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When not to use an Impact Wrench?

Most of us understand the benefits of using an impact wrench especially when it comes to removing rusted nuts and bolts, but interestingly not many are aware of the incorrect application of the product.

Some of the common mistakes in using the impact wrench are as follows.

image - When not to use an Impact Wrench?
When not to use an Impact Wrench?

Over Tightening the Components

If you are unaware of the torque, an impact wrench can end up stretching or stripping the wrench threads while ensuring the nut or bolt is satisfactorily tightened.

Over tightening some components beyond manufactured specifications can result in severe damages.

So, I recommend an impact wrench only to remove or loosen nuts or bolts.

Cross Threading

Cross threading is a situation where the nut and bolt thread do not mesh and an impact wrench can cause irreparable damage to the thread if used in tightening such a

cross-threaded nut or bolt.

I usually avoid the problem by manually threading the parts before using the impact wrench.

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Are Impact Wrenches Worth It?

Impact wrenches are expensive but they can make your work a lot easier. It is a powerful tool that can provide sufficient rotational torque to loosen or tighten the nuts in the best possible way that can save you a lot of time and energy.

I am of the opinion that impact wrenches are totally worth buying. However, one should follow some safety precautions for a smooth operation and avoid damaging the equipment they are assembling.

The worthiness of the tool depends on how one uses and maintains it. When I first bought an impact wrench, I had to first learn the right procedures to use the tool along with the dos and don’ts.

There are instances when even the best of the products is short-lived if mishandled regularly causing significant damage to the equipment.

The impact wrenches are available based on their specifications and features.

The most affordable of the wrenches ACDelco ANI308 3/8-inch Impact Wrench is available for $30, whereas the most expensive in the segment AIRCAT 1150 1/2-inch Impact Wrench is priced at $156.

There are different kinds of impact wrenches that vary from price to price, and if you are confused about which one to get, you first need to know their prices and what are the important things that make a good impact wrench.

You can find out everything regarding the cost, buying guide, types of impact wrenches, from this article by Tools Territory.

In the corded segment, the best wrenches start from $55 and vary up to $79, similarly in the cordless segment, the highly-rated wrenches come at a starting price of $59 up to $311.

I found a great companion in impact wrenches when it comes to cranking the pulley off my old car and removing lugs and bolts in the automobile.

My preferences of impact wrenches vary depending upon their application.

If I want to perform light-duty work such as tightening bolts in the concrete wall of my house then I would prefer a cordless battery powered wrench because of its economic power consumption but if I were to work on a construction site, I would rather carry it with me an electric corded wrench to perform continuous heavy-duty work.

Nevertheless, impact wrenches are totally worth the buy when it comes to getting a job done.

The products with more power and lots of features are usually a bit expensive and I leave it to the readers to arrive at their own conclusions in choosing their tools.

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Are Impact Wrenches Adjustable?

Impact wrenches are great to perform tough jobs and industrial works, but can I also use them to perform small tasks such as driving a screw? The answer is Yes.

Let me elaborate on how it can be done and you will be surprised when you find out.

We are well aware that the drive head of the impact wrenches come in fixed sizes say ¼ inch, ⅜ inch, etc and to perform drive functions one needs a smaller drive head.

With the help of a quick-change adapter (Hex shank ¼ inch to ⅜ inch), I could easily convert the wrencher to suit small-scale requirements.

Now that I have an adapter, all I need to do is insert an appropriate drive bit into it and my impact wrench is now a makeshift impact driver that can drive screws.

Impact wrenches are expandable with the use of the right adapter that suits specific needs.

Some of the advantages of using an adapter to the existing impact wrench are as follows.

  • It saves a lot of money as it eliminates the need to buy a new driver to perform a different set of functions and with the help of an adapter I can easily adjust the drive head of the impact wrench to perform light-duty
  • The adapter is easy to use and locks into the drive head
  • If the user has trouble holding the screws, then I recommend the use of a magnetized drive bit to prevent the screws from falling off.

However, the newly expandable impact wrench cum driver is not without its disadvantages.

As a hobbyist, I found some drawbacks when using the impact wrench with an adapter.

  • One of the main drawbacks I observed is that the driver bits were wobbling as turned on the
  • I also found that the impact wrench when used as a driver needs to be run at lower settings to get the job

How Does an Impact Wrench Work?

The impact wrench has an electric or an air motor that produces intense twisting motion in short bursts and this generates adequate power to assemble and disassemble components.

The impact wrench is either powered by air or electricity. The air impact wrench is also called a pneumatic wrench and these are light and easier to use.

The air impact wrench is powered by an air compressor and is most preferred by professional mechanics to remove car tires.

The electric wrench is of two types: corded and battery-powered. The electric corded wrenches require a continuous supply of electricity to power the motor.

They provide greater control to the user and more importantly they produce greater output torque that is sufficient for a hobbyist or a weekend warrior.

The battery-powered cordless wrenches are the most portable and affordable in comparison to their corded counterparts.

The cordless wrenches consume less electricity and it is a handy tool to perform lighter applications and home use.


If you are a hobbyist like me, then the impact wrench is a great tool that can help in performing a range of duties from heavy-duty to small-scale applications, from industrial purpose to home use, the impact wrench covers it all.

However, I definitely recommend the user to read the instruction manual that comes with the product to get an idea of the working of the product and avoid the most common mistakes in operating the device.