You might think that looking for the cheapest air impact wrench is not worth it because you could end up with a tool that will break after a few days; an understandable concern, but not entirely true altogether.
While, indeed, most of the time cheap tools aren’t worth your money, you’ve got to consider that it boils down to buying intelligently—In other words, you must do your research before purchasing, just like you are doing right now.
Cheap Is Not Bad.
An air impact wrench makes your life easier; it makes the menial and repetitive work of unfastening and fastening lug nuts easier, but it also helps you when you can’t humanly turn a bolt further, or when corrosion stops you from unbolting it.
They’re also expensive tools, and if you’re looking for an air impact wrench for automotive use, the price tag might scare you off. Rest easy, I will give you the pointers to purchase the best cheap air impact wrench under $100.
How Do They Work?
An impact wrench, regardless of the type, delivers an intense series of blows with twisting motion, usually every five seconds or so—Such expenditure of torque is way more than we could ever attain with a regular wrench and it can unbolt lug nuts in mere seconds. You can switch them to move in reverse so they can be used to tighten as well.
Air impact wrenches are, you guessed it, pneumatic: they use air to operate. Air impact wrenches are noticeably more powerful than electrical (corded and cordless) wrenches but require an air compressor, something you might not have readily available on your house or on the road.
Besides more power, pneumatic wrenches are often lighter and better balanced, which makes them better in the eyes of professionals who strain themselves in automotive projects for hours.
If you do not want to read much – look at:
Our list of the best air impact wrenches under 100 dollars.
Some air impact wrenches are really bad
Lousy triggers, insufferable handles, next-to-zero power, irritatingly loud, excessive jamming and shaking, and the good old classic “breaks after the third use.” Those are the traits of a bad air impact wrench.
Any mechanic with a few years under the belt will tell you that your work is as good as your tools, as long as your skill matches it—Want one of the unanimously agreed pieces of advice? Stick to proven brands. If you’re going to spend less than $100 on a tool, only a respectable brand, such as Ingersoll-Rand, DeWalt, or Milwaukee, will provide you.
Do not read this and think “You are saying the rest of the brands are bad?”; Bosch, Hitachi, Aircat, Makita, and Craftsman are all good brands, for example, but the previously mentioned rarely disappoint.
In the article, however, we will cover some hidden gems you might not have checked before.
Picking A Good Cheap Air Impact Wrench
Ingersoll Rand 236
Ingersoll Rand never disappoints, and the 236 compact air wrench is not an exception-
Arguably, it boasts the third-best power-to-size ratio of its category, shedding 450 ft. lbs. of maximum torque and 7,400 RPM of maximum speed.
Its compact design, 5.3 lbs. and measuring 7-1/8 inches in length, is no less impressive, considering the hard yet light materials are made to last—The two-piece construction ensures convenient motor accessibility, lending reliable service along with a forward/reverse power regulator to measure the power you deliver.
It features a single-hammer impact mechanism that reduces the length, making the tool perfect for tough-to-reach places.
All in all, the 236 is an excellent tool, and you can find it for as low as $90. Considering the brand’s prestige and the tools specs, I’d say that’s an agreeable price!
Astro 1822 1/2″
Letting the big brands hog all the glory doesn’t seem fair to me, so let’s review a few hidden gems!
450 ft. lbs. of max torque seem impossible for such a compact tool, but Astro managed to pull it off! Amazon’s staggering number of 5-star ratings of the product speaks volumes about its profile.
The Nano Impact Wrench can shed blows in 3 forward and 3 reverse settings, with up to 450 ft. lbs. of torque. The tool’s most impressive aspect, however, is the design: 3-7/8″ overall and weighing 3 lbs., this is an impressive power-to-weight ratio!
It features an innovative twin hammer design that ensures durability—Considering that it is not much longer than your credit card, the 1822’s boasts huge power; it scales fantastically with better air pressure, so you might even outdo the more expensive electrical wrenches with this handy little thing.
You can get this beauty really for cheap, and let me tell you that such price feels like a steal.
Aircat 1055 – The WinnerAircat’s tool might not seem like much, but this little cat boasts 500 ft. lbs. of maximum torque and 1,600 blows per minute — I couldn’t believe it at first!
It relies on a jumbo hammer to deliver maximum power, but it is made with heavy-duty materials to ensure durability. It is constructed with low-weight aluminum alloy housing to weigh about 2.75 lbs., turning the 1055 into the winner of the power-to-size ratios in the category.
It features the usual trigger-mounted combined reverse & power management switch to cut down on both material and space, leading to advanced one-handed control and operation. It employs cutting-edge silencing technology, decreasing the noise level to about 89 dB, kind of like the sound you’d hear at 20 ft from a car wash.
At last, we come to the price tag: ranging around $70. This truly feels like a steal, and I know that you might be thinking “this ought to be a scam,” but the number of 5-star ratings in Amazon heavily lean towards the quality of the 1055.
You can get some solid tools for under $100. The super cheap air impact wrench, in my opinion, is Aircat’s 1055—Paying less for such a powerful tool is a deal I wouldn’t want to miss.
Regardless of this, the tool you need comes down to your own needs. You’re bound to find your ideal tool if you do your own research, which you already do!
Hopefully, this article gave you some pointers. Good luck with your search!