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How Much Torque Do I Need in an Impact Wrench?

How Much Torque Do I Need in an Impact Wrench?

When it comes to buying an impact wrench, one of the most important factors you need to consider is the amount of torque that the tool can generate. This will determine how strong the wrench is and how easily it can loosen or tighten bolts and screws.

So, how much torque do you need in an impact wrench? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the size of the bolt or screw you’re trying to loosen or tighten and the type of material it’s made from. Generally speaking, though, you’ll need at least 100 ft-lbs of torque for most applications.

If you’re in the market for a new impact wrench, you may be wondering how much torque you need. This is an important question to ask, as not all impact wrenches are created equal. Some have more torque than others and depending on the job you’re doing, you may need a wrench with more or less torque. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of torque and help you decide which wrench is best for your needs.

What is Torque and Why is it Important in an Impact Wrench?

Torque is a measurement of the rotational force that causes something to turn. In this example, it’s the force that causes the impact wrench’s drive to spin [1].

What is Torque and Why is it Important in an Impact Wrench?

Impact wrenches have a hammer mechanism instead of just the rotational force when loosening or tightening lug nuts and bolts, which means they can loosen or tighten anything that has threads in it.

When the drive meets resistance, the hammer helps to generate extra force and strengthen the push.

This makes it easier for you to tighten or loosen bolts and screws.

Torque is measured in foot-pounds, which means that one foot-pound of torque can lift a weight of one pound up a height of one foot. You can use this information when choosing an impact wrench because the higher the torque, the more force will be needed to rotate something like lug nuts or bolts at high speeds.

Most people who are looking for an impact wrench want something with enough power to handle whatever jobs they might have around their home without breaking down under pressure. They also usually don’t know anything about what they’re buying until after they’ve bought it!

Pros of Impact Wrench:

  • High-torque impact drivers can be used instead of a light-duty impact wrench;
  • In lower speeds, this is extremely capable of a general screwdriver;
  • Easier to handle than an electric drill;
  • Its compact size makes it easy to carry around and use anywhere;

Cons of Impact Wrench:

  • Requires a fastener that breaks easily on hard metal;
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty jobs;
  • It has a very limited selection of bits available in comparison with other impact wrench types;
  • It’s much more expensive than cordless drills or screwdrivers because they require batteries that need frequent recharging after each use;

Cons of Impact Wrench

The torque is the most important aspect when choosing an impact wrench, and you should always go for one that has high power output so you can get your job done effectively. By doing this, you will save yourself time as well as money! Besides, if something breaks down due to low-quality components then there are no on them either.

An impact wrench is a tool that has become indispensable for many people. It is used to tighten and loosen screws, nuts, bolts, and other fasteners with great speed and force. The torque of an impact wrench determines how much power it can exert on these items without breaking or damaging them – if you want something done quickly, then go for one with high-impact capabilities. Otherwise, stick around until later in this article when we talk about how much torque do you need?

What Does an Impact Wrench Do?

The first, and most significant, advantage of using an impact wrench is that it generates a high amount of torque without requiring much effort from the user. Another excellent reason to utilize an impact wrench is to tighten screws and bolts securely.

An impact wrench, which is light in weight, produces more torque than an electric drill or any other hand tool and is cost-effective [2].

Impact wrenches are extremely small, convenient to use, and powerful. The size of an impact wrench is another benefit. It’s simple to take it with you all day since it’s tiny. Impact wrenches can be utilized in any location where a portable and powerful tool with a lot of torque is required. Construction and furniture manufacturing businesses are two notable examples.

Types of Impact Wrench:

1) Pneumatic

Pneumatic impact wrenches, or air wrenches, are the most popular type of this tool. They utilize compressed air to create a torque that will loosen fasteners like bolts and nuts. The pneumatic impact wrench is a lightweight device, making it easy to use in tight areas where there’s limited space available for maneuvering around objects. It also offers greater mobility than other types due to its small size, which makes it more versatile and adaptable when working on different kinds of projects.


The downside with these tools is that they need an air compressor nearby so you have access at all times – but once again we come back full circle since electric ones require electricity too! Weigh your options carefully before making your decision.

2) Electric

There are cordless electric impact wrenches available on the market, and they provide many benefits when compared to pneumatic models.

The first advantage is that there’s no need for an air compressor; this means you can take it with you wherever you go without having to worry about finding an outlet or lugging around a heavy machine. Second, since there’s no air hose involved, the chances of getting tangled up or tripping over them are eliminated – which is always a plus! Third, many people find that cordless impact wrenches deliver more torque than their pneumatic counterparts.

The downside to using a battery-operated model is that the batteries will eventually run out of juice and need replacing – but once again we come back full circle since electric ones require electricity too! Weigh your options carefully before making your decision.

3) Hydraulic

Hydraulic impact wrenches are another type of wrench that uses compressed air.

They’re often found in industrial settings and are used to loosen nuts or bolts on heavy machinery such as excavators, bulldozers, and backhoes.

The hydraulic impact wrench has more torque than the pneumatic or electric model, making it the perfect option for those tougher jobs.

The downside to using this type of tool is that they’re often very large and heavy – making them difficult to transport from one job site to another. They also require an air compressor nearby so you have access at all times.

Does Impact Wrench Size Matter?

When it comes to impact wrenches, you’ll quickly discover that bigger wrenches generate more torque.

The maximum tool torque created by your impact wrench’s drive size will generally fall into one of these categories [3]:

  • 1,475 to 2,145 foot-pounds on a 1-inch drive wrench;
  • 1,200 to 1,600 foot-pounds on a 3/4-inch drive wrench;
  • 650 to 1,295 foot-pounds on a 1/2-inch drive wrench;
  • 200 to 600 foot-pounds on a 3/8-inch drive wrench;

Impact wrenches are typically fitted with 1/2- or 3/8-inch drive methods, whereas 1/2- and 3/8-inch drive impact sockets are designed for use on cars. The majority of the time, a wrench with a 1/2-inch diameter handle is used to loosen steel nuts on equipment weighing up to 300 pounds.

Does Impact Wrench Size Matter?

The least powerful cordless impact wrenches have about 600 foot-pounds of torque. A cordless impact wrench is more versatile and easier to transport around and work outside, but a pneumatic impact wrench is required for more complex operations.

The average air impact wrench has an output of between 600 to 800 pounds per inch, and a pneumatic cordless tool is capable of generating up to 900 foot-pounds. The disadvantage with this type of device is that it requires an air compressor nearby so you can access the compressed air at all times – but once again we come back full circle since electric ones require electricity too! Weigh your options carefully before making your decision.

Can I Adjust the Torque on an Impact Wrench?

There is no one-size-fits-all torque requirement for each operation. However, this does not imply that you must own multiple impact wrenches for every activity you conduct. You can simply change the torque requirements to achieve the result you desire.

For example, when tightening a huge stubborn bolt, you’ll need more torque than if you’re tightening a little one. So, how can you adjust the torque to match the work?

Most modern impact wrenches feature adjustable torque. Setting the dial on a cordless or electric impact wrench to reach your desired torque is as simple as it gets.

When using pneumatic wrenches, you have fewer options when it comes to adjusting the rotational force [4]:

1) Regulating Line Pressure

The amount of pressure from the air compressor must be controlled.

Some wrenches have a pressure regulator on the air inlet that will allow you to adjust the amount of torque without changing the speed.

This is done by varying the supply pressure to the wrench, and it’s usually how most mechanics regulate their tools. It gives them more control over the end result but can be difficult to fine-tune.

There are also adjustable valves located inside the impact wrench that let you change both the speed and torque output. This type of adjustment is often found on high-end industrial models, and it’s simpler than adjusting line pressure. You just turn a knob or screw to get the results you want.

2) Regulating Tool Pressure

The compression chamber is connected to the compressor via an air regulator, which then passes pressure to the impact wrench. Experts suggest this procedure only if your impact wrench doesn’t have an in-built air regulator. If it does, you may simply adjust the torque using the regulator.

By changing the operating pressure of your wrench, you can change both the speed and torque that it produces.

This option is simple to use because all you have to do is adjust a knob on top of your tool until it reaches an acceptable level for whatever job you’re doing at any given moment!

The only downside here is if there isn’t enough strain in one area (like when tightening bolts), then this type won’t work as well since less force will go towards applying more tension instead of making sure everything stays put.

It means things could come loose over time due to vibrations from movement during operation or other factors like temperature fluctuations throughout day-to-day life.

How to Modify Your Impact Wrench to Get More Torque?

Manufacturers do not recommend changing torque settings beyond the suggested parameters, although it is still feasible. This should only be done if your impact wrench has a maximum torque rating that is less than what is required for the job.

How to Modify Your Impact Wrench to Get More Torque?

Simply turning the adjusting screw more than necessary could damage your wrench. And, even if it doesn’t break, you might not be able to get it back to its original state. So, be careful!

Some mechanics modify their impact wrenches by replacing the stock springs with ones that are stiffer and have a higher torque rating. This will increase the amount of pressure the tool can generate without causing any damage to the equipment. However, this risky modification should only be attempted if you’re familiar with how an impact wrench works and know what you’re doing!

Otherwise, you should consider purchasing a more powerful impact wrench or borrowing one.

What Happens if I Apply Excess Torque on an Impact Wrench?

Torque isn’t reasoned as simply as it may appear. Over-torqueing does not always lead to faster tightening or loosening of nuts and bolts. In fact, too much rotational force can snap or crack the bolts.

In other instances, overtightened lug nuts can cause warping or shattering of brake rotors, as well as damage to the hub flange. This is because wheel lugs tend to bend under stress. As a result, when some lug nuts are overly tightened, they may induce uneven tightening against the surface of the brake rotor.

Because the tightening procedure is so inconsistent, the rotor leans off-center and warps, making it difficult to correct.


1. How much torque do I need in an impact wrench for automotive work?

It is necessary to use a torque wrench to remove lug nuts. It will take roughly 500 ft-lbs of torque to remove it. If you overtightened the lug nut, you may need more than 500 ft-lbs of torque [5].

2. Is 400 Nm torque good for an impact wrench?

Yes, a 400 Nm torque rating is appropriate for an impact wrench since the impact wrench that comes with that speed also features a variable speed option, allowing you to regulate speed to your needs.

The mighty torque of the 400 Nm motor can easily remove hefty wheel nuts and other automobile tasks. You can readily remove a variety of nuts, such as lug nuts, with ease [6].

3. How much torque does an impact driver have?

In general, an impact driver with 1500–1800 in-lbs of torque places a greater emphasis on higher RPM. It will do 95 percent of the work faster than a tool with more torque and slower speeds. The rule of thumb is that if you need to reach for a socket adapter, you’re better off using an impact wrench instead [7].

4. Is 450 ft-lbs enough?

When you’re really doing some mechanical labor, rather than wasting time with tiny sub-compact models, go for something with a torque output of 450 ft-lb or higher. This range is probably where most automotive repairs fall.

5. How much torque can a 1/4 drive take?

A 1/4-inch drive can handle roughly 30 ft-lb, 3/8-inch about 100 ft-lbs, 1/2-inch about 230 ft-lbs, and 3/4-inch approximately 800 ft-lbs if you believe reasonable high-quality tool steel that can endure 100K psi [8].

6. How do you torque lug nuts with an impact wrench?

​There are a few ways to do it, but the most common method is to use an impact wrench and torque sticks. The process involves removing lug nuts with an impact wrench until they’re loose enough that you can remove them manually. Then, apply some force on each nut in sequence using your torque stick.

7. Can I use an impact driver as an impact wrench?

Impact wrenches are generally larger, bulkier, and considerably more powerful (have more torque) than impact drivers. Impact wrenches utilize a square drive (typically half an inch), while most impact drivers feature a ¼-inch hex drive and are used for driving screws.

A simple adaptor bit like this one can easily convert a ¼-inch impact driver to a half-inch square drive, allowing you to use it with socket drivers.

8. What is a high torque impact wrench?

A high torque impact wrench is a powerful tool used to loosen or tighten bolts and nuts. It has a higher rotational force than a standard impact wrench, which makes it suitable for tougher tasks.

High-torque impact wrenches are available in both pneumatic (powered by compressed air) and electric models. Pneumatic impact wrenches deliver more power and can handle heavier loads, while electric impact wrenches are smaller, lighter, and easier to use.

Useful Video: How Much Torque Do You Need in an Impact Driver?


  1. https://sawshub.com/how-much-torque-need-impact-wrench
  2. https://theprecisiontools.com/how-much-torque-for-impact-wrench
  3. https://www.tooltally.com/impact-wrench-torque
  4. https://sawshub.com/how-much-torque-need-impact-wrench
  5. https://sawshub.com/how-much-torque-need-impact-wrench
  6. https://cordtocordless.com/help/400-torque-good-for-impact-wrench
  7. https://www.protoolreviews.com/how-much-torque-do-you-need-on-an-impact-driver
  8. https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/27258/what-is-the-maximum-torque-a-1-2-drive-can-withstand