Best 1/2″ Impact Wrench (ULTIMATE BUYER’S GUIDE 2018)


You will be amazed to know a simple tool like an impact wrench has become a tool-shop standard owing to its high efficiency and great utility. Whether it’s an automobile workshop, maintenance work, DIY assignments or heavy mechanical jobs, an impact wrench is one of the main power tools for all these tool-room jobs. If you are done with broken tools, injuries or lot of time wastage, it’s time to buy the best impact wrench that meets your varied job requirements.

But, it’s not an easy task to get an impact tool that is perfectly suitable for your workloads because any wrong parameter selected and you are in danger of damaging your job. The buying guide below is crafted carefully to let you take an accurate decision when it comes to picking a best ½ impact wrench.

AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench4.2/5Check Price
DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2" Impact Wrench Kit4.6/5Check Price
Ingersoll-Rand 231C 1/2-Inch pneumatic impact wrench4.8/5Check Price
NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench4.3/5Check Price

>>Check out the best 1/2″ impact wrenches here<<


What is an Impact wrench?

An impact wrench is a handy tool used to fasten or loosen the nuts or bolts. The Impact wrench is also known by the names, impact drill or impact gun. The main components of any type of impact wrench are the motor, hammer, anvil, and socket. The motor generates energy which is transferred to hammer. The hammer, in turn, creates a torque on the anvil which makes the socket rotate either in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction subject to whether you are fastening or removing the nut. The impact wrenches can be pistol shaped or in-line. The pistol shape is an L-shaped wrench and is more comfortable to use in restricted spaces.

Types of Impact Wrench

The impact wrenches can be classified according to the way they are powered up. Following are the most common types of the impact wrench.

  • Pneumatic Impact Wrench. This type of impact wrench works on compressed air and you need to have an air compressor to operate pneumatic impact wrench. The amount of torque produced is heavier of all types of the impact wrench and these wrenches are mainly used at automotive workshops and heavy duty jobs.
  • Electrical Impact Wrench. The electrical type impact wrench is powered by a single phase electrical outlet. The setup cost is quite less as compared to pneumatic type wrenches since there is no need to invest on an air These can be used at home and light industrial works. The electrical impact wrench can also be powered by batteries and hence this cordless impact driver offers better mobility than all the types.
  • Hydraulic Impact Wrench. The hydraulic based impact wrench finds their application in heavy construction sites and large manufacturing units where they already have hydraulics setup. The hydraulic impact wrench generates incredible torque which may not be required for DIY or automotive jobs.


The impact wrenches are available in various types and sizes. The most common size is ½” Inch and the major areas of their application are:

  • Construction sites
  • Manufacturing units
  • Automotive workshops
  • Machinery maintenance
  • Assembly lines
  • Home jobs

Factors to consider while selecting a Best 1/2″ Impact Wrench

  • Drive Size. ½ Inches drive size generates the maximum torque and are used for wide range light to heavy duty applications. Other sizes that are available are ¾”, 3/8” and ¼ Inch.
  • Wrench Size. The small sized impact wrench, being compact in size are easy to carry and you can work in restricted areas where large size impact wrench fails. You can get the mobility at the cost of torque since the small sized wrench often comes with lower torque as compared to large sized wrench.
  • Torque is one of the key parameters to look for. In simpler words it just the power capacity of an impact wrench. Depending on your workload requirement you should decide the minimum or maximum torque needed. Picking an impact wrench with higher torque ratings than required can cause damage to the job or may inflict injuries.
  • If you job work requires working for longer durations of time, then you must go for a light weight impact drill. On the other hand, if need to perform smaller household jobs then you can pick a heavy impact wrench.
  • IPM stands for impacts per minute and is calculated as the number of strikes done by hammer on the output shaft, also called anvil. Higher the IPM value better will be fastening speed.
  • No Load speed. The speed of an impact wrench when it is not subjected to any load is the no load speed of an impact wrench. Higher “no load speed” will produce a lesser amount of torque. So unless you really need to finish the jobs fast, you should go for an impact wrench with higher torque instead of high “no load speed”.
  • Variable torque. It is also one of the significant factors to consider while buying the best impact gun for yourself. You need to adjust the torque according to the job requirement otherwise, you may end up breaking the lug nuts or damaging the heavy equipment.
  • While you hold the impact wrench in one hand, it should be properly balanced and the handle should be comfortable to grip without any slippage.

Reviews of Best 1/2″ Impact Wrench – 2017

Below are the impact guns’ reviews that are compiled to help you pick the best impact gun for your specific job-work.

AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

Aircat has made a significant performance in Pneumatic power tools line in the last 30 years and to date, Aircat brand is respected by many industry engineers for the sheer power and quality of its ½” Inch Impact wrenches.

Reasonably priced, Aircat 1150 ½” impact wrench is air-powered, compact size and a robust impact wrench. Do not get misled by its small size since it can produce an enormous torque of 1295 ft-lb that enables you to work heavy-duty equipment with ease. All the parts of 1150 impact wrench are made from high-quality steel and consists of twin-hammer that is capable of producing 1400 impact per minute.

The technicians have found Aircat 1150 ½ Inch impact wrench as one of the quite models of an air powered impact wrench with noise levels limited to 85 decibels. The low noise is attributed the patented tuned exhaust technology of Aircat which prevents the creation of back air-pressure and helps in reducing the noise levels to a great extent. The ergonomically designed 1150 impact wrench has unique balance as you are able to hold it in single hand effortlessly during its operation. The vibration free and comfortable handling lets you work all day without ant stress or tiredness.

The Aircat 1150 which is the best impact drill till date can be run at an amazing speed pf 9000 rpm, which can be varied with an easy to operate the flip switch. Assembled in the USA, the Aircat 1150 with killer torque comes with a 2-year warranty and is undoubtedly the best impact wrench in its class.

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DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench Kit

A DCF899P1 impact wrench is cordless type wrench powered by 20 Volts Lithium Ion batteries known for long charge retention time. Being cordless and lightweight, you can move it around the house and garden area smoothly. The provision of LED light lets you work in hazy areas without any hassles. The body of Dewalt DCF8991 ½” wrench is completely sealed and shock resistant. Pulling the rusted nuts in in any weather conditions is possible now with this top-listed ½ Inch impact wrench.

The drive mechanism consists of 5 AH brushless motor that is not only capable of producing high torque but also increases the run-time of this impact wrench. The Dewalt ½” impact wrench can produce a maximum torque of 700ft-lb, sufficient to work on a large number of applications. Depending on the nature of the application, you have the leverage of selecting 3 different speeds from easy to reach selector switch.

The other features include battery gauge to alert you about the amount of charge left in the batteries. Working at rough sites, the chances of dropping the sockets are high. To avoid such circumstances, the Dewalt DCF899P1 comes with detent pin that keeps the socket intact and prevents the falling of sockets in any harsh environment.

The DeWalt DCF899P1 MX XR ½” is a real powerhouse impact wrench that outshines many high-priced tools of other brands. The kit comes with an Impact wrench, Li-Ion battery set, multi-voltage charger and a stylish bag. This 5-star impact wrench comes with 3-year warranty.

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Ingersoll-Rand 231C 1/2-Inch impact wrench

If you are really interested in maximizing the work efficiency, then you must invest in Ingersoll Rand 231C ½ Inch impact wrench. Ingersoll-Rand 231c is reliable and at the same time innovative in design. Ingersoll Rand’s century-old expertise in tools and pneumatic systems can be felt, the moment you hold the 231C in your hand.

Consuming a nominal air at 4.2 CFM, the 231 pneumatic impact wrench is able to deliver a maximum torque of 425 ft-lb and a maximum speed of 8000 RPM. The impact wrench can remove the highly torqued and rusted lug nuts with ease, thanks to the pressure feed lubrication system which helps in loosening of nuts to a great extent. Both seasoned technicians and hobbyists find the 231C ½” impact wrench quite valuable and efficient.

You have the liberty to change the power of impact wrench with the help of comfortably reached power regulator to achieve the desired results. This lightweight impact drill is not only easy to operate but its servicing  is also easy with its two-piece construction. The contoured handle is comfortable to grip which allows you to work for long hours without causing any fatigue to arms.

This pre-lubricated 231C ½” air-impact wrench from multi-billionaire company handles the toughest of the jobs with ease. Economically priced, Ingersoll-Rand provides comfort, control, and power all, in one 231C ½” pneumatic impact wrench. The impact wrench, holding its position right on the top of the list, is highly recommended.

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NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench

Nitrocat 1200-K is another Aircat tool in the list of top-rated models, this impact wrench is worth every penny with its solid construction and next gen features. The Nitrocat 1200-k comprises a twin-clutch mechanism which ensures hard hitting the hammer on the output shaft to produce high torque. The patented Kevlar housing protects the inner mechanism from dust and moisture. Although the Nitrocat 1200-k impact wrench comes pre-lubricated, you can easily refill the motor oil(5w-30) through an oil screw in motor assembly section.

The noise produced during running is 86 dB and meets the OSH Act standards. The back of the handle is perfectly cushioned and provides the necessary slip-less grip during operation. The Nitrocat handle is one of the finest handles in the class and is different from the flat handles flocking the market. The performance of Nitrocat 1200-k ½” air impact wrench is better than the other pneumatic impact wrenches in the market and when used for heavy works, the 1200-k impact wrench demonstrates its usefulness even better.

This impact wrench from Aircat delivers a maximum torque of 900 ft-lb with the no load speed of 8000 RPM. The average air consumption of compressed air is 4.0 CFM which is less than the other brands in the same category. With the overall length of 9.2 Inches and weight of just 5 pounds, it can be used in nooks and corners without any hassles.

The Nitrocat 1200-K comes with 2-year warranty and technical support is available at a number of service centers across the world.

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The buying guide above is designed to let you go through some important tips and guide you to avoid the common mistakes people, including some seasoned technicians, do. From outside, the impact wrench may look similar but their features vary from each other and you should have adequate knowledge about these features to make a right buying decision.

>>Check out my favorite 1/2″ impact wrench here<<

Author Review
  • Drive Size
  • Torque Power
  • Durability
  • Handling

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