5 Best Air Impact Wrenches
5 Best Air Impact Wrenches
5 (100%) 6 vote[s]
AIRCAT 1150
AIRCAT 1150
1/2-Inch
Quiet technology at 86 decibels
Max. Torque 900 ft-lbs
Ingersoll Rand 231C
Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench
1/2 Inch
Max torque of 600 foot-pounds
Adjustable power regulator
NitroCat 1200-K
NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench
1/2 Inch
Quiet technology at 86 decibels
Weighs only 4. 5 lbs.
Ingersoll Rand 2317G
Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Air Impactool and Ratchet Kit
Lightweight, yet Sturdy
55 foot pounds of torque
Ergonomic design
ACDelco ANI405
ACDelco ANI405 Heavy Duty Twin Hammer 1/2
1/2 Inch
500 ft.-lb. of nut-busting torque
Industrial professionals Design

Choose the Best Air Impact Wrench

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Air Impact Wrenches

6 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

66.67% of users selected AIRCAT 1150, 16.67% selected Ingersoll Rand 231C, 16.67% selected NitroCat 1200-K, 0% selected Ingersoll Rand 2317G and 0% selected ACDelco ANI405. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Air impact wrenches (pneumatic) make it less painful to remove tires and release tight bolts of the engine. If you are not sure about the use or selection of these tools, consider checking the expert tips given in this guide. 

Pros of all air impact wrenches: 

  • More powerful than electric or cordless models;
  • Very comfortable and easy for removing the bolts;
  • Increases your speed of work;
  • Take less than space than electric models;
  • Affordable;
  • Long service life;
  • Portable;

You can get a lot from the internet on your side, but you also have the opportunity to get something that doesn’t work well. Here you may find some of the best pneumatic wrenches at some reasonable price. 

You may also check the buyers’ guide after the detailed review of each model in the list. Compare the major specs of some powerful air impact torque wrenches in the comparison table below. 

AIRCAT 1150 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench – the best for noise reduction!

AIRCAT 1150The torque range of this Aircat 1150 wrench is 1295 ft-lbs. It is one of the quietest wrenches for an air impact tool. The manufacturer has apparently developed some unique technology for noise reduction.

Another interesting feature is that it works both forward and reverse – just switch the torque setting switch placed on the back of this wrench. The lowest forward setting is sufficient to give you an idea of the power when you need to unfasten the lug nuts on the vehicle wheels.
Tips for users: you may want to put a piece of paper over the tool when slipping the socket on it to keep the instrument in the same place.

Pros

  • Very quiet – less than 86 dB
  • The hardest hitting twin hammer at the U.S. market
  • Generates more power thanks to a 15% larger rotor
  • Ergonomic and lightweight design
  • Different speeds to choose

Cons

  • The drive mechanism (anvil) won’t secure the sockets well
  • The sockets may vibrate
  • The trigger is hard to switch and control

The Aircat 1150 is able to remove bolts at 1,400 blows per minute speed without missing its power. Also, this wrench is significantly quieter compared to its counterparts as it only generates 86 dB at its limit.

Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Wrench – the best for the speed control!

Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact WrenchThe 231C wrench offers the bolt-bustling torque of up to 600 foot-pounds. This is also suitable for the removal and installation of stubborn bolts, lug nuts, and other hardy fasteners. The revolutionary twin-hammer design provides powerful performance, with up to 8,000 RPM of rotational speed.

This model has been optimized continuously for better quality and durability. For vehicle hobbyists and skilled mechanics, this Ingersoll Rand impact wrench can become a remarkable product.

Pros

  • Easy to maintain
  • Lightweight
  • Has a twin-hammer design
  • The power regulator is easy to adjust
  • Comes with lubrication
  • A classic and sturdy construction
  • Has a contoured handle for better comfort during the work

Cons

  • A bit bulky
  • Quite limited torque range
  • The trigger may get broken after heavy-duty uses

The 231C wrench features a compact, simple to manage, two-piece construction. This impact wrench is supplied completely lubricated, for added ease, and it’s ready to go straight out of the box.

NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Wrench – the best for durability!

NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact WrenchThe NitroCat air impact wrench offers a great deal of features. The handle is vented in such a way that any soot or debris created by the motor spin do not blow to your face.

Make sure to pick this wrench if you seek durability over other features.

Pros

  • The body is designed with Kevlar finish
  • Through-the-handle design
  • Twin-head mechanism
  • The sound level is only 86 dB
  • Comfortable grip
  • The handy forward/reverse switch

Cons

  • Not intended for the heavy-duty use
  • Connections may wear out or just crack
  • The grease fittings are too narrow
  • Less torque speed

It uses a twin-clutch mechanism, which helps you to tighten or remove the bolt before applying the requisite torque. Kevlar housing is used in the outer walls, which can withstand loads of impacts.

Ingersoll Rand 2317G Air Impactool – the best for heat-resistance!

Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Air Impactool and Ratchet KitThis wrench was specifically designed for longer life from heat-treated material. It means that even under extreme circumstances the device is perfect for use.

The wrench has a great twin hammer mechanism that provides the required outstanding output. On top of that, it’s a flexible device you’ll find the ideal wrench for car repairs.

Pros

  • The ratchet head is heat-treated
  • Great for working under extreme conditions
  • The ergonomic handle design
  • Good performance rate

Cons

  • Slow
  • Limited torque range
  • Bulky
  • The plastic piece is hard to remove

Furthermore, the tool has an ergonomic grip that provides a simple and stable grip when you work with it. The tool kit gives you a set of combination sockets plus a tool for effects.

ACDelco ANI405 Air Impact Wrench – the best for performance!

ACDelco ANI405 Heavy Duty Twin Hammer 1/2One of the best pneumatic wrenches for heavy-duty uses. If you are adding or cutting lug nuts and bolts, you can rely on this ACDelco wrench for sure. This instrument is strong and well-balanced, featuring a hard-hitting twin hammer design that forces out 500 ft.-lbs.
Designed with an aluminum alloy frame, the ANI405 model can withstand any situations thrown at it, either for the servicing of vehicles or for the repair.

Pros

  • High-performance rate
  • Aluminum alloy housing
  • Can withstand even the roughest environment
  • Easy to control
  • Can access the wheel nuts that are hard to reach
  • 3-speed regulator
  • Comfortable handle grip
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Limited torque range
  • Low powered
  • Decreased usage life
The construction of the trigger and its heaviness (because of the aluminum alloy) is what users dislike about this wrench.

Some users caution prospective buyers that they are prone to wrist fatigue because of this. Because of its sturdiness and price, this wrench may be good for repairing the vehicles, but it is slower compared to other wrenches.

The Buyer’s Guide

Design

Compressed air powers up an air impact wrench. In a range of drive sizes, you can find air impact wrenches from 0.25 to 1 inch. The bigger the drive, the greater the torque range the wrench will have.

The best air impact wrench will get a rough build ready to stand up to a lot of abuse around the car shop.

Around the same time, it should not be too hard so that you can stay relaxed for the whole change while keeping it in. Even an off-balance wrench can add to muscle tiredness.

A rubberized handle can feel soft and cushy but the tool’s movements can inevitably cause blisters.

Torque range

If you own your house and want to work on your lawn tractor, you may need a cost-effective pneumatic wrench with a range of 500-600 ft-lbs.

If you have plans to use a wrench to crank on engine mounts, for heavy-duty axles, or non-stop tire rotations every day, search for a wrench that can produce more than 1200 ft-lbs of torque.

Level of noise

For mechanics who use an air effect wrench every day, this is particularly relevant. Traditional wrenches can cause hearing damage if their noise level is over 120 dB.

A powerful wrench that decreases noise below 90 decibels can help avoid hearing damage and minimize tiredness during the day. Recall wearing earplugs or headphones for noise cancelation when working in a busy garage too.

Trigger type

For each use of the best air impact wrench, you do not want all of the available torque. A control switch and a lever that revs the strength of the wrench should really be flexible.

This helps keep bolts from being replaced before time and reduces tool fatigue. Sticky triggers reduce the service life of your instrument and can cause damage to your vehicle.

How to pick an air compressor type? 

If you change a tire, you will be able to remove the flaps with a 2-gallon air compressor, but it cannot tighten them again.

Ensure the shorter you use a shaft and minimize the number of links between the gun and the compressor to maintain the pressure required to complete the task.

Tips for users: 

  • You will also require a hose, air compressor and air tool oil for use with a pneumatic impact wrench;
  • Attach the tube to the compressor air first and attach the other end of the tube to the clamp. Make sure that the pants are soft and have no twists or kinks — otherwise, air will not fluctuate easily;
  • Set the pressure range between 90 to 100 lbs/inch on the air compressor. Oil the wrenches to lubricate them and make the clamp work smoothly;
  • Check the wrench to see the direction where it is placed. If you want to change position, a wrench switch should be used;
  • Recall, loose left, close right, if you are not sure what direction you need;
  • Slip the screw on top of a lug nut to apply the instrument (for example, the bolt connecting a wheel to the vehicle);

Final thoughts 

Now you have a bunch of top-notch air impact wrenches that can make any fastening process easier. Before making a final decision, check the speed and torque range parameters for each pneumatic wrench. These are essential things to bear in mind when buying one of pneumatic wrenches for daily tasks. 

 


Video Tutorial: Slow Motion – How an Impact Wrench Works


I’m a Matthew Johnson, and I’m a motor mechanic. I like my profession and every day I use many tools, but a torque wrench is most useful of them. I’m going to write about my experience of using different torque wrenches and share with you.

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One Comment

  1. If you want something quiet and really good and powerful then go for the AIRCAT 1150. It’s impressive to see it do such a great job and go to a max 900 ft-lbs and still be so quiet. That’s the mark of a great tool.

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