Best Cordless Impact Wrench – Finding the Best Solution

This guide covers what’s needed to understand cordless impact wrenches and make the very best impact wrench selection for your situation and budget.

The information in this guide comes from both research and experience with impact wrenches and other power tools in the home and commercial settings. I have created a select field of cordless impact wrenches that will work for a wide variety of applications and budgets.

Craftsman C3 Cordless in use

How to Choose an Impact Wrench

The most valuable use for any impact wrench is the loosening of stubborn nuts on cars, tractors, heavy equipment or other machinery. You might think that a battery-powered impact wrench might fail in busting loose a rusty, stuck lug nut almost two inches in diameter, but the best cordless impact wrench can do it. Read each cordless impact wrench review carefully to find the best impact wrench for the money for your particular tasks.

Best Cordless Impact Wrench Reviews Comparison Chart

ImageDescriptionVoltsTorqueOur ReviewPrice
Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2 1/2-InchIngersoll Rand W7150-K2 1/2-Inch
** Editor's Choice - Best OVERALL Cordless Impact Wrench **
20V780 ft-lbOur Review

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DEWALT DCF899HB 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2 Impact Wrench DEWALT DCF899HB 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2 Impact Wrench
** Editor's Choice - Best VALUE Cordless Impact Wrench **
20V700 ft-lbOur Review

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DEWALT DCF880B 20-Volt Li-Ion 1/2-Inch Impact WrenchDEWALT DCF880B 20-Volt Li-Ion 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
** Editor's Choice - Best BUDGET Cordless Impact Wrench **
20V150 ft-lbOur Review

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Craftsman C3 Cordless 19.2 Volt Impact WrenchCraftsman C3 Cordless 19.2 Volt Impact Wrench19.2V200 ft-lbOur Review

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Milwaukee 2454-22 M12 Fuel 3/8 Impact WrenchMilwaukee 2454-22 M12 Fuel 3/8 Impact Wrench12V117 ft-lbOur Review

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Craftsman C3 ½” Heavy Duty Impact WrenchCraftsman C3 ½” Heavy Duty Impact Wrench19.2V300 ft-lbOur Review

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Makita XWT02M LXT Lithium Ion Brushless Cordless 3 Speed Impact Wrench Makita XWT02M LXT Lithium Ion Brushless Cordless 3 Speed Impact Wrench18V210 ft-lbOur Review

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Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque WrenchIndustrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque WrenchN/A250 ft-lbOur Review

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Best Impact Wrench Reviews

1. Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2 1/2-Inch High-Torque Impactool Kit

** Editor’s Choice – Best Cordless Impact Wrench **

Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2 1/2-Inch High-Torque Impactool, Charger, 2 Li-ion Batteries and Case Kit - Power Impact Wrenches - None of the other impact tools reviewed here quite come up to the W7150’s best-in-class 780 foot-pounds of torque. Despite the impressive power, it weighs under 7 lbs. The two included 20V 3Ah Li-Ion batteries supply long run times with short recharge cycles from the IQV20 battery charger. The tool body has a rugged steel-lined hammer case, which is enhanced by the optional tool cover. It is truly a professional-class wrench.

Pros:

  • 780 foot-pounds torque for loosening tough nuts
  • Relatively lightweight

Cons:

  • No battery gauge
Product Specs

  • Torque: 780 foot-pounds
  • Voltage: 20V
  • Battery Type: Li-Ion
  • Battery Life: 3Ah
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year replacement all components/2-year battery replacement/3-years on defects

Review
If you have ever tried busting loose pulley nuts, you know how tight they can be. The W7150, the highest torque impact wrench in its class, will spin them out like soft butter.

The W7150-K2’s power is equivalent to many air impact wrenches without the air hose hassle.

Some buyers are fooled by the light weight of this top-rated impact wrench, but it is built to last both inside and out.
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2. DeWalt DCF899HB 20V MAX XR Brushless 1/2″ Tool Only

** Editor’s Choice – Best VALUE Cordless Impact Wrench **

DEWALT DCF899HB 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2 Impact Wrench with Hog Ring AnvilHeavy equipment mechanics love the DCF899HB’s 1200 foot-pounds breakaway torque capability and the longer run times from the brushless motor. Speed control is selectable in three ranges. It accepts any DEWALT 20V battery pack, so tailor the weight and power as needed. The hog-ring socket holder provides faster socket changes than an indent pin.

Pros:

  • Monstrous torque of 700 foot-pounds
  • Hog-ring Anvil for quick socket changes
  • Three selectable speed ranges

Cons:

  • Top-heavy
  • No battery included
Product Specs

  • Torque: 700 foot-pounds
  • Voltage: 20V
  • Battery Type: Li-Ion
  • Battery Life: No battery, but any DEWALT 20V pack fits
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs. without battery
  • Warranty: 1-year free servicing/90-day money back/Lifetime for defects

Review
If you work on heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, and scrapers, this is the best ½-inch impact wrench around. For the rest of us, it is probably overkill, but if it cannot remove a decades-old, solidly-rusted 1.5-inch lug nut then nothing can.

Due to the hefty brushless power plant, the weight and top-heavy design make it unwieldy for casual users.

 

3. DeWalt DCF880B 20-Volt Li-Ion 1/2″ Impact Wrench Tool Only

** Editor’s Choice – Best BUDGET Cordless Impact Wrench **

DEWALT DCF880B 20-Volt Li-Ion 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench Kit with Detent PiAs an alternative to the big power and price of the DEWALT DCF899HB, the DCF880B ½-inch impact wrench offers an impressive 152 foot-pounds of torque, 0-2300 RPM, and 0-2700 IPM. At just 3.4 lbs. with a compact 5.7-inch length, it is suited to cramped spaces. It accepts any DEWALT 20V battery pack. The detent pin provides firm control for swivel sockets. Three LEDs with a 20-second trigger delay illuminate your work well.

Pros:

  • Over 150 foot-pounds of torque
  • Detent pin holds sockets firmly

Cons:

  • Short warranty period
Product Specs

  • Torque: 152 foot-pounds
  • Voltage: 20V
  • Battery Type: Li-Ion
  • Battery Life: No battery, but any DEWALT 20V pack fits
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs. tool only
  • Warranty: 1-year free servicing/90-day money back/Lifetime for defects

Review
This DEWALT ½-inch impact wrench delivers best-in-class torque and a rugged build. It is strong enough to bust loose many car or truck lug nuts. The power, ergonomics, and price are a powerful combo. Be sure to add in the cost of batteries and charger if you do not already have them.

 

4. Craftsman C3 Cordless 19.2 Volt Impact Wrench Driver Kit

Craftsman C3 1/2" Cordless 19.2 Volt Impact Wrench Driver KiThe Craftsman C3 outputs a formidable 200 foot-pounds of torque from its 19.2V NiCad battery. Add this to your roadside emergency kit for quick tire changes. It features a 0-3000 RPM variable-speed trigger, a high-friction grip that provides steady, firm control and an LED light that illuminates the task at hand. It comes with one battery, a charger and a 1-year warranty.

Pros:

  • 200 foot-pounds of nut-busting torque
  • Variable-speed
  • ½-inch square chuck

Cons:

  • No case
Craftsman C3 19.2v Compact Cordless Impact Wrench 32741 – Real User Review & How To

Product Specs

  • Torque: 200 foot-pounds
  • Voltage: 19.2V
  • Battery Type: NiCad
  • Battery Life: 3.0Ah
  • Weight: 5.75 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty on defects

Review
Craftsman C3 Cordless 19.2 Volt Impact Wrench Driver KitOnce you use the Craftsman C3 for changing a tire, you see what a capable impact wrench for lug nuts it is.

It spins off over-torqued, rusty lug nuts in a flash. It saves many hours when working on vehicle chassis, tractors or lawnmowers.

Despite using a NiCad power pack, buyers have not experienced battery-related problems. A recharge takes about an hour, so you might want to buy a spare.

 

5. Milwaukee 2454-22 M12 FUEL 3/8″ Impact Wrench Kit

Milwaukee 2454-22 M12 Fuel 3/8 Impact Wrench Kit W/2 BaThis Milwaukee 3/8-inch impact wrench is light, tough and super-handy for any mechanical task. For tight spots or when you do not want the burden of a bigger wrench, the 2425-22 is the ideal size. Its two torque ranges, 17 and 117 foot-pounds, let you match power to the task before you. Milwaukee’s POWERSTATE™ brushless motor and the REDLITHIUM™ 2Ah Li-Ion batteries deliver maximum runtime, power draw and twice the number of recharges than regular Li-Ion batteries. An onboard fuel gauge reduces unnecessary top-offs. Milwaukee’s REDLINK PLUS™ system control eliminates tool overloading and overheating.

Pros:

  • Compact with lots of power
  • 0-2650 RPM/0-3500 IPM

Cons:

  • Underpowered for lug nuts
Product Specs

  • Torque: 117 or 17 foot-pounds
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Battery Type: Li-Ion
  • Battery Life: 2.0Ah
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Warranty: 5-years on tool/2-years on battery

Review
Like all Milwaukee products, this one is built stout. If you need an impact wrench for non-chassis mechanical work, this one fits the bill.

It delivers a respectable 117 foot-pounds of maximum torque and 17 foot-pounds for more delicate work. Buyers love the power, the ergonomics, and the long-lasting, fast-recharge REDLITHIUM battery packs.

 

6. Craftsman C3 ½-Inch Heavy Duty Impact Wrench Kit Review

Craftsman C3 ½" Heavy Duty Impact Wrench Kit Powered By 4ah XCP Cordless Tools High TorqueThing of this C3 as the upgrade for the NiCad Craftsman C3 reviewed earlier in this guide. Equipped with a 4Ah XCP Li-Ion battery and more efficient motor, it bests the NiCad version by another 100 foot-pounds of torque for a total of 300 foot-pounds. It still has 0-3000 RPM/IPM variable-speed control, a firm grip and bright LED work light. It comes with one battery, charger, and a 1-year warranty.

Pros:

  • 300 foot-pounds of nut-busting torque
  • Variable-speed 0-3000 RPM/IPM
  • ½-inch square chuck

Cons:

  • No case
Product Specs

  • Torque: 300 foot-pounds
  • Voltage: 19.2V
  • Battery Type: Li-IonCraftsman C3 ½" Heavy Duty Impact Wrench Kit Powered By 4ah XCP Cordless Tools High Torque
  • Battery Life: 4.0Ah
  • Weight: 5.75 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty on defects

Review

The extra $40 or so you pay for this upgraded C3 version is money well spent. It spins off rusty lug or chassis nuts in quick order. The Li-Ion 4Ah battery and high torque mean hours saved for car or tractor repairs. It is not quite up to commercial tasks, but for the price and power, it is ideal for home shops.

 

7. Makita XWT02M LXT 1/2″ Li-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Wrench

Makita XWT02M LXT Lithium Ion Brushless Cordless 3 Speed Impact Wrench Kit, 1/2-Inch (Discontinued by Manufacturer)This Makita 18V LXT ½” impact wrench features 3-speed selection, 210 foot-pounds of torque and long run times. Its compact size, lightweight, and speed/impact ranges provide fine control for any fabrication, installation or automotive work. It is powered by fast-recharge, 4Ah Li-Ion batteries. The brushless motor is electronically protected against overload and overheating. A built-in LED with separate on/off switch, fuel gauge and ergonomic comfort grip round out this formidable package.

Pros:

  • 210 foot-pounds of torque
  • Three speed/impact ranges plus reverse

Cons:

  • Soft bag instead of a hard case
Product Specs

  • Torque: 210 foot-poundsMakita XWT02M LXT Lithium Ion Brushless Cordless 3 Speed Impact Wrench Kit, 1/2-Inch
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Battery Type: Li-Ion
  • Battery Life: 4.0Ah
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3-years on tool/1-year on battery/charger

Review
With 35 percent longer run times, 3-speeds plus reverse, separately-switched lighting, fuel gauge, etc., it has all the features to get work done efficiently. Makita has even added dust/moisture protection to the tool housing. The only complaint from buyers is the fan noise from the charger, but the cooling it provides speeds up recharges.

 

8. Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Review

** Editor’s Choice – Torque Wrench for Finishing Touches **

Industrial Brand CDI Torque 2503MFRPH 1/2-Inch Drive Adjustable Micrometer Torque Wrench, Torque Range 30 to 250-Foot PoundsThis industrial-grade manual torque wrench is for heavy-duty jobs requiring high precision. The dual-direction, twin-scale shaft measures 30 to 250 foot-pounds, or Newton-meters if you prefer, of torque. The included test certificate illustrates three forward and three reverse factory test measurements, which report the actual deviation from true torque. Usually, these are less than one percent off. It is a superb measurement tool to back up non-existent or less-than-perfect calibrations on cordless impact wrenches.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons:

  • Calibration settings need higher contrast
Product Specs

  • Drive size: ½-inch
  • Length: 24 inches
  • Torque settings: 30 to 250 foot-pounds
  • Calibration: Dual scales, laser-marked
  • Accuracy: No greater than 4 percent CW and 6 percent CCW, nominally less than two percent
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty on defects

Review
The strong point of most cordless impact wrenches is in busting stuff loose, not tightening to a specific torque. When tightening critical parts such as head bolts, use a quality, manual torque wrench such as the 2503MFRPH. This one has a wide range, so it is suitable for motor and heavy equipment work. The only gripe from buyers is that under bad light the markings on the shaft are hard to read.

 

Why Do You Need an Impact Wrench?

An impact wrench close-upIf you have ever spent several minutes in an uncomfortable position turning a stubborn nut in 1/16th steps or have been unable to develop sufficient leverage to bust loose a rusted nut, then you already know why you need an impact wrench.

Almost anywhere you use your manual socket wrench, you can use an impact wrench. The only practical limitation is the bulk of the impact gun, which may preclude use in the tightest spaces.

It is not the primary purpose of an impact wrench, but it can double as an impact driver/drill. You may have to use a socket-bit adapter or buy a combo tool such as the Bosch IDH182-02L, which has a dual-ended chuck. Unless you use the dual-torque feature of the Milwaukee 2454-22 impact wrench, you have to control the increased torque when driving or drilling with an impact wrench to avoid damage.

How Does an Impact Wrench Work?

So, what is an impact wrench versus a hammer drill? Hammer drills are fundamentally drills with a pounding action on top. Most of their action is high-speed rotation with relatively low torque. They produce a counter-rotation that must be matched by the operator. Impact wrenches use a different principle to produce higher torque at all rotational speeds. Via a hammer and anvil mechanism, they produce high torque in brief spurts. Each torque spurt may have a force of hundreds of foot-pounds, which even sticky, rusty nuts find difficult to resist. Because the hammer/rotation cycles are extremely short, there is no sustained rotational torsion produced as in drills.

Impact Wrench Applications

A stuck rusty nutThe general rule for applying an impact wrench is to use it mostly for taking things off not for putting things on. It is a superb tool for busting loose tight bolt nuts, especially ones that have too much corrosion to break out easily with hand tools.

These include lug nuts, chassis bolts and any other nut that has been exposed to weather. Using an impact wrench in short bursts avoids shearing the bolt until the nut moves freely.

Impact wrenches can be used in combination with sockets or screwdriver adapters for driving fasteners into wood, metal or concrete. Most of the best cordless impact wrenches reviewed here double as impact drivers in this fashion. Like drivers, they can extract partially stripped screws without cam-out.

Impact Wrench vs. Impact Driver

Most impact drivers are smaller, often cordless, tools used for drilling holes or driving screws. As a class, impact wrenches are larger and more powerful. They typically produce significantly higher torque than impact drivers. The largest air-powered impact wrenches produce thousands of foot-pounds of torque. Since most impact wrenches are used in automotive or other mechanical shops, they usually have a square-ended chuck similar to a manual socket wrench in ¼-inch, 3/8-inch or ½-inch sizes.

On the other hand, impact drivers usually have a ¼-inch female hex socket for holding bits. Since they produce lower torque than impact wrenches, they are typically smaller and lighter. This makes them ideal for carrying around job sites, up ladders, in attics, and under the house. Most are compact enough to reach into small spaces.

Making the Decision

Nascar pitstop mechanic is seen using an impact wrenchGood quality power tools are not so cheap that you can buy a new one every week. Furthermore, they should be thought of as investments that will produce dividends for years to come rather than consumable items. Thus, the decision to select and purchase the right tool for your tasks and your budget should not be taken lightly.

The main thing in making the buying decision is to feel that you have sufficient, quality information on which to base your choice.

The primary purpose of this guide is to provide you exactly that kind of information. After reading through the data and reviews here, you are ready to select a great impact wrench, impact driver or driver-drill that exactly meets your requirements.

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