The Pneumatic vs Electronic Impact Wrench: Which Suits Your Needs?

An impact wrench is a tool that is used in all sorts of work, especially automotive work. However, there are many reasons why the average do-it-yourselfer may need an impact wrench. If you are working with wood and building a deck or any sort of structure, an impact wrench will definitely come in handy. Impact wrenches are most commonly found in the pneumatic version. This means that the impact provided by the wrench is powered by compressed air. There are impact wrenches that are powered by electricity. It is hotly debated which of the two impact wrenches is best, however, you should decide which one works best for you. 

The Professional Choice

The pneumatic impact wrench is considered the professional grade impact wrench. It is also the wrench chosen by do-it-yourselfers that work with automobiles. This is because the compressed air provides more torque than can be produced by the electric models. However, most do-it-yourselfer are going to find that they don’t need such a high level tool for the jobs that they want completed around their home.

Higher Torque

It has been established that the pneumatic impact wrench is going to provide more torque. What does that really mean? It mean that’s the impact wrench powered by compressed air is going to provide more power with every impact. While this can be very important, the average do-it-yourselfer is not going to need super powered torque for the odd jobs that they will be completing. In exchange for the higher torque of the pneumatic impact wrench, the electric model is not going to require the use of an air compressor. This makes the electric wrench much more convenient to use and it means that it can be used in situations where an air compressor many not be available, such as changing tires on the side of the road.

Easier to Use

The pneumatic impact wrench is going to be easier on your body. It is lighter in weight and usually smaller to hold in your hand. This is because much of the power source is going to be housed in the air compressor. The electric impact wrench is going to house all of the necessary equipment inside the wrench itself and therefore, it is heavier and bulkier. Because the electric impact wrench is going to be heavier and larger, you may find that is can cause fatigue when using it for long periods of time. 


Impact wrenches, both pneumatic and electric, are found at a variety of price points. You can buy one for $50 or $250. It is advised that with any power tool, you don’t buy the cheapest model. This is exceptionally important if you are selecting an electric impact wrench. Because electric impact wrenches are going to be run off of battery, you want to make sure that the battery is high powered and long lasting. The best battery available today is the Lithium Ion battery. These batteries are lighter weight and long lasting. However, they are the most expensive of any battery, therefore they can increase the cost of your pneumatic impact wrench.

There you have it. Using the above information you can determine which type of impact wrench is going to best suit your needs.