The Top-Rated 5 Best Air Impact Wrenches – [2020 Reviews]

Review and Comparison of the Best Air Impact Wrenches for the Money

There are plenty of air impact wrenches on the market. This can make it difficult to find the best one for you. Let’s take a look at the 5 best air impact wrenches for the money on the market today. Also see our Air Impact Wrench Buyer’s Guide.

Quick Answer: The 5 Top-Rated Air Impact Wrenches

  1. Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch
  2. Nitrocat 1250-K Air Impact Wrench
  3. Ingersoll-Rand 232TGSL 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Thunder Gun
  4. PowRyte Elite 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench, 800 ft-lbs, Twin Hammer
  5. Chicago Pneumatic CP734H 1/2-Inch Drive Heavy-Duty Air Impact Wrench

Best Air Impact Wrenches

 Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact WrenchNitrocat 1250-K Air Impact WrenchIngersoll-Rand 232TGSL 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Thunder Gun
editors choice
Size and Weight3 inches long, 5.8 lbs
2 inches long, 4.15 lbs
Just over 8 inches long and 6 lbs
Torque600 foot-pounds of torque
1,300 foot-pounds of loosening torque
625 foot-pounds of torque
Special Features
Up to 8,000 RPM rotational speed
86 decibels loud when in use, Made with ergonomic Kevlar

Fastest ½ inch impact wrench available by this brand at 10,000 RPM
Customer Ratings
4.5 / 5.0 Stars4.5 / 5.0 Stars4.4 / 5.0 Stars

Also see: Air Impact Wrenches Comparison Table


Air Impact Wrenches Reviews

All of the products on this list are here for very specific reasons due to their use and great features. Throughout this article, you’ll be able to read through in-depth reviews of each air impact wrench and determine each of their strengths and weaknesses.

Followed by the product reviews, there will be a buyer’s guide section and frequently asked questions to help you decide exactly which air tools are best for you.

#1 Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch

air impact wrench

This air impact wrench is one of the most reliable tools you’ll be able to find. Take a look through the features below.

Quick Look:

  • 3 inches long, 5.8 lbs
  • Up to 8,000 RPM rotational speed
  • 600 foot-pounds of torque
  • Ergonomic design
  • Has an adjustable power regulator
  • Comes pre-lubricated for use
  • Compact and portable

Ingersoll Rand air tools is a business that has been around for 100 years, perfecting how this exact machinery is used in people’s daily and work lives. This model was first introduced 25 years ago, being consistently adjusted, and is still one of the best available on the market today.

One of the first things you’ll notice about this tool is it’s ergonomic and stylish design. It was built with the thought of real users in mind, so the two-piece design results in easy cleanup and maintenance. It measures just 7.3 inches long and weighs 5.8 pounds, making it one of the lightest air impact wrenches available.

The Ingersoll Rand 231C Air Impact Wrench is reliable and performs well every time you use it due to its twin-hammer impact mechanism. This means that the power can be easily controlled and regulated through the adjustable power regulator while allowing maximum torque at 600 foot-pounds.

One unique aspect about this Ingersoll Rand impact wrench is that it comes pre-lubricated. You won’t have to grease and oil up this wrench before use, because the manufacturers did this for you in the factory.

A common complaint about this air impact wrench is that the trigger can occasionally get stuck causing the machine to stay running. This can pose potential danger to you and the materials that you may be working on at the time, so watch out for this.

All in all, the Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench is a useful tool to have for all mechanics or manufacturers, as the design is comfortable, the machinery is stable, and it provides you with a high, 600 foot-pounds torque, per use.


#2 Nitrocat 1250-K Air Impact Wrench

Looking for a highly powerful air impact wrench? Look no further than this tool by AirCat.

Quick Look:

  • 2 inches long, 4.15 lbs
  • 950 foot-pounds of tightening torque
  • 1,300 foot-pounds of loosening torque
  • 86 decibels loud when in use
  • Made with ergonomic Kevlar
  • Best suited for heavy duty work.

The Nitrocat 1250-K Air Impact Wrench is a high torque impact wrench made for the most difficult of tasks. It has 950 foot-pounds of torque for tightening, and 1,300 foot-pounds of torque when loosening lug nuts. This is one of the highest torque ratings you’ll find from a tool like this.

Weighing only 4.15 pounds and measuring at 8.2 inches long, this air impact wrench handles smoothly and effectively. You won’t have to worry about your hands getting too tired after holding a heavy, high powered tool after every use.

Made with ergonomic Kevlar, you’ll never be concerned about damaging this tool. It is highly durable and strong. This means if it is ever accidentally dropped, there won’t be any fears of accruing dents or leading to lack of functionality.

The sound output of the tool is only 86 decibels, one of the quietest air socket wrenches available. This compares to how loud a food blender is when operating. AirCat was able to produce these results with the use of their patented quiet tuned exhaust.

Easily switch between tightening and loosening with the press of a button. If you’re running between tasks, there’s no huge process that needs to be taken when switching the way the 8,500 RPM rotation is spinning.

One complaint about this tool is that its advertisement is misleading, trying to show sellers how fast and strong it is, but the foot-pound torque is misleading.

The ad shows the whole general torque is 1,300 foot-pounds even for tightening, but as you read deeper, you realize this is not the case. Some people missed this and were disappointed with the lack of power they received.

The Nitrocat 1250-K Air Impact Wrench is a great buy for the cost it is and will help you out in any field you may use it in.


#3 Ingersoll-Rand 232TGSL 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Thunder Gun

For an affordable, yet useful air impact wrench, the second Ingersoll Rand tools on this list can help you out.

Quick Look:

  • Just over 8 inches long and 6 lbs
  • 625 foot-pounds of torque
  • Has an adjustable power regulator
  • Fastest ½ inch impact wrench available by this brand at 10,000 RPM
  • Similar to the Thunder Gun which is used by Nascar’s pit stop stations

The second Ingersoll-Rand air impact wrench on this list shows you that this brand is known for its high-quality tools. Their business has been around for a century, so this will make you comfortable knowing they are experienced in this field. Their technologies have been constantly improved since their introductions, making them as best as can be.

At 10,000 rotations per minute, this tool is the fastest of its kind by this brand. You can always expect immense speed when using it, but the power regulator will promise that the power and strength of this machine will never get out of hand.

625 foot-pounds of torque make this air wrench more powerful than the previous Ingersoll-Rand air impact wrenches on this list. The powerful technology behind this tool is what makes users from all around appreciate its use.

The design of this impact wrench is suitable for any user. It is sleek and ergonomic, allowing for easy handling through all issues. It makes this tool more valuable to the consumer due to its high ease of use.

One complaint regarding this Ingersoll-Rand 232TGSL Wrench is that it’s slightly heavier than other options which can weigh in anywhere up to two pounds less. This weight could impact the way the tool feels in your hand during use.

The Ingersoll-Rand 232TGSL 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Thunder Gun is a high quality, fast, and useful air impact wrench built by one of the most well-known tool companies to date.


#4 PowRyte Elite 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench, 800 ft-lbs, Twin Hammer

For a combination of both speed and power, this tool’s ability will outstand you when being used.

Quick Look:

  • 9 inches long, 4.72 lbs
  • 800 foot-pounds of max torque
  • Adjustable, 3 position power selection
  • Torque regulator matches tool speed to your job
  • Built-in silencing for quiet use
  • Has a handle exhaust built in

A convenient yet powerful air impact wrench can be seen with PowRyte Elite’s 1/2 Air Impact Wrench. PowRyte Elite is a well-known brand of air impact tools who have great ratings. Their tools should not be passed up, as they are engineered well and chock full of power.

Weighing only 4.72 pounds, this is one of the lightest tools of this kind that you’ll ever find yourself using. That’s because instead of the typical aluminum used, this uses composite to cut weight. It is over 20 percent lighter than alternative aluminum. This makes usage easier and more lightweight, so your hand doesn’t get tired through use.

There is a maximum of 800 pounds of torque available within this tool. Different power levels can be accessed through the unique lever design on the back of the shaft. These three settings allow for a fast, instant change of power when needed on the job.

This power and torque regulator allows you to access the exact amount of control you need for the specific job that you’re performing.

If you’re concerned about noise level, this PowRyte Elite air impact wrench is made with a built-in silencing factor. The exhaust port on the bottom of the handle of the tool allows for air to escape, reducing the amount of noise that is created.

A complaint that some users may have with the PowRyte Elite Air Impact Wrench is the external casing, since composite is not as durable as aluminum is, can become dented or harmed if dropped at any point. This means that regardless of how carefully you handle your devices, accidents can happen.

Regardless of the potential negative aspect of showing wear and tear, the  PowRyte Elite 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench, 800 ft-lbs, Twin Hammer, is a great addition to your tool bench.


#5 Chicago Pneumatic CP734H 1/2-Inch Drive Heavy-Duty Air Impact Wrench

If you’re searching for a less-powered air impact wrench for your needs, look no further. Chicago Pneumatic tools has you covered.

Quick Look:

  • 9 inches long, 5.13 lbs
  • 425 foot-pounds of torque
  • Made of both metal and plastic
  • Easy switch between forward and reverse settings
  • Has four power settings available to use
  • Air vent in the handle

Founded in 1901, this over 100-year-old company, Chicago Pneumatic, has been improving their tools ever since they opened. Working with a company who has been in business for over a century will make you feel comfortable and in great hands. The longer in business, the better the product, due to the ability to tweak and make changes as necessary.

This heavy-duty air impact wrench is one of the lightest and lower powered air impact wrenches of its kind on the market. It produces just 425 foot-pounds of torque in both forward and reverse settings, which is unique.

Typically, forward and reverse settings have varied levels of torque available, but this tool has identical power in both. Regardless of what you’re using this tool for, you’ll get identical power and torque output.

While talking about torque, this tool allows you to choose the amount of torque that is output due to the internal regulation system. You can choose between four power options and settings with the turn of a lever. This provides you with regulated ability to perform whatever task you may need.

The rotations per minute of this Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench measures at just about 8,500 rotations per minute. This is pretty fast, allowing you to get the most out of every use of this tool.

Ease of use is significant with this tool for multiple reasons. First, it is created of both metals and plastic which makes it great for lightweight nature. This wrench only weighs just over 5 pounds, so your hands won’t get tired after extended use.

Second of all, there is a vent on the bottom of the handle which allows air to escape and not blow in your face. This could make seeing for your project easier.

An issue you may experience with this tool is how the trigger can stick after a lot of use. This is a common problem with all air impact wrenches, though, and should be acknowledged.

The Chicago Pneumatic CP734H 1/2-Inch Drive Heavy-Duty Air Impact Wrench is a great tool for at-home users who aren’t looking for the maximum power they can possibly receive.


Air Impact Wrenches Comparison Table

Best Air Impact Wrenches PriceSize and WeightTorqueSpecial FeaturesCustomer Ratings
Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch$114.958.2 inches long, 5.8 lbs
600 foot-pounds of torque
Up to 8,000 RPM rotational speed
4.5 / 5.0 Stars
Nitrocat 1250-K Air Impact Wrench$209.999.2 inches long, 4.15 lbs
900 foot-pounds of loosening torque
86 decibels loud when in use, Made with ergonomic Kevlar
4.5 / 5.0 Stars
Ingersoll-Rand 232TGSL 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Thunder Gun$223.12Just over 8 inches long and 6.0 lbs
625 foot-pounds of torque
Fastest ½ inch impact wrench available by this brand at 10,000 RPM
4.4 / 5.0 Stars
PowRyte Elite 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench, 800 ft-lbs, Twin HammerPrice not available9 inches long, 4.72 lbs
800 foot-pounds of max torque
Adjustable, 3 position power selection, Built-in silencing for quiet use

N/A
Chicago Pneumatic CP734H 1/2-Inch Drive Heavy-Duty Air Impact Wrench$156.379 inches long, 5.13 lbs
425 foot-pounds of torque
Easy switch between forward and reverse settings
4.6 / 5.0 Stars

Air Impact Wrench Buyer’s Guide

An air impact wrench, which can otherwise be known as an air wrench or torque gun, is a tool that is specifically designed to efficiently tighten with little effort exerted by the user. Compressed air is used, as it provides a large sum of torque output and energy during use.

Typically, air impact wrenches are used in industries that require tightening of bolts where a high torque output is necessary. These fields can include anything like automotive work, construction projects, and even the assembly of various products.

Ingersoll-231C-Super-Duty-Impact-Wrench guide image

These air impact wrenches work through the application of an immediate and heavy twisting motion on a lug nut. It tightens in bursts, allowing for maximum torque and power output possible.

When looking to purchase the best impact driver wrench for you, there are plenty of aspects to consider. These all relate to how you will effectively use your new tool, and what you can use it for.

When shopping around for one, following and paying attention to the features, as listed below, will help you figure out which air impact wrench is perfect for you and your needs.

The more of an idea you have about the features and aspects of the tool you have in mind or are looking for before purchasing, the better your final purchase results will be.

Size and Weight

One of the first things to pay attention to regarding air impact wrenches is the size and weight of the product. This directly relates to how easy your product will be to use. If your wrench is too heavy, your hand can get tired over time during use.

If the tool is too large, it may not fit easily in your hand and lead to an uncomfortable experience. Both of these directly relate to the tool’s ergonomics. The best impact wrench to have is lightweight yet doesn’t compromise the torque output of the air impact wrench.

Foot-Pounds of Torque

Depending on what you’ll be using your air impact wrench for, you should consider how high, or low, the foot-pounds of torque rating is. Torque determines the twisting force that is available to you. The higher the torque, the more powerful the twist.

If you’re in need of a very strong and capable tool, aim to purchase at least 600 foot-pounds of torque. If you won’t be operating or performing tasks that require this much torque, a lower rating around 425 foot-pounds will do you well.

You don’t want to be stuck with a machine that can’t handle the level of power you need, so always be sure to check the torque rating before purchase.

Material

Different air impact wrenches can be made of different materials. The material used determines how your product and tool stands up to pressure and damage. Typically, wrenches that are made of metals like aluminum tend to last longer and stay intact better if dropped accidentally.

The other common material used is a plastic composite. While also durable, these are more susceptible to surface damages and drop damage. Material used also directly relates to weight, which is an important aspect on this list.

Metals are typically heavier, and plastics tend to be lighter. Regardless of the material you choose, the performance of the two will remain identical.

Power Settings

If you’ll be using your air impact wrench for multiple different processes, you should consider looking for a tool that has the ability to manually regulate the power settings. Power settings determine and regulate the amount of rotations per minute the tool has, along with the torque it outputs.

This is great for those with multiple practices in mind. For example, you’d not use the same power to tighten a lug nut on a car than you would with setting up and building something.

Power settings are one of the most important features of air impact wrenches, as they allow you to use your tool throughout multiple circumstances with the flip of a switch or turn of a lever.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About Air Impact Wrenches

Question: Why do I need an air impact wrench?

Answer: Air impact wrenches make many jobs easier to perform, especially in the manufacturing and automotive industries. There are plenty of reasons to own an air impact wrench, such as the lack of ability to change your own tires fast.

Often times, lug nuts and bolts get stuck and are hard to remove by hand. Air impact wrenches can help with this by loosening the nut and allowing it to be removed fast and effectively. Air impact wrenches are great tools for those who are handy.

Question: How do I maintain my tool?

Answer: Maintenance of your air impact wrench is a significant part of ensuring it runs properly throughout time. Some ways to maintain this tool include by cleaning it after uses and re-lubricating when needed. Cleaning removes dirt and debris buildup on the tool that could eventually cause a breakdown of the materials it was on.

Lubrication is important, as well, because it allows your wrench to rotate and provide the most amount of power possible. Without lubrication, the parts would just grind on each other and potentially wear down faster than if it were lubricated.

Lastly, keeping your tools away and safe from the elements could protect your air impact wrench and prevent it from possible rust or breakdown.

Question: How do I use an air impact wrench?

Answer: Air impact wrenches use an electric air motor that applies instant pressure and torque to the item you apply it to when signaled to do so. Just power on or plug in your air impact wrench to begin using. The trigger can be pulled to begin the rotations per minute and torque output.

You can choose whether you need the tool to be in forward or reverse with the flip of a switch. Using is easy, just put the end piece to a lug nut or the item you’re trying to tighten or loosen. Be sure to wear protective earwear when using the best impact drill, as the loud noise associated with them can cause long-term hearing damage if exposed for too long.

Buyer’s Tips

As a final thought, air impact wrenches are great tools for every day and work-based use. There is a lot of useful information you can find about air impact wrenches and their best uses but finding the best air impact wrench for you may have been a difficult assignment. Once you’re aware of the features you’re interested in with your wrench, purchasing will be easier.

Hopefully throughout this article you’ve been able to determine some key factors to consider when purchasing an air impact wrench for you. Enjoy easy tightening and loosening with whatever air impact wrenches you choose to purchase!


Thanks for reading The Top-Rated 5 Best Air Impact Wrenches Reviewed. We hope our review article will help you pick the right product for your needs from among our top picks.

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Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Richard Moore

Richard is an avid adventure traveler with extensive trekking experience. In 1998 he weathered category 5 Hurricane Mitch on the northern coast of Honduras. He has mountain-biked, hiked and 4x4 toured extensively in the U.S.A. , Mexico and Central America. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys road touring, dual-sport and motocross riding. Richard lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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