A Guide to Cordless Impact Wrenches for Every Task

A Guide to Cordless Impact Wrenches for Every Task

in News
We’re going to take a look at impact wrenches, which one you should buy and why. Before you start working on your car, you may realize that you don’t have a lot of tools. You might have some hand tools, so just some normal ratchets or spanners. But if you can be working on your car quite a lot, power tools, especially cordless power tools, will make your job a hell of a lot easier.
So one of the first tools that I ever purchased was a cordless impact wrench. There are four different types of impact wrenches.
  1. Standard Duty Cordless Impact Wrenches
  2. Compact Cordless Impact Wrenches
  3. High-torque Cordless Impact Wrenches
  4. Stubby Cordless Impact Wrenches

Impact wrenches are designed to use for both tightening and loosening bolts, including breaking away stubborn or rusted fasteners.

1. What are impact wrenches?

We mentioned that impact wrenches deliver high torque to tighten or loosen the nuts and bolts. Inside of impact wrenches, you'll find an impact mechanism with a planetary gear set on the back. This works to take that high RPM of the motor and turn it into a lower but higher torque-capable RPM.
The purpose of that lower RPM, and higher torque, is to overcome the spring tension and hammer mass on the ball and cam sprung impact mechanism, which is what pretty much all of them use in cordless impacts today.
So let's overview their mechanism. Impact wrenches have an electric motor that converts energy from the outlet. Similarly, its hammer mechanism consists of a rotor and anvil. The impact cycle depends on the following parts:

  1. Rotation
  2. Compression Spring
  3. Turning Force
  4. Repeat

When the torque required is low, the tool just works sort of like a drill, the tool's RPM free-spinning, that fastener on or off. But when torque is required, the hammer binds up from spring tension and is forced up in the process. Then, over and leaps forward to strike into the next wing of the anvil, which is called a dock.
The faster you can repeat this process, the faster the hardware can be driven. But, on the other hand, more gear reduction or, aka, lower RPM, would allow you to overcome a larger spring and a larger hammer and make for bigger hammer blows, which is called higher dynamic torque.

2. The Advanced Features of Cordless Impact Wrenches

Cordless tools need to use the mechanism, allowing the electric motor to operate at its peak power and efficiency of, say, 19, 20, 22,000 RPM or whatever without being bogged down. DC motors don't take kindly to being repeatedly stopped, and they don't operate very well that way.
The spring allows the motor to continue spinning while the hammer catches up. One downside of this is that the spring is launching the hammer forward, not just rotationally, meaning there is some forward force felt with each blow.


A cordless impact wrench derives its power from the battery. These days, everybody wants lithium-ion batteries. They are powerful (power output), last for long periods (lifespan), and do not weigh anything down (lightweight design). The battery size is measured in amp-hours (Ah). The greater the Ah, the further you can turn before needing to recharge.


This is the main feature of a wrench. Torque is crucial in losing rusted nuts and bolts. Impact wrenches come in different strengths, measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs) or newton meters (Nm). For most of my home projects, I would just need a wrench with between 180-300 ft-lbs. But if you’re a mechanic dealing with hard bolts, then you might want one that has 700 ft-lbs+ instead!

Common Torque Ranges of Cordless Impact Wrenches

Cordless Impact Wrench Torque Applications
Below 150 ft-lbs - Furniture assembly- Light appliance installation - Lag screw installation
150-300 ft-lbs - (lug nuts, suspension components)- Deck construction - Heavy-duty yard work (post hole digging)
300-500 ft-lbs - car repairs (suspension bolts, engine components)
500+ ft-lbs - Heavy construction (structural steel assembly)

Impact Mechanism

The impact mechanism makes an impact wrench distinctive among other features. The quick hammering system delivers short busts with high torque, making work easier for you to open the rough fasteners. Subsequently, the number of impacts per minute is also crucial here. The higher the IPM rates, the faster the operation will be.

Adjustable Speed and Torque Control

Following the design, cordless impact wrenches also provide variable speed control. It is quite effective in adjusting the rotation speed depending on the application. The lower speed of the impact wrenches helps you in managing the delicate work. Similarly, higher speed will assist you in performing tasks requiring more power such as opening or tightening nuts.

Ergonomic Design

No doubt cordless impact wrenches are powerful tools but comfort is key. Therefore, always look for tools that have a user-friendly design to easily control the wrenches. A balanced design can absorb the impact smoothly.

Built-in Lighting:

Earlier, wrenches were lacking in this feature. Now, cordless impact wrenches come with built-in LED light. This feature allows the operator to conveniently operate in the dark areas. Hence, allowing more precision and safety.

3. Advancement in Cordless Wrenches Battery Technology

The battery technology of cordless impact wrenches has witnessed continuous growth. Let’s discuss some of the key improvements in their battery efficiency.

Lithium-Ion Battery Technology:

    1. Higher Power Output: Compared to old NiMH batteries, Li-ion batteries deliver more power. This feature helps cordless wrenches to solve rigid tasks effectively.
    2. Longer Life: Li-ion batteries need fewer replacements due to their efficient and long-lasting performance.
    3. Lightweight Design: Furthermore, Li-ion batteries are light compared to traditional batteries. This feature enhances the freedom of movement to use the tool easily.

Multiple Voltage and Capacity Options:

Cordless impact wrenches have multiple battery voltages (e.g., 12V, 18V, 20V) and capacities (Ah). As we discussed earlier, more voltage means higher power and the higher capacity translates into maximum operation capacity.
Fast-Charging Technology:
Modern battery technology features quick charging. It reduces your downtime and expands your operation hours.
Battery Management Systems (BMS): 
Built-in BMS has a special feature. It protects the battery from overcharging, overheating, and deep discharge. Ultimately, you get a safe operation while not running out of the battery.
Brushless Motors: 

    1. Efficiency: Brushless motors have a higher capacity to convert more energy from the battery. This results in extended run time with more torque.
    2. Less Heat Generation: Brushless motors have a strong system to control the overheating issues. It leads to improved working.
    3. Lower Maintenance: Cordless impact wrenches require low maintenance compared to brushed motors.

4. What are the benefits of using a cordless impact wrench? 

The main feature of the cordless impact wrenches is the ability to control the tightening torque when screwing. The impact wrench looks like a regular drill; only a special head or extension attachment is installed in its chuck. The motor causes the head to rotate in the given direction, and it, in turn, tightens the connection.
If you are worried about the power of a cordless impact wrench, we will dispel your doubts. Of course, they cannot compare with professional “super strongmen,” but a tool of such power is rarely used. For daily use, the power of modern batteries is sufficient to effectively tighten any connections.
The cordless impact wrench is very popular among car enthusiasts and service center workers. Its mobility and ability to use a hammer mechanism to unscrew a stuck nut deserve respect. Changing a wheel with such a tool is quick and effortless.

Work Freedom & Increased Productivity:

You can work anywhere with a cordless impact wrench without an outlet.
1st Example: loosening rusty lug nuts on a car tire (around 300 ft-lbs of torque) in a driveway (no outlet available).
2nd Example:  Tightening deck boards (around 150 ft-lbs of torque) quickly across a large deck.

The Ergonomic Advantage

Cordless impact wrenches are lighter and have a compact design. It means you can operate it effectively in tight spaces.
1st Example: * A mechanic using a lightweight cordless wrench (around 4 lbs) with a good grip to access tight engine components (improved maneuverability).
2nd Example: A Diyer comfortably using a compact wrench (shorter handle) for repetitive furniture assembly tasks (reduced fatigue)

Environmental & Economic Impact

Cordless impact wrenches offer a safer environment for the workspace. Subsequently, it lowers the environmental impact. In addition, it has a longer battery life, minimum maintenance, and faster charging time.  
1st Example: Longer battery life allows for extended use on a single charge (e.g., 4.0 Ah battery lasting over an hour at moderate use with a 250 ft-lbs wrench)
2nd Example: Faster charging minimizes downtime (e.g., 30-minute fast charge for a 2.0 Ah battery)

5. Battery Care and Accessories for Cordless Impact Wrenches

Modern cordless power tools, gardening, and other equipment are usually based on lithium-ion batteries. This type of battery is not as finicky as their nickel-cadmium and metal hydride predecessors, which had to be “trained” and fully discharged before being charged.
Previously, a screwdriver often included a flashlight in the delivery package, but according to the manufacturer’s idea, it was needed not so much as a light source, but as a tool for completely discharging the battery with a small current.
However, even a modern Li-ion battery has a limited number of charges and discharges.

Useful Tips for Battery Care of Cordless Impact Wrenches

Aspect Tips
Charging * Use the manufacturer's charger. * Avoid overcharging (remove from charger when full). * Charge in cool, dry areas (avoid extreme temperatures).
Storage * Store in cool, dry places (ideally 50-70°F). * Store partially charged (around 50%). *.
Usage & Maintenance * Clean battery contacts regularly with a dry cloth. * Expected lifespan: 3-5 years (depending on usage). * Avoid extreme hot/cold environments (store batteries indoors when not in use).
Battery Issues * if you are facing reduced runtime, longer charging times, tool not reaching full power. * Overheating/swelling: stop using immediately.
Disposal * Never throw away batteries in the trash. * Recycle at recommended electronics recycling centers (check the manufacturer's website for specific instructions).

For good batteries, the number of cycles is measured in several thousand, but if used improperly and without caring for the battery, their life cycle can be significantly shortened. And if the battery is still far from complete failure, a decrease in the capacity and operating time of devices without recharging may become noticeable soon.

Accessories for Cordless Wrenches

Accessory Description Example
Socket Sets Attach the wrench to various nuts & bolts. Select sets with: * Compatible drive size (e.g., ½ inch) ½" drive metric socket set (common for car repairs)
Battery Packs Spare batteries reduce downtime. Consider capacity (Ah): * Higher Ah = longer runtime (e.g., 4.0 Ah battery use with a 250 ft-lbs wrench). 2.0 Ah & 4.0 Ah battery options for a specific wrench model
Chargers Replace or add a fast charger. Standard charger (e.g., 1-2 hours for a 2.0 Ah battery) or fast charger (e.g., 30-minute charge)
Belt Clips & Holsters Keep the wrench accessible on your belt. Quick access and holster for better protection
LED Lights Enhance visibility in low light. LED light enhances  visibility
Protective Tool Covers Protect the wrench during storage/transport. Neoprene cover for standard protection
Carrying Cases Organize & transport wrenches, batteries, chargers, etc. Hard case for maximum protection
Extension Bars Delivers more reach (choose lengths following your requirements). 3", 6", and 12" extension bar options
Adapters Allow using sockets with multiple drive sizes. ½" to ¼" drive adapter for using smaller sockets with a larger wrench
Tool Lanyards Prevent drops on ladders/scaffolding. Lanyard with carabiner clip
Grease & Lubricants Accelerate fastener efficiency. Also minimized tool wear. Anti-seize compound
Torque Sticks Indicate a pre-set torque (prevents over-tightening). orque stick with adjustable range (e.g., 100-300 ft-lbs
Maintenance Kits Brushes, lubricants, etc. Kit with cleaning brushes and socket adapter

6. The Use of Cordless Impact Wrench Guide

PPE is crucial before operating cordless impact wrenches. It’s highly recommended to use safety glasses with side shields to protect the eyes from any flying debris that may dislodge during impact. You must also put on ear protective devices since these tools produce loud noise.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Usage

  1. Always work with safety glasses.
  2. Use hearing protection.
  3. Observe the duration of use (trigger and exposure limit
    for hand-arm vibrations). You can find information about this under further information.
  4. Remove rings, necklaces, watches, or similar objects.
  5. Wear tight-fitting clothing, fold the sleeves inwards, and close the jacket.
  6. Pneumatic tools may only be operated and maintained by trained persons.
  7. When working with rotating tools where there is a risk of being drawn in (feed points, trapping points), gloves must not be worn. For this purpose, appropriate determinations must be made as part of the risk assessment.
    The manufacturer's specifications and instructions must be observed.

Maintenance & Troubleshooting Tips

Issue Possible Cause Solution
Reduced Power or Runtime
  1. Low battery
  2. Dirty contacts
  3. Damaged brushes (motor)
  4. Faulty battery
1:Recharge battery
2: Clean battery contacts with a dry cloth
3: Replace brushes
4: Replace the battery if faulty
Excessive Noise or Vibration
  1. Loose fasteners
  2. Damaged internal components
  3. Damaged bearings
1: Tighten all external fasteners
2:  Contact a service center for internal component inspection
3: Consider replacing the wrench if bearings are excessively worn
Wrench Not Starting
  1. Dead battery
  2. Faulty charger
  3. Defective switch
1: Check battery charge and replace if necessary
2:  Ensure the charger is functioning properly (test with another battery)
3: Contact a service center for switch repair/replacement
Slow Charging
  1. Faulty charger
  2.  Damaged battery
  3. Extreme temperatures
1: Try a different charger
2: Replace the battery if faulty
3: Charge in a cool, dry environment (avoid extreme temperatures)
  1. Excessive use without rest periods
  2. Blocked ventilation
  3. Worn brushes (motor)
1: Allow wrench to cool down between uses
2: Clear any debris blocking vents
3: Replace brushes if applicable (consult manual)


What are Common Mistakes to Avoid?

Here is the list of the 7 most common mistakes beginners and sometimes professionals make using cordless impact wrenches:

  1. Wrong Tool for the Job
  2. Over tightening
  3. Using Soft Materials
  4. Not Following Charging Guidelines
  5. Ignoring Battery Storage Conditions
  6. Neglecting Safety Gear
  7. Using a Damaged Wrench

7. What is an Impact Wrench Used For?

When delivery of high torque is the aim, nothing can beat a cordless impact wrench.  Its capability to loosen or tighten bolts and nuts powerfully makes it indispensable in multiple applications. Here is a list of the most common uses of these tools.

Automotive Applications:

  1. Lug Nut Changes
  2. Engine and Drivetrain Work
  3. Exhaust System Maintenance
  4. Undercarriage Repairs


  1. Structural Steel Assembly
  2. Heavy Machinery Maintenance
  3. HVAC System Installation
  4. Roofing Projects

DIY Home Project Uses

  1. Deck Construction
  2. Appliance Installation
  3. Furniture Assembly
  4. Heavy-Duty Yard Work

8. What Features Should I Consider When Buying a Cordless Impact Wrench?


For DIY Projects:

Consider the price-performance ratio and the assumed frequency of use of the device. Spending several hundred euros on a tool that you need “from time to time” doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Pay attention to the torque and power transmission. The torque should not be less than approximately 100 Newton meters.
Lithium-ion batteries are essential. They are longer-lasting, provide better voltage, and are reliable.
If possible, look for an impact wrench with a multi-speed transmission. While not a must, it’s a feature rarely found, especially in cheaper models.


For Professionals:

Prioritize performance and consider the battery voltage based on the application. Similarly, evaluate battery life and the availability of replacement batteries.
Opt for an impact wrench with a keyless chuck for smoothly changing different tool attachments. Multi-speed transmission is crucial for more versatile use and precise work. Stick with a lithium-ion battery, as mentioned earlier.

9. Conclusion

Buying the right cordless impact wrenches will help you to complete your project effectively. We recommend OneVantool to get high-performance impact wrenches. These brushless impact wrenches deliver excellent torque output by minimizing the operator input. We offer a variety of models in popular sizes (1/2" and 3/4") to suit a wide range of applications.
Visit our website to browse an extensive range of power tools.

10. FAQ:

1. Do I need a cordless impact wrench?

Yes, you need a cordless impact wrench if you are facing tough and complicated tasks. It is an excellent power tool for fast, high-torque tasks. Think mechanics zipping off lug nuts or construction workers driving large lags. For occasional DIY projects or loose bolts, a regular wrench suffers significantly. But, if you are looking for real-time solutions for the rusty fasteners, a cordless impact wrench can fix these issues in a matter of seconds.

2. What would you use an impact wrench for?

An impact wrench handles tasks that demand real muscle. It is a sort of supercharged version of the tool which loosens bolts, blasting them off with quick blows. Consequently, it is ideal for mechanics who have to quickly take off nuts on wheels during tire replacement. They are used by builders to screw in very large lag bolts into dense materials. Moreover, they also work well when it comes to freeing stuck or frozen fasteners as well as applying lots of pressure on tightening bolts.

3. What are cordless impact drivers good for?

Cordless impact drivers are all about power and convenience for everyday tasks. Unlike wrenches, they're compact and lightweight, making them easy to handle for long jobs. The extra punch they deliver helps you screw into dense wood or metal with ease. They’re great for assembling furniture fast or building decks; anything that needs numerous screws. Think of them as a supercharged screwdriver that saves you time and effort.

4. What is the purpose of the impact wrench?

The main aim of an impact wrench is to give high torque using impacts. This enables one to loose stubborn nuts and bolts or tightening things very firmly. When using an impact wrench, it is similar to tapping the cover off with a rubber mallet; taps give additional force that is needed to break the seal.
This makes impact wrenches ideal for situations when you want to get rid of substantial resistance, such as unbending a rusted bolt or clamping something down really tight.

5. Can I use impact wrench as drill?

NO! You cannot utilize an impact wrench as a drill. Although both turn, they serve different purposes.
Impact wrenches are for high torque. They provide a strong rotational force with a pounding motion to dislodge jammed fasteners or tighten bolts effectively.
Drills bore holes. They have a jaw that holds drills and rotates at deliberate rates so as to make delicate perforations in multiple substances.
Using an impact wrench for drilling could harm the device and the workpiece. Stick with a drill for operations involving drilling.

6. Should you use an impact wrench on lug nuts?

Surely, lug nuts for instance would be a great application of impact wrenches. In case you need to change your tires properly and safely, impact wrenches with their high torque are what you should go for.  Unfortunately though there’s a hitch:

  1. It is recommended to loosen the lug nut but not to tight them.
  2. Over-tightening lug nuts with an impact wrench will lead to damaging the threads

For tightening, follow up with a torque wrench to ensure the lug nuts are secure at recommended (ft-lbs) specified in your car's manual.

7.Can you use a cordless impact wrench to remove lug nuts?

Cordless impact wrenches are excellent choice removing lug nuts. Here's why:

Cordless impact wrenches deliver high torque with rapid impacts, easily breaking free/even the most stubborn lug nuts that rusted since longer times.
Cordless wrenches are convenient. It means no need for an air compressor, making them portable and perfect for roadside emergencies. Subsequently, cordless impact wrench loosens nuts in seconds, securing you from frustration and time wastage.
It is recommended to incorporate these wrenches for loosening, not tightening.Use a torque wrench afterwards to ensure the lug nuts are tightened.

8. Can you use a battery powered impact wrench for lug nuts?

Battery powered impact wrenches are very effective for lug nuts. These powerful tools are highly effective delivering high torque with fast impacts which can easily loosen even the most difficult of lug nuts; particularly rusted nuts. They are not like pneumatic wrenches as there is no need of an air compressor that is bulky a difficult to use at home or during roadside emergencies.  A wrench with higher battery capacity (rated in Ah) means long-term performance in single charge.

9. Which is better air or battery impact wrench?

Air Impact Wrench:

  1. Higher Power: Air impact wrenches can deliver significantly more torque compared to cordless wrenches.
  2. Continuous Use: Air compressors are constant source of power. You can use them without worried about the battery life.
  3. Lower Cost: Air impact wrenches are typically cheaper.


  1. Less Portable
  2. Limited Workspace
  3. Generate a lot of noise
  4. Requires regular maintenance

Battery-Powered Impact Wrench:

  1. Highly Portable: Cordless design enable these tools to be carried away anywhere
  2. Convenience: No need to set up hoses or a power source.
  3. Quieter Operation: Significantly make less noise compared to air wrenches.
  4. Lower Maintenance: Requires minimum maintenance.


  1. Lower Power
  2. Limited Use Time 
  3. Battery Cost
10. How many ft-lbs of torque to remove lug nuts?

There is no definite answer because it needs on the type of vehicle. Here are general range guidelines:

  1. Most passenger cars fall within 75 - 100 ft-lbs for lug nut removal.
  2. Larger vehicles like SUVs or trucks generally require 100 - 150 ft-lbs for removal.