Using a cordless impact wrench for automotive use makes light work of any bolts that refuse to move. It’s the best power tool for anyone planning on removing a large quantity of bolts such as lug nuts or other automotive components. Compared to the standard impact wrench, a cordless alternative is far more portable, which means you are able to move around the car without the hassle of being connected to a power cord.
If you require a quick answer, the best cordless impact wrench for automotive use is the Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2, which is lightweight and easily removes lug nuts with 13,200 in-lb of torque. However, if you are on a tight budget but still require great performance, the Milwaukee 2753-22 is the best alternative.
In terms of rating the cordless impact wrenches within this article, we based our recommendations upon plenty of research, experience and multiple factors. The factors that we considered included their torque specification, weight, speed settings, battery life, additional accessories, warranty and value for money.
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Cordless Impact Wrench Comparison
|Cordless Impact Wrench||Torque||Weight|
|Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2||13,200 in-lb||5.3 LBS|
|Milwaukee 2753-22||1,800 in-lb||2.1 LBS|
|Bosch IWBH182B||1,650 in-lb||2.9 LBS|
|DEWALT DCF883M2||1,560 in-lb||3.4 LBS|
|Makita XWT11T||2,520 in-lb||3.8 LBS|
|Ryobi P261 ONE+||3,600 in-lb||3.4 LBS|
From a rusty bolt to those that simply don’t want to shift. The latest cordless impact wrenches are designed for these situations and use powerful batteries with a plenty of torque. Unlike the corded or air tool alternatives, you are able to move around freely without the restriction of a cord yet still have all the power you need.
Whilst browsing the various options available, you will want to ensure that the wrench you purchase has various socket sets included because they are certainly required when working on cars.
Below is a list of the best cordless impact wrenches that are ideal for automotive use.
The Best Cordless Impact Wrench For Automotive Use
1. Ingersoll Rand W7150 Impact Wrench
The Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2 is one of the most popular impact wrenches on the market and everything is built with quality in mind. Although expensive, it’s the ultimate option for any professional mechanic or enthusiasts. If maximum torque is what you require, it has an impressive 13,200 in-lb of torque, which is more than enough for automotive use.
Other features of the Ingersoll Rand W7150 K2 include:
- 13,200 in-lb of torque
- 9,360 in-lb of reverse torque
- 1/2 square drive
- Weighs 5.3 LBS
- Long life 20V lithium-ion battery with a 2 year warranty
- 3 year free repair warranty or replacement
- High efficiency earth magnet motor
- All-metal drive train
- Metal reinforced housing for durability
Weighing so little, you would expect the battery to be poor, however the two Lithium Ion batteries are very efficient and keep charge for over 4 hours. Included in the kit are two batteries and the charger, which allows you to keep the batteries fully charged.
As you can see from the vast amount of features, this is a perfectly capable cordless impact wrench that can be used for a range of applications. The metal reinforced housing also makes it a heavy duty tool for those working in tough environments too.Check it Out
2. Milwaukee 2753-22 Cordless Impact Wrench
Milwaukee are a highly reputable power tool brand and their 2753-22 impact wrench is a great choice that packs plenty of power. In terms of performance, it delivers 1,800 inch-pounds of torque and has a brush-less motor that delivers 0-3000 RPM at a constant power.
The brand’s patented DRIVE Control enables you to have maximum control of the speed and power whilst using the tool. There are 4 different modes that include 0-850 RPM, 0-2,100, 0-3,000 RPM and a designated self-tapping screw mode.
Other features of the Milwaukee 2753-22 M18 include:
- Lightweight at 2.1 LBS
- 1,800 in-lb of torque
- Impressive 5 year warranty
- 4 different speed settings
- Advanced electronic system to prevent battery damage
- Constant power output between 0-3,000 RPM
Although the brand offer several cheaper models, the 2753-22 M18 is the best option if you want maximum performance whilst on a budget. It also weighs just 2.1 LBS, which makes it one of the lightest impact wrenches on the market.Check it Out
3. Bosch IWBH182B Cordless Impact Wrench
Bosch are another major brand in the power tools industry and their IWBH182B impact wrench is highly rated option with a hybrid design. It also has the ability to take both a 1/4 inch hex and 1/2 inch socket, which makes it even more versatile.
According to the brand, the brush-less motor has twice the lifespan of many of the alternatives. This is thanks to the advanced electronic and cell protection technology, which prevents overheating and overloading.
Other features of the Bosch IWBH182B include:
- Weighs just 2.9 LBS
- 1,650 in-lb of torque
- 1/2 inch square drive
- Advanced electronic and cell protection
- Battery cooling technology
- Small grip diameter for comfort
The clever technology such as “Cool Pack” involves heat conductive housing to keep the battery at optimum temperature to ensure it has a long life.
Overall, the Bosch cordless impact wrench is an advanced cordless impact wrench that won’t disappoint and is perfect for working on cars.Check it Out
4. DEWALT DCF883M2 20Volt Wrench Kit
Dewalt are one of the largest manufactures of power tools and their cordless impact wrench doesn’t disappoint. The DCF883M2 is one of their most popular models that’s compact and lightweight, which is great for automotive use. It uses the brands XR Li-Ion batteries that provides a third more battery power than standard packs and includes the intuitive power gauge for tracking battery use.
Other features of the Dewalt DCF883M2 3/8 Kit include:
- Weighs just 3.8 LBS
- 1,560 in-lb of torque
- 3/8 inch square drive
- Hog ring anvil to easily change sockets
- 3 LED lights for visibility in poor lighting
- Battery life of approximately 24 hours
- 3 year limited manufacturer warranty
The DCF883M2 is fairly expensive but for the premium price tag, you have superior build quality and the reputable brand backing. It’s the one of the best cordless impact wrench kits available and even comes with an extra battery, heavy duty case and a charger.Check it Out
5. Makita XWT11Z Cordless Impact Wrench
The Makita XWT11Z is another great option to consider and it uses a brushless motor that delivers 2,520 in-lb of torque. To improve the control you have of the impact wrench, it has the choice of 3 speed settings for precise fastening. Depending upon your budget, Makita offers both a 2.0 or 5.0Ah battery where both use the brand’s advanced power management technology.
Other features of the Makita XWT11Z include:
- Compact and ergonomic design
- Reverse rotation auto-stop modes
- LED charge level indicator
- Weighs 3.8 LBS
- 45 minute battery recharge time
- Includes a 3 year limited warranty
The Makita XWT11Z is an excellent all-round cordless impact wrench for automotive use with more than enough torque for most tasks. If your budget allows, we highly recommend choosing the larger battery for extra run-time and less recharging.Check it Out
6. Ryobi P261 18 Volt One+ Impact Wrench
The last in the list is the Ryobi P261 impact wrench, which is one of our budget recommendations. It’s a cheap and powerful cordless impact wrench that’s great for automotive use such as lug nuts or stubborn rusty bolts.
A unique feature of this impact wrench is the LED lighting, which increases the visibility of the work area in dark conditions.
Other features of the Ryobi P261 include:
- 3,600 in-lb of torque
- Weighs 3.45 LBS
- 1/2 square drive
- 3,200 impacts per minute
- 3 different speed settings
- Ergonomic grip for comfort
Although it’s fairly low powered when compared with the more expensive alternatives, it’s still has more than enough torque for lug nuts and other bolts. However, as it’s a budget cordless impact wrench, it won’t be as long lasting but for the average car owner that uses it once or twice a year, it’s more than ideal.Check it Out
How We Rated The Cordless Impact Wrenches
As well as owning a number of impact wrenches over the years, we also based our recommendations upon research and multiple factors. The factors that we considered included their torque specification, weight, speed settings, battery life, additional accessories, warranty and value for money.
Automotive Cordless Impact Wrench Buying Guide
The market for cordless impact wrenches is very saturated but the recommendations above are all suited for automotive use such as removing lug nuts. Without a powerful impact wrench, you can find yourself struggling to remove old bolts that simply won’t budge. It’s a tool that you will want to use alongside your torque wrench in order to work smarter and not harder.
Impact Wrench Torque
The main feature that many people ask is “what’s the power of the impact wrench”. All impact wrenches have a max torque with various settings to choose from but it’s not necessarily a number you should focus on too much.
Over-torquing nuts and bolts can become problematic i.e. lug nuts that are impossible to take off on the roadside. Ingersoll Rand mentioned that over tightening of lug nuts can even cause the wheel to fall off completely.
On the packaging or documentation of the automotive component that you are tightening, you will be able to see the max torque setting. You may be surprised by how little torque is actually required and this may sway your buying decision if you are purely basing your buying decision on the torque.
Measurements – In-lb & Ft-lb
It’s important to make sure that you are reading the correct measurements when comparing between different impact wrenches. Some manufacturers like to define torque ratings using ft-lb whereas some prefer to use an in-lb rating.
Within this article, we have kept to in-lb torque rating but if you divide the rating by 12, you will have the equivalent ft-lb rating of the wrench. Alternatively you can use an inch pounds to foot pounds calculator.
Rotations Per Minute (RPM) & Impacts Per Minute (IPM)
The majority of cordless impact wrenches will have around 2,500 – 3,000 RPM’s with the more RPM resulting in less user effort. Variable RPM is a feature that’s found on some impact wrenches and it can be particularly useful for rusted bolts where a lower RPM is more appropriate to prevent damage to the bolt.
Often confused with RPM is the IPM (Impacts Per Minute) rating, which is the amount of times it hits the anvil in a minute. The higher the IPM means that the wrench should be able to overcome larger resistance.
Weight and Batteries
The benefit of a cordless impact wrench over the corded alternative is that its more portable. However, if its weighted down by a heavy battery it can seem pretty pointless because you will need to give your arm a rest during long periods of use.
As technology has improved over the years, the cost of lightweight Lithium Ion batteries has decreased. This means a lot of the cordless impact wrenches use this type of battery to ensure the complete weight of the wrench is a light as possible.
All the batteries will be given an Ah rating, which is the “Amperage Hours” of the battery. The higher the Ah rating will reflect on how long the charge will stay with the battery. Overtime batteries do lose their charge and this is a big factor to consider.
It’s also important to remember that some manufacturers will show different weight ratings. They will either be the bare tool or the tool combined with a battery. Therefore, when comparing between the different weights, ensure you compare between the tools respectively if the weight is a big issue.
Most cordless impact wrenches are either 18V or 20V with the latter being the more powerful. You can find the voltage printed on the tool itself (as shown below) or on the battery of the cordless impact wrench. For automotive use, a voltage of 16V to 20V is ideal but in other applications, a higher voltage may be required. Higher voltage tools often come with an inflated price and this may be something to consider.
1/4, 3/8 or 1/2 Inch Drive
The drive size of a cordless impact wrench increases the torque performance with the larger (1/2 inch) offering greater strength. However, it does vary depending upon your usage and the type of applications that you will be using the tool for.
Intuitive Design Features
The basic design of an impact wrench is fairly similar between the brands but some do offer other design features. For example, the Bosch IWBH182B recommendation offers an extra small grip diameter so that it’s easier to hold for long periods.
Many of the premium options come with LED lights that are directed towards the work area to help within poor lighting conditions. Spending a little extra on the tool can make a huge difference and improve your work rate.
Air vs Cordless
For most light automotive tasks such as lug nuts, suspension or body work, using a cordless impact wrench is the best option. However, for certain heavy duty tasks, the air powered alternative may be the better option due to the increased torque ratings.
However, you can have the best air impact wrench available but it won’t be as portable or maintenance-free when compared to the likes of a cordless impact wrench.
All of our recommendation in the article are suited to all budgets and different applications of use. Professionals that work within the automotive industry may prefer the heavy duty Ingersoll Rand W7150-K2 but of course, this won’t be suited to those on a budget.
If you are fed up of tight bolts that simply wont shift, then investing into the best cordless impact wrench can make a huge difference. Although they are relatively expensive, they will last many years of heavy usage, which makes them a worthwhile investment.