What makes the best portable impact wrench?
Some people will tell you it’s battery power while others will tell you that a corded tool with a long enough extension cord is still portable. Nothing beats the ability to take your wrench anywhere and that’s a flexibility you can only get with battery power. While you might need the extra power at home when you’re looking for something to take with you, it’s important to think about what job you want it to do. More than likely you’re looking for something that will take lug nuts off to change tires quickly. You’ll probably also need storage as you don’t want it just rattling around without a protective case.
best portable impact wrench reviews – Top 5
Craftsman C3 Cordless 19.2 Volt Impact Wrench Driver Kit
A powerful 19.2v battery with 200ft.lb of torque means this wrench has more than enough for even the largest SUV lug nuts on the go. Powerful LEDs mean that you’ll be able to see what you’re doing even at night.
With a ½” standard drive this is a very easy to handle tool, especially at around 5lb in weight it’s compact while still being a good pistol grip shape. This makes Craftsman C3 one of the best portable impact wrench on the market.
The handle is a little slick ans over time with wear it can become very difficult to hold. The 200ft.lb torque isn’t big enough to handle large truck nuts or those that have been over-tightened so you may struggle if you have a larger vehicle.
The battery life could be better but for an on the spot use rather than extended use it’s functional.
TruePower 300 FT.LBS 1/2 Inch Drive Cordless Impact Wrench Kit, 19.2 Volt
The TruePower unit is just as powerful as the Craftsman but it actually offers more torque at 300 ft.lb. It has a standard 1/2” drive and a convenient one hour charger. The kit also comes with 4 sockets and a maximum impact of 2900/minute to shift even the most stubborn bolts. At under $100 it’s a good price for a portable wrench.
Despite the 300ft.lb boast it still can’t move the lug nuts on larger trucks. It’s a little hefty at over 6lb and there’s also no lights so it’s harder to use at night if you’re stuck. The Ni-Zn battery is also not as long lasting as the Li-Ion ones you’ll find for similar tools and your charger takes longer than that of the TruePower.
Wagan 2257 12V Impact Wrench
A rather nifty concept, while this isn’t cordless it does run off of your car’s 12v DC supply. It’s a compact pistol grip wrench that is very easy to hold and also has a few extra features like a bubble level and LED lights so you can see and make sure you’re holding it straight.
There’s also a convenient carry case to stop it rattling around, 2 double socket wrenches, and 2 extra fuses in case your 12V supply overloads when you plug it in.
At around 6lb this is comparable to the TruePower but you don’t have to worry about charging it or having spare batteries. The wrench has a torque of 271ft.lb which is quite impressive and comparable to battery powered units.
The 83dB sound level is fairly quiet too so you won’t wake the neighbors if you have to change a tire at night. There’s also a LED indicator to show that the unit is powered and working.
The cord is only 11ft, so if you’ve got a larger vehicle you’ll need to get creative to make it reach. At only 8A it’s not quite as powerful as most battery units but the compromise is longevity since you can use it as long as your car battery lasts.
The quality isn’t great, and it’s so light that it breaks quickly. The 8A and the 12V isn’t very powerful and whether it can even get up to the 271ft.lb is very dubious.
DEWALT DC823KA 18-Volt 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench
The recognizable yellow and black tool comes from a company that is well known for its products. The motor has replaceable brushes, unique to this list, which make the tool easy to maintain and improve durability. It’s much more compact that any other wrench in this group and is light at just over 4lb and less than 6” long.
At 125ft.lb it’s not very powerful, so you’ll only be able to work on smaller vehicles with this but it does have a 2700IPM motor.
With a textured grip to help you hold the wrench in place it also comes with a carry case, extra batteries, and a one hour charger. The batteries are also swappable with the rest of the Dewalt tool system which is convenient and offers 40% more run time than others.
There’s no light so even though it’s very compact it’s also not useful at night. The quality control is also dubious but as they’re a big brand they have strong customer service to deal with this. For over $200 you’re really not getting a whole lot here, there’s no case, no sockets, and a tool that isn’t as powerful as the paltry 12V plug in from Wagan.
Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2 1/2-Inch High-Torque Impactool, Charger, 2 Li-ion Batteries and Case Kit
This is the most powerful portable wrench you’re going to find. With between 700-1100ft.lb this will shift even the toughest nuts anywhere with only an air wrench being able to beat that.
The two anvil design gives extra hitting power while the 20V battery is powerful enough to drive this on the go. It also comes with a molded case, one hour charger, and a spare battery.
The price tag is obviously quite a jump, and the question is whether you really need all that power.
At almost 7lb it’s a heavy tool, and while the design is meant to help reduce fatigue you still don’t want to be using it long. Unless you really need all this power it’s just a waste of extra money.
Unless you have a large vehicle and really need the power of the Ingersoll the nifty Wagan allows you to keep the tool Portable Impact Wrench in your car without having to worry about it being charged. It’s the best portable impact wrench for the price and power specifications of the other battery units but is just as portable for automotive work anywhere.