What wrench is better pneumatic or electric?

Electric lawn wrenches: “Za rulem” experts select the best one

We found out how easier and more convenient to unscrew the nuts on the wheels. with a budget wrench or a conventional wrench.

There’s no sense in buying a professional impact wrench just to use it a couple of times a year: it’s too expensive. Therefore for tests we have picked up the “budget” company of four tools at a price from 2000 to 7900. All impact wrenches are low-voltage: two are cordless and two more are externally powered by the vehicle’s onboard power supply. These can be used on the road.

The real tightening torque of wheel fasteners on cars is 100-120 Nm. Sometimes even greater torque is needed, for example to tighten the hub nut or unscrew rusted joints. For the company we bought, the declared torques are from 140 to 380 N-m. Let’s find out if these promises are true! And in order not to accidentally break the bolts during the test, we took a stronger fastener from the GAZelle and used a 27-mm solid head for it. It reduces power of wrenches, but all tools we tested in equal conditions, that’s why tests with “weights” are correct.

Operating principle

All impact wrenches you bought are impact wrenches. But the principle of action is different. No soft start on both Bort impact wrenches. The output shaft only starts to rotate when the massive clutch unscrews and the centrifugal forces move the weights to the operating position. They engage in the cam of the output shaft and transmit torque to the cam. This crude application of high torque and even impact at once defines the application range of these impact wrenches: wheel fastening as well as the loosening of high-torque bolts and nuts on the chassis.

The cordless wrenches “Zubr” and “Makita” have a different principle. The output shaft starts rotating immediately. In essence, they work like a normal screwdriver at first. As the resistance increases, the shock clutch engages. This smooth start-up makes these impact wrenches ideal for use in most vehicle applications.

Price ~5200 ₽Chuck square ½” battery power, 18 V, 1,7 AhTorque 350 NmRpm Speed 0. 2200 rpmFrequency of rotation 0. 3300 beats/minMass 2.2 kg

Cordless “Zubr” with a planetary reduction gear and soft start tightened the bolt so that it required 200 N-m torque to loosen it. This seems to be its real limit: when trying to unscrew the fastener, it managed only with a bolt that was pre-tightened with a torque wrench to 200 Nm. Higher torques are not possible. Note the LED battery charge indicator.

Price ~2000 ₽Square hammer ½” external power, 12 VDC 350 NmTorque 3300 rpm/impact frequency n.д.Weight 1.4 kg

Speed cannot be adjusted. The current consumption at its peak reaches 22 A: a car socket is unlikely to withstand. Torque of 300 Nm and tightened fasteners with a power tool can be undone with a torque wrench. The reverse operation also went well: the power tool was able to unscrew the bolt, tightened to a torque of 350 Nm. But that was the end of the positive: The clutch drive turns on the plastic gear. The construction turned out to be obviously weak. But the wear and tear of the mechanism was, on the contrary, strong. The operating time is specified as 40 hours, but our device “died” much earlier.

Price ~ 3400 ₽Square hammer ½” battery power, 18 V, 1,7 AhTorque 380 NmRPM/3400 RPM/Stroke frequency n.д.Weight 1.6 kg

Maximum current peak up to 21A: standard 12-volt socket may not fit. The bolt tightened to its full force with this wrench has unscrewed at a torque of 200 N-m. The reverse test was more optimistic: The power tool was able to unscrew a fastener that had been pre-tightened to 300 N-m. But 350 Nm didn’t do it. No flimsy plastic pinion like its broken namesake: the torque is transmitted by a steel shaft. Instruction manual indicates that this tool should work for about 40 hours. This means that it can change the wheels on your car for up to a dozen years.

Price ~7900 ₽Square Chuck ³⁄8″ Battery powered, 10.8V-12V Torque 140NmRPM Speed 0. 2600PMPunch Frequency 0. 3200PMMass 1.0. 1.2kg

How to choose a impact wrench: a brief insight into the tool’s capabilities

To find the best impact wrench for the money you have, you should consider the things we’ll list below:

  • Select a higher torque version to get you started. To work with wheel nuts M12, a model with torque of 100 Nm is sufficient. To loosen nuts up to M18 you need a torque wrench with 250-300 Nm. For working with M20 nuts, tire fitting work and dismantling old and rusty fasteners, you need a tool with a 600 Nm torque. Many of the best 2020 impact wrenches have multiple torque settings, making them much more versatile than single-torque tools. Lowering the torque to the necessary minimum prevents overtightening.
  • Second, a good wrench should have a higher rpm. Higher speed (more than 3,000 rpm is recommended), means less human effort.
  • Third, the power supply is important. Wrenches can be powered by a 220-volt mains supply, by your car’s on-board power supply, or by your own battery or compressor. Note that cordless wrenches offer the best mobility and allow you to work where there are no electrical outlets.
  • Finally, you should use a compact and light impact wrench. This makes it easy to carry and use. If you’re buying a tool to periodically tighten the bolts and nuts of your car, you’ll want an option that is effortless and easy to use.
  • The motor (brush or brushless). Brush motors wear out quickly. A brushless motor, on the other hand, has a longer life and higher efficiency. That is why a brushless tool is better.
  • Chuck type (1, 1/4, 3/8, 3/4, or 1/2 inch).
  • Small screwdrivers for home use have a 1/4″ hex chuck.
  • Less common is a 3/8-inch hex chuck. Impact screwdriver bits and matching sockets can be used with it.
  • Most wrenches come with a 1/2 inch square chuck suitable for sockets ranging from M8 to M20.
  • 3/4″ or 1″ square chucks allow you to work with large wrenches for unscrewing and screwing fasteners on trucks and installing metal structures.
  • Some wrenches come with adapters or universal chucks.

Let’s move on from theory to choosing a specific model of impact wrench to suit your needs.

Top cordless wrenches of 2022



Rating of nutrunners opens the small and lightweight model, which includes 6 different sockets and two lithium-ion battery capacity of 2000 mAh each. The low tightening torque prevents small threads from being snapped. Rubberized handle makes the tool very comfortable in the hand.

According to. this is the best cordless wrench for the garage. It easily removes the nuts on bicycles, motorcycles and even passenger cars. An indispensable thing in the household if the garage is not equipped with electricity.

Tool types

There are quite a few types of wrenches. We’ve looked at different designs that differ in drive. But in addition to this, there are varieties, and it is usually an electric tool. So, there are:

The first ones, besides rotary motion, at the same time make blows on the nut with a special striker. At the beginning are infrequent blows, which become more frequent as they are tightened, and at the end is the strongest blow, which provides a highly secure connection. The non-shock ones do not have such a function, they only rotate. There are different designs in terms of shape:

In straight lines, the spindle and motor axes of rotation coincide, similar in design to a drill. Convenient for work on conveyors, provide a large torque. Impact wrenches have a spindle axis rotated 90 degrees in relation to the motor. Useful for working in various awkward places, well placed in the hand. Finally, by type of power there are electric tools:

The first ones provide high power and good performance wherever there is an outlet. The latter require recharging and lose power as the battery runs out, but are good where there is no electricity, such as in the field.

Parameters for choosing a nutrunner

To give specific advice on how to choose a stud tensioner is very difficult. there are many models from different manufacturers, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. And users leave very contradictory reviews about them. The fact is that when choosing a tool for yourself, you should be guided by your requirements and choose the best option for you, but not buy just “more expensive and bigger”. The following points should be taken into account:

  • Power determines tightening torque. It is necessary to assess what kind of work will be performed. You shouldn’t take an overly powerful tool for small tasks.
  • Drive. here you need to see if a manual torque wrench is enough or if an electric one is better. For workshops that have a compressor, the pneumatic option might be worth considering.
  • Power. sometimes mains power is enough, and sometimes cordless variant is preferable.
  • Chuck. there are variants for the bit, and the most common. with a ½-inch square. A matter of taste and compatibility with existing tools. The square allows you to mount sockets without problems.

So, the choice of a nutrunner for the garage is not particularly difficult. most common mid-range models will do. The most difficult question. with what torque is better to choose a wrench. Do not take the most powerful. it can simply tear the thread, or tighten so that without such a tool you can not unscrew again. That is why models where the torque can be adjusted, like in a screwdriver, with a ratchet mechanism, are preferable.

Types of pneumatic wrenches

Buying a reliable hand tool is not a difficult matter now, you can find several varieties of it in retail outlets. The pneumatic wrench is a common tool, the different models of which differ in the following parameters:

  • Form of execution. straight, pistol type, angular.
  • Maximum torque.
  • Spindle square socket size.
  • Head sizes. standard and extended.
  • Use of ratchet or impact mechanism.
  • Airflow rate.

Pneumatic impact wrench

Corrosion makes dismantling a threaded joint difficult, old bolts hold in their places as well as welding. The pneumatic impact wrench quickly breaks away stuck material and unscrews fasteners even in the toughest places. Its working principle is as follows:

The pneumatic angle wrench

Straight models are good for open access, but what about fasteners mounted under instrument panels, between protruding parts, or in other difficult locations? Angle pneumatic impact wrench is a little different, its description shows all the advantages of non-standard positioning of the spindle axis. In this device, it is turned perpendicular to the axis of the body, which allows you to perform locksmithing work from the side of the bolted joint.

How to choose an air screwdriver?

Always choose an air tool that is compatible with the compressor in terms of working pressure and air consumption. Completion is important. it is better to choose nutrunners in cases with additional consumables. Let’s consider other nuances that influence the right choice of a pneumatic wrench:

  • impact wrench suitable for sensitive applications where less force is needed and maximum precision is essential.
  • Impact tools will help when unscrewing rusted, old connections, and even in the work with the large fasteners.
  • Ratchet mechanism is good for small loads, often used in angle wrenches.
  • Tightening power. the most important nuance. The most popular parameter. 30-3000 Nm, the maximum values are chosen based on specific conditions.
  • For auto service fits spindle with 1/2 inch landing size. For work with threads up to 25 mm. 3/4 inch, for large vehicles (threads over 50 mm). from 1 to 1.5 inches.
  • Weight of the tool. with a heavy tool, your hands get tired faster, but too light a pneumatic screwdriver is worse for tightening nuts with great effort.
  • Composite body is lighter, stronger, more practical.

Rating of pneumatic wrenches

studying the TOP of the newest models of tools for working with threaded fasteners, it is easier to pick up devices for your personal workshop. Here’s a look at the best pneumatic wrenches in various categories:

Handheld tile cutter allows you to work with different types of materials: ceramic, artificial stone and others. Tools are divided into mechanical and electric. The choice of the device is carried out based on the amount of work.

External hard drive is designed to store large amounts of digital information. By making the right choice, you can significantly ease your life, eliminating the need to carry a laptop or worry about the safety of data.

Power cable is a structure through which electrical current is supplied from the substation to various objects: businesses, homes, public buildings. It comes in several varieties, each of which has its own features and advantages.

The pool filter maintains optimal water parameters for bathing. There are several varieties, differing in cleaning quality, power and cost. Choosing the right option will ensure the long-term use of the recreation area.

In this type, one of the main characteristics is a quality battery. Only a powerful, long-lasting battery will give you the benefits of this tool.

Japanese machine is the most powerful in the line. 400 Nm maximum torque makes it possible to tighten large nuts and unscrew rusty, stuck bolts. Three speeds are available:

  • Low to 2100 rpm. used for filigree work;
  • middle speed up to 2,500 rpm. most often used, allows you to control the process;
  • high speed up to 2900 rpm. allows you to unscrew a nut with a lot of effort;
  • Reverse is used for difficult screws and bolts.

Impact wrench mechanism at maximum torque produces the lowest possible reaction torque. Three LEDs evenly illuminate the work surface. Rubber coated handle allows for non-slip operation and is very comfortable. The cordless battery is the universal one and fits Ryobi One series machines.

This model is the most popular. Maximum torque. 350 Nm, included: battery, charger, carrying case. Speed up to 2200 rpm, backlight, electronic speed change. Users of the tool note reliability, sufficient power for daily use.

Manufacturer: China, gives a 5-year warranty.

German manufacturer attaches great importance to the quality of the battery and charger. These two interchangeable devices fit the AGE series of tools, including a peorator and drill. Maximum torque is 360Nm, with most customers reporting a stable 350Nm.

Includes: 2 4 Ah batteries, adapter from 1/2″ square to standard bits. tool has a metal casing. for reliability.

Angular unit is used for work in inaccessible places. The tool, despite its light weight of only 1.5 kg, has a clamping torque of 60 Nm, it is able to tighten fasteners with metric thread up to M12. The impact wrench will come in handy for those who use Makita tools with a 10.8V battery

  • tool is equipped with a backlight, there is also an afterglow function, works even after the button has been pushed;
  • reverse function;
  • electronic speed control;
  • belt clip.

The tool is indispensable for furniture assembly, minor repairs and various cottage jobs. the wrench has a power of 90 Nm, it easily performs complex work that a powerful electric screwdriver cannot cope with. 1.5 Ah battery is rated for 4 hours of battery life. The impact wrench is complemented by bits for use at home. Speed 2000 rpm, torque up to 90 Nm. Country of Origin: China.

Equipped with lithium-ion technology provides:

  • electronic braking;
  • light weight;
  • illuminated work surface;
  • Rugged metal housing;
  • two batteries;
  • non-slip coating of the handle;
  • reverser;
  • case.

The American-made angle wrench can produce a maximum torque of 180 Nm. this feature can be very useful in inaccessible places, to work with rusty fasteners. Included are two 20 V batteries with a capacity of 1.5 A⋅h, a battery charger and a case. Maximum speed. 1900 rpm.

Why does the compressor need a filter?

The air leaving the compressor must be clean, i.e. free of impurities that could damage the impact wrench. It is not common knowledge that condensation condenses in the compressed air inside the air reservoir. Oil can also leak into the air intake together with the compressed air if the mechanics of the machine are badly deteriorated. Oil mixed with condensation (moisture) becomes like an emulsion and gets inside the tool through the hose that is connected to it. This emulsion can cause corrosion of all machine parts. For this reason it is not uncommon for water and rust to find stud tensioners in the service workshops with defective components.

In order not to drive the tool to such a deplorable state, it is customary to install a filter-water separator on the compressor. The sump contains a special sieve made of bronze.

The air, passing through the filter, gives off moisture and loses all impurities that fall into the sump. Usually the body of the moisture separator is made of transparent material to monitor the amount of impurities accumulated during operation.

The sump also has a valve (located at the bottom) through which all contaminants can be easily evacuated.

You can tell when the filter is clogged and does not deliver the airflow rate you need by the power loss in the tool. The impact wrench starts working normally for a few seconds but then suddenly slows down and loses its power. This is explained by the fact that the tool is started by the accumulated air in the hose, after which it becomes insufficient due to the low throughput of a clogged filter. In such cases, the filter is taken out, washed in solvent and then blown through with air. In extreme cases the filter has to be changed. It is available in stores that sell air tools.

Selection of oil for the impact wrench

This pneumatic tool should be lubricated with great care. If the machine can run for a while without purified air, it will fail very quickly without lubrication. The oil fed to the moving parts of the machine reduces the friction between them as well as removes products of wear in the form of fine dust. This dust is able to fill the gaps between the blades and the rotor, which slows them down. The power output of the tool is greatly reduced as a result. The problem can be solved by adding a lubricator to the system. The picture below shows a linear type.

But the installation of “grease gun” will help to extend the life of the wrench only if it is filled with a special grease designed only for pneumatic tools, which has the right viscosity.

Try to buy an oil for your nutrunner that is recommended by the manufacturer of the tool. in extreme cases use only synthetic oil that has good anti-wear and anti-corrosion properties and does not contain silicone.

Do not fill the lubricator with gear oil or motor oil because it has a higher viscosity than required and successfully “glues” the pneumatic actuator blades, causing the unit to lose power.

Special grease is also available from companies that sell air tools.

The structure of an electric impact wrench

The impact wrench can be confused with an ordinary drill, as they look very similar. A special head is inserted in the holder of an electric impact wrench that clamps and unscrews the nut thanks to the motor. Direction of head movement is chosen manually depending on what action is necessary to produce. to unscrew or tighten the nut. The basic components are similar in all models; each impact wrench has a handle and a barrel with a mechanism that includes a motor, spring and chuck.

What is better an electric or pneumatic wrench?

To improve efficiency and durability of connections special devices are used, the choice of the model of nutrunner depends on the type of work performed. What better electric or pneumatic wrench depends on the tasks and objectives facing the craftsman. Each type of unit has its own pros and cons.

  • Electric models operate from 220 V mains, are powerful and easy to use. Their advantages are considered low noise level, reasonable cost and high efficiency.
  • Pneumatic models operate in places where electric impact wrenches cannot be used because of high humidity or absence of mains power supply. Such devices are easy to work with and not afraid of overheating, their advantages are autonomy and the ability to adjust the power.

Electric impact wrench

An electric impact wrench is economical. No inevitable losses in the conversion of electrical energy into compressed air energy and then into the kinetic energy of the impact wrench. Saves compressor resources. Handheld electric wrenches are battery operated, which is more convenient because there is no interfering and eternally not reaching the right place cable.

Pneumatic wrenches

Pneumatic wrenches are more common and reliable. Wide range of models with a variety of characteristics and materials used to create the body. the use of a mini oiler, before connecting the hose air supply, maintains the integrity of the engine, internal components and prolongs the life of the trimmer. By choosing a professional air hose you can safely perform work without distracting yourself by checking its integrity.

Do not forget that the wrench. A lawn mower is a hand tool, its role is to save energy of the operator and therefore it is worth to take into account the housing material, weight and ergonomics of the handle.

What nutrunner to choose is up to you to decide, because no one knows so well the needs of your auto service, intensity and conditions of use of equipment. Managers of Grand Tool online store will give answers to any question, will help with maintenance and purchase of repair kits, you only need to provide full information about the conditions under which the nutcracker will work.