Cordless impact wrenches have come a long way and have become the wrench of choice for most mechanics and home users, replacing the air-powered impact wrenches (pneumatic). Pneumatic impact wrenches require a compressor and an air hose to carry air to the tool. Hoses can cause tripping hazards and can be hectic to handle. Pneumatic impact wrenches require regular maintenance of the air supply systems to keep dirt out and oil to lubricate the tools. Pneumatic tools can be very noisy, requiring the user to protect the ears.
Cordless impact wrenches came along with solutions to all the drawbacks of the air-powered tools. Initially, cordless impact wrenches lacked power and could not be used for a long time in a typical auto-shop; therefore they had minimal acceptance. Thanks to advancements in technology and research to improve these tools, cordless impact wrenches now have higher amperage, long lasting Lithium-ion batteries to maximize runtime and efficient chargers to minimize charge time. Many of the cordless impact wrenches today minimize energy consumption and have brushless motors that are smaller, lighter, durable and more powerful.
The best cordless impact wrenches are capable of delivering as much torque as most air-powered impact wrenches and the battery packs can last up to a whole day in a typical auto-shop. Cordless impact wrenches with high torque are heavier compared to pneumatic impact wrenches but the flexibility and portability and convenience cannot be matched; no hose to drag around and no noise to deafen you and the neighbor’s cat!
There are some half-inch cordless impact wrenches have smaller brushless motors that are more powerful and delivers more torque than the previous models.
With the cordless impact wrenches becoming more portable, powerful, and lighter and having longer lasting batteries, it is clearly winning the race against pneumatic impact wrenches.
Air-powered impact wrenches need air compressors which can be noisy and air supply and lubrication systems; not to talk of the maintenance cost. With these tools, you don’t get the freedom and portability that the cordless impact wrench offers.
Latest advancements in battery packs and Lithium-ion technology have made it possible for battery packs to deliver a full day’s work on a typical work day-with a single charge! Most users of cordless impact wrenches have more than one battery packs for back up so swapping batteries will only slow down the work for a few minutes-no big deal! There are fast chargers that can deliver a full charge in30 minutes or less and can charge more than one battery at once.