Whether you are just starting out with air impact wrenches or you need a replacement one, today’s 3/8 drive impact wrenches put out more power than your daddy’s wrench ever did.
Impact wrenches, sometimes called pneumatic wrenches or air wrenches, can operate on the air produced by your home compressor, or there are wrenches that operate on rechargeable batteries. Today, we will review air-powered impact wrenches.
If you want a good, all-around 3/8 impact wrench for those household chores of removing lug nuts, putting bolts through studs on your new outdoor deck, some will say you MUST have a ½ inch drive, but more than likely, a 3/8 drive will be good enough all-around.
For the professional, there are quality made, incredibly powerful 3/8 air impact wrenches that will take on the heavy-duty use that commercial locations expect. We will talk about that in our review.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best 3/8 Inch Air Impact Wrenches
|NitroCat 1355-XL 3/8-Inch Composite Air Impact Wrench With Twin Hammer Mechanism
|DEWALT Impact Wrench, Square Drive, 3/8-Inch (DWMT70775)
|ACDelco Power Cordless Ratchet Wrench 3/8" 12V Max. Torque 45 ft-Lbs Compact Size, Max. Hand Torque 100ft-lbs, Tool Kit with 2.0 Ah Battery and Charger ARW1209
|JET JAT-100 Pneumatic R6 Butterfly Impact Wrench, 3/8"
|AIRCAT 1076-XL 3/8" Compact Composite Impact Wrench,Silver & Grey
- Max Torque: 700 Ft Pounds
- Max RPM: 10,000 RPM
- Warranty: 2 Years with Proof of Purchase
This wrench by NitroCat is one of the most powerful impact wrenches on the market. It has a composite housing to help make it lightweight and an exhaust through the handle design. NitroCat has a patent on the technology that keeps this impact wrench quieter than most other impact wrenches. You will read many mechanics claim that they prefer this model to their old professional brands that cost twice as much. This is American made as well, which is also a big plus. You will find that at 700- foot-pounds, this puppy has all the power you need and more.
- 700 foot-pounds of torque should handle most of your projects
- Full 2-year warranty
- American made
- Forward/reverse switch is very tight and difficult to move
- The trigger is very stiff to operate
- Larger in size than other brands, making it awkward in tight spaces
- Max Torque: 300 Ft Pounds
- Max RPM: 11,000 RPM
- Warranty: 3 Year Limited Warranty
DeWalt is a name even the most inexperienced DIYer recognizes. This 3/8 drive pneumatic wrench has shock resistant sides and exhausts out the bottom of the unit, to prevent blasts of hot air in your face. For a brand name, this impact wrench is reasonably priced and packs a bolt-busting 300-foot pounds of torque. Most professionals seem happy with the durability of this product, noting that it costs far less than similar impact wrenches off the tool truck.
- Lots of power for not much money
- 3 Year Limited Warranty should take care of most problems, if any
- Does not require special fittings or high- powered compressors
- Forward/Reverse switch is awkwardly located
- May not have enough power to remove difficult or frozen bolts or nuts
- Some say sockets do not fit properly
Editors Note: This product is no longer available on Amazon, so links in the table above and description below have been updated to an equivalent ACDelco Electric Impact Wrench. The original air impact wrench covered can be found here.
- Max Torque: 40 Ft Pounds
- Max RPM: 290 RPM
- Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty
If you have lots of work but are short on cash, this ACDelco unit might be right for you. Super-bargain priced, this impact wrench can be very handy in tight spaces due to its ultra-slim design. This won’t work for professionals, but it does have 40-foot pound of torque for those around-the-house jobs. At only 10 inches in length and weighing a mere 3 pounds, nearly everyone in your household could use this beauty. RPM is adjusted using a small screwdriver. No special attachments required.
- The compact size allows it to fit nearly everywhere
- Good all-round impact wrench for light jobs
- Limited capacity at only 40 foot-pounds
- Numerous complaints state it leaks air from the plastic adjuster
- Lightweight brings concerns about durability
- Max Torque: 75 Ft Pounds
- Max RPM: 12,000 RPM
- Warranty: Lifetime
While you may never have heard of the name, you will soon. The Jet JAT has a powerful 75 foot-pounds of torque. A lifetime warranty with proof of purchase is a good sign of quality. This impact wrench allows you to choose from a lightweight aluminum, which never rusts, or a sturdy carbon composite housing. This impact wrench also has a smaller size, which makes it perfect for tight spots.
- Very lightweight unit
- Lifetime warranty
- 75 pounds of torque is good for most jobs
- Newer model so there are not many reviews to consider
- Rather loud at 114 dBs
- Higher priced than similar models
- Max Torque: 550 Ft Pounds
- Max RPM: 9,000 RPM
- Warranty: 2 Years with Proof of Purchase
If what you really want is an impact wrench with so much power you almost never need to drag out your ½ inch drive, this unit by AIRCAT certainly fills the bill. With a whopping 550 foot-pounds of torque, this puppy should handle nearly anything you can throw at it. The trigger is very smooth and easy to use. This can handle professional and heavy-duty use without batting an eye. Don’t let the smaller size fool you, this lighter weight bad boy means business!
- Powerful enough for professional and heavy-duty use
- Easy operating trigger
- The trigger is made of plastic
- Some complain that it is so lightweight It isn’t comfortable
- Forward/Reverse tab is sometimes hard to move and breaks off
Tough choice isn’t it? There are so many terrific choices for both DIYers and the professional, making the right choice can be difficult. Here’s how we see it:
If your main concern is the price and you aren’t doing any heavy-duty or professional work, your best bet is the old and trusted DeWalt.
If you want something dependable for around the home or garage mechanic chores, the Jet Jat is a terrific option. It’s reasonably priced and better yet, a lifetime warranty? Wow.
For heavy-duty or professional jobs, you can’t go wrong with the NitroCat. For just a few dollars more you get an insane amount of torque and a darn good warranty.
Choose the right tool for the job you will be doing most of the time and you will come out ahead every single time. Now once you’ve chosen your new impact wrench, be sure you have a powerful-enough air compressor that can run it.