Impact Wrench vs Torque Wrench

Many tasks may be completed with both an impact wrench and a torque wrench. Both are helpful, for instance, while tightening nuts and bolts. This naturally raises the question of which one to employ and under what conditions. To assist with that, I have produced this post. I’ll go over the relative benefits of each tool and when you should use it with you.

Is an impact wrench the same as a torque wrench?

No. The primary distinction is that an impact wrench is a type of power tool used to apply great force to tighten or loosen difficult-to-reach fasteners. However, you may precisely tighten the nuts and bolts with a torque wrench, a hand tool with torque control.

Torque Wrench Vs Impact Wrench Comparison


Torque Wrench


Impact Wrench


Key Features


Precise torque control


Very powerful but less control


Power Source


Manual wrench


Air, Battery, or Electricity


Ease of Use

Long hours of operation can result in excessive fatigue for the worker. No excessive strain on wrists. Easy to work all day long.



No noise pollution

Loud tool. The use of ear protection is highly recommended.




Air impact wrenches are affordable. The cordless version costs slightly more.

Differences Between Impact Wrenches and Torque Wrenches

Even while they both do a lot of the same tasks, they are clearly quite distinct instruments in other respects. Thus, let’s examine what are, in my opinion, some of the most significant distinctions so that everyone is aware of them.

Powered vs. Manual Use

The fact that one tool is powered and the other is manual is likely the first and simplest to notice. Similar to a standard wrench, a torque wrench requires manual rotation from the operator to provide power. An impact wrench is a power tool that just requires the operator to pull the trigger. It generates power using either air pressure or electricity.

Quickness and Sturdiness

Durability is a key area where the two differ significantly. Impact wrenches can perform enormous volumes of work quickly without causing any damage to the instrument. The tool will remain unchanged even after hundreds of bolts are tightened. That isn’t the case with a torque wrench, though. Because you run the risk of breaking the wrench, torque wrenches should not be used for tasks requiring you to tighten several bolts quickly. They have more intricate designs that only require a few, very precise bolts.

Variable vs Fixed Torque Output

However, the most significant distinction is that one has a tunable torque output, while the other does not. Frequently, torque wrenches have a mechanism that allows you to adjust the torque the wrench produces. To change the torque output, different torque wrenches employ various techniques: some utilize an adjustable clutch, others use electricity, etc.

Impact wrenches are quite different creatures. An impact wrench has a power output that is specified. If it’s an electric impact wrench, the battery’s power will be used. If the impact wrench is pneumatic, its operation will depend on the air compressor. To put it another way, an impact wrench’s torque cannot truly be changed. You basically need to acquire an impact wrench of a different size if you want much greater or much less torque.

On the other hand, you may modify the airflow in a pneumatic impact wrench to change speed if you don’t require exact torque control. You will be able to very roughly adjust the output torque as a result.

You can probably understand why both of these technologies are useful just based on these distinctions. I’ll go over when I believe you should be utilizing each tool to help you understand it even better.


When to Use an Impact Wrench?

Those tasks that call for speed and force rather than accuracy are the ideal fits for an impact wrench, as you may have surmised from what I wrote in the differences section. This highlights the impact wrench’s strength, which is its capacity to rapidly and easily screw in or remove a bolt or nut with the least amount of effort on your part.
An impact wrench, for instance, can make handling the potentially hundreds of bolts that need to be screwed in much simpler if you are working on a huge construction project like a home or another type of structure.

Similarly, changing or removing tires is a traditional task that makes the impact wrench shine. Tires fastened with lug nuts that require attention make removal simple and quick; utilizing a torque wrench would take much longer. If you know what you’re doing, an impact wrench can have a tire off or on in minutes.

When not to use an impact wrench?

The lug nut should not be tightened with an impact wrench. An impact wrench may be used to easily remove and swiftly replace lug nuts. However, you should always tighten it to the proper torque using a torque wrench. This is the proper way to use an impact tool to change an automobile tire.

When to Go for A Torque Wrench?

In most cases, the circumstances in which you should use an impact wrench are the exact opposites of those in which you would use a torque wrench. To put it another way, you should use a torque wrench when working with a small number of bolts or nuts that require a precise torque application.

When working on cars and motorcycles, torque wrenches are most frequently utilized. A torque wrench is useful for working on an interior component of a car, such as the suspension, because the torque required is precisely the proper amount.

Applying too much might cause a bolt to come loose, so take care with that. When working on motorcycles, the same reasoning applies. You don’t want to take the chance of applying too much force since the bolts there need a very precise quantity.

Torque wrenches are also employed in construction, machinery assembly, automotive assembly, and mechanical assemblies where precise torque tightening of the fasteners is required to guarantee correct clamping.




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