Reviews

Best Cordless Impact Wrenches: Loosen Stubborn Bolts

A quality impact wrench ensures you can drive bolts without breaking a sweat

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BY Austin Fracchia / LAST UPDATED ON May 24, 2019

It can be frustrating to drive or remove a rusty lug nut or a bolt. However, there is a tool that can make this worker easier: an impact wrench. This tool helps you to drive or remove these stubborn bolts without twisting your arm. There are several types of these tools available, and choosing the right one can be challenging. Below we list the best on the market to help you make an informed buying decision.

Best Overall
DEWALT MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit
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Summary
Summary

The 8.81-inch DEWALT MAX XR impact wrench features a brushless motor to ensure long-lasting superior performance. This tool provides a torque of 700 ft-lbs and breakaway torque of 1,200 ft-lbs to ensure faster usage in tough jobs.

Pros
Pros
  • Includes three-speed selector switch
  • Settings include range from 400 to 1,900 RPM
  • LED light lets you work in dim conditions
  • Durable construction able to withstand a 6-foot fall
Cons
Cons
  • Requires a battery that doesn’t come with the set 
  • Compatible with standard Dewalt chargers, but does not include one
Best Overall
DEWALT MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit
Best Value
Enertwist Brushless Impact Wrench
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Summary
Summary

Coming at a friendly price, this 20-volt cordless impact wrench offers up to 330 Newton-meters of torque. Featuring adjustable speeds and powerful lighting, this battery-powered model holds charge well and recharges efficiently. 

Pros
Pros
  • Simple controls make speed adjustments easy
  • Includes automatic stop, and auto reverse functions
  • Ergonomic handle design makes longer projects easier
Cons
Cons
  • Only suited for smaller car tires
  • Won’t handle bolts or nuts smaller than 15/16 inch
  • Rubber exterior can get slick with perspiration, so wear gloves
Best Value
Enertwist Brushless Impact Wrench
Honorable Mention
Makita Brushless Impact Wrench
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Summary
Summary

The motor of this machine is powerful enough to deliver max torque of 740 ft-lbs and breakaway torque of 1,180 ft-lbs. It features a 3-speed power selection of 900/1,000/ 1,800 RPM and 1,800/2,000/2,200 IPM for enhanced fastening control.

Pros
Pros
  • Brushless motor increases cooling efficiency
  • Reduced friction results in longer lifespan
  • Ergonomic grip makes it easy to handle
  • Features a built-in light to allow work at night or in dark settings
Cons
Cons
  • Comes at a high price point relative to comparable models
  • Its power capacity can result in the battery draining quickly
  • Slightly heavy and somewhat bulky
Honorable Mention
Makita Brushless Impact Wrench

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Cordless Impact Wrenches

  • Improved power. Removing a pesky bolt that’s rusted in place is never fun when using a regular wrench. An impact wrench gives you more power and torque behind the bolt. No one wants to spend time cranking and wrenching their hands when you could easily remove the bolt with an impact wrench.
  • Quicker access. Spending time on one bolt can ruin your day. You’ve got things to do, so why waste effort with a hand wrench without power? An impact wrench can remove a bolt in seconds so you can move on to the next job. Plus, you’ll look like a NASCAR pit crew and that’s always fun.
  • Enhanced mobility. The cordless aspect comes into play with mobility. By being able to move around your car or workspace without a cable, you can accomplish more in less time. All you ever need to do is charge it, and that doesn’t take all that long to do.

Types of Cordless Impact Wrenches

Air Impact Wrench

If you’ve ever been in the back of a car mechanic’s shop, they will typically have a powerful air-powered impact wrench. They can be much more powerful than normal everyday impact wrenches due to the pneumatic air used to run them. However, the majority of them may come with a cord, so that may defeat the purpose of a cordless impact wrench. Although, you can find some, like paintball guns, that work by using CO2 or compressed air.

Battery-Powered Impact Wrench

A battery powered impact wrench is one that runs off of batteries. They’re pretty self-explanatory. What makes them stand out is they don’t require a power cord to function. This gives you a much wider range to work with. You can move around your vehicle without fussing with a cable. While they can lack in power, they are much more useful and reliable than a normal hand wrench. Not to mention your arms or fingers won’t hurt after using them. 

Top Brands

DeWalt

The American-owned and run DeWalt company is known globally as one of the best manufacturers of tools. It is based in Maryland and started business in 1924, producing equipment made for construction, home improvement, and manufacturing. DeWalt’s impact wrenches stand out in the company's typically bright yellow color so you can’t miss them on the shelf. Check out the DEWALT MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit the next time you need to remove a rusty bolt.

Makita

While Makitia is a Japanese company, it competes with other top brands across the globe. You can find two of its larger headquarters in the United States in California and Georgia. Makita is a tool manufacturer that produces power tools for the working professionals or do-it-yourselfer. Consider the Makita Brushless Impact Wrench if you ever find yourself needing a solid impact wrench for your job.

KIMO Tools 

Opening its doors in 1990, KIMO has since grown into an international name in the tools manufacturing industry. Based in the Zhejiang Province of China, this company focuses largely on research and development, positioning itself as a supplier of long-lasting lithium ion technology. Through its innovations, KIMO began distributing all types of power tools throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Effective January 7, 2020, KIMO entered the American market. It’s grown popular for high-quality power tools, especially cordless ones. The claim to fame is in the battery tech, which is a key reason the Kimo Cordless Impact Wrench is a fan-favorite. 

Cordless Impact Wrench Pricing

  • Below $100: You’ll be able to find a decent impact wrench somewhere in this price range. They will be battery-powered and have lower voltage but will still be worth your time and effort. They will be best for smaller jobs and may be able to get out even the toughest bolts.
  • $100 and up: If you have a job that requires more torque and power, then we suggest looking here. These impact wrenches will come with much more juice to get through rust and debris. They can range all the way to $300 or more though, so be prepared. These are the ones you will most likely find NASCAR pit crews using.

Key Features

Motor

All motors will feature what is called torque, or their power, noted in RPM and IPM. The higher the impact wrenches power, the more effective the tool will be to you. Also, note if the motor is brushless or not. RPM stands for revolutions per minute and tells you how many times the wrench spins the socket or bit. IPM (impacts per minute) refers to the number of impacts inside the tool.

Battery Type

You will be plagued by one thing when it comes to battery-powered impact wrenches—their battery. Lower-priced models will oftentimes come with less powerful batteries. If this is the case, you will be spending quite a bit of time charging them. You will want to opt for a battery with some juice and one of the best is lithium-ion. They will hold a charge much longer and therefore last longer as well. 

Grip

When it comes to holding an impact wrench, you will want to get one that has an excellent grip. If it slips out of your hand, you won’t really get much done and it could injure you in the process. The majority of impact wrenches should come with some sort of stylized grip—typically rubber. This makes it more simple to use while also being more ergonomic. 

Other Considerations

  • Type. Be careful when you purchase an impact wrench. You’ll want to make sure it is battery-powered if you want more mobility. You could also end up with an air impact wrench that runs off of compressed air. These may require you to connect them to a large air compressor. However, you may also find smaller canisters for them to function as well.

Best Cordless Impact Wrench Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
DEWALT MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit

DeWalt’s MAX XR Impact Wrench is powerful and certainly reliable. It features a brushless motor for increased operating power so you can accomplish just about any job without issue. When it comes to power, the device provides a torque of up to 700 foot-pounds with a breakaway torque of 1,200 foot-pounds, so you take care of the toughest jobs.


The wrench also includes a three-speed selector switch (400/1200/1900 RPM) to give you a wider range of choices so you can decide the correct amount of power. It comes with an LED work light, which comes in handy when working at night. 


However, the device will require a battery, which unfortunately is not included in the box. Plus, it does not come with a charger, so you will have to buy one on your own. Those are really two necessary things required to operate this impact wrench.

Best Value
Enertwist Brushless Impact Wrench

When it comes to impact wrenches, it shouldn’t be a choice between wattage and wallet. The Enertwist Brushless Impact Wrench offers substantial power without a hefty price tag. Operating via a brushless motor, it maxes out at 330 Newton-meters. This same tech enhances shelf life, reduces ambient noise, and adds to overall efficiency. The set comes with a charger and the 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery needed to operate the system. It also offers four drive sockets for added convenience. 


Incorporating a sturdy anvil with a firm grip, it makes maneuvering sockets easier. Since it incorporates multiple speed settings, you stay in full control while you work. This is furthered by the auto-stop feature — a handy way to avoid dropping nuts and bolts once loosened. With forward and reverse functions, you can use it for most DIY and home-garage tasks. 


It’s worth a note, however, that you can’t use this set on bolts that exceed 15/16 inch. Basically, it works on smaller tires and more basic projects. It might not be as heavy-duty as some options, but the torque you get for the price point makes it a worthwhile pick. 

Premium Pick
Makita Brushless Impact Wrench

Makita’s Brushless Impact Wrench makes honorable mention for a few reasons. That doesn't mean it lacks in power, speed, or torque—quite the contrary. The tool features 740 foot-pounds of torque and a breakaway torque of 1,180 foot-pounds. Coupled with its three-speed power selection, you get a range of 900/1,000/1,800 RPM and 1,800/2,000/2,200 IPM for enhanced fastening control.


It also comes with a powerful brushless motor that helps cool down the machine, making it more efficient and lengthening its lifespan. Also, the simple ergonomic design makes this impact wrench comfortable to hold and easy to use.


However, the machine is rather expensive. There have been complaints that the impact wrench’s battery drains quickly. Also, some believe it is on the heavy side.

Most Convenient
ENEACRO Cordless Impact Wrench

Running on a 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery, the ENEACRO Cordless Impact Wrench is a powerful choice ideal for a whole host of tasks. Structured for an ergonomic grip and proper weight distribution, everything from the ebelt clip to the insulated handle gives it a convenient edge. By running on a high-end brushless motor, this system is able to accommodate three torque gears. You can easily control these via the switch at the bottom of the wrench. Ranging from 1,600 to 2,800 revolutions per minute, you can vary the intensity depending on the task’s demand. 


Complete with four sockets and a carrying case, this cordless impact wrench is built to keep up with challenging jobs. This is largely thanks to the 1/2-inch detent anvil, letting you use it on tires with ease. Convenient and long-lasting, everything from the structure to the motor is well-built. 


Nothing is perfect, of course. The battery here does charge quickly, but at the higher power settings, it may drain quickly too. It’s ideal for short bursts, like automotive work and renovations, though larger projects might benefit from a more lasting battery. 

Most Durable
Kimo Cordless Impact Wrench

If you’re looking to avoid a scenario where your tool dies mid-project, consider the Kimo Cordless Impact Wrench. It features a 3,000 inch-pound maximum torque, enabling you to tackle most standard renos and automotive tasks. Despite packing a punch, the battery isn’t prone to premature draining. Constructed using lithium-ion technology, the brushless motor works with the electrical flow to optimize overall function. Because of the reduced friction in the motor design, there is less energy converting to heat. Not only does this limit the risk of wear and tear, but it also keeps you working longer.


In terms of structure, it incorporates a compact head leading to a half-inch square driver. With two optional speeds, you stay in control while still reaping the benefits of the 20-volt system. By incorporating an LED light, a battery, charger, three extension bars, and seven sockets, this set comes with everything you need from an impact wrench set. 


One thing to keep in mind is to take its LED light with a grain of salt. It provides a focused light beam, but it isn’t bright enough to let you work for any real amount of time in a dark environment.

Tips

  • After using an impact wrench, check it and wipe it clean. Avoid using water or detergent to clean it because this may corrode your tool. When you’re done with cleaning and inspecting the tool, store it and avoid dropping it. This way you will keep it working efficiently and ensure that it lasts longer.
  • Be careful when applying torque to your work. Excessive power can be dangerous and also can damage the studs and accessories.
  • Keep your tool well lubricated. Its moving parts generate a lot of friction, and they need to be oiled. Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer when performing this maintenance task.

FAQs

Q: What is a cordless impact wrench, and how does it work?

A: This is a tool that draws power from a battery and converts it into a powerful tiny thrust to perform the tough tasks of driving in or drawing out bolts. It does not have to be tethered to a power source when working.

Q: Can I use an impact wrench on lug nuts?

A: Yes, If you have the right model it can generate 100 lb-ft to 120 lb-ft of torque and should be enough to draw lug nuts.

Q: What is the impact of over torque?

A: Most setups have their own torque requirements. For example, a lug nut requires 90 lb-ft to 120 lb-ft. If you apply less torque than this, you may not be able to do the job. On the other hand, if you over torque, you may end up destroying the lug nut.

Final Thoughts

After careful consideration, we’ve named the DEWALT MAX XR Impact Wrench Kit as the winner of the roundum. The impressive torque paired with extreme durability helps it withstand any task.  

If you want all the power without the price, consider the Enertwist Brushless Impact Wrench. Especially if you aren’t tackling anything too heavy-duty, the 330 NM torque is definitely sufficient.