Electric vs. Pneumatic Impact Wrench: Why Experts Choose

If taking ourselves aside from hydraulic impact wrench, electric and pneumatic, or air impact wrenches are the most commonly used power tool for automobile maintenance. Each of the impact wrenches got appraisal not only for their performance but also for unique features, usability, and price range.

Might be, that is the reason, every newcomer in this sector becomes confused to choose one among them, and it seems like you are as well.

That’s why we are going to share our experts’ ethos regarding electric vs. pneumatic impact wrench so that you can invest your hard-earned money in the right tool.


Why People Use Pneumatic Impact Wrench

Pneumatic impact wrenches are more appreciated by people in the automobile industry, is for their traditional but powerful aspects. Having an industrial level torque and performance is vital to run one’s workshop. And by having an air impact wrench, it becomes easy to increase profitability.


Ultimate Power Pack

If comparing all sorts of impact wrenches with pneumatic one, no power tool can defeat this when it comes to power. Whether it’s about torque limits, RPM, or IPM, a pneumatic impact wrench delivers the most. To the professionals, it’s the core reason for picking air impact wrench.

Easy and Faster Operation

Another important reason behind choosing an air impact wrench rather than an electric impact wrench is the straightforward operation. You just have to connect the impact wrench to your air compressor, and you are ready to play with this power gun. No more different stuff to adjust.

Adding to that, you can accomplish fastening applications at a faster pace with an air impact wrench than others. It is possible because of the comparable high torque rate and speeds an air impact wrench has.


Adjustable Power Regulator

As we have told before, in each of the portions, you will find typical features in an air impact wrench. For instance, there is no power switch. Instead, you can adjust torque-speed with an oldy secure regulator system so that you can quickly adapt to the system.


electric vs pneumatic impact wrench



Because of not having fancy features, pneumatic impact wrenches are available in the market at an affordable price range. There is no hassle of changing a cord or batteries. As a result, the maintenance cost is a bit lower than other impact wrenches. But yes, that one-time investment for air compressor is needed.


Why People Use Electric Impact Wrench

Since today’s ethos is all about air and electric impact wrench, we would not go deep about corded vs cordless impact wrench. Just keep in mind that both of them are electric impact wrench by power-source.

Usually, the main attraction of an electric impact wrench is its high-end features and easy to use nature. It is needless to say that even a newbie can operate an electric impact wrench without any hassle.


Forward/Reverse Switch

If taking more about extensive features of an electric impact wrench, you can change the forward and reverse the direction of implementing torque in this power tool. The trait is essential when you are going to do tightening and loosening with a single impact wrench.


Speed Controller

In general, there are speed controllers or trigger in a corded impact wrench. As a result, you can apply torque-speed according to your applications’ needs. Indeed, it’s a prime requirement to avoid damage to your car lug nuts and bolts.


Comfortable Design

For an automobile mechanic, an impact wrench is a tool that he uses regularly. Since the pressure of the power tool during operation is too much, it’s mandatory to have an ergonomic design. And in case of electric impact wrench that is always present so that your hands become safe from fatigue issues.


Easy to Operate

Chasing for electric impact wrenches is common in the automobile industry due to their easy operative functionality. Unlike pneumatic impact wrenches, here, you only have a cord to connect with any household power board. That is what you need to start operating. No heavy air compressor required.


electric vs pneumatic impact wrench


Truly Protective Tool

As technology is evolving, the manufacturers of electric impact wrenches are becoming more concerned regarding user safety issues. Nowadays, the maximum of the electrical impact wrenches is comping up in the market with anti-overheating and overloading features.

Those features make sure to protect the users and the tool from certain damages. As a result, you would not face heat issues and get a harmless using experience.


DEWALT DWMT70774 vs. DEWALT DCF894B Impact Wrench

In this section of electric vs pneumatic impact wrench argument, we are going to debate through two of the best impact wrenches.

If you have not reached your opinion about which one is the best yet, then this section is going to help you a lot. In this part, we are going to make a comparison between two of the best impact wrenches in each category.

We should mention that both of the tools are coming along a nearly similar price. Let’s start the argument about the air impact vs cordless impact wrench that is compared below.


DEWALT DWMT70774 Pneumatic Impact Wrench


electric vs pneumatic impact wrench


DEWALT DWMT70774 pneumatic impact wrench is so far one of the most potent impact wrenches in this class. Like us, according to many reviewers and professionals, this one is the best air impact wrench.


The reason behind the popularity of this air impact wrench is quite transparent, it’s superior performance. By connecting the tool to your air compressor, you can feel an impressive performance.



With its 7300 RPM of power, it can solve each of the task faster than any other electric impact wrench. Nonetheless, the ultimate power tool can reach up to 600 ft-lbs of torque, which is quite good enough to tackle professional level works. What you just need is the uninterrupted airflow.



Like many of the DEWALT airpower impact wrench, this one also comes with a twin hammer mechanism, which is another phenomenon behind its extreme performance.

On the other hand, there is a power-regulator system with which you can control the torque a bit.


Drawbacks of The Tool

  • You have to buy an air compressor system separately
  • Creates a lot of noise because of the nature of the impact wrench
  • Advertised shows that its bottom handle exhaust will reduce fatigue issues, but in reality not that much
  • No overheat protection


DEWALT DCF894B Cordless Impact Wrench


Feature of Cordless Impact Wrench

If you spend a little more than the air impact wrench, then getting this DEWALT cordless impact wrench won’t be a bad idea. A set of rich features, portability is all about this cordless impact wrench.


Indeed, performance-wise, you won’t get as much as the pneumatic impact wrench. But what you are getting is satisfying as well. Inside the power tool, a brushless motor is equipped that enables it to deliver efficient performance and runtime.



Nothing might be better than this cordless impact wrench because you are getting up to 330 ft-lbs of torque to solve your emergencies. Fastening applications will be more comfortable with this portable impact wrench.



There is a variable speed trigger, which lets you control the torque-speed. Nevertheless, there’s also a 3-mode setting that allows customizing the tool according to the needs of your application. And as usual, the impact mechanism avoids overtightening or over loosening lug nuts with its forward/reverse settings.


Drawbacks of The Tool

  • Does not provide as much power as a pneumatic impact wrench
  • You have to buy the battery separately
  • High in price than an air impact wrench


Frequently Asked Questions of Electric vs. Pneumatic Impact Wrench


Q: Are battery-powered impact wrenches any good?


A: Certainly, the torque amount and speed a cordless impact wrench can generate is not at the highest level. But what a battery-driven impact wrench can do is quite enough to solve personal fastening needs.

Also, battery-powered impact wrenches are very user-friendly due to their portability. Therefore, you can carry them wherever you want. Nonetheless, the high-end features that a battery-powered impact wrench has will give you more control over your operations.

So, yes, we can say that this sort of impact wrenches is sufficient unless your projects require something big.


Q: How much torque does an electric impact wrench have?

A: It’s wholly depending on the electric impact wrench you going to pick. In general, electrical impact wrenches have a minimum of 345 ft-lbs of torque. And the impact rate is limited to around 1500 ft-lbs.


Q: What is the most powerful electric impact wrench?

A: If there is anything called powerful in the corded electric impact wrench class, then surely, the title goes to ENERTWIST ET-IW-1020. With its efficient motor, the tool can generate up to 450 ft-lbs of torque. On the contrary, the torque is up to 1050 ft-lbs when it comes to bolt breakaway.

We would also recommend Milwaukee’s 2767-22 if you are searching for cordless electric impact wrench. It can deliver up to 1000 ft-lbs of torque for fastening applications. And in the case of removal, the limit is extended to 1400 ft-lbs, which makes this tool the best electric impact wrench.


Q: How much air do you need to run an impact wrench?

A: For only operating, your 1/2-inch air impact wrench does require to have 4 to 5 CPM at 90 PSI. But it is recommended to have 120 PSI to get flexible and steady performance. Another notable point is to deliver that portion of Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) and Pounds per Square Inch (PSI), it is better to have a 20 gallon of tank capacity.


Q: How much PSI do I need for air tools?

A: If you have comparably smaller air tools, then the required PSI would be at least 70 to 90. But in the case of a bigger air tool, it is recommended to have a minimum of 100 PSI to maximum 120 PSI. These are the typical PSI ratio that requires to drive an air tool. If you have something unusual, try to figure out the rate in the instruction manual.

Q: Will impact wrench break bolts?

A: Yes, if you don’t have the right impact wrench, sockets, and also the right amount of speed. Remember, a different type of bolt size is available out there that you would need to deal with.

Typically, the necessary sockets you would need that come with the impact wrench. And if your impact wrench does have a speed control trigger, then follow your instruction to adjust the speed following your application. In this way, you can avoid breaking bolts.


Q: What size of impact wrench do I need to remove lug nuts?

A: For the everyday purposes and sizes of lug nuts, picking a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch impact wrench would be a wise decision.

Since both of them are suitable for changing lug nuts of private car’s tires, you can solve your DIY needs. Besides, these come with super-power also. But keep in mind that the torque limit these have is a bit lower to tackles lorry or truck.


Q: How many foot-pounds of torque do I need for tire lug nuts?

A: If you are settled down with a half inches of impact wrench, then you would need 90 to 120 ft-lbs of torque to tighten tire lug nuts. More than the amount means you are overtightening the lug nuts of your tires. Also remember that, depending on the wheel size, more specifically, the lug nuts sizes, you might need to increase the torque.


Q: Can I use regular sockets with impact wrench?

A: No, you can’t. Using regular sockets with your impact wrench cause bolts and nuts damage. Therefore, only use the stock sockets that came with your impact wrench.


Final Verdict

At the end of the corded electric impact wrench vs air impact wrench discussion, we would say, both of the power tools has some unique aspects that made the people’s favorite. For instance, if you find air impact wrench affordable, electric impact wrench gives you more control.

On the other hand, if you think air impact wrenches are the most powerful, then electric impact wrenches are very user-friendly.

So, what you are thinking after reading this electric vs pneumatic impact wrench debate? Which one is the better, electric, or pneumatic? Let us know your thought in the comment box.