How Much Torque Does a 3/8″ Impact Wrench Have?

The torque of the 3/8″ impact wrenches is the most important thing when you use it. For better and efficient using the torque is a more important factor. When the torque is high, we can use the tool for wide usage. Tool head 3/8″ (9.53mm) can connect the wrench and tool. In this guide, you can see torque and market available brands.

The average torque for the 3/8″ impact wrench has 150 – 250 ft-lbs for general usage. The torque is produced with the power of the electric motor and impact mechanism. The maximum torque is breakaway torque, and it is always more than tightening torque.

You can have complete knowledge about torque and tools by using this research. So let’s keep read on for detail.

What is Torque?

Generally, in day-to-day life, we have to apply the torque in many ways. It is a simple task. When you remove the nut from the bolt, you have to apply the torque on the nut. Torque is the multiplication of the force and the distance from the center and the applied point in a simple way. Generally, torque is measured with the Nm (SI units). In the USA and some countries use ft-lbs which is the same idea expressed by force and distance.

Torque = Force * Distance = N*m = ft*lbs

According to the image, you can see how torque is worked. When the distance of the force is reduced, we have to apply more force to do that work. And also, we can apply less force by increasing the distance. It is a way to make easy the hard work.

When removing the bolt,, you can see a small distance from the center of the nut and its outer. It can be 1-2 cm, So you need to apply more force there because the distance is less. Therefore we need high torque machines.

Torque and the Human Hand

How much torque can a human hand apply?

A well growth, average body weight American male, can apply 8-68.4 ft-lb, and a female can apply 5.2-40.9 ft-lbs maximum torque when using the socket wrench with maximum strength.

Source: Tool Torques Human Strength Data Table

According to the nature of the work, this can be varied, and the values can be changed. I just need to show you how much torque a human can apply.

When you observe these, you can see there is a limitation to applying the torque on the nut. Sometimes you are not able to remove the nut from the bolt. The reason is torque. You can increase torque by increasing the distance or force.

Tightening Torque and Breakaway Torque

These are the torque that you can observe under the torque topic. There are two types of torques.

What is the Tightening Torque and Breakaway Torque?

Tightening torque is the secure torque to apply on a nut without braking or any deformation of the bolt when it is tightened, and breakaway torque is the torque that needs to loosen or further rotate the installed nut or bolt. Always breakaway torque is higher than the tightening torque. Due to static is higher than dynamic.

Impact Wrench Brands and Torques

An impact wrench is used to tighten or loose the lug nuts and bolts. There are many impact wrenches. You can see electrical and pneumatic impact wrenches. The power source can be different, but the mechanism is the same. There is an impact mechanism in the impact drivers. It is equal to the horizontal hammering mechanism. This mechanism increases the torque rather than drilling the wrench. Sometimes you can use impact drivers as a drill.

Impact wrench produces more torque when considering impact driver vs. impact wrench.

The increased torque helps to remove/tighten the nuts and bolts. There are so many impact wrenches with various torques and tool heads. There are 3/8″, 1/4″, 1/2″ tool heads with many brands are available in the market. You can select the desired tool using this table.

Impact Wrench Brand and Tool HeadAvailable ModelTorque
Milwaukee 3/8″M18 FUEL 240 ft-lbs
Milwaukee (Mid Torque) 1/2″M18 FUEL600 ft-lbs
Milwaukee (High Torque) 1/2″M18 FUEL1400 ft-lbs
Dewalt 3/8″DCF903B400 ft-lbs
Dewalt 3/8″DCF890B150 ft-lbs
Dewalt 3/8″DCF883B130 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCF880M2150 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCF899P2700 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCF889M2400 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCF889B400 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCF889HM2400 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCF885C116 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCD771C245 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DW059B300 ft-lbs
Dewalt 1/2″DCF903GJ1G1401 ft-lbs
Makita 3/8″XWT06155 ft-lbs
Makita 3/8″XWT12ZB130 ft-lbs
Makita 1/2″XWT14Z240 ft-lbs
Makita 1″TW1000738 ft-lbs
Ryobi 3/8″‎P263150 fT-lbs
Ryobi 3/8″PSBIW01B160 ft-lbs
Ryobi 1/2″R18IW3300 ft-lbs
Ryobi 1/2″P1833295 ft-lbs
Ryobi 1/2″P261300 ft-lbs
Black and DeckerBDCI120C115 ft-lbs
Impact Wrenches and Torques

Considering the above table, you can see every 3/8″ impact wrench does not have the same torque value. It depends on the power source and the efficiency of the electric motor. There are two main motors called brushless and brushed. Brushless motors are more efficient rather than brushed motors. So when you consider the torque of the impact wrench, consider the motor included.

Normally tools represent the maximum torque as the “Breakaway torque.

Can I Increase the Torque of the Impact Wrench?

The torque depends on the electric motor power and impact mechanism power. So if you need to increase the impact wrench torque, you have to increase the power of these two. There are ways to increase the power of the motor (increasing magnetic field, coils, etc.) and impact mechanism (increase the inertia of the inner parts).

When you do this, the power consumption will be increased, and the battery will discharge soon. So you can realize that this is not a recommended way to do it. But If you are interested in following this.