The 9 Best Corded Impact Wrenches

Updated November 01, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

9 Best Corded Impact Wrenches
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. These high-quality corded impact wrenches do all the work of loosening and tightening fasteners for you, so you can get those tough jobs done quicker. We've included extra-durable models ideal for automotive shops and many other industrial applications, as well as budget models more than capable of handling any DIYer's needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best corded impact wrench on Amazon.

9. Porter-Cable PCE210

Perfect for those heavy-duty jobs, the Porter-Cable PCE210 has a 7.5-amp motor that delivers 240 foot-pounds of torque. Its cast metal gear housing has been designed to dissipate excess heat, improving both its durability and longevity over time.
  • hog ring anvil to hold onto sockets
  • soft grip handle reduces fatigue
  • heavy and difficult to maneuver
Model PCE210
Weight 8.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Capri Tools 32200

Available at an excellent value, the Capri Tools 32200 has been crafted with both comfort and simplicity in mind. It quickly toggles between forward and reverse action, while its dual bearing armature system minimizes excess vibrations.
  • includes sockets and a case
  • stays cool during use
  • exterior stains easily from grease
Brand Capri Tools
Model 32200
Weight 11.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Hammerhead HDIW075

The Hammerhead HDIW075 has been designed for high-torque applications. This makes it ideal for automotive repair and industrial equipment maintenance. It offers a no-load speed of 2,200 revolutions per minute and has a large rocker switch trigger.
  • backed by a three-year warranty
  • works like a charm on rusted bolts
  • makes a lot of noise
Brand Hammerhead
Model HDIW075
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Craftsman 927990

With its reliable 8-amp motor, the Craftsman 927990 can handle the most stubborn of fasteners as quickly as possible, making this a terrific tool for use in professional garages. Its bright LED clearly illuminates your work area.
  • detent ring to hold onto sockets
  • built-in power indicator
  • a bit heavy and unwieldy
Brand Craftsman
Model 927990
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Makita 6952

Good for HVAC installers and electricians working in varying conditions, the Makita 6952 is a handy tool to have on any job site. It features a shockproof aluminum housing around the gearbox to ensure it stands up to years of regular use.
  • standard quarter-inch hex bit shank
  • integrated belt clip
  • weighs just 3 pounds
Brand Makita
Model 6952
Weight 6.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. DeWalt DW297

The DeWalt DW297 is a tool of ease, precision and durability, due to its ball bearing construction, anvil with a detent pin ensuring proper socket retention from almost any position, and its 360-degree adjustable side handle for minimizing user fatigue.
  • produces up to 1600 rpm
  • accepts both ac and dc power
  • easy to replace brushes if needed
Model DW297
Weight 14 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Milwaukee 9070-20

The Milwaukee 9070-20 has a large rocker switch trigger that makes it easy to quickly switch between forward and reverse gears. It features a powerful 7-amp motor that makes it capable of producing 300 ft./lbs. of torque, so nothing can stand in your way.
  • securely holds onto sockets
  • feels well-balanced in the hand
  • comparable to many pneumatic models
Brand Milwaukee
Model 9070-20
Weight 7.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Kawasaki 841426

Costing well under $100, the Kawasaki 841426 is a good choice for home DIYers who are on a tight budget, but still need something capable of handling those stubborn bolts. It can produce up to 2,700 impacts per minute and comes with four sockets to get you started.
  • never needs lubrication
  • suitable for a car's lug nuts
  • includes a durable case
Brand Kawasaki
Model 841426
Weight 10.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Hitachi WR16SE

The Hitachi WR16SE combines power with a compact unit, making it ideal for professionals who often work in tight spaces, but need something capable of breaking any nut. Weighing just 5.5 lbs, it somehow manages to output up to 270 ft-lbs of torque.
  • four impact settings
  • slip-proof grip area
  • coated with a rubber bumper
Brand Hitachi
Model WR16SE
Weight 6.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Tools Make The Man (or Woman)

Humanity has come a long way since the days of crafting hammers and spears out of sticks and rocks. Indeed, the tools we have used throughout history serve as reliable markers of just how developed our society is. During the Renaissance, scientists classified some of the most basic systems for altering how force is applied to objects. These tools are called simple machines. The screw, and by extension the bolt, is unique among these six original designs in that it's a combination of two others. A screw is actually an inclined plane wrapped around the axle of a wheel-and-axle machine.

While researchers and craftsmen have used simple and complex machines for all of human history, the material used and the strength of the force applied have changed dramatically. Rarely today are wooden pegs used to hold quality furniture together outside of Amish country. Powerful equipment like cars, generators, drill presses, and 3-D printers are made of high-strength steel components held together with hundreds of foot-pounds of torque.

From the stone age until beyond the industrial revolution, superhuman levels of torque were generally hard for the average laborer to achieve. But when the 21st century home repairman needs to secure 16 lug nuts in a hurry, they're in luck. For the last few decades, DIY enthusiasts have rejoiced in the availability of powerful, compact, inexpensive power tools.

It's easy to see how adding 110v of power can add a lot to any project. But what about the rusted lug nuts, frozen bolts, and concrete-sunken screws? An everyday hand ratchet and socket set just doesn't offer the mechanical advantage needed to disassemble and rebuild large machinery. An electric drill simply won't provide the oomph to turn that nut that hasn't spun freely since 1978. Sure, a long breaker bar might do the trick, but that takes a lot of elbow grease, and might not even be adequate. The answer to this problem may be an impact wrench.

A Lot More Than A Screwgun

We know that hand tools can't always get the job done when constructing or repairing large equipment. But does your workshop really need an impact wrench, or can you use an everyday drill or electric screwdriver to drive and remove heavy screws, nuts, and bolts? The answer lies in friction.

Static friction is the amount of force that a surface exerts on a stationary object, preventing it from starting to move. Sliding friction is the resistance that object experiences while it's moving across a surface. And these forces have everything to do with tightening lug nuts.

While a nut, bolt, or screw is being drilled into inches of concrete, sliding friction between the medium and the fastener eventually reduces the kinetic energy of the screw until it stops turning. At this point, even if you increase the constant pressure by turning up the screwgun or pulling on the wrench harder, you're unlikely to turn the screw any farther. This is because the static friction in the system has become greater than the force applied by your tool.

So, you're pulling with all your might and still can't break that last rusted bolt free. But if you hit the end of that wrench with a hammer several times, you just might succeed — and that's exactly how an impact wrench works. A strong motor spins a driveshaft with a massive amount of torque. At the end of that shaft is a mechanism that catches at specific points in the shaft's rotation, rather than the fixed gears that provide a standard drill with constant force. The result is rapid bursts of high-powered rotation that easily overcome static friction, turning that screw much more quickly and safely than a breaker bar and a sledgehammer can.

A Good Tool Makes A Huge Impact

With the growing popularity of in-home construction projects, there are more options than ever for building your power tool collection. The standard type of power used in a lot of high-torque tools, particularly impact wrenches, is compressed air. Moderate to heavy-duty air compressors can give your workshop a lot of power and are very durable, but there are a few drawbacks. They can be expensive; they do sometimes require maintenance; there's a warm-up period while the air pressure builds; and, most apparently, they're really loud.

But there's a simple solution to this, and it comes in the form of electrically powered impact wrenches. These units plug into any grounded (three-prong) 110v socket and provide incredible versatility while making far less noise than their pneumatic counterparts. They also vibrate considerably less during use, making the job that much safer and easier on your hands and joints.

A quality impact wrench should have a standard 1/2-inch drive, but some top models boast a heavy-duty 3/4-inch size for added security. Be certain to use high-hardness sockets and adapters that are specifically designed for impact wrenches to keep from snapping or shearing those made of weaker steel. Breaking tools can be costly, time-consuming, and dangerous.

When comparing impact wrench choices, pay careful attention to the options you're considering. While they're a similar concept, impact drivers have much lower torque and often utilize a 3/16-inch bit, so they can't serve the same heavy-duty purpose as actual impact wrenches can. Also, keep in mind that impact wrenches provide massive power, but it's not usually well measured and can sometimes make things too tight. In some situations, you'll need to follow up the impact wrench with a torque wrench. You could also try a hammer drill, a tool very similar to an impact hammer that usually offers variable speed and torque control for more intricate jobs.

All in all, there are more brands than ever to choose from, and some of the most familiar companies are still making great products. The home handyman and the professional mechanic have never had such great selection.

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Last updated on November 01, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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