Who hasn’t been in an uncomfortable position, straining their forehead’s veins, due to a recalcitrant bolt, nut, or fitting that will simply not budge?
That’s when you understand the importance of an impact driver! In this article, we’re going to address several things you must have in mind in order to pick the best cordless electric impact wrench for automotive use.
While a cordless impact wrench for the car might be a bit of an overkill to the average person, you will understand just how much you need it when you really need it. Automotive work demands precision and reliability – sometimes, even lives depend on the tightness of a fitting!
If you truly need to securely fasten a nut, much beyond the capacity of your own strength, you will have to bring out the best cordless impact wrench for automotive use. Don’t strain yourself, it won’t make a difference in some cases – just give the thing a swift, precise impact with one of these wrenches to lock it down!
Now, picking a tool is not a mindless task. You must factor several elements such as:
- The force you will need to apply
- Where you will apply the force
- The size of the fittings/nuts you’re working with
- Any and all the conveniences you might need
- Your budget
With all this said, let’s get right into the wrenching!
HOW TO PICK THE BEST CORDLESS ELECTRIC IMPACT WRENCH FOR AUTOMOTIVE
To pick the proper cordless impact tool, you must consider a few things besides the price tag. To do so, you need to ascertain what you want to use it for, and what you expect from your tool!
If you’re looking for a cordless impact device to maintain your car, and you intend to use it on your small SUV, you’re going to get something drastically different than what you would for a cargo truck and conversely!
Any 1/2” cordless impact wrench would be good enough for most conventional automotive nuts – your daily four-wheeler might do with one of those, regardless of the brand.
The moment we step into the 4,000-pounder category, we must be more specific, and if we’re talking about odd angles, arrangements, or pieces, we really have to be specific.
Don’t forget to read the fine print, as well as the instructions for your wrench; for example, the needed air compressor will differ from one tool to another. A 3 (or 2) horsepower compressor will probably suffice, but most compact modern wrenches might need something along 60-90 PSI to effectively work, however.
Different strokes for different folks; different impacts for different nuts.
For an average person getting the necessary tools to maintain their vehicle, a conventional impact wrench will do the job. For the professional working with multiple cars, or much bigger categories, a stronger wrench with a mightier impact will be mandatory.
Some wrenches shed smaller impacts for more delicate pieces, others deliver over 300 ft lbs of raw impact to defeat even the toughest corroded nuts!
Lights, handle, reach, balance, battery gauge, additional sockets and different outlet adaptors.
Don’t neglect this if your needs are more specific. The average person might do with a simple cordless impact wrench, but if you’re working in harsher conditions, low-light environments, or with a myriad of vehicles, you will need different add-ons!
Some even have a mixture of all the previously mentioned, although that will cost far more.
Cheap tools aren’t just ineffective, some are straight-up dangerous!
Don’t assume that higher price = better quality, though. I encourage you to make a smart investment, but I also encourage you to get the very best deal you can!
Some overpriced tools are matched, or even outdone, by low-cost tools, and this isn’t just optimistic thinking or salesman discourse!
MAIN OR SECONDARY KEYWORD
MILWAUKEE’S M12 FUEL – MY CHOICE AS THE BEST 3/8 CORDLESS IMPACT WRENCH FOR AUTOMOTIVE
Light, maneuverable, and comfy. The M12 Fuel 3/8 Impact Wrench flies like a butterfly and stings like a bee. This handy wrench packs 1,400 inch/pounds worth of torque, attached to a 3/8” head.
We have already mentioned the Milwaukee’s tools in our reviews and this one is the best 3/8 device, no other way to put it! It comes with a long battery life, without ditching the fantastic 0-2,650 RPM speed.
Sure, this little bee doesn’t pack that much torque, but the fact it comes with 1,400 inch/pounds worth of twist power, in a 3/8” head and weighing only 2 pounds makes it a great tool!
Going up in weight categories will render this wrench redundant, but it shines in the conventional bracket!
Weighing 2 pounds, and measuring 6.4 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches, the M12 Fuel is a serviceable tool that will give you multiple hours of work without fatigue or strain – its rubberized grip and ergonomic handle will ensure that.
The battery has a long life, but unfortunately, it lacks a gauge.
At about $120-150, the M12 Fuel is one hell of a deal! I There’s no way you can go wrong with this!
Final Verdict: 8/10
The amazing performance, impressive maneuverability, and low price make the M12 Fuel a solid investment – If you’ve got no need for a bigger wrench, look no further, as you’ve found your tool!
MAKITA’S XWT11Z 18V LXT – PERFECT FOR ANY AUTOMOTIVE AND HOME WORK
Big, professional, and strong. Makita’s tools adorn more than one garage worldwide, and for a good reason!
Their beloved tools put quality and reliability at the disposal of both hobbyists and professionals, and the XWT11Z 18V LXT is not an exception. With 2,520 inch/pounds of torque, this wrench will put up more than enough for most automotive professionals.
In this review, another Makita XWT-series impact wrench was given the title: The Best Choice.
2,520 inch/pounds of twisting power are enough for most, including hobbyists and professionals. Not a gargantuan impact, but for the ones who don’t need it, the XWT11Z 18V LXT is, quite often, more than adequate.
It comes with 3 speed configurations to offer superior fastening control: 0-1,600; 0-2,100; and 0-2,800 RPM.
A bit under 3 lbs. without the 4.0Ah battery, and finally almost 4 lbs. with it. It’s not the smallest wrench out there, but considering its long battery life, quick charge-up, and considerable power, it doesn’t sound as bad!
Bear in mind that it is still compact for what it offers – some wrenches in the same category are much heavier or larger!
At about $170-190, the XWT11Z 18V LXT is a respectable deal, while not as cheap as other tools, it provides impressive power for its price!
Final Verdict: 7.6/10
Low price, for what it provides, and with great power and adequate maneuverability. A solid choice for any prospective mechanic!
INGERSOLL RAND’S W7150-K2 – THE MOST POWERFUL BUT HEAVY
This is it, the most gargantuan cordless impact wrench for working on cars. It can deliver up to 13,200 inch/pounds worth of torque. Such a staggering force shouldn’t even be needed, but should you need it, well, you’ve got it!
The W7150-K2 puts a massive sling in your hand to bring down any goliath you find, but it does so at an expensive price – proper, considering the exploits of the brand and the tool itself.
This hulking beast will remove ANYTHING you need, seriously. 13,200 inch/pounds of torque for a tool weighing about 7 pounds. Impressive power-to-weight ratio, if not the best of its class!
Comes with a long battery life, smart battery management, optimized balance, and ergonomic handle. If you can’t get behind its weight, the W7150-K2 is your tool!
The casing is pretty durable, and all-metal housing is even bombproof. I can’t understand how this monster can be cordless, but it is!
And this is the not-so-pretty part. You wouldn’t expect this bad boy to be cheap, would you?
It comes in the price range of $440-500, depending on the add-ons of the package. Can we blame Ingersoll Rand for the hefty price tag? I don’t think so!
Final Verdict: 7/10
This is, by all accounts, a specialty product. If you’re an average person with normal loads, there’s no need for this wrench. On the other hand, if you’re an automotive professional, working with heavy loads (4,000 pounds and above) then you’re going to love the W7150-K2!
The price tag turns this tool into a literal financial investment; you can expect this tool to deliver dividends if you’re a professional!
Simply put, the best electric impact wrench for automotive is the one that suits you!
I personally prefer the M12 Fuel as it provides respectable power, bundled with impressive maneuverability and a cheap price tag. But Makita’s wrench provides a middle ground for those who need more power at a serviceable price.
Lastly, for the heavyweights out there, Ingersoll Rand’s W7150-K2 wins by knockout against most, to not say all, nuts out there!
I hope this review helped you find what option suits you the best, good luck!