Top Cordless Impact Wrenches for the Money in 2018

Cordless impact wrenches have come a long way and are slowly converting even the diehard air tool guys. All of the best cordless impact wrench kits below have two factors in common: They have a 1/2” drive mechanism and are powered by a brushless motor. Being 1/2” means that they are compatible with the most common impact sockets, and the brushless motor means more durability and less wear during heavy usage.

All three of the top rated kits shown here come with a quick charger and 2 batteries so you can keep working longer. Three of the cordless tool industry’s top manufacturers are represented, and the quality is up to par with other tools made the companies.

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Milwaukee 2763-22 M18 Impact Wrench

best-cordless-impact-wrenchMilwaukee’s 2763-22 is the best cordless impact wrench for all-purpose work, from automotive to sheet metal. It provides up to 700 ft/lbs of fastening torque, and up to 1100 ft/lbs for removal, perhaps the most powerful tool of its type. It is built with a dial mode switch that allows more torque for difficult applications and reduced torque for more sensitive work, along with a unique quick-disconnect so you can change sockets effortlessly as you go.

The batteries are designed for extended life, and the charger that comes with the kit can be used to charge both 18V and 12V batteries so you can use a single charger for all of your Milwaukee tools.

cordless-impact-wrench-reviewsProviding the most torque in its class comes at a price, and the batteries will wear down quickly when using the M18 at full throttle. On the low torque side, the listed Mode 1 strength is on the optimistic side, and you will probably be lucky to get to tighten to more than about 40-60 ft/lbs in actual working conditions.

The most common complaint is the weight, and prolonged use will probably cause fatigue unless you can swap it between your right and left hands periodically. Overall, the kit has everything you need to get started except the impact sockets, and while the carrying case could be made with a bit more attention to quality, it works fine as a portable storage container.

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DeWalt DCF889M2 High Torque Impact Wrench

The DCF889M2 is Dewalt’s best candidate for cordless impact wrench. It may not have the torque potential of the Milwaukee, but it is also lighter and designed to get into places a larger impact wrench can’t fit. The electric brake is nice to have, and reduces the potential for rounding nuts if you pull away as soon as you release the trigger.

The drive mechanism is manufactured with magnesium to keep the weight low and the work potential high, and the all-metal transmission gives you more dependability and a longer lasting tool. It uses Dewalt’s patented XR lithium-ion batteries that pack more amp-hours into a single charge, and having 2 batteries means you can keep working for long periods with only a short break now and then to swap battery packs.

The batteries are a bit of a disappointment, as they are only 20 volt batteries after the initial non-load charge, and will function at 18 volts thereafter. This could have been the top rated impact wrench, but it can’t quite match the power of the Milwaukee M18.

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Makita XWT02M LXT 3 Speed Impact Wrench Kit

For something on the lighter side, and without quite as much punch, the 3-speed Makita XWT02M may be the best choice if you’ll need it for extended periods and don’t need the brute force of the other two picks. It’s lightweight and provides a full 210 ft/lbs of torque, making it perfect for use with sheet metal, shop work, and other light to medium duty applications. The batteries provide ample power for long use, and installed, the Makita weighs less than 4 pound which means you can use it longer without being fatigued.

This model includes a built-in power indicator that will let you know when the battery is getting low, and features a quick change anvil so you can spend less time changing sockets and more time putting them to good use. The biggest complaint is the low torque provision, and that is not so much a problem as misguided expectations. If you are looking for a compact tool that can be used in tight spaces for light and medium applications, this is the best cordless impact wrench to look at, but if you need a heavy duty tool, the Milwaukee model has the power, along with the size and weight that makes more power possible.

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