LAST UPDATED: October 23, 2019
Best Air Impact Wrenches: Remove Tight Bolts With Ease
Change lug nuts quickly and efficiently with these top air impact wrenches
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 23, 2019
There are some jobs that are really hard to do unless you have the right tool. If you need to loosen engine bolts or remove your vehicle's tires, an air impact wrench will make the task much easier. Our buying guide below will help you find the best air impact wrenches available.
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- Look for an air impact wrench with a lot of torque. Tools with more torque are easier and faster to use, particularly if the bolts are rusty and solidly stuck.
- The average DIYer can use a smaller air impact wrench versus a professional-grade model. It doesn’t weigh as much and is easier to maneuver in tight spaces. You can also use it with a smaller compressor.
- You will need other tools in addition to an air impact wrench when you work on your vehicle, including impact sockets, an air compressor, and a retractable air hose.
Q: What is an air impact wrench?
A: An air impact wrench is also called a rattle gun or torque gun. It's a high-powered socket wrench that uses compressed air to loosen and tighten nuts, so you often hear the sound of hissing air when it's being used.
Q: How do I use an air impact wrench?
A: Attach the hose and wrench to the air compressor. Check the PSI, which should be between 90 and 100, and make sure the hose isn't kinked. Set the correct speed using the dial or switch on the wrench, and attach the correct socket to the bit on the wrench. Slip the bit onto the wheel nut, and press the trigger.
Q: What does “impacts per minute” mean, and why is it important?
A: The more blows or impacts per minute, the faster the air impact wrench will tighten screws or loosen nuts and bolts. Traditionally, impact per minute refers to the number of times a hammer strikes an anvil within 60 seconds.
Our pick for the best air impact wrench is the Ingersoll Rand 1/2" Quiet Titanium Air Impact Wrench. It's relatively quiet, lightweight, and powerful enough to work on most jobs.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the AIRCAT Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench.