Sometime back, you would find it hard to get an impact wrench if you didn’t own an air compressor. This has changed. There are now tons of electric corded impact wrench models capable of delivering similar results as their pneumatic counterparts at a lesser cost.
These are similar in many ways to battery-powered and pneumatic models. A corded impact wrench can handle small-scale to heavy-duty repair, maintenance, and assembling and disassembling tasks effectively. However, not all corded impact wrench units live up to their promise.
To make you more confident and well-informed in your purchase, we have reviewed some of the best corded impact wrench models on the market. Following are detailed factors you should consider when looking for one.
A versatile electric-corded impact wrench, the DEWALT DW292 is designed for projects which need fast driving and loosening of all types of screws. This tool excels in both indoor and outdoor projects. It does not require any impact wrench handling experience to use.
The unit is powered by a 120 volt, 7.5-amp motor that delivers a torque of 345 ft-lb, an RPM of 2,100 and 2,700 impacts per minute (IPM).
This, coupled with its 1/2 –inch 13 mm heavy-duty drive, makes the model suitable for removing car tire lug nuts. It is also good for use in home repairs and construction.
The DEWALT DW292 also does very well at removing stripped nuts or bolts with damaged heads and those nuts that are too overtightened to remove with ordinary wrenches.
Taking a look at the DEWALT DW292 impact wrench, one of the first things you will notice is an ergonomic design and a grip in the middle of the wrench. This adds balance when holding it. The soft rubber grip allows the tool to remain comfortably placed in your hand..
An AC/DC forward reverse rocker switch has been conveniently placed within finger reach. Other features are a ball bearing construction and a Die-Cast aluminum gear housing. A detent-pin anvil provides easy, hassle-free use of this super-portable model.
DEWALT offers a variety of warranties. These include a three-year limited warranty, one year of free service, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Should you choose the model, it would be great if you add the DeWalt ½” 10-piece socket on your purchase. This set comes with the eight most common sized sets and adapters in a lightweight carrying case. It also offers room for carrying a standard wrench for more convenience when working.
If you need to get serious work done, you will probably find the Milwaukee 9070-20 impact wrench an excellent choice for your high-volume applications.
This ½-inch corded power tool runs on 120V, 7-amp motor that delivers a maximum speed of 1,800 RPM. This, added to a torque of 300 ft./lbs., makes the impact wrench useful in moving stubborn lug nuts.
The Milwaukee 9070-20 is suitable for use in automotive repair and maintenance, and works well in most domestic construction and renovation tasks. This tool’s make allows it to achieve the desired installation torque fast. It can remove fretted or rusted bolts in a short span of time.
The unit’s impeccable power-to-weight ratio makes it stand out. Weighing as little as six pounds, the model is lighter than most models on the market. This dramatically increases its comfortable use for extended hours and minimizes fatigue.
Adding to its lightweight feature, this tool comes with an ergonomically designed handle. It has a soft cushioned grip to give you a controllable and well-balanced feel.
The Milwaukee 9070-20 has a pin-detent system that securely retains sockets and adapters. It also has a rocker switch that allows you to change forward or reverse selection quickly.
The pin-detent system means you will not have to worry about the socket coming off as you work on a serious project. However, this would bother you if you plan on continually changing sockets. In such a case, an impact wrench that uses friction/hog rings would suit you.
Unlike pneumatic models, the Milwaukee 9070-20 impact wrench works well and requires minimal maintenance. Its corded design is a plus as you will not have to worry about power shortages, a common issue with battery-powered impact wrenches.
The HAMMERHEAD HDIW075 is a ½ inch electric-corded impact wrench powered by a 120 v, 7.5 Amp motor. A corded design means you will not have to worry about replacing batteries or oiling your tool as would be the case in cordless and air tools respectively.
The 7.5-amp motor gives this impact wrench enough power to deliver a maximum torque of 240 ft. lbs, a variable RPM of up to 2,200 and an IPM of 2,700. The torque is transmitted through a ½-inch square anvil that is tough and easy to swap onto sockets.
These features make this unit handy for heavy-duty applications in both the automotive repair industry and the maintenance of heavy equipment.
This impact wrench weighs 7.85 pounds, which makes it conveniently portable and comfortable to use for extended periods without getting fatigued. Like many premium models, the HAMMERHEAD HDIW075 is ergonomically designed for easy handling. Part of this is a non-slip grip that allows you to continue working irrespective of how sweaty your hands are.
A forward/reverse rocker switch has been conveniently placed within a finger-reach range and can be easily handled with two fingers. You just need to flip the easily-accessible toggle switch to change the direction of the wrench to either forward or reverse
The best thing about the HAMMERHEAD HDIW075 is its price. Despite having high-end features and high torque, this unit costs a fraction of most tools in its class.
Another remarkable feature is a metal gearbox that enhances the durability of this tool.
This model lacks ball sockets, which are essential in an impact wrench. While in operation, the sockets of this wrench are held in place by friction. That means it can be hard to pull the tool away without leaving the socket behind on the nut.
A reasonably priced electric-corded impact wrench is the PORTER-CABLE PCE211. This is a sturdy and powerful tool for applications that need more power than what a cordless device can offer.
The Porter Cable PCE211 and the Porter Cable PCE210 are almost interchangeable. However, the PCE211 model is an upgrade of the PCE210. While you get a torque of 250 ft lbs from the PCE210, the PCE211 impact wrench gives you a whopping 450 ft lbs.
This tool is powered by a 120v, 7.5 amp motor that offers a speed of 2,200 RPM and 2,700 IPM. This, combined with a 450 ft lbs torque, makes it suitable for small, medium, and slightly heavy-duty applications which involve installation, assembling, repairs, and maintenance. This wrench has no problem dealing with 90 foot lug nuts.
The Porter Cable PCE211 has an ergonomic design and a sleek appearance. It includes a padded handle and a big 2-finger trigger that makes operating the tool a breeze.
Despite having a high torque, the torque impact on your hand while operating is minimal. The tool will not shear off your wrists.
A Forward/Reverse rocker switch is placed around the handle. This is within a range where your fingers can easily reach to change the direction of your wrench to either forward or reverse. This switch is easy to operate with two fingers
A metal gear housing not only adds durability to the tool but also allows it to dissipate heat more effectively. The product's ½ inch hog ring anvil makes changing sockets better than ever before.
The Porter Cable PCE211 is backed with a limited warranty of three years that includes a free service contract for one year. A 100% money-back guarantee within 90 days of purchase makes the deal juicier.
If you are looking for a handy and versatile corded impact wrench that works on-the-go without much energy, the Kobalt 6904 might suit you.
The tool’s 8-Amp motor makes it stand out from most corded impact wrench models on the market. It offers a stunning 350-ft-lbs of torque for forward and reverse screwing. With this, the wrench can take care of an array of projects.
Adding to the versatility is the seven deep-well sockets included in the package. Their sizes are 21mm, 19mm, 17mm, 1/8 inches, 3/16 inches, ¾ inches, and 11/16 inches.
To enhance user control and keep discomfort and fatigue away, the Kobalt 6904 has been designed with a comfortable rubber grip.
Corded impact wrenches are limited by their cords. The eight-foot long cord that comes with the Kobalt 6904 extends its reach and significantly reduces the need for an extension cord.
The wrench has a cast-aluminum gearbox and is housed by a high-density plastic cover that adds to its durability.
One remarkable feature of this impact wrench is a live wire indicator that heightens safety on the job. Kobalt’s five-year limited warranty is proof of the manufacturer’s faith in their product, and this will give you peace of mind.
An impact wrench is the tool you turn to when other wrenches are not working for you. At times, a lug nut could be too tightly wound in place, or the screw head could be too stripped for a regular wrench to get a good grip of it.
Regardless of the situation, a good impact wrench will apply a sudden, intense motion to your recalcitrant nut. This works through short, strong and continuous bursts of force on the hard-to-run bolt.
Compared to other types of impact wrenches, corded models stand out for two main reasons:
You get what you pay for. For professional and more complex tasks, you might need a high-end impact wrench. You will probably have to spend more for extra features than a hobbyist looking for a tool to use occasionally on lightweight DIY tasks.
However, the price is not always the only quality determinant. The market is flooded with so many overpriced substandard products.
Consider the following factors before buying a corded impact wrench.
More Torque means more power. If you are looking to handle more complex tasks, you will need more torque.
The torque reached by your impact wrench will depend on the time you allow your tool to reach the value. With this, you will need to understand the time interval for the related catalogue torque value.
Remember that high torque on paper does not always mean the impact wrench is fast at work. Manufacturers commonly use two different time intervals when measuring their models’ torque:
Different tasks require different torque amounts. Most tightening impact wrenches have a torque varying from 25 to 2,500 foot-pounds (ft.lbs)
If you are looking for a tool to tighten large-sized fasteners, it would be best if you choose one with higher torque.
For car assembly where different levels of torque are required for different components, an impact wrench with adjustable torque would be the ideal option.
The same applies if you need a versatile impact wrench you can use on a variety of applications. Fortunately, most impact corded wrenches have a feature which allows you to adjust the torque to an amount that suits your needs.
To secure your choice, ensure the maximum torque required for your application corresponds with the working torque of the tool, and not the tool’s maximum torque. Keep it in mind that using the wrong torque could result in tightening the nuts with less or more power than is necessary.
Impacts per Minute (IPM) tells you the number of times the hammer of an impact wrench can strike the anvil of the output shaft within one minute.
A tool with a higher IPM is more likely to be quicker at loosening tight nuts, so long as it has enough torque.
The Rotation per Minute (RPM) of a tool describes how fast its output shaft spins with no load. This can be used to vaguely indicate how fast your impact wrench is capable of pulling or driving in a lug nut that’s already loose.
RPM is not as important as torque since you only need a few turns to remove or put in a lug. Nonetheless, this metric can make a difference in extremely time-sensitive applications such as pit stops where each second counts.
Your tool’s drive size will dictate the tasks it can handle. Most automotive applications require an impact wrench with a drive size of ½ inches.
Some impact wrenches have drive shafts of 3/8 inches and would work for less demanding applications.
A ¾ inch drive is common in pistol grip impact wrenches. To handle bigger nuts and bolts, you might need an impact wrench with a drive of 1 ¼ inches. An impact wrench with a drive size beyond this would work for major constructions as an alternative to industrial-grade fasteners.
On a side note, some impact wrenches have drives that are over 3 ½ inches and come with T-shaped handles. This is a shape that resembles a jackhammer. Such a wrench would be ideal if you are handling more complex tasks.
Before settling for any power tool, first ensure you are comfortable with its weight. Although a more heavy-duty model might weigh more, make sure it is easy to balance and work with for a longer period of time without putting much pressure on your wrist and arm.
An electric impact wrench whose weight averages from 6 to 8 lbs is much ideal to work with.
An ergonomic design on your impact wrench will add balance to your tool and make it more comfortable to handle. A good design will also enable you to access hard-to-reach areas.
Any wrench you buy should have a limited warranty to cover parts or repairs for a few months or years. Without this, you will not have any guarantee that your tool will be replaced should it stop working in case of a manufacturing fault.
Your tool will definitely not last forever, but it should last you for a reasonable number of years. Getting yourself covered for any factory defects will facilitate this and give you peace of mind.
Having the right impact wrench will save you from the frustrations caused by lug nuts and make your DIY or professional tasks more fulfilling. However, there are tons of substandard models in the market that you need to avoid.
Follow our buying guide considerations lets you know the tool that suits you best. To skip the hectic choosing process, you can pick one of our top picks reviewed above. This will help you sort out your needs.