Impact wrenches are fairly common tools that most people are familiar within the modern world. The most popular use case for them being used to removing lug nuts from car wheels to change tires.
From the outside, they look like regular tools that are straightforward in their operation but it’s not until you get to actually use one yourself that you’ll get to fully understand and appreciate the many nuances they bring with them and how they make certain tasks so much easier.
But if you do find yourself in the need for an impact wrench to change your tire, which type should you buy? Here’s a guide to find the best impact wrench for changing tire. It contains all the information you’d need to select a proper impact wrench that suits your particular needs.
Table of Contents
Select the type of impact wrench
The first thing you need to decide is the type of impact wrench you want to go with. There are 3 types of impact wrenches which are at different price points and offer different usage scenarios and levels of power.
None of them are objectively better than the other but each of them has their own quirks that make them better in certain situations.
1. Corded electric impact wrenches
This is the cheapest option among the three and is also fairly balanced when it comes to portability and power. It runs on electricity and all you have to do is plug it into a wall socket and turn it on with the proper socket and extension.
Due to it being corded, the motor will always get a steady supply of electricity, making this a fairly powerful and reliable machine.
This is the type of impact wrench you want to buy if you’re someone who almost all of their servicing at homes and not so much on the road. The biggest strength of a corded electric impact wrench is that it is very cheap and you will get a higher quality product for the same price as the others.
2. Cordless electric impact wrenches
This is the same as the corded version except now, they don’t need a separate external power supply and completely operate using their internal batteries. This means that the power and how long a cordless impact wrench will operate is entirely dependent on the battery in it. While this is a significant hit in terms of raw power, it adds up for portability and ease of use.
These are primarily focused on portability and also happen to be the most expensive despite packing the least power among all three types.
That is because they run primarily on batteries but you can find plenty of cordless impact wrenches that offer fantastic amounts of torque on the go. With cordless, it is all about mobility and if you can’t make use of that or don’t need it, then this simply isn’t for you.
3. Air impact wrenches
Also known as the pneumatic impact wrench uses air pressure to produce torque. This is not a very sophisticated technique but evidentially very effective and it is the most powerful among the 3 wrenches. But it does require compressed air at all times to function which greatly limits its portability.
The air impact wrenches are usually the most powerful and are commonly found in many automobile shops. They require compressed air to function which is not always readily available so it is very rare to see a regular person opting to buy an air impact wrench, especially if they plan on traveling.
If you’re dealing with unusually big or rusty lug nuts and raw power is what’s most important to you, then this is a fine choice.
Decide the size of the driver
The bigger the driver size, the more torque a wrench can produce. However, this is not always ideal as too much torque can have undesirable effects on the bolts like cracking. You want to have a driver size that is appropriate to the kind of work you’re doing.
For regular auto-mobile tires, we usually go with the ½-inch driver. However, if it’s a large vehicle and the nuts are unreasonably big for a regular wrench, then you can opt for a bigger ¾-inch driver.
The size of the driver also determines the design and how big the handle of your wrench will be and as a result, will directly affect your operational capabilities.
It’s also something noteworthy to keep in mind as bigger, more ergonomic handles make for a much better experience when using impact wrenches.
Determine the power you’d need
If you don’t know what kind of power you should expect from your impact wrench, you should always refer to the type of work you’re going to do and make sure whatever model you have in mind meets all of the requirements set by that task.
Most jobs that require an impact wrench will have a minimum and optimal level of torque you would need to operate on them. As long as your impact wrench meets those parameters, you should be able to go about your work without any hassle.
This guide to find the best impact wrench for changing a tire is short but contains all the basic information you would need to select a proper impact wrench to change tires that will not only fit the tires you’re working with but also the kind of life you’d be working around.