4 Best Air Impact Wrenches Review And Buying Guide 2017

Buyer’s Guide – How to choose the best air Impact Wrenches
NitroCat 1200-K ½ Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact WrenchIngersoll-Rand 2135TiMAXIngersoll-Rand 231C 12-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact WrenchCraftsman 1/2in. Impact Wrench 9-16882
NitroCat 1200-KIngersoll-Rand 2135TiMAXIngersoll-Rand 231C 1/2-Inch Craftsman 1/2in. Impact Wrench 9-16882
Rating: 4.6 with 330 reviews

Warranty: 2-Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty

Impact Size: 1/2 Inch

Weight: 4.5 Pounds

Power Source:air-powered

Max Torque: 900 foot-pounds

Max Speed: 8000 rpm
Rating: 4.6 with 391 reviews

Warranty: 2 year extended warranty with tool registration

Type: 1/2 Inch

Power Source:air-powered

Weight: 4.8 Pounds

Max Torque: 780

Max Speed: 15000 rpm
Rating: 4.6 with 506 reviews

Warranty: 1 Year

Impact Type: 1/2 Inch

Weight: 5.3 Pounds

Power Source:air-powered

Max Torque: 425 foot-pounds

Max Speed: 8000 rpm
Rating: 3.5 with 106 reviews

Warranty: 1 Year

Air Inlet Size:1/4 inTool Min.

Hose Size:3/8 in

Weight: 4.2 Pounds

Power Source:air-powered

Max Torque: 400 foot-pounds

Max Speed: 7400 rpm
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Known also as a rattle gun, a power wrench or a torque gun this is an indispensable tool for mechanics.  Designed to tighten and loosen the bolts, its clamping force is expressed in Newton-meter (Nm).  There are multiple types of impact wrenches: electric, battery or pneumatic. This guide should give you some pointers on how to understand and pick the best air impact wrenches for you.

How to recognize an impact wrench?
In appearance, the impact wrench is very similar to a screwdriver, of which it has the form. As soon as it comes into action, the impact wrench is recognized by its multiple clicking sound, which indicates that shocks are applied to the bolt or nut. It is this succession of multiple shocks that the impact wrench inflicts on the head of the nut or of the bolt to be unscrewed which makes it possible to unblock an assembly that is gripped or too tight before the rotating movement unscrew it.

What are the characteristics of an impact wrench? 

To carry out the simultaneous actions of shocks and of screwing or unscrewing, the impact wrench combines two mechanisms: one of hammering and one of rotation, whose actions combine automatically without external manipulation.


·         The rotation: Similar to that of a drill or screwdriver, the rotating force transmitted to the tool head is produced by an electric motor integrated into the impact key housing.

·         The impactor: It is a kind of heavy plate placed on the motor-head shaft, and which is driven in rotation in a chamber. The rotation of the plate under the thrust of the motor opposes the force of a ratchet spring. When the spring reaches its releasing force, it releases the plate which strikes an anvil.  The force of the impactor on the anvil creates a shock which is transmitted to the bolt or screw.

·         The ratchet spring: Compressed by the rotation of the impactor’s plate, the spring relaxes as soon as the pawl releases it and violently pushes the impactor back onto the anvil, creating a kinetic energy force.

·         The anvil: It is the part in the chamber on which the impactor plate strikes under the force of the spring when the pawl releases it. The impactor is integral with the tool holder axis and transmits to it the kinetic energy created by the shock wave of the impactor.

These impact and rotating tools are included in the impact wrench case.  The impact wrench is started using a trigger equipped with a reversing direction of rotation in order to be able to act both in screwing and unscrewing modes.  On some impact wrenches, the speed is controlled by the pressure applied to the trigger.


What are the different types of impact wrenches?

There are three kinds of impact wrench that you can find:

  • Electric: The electric impact wrench is powerful and fast for most models but is less robust than the comparable air models. It is attached by a cord making it challenging to move around a workstation and, of course, it cannot be used in the absence of electricity.  Still, it can be less expensive than an air or cordless impact wrench, making it an attractive choice for home use.


  • Battery: The models with the highest voltage can deliver performance almost similar to the equivalent air tool. They are also fully portable and the absence of a cord means they can be moved easily around a workspace and more cluttered areas.  The drawback of this type of wrench is that they are often the most expensive and can be fairly heavy due to the weight of the battery pack inside.


  • Air (Compressed air): The air impact wrenches remain the most popular choice with mechanics. As technology continues to improve, the cordless impact wrench is sure to become more and more popular, more affordable and possibly dominate the market in the near future.
Do not venture to use non-impact sockets as they will break at the first impact. These sockets are fixed via a 1/2 “square tool holder. To be safe, always use shock absorber sockets. Think about the tasks you have to perform and the clamping recommendations in order not to choose an over or underpowered impact wrench. This will save from a lot of frustration is you break something. Finally, always verify the pressure and flow for an air impact wrench in order to prevent accidents as well.
The 4 Best Air Impact Wrenches We Choose in 2017


NitroCat 1200-K Review


The NitroCat 1200-K Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench is a hard-hitting power tool that provides definitive power for all kinds of high torque jobs.  It comes with many outstanding features and includes innovative expertise, which makes this tool perfect for professional use as well.

It is one of the best air impact wrenches offered on the market suited for a heavy-duty framework.  The tool has an ergonomic conception that makes it easy to handle and move around.

Here is a more thorough evaluation of the NitroCat 1200-K:


It has a powerful motor that delivers an impressive 8000 RPM and max torque of 1295 ft-lbs.  It is ideal for all high torque uses.  The twin clutch mechanism of the NitroCat 1200-K generates a strong torque first impact for high-performance applications.

It includes patented tuned exhaust muffler technology that lets discharged air to pass effortlessly without generating back pressure for retaining power with reduced noise.  NitroCat has tested this device in several working situations and the outcomes show that the tool steadily operates at around 82 to 86 dBa (decibels) as according to the OSGA guidelines.


The NitroCat 1200-K air impact wrench has an ergonomic and comfortable handle design.  Thanks to that, it efficiently helps to relieve fatigue as well as stress on the user’s hands and arms while working for long hours.  Furthermore, the handle makes the tool evenly balanced as its total weight distribution is perfect.  It also provides an exceptional grip to make the tool easy to move around your workstation.

To ensure durability and protection from debris, the gun is made from a Kevlar protected body armor composite housing.

The wrench weighs about 5 pounds and its measurements are 9.2 x 8.5 x 3 inches.



– Powerful
– Light
– Comfortable
– Very quiet


– Some cases of oil leak
– A bit too shaky


Globally, the NitroCat 1200-K Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench is an unsurpassed in class power tool that delivers high-performance ideal for extreme and smooth hitting impact.  Its outstanding features and ergonomic conception make it perfect for an array of high torque applications.

NitroCat offers a 2-year parts and labor warranty for this tool.

Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX Review

With so many models to choose from, it’s important to know what to look for. There are several features that can make a big difference.  For example, car fans are generally looking for one that had all the characteristics you would find in a top of the line air impact wrench.  The Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX ½-Inch Air Impact Wrench is definitely a winner in its category.  Here are a few reasons why:


The Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX ½-Inch Air Impact Wrench can produce an amazing 780-foot-pounds of torque.  Considering that an average basic impact wrench can produce around 200 ft-lbs of torque that makes the force of the 2135TiMAX pretty impressive.

In general, high power impact wrenches are believed to also be awfully loud.  Thanks to Ingersoll-Rand’s patented Quiet Tool Technology, which this wrench was implemented with, it refutes that belief.  To help diminish operating sound, Ingersoll Rand engineered their products to have lower noise and vibration levels to generate an additional ergonomically correct experience for the operator.

The sound level of an average impact wrench is between 98 to 105 decibels.  With the Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX ½-Inch Air Impact Wrench, you get a maximum of 80 dB.  This Quiet Tool Technology design reduces sound levels produced by air navigating through the impact motor without decreasing torque levels.

This is a truly wonderful feature since it helps reduce the occupational health hazard related to higher decibel exposure.


In much the same way as with the noise, it is assumed that the more powerful the motor, the heavier and bigger the tool would be.

That’s not the case here either since this impact wrench is raising the standard with the greatest power-to-weight ratio in its class.  All of this in a compact design as well.  The wrench combines its robust 780 ft.-lbs. of torque with a weight of only 3.95 lbs.

Weight should play a large part in your choice especially if you are using one daily or on a constant basis.  A lighter tool such as this one will make you work faster and avoid unnecessary stress on your arm.  Its compact size is also imperative for practical reasons.  Effectively, a smaller impact wrench is easier to handle and gives you more liberty to manage tight spaces without needing extensions, again saving you time and trouble.


– Powerful
– Lightweight
– Quiet
– Adjustable speed


– Requires proper compressor, airline and lubrication set



Ultimately, this air impact wrench has proven to be a great catch for the do-it-yourselfer with or without his own workshop right up to the qualified specialist.  The 2135TiMAX demonstrates Ingersoll Rand’s promise to quality workmanship and technological improvement.


Ingersoll-Rand 231C Review


It goes without saying that for a mechanic or for anyone else who spends a lot of time in the garage working on any kind of machinery, buying a quality air impact wrench isn’t only a choice but a necessity.

Regrettably, powerful, long-lasting impact wrenches can be hard to find for someone with a limited budget.  This leads many persons to shop for lower end models that will simply not perform as well as a well-made impact wrench.

In this evaluation, I will present to you the Ingersoll-Rand 231C 1/2-Inch Super-Duty, a tool that tries to bridge the gap between affordability and high-quality.


Regardless of its fairly lightweight size, the Ingersoll-Rand 231C is able to perform up to a maximum of 425-ft-lbs of torque, 8,000 RPM, and 1,200 BPM.

With premium characteristic like these along with Ingersoll- Rand’s excellent Twin Hammer Plus impact mechanism, this will guarantee that the 231C Super-Duty can unscrew even the most secured lug nuts without ever breaking a sweat.

The Twin Hammer Plus system is included to increase the tool’s power and durability.


Though many would assume that this much power would mean great discomfort in hands, the 231C Super-Duty was designed to be lightweight and ergonomic.

Weighing only 5.3 pounds and measuring 7.2 inches in length, the 231C Super-Duty is light and compact enough for a comfortable use during a long work session.  This gives it also the ability to be operated in more cluttered workspaces.

Furthermore, the 231C Air Impact Wrench can easily be opened into two parts to save the user’s precious time with a quick and efficient maintenance.

If all of this was not enough, Ingersoll-Rand makes their 231C tool one of the easiest to use as it comes completely greased and ready to maneuver right out of the box.


– Solid, powerful tool
– Great speed and torque
– Durability
– Can be used right out of the box


– Plastic trigger
– A bit more expensive than the competition
– Loud



Anyone that maintains their own vehicle should get their hands on this model.  It will effortlessly perform through any task.  Although a bit more expensive than its competitors, you really get what you pay for with this air impact wrench.  If you are looking for quality, power, reliability and durability then I would strongly recommend the Ingersoll-Rand 231C 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench.

A special advice would be to invest as well in a good set of impact sockets.  These will help you when doing work that requires heavy torque and prevent your tool from breaking.


Craftsman 1/2 inch Impact Wrench 9-16882 Review

Craftsman 1/2in. Impact Wrench 9-16882

If you are looking to buy a new impact wrench and just are unable to find the appropriate product for you then you have landed at the correct place. Here is Craftsman ½ inch impact wrench, the newly launched impact wrench which now comes with two shot molded contoured grip. This even comes with an ergonomic trigger which will reduce your effort and add up to your comfort. Let’s know more about Craftsman 1/2 inch Impact Wrench 9-16882.


The new impact wrench from craftsman is an absolute thriller product which comes up with an RPM rate of 7400. It has a reliable single hammer and comes with a maximum torque of 400ft per lbs. Anyone can use it very easily as the whole wrench just weight 4.2lbs. This wrench is made up of a composite housing material and has a tool air inlet size of 0.25inch.


We used this Craftsman 1/2 inch Impact Wrench 9-16882 for many complex and easy tasks and were quite satisfied with its performance despite of a few lags in between. It has a great single hammer mechanism which is capable of delivering some great results. The wrench takes proper care of user’s comfort as it comes with a composite housing with a contoured grip. Moreover the ergonomically made trigger gives you proper control and a great comfort.  The power of this wrench is undoubtedly the thing we liked the most. The torque of 400ft per lbs. at just a weight of 4.2 lbs. is exceptionally well. The compact size and light weight of this wrench makes it easily portable and even makes your work faster by many folds.

Another astonishing thing that we liked about this product was its safety standards. The exhaust is specifically designed through the handle but is directed away from your hand. This properly ensures that you are safe while using this machine. Also it helps in reducing the noise levels as this system acts like an internal silencing of the product.


  • The compact and light weight design
  • A vey sturdy max torque with an exceptional rotating speed
  • Designed purposely to be safe and easy to grip
  • Triggers ensure that minimum effort is used
  • Comes with an year warranty
  • Exquisite internal silencer


  • Lacks the feature of variable speed
  • Inefficient of doing very heavy tasks

Customers rating and reviews

It was rated as 5 stars by 40% of people and one of them reviewed that:

“Product seems to be good I tried it on various tasks and It completed all the tasks successfully. The machine makes zero noise. Happy with it!!”


However it was even rated as 1 star product by 25% of people who complain that:

“It does not has much power don’t buy it if you are looking to bust loose lug. However the zero sound and fast rpm is something I liked a lot.”



Overall it’s a great product if you want to use it for heavy works and ensuring that the effort utilized is minimum. It would be an amazing addition to your home tool kit but won’t make it as a great product if you have to use it for very intense and heavy tasks