Trying to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts by hand using a manual wrench can be a real pain. Sometimes no matter how much muscle power you put into it, those nuts remain stubbornly in place. So how can you deal with those tough nuts and bolts that refuse to move?
This is where an air impact wrench comes in. An air impact wrench is a powerful power tool that can give you the power you need to loosen and tighten those nuts within minutes. All without you having to strain away to adjust them!
But how can you find the best air impact wrench for your needs? And why should you opt for an air impact wrench over an electric air impact wrench?
We’ve done all the hard work for you so that you don’t have to. We’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of products available on the market to find the 10 best air impact wrenches.
The models we’ve reviewed in more detail below will be able to make short work of those stubborn bolts. They will also be much more powerful than a cumbersome electric impact wrench!
So let’s take a look at the best air impact wrenches.
Table of Contents
10 Best Air Impact Wrench
The AirCat 1150 “Killer Torque” ½ inch air impact wrench is the best pick on the market. This particular air impact wrench comes with a range of great features, and at a more affordable price than some of the top end models.
This air impact wrench gives you a whopping 1,295 feet to pounds power to loosen up the toughest of bolts. It has a maximum torque of 900 feet to pounds to ensure that you can get the job done efficiently.
This particular air impact wrench is capable of 1,400 blows per minute. This easily makes the AirCat 1150 one of the strongest, most hard hitting twin hammer ½ inch impact wrenches on the market.
The AirCat 1150 features a 15% larger rotor that is able to deliver unmatched power. Perfect if you’re looking for a powerful model that will be able to tackle stubborn nuts and bolts with ease.
One of the best features of this particular air impact wrench is the fact that it uses patented technology to make it even quieter. It features an operation at only 86 decibels. Ideal if you’re fed up with those louder models on the market.
- Powerful – delivers a powerful performance that you can rely on
- Quieter operation – features patented technology for quieter operation
- 15% larger rotor – capable of delivering 1,400 blows per minute
- Kick back – some customers found the air impact wrench had some kick back when used
The Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX-R ½ inch air impact wrench is one of the best models on the market. This particular air impact wrench comes with 1,350 feet to pounds of nut busting torque power. So you’ll be able to make short work of those pesky nuts that refuse to move.
This is a lightweight model that features a titanium hammer case. It has been designed to be as reliable as possible and every component has been put through rigorous testing.
- Powerful – comes with 1,350 feet to pounds of nut busting torque power
- Reliable – each component has been thoroughly tested for reliability
- Durable – features high quality parts to be strong and durable
- Pricey – one of the more expensive models on our list
Another fantastic choice from Ingersoll Rand is the 231C ½ inch drive air impact wrench. This particular model will be perfect for both hobbyists and professionals.
It offers you a powerful performance that you can rely on while also being highly durable. This particular air impact wrench comes with a maximum torque of 600 feet to pounds.
A handy feature of this model is that you can adjust the power output to suit the task at hand. You’ll get an efficient performance from the twin hammer mechanism with rotational speeds of up to 8,000 rpm.
- Versatile – perfect for use by both hobbyists and professionals
- Powerful – delivers a maximum torque of 600 feet to pounds
- Adjustable power – easily adjust the power to suit your needs
- Trigger – can get stuck if the parts aren’t cleaned every now and then
The Sunex SXMC12 ½ inch mini air impact wrench with grip is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a more compact model. This particular air impact wrench features a compact stubby design of only 4.29 inches. It is also super lightweight and weighs only 2.9 pounds.
Don’t be fooled by the smaller design. The Sunex SXMC12 comes with a maximum torque of 500 feet to pounds. It also comes with 3 speed control, as well as forward and reverse control.
- Compact design – features a smaller design of 4.29 inches to fit into tighter spaces
- Lightweight – weighs only 2.9 pounds and can be used for one hand operation
- Variable speeds – comes with 3 speed control
- Best for hobbies – not best suited for professional use
The Campbell Hausfeld XT002000 air impact wrench is a great alternative to some of the more expensive models on the market. This air impact wrench comes with an impressive maximum torque of 750 feet to pounds.
It also comes with a 3 speed power regulator so that you can find the perfect speed for your needs.
What’s really great about this air impact wrench is its ergonomic design. It features an ergonomic soft grip which reduces vibration and fatigue. The air impact wrench is also lightweight for easier operation.
- Powerful – comes with 750 feet to pounds worth of nut busting torque
- Adjustable speed – comes with a 3 speed power regulator
- Ergonomic – features an ergonomic soft grip design to reduce vibration and fatigue
- Lube instructions – not clear or specific to this model
The ACDelco ANI405A heavy duty ½ inch air impact wrench is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a more budget friendly option. This particular model clocks in at a competitive price and comes with a range of great features for you to use.
It features an impressive maximum torque of 500 feet to pounds to help you make short work of stubborn nuts.
Unlike competitive products, the ACDelco air impact wrench features 4 variable speed functions. It can give you speeds of up to 8,000 rpm to tackle those tougher nuts.
- Budget friendly – comes in at a more competitive price
- Variable speeds – features 4 variable speed functions
- Ergonomic – features a more user friendly design
- Air hose adaptors – doesn’t come with these included
The NitroCat 1200-K ½ inch kevlar composite air impact wrench is another great choice if you’re looking for power and durability combined.
This particular model comes with 1,295 feet to pounds loosening torque thanks to the hard hitting twin clutch mechanism. This makes it the perfect choice for heavy duty work.
This particular air impact wrench features several patented features to give you a reliable design. It features a patented ergonomic handle, a patented easy operation flip lever, and a patented quiet operation that measures 86 decibels.
- Powerful – comes with 1,295 feet to pounds of loosening torque
- Quiet operation – measures only 86 decibels
- Quality – features patented designs for a reliable performance
- Care and attention – because the air impact wrench is so quiet you will need to be paying close attention when adjusting bolts
The Ingersoll Rand 2145QiMAX ¾ inch drive air impact wrench is the perfect choice for professionals. While this model clocks in at a higher price point, it comes with a range of great features to give you the reliability you need from your new power tool.
It is specifically designed for use with heavy duty applications such as construction, bus service, and agricultural equipment maintenance.
This particular Ingersoll Rand air impact wrench features quieter operation, a compact and lightweight design, as well as a 6 vane motor which is 16% more efficient than competitive models.
- High quality – features high quality components for heavy duty operation
- Compact and lightweight – makes the air impact wrench much easier to use
- Powerful – capable of delivering up to 1,350 feet to pounds of maximum reverse torque
- Expensive – one of the priciest options available
The WP WORKPAD 1.2 inch mini air impact wrench is another fantastic choice if you don’t want to spend a small fortune on your next power tool.
This air impact wrench comes with a range of features that make it ideal for both hobbyists and professionals alike. It features a solid aluminum alloy housing to give you extra reliability and durability.
This particular model features an ergonomic design. It also comes with a forward and reverse switch that features 3 power positions.
- Budget friendly – available at a more affordable price
- Durable – features a solid aluminum alloy housing for reliability and durability
- Easy to use – comes with a forward and reverse switch and 3 power positions
- Heavy – one of the heavier options on our list
The TUZkozs ½ inch drive air impact wrench is another great budget friendly option. This air impact wrench comes with a powerful 500 feet to pounds loosening torque. It features a twin hammer system for reliability.
A handy feature of this model is that it features 5 speed operation. So you can adjust the power to suit your needs.
- Budget friendly – more affordable than some of the expensive models on the market
- 5 speeds – choose the best power setting for your needs
- Powerful – features 500 feet to pounds of loosening torque
- Loud – one of the louder models on our list
Searching for the best air impact wrench can be a real challenge. Especially if you’ve never bought one of these power tools before and aren’t entirely sure what you’re meant to be looking for!
It may be tempting to opt for the cheapest model that you can find. However, there’s no guarantee that this air impact wrench will have all the power you need to efficiently loosen and tighten nuts.
Luckily for you, we’ve put together this useful buyer’s guide. We’ve made sure to cover all of the important points you should consider when it comes to choosing the best air impact wrench for your needs.
As long as your chosen product has the below features covered, you’ll know that you’re buying a quality power tool that will last you for many years to come.
The main reason you’re likely opting for an air impact wrench over an electric impact wrench is because you’re wanting a model that is going to be powerful. Air impact wrenches are more powerful than their electric counterparts, so will be able to make short work of all your tough nuts and bolts.
Take a look at the power rating of your chosen air impact wrench. How many blows per minute can it deliver? What is its performance measurement in feet to pounds? This should give you a better idea of how powerful the air impact wrench will be to use.
One of the factors you will need to consider when it comes to buying the best air impact wrench is your budget. Some of the better models are available at a premium price. However, not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on an air impact wrench.
Think carefully about what you will need from your air impact wrench. Which features will be essential to you? How much power will you need? This could influence the type of air impact wrench you have to buy.
If you will need to use your air impact wrench for more professional purposes, it will be worth splurging that little bit extra on a slightly more expensive model.
These should be able to last you for many years to come, so you will more than get your money out of them. It will be best to opt for the best quality air impact wrench that you can afford.
You will of course want to opt for an air impact wrench that will be highly durable. The sturdier the air impact wrench, the longer it will last you. This will partly come down to a cost factor.
Some of the cheaper models on the market often use cheaper components, so they won’t be able to last as long as some of the models that cost hundreds of dollars.
Take a look at the construction of the air impact wrench. Is this highly durable? Another great way to determine how durable the air impact wrench is will be to look at other customer’s reviews.
Another important factor to consider is the noise level of your chosen air impact wrench. As a power tool, these are often some of the noisiest equipment in the workshop.
However, you don’t have to opt for a loud air impact wrench that is going to be noisy and annoying.
If noise is going to be a contributing factor to your decision, then you should opt for a model that features quieter operation.
You might struggle to find a model that offers near silent operation, but quieter operation will be a fantastic alternative to some of the noisier models on the market.
Take a look at how many decibels the air impact wrench is rated for. This should give you a better indication of how quiet it will be to use on a day-to-day basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best air impact wrench?
The best air impact wrenches are:
- AirCat 1150 “Killer Torque” ½ Inch Air Impact Wrench
- Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX-R ½ Inch Air Impact Wrench
- Ingersoll Rand 231C ½ Inch Drive Air Impact Wrench
- Sunex SXMC12 ½ Inch Mini Air Impact Wrench with Grip
- Campbell Hausfeld XT002000 Air Impact Wrench
- ACDelco ANI405A Heavy Duty ½ Inch Air Impact Wrench
- NitroCat 1200-K ½ Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench
- Ingersoll Rand 2145QiMAX ¾ Inch Drive Air Impact Wrench
- WORKPAD ½ Inch Mini Air Impact Wrench
- TUZkozs ½ Inch Drive Air Impact Wrench
What are air impact wrenches good for?
Air impact wrenches are typically used for loosening and tightening nuts on vehicles and other pieces of equipment. These types of wrenches use compressed air to give them the power they need to adjust these. They are often called by several different names including a rattle gun or torque gun.
Which is better: Air or electric impact wrench?
Ultimately, determining which is best between an air impact wrench and an electric impact wrench will come down to personal preference and what you need them for.
If you tend to only need it for a single location, then you will be better off opting for an air impact wrench. If you need to take your impact wrench to several different locations, then you should opt for an electric impact wrench.
On the whole, air impact wrenches will be more powerful than electric impact wrenches.