How to Use an Electric Impact Wrench

What You'll Need
Impact wrench

An electric impact wrench is one of those essential power tools for home improvement projects. The pistol-shaped device has a high power output delivered through an output shaft. The high torque level helps you accomplish heavy jobs with ease and efficiency. The wrench also has a hammering function. This comes in handy when fastening screws, nuts and bolts. Below is a guide on how to loosen and tighten nuts with the torque gun.

Step 1 – Select Correct Socket

It is important that you select the proper socket size for the fasteners to be used. Incorrect size of socket will damage the fastener heads. If the wrench is connected to the power outlet, you’ll have to disconnect before changing sockets. Once you select the right socket, press it firmly onto the square drive of the torque gun.

Step 2 – To Loosen Nuts

Grip the wrench with your hands. Pull the rocker switch and place the socket over the fastener. Allow the torque to build up as you retain the wrench over the nut. The torque action will gradually loosen the nut.

Step 3 – Dislodging the Nut

Adjust the switch to the “reverse” setting. Grip the wrench with both hands to give you stability as you work. Pull the trigger to the furthest extent and place the socket onto the nut head. Maintain your finger on the trigger while training the socket on the nut head. The torque action will soon loosen the nut. Release the trigger once the nut is dislodged. Continued torque action may damage your work piece. If you have several nuts in a work piece, you can proceed to loosen as outlined above.

Step 4 – To Tighten Nuts

Install the nut using your hands and make sure it is not cross threaded. Select the correct socket to be used on the wrench. Press firmly onto the wrench square drive. Adjust the switch to the “forward” setting. Grip the wrench firmly and gently pull the trigger. Place the socket over the nut head. Regulate the spindle speed by gently modulating your finger on the trigger. Maintain the action until the nut is nipped up. Avoid tightening the nut. Proceed to work on other nuts in a similar manner.

Step 5 – Tightening

Go back to the first nut and train the socket onto the nut head. Pull the trigger fully. About 3 impacts should suffice to tighten the nut. Do not over tighten as it could stress the work piece.

Step 6 – Turn off Machine

Once you complete your work, be sure to turn off the machine. Unplug from main power outlet. Remove sockets used and store properly.


  • Keep children and pets away while using your impact wrench. They could easily distract you, resulting in an accident.
  • Do not use your impact wrench during storms or in a wet environment. The risk of electrical shock is higher in wet conditions.
  • Disconnect the wrench whenever you need to change sockets or make other adjustments. It reduces the risk of accidentally firing the machine.