Best Air Impact Wrench Guide

Discover the Best Air Impact Wrenches

Are you in the market for the best air impact wrench? You could be having problems removing a tough lug nut? If that’s the situation then you will probably be happy to have almost any impact wrench at your disposal.

The main question we hear from people is “What should I be looking for… and where do I start?”

That’s where we come in right here because we’ve got you covered with the names of the best air impact wrenches in the market complete with detailed air impact wrench reviews to back them up.

We know that with the numerous impact wrenches available in the market today, such a quest can become quite daunting so we have put together our Buyers guide to help make it easier for you to pick the best air impact wrench for your needs.

Since you are reading our guide you are definitely someone who plans and prepares ahead of time and you don’t just want any old impact wrench, you want the best possible unit to meet your needs. If you are in the market for a wrench we recommend the Ingersoll Rand 2135TiMAX.

Our Pick

 Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX

Ingersoll Rand 2135TiMAX

Easy to use, Lightweight and Powerful

  • Produces 780 ft lbs max power
  • Professional touch trigger
  • Patented forward/reverse push button provides maximum control
  • Lightweight weighing in at just 3.95 lbs

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Best Air Impact Wrenches 2017

To begin with we will present the best 3 air impact wrenches we could find on the market with the best customer ratings. Check out the individual reviews and see if any meet your needs.

Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX

The NitroCat 1200-K

NitroCat 1200-K
Ingersoll Rand 231C

Rating: 4.5
Reviews: 395
Warranty: 2 Years
Type: 1/2 Inch
Weight: 4.05 Pounds
Max Torque: 780 foot-pounds
Max Speed: 15000 rpm
Rating: 4.5
Reviews: 365
Warranty: 2 Years
Type: 1/2 Inch
Weight: 4.5 Pounds
Max Torque: 900 foot-pounds
Max Speed: 8000 rpm
Rating: 4.4
Reviews: 563
Warranty: 1 Year
Type: 1/2 Inch
Weight: 5.3 Pounds
Max Torque: 600 foot-pounds
Max Speed: 8000 rpm
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Ingersoll Rand 2135TiMAX Impact Wrench Review

 Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX

Ingersoll Rand 2135TiMAX

Lightweight and Powerful

Capable of pulling of lug nuts without a sweat with its 750 ft lbs of maximum torque. Easy to use and handle.

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The Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX, considered by many professionals and hobbyists as being the best 1/2 gun out on the market. Weighing in at only 3.9 LBS which is an amazing feat for a 1/2″ gun especially if your carrying it around for sustained periods.

The 2135TiMAX sets the standard for performance with the best power to weight ratio on the market in its class. The Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench offers an operator the maximum control, power, and reliability for completing a range of maintenance jobs.

In fact the Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX sets a brand new standard for performance. With the best power-to-weight ratio in its class it is perfect for the professional and hobbyist.

Here are some of its main features:

  • Best Power-to-Weight Ratio – the 2135TiMAX delivers incredible power and control. It weighs just four pounds but provides 750 ft./lbs. of maximum reverse torque–the best power-to-weight ratio in its class.
  • Operates Quietly – thanks to patented Quiet Tool technology you can almost hear a pin drop.
  • Professional touch trigger – the feather touch trigger is just like the one professionals have on their tools, it gives a wider range of power regulator settings in forward gear.


The 2135TiMAX is perfect for those tire rotations and suspension work on some very rusted suspension components. Overall the 2135TiMAX is a very comfortable air impact gun. Lightweight for the power it generates and does not vibrate in your hand like some guns.

As a result this unit has over 395 reviews from Amazon customers, it has received an average rating of 4.5 stars out 5.0. A great user endorsement.

Click here to read the full Ingersoll-Rand 2135TiMAX Review

NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Review

NitroCat 1200-K

NitroCat 1200-K

Quiet and Powerful

The NitroCat 1200-k is both powerful and quiet, a difficult combination to get right. It comes from a well established and trusted company. With its power you should have no problem in loosening even the most stubborn lug nuts.

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The NitroCat 1200-K ½ inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench is considered one of the most powerful ½ inch air impact wrenches in its class.

For great durability its housing is composed from Kevlar, the material used in bullet proof vests. For greater operator comfort and to reduce fatigue during those big jobs it comes with an ergonomically designed handle.

To reduce the noise generated whilst operating the unit comes with patented quiet technology, reducing the noise to 86 decibels.

Here are some of its main features:

  • Twin Clutch – The Twin Clutch mechanism creates a high torque initial impact for those tougher jobs.The NitroCat 1200-K uses a solid heavy cage with a cam that rotates at the bottom end of the anvil and forces two large hammer pins that lock the anvil solid for part of one rotation. This operation results in a very extreme impact, each rotating delivers multiple extreme impacts.
  • Flip lever – comes with an easy operation lever that allows you to quickly flip between forward and reverse
  • Durable Kevlar (Trademark) Composite Housing with Ergonomically Designed Handle
  • Patented Quiet Technology (86 decibels) – great when working from a workshop at home.
  • Patented Debris system – the 1200-K comes with a through the handle exhaust to keep debris away from face


The quality of construction and performance from the NitroCat 1200-K is easily comparable to other, much more expensive impacts available on the market. Of 110 air impact wrench reviews from customers, it still received an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.0.

Click here to read the full NitroCat 1200-K Review

Ingersoll Rand 231C Impact Wrench Review

Ingersoll Rand 231C

Ingersoll-Rand 231C

Loud, durable and powerful

The Ingersoll-Rand 231C comes with tons of torque, at its max it delivers 600 ft lbs. The power and durability of this model will blow cheaper models out of the water. If you take care of the 231C it will last for years.

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The Ingersoll-Rand 231C, which has by many users been considered a stalwart within its class. The first 231C model was introduced to the general public over 25 years ago and has been continuously refined and improved by Ingersoll Rand. It offers a combination of great power and performance features to tackle the toughest jobs with ease.

The Ingersoll Rand 231C 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench offers the power needed to easily tackle even the toughest jobs. Designed to be compact, lightweight and great for all-day use. It delivers a maximum torque of 425 ft./lbs. It comes with an adjustable power regulator for variable power in one direction and full power in the other.

The 231C is capable of breaking lose any lug nut on a car. On user has stated that they were able to remove a “stubborn nut from the front axle from a 65 year old farm truck. No sweat.” A great endorsement for the units power and performance.

Here are some of its main features:

  • Adjustable power regulator – To help maintain consistent results even with the toughest jobs, the 231C’s adjustable power regulator allows a user to vary the power in one direction and full power in the opposite direction. This is a brilliant feature that gives you the freedom to set the power. independently.
  • 600 ft./lbs Torque – The torque generated from the 231C provides an impressive speed of 8,000 RPM (1,200 BPM) for fast, efficient performance.
  • Easy to service two-piece construction – the unit comes apart in two pieces that are easy to service to maintain optimum performance.
  • Compact and Lightweight – weighing in at just 5.3 pounds the 231C is easy on the arms and wrists for those longer tougher jobs.


Most users of the Ingersoll Rand 231C are impressed by the quality tool at its market price. They love the feel of the wrench, having found that the tool is well made and durable. A common phrase used by many is the IR 231C is a “work horse“.

This unit has received over 500 reviews from Amazon customers, with an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.0. A great user endorsement.

Click here to read the full Ingersoll-Rand 231C Review

What is an Air Impact Wrench?

The common air impact wrench is a socket wrench tool specially designed to deliver high torque output without minimal exertion by the user. This is achieved by storing the energy in a rotating mass, and then applies a sudden, intense twisting motion to the output shaft, usually in short bursts. The primary power source is provided by compressed air however there are alternatives in the form of electric and hydraulic power.

Why do we need an Air Impact Wrench?

If you reading this page then you already have a need for the impact wrench. However if you have stumbled across here then you may want to know common uses for the tool. Impact wrenches serve as a mainstay power tool used in a variety of industries where high torque output is needed. The most common include automotive repair, equipment maintenance and construction jobs.

How to choose an Air Impact Wrench that meets your needs?

The type of work you need the air impact wrench

Before you can pick which tool is most suitable for you needs you must identify the type of work the impact wrench will be used for. This will affect the power source, the weight, the size of the sockets that the unit will have to cope with. So if you will be using the wrench for smaller jobs the a model that holds ¼” sockets may be perfect for your work, however for larger projects you may need a wrench that can handle 3.5” sockets.

The amount of power you need from the air impact wrench

Since the air impact wrench strength is in the amount of torque the unit can produce, it is one of the most important features. The greater the torque a unit produces the easier jobs should be to complete. This can be affected by the air compressor you use.

Power Regulator

Some models come with power regulators that will allow you to use the power available with more precision, so that jobs are completed with minimal effort and are finished correctly.

Noise levels

Due to the nature of the impact wrench noise levels can be quite excessive, so you may decide on picking a model that has noise suppression technology. This can be very important if you are going to be using the tool in a residential area since a air impact wrench with lower noise levels will lead to fewer complaints from neighbors.


Since you could be carrying the tool for sustained periods one of the most important features to look out for is how easy is to carry around? How portable is the unit? Check the dimensions of the unit to ensure it will easily fit wherever you choose to use it.


Look into the weight of the unit, generally the lighter the wrench the more portable. Most users prefer a lighter unit since work involving air impact wrenches usually involves sustained periods of activity. So the heavier a tool the quicker you will become fatigued.


Reliability is a key measure whenever you are considering purchasing a product that has to deal with extreme power. There are various methods to determine how reliable a product is, the best in my opinion is to check product reviews, and forums. Using customer scores and reviews to gauge how reliable the impact wrench is. Generally if a model has a specific reliability issue then it will become apparent from reading these reviews.


Generally speaking you can easily pick up a decent air impact wrench from between $100 to $200. The more you are willing to spend the more features you will likely get including noise reduction technology.

Air Compressor required for Air Impact Wrench

Before you can pick the type of air compressor you will need to power up your wrench you must identify the PSI and CFM requirements for the individual model of your air impact wrench. The key to delivering the best performance is to pick an air compressor that exceeds the PSI and CFM airflow requirements of the wrench


Many products come with a manufacturer’s warranty that should give a customer peace of mind, so you are ensured of getting a replacement for a faulty unit if the fault appears within the warranty period. Manufacturers offer different length and coverage of warranty. There are some that can offer a lifetime limited warranty while others offer one or two years of limited warranty. In terms of coverage, there could be some differences too. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have read and understood the warranty coverage first before buying a specific product.


So there you have a comprehensive buying guide that gives you all there is to know about and what to consider to help you in your quest to find the best air impact wrench. Having gone through the features, various options and in depth reviews of our top picks on the market, it’s totally up to you to pick one depending on your needs and your budget.

As there are many factors involved in making your decision, we can understand that it can a bit daunting but one good tip to keep in mind is to never lose track of your budget limits. Once you’ve determined that, you can now choose which type of air impact wrench fits your budget. Then you can narrow down your choice to which best fits the type of work the wrench would be used for, and which features would suit your needs.

Ensure you read the air impact wrench reviews of those brands that have made it to your top list. Read what real users have to say about them and learn more about their pros and cons. There’s nothing better than a review  from a real user of the product.

If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions about any air impact wrenches that may have been missed, don’t hesitate to contact us. We appreciate all your opinions!

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