Best Air Impact Wrench for Changing Tires

If you have ever tried to remove an extremely rusty, frozen lug nut and swore that you would never put up with a crappy impact wrench ever again, this list is for you. 

Nearly every home mechanic has had this happen at least once. 

If you are new to impact wrenches, you might have wondered why there are so many brands and names and sizes. There’s an impact wrench to suit every job and every person using one. Choosing the right one, however, can be a head-scratcher. 

Probably the number one job that home mechanics tackle would be removing the wheels and tires from their vehicles. This means that you want the absolute best impact wrench to handle the job. 

If you are ready to buy your next impact wrench for removing tires, or if this is your first go-round, don’t let all the names and sizes confuse you. Rather than suffer from buyer’s remorse, take a few minutes to read over this review and learn more about why one type of impact wrench should serve you better than another. 

We’ve done most of the work for you. Take a look at the top 5 best air impact wrenches for changing tires. You are sure to find one that makes you say, “Oh yeah!” 


Best Air Impact Wrenches for Changing Tires

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1. Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX ½ Inch Drive Air Impact Wrench


  • Maximum Torque: 1,350 Foot Pounds
  • Twin or Single Hammer: Twin Hammer
  • Item Weight: 4.62 Pounds

Ingersoll Rand is one of the biggest names in power tools and has been for more than 100 years. Any company that can stay in business that long must be doing something right. The company is known for making quality tools that last. 

With a whopping 1,350 foot-pounds of torque, you know that this puppy can handle almost any challenge you put to it. We like that it weighs less than 5 pounds, which means it won’t make your shoulder ache by the time you are done using it. 

Just to note that this is “Assembled in the USA”, but the parts are imported, most likely from China. It tends to be a bit loud, but that’s typical when it comes to impact wrenches that have a great deal of torque to them. 

You will find that most owners say that this is a powerful impact wrench and they feel that it is quality made. Some even claim that this is the best impact wrench they have ever owned! 

That isn’t to say that there aren’t downfalls to this unit, including the noise levels, and a few say that it really wasn’t anything special to warrant paying out the money for the name. 

We think that this is one of the better impact guns on the market. The Ingersoll Rand is a solid workhorse that can really remove those frozen lug nuts, just wear some ear protectors. 


  • Powerful torque
  • Quality name with a good reputation
  • Solid one-year warranty


  • Louder than many other impact wrenches
  • The very light trigger makes tightening precision more difficult
  • The forward and reverse button is in an awkward location


2. AirCat 1150 Killer Torque ½ Impact Wrench


  • Maximum Torque:1,295 Foot Pounds
  • Twin or Single Hammer: Twin Hammer
  • Item Weight: 4.62 Pounds

Another big name in the tool market is AirCat. The name alone attracts you to this impact wrench and with 1,295-foot-pounds of torque, you know it has got the power and performance you need to remove the most stubborn lug nut. 

Check out many professional mechanics and you will find that they often use AirCat products. The rating for this gun is based on 120PSI output from your compressor. If your compressor tops out at 90PSI, this gun will have less torque. 

This impact gun is also lightweight, but it tends to be quieter than the Ingersoll Rand that we mentioned above. Most owners note that this impact wrench is quieter than they thought it would be and was more powerful than they expected. 

Some drawbacks would be that it is made in Taiwan and some feel that this compromises the quality, and others say that the wrench has a vibration to it when using it at full power. 

In general, we found this impact wrench to be lightweight and remarkably quiet while getting the job done. Who could ask for more? 


  • 2-year warranty
  • Quieter than most other models
  • Feels sturdy and well made


  • Needs 120PSI to work at full capacity
  • Some claim the gun vibrates on full throttle
  • Made in Taiwan


3. DoBetter Cordless ½ Drive Impact Wrench

Editor’s Note: This is NOT an air impact wrench, it is battery powered. We added this model in as a back up for our readers who want to keep an impact wrench in their car. 


  • Maximum Torque: 300 Foot Pounds
  • Twin or Single Hammer: Single
  • Item Weight: 7.54 Pounds

For those times when you are on the road and find yourself with a flat, your air impact wrench isn’t going to do you much good, but the DoBetter Cordless impact wrench should do the trick! 

Due to the battery, this weighs in at nearly 8 pounds. It has a steel body surrounded by rubber and plastic pieces. The rubber feels really good in your hands and even dropping it from a height of 5 feet didn’t dent the unit one bit. 

There are additional batteries you can buy in case you needed them, but users say that this impact wrench can work for two or more hours on the same charge. For those without a compressor, this might be the answer you want. 

Yes, it only has 300-foot pounds of torque, but if the lug nuts aren’t frozen, this is more than powerful enough to do whatever chore it is you have in mind. For all-day use, the weight of the gun could become an issue, however. 

We were really impressed with the power and sturdy feel that this battery-operated unit had. Some users complained that the battery died quickly or that the unit even stopped working entirely after a short period of time. 

This impact wrench is made in China, for those who try to buy American, however, it comes with a two-year warranty, which doubles what some other brands are offering. 

For a cordless impact wrench, we think this is the best of the bunch for changing tires. 


  • Two-year warranty
  • Comes with a 4-pack of sockets
  • Great for trips or other times when your compressor isn’t available


  • Made in China
  • Must charge the battery or keep a spare 
  • May not be strong enough for tough lug nuts


4. NitroCat 1200-K ½ Inch Kevlar Impact Wrench


  • Maximum Torque: 1,295 Foot Pounds
  • Twin or Single Hammer: Twin Hammer
  • Item Weight: 4.5 Pounds

AirCat is the name you have most likely seen professional mechanics use. While the company has been around only since 1998, it has already developed a stellar reputation for making long-lasting, quality tools. 

This impact gun has a great many patented extras going for it, including a patented ergonomic handle design for an easy grip, a patented exhaust muffler, which reduces noise, and operating at 82-86 dBa (decibels), this is far below the OSHA guidelines, and a patented forward/reverse lever which makes the wrench easier to operate. 

We are impressed by this particular air gun, not only for the many patented designs but the fact that it is made from Kevlar and Aluminum. Kevlar is what they use in bulletproof vests and many types of tires, so you know this must be incredibly strong.

Many users state that the NitroCat outshines just about any other impact wrench you want to put up against it and that it is the perfect impact wrench for lug nuts. 

Of course, there are some complaints. A few users have stated that they didn’t think there was anything special about this impact wrench, despite the numerous patents. Others said that this was a poorly designed unit that ruined their set of expensive sockets. 

Everyone has their own views, but in our opinion, say hello to your new, favorite impact wrench. 


  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Multiple patents that you will notice
  • Very quiet when operating


  • Front seal leak appears to be an issue but is covered under warranty
  • Very lightweight can be a problem when the torque pulls the air gun from your hands
  • The selector handle is very stiff


5. Chicago Pneumatic CP7748 ½ Inch Impact Wrench


  • Max Torque: 922 Foot Pounds
  • Twin or Single Hammer: Twin Hammer
  • Item Weight: 4.4 Pounds

There’s a reason why you see so many Chicago brand impact guns out in the workplace today; they make a quality item for a very reasonable price and the CP7748 is no exception. 

This half-inch drive air gun has a composite housing, which makes it very lightweight. The handle has a contoured grip with a smooth start and stop handle, not to mention the forward and reverse button which allows for low, medium, and high settings, preventing you from over-torquing something by accident. 

The company states that in addition to the exhaust via the handle design, this unit can withstand dirty shop conditions better than others. This impact wrench has been a staple of the Chicago Pneumatic line because it’s a “no-frills” kind of wrench. 

Users often say that this impact wrench zips through and loosens bolts where other impact wrenches have failed. The impact gun is described as a workhorse, durable, and very cost-effective, and we would have to agree. 

A with every product, the Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench does have a few complaints. Some users complain that this impact wrench does not seem to have the torque that is listed, while others say that the gun simply quit after a few uses. 

Most of these issues can be solved via customer service or the one-year warranty, but for the price, we must say that this impact wrench cannot be beaten for changing those tough lug nuts on your vehicle. 


  • The Chicago name stands for quality
  • Reasonably priced 
  • No frills but powerful


  • Manufactured in several countries, so the location is unknown until purchased
  • 922 Foot-pounds isn’t as powerful as some other models
  • 6-months to one year warranty depending on the place of purchase 

The Bottom Line

Chances are that, after reading this list, you will be drawn to a particular tool because of the name or color, or the prices, and that’s absolutely fine since every single one of these impact wrenches all had their good points. 

We think that no matter which one you choose; you would be making the right choice. However, if we were pressed to pick a winner, there would be two. 

  1. For those who want a cordless impact wrench that they can take along camping or on road trips, you can’t beat the DoBetter Cordless ½ Drive Impact Wrench
  2. For air compressors, we would have to go with the NitroCat 1200-K ½ Inch Kevlar Impact Wrench. With so many patented ideas and quiet operation, how can you say no to this? 

Once you’ve picked out your next air impact drill, make sure you have an air compressor strong enough to power it.


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