The air impact wrench is well-known for everyone related to auto mechanic. They use compressed air to power the wrench, so you need either a bottle of air attached to the tool or a connection to an air source. Modern wrenches have been manufactured with a convenient design, which reduces the number of problems for users, regardless of how many hours they are used. Besides, there are tools that remove large and rusted bolts and there are those that can remove small pins and other delicate items.

If you’re going to get a new air impact wrench that will allow you to work for many hours, consider the options we discuss below. And if you’re new to auto mechanics, this guide will be a good starting point.

Best Air Impact Wrench list

Air impact wrenchesShapeSpeedMax. TorqueWeightPrice
Ingersoll Rand 231C
Air Impact Wrench
Pistol8000 rpm350 FT-LBS5.8 lbsCheck Price external-link-16
PowRyte Basic Air
Impact Wrench
Pistol7000 rpm600 FT-LBS6 lbsCheck Price external-link-16
AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque
Impact Wrench
Pistol9000 rpm1295 FT-LBS4.5 lbsCheck Price external-link-16
Impact Wrench-Heavy Duty
Pistol7500 rpm650 FT-LBS5.3 lbsCheck Price external-link-16
ACDelco ANI405
Impact Wrench
Pistol7000 rpm500 FT-LBS5.7 lbsCheck Price external-link-16

How Air Impact Wrenches Work

There are many different models of air impact wrenches out there. Some look like huge screwdrivers, while others are smaller than pistols. Regardless of their type, they work in the same way. The impact wrench has a rotating mass and a motor that builds up energy through this mass that is pushed into the anvil. This creates a torque that a human can’t produce. But even though the amount of torque is massive, an operator only feels a small friction.

Air impact wrenches are more precise than humans, which makes them useful for many applications. You can use them to secure bolts on car wheels or when working on construction sites. But even though all wrenches work in the same way, they differ in shape, socket size, and torque. We discuss these features below.

Why and When You Should Use An Air Impact Wrench

The main aim of an air impact wrench is to remove bolts and nuts. Whether you need to rotate tires, remove lug nuts, or subframe bolts, an impact wrench makes the job done in minutes. You can also tighten fasteners, but you should be careful because an impact wrench can apply too much power. But finishing tightening by hand is a risk-free way to quickly tighten the bolts.

If you’re not sure whether you need an impact wrench or not, consider their advantages. They help cut down on the time required to do jobs like rotating ties, dropping transmissions, removing headers, and any other task that requires removal of bolts. They also come in handy when working in tight spaces.

How Not to Use A Wrench

The main problem that beginners face is over tightening a bolt. As a result, they end up with stripped threads and weakened bolted joints that can fail at some point. You can also accidentally twist the head off the bolt, which means you will have to spend a lot of time trying to get the bolt out. The easy way to avoid over tightening is to finish torquing by hand.

Another thing beginners do wrong is that they start threading a bolt with an impact wrench. But if you want to drive a bolt in, start by hand. This will ensure you avoid cross threading the bolt. Besides, don’t use sockets that aren’t designed for wrenches. Standard sockets are made with thinner walls that can crack. They also wear and tear quicker.

Lastly, sometimes people don’t wear eye protection. Remember that something can chip off at any second. Without eye protection, you will turn a minor annoyance into a serious emergency.

So now you know how and when you should use an air impact wrench and it’s time to learn about their main features.

Shape and Socket Size

There are two types of the wrench shapes: inline and pistol. Inline models look like an oversized screwdriver, with the anvil and hammer in front of it. Pistol type wrenches have a hammer above the grip. Speaking of a socket size, air impact wrenches have models that can suit all demands. There are large sockets, medium-size sockets, and small sockets.


Torque is the main characteristic of any wrench and every model has a maximum torque. However, torques aren’t limited to a maximum torque. Most of them let you choose between torque settings which allow you to set the amount of torque according to your needs. We would recommend making sure you set the proper torque or you can over tighten the bolt.

Rotations Per Minute (RPM)

When you select your new impact wrench, you will soon discover that everything over 3,000 is a perfect number for almost any project. The impact wrench relies on rotations to unwind or tighten a screw. More rotations mean less effort on your part, as the tool makes the extra work itself.

Lower RPM means you will need more time to finish the project, but getting a tool that has too much RPM is just unnecessary. While shopping for a wrench, always check the RPM settings on the product before buying it.

High IPM

IPM or Impacts Per Minute should be high enough because an air impact wrench requires a lot of contacts to tighten or loose a screw. However, higher IPM results in higher price so look for a tool that balances the RPM, IPM and torque well.

Having more IPM means that your tool and the target have more contact, which means the screw stays in position. Couple it with high torque and RPM and you have an air impact wrench of your dreams.


Weight of a wrench is important because you’re going to carry it around all the time. If you haven’t used air impact wrench at all, you may be surprised when you lift the box with your new wrench. The good news is that there are a lot of lightweight models that can fit your comfort and requirements simultaneously.

Lighter is always better because it ensures mobility for you and makes operating the tool easier. It is especially important when you need a wrench for a long period of time. They put less strain on the wrist and hands and make sure you stay injury-free.

Best air impact wrenches

Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench

This wrench offers the power needed to handle all kind of jobs. Designed to be convenient, user-friendly and lightweight, it delivers up to 350 ft/lbs torque. It has an adjustable power regulator and an exclusive Twin Hammer Plus mechanism to handle complicated tasks. And you can use it right out of the box because it arrives fully lubricated.


So whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, this is a perfect option for you with its rotating tires and advanced performance. And whether you’re removing bolts or stubborn nuts, this tool ensures ease of use.

Things We Like

  • Pressure-feed lubrication
  • Exclusive mechanism
  • Easy to use construction
  • Adjustable power regulator
  • Contoured handle
  • Speed of 8,000 RPM

Things We Don’t Like

The trigger seal can start leaking after years of use

PowRyte Basic Air Impact Wrench

This wrench comes in an aluminum housing that can withstand a lot of pressure. This housing adds to the weight of the tool, which is compensated by a well-balanced design. It can work with a pressure of 90 PSI and sports a speed of 7,000 RPM. It uses a twin hammer system to generate a hit for better reliability. You get the 600 ft/lbs torque, which is enough for all tasks.


There is also a forward and reverse switch that guarantees full power in the reverse direction. Just below the switch you can find a handle for a comfortable grip. The texture of the handle makes sure you will never lose your hold.

This model also has a unique built-in silencer to significantly reduce noise levels. It comes with a 2-year warranty.

Things We Like

  • Built-in silencer
  • die-cast aluminum housing
  • Adjustable power

Things We Don’t Like

Heavier than other models

AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque Impact Wrench

This is a lightweight tool that weights only 4.5 pounds. It decreases user fatigue and lets you handle the wrench longer. Though it has less impact as other tools in the list, it gives you a lot of maneuvering in tight spaces.

It has the L-shaped design with an ergonomic grip for a good balance. Besides, you will enjoy the non-slip handle every time you get your hands on this wrench. It generates a Max. torque of 1,295 ft/lbs. You also get 1,400 blows per minute, which makes this lightweight tool the strongest hard hitting impact on the market.


The speed is variable for your convenience. And if noise disturbs your neighbors, this tool will take care of it. Compared to many other models, it is really quiet and generates only 86dB. There is also a flip lever that allows you to change directions. The wrench comes with a 2-year warranty.

Things We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Ergonomic design
  • Quiet

Things We Don’t Like

You have to follow setup to get maximum power

DEWALT DWMT70773L Drive Impact Wrench-Heavy Duty

This is a pneumatic tool for heavy-duty tasks that comes in a housing fitted with bumpers. It means the toll won’t get damaged if you drop it on a hard surface. It also has very little vibration.

This impact wrench is quite lightweight, weighting only 5.3 pounds which mean better productivity in the workplace. And it is equipped with a twin hammer system to break free stubborn fasteners. This air impact wrench can generate a speed of 7,500 RPM and a working pressure of 90 PSI. The maximum torque is 650 foot-pound. Even better, it operates at 1,100 blows per minute.


You can make directional changes with a forward-reverse switch. Besides, it has a power regulator and an ergonomic design with a non-slip grip. The exhaust system takes care of debris. The tools come with a 3-year warranty.

Things We Like

  • Solid performance
  • Lightweight
  • excellent quality
  • Easy to use

Things We Don’t Like

Picks up dirt easily

ACDelco ANI405 1/2-inch Impact Wrench

This is a solid option that produces 500 ft/lb of torque and can handle all types of jobs. What we specifically like about this model is that nothing can beat it for this price. Cheap and lightweight, ACDelco ANI405 is a great choice for hobbyists and professionals alike.


It has an innovative impact mechanism “Twin Hammer” which generates no impulse and thus a user doesn’t feel toque. It’s equipped with 4 speeds (1 reverse and 3 forward) and aluminum housing. This is a sturdy option if you’re looking for an inexpensive but reliable and durable air wrench.

What we also liked about this model is the ease with which you do all handiwork that requires drilling. This is not something you expect from a small tool, but this one delivers everything you need. It would be a nice first tool for starters and a worthy addition to someone’s collection.

Things We Like

  • No broken studs
  • Equipped with powerful Twin Hammer Mechanism

Things We Don’t Like

You should oil it after every use to ensure long life

Safety Features

Now you know what great options you should consider and that a wrench with a higher IPM and RPM often has the best performance. But when you’re using a wrench, don’t forget about the most important thing: your safety. An air impact wrench is a powerful tool and you should pay a lot of attention to safety requirements.

All the wrenches mentioned above have important safety features such as cooling, anti-overloading, etc. They also have safety mechanisms to save your life and reduce the risks of injuries. Even if you’re a professional carpenter, safety features are important because your safety is the top priority. The other features will follow.

And the winner is…


AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque Impact Wrench with its amazing power input and low sound output. This tool is really impressive and we would give it a 10. It is everything you need in a wrench tool. The rotor and the cylinder create power that makes the tool better than others. It also keeps the debris away from your face with the unique through the handle exhaust that doesn’t compromise the power.