Best Electric Impact Wrench for Cars [UK Guide]

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Electric impact wrenches are common in professional car garages and thanks to ever decreasing prices, are becoming more popular with home mechanics too. Unlike air impact wrenches, an electric impact wrench is much more convenient and doesn’t require an air compressor.

If you’re struggling to find the right one, well you’ve come to the right place as we’ve reviewed the best ones in the UK, to take the hard work out for you.

Table Of Contents

Electric vs Air Impact Wrench

Ah, the age-old debate, electric or air? Modern electric impact wrenches are so comparable to air impacts with their torque abilities that this debate has got even worse over the last few years. The only benefit to air impact wrenches nowadays is they have far less moving parts, so they don’t fail as quickly as electric ones.

Although brushless motors in electric impact wrenches are now even turning the tides on this too. Of course, electric impact wrenches also beat air tools when it comes to portability. You can keep an electric wrench in your car for emergencies or easily work on your drive without trailing metres of airline behind you.

We can’t solve the electric vs air tools debate here. Both types of wrenches have their advantages and disadvantages.


Are Electric Impact Wrenches Any Good?

Yes, modern electric impact wrenches are great for mechanics and extremely comparable to air wrenches. For a long time, electric wrenches couldn’t compete with air tools. They lacked the low-down torque needed for a lot of tasks. However, newer electric impact wrenches, like the ones listed below, are extremely powerful, yet the triggers are easily controlled too.

The electric impact wrench has come a long way in recent years. A few years ago, most mechanics were using air tools with no desire to switch to anything else. Now, though, electric impact wrenches are making even the most harden air tool user rethink their tool choice.


Buying Guide 

If you’re buying an electric impact wrench for your car for the first time, we’ve put together a few helpful things to look out for. If you’re a seasoned wrench buyer, you can skip straight ahead to our recommendations.

Power – Some of the electric impact wrenches on the list below reach up to 1,400 Nm of torque, others go to around 400 Nm. If you’re working with stubborn nuts and bolts all the time, you may need more power. If your impact wrench is for maintaining a car in good condition, a lower-powered wrench should be fine.

Battery life – If you want an electronic wrench to keep in your car or to use in the driveway, make sure you get one with a good battery. We recommend using the biggest batteries that the wrench manufacturer offers because they use up a lot of battery. It might be worth buying another battery or two, so you’re never caught short.

Naked unit – Some electric impact wrenches are sold as naked units, i.e. they don’t come with a battery. This is because the manufacturer thinks you’ve already bought into their system and have plenty of batteries. Just beware that if a battery isn’t mentioned, you won’t get one.


Best Electric Impact Wrenches 

Dewalt Electric Impact Wrench

Crowning our favourite tool wasn’t hard once we’d found the Dewalt Electric Impact Wrench – a great all round device

Comfortable to hold thanks to rubber grip
Loosens bolts where most impact wrenches fail (max torque of 950 n.m.)
Built to last and perform amazingly while it lasts!
Battery sold separately
Positioning of LED light not optimum

This Dewalt ½” impact wrench really packs a punch. It has three torque and speed settings, and the trigger is nice and sensitive to provide even more control. The motor is fan-cooled, and so this wrench doesn’t overheat even during the hardest operations.

The LED light on this wrench is placed on the battery holder and points up towards the head of the wrench. In tight spaces, the light doesn’t offer much help, but in many situations, it’s bright enough to be the only light you’ll need.

This is part of Dewalt’s XR range. This means it has the XR grip designed for comfort all day. The grip is also extremely grippy, which it needs to be! This impact wrench has so much torque that without the XR grip you may be turning around rather than the bolt! Whether you’re a pro or a car enthusiast, this impact wrench is really hard to beat!

Key specs:

  • 950 Nm of torque
  • Drive: 1/2″ Square (13mm)
  • 2,400 minutes battery life (Battery sold separately)

Ryobi One+ Impact Wrench

A perfect tool for lighter use in a home garage or for a hobbyist

Reduced reactionary feedback
Triple beam LED lights on work area
Will remove seized bolts with surprising ease
Battery sold separately
Lower torque than the DEWALT

Ryobi makes some very impressive tools for the DIYer, and this is no exception. While this impact wrench wouldn’t last in a busy garage, it isn’t designed too. This electric impact wrench is designed for light use.

Most people who buy this impact wrench know this and are pleasantly surprised by how well this wrench does its job. Just like the Dewalt, this wrench has three power settings. This one also has a low vibration design which works really well.

This is part of Ryobi’s One Plus tool range. It is a bare unit, but if you have some One Plus tools already, you can use the batteries you already have. If you don’t, we strongly recommend using the 5ah battery with this tool. Any of the smaller batteries don’t supply the power to get the most out of this wrench.

Key specs:

  • 400 Nm of torque
  • Drive: 1/2″ Square (13mm)
  • Battery sold separately

Sealey Cordless Impact Wrench

An affordable impact wrench perfect for car enthusiasts and great for lug nuts

Great price
Electronic brake to prevent over tightening
LED light built in
Battery supplied (and it has a great battery life too)
Lower torque than the DEWALT
Only one setting

The variable speed trigger on this electric impact wrench provides a lot of control when you are removing nuts and bolts. This wrench produces up to 400 Nm of torque, so whilst it won’t It likely won’t loosen the tightest of bolts in the garage, it will be perfect for general use by a car enthusiast.

This impact wrench is feature packed. It has thermal overload protection, an LED light that shines on to the work area and features an electronic brake system that means it will stop almost immediately after letting go of the trigger – this helps prevent over tightening of nuts.

Key specs:

  • 400 Nm of torque
  • Drive: 1/2″ Square (13mm)
  • Battery supplied

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Impact Wrench

An electric impact wrench that over delivers and has advanced features such as automatic shut off when it detects bolts are tight

Exceeds the 300n.m. of torque in the specs
4 speed settings
Automatic shut off mode
Expensive compared to other impact wrenches for cars
Battery not included

This Milwaukee rivals the Dewalt in power and use. This impact wrench was designed for a life in a busy garage, making it the perfect tool for a serious car nut or a roadside mechanic,

The highest setting seems to over deliver on the 300n.m. of torque in it’s specs and the three other power modes ensure you always have the right setting for the job including a precision accuracy mode.

There is also the option for automatic shut off that can detect when a bolt is tight and shuts down within one second to prevent over tightening. Of course, features like this don’t come cheap so it’s the most expensive on our list.

Key specs:

  • 300n.m. torque (although expect it exceeds this)
  • Drive: 1/2″ Square (13mm)
  • Battery sold separately

FAQs

Do I need sockets with an Electric Impact Wrench?

Yes, you need impact sockets for any electric or air impact wrench. Normal sockets are too brittle and will crack when used with an electric impact wrench. All of the devices we’ve reviewed here have a 1/2″ Square drive (13mm).

Which electric impact wrench is most powerful?

On the list of impact wrenches above, it is certainly a tie between the Milwaukee and the Dewalt. In most independent tests, too, Milwaukee and Dewalt come out on top of other brands.