Great comparison test, better than the others I read online. I ended up buying the first gen Milwaukee, which is still a great gun. I used a co-workers and was impressed pulling lug nuts off a one-ton dump truck. I was able to get the gun, hard case, set of Milwaukee-branded impact sockets, two 5.0Ah batteries, the charger, gun nose protection boot, and Milwaukee LED worklight for $450. Too good a deal to pass up.
As well as generating so much torque, cordless impact wrenches are very precise, which makes them ideal for numerous applications. It’s much safer to use this type of power tool when working on a construction site, or when securing lug nuts on a wheel, as opposed to doing it by hand. Even though all impact wrenches function in the same way, if you perform a cordless impact wrench comparison, it’s easy to notice that they do have many differences.
While pistol impact wrenches are bulkier, their grip style is more ergonomic to prevent strain on your hands, which in turn allows you to work for longer periods without fatigue. Some of these models can equip side handles which let you use your weight for greater leverage and to maintain a proper working angle. If you don’t need the special fit of an inline wrench, a pistol-style impact wrench is usually the ideal choice.
If you have the Matco MCL2012HPIWK impact wrench, then you should be proud of it. It won’t leave someone stranded by not doing work. In fact, when using the Matco Tools impact, it felt like it hit the hardest initially when removing a fastener, and this showed in our speed test. It does lack in the total power department, but that’s not the real reason this impact finished in 8th place.
Impact wrenches are available in all sizes and in several styles, depending on the application. ¼" drive wrenches are commonly available in both inline (the user holds the tool like a screwdriver, with the output on the end) and pistol grip (the user holds a handle which is at right angles to the output) forms, and less commonly in an angle drive, which is similar to an inline tool but with a set of bevel gears to rotate the output 90°. ⅜" impacts are most commonly available in pistol grip form and a special inline form known as a "butterfly" wrench, which has a large, flat throttle paddle on the side of the tool which may be tilted to one side or the other to control the direction of rotation, rather than using a separate reversing control, and shaped to allow access into tight areas. Regular inline and angle ⅜" drive impact wrenches are uncommon, but available. ½" drive units are virtually only available in pistol grip form, with any inline type being virtually impossible to obtain, due to the increased torque transmitted back to the user and the greater weight of the tool requiring the larger handle. ¾" drive impact wrenches are again essentially only available in pistol grip form. 1" drive tools are available in both pistol grip and "D handle" inline, where the back of the tool has an enclosed handle for the user to hold. Both forms often also incorporate a side handle, allowing both hands to hold the tool at once. 1¼" and larger wrenches are usually available in "T handle" form, with two large handles on either side of the tool body, allowing for maximum torque to be applied to the user, and giving the best control of the tool. Very large impact wrenches (up to several hundred thousand foot-pounds of torque) usually incorporate eyelets in their design, allowing them to be suspended from a crane, lift, or other device, since their weight is often more than a person can move. A recent design combines an impact wrench and an air ratchet, often called a "reactionless air ratchet" by the manufacturers, incorporating an impact assembly before the ratchet assembly. Such a design allows very high output torques with minimal effort on the operator, and prevents the common injury of slamming one's knuckles into some part of the equipment when the fastener tightens down and the torque suddenly increases. Specialty designs are available for certain applications, such as removing crankshaft pulleys without removing the radiator in a vehicle.

You asked for it, and we deliver. Our content is full of real data to determine the results in this best cordless impact wrench shootout, so you can make an educated purchase decision. Cordless impact wrenches continue to gain traction with the Pros, so more and more brands are entering the arena. With all the numbers like torque, IPM, BPM, RPM and all the other acronyms thrown around, we do our best to clear the mud.
We used a 10-inch x 10-inch I-beam made with 1/2” (.470) steel. The I-beam has ten (10) grade 8 hardened bolts with a 7/8” diameter inserted, along with appropriate nuts and washers. The torque specification for this size bolt is 454 pounds. This means that at 454 ft-lbs of torque, the bolt is in its elastic or stretched state. We pushed the limits a bit and torqued all ten bolts to 500 ft-lbs for each impact wrench.
Impact wrenches are available in all sizes and in several styles, depending on the application. ¼" drive wrenches are commonly available in both inline (the user holds the tool like a screwdriver, with the output on the end) and pistol grip (the user holds a handle which is at right angles to the output) forms, and less commonly in an angle drive, which is similar to an inline tool but with a set of bevel gears to rotate the output 90°. ⅜" impacts are most commonly available in pistol grip form and a special inline form known as a "butterfly" wrench, which has a large, flat throttle paddle on the side of the tool which may be tilted to one side or the other to control the direction of rotation, rather than using a separate reversing control, and shaped to allow access into tight areas. Regular inline and angle ⅜" drive impact wrenches are uncommon, but available. ½" drive units are virtually only available in pistol grip form, with any inline type being virtually impossible to obtain, due to the increased torque transmitted back to the user and the greater weight of the tool requiring the larger handle. ¾" drive impact wrenches are again essentially only available in pistol grip form. 1" drive tools are available in both pistol grip and "D handle" inline, where the back of the tool has an enclosed handle for the user to hold. Both forms often also incorporate a side handle, allowing both hands to hold the tool at once. 1¼" and larger wrenches are usually available in "T handle" form, with two large handles on either side of the tool body, allowing for maximum torque to be applied to the user, and giving the best control of the tool. Very large impact wrenches (up to several hundred thousand foot-pounds of torque) usually incorporate eyelets in their design, allowing them to be suspended from a crane, lift, or other device, since their weight is often more than a person can move. A recent design combines an impact wrench and an air ratchet, often called a "reactionless air ratchet" by the manufacturers, incorporating an impact assembly before the ratchet assembly. Such a design allows very high output torques with minimal effort on the operator, and prevents the common injury of slamming one's knuckles into some part of the equipment when the fastener tightens down and the torque suddenly increases. Specialty designs are available for certain applications, such as removing crankshaft pulleys without removing the radiator in a vehicle.
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