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8 Best Air Impact Wrenches for Tough Nuts Reviewed 2020 (US & UK)

By Paul,
23rd June 2018 | Updated: 30th April 2020

8 Best Air Impact Wrenches for Tough Nuts Reviewed 2020 (US & UK)

Last updated on 23rd June 2018 by Paul

Quick Comparison

Product reviews

After visiting more than 10 garages and interviewing mechanics on the best features of a quality air impact wrench, we went ahead to test 40 different models available on the market.

We concluded that the Chicago Pneumatic CP7748 Impact Wrench, was the best. It features a heavy-duty construction, is simple to use and was comfortable to hold.

We also liked the stubby design of the Hazet 9012M Extra Short Impact Wrench. It allowed us to reach difficult places with little available space. Continue reading to find out more!

  1. 1
    100%
    100%

    Chicago Pneumatic CP7748 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

    The first thing we noticed with this air impact wrench was the neat design. It was very pleasing to look at. We found that the Chicago pneumatics CP7748 was also very comfortable to hold and has a heavy-duty construction making it very durable.

    We liked the trigger. It is conveniently located and easy on the finger. This is also a very powerful wrench and we liked that we could use it on large as well as small bolts.On the downside, the Chicago pneumatics is quite powerful and we found that it wasn’t the best with smaller bolts. It can easily cause damage mainly since there is no speed adjustment system. We also found that we needed to buy different drive sizes separately.

     

    The Good
    • Simple to use.
    • Comfortable on the hands.
    • Powerful.
    • Neat design.
    The Bad
    • Lacks speed adjustment.
    • Doesn’t come with different shaft sizes.
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  2. 2
    100%
    100%

    Hazet 9012M 1100 N m Impact Wrench Extra Short

    Similar to the Chicago Pneumatic CP7732 Ultra Compact Wrench, we liked that the Hazet comes in a stubby design. This made it possible to reach areas that were otherwise hard to access when using the air impact wrench.

    We also found that it produced a high torque which made it simple to remove nuts on the car wheels. We liked the good-looking design and the fact that it comes with a strong and sturdy frame. While using the Hazet, we noticed that it produced very little vibration which made it comfortable to use.

    However, the backplate gaskets was not very strong and could break under too much air pressure.

     

    The Good
    • Stubby design.
    • Strong AND sturdy frame.
    • Comfortable to hold.
    • Produced little vibrations.
    The Bad
    • Backplate gasket isn’t very strong.
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  3. 3
    96%
    96%

    Draper 41096 Expert Air Impact Wrench Review

    The Draper is a very powerful air impact wrench. We could easily remove the nuts from the wheels of the car with no effort at all. We also enjoyed how comfortable it was to hold and the ease of use. Like the Chicago Pneumatic CP7732 Ultra Compact Wrench, it also comes with a heavy duty construction.

    We liked the composite material on the handle. Unlike some models that have a metal construction, we could comfortably use this without worry of it getting cold and uncomfortable.

    On the downside we noted that the anvil is not very strong and could shatter under a lot of pressure.

     

    The Good
    • Heavy duty construction.
    • Simple to use.
    • Comfortable on the hands.
    The Bad
    • The anvil can break when used with bolts that are too large.
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  4. 4
    94%
    94%

    Berkling Tools 2463T 1/2" HEAVY DUTY Pneumatic Impact Wrench

    We liked the ergonomic build of the Berkling Tools 2463T 1/2″ HEAVY DUTY Pneumatic Impact Wrench. It was very comfortable on the hands. The body is heavy duty and looks very durable. We found it to be a very powerful impact wrench with a high rotation speed.

    Another thing that we liked was how simple it was to use. It had a short frame that maximized on the power. We also found that we could use it on large bolts and still achieve a secure fit. This air impact wrench is also lightweight at slightly above one kilo.

    However similar to this Impact Wrench, it doesn’t adjust for speed which meant that we could not use it on very small bolts.

     

    The Good
    • Lightweight.
    • Ergonomic design.
    • Simple to use.
    • Heavy duty frame.
    The Bad
    • Cannot adjust for speed.
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  5. 5
    90%
    90%

    Chicago Pneumatic CP7732 Ultra Compact Wrench

    This impact wrench comes with a stubby design. We liked this as we found that we could access restricted areas with it. This is also a versatile tool that we could use for different types of tasks. We liked the heavy-duty construction and the fact that it felt comfortable on the hands.

    We also liked the fact that the Chicago pneumatics CP7732 ultra compact wrench provided enough torque to loosen or tighten medium sized as well as large bolts and nuts.

    On the downside we found the spring on the shaft to be quite stiff. Removing sockets became difficult because of this.

     

    The Good
    • Comfortable to hold.
    • Simple to use.
    • Stubby design.
    The Bad
    • Spring on the shaft is stiff.
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  6. 6
    90%
    90%

    Magnum Strong 1200 Nm Air Impact Wrench Review

    We liked that the Magnum strong comes with a very durable and sturdy frame. We also found that it provided a lot of torque and was very simple to use. The trigger mechanism was light on the finger and we didn’t have to apply too much pressure.

    Another thing that we noted with the magnum is the ergonomic design. This made the wrench very comfortable to hold on the hand. We liked that it comes with different sized shafts that make possible its use on a variety of bolt and nut sizes, as well as the downward facing exhaust.

    On the downside however, the magnum felt a bit to heavy on the hands. We also found that we needed to regularly oil the wrench to prevent friction and ensure a long life.

     

    The Good
    • Simple to use
    • Heavy duty construction
    • Comfortable to hold
    The Bad
    • Needs to be oiled regularly
    • feels heavy
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  7. 7
    88%
    88%

    CLARKE AIR IMPACT WRENCH HEAVY DUTY 1/2" Review

    We instantly liked the heavy-duty construction of the Clarke air impact wrench. We found that it also comes with a high speed and was very simple to use. We liked the 90 psi pressure as we could conveniently use it on many types of bolts and nuts.

    At just over 2 kgs, this air impact wrench is not heavy at all. It also looks good. However, we noticed that it tended to jam quite a lot which was very annoying and the trigger is not the best.

     

    The Good
    • Heavy duty construction.
    • Comfortable to hold.
    • Simple to use.
    The Bad
    • Trigger wasn’t the best.
    • Jams often.
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  8. 8
    80%
    80%

    Werktough 18/20V IW03 Cordless Impact Wrench

    Similar to the Magnum Strong 1200 Nm Air Impact Wrench, the Werktough 18/20V IW03 Cordless Impact Wrench also comes with different shaft sizes. This allowed us to use it conveniently on different sized nuts and bolts. The shafts also fit easily which we liked.

    We also liked that the wrench and shafts come with a carry case for easy transport and storage. We found that it provides 90 psi which was enough for most of the tasks that we testing it on. The wrench also comes with a heavy-duty frame and looked very durable.

    The main downside was with the fact that we couldn’t adjust for speed which also meant that it is not the ideal tool for small nuts and bolts.

     

    The Good
    • Simple to use.
    • Heavy duty frame.
    • Convenient carry case.
    • Comes with different sized shafts.
    The Bad
    • Can’t adjust for speed.
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

Side-by-side

Chicago Pneumatic CP7748 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

  • Simple to use.
  • Comfortable on the hands.
  • Powerful.
  • Neat design.
Check price  on amazon

Hazet 9012M 1100 N m Impact Wrench Extra Short

  • Stubby design.
  • Strong AND sturdy frame.
  • Comfortable to hold.
  • Produced little vibrations.
Check price  on amazon

Draper 41096 Expert Air Impact Wrench Review

  • Heavy duty construction.
  • Simple to use.
  • Comfortable on the hands.
Check price  on amazon

Berkling Tools 2463T 1/2" HEAVY DUTY Pneumatic Impact Wrench

  • Lightweight.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Simple to use.
  • Heavy duty frame.
Check price  on amazon

Magnum Strong 1200 Nm Air Impact Wrench Review

  • Simple to use
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Comfortable to hold
Check price  on amazon

CLARKE AIR IMPACT WRENCH HEAVY DUTY 1/2" Review

  • Heavy duty construction.
  • Comfortable to hold.
  • Simple to use.
Check price  on amazon

Werktough 18/20V IW03 Cordless Impact Wrench

  • Simple to use.
  • Heavy duty frame.
  • Convenient carry case.
  • Comes with different sized shafts.
Check price  on amazon

Frequently asked questions

What Is an Air Impact Wrench?

An air impact wrench is a power wrench that uses compressed air to produce a high torque. This is high torque comes about when the compressed air, that is stored on a mass is released at the same time and sent to the output shaft causing the shaft to rotate.

 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Air Impact Wrenches?

Air impact wrenches are highly efficient tools. They allow you to work fast with minimal energy exertion.

It is also a versatile tool to have as it allows one to undertake a variety of tasks.

Since the air impact wrench is usually small sized, it is simple to handle and simple to use. The smaller size is due to the fact that the power comes from an air compressor.

Another benefit using an air impact wrench is that they are built to last. This is a durable equipment that can serve you for many years. It is also a simply built item that requires very little maintenance.

Since the wrench works on compressed air, you will not have to worry about the power running out.

On the downside, air impact wrenches do not come with a speed adjusting mechanism. This means that in tasks that require little energy they can end up causing damage.

 

Who Uses a Pneumatic Wrench for Work?

Anyone can own an air impact wrench to use around the home. They can perform a variety of tasks such as loosening nuts and bolts and working on the car or lawn mower engine. They are also a common tool in many garages where they are used to loosen or tighten car wheel nuts as well as car engines.

 

What Should You Look for When Buying a Pneumatic Impact Wrench?

The air impact wrench draws its power from the compressor so this is the first thing you will need to look at. A compressor that provides pressure at 90 psi will help turn the wrench at optimum efficiency. Anything above this is even better.

Second, consider the size of the drive. You want one that fits the nuts and bolts that you will be working on. Start by considering the different size nuts and bolts then pick the right impact sockets for the tasks.

You also want to go for a tool that provides enough power for your daily tasks. Consider for example taking the nuts off the wheels of your car. While most small cars will require an air impact wrench that provides a torque of 140lbs, you will need to take into account factors such as rust that make the nuts harder to remove. An air impact wrench that can provide 400lbs will be more ideal.

The last thing you want to look at is the brand. Some models are higher quality than others. Go for a brand from a reputable company.

 

How Do You Use an Air Impact Wrench?

The first thing you will need to do in order to use the air impact wrench is to assemble the various components. Take the rubber hose and attach it to the air pressure unit. This will provide the pressure needed to turn the shaft on the impact gun.

Next check to see that the wrench is receiving just the right amount of pressure. The PSI should be between 90 and 100.

You also need to know which direction the shaft is turning. Do this by lightly pressing the trigger.

Once you are satisfied that everything is working well, it’s time to use the wrench. Make sure the drive or shaft fits around the bolt or nut that you want to loosen or tighten and press the trigger. It should rotate to accomplish the task at hand.

 

How Does an Air Impact Wrench Work?

An air impact wrench uses compressed air from an air pressure unit or compressor. This air is delivered to the air impact wrench using a hose. The pressure then turns the shaft once the trigger is pressed allowing you to tighten or loosen the nuts or bolts.

Which Air Impact Wrench Is the Best for Professional Use?

The Chicago pneumatic CP7748 air impact wrench is the best for professional use. It has a strong and sturdy build and provides high reverse torque of 1250 Nm.

 

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