusting the air compressor anybody can adjust the power of the air pressure switch.

Electric impacts are more portable than air wrenches therefore, they can be easy to use for any narrow spots also. Although an electric wrench is not more powerful than an electric impact wrench.

Impact Wrenches Have Two Types Of Torque

Impact wrenches have two types of torque. These are tightened torque and loosening torque. When we need to tighten lug nuts we need torque. As well as we need to torque the tighten the nuts. Lossoning nuts require more torque every time. Because it can tightly connect with the metal surface. Sometimes it can be rusted. So losing torque is higher than tightening torque.

Portable Impact Wrenches Are Worth It

Corded Vs Cordless Impact Wrenches

Mainly we can see electric impact wrenches with corded and cordless. As technology advances, wireless, battery-powered impact wrench has become better. At the same time, prices have plummeted, making it a viable option for their other type of wrench like a pneumatic impact wrench. These tools can be easily accessed wherever needed as they are not attached to a compressor with an air hose.

The wireless device, which is a breakthrough in technological advancement, is even more useful in business situations, even in the event of a power outage. As mentioned earlier, the device does not slow down at the same time as the battery life is exhausted, so it is easier and more efficient to apply to tighten and tighten tasks.

The cordless impact wrench with 12 volts battery is also enough for the general work. There has no more difference between an impact wrench with12 volts and an 18 or 20-volt battery. The battery life should be taken into consideration.

  1. Light duty works – 7 to 15 volts.
  2. Medium-duty work – 12 to 18-volt range
  3. Heavy-duty work – 18-36 volt range.

Impact Wrenches Can Be Used In Wide Range

The wide range of torque is very important to figuring of an impact wrench. It will important to use this for more field applications.  Although the user has some responsibility for choosing the right type of impact wrench for the situation. Under that:

  1. If the task gets more time, brushless motors to offer a longer runtime and better performance.
  2. If users need to more efficient torque delivery, Impact wrenches with a hog ring socket can use for it.
  3. Models of impact wrench with multiple torque settings allow for variation of the torque output to the application.

Before you buy an impact wrench you should pay attention to its, socket type, power consumption, tighten torque, breakaway torque, run time etc. It is really worth it having in the tool box for higher torque tasks.

Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.