I was recently introduced to an air impact wrench while working on a job alongside a friend. I was used to manually tightening hex-shaped shapes with a good old wrench.
However, I was amazed by my first experience with the impact wrench. So I started researching for the best 3/8 air impact wrenches and tried these.
An air impact wrench provides high amounts of torque in short bursts. The hammer is driven by a rotating mass that drives the anvil towards the head. It is more precise and efficient compared to regular wrenches, helping the user save time and effort. They are used widely in the automobile and construction industries as a result.
After knowing this, I knew that I had to purchase an impact wrench for myself. That is when I began researching the available impact wrenches in the market today. I ended up with a list of my 8 favorite impact wrenches that offer the best performance and value for money.
Read on if you are looking to buy a new impact wrench. I have included the relevant information and briefly reviewed each product. This will ensure that you have all the required details that will help you buy the product that suits your requirements.
1. Astro Pneumatic Tool 1828 ONYX 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench
Next up on the top air impact wrenches is the ONYX 3/8” Nano Impact Wrench. Manufactured by Astro Pneumatic Tools, this compact impact wrench offers users the chance to use it in confined spaces with ease.
Here are some of the features of this product that make it a great product to have.
- Compact design
The ONYX 1828 is the smallest shortest ⅜” impact wrench available in the market. This wrench has a length of just 3.85”, allowing it to fit in tight spaces and be operated.
It is also one of the most lightweight models available in the market, with a weight of around 3 lbs. This makes it easy to carry and operate, even for inexperienced users.
- Twin Hammer Design
Despite being a mini impact wrench, this model from Astro Pneumatic Tools has a twin hammer design. As a result, the output of this wrench is higher and more efficient.
It also helps users avoid the frequent possibility of the wrench getting jammed when coming across a lug that is very hard to remove.
- Quiet and powerful operation
The quiet operation of the ONYX 1828 can be attributed to a well-designed exhaust and muffler system. As a result, the machine produces around a maximum sound level of 85 dB. This will allow users to operate the tool without having to disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
However, this tool does not sacrifice the output torque it produces. Despite its compact size, the tool can produce a maximum torque of 450 feet-pounds. This allows users to get jobs in tight spaces done quickly without having to use a manual wrench.
- Forward and reverse settings
The ONYX 1828 has three forward and reverse settings that give the user a number of power settings. This means they can choose the torque they need for a given application, helping them get the job done accurately and efficiently.
The ONYX 1828 gets a 1-year warranty from Astro Pneumatic Tool. This allows users to get repairs or replacements done if there is an issue with the tool on purchase.
Pros and Cons
- Compact design and lightweight works great in small spaces and difficult to access jobs
- Powerful output despite short design
- Decent sound performance
- Three forward and reverse settings for variable output torque
- Twin hammer design for improved efficiency and reduced risk of jamming
- 1-year warranty, great customer service as reported by users with issues
- Trigger control is sensitive, requires more attention during usage to prevent damage to bolts
- Lacks a boot, which makes it susceptible to damage due to falls and the environment
- Lacks power for general applications that do not need maneuvering in tight space
- Users reported issues with the lubricant, which caused the wrench to malfunction
2. AIRCAT 1076-XL 3/8″ Compact Composite Impact Wrench
Another model from this manufacturer to feature on this list of top impact wrenches is the Aircat 1076-XL ⅜” Impact Wrench. Once connected to the air compressor, it offers user-friendly performance and good value for money.
This makes it a good choice for new users on a budget. Here are a few great features that make it worth your time.
- Jumbo hammer technology
The AIRCAT 1076 uses a single jumbo hammer to produce the required output power. As a result, it produces a maximum of around 550 lb-feet of torque as well as 750 lb-feet of torque.
Combined with a free speed of 9,000 RPM, this powerful performance makes it capable of completing most basic tasks that may require its use.
- Patented trigger design
This product from AIRCAT has a trigger design that is proprietary to the company thanks to its power management system control. The trigger also consists of a forward/reverse switch.
This allows users to operate the machine one-handed without needing to grip the machine elsewhere for additional support and stability.
- Lightweight design and comfortable ergonomics
The AIRCAT 1076 impact wrench weighs only 2.5 lbs. As a result, users can use this model for extended periods of time without feeling the strain of handling this tool.
The patented ergonomic grip of this tool offers superior stability and comfort as well. It also ensures that the vibrations produced by the internal mechanism are not transferred to the user’s hand while in operation.
This feature combines well with the lightweight design to ensure the user has a great experience throughout, with precise and accurate results.
- Quiet design
Despite having a powerful motor that provides a good amount of torque, the patented exhaust tuning allows for the tool to operate at lower sound levels. It produces a maximum of 85 dBA, allowing you to use it without causing any inconvenience to your neighbors.
This product comes with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer. They also guarantee that there are no defects in the material or workmanship during the manufacturing process.
Pros and Cons
- Compact and lightweight design, good for tight spaces like automobile systems
- Ergonomic handle for superior grip and stable performance
- Jumbo hammer for improved efficiency and torque delivery
- Trigger design with forward/reverse switch for single-handed operation
- Smooth operation and easy to maneuver
- Two-year manufacturer warranty
- Underpowered, struggles to tackle over-torque nuts
- Jumbo hammer mechanism susceptible to jamming
- Sockets get stuck in the machine on removal, can cause damage to the machine while taking it out
3. DEWALT (DWMT70775) 3/8-inch Impact Wrench
Up next on the best 3/8 impact wrenches list is the Dewalt DWMT70775. Manufactured by a company well known for its innovation in power tools, this wrench offers great user comfort and a smooth pneumatic mechanism. Here are the salient features that caught my attention.
- Powerful performance
This product from Dewalt has a free speed of around 11,000 RPM, which allows nuts and bolts to be fastened in no time. It also has a breakaway torque of 300 ft-lb, which helps remove stubborn fasteners that refuse to budge.
- Twin hammer mechanism
The twin hammer mechanism helps the tool be more efficient in its functioning. It also allows the tool to produce 1200 impacts per minute, which makes it efficient and quick while using it in multiple jobs.
- Power regulator
The Dewalt DWMT70775 wrench has a power regulator at the back of the product. This allows users to choose between three forward modes and one reverse mode depending on their requirement. As a result, users have greater control while using the tool, helping them achieve better results on the job.
- Comfortable design and grip
This tool from Dewalt has inbuilt shock absorbers that help reduce the vibrations due to the pneumatic action of the twin hammers. It also has a rubber handle that further minimizes vibrations and ensures user comfort while using the tool for extended periods of time.
The compact design of this impact wrench also allows it to be used in hard-to-reach spaces, making it more versatile in automobile applications.
- Warranty and service
This product comes with a 3 year warranty from the manufacturer, as well as free servicing of the tool for a year after the purchase. Customers can also avail of the 90-day cash back guarantee if they find the performance of the tool not up to their expectations.
Pros and Cons
- Twin hammer technology for greater efficiency and speed
- 11,000 RPM motor that can produce up to 300 ft-lb of torque
- Shock absorbers and a rubber grip for comfortable handling, compact design
- Power regulator to seamlessly switch between forward and reverse modes
- 3-year warranty, 1-year free service, and a 90-day cash back guarantee
- Lacks power compared to similarly priced counterparts in the market
- Very loud, may require ear protection for usage over extended periods
- Socket holder is not great, causes them to fall when they are removed
4. Nitrostat 1355-XL 3/8-Inch Composite Air Impact Wrench
The next product on the list is the NitroCat 1335-XL Air, Impact Wrench. This powerful tool offers superior performance, while also being the strongest ⅜” wrench in its class. Here are some of the features that make it reliable for many customers globally.
- Compact and lightweight design
The NitroCat 1355 has a lightweight design thanks to its composite material build. It weighs only 3 lbs and has a very small footprint. As a result, users can place the tool on nuts and bolts that are located in places that are difficult to reach and get the job done easily.
- Power management system
At the back of the NitroCat 1355 is the forward/backward switch which gives users the ability to choose the direction of operation. Users can choose between 3 forward modes as well as 1 reverse mode, which allows them to choose the required setting for the job to be completed properly.
- Twin hammer mechanism
The twin hammer mechanism uses two hammers to strike the anvil. As a result, the efficiency of the product is improved. It also allows up to 1750 blows per minute, helping speed up the process of removing a tight nut or bolt.
The motor combines to produce a maximum loosening torque of 700 ft-lb as well as a free spin speed of 11,000 RPM.
- Silent operation
A maximum sound level of 86 dbA is produced by the NitroCat 1355 Impact Wrench. This is due to the tuning of the exhaust system, which is patented by the company.
It allows users to utilize the tool at all times without becoming a nuisance to their neighbors and surroundings. It also reduces the stress levels while on the job, ensuring overall benefits for the user.
This product comes with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer. It also has a 90 day return period during which customers can get a cashback if they are unhappy with the performance of the product
Pros and Cons
- Twin hammer mechanism for powerful and efficient performance
- Silent operation due to patented technology
- Forward/reverse flip mechanism with four power settings
- Compact and lightweight design for comfortable usage in small spaces
- 2-year warranty and 90-day money-back return period
- Trigger not good for applications that need it to be feathered
- Not very powerful, difficult to use in high powered applications
- Forward/reverse flip switch difficult to use in single-handed operation for users with small hands
5. Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench
Next up on this list is the Ingersoll Rand IRT2115TiMAX. This product offers the best performance amongst products in the market. Here are some of the top-of-the-line features this product offers that make it one of the best in the market.
- Powerful motor and output torque
The 7 vane motor provided by the manufacturer in this tool produces the best weight to performance ratio amongst its competitors. It also has an optimized airflow which improves the power delivery of this impact wrench.
As a result, it can produce large amounts of torque, helping it overcome the toughest of nuts and bolts that have been securely fastened in place.
- Improved control and feather trigger
The Ingersoll Rand IRT2115TiMax has a feather trigger that allows users to apply the required amount of torque on the nut depending on the job. It also has four different power settings that the user can choose from to get the job done with adequate power.
- Compact and lightweight design
The compact and ergonomic design of this tool allows users to have better control over the tool, giving them the advantage of better stability while using it. This is thanks to the titanium hammer that is one of the most durable materials while reducing the weight of the tool.
- One-handed operation design
This Ingersoll Rand Impact Wrench has a forward and reverses control that can be operated with a single hand. As a result, it can be comfortably used with just a single hand for most operations.
It also has minimal kickback which provides the user with improved comfort and stability in completing the job.
The warranty on this product is limited and lasts for a duration of two years from the date of purchase. It can also be registered with the manufacturer so that the user can avail tips and benefits directly from the company.
Pros and Cons
- Titanium housing for lightweight design, ergonomic grip for better feel and comfort
- 7 vane motor and optimized airflow for best weight to performance ratio
- Minimum kickback, great for single-hand usage
- Feather trigger operation for precise user input
- Two-year warranty and registration with the manufacturer
- More on the expensive side
- Reports of the adjustment dial getting stuck by multiple users
- Falls short on power in higher-end requirements
- A user reported issues with the air compression system
6. Chicago Pneumatic CP7731 CP9287C Ultra-Compact Stubby 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench
The Chicago Pneumatic CP7731 Impact Wrench is the next item to feature on my list of the best impact wrenches in the market today. This product offers durable performance and a robust design that attracts the attention of customers.
Here are some of the top features that make it a good choice for those looking to buy a new impact wrench.
- Compact and sturdy design
The aluminum body, as well as the steel front cover, gives this product from Chicago Pneumatic a robust outer design that allows it to withstand the most rugged worksites. It is one of the most compact models available in the market, weighing just 2.86 lbs. As a result, it fits in the palm of most users and gives access to places that are very difficult to reach otherwise.
- Powerful operation
Despite its small size, it has great power to weight ratio of around 450 ft-lbs, making it a powerful tool to have in workshops. It allows users to insert or remove nuts and bolts with ease, making the whole process faster and reducing the effort needed to do so.
- Ease of use
The Chicago Pneumatic CP7731 can be operated comfortably using a single hand, be it left or right. It also has two reverse and two forward power modes which give users just the right amount of torque they need to get the job done without damaging the nuts and bolts.
- Jumbo hammer technology
The jumbo hammer technology used in this machine offers good efficiency and powerful impacts, making the tool faster and easier to use. It also ensures that the output torque produced is sufficient to tighten or loosen the required nuts and bolts.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful performance despite its small size
- Sturdy build using aluminum and steel for improved durability
- Convenient for single-hand operation
- Two reverse and forward power settings for improved control
- Very sensitive trigger, cannot be feathered when required
- Jumbo hammer mechanism is sensitive to jams
- Quite noisy compared to other products in the market
7. AIRCAT 1077-TH 3/8-inch Compact Impact Wrench
The last product to feature in this list is the AIRCAT 1077-TH. This compact design and reliability of the brand manufacturing the tool make it popular amongst many users. Here are some features of the product that impressed me considering its price point.
- Compact and lightweight design
The AIRCAT 1077-TH has an alloy aluminum housing that makes this lightweight and easy to maneuver. Its compact design, with a total width of just 3.85” allows the users to insert the tools in tight space and get the job done with ease.
This also makes it convenient to operate the tool using a single hand.
- Unique trigger design
Similar to other products from the AIRCAT line-up, the 1077-TH gives users the ability to change the direction of the torque at the trigger itself. Thanks to the flip switch which operates the power management system, the user can seamlessly operate the tool in three different power modes with a single hand without having to sacrifice control or comfort.
- Jumbo hammer mechanism
The jumbo hammer mechanism allows for maximum efficiency when it strikes the anvil of the tool. It also allows the tool to produce a maximum torque of 500 ft-lb as well as 700 ft-lb loosening torque to remove the tightest nuts and bolts.
The powerful performance of the motor allows it to spin up to 9,000 RPM in no-load conditions.
- Silent operation
This tool from AIRCAT produces a maximum sound level of only 89 dBA. This is mainly due to the patented technology and tuning of the exhaust, which makes this tool one you can use without disturbing the peace and quiet of your surroundings.
The manufacturer guarantees its customers that there are no defects in the material or workmanship during the manufacturing process. This product also comes with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Pros and Cons
- Jumbo hammer technology for high torque and power output
- Patented silent technology for low sound levels
- Power management system incorporated with trigger design for single-hand use, three power modes for added control
- Compact design and lightweight aluminum alloy body
- 2-year warranty and guarantee on parts from the manufacturer.
- Power modes are not the most useful for low power requirements
- Tool experiences high vibration while in free spin
- Socket retaining clip failure reported by a number of users
- Lacks power for high torque demanding applications
Important things to keep in mind before buying an Impact Wrench
Buying an impact wrench is not as straightforward as going to the store and picking up a model you like. There are certain aspects to this powerful tool that has to be careful before you make the purchase.
Doing so will not only help you choose the right model but will make sure your quality of work and usage are efficient over the long run.
- Power Source
Impact wrenches can be powered by three different methods; using an air compressor, by electricity and using a hydraulic system.
An air compressor impact wrench does not have an inbuilt motor or batteries. Instead, they use an air compressor, which sends highly pressurized air to turn the rotating mass.
This is one of the most commonly used impact wrenches because of its light design and powerful output. However, it will also require the user to purchase an air compressor and have it filled with air at all times.
An electric impact wrench has an electric motor to provide the required output torque to this machine. The machine does not produce as much power. However, these machines are more compact and user-friendly for smaller jobs. They are further classified into corded and cordless impact wrenches.
Corded wrenches can be plugged into a normal electrical socket but are limited in range by the length of the cord. Cordless wrenches improve portability but are slightly heavier as the battery that powers the machine is attached to the body itself.
Hydraulic impact wrenches are used mainly in industrial applications. They use a hydraulic motor and system to produce the torque. These wrenches are very powerful and are used in applications where the torque required is very high.
- Impacting Torque
Impact wrenches are used to reduce the amount of human effort when compared to non-impact wrenches. As a result, the impacting torque of the machine is one of its most critical aspects.
Most wrenches have a torque setting adjustment that allows people to choose how much torque they need for the job. It helps users choose the right amount of torque without under-tightening or over-tightening the screw.
The maximum torque offered by the machine allows you to understand the maximum limit that you can push the wrench to.
- Shape and Size
There are two types of wrenches depending on the shape; inline and pistol. Inline wrenches have the hammer and the anvil of the machine located along the same axis as that of the grip. Pistol wrenches have the hammer and anvil located perpendicular to the holding grip.
Wrenches are also available in different sizes ranging from a diameter of around 2” to diameters less than 1”. One must choose the size of the wrench depending on the applications and size of the socket they plan to use the machine on.
The best among all of them is Astro Pneumatic Tool 1828, what we loved about this is how quiet, comfortable, and lightweight it is while in our hands. It can easily open any kind of bolt, we have tested it on some of the rust bolts and it didn't even struggle there. (Click here to check its price from Amazon)
And if you are looking for an affordable one, then we will suggest AIRCAT 1076-XL, we loved the power output it has, and the size it comes, it is very comfortable to use, and one thing I absolutely love about this, its Forward Torque setting. It is a value-for-money product. (Click here to check its price from Amazon)