In our assorted tool reviews, we often check out tools of different prices. And we end up making recommendations for the “best premium choice” and “best value choice” depending on how much money you want to spend.
But when it comes to impact wrenches, we discovered that there are plenty of great “budget” options. In fact, there are more wrenches under $100 than you can shake a stick at. But even when it comes to value tools, some of them are better and more reliable than others.
So, how can you make sure you get the best impact wrench for the money? Keep reading to discover our reviews and comprehensive buyer’s guide to see just how far you can stretch those dollars!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||PORTER-CABLE PCE211 Impact Wrench||
|Avid Power MCIW326 Cordless Impact Wrench||
|Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV Impact Wrench||
|Dobetter DBCIW20 Cordless Impact Wrench||
|ACDelco ANI405A Pneumatic Impact Wrench||
The 10 Best Budget Impact Wrenches under $100 – Reviews 2021
1. PORTER-CABLE PCE211 Impact Wrench – Best Overall
You probably don’t have a ton of free time to research budget impact wrenches. If you’d like to get right to it and check out the best overall choice, we’ve got a recommendation: the PORTER-CABLE PCE211 Impact Wrench.
Despite the low price, this model is powered by a robust 7.5-amp motor. This allows it to deliver a very solid 2,200 RPM and 2,700 BPM. The forward/reverse rocker switch is very convenient, and the 450 feet-pounds of torque gives you plenty of versatility.
Still, even the best choice isn’t perfect. With this impact wrench, the sockets may fall off when you least expect them to do so. And the field windings of the motor are a bit looser than we’d like.
2. Avid Power MCIW326 Cordless Impact Wrench
Next up is the Avid Power MCIW326 Cordless Impact Wrench. But does it provide the “avid power” that you need? The answer is “yes,” but the manufacturers had to cut a few corners.
What did we like about this wrench? For one, the price: even among other budget wrenches, this is one of the most affordable options. And the tri-beam LEDs provide a lot of illumination to your workspace. And at 3.3 pounds, this is one of the most portable wrenches you can buy.
However, despite the low weight, the design is a bit bulky. And its uses are pretty limited: you can’t remove lug nuts with this, and it only provides a paltry 170 feet-pounds of torque.
3. Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV Impact Wrench
Compared to our previous entry, the Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV Impact Wrench packs a lot of power and versatility. But it also comes with its own set of issues you need to be aware of.
What did we dig about this wrench? With 550 feet-pounds of torque, you can take on a variety of different tasks. The 8,000 RPM max speed is very impressive, and the whole thing comes in a highly-affordable package.
With that being said, the 1,200 impacts per minute is a bit limited. And you need to attach it to an air hose and a large volume compressor. If you don’t already own these things, the cost of this impact wrench is effectively much higher.
4. Dobetter DBCIW20 Cordless Impact Wrench
Do you like versatility when it comes to your tools? If so, we have a feeling you’ll really dig the Dobetter DBCIW20 Cordless Impact Wrench. However, be aware that it has its own set of issues.
On the bright side, this wrench brings the versatility and power. It offers 300 feet-pounds of nut-busting torque and 260 feet-pounds of tightening torque. And the aluminum gearbox ensures that this wrench will last for a while.
However, at seven pounds, this tool is a bit heavy and may cause fatigue during use. And aluminum gearbox or no, many users report that these wrenches don’t last very long. And despite the power ratings, this wrench often struggles with corroded or rusted bolts and even struggles with car lugs.
5. ACDelco ANI405A Pneumatic Impact Wrench
Every now and then, you’ll encounter a tool that is fairly “middle of the road.” It’s not great and it’s not terrible: it’s simply here to get the job done. And the ACDelco ANI405A Pneumatic Impact Wrench is a solid example of this.
We were impressed that this wrench brings up to 500 feet-pounds of torque to bear on different projects. And with six different speeds, you have enough versatility to tackle many kinds of projects. And the durable design means that this tool will be around for the long haul in your garage or shed.
However, the charms of its cordless design are largely lost because you need to attach it to a hose and an air compressor. And the design is a bit bulky, especially after a long day of work. And speaking of long days, you’re likely to feel fatigue after using this heavy (5.72 pounds) tool for a few hours!
6. Enertwist ET-IW-1020 Electric Impact Wrench
All of the tools on this list are pretty affordable. The trick is finding a wrench that offers a lot of value for the money. And the Enertwist ET-IW-1020 Electric Impact Wrench achieves this balance with very few compromises.
First, we were really impressed by the 1,050 feet-pounds of bolt-busting torque. On top of that, it comes with 450 feet-pounds of fastening torque. And despite all that power, this still clocks in as one of the most affordable impact wrenches on the market.
Honestly, there is only one real gripe with this wrench: at 8.2 pounds, it’s definitely one of the heavier wrenches. It’s up to you to determine if that is a dealbreaker considering the other features.
7. Hammerhead HDIW075 Impact Wrench
The Hammerhead HDIW075 Impact Wrench is another tool that is perfectly average. That means it has its own set of pros and cons, and the real truth is that you can get better wrenches for the money.
The 240 feet-pounds of torque is decent, though not as powerful as some other wrenches in our reviews. We did enjoy the 2,200 RPM and the 2,700 impacts per minute. Finally, the forward/reverse rocker switch is nice and convenient.
What’s not to like about this wrench? Occasionally, the socket may remain on the nut when you withdraw your wrench. And it skips a bit more than we’d like. Finally, the head length is a bit long.
8. VonHaus 9100012 Impact Wrench
Remember when we said that some impact wrenches are better than others? The VonHaus 9100012 Impact Wrench is a good example of this. Specifically, it’s a good example of a wrench with more cons than pros.
On paper, it boasts some decent stats. This includes 300 feet-pounds of nut-busting torque and 260 feet-pounds of tightening torque. In practice, the wrench usually performs worse than advertised.
Other drawbacks include the lack of speed selections. This is also very large and, at 7 pounds, fairly heavy. And considering how much this wrench costs, you’re far better off choosing one of the other wrenches on our list.
9. WEN 48107 Two-Direction Electric Impact Wrench
The WEN 48107 Two-Direction Electric Impact Wrench presents itself as a simple and down-to-earth design. In practice, though, this tool has a few too many problems for us to really recommend it.
The 2,100 RPM is pretty good, as is the 2,700 impacts per minute. And while it didn’t blow us away, the 230 feet-pounds of torque is decent. Finally, the rocker switch makes it very easy to switch directions during use.
What are the issues with this wrench? At 6.9 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than we’d like. And the lack of speed adjustment options is very disappointing. The bulky design makes it hard to use. And despite the reported torque, some users found it wasn’t even strong enough to deal with car lug nuts.
10. Makita WT01ZW Impact Wrench
The Makita WT01ZW Impact Wrench is the final tool on our list. Does it help us end the reviews on a high note? Unfortunately, that’s a negative.
Here’s what we did like: it’s a very lightweight design, clocking in at about 2.1 pounds even with the battery attached. It’s also pleasantly small and compact, making it easy to store and good for tight spaces. And the built-in LED lights are convenient.
Why isn’t this tool higher on the list? First of all, the 12V power supply is fairly weak. And it doesn’t come with its own battery. The LED light is not very bright. Finally, at only 83 feet-pounds of torque, this is by far the most underpowered wrench on our list.
Hopefully, our reviews have shed some light on what you need from a good budget impact wrench. But you may still have a few questions that we need to answer before you can make your purchase.
That’s why we put together this comprehensive buyer’s guide. It answers all of your biggest questions while letting you know about every important detail of your potential purchase.
Between the reviews and this buyer’s guide, you’ll be able to find the best possible impact wrench under $100!
What Is an Impact Wrench?
Our buyer’s guide is going to cover all of the little details you need to know about impact wrenches. First, though, we need to answer a more basic question: what is an impact wrench?
Generally speaking, an impact wrench is a specialized socket wrench tool. It helps provide torque without straining the user, which can help you get more done in a shorter amount of time.
You will find the impact wrench to be a surprisingly versatile tool. Anytime that you need torque, this power tool will be the first thing that you reach for.
What Does an Impact Wrench Do?
As we noted, there are plenty of scenarios where an impact wrench comes in handy. Let’s review some of the most common situations where you’ll want a good wrench by your side.
Arguably, the most important function of an impact wrench is removing or installing various nuts and bolts. Automobile maintenance is easy with these wrenches: you can take off lug nuts and then rotate the tires. This tool also makes it easier to rebuild car engines and maintain automobile suspension.
Honestly, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do with a good impact wrench. Anytime you need to remove a fastener, this tool can do it in no time flat. It will save you plenty of time while providing leverage and helping you safely work in tight places.
What Not to Do with an Impact Wrench
We’ve reviewed some of the different things you can do with an impact wrench. But it’s equally important that you know what not to do before you really get started.
The biggest rookie mistake when using an impact wrench is over tightening a fastener. When you do so, it’s very easy to accidentally strip threads or weaken your bolt joints. And if you should accidentally apply too much torque to a bolt, it’s easy to twist the head clean off.
If you’re using an impact wrench, it’s because you know your limits. But you also need to know the limits of the tool. Once you’ve tightened to a certain point with the impact wrench, you can tighten the rest by hand.
Speaking of using your hands, you need to start driving bolts in by hand before you switch to the impact wrench. Otherwise, you may accidentally cross thread the bolt you are working on.
When using your impact wrench, you need to pay special attention to the sockets that you use. If the sockets weren’t designed for such a wrench, they may crack and break. To maximize your safety (and that of your wrench), make sure that you only use specially-designed impact sockets.
Remember that no matter how careful you are, accidents are downright inevitable. By wearing safety glasses every time you use an impact wrench, you can protect yourself from major potential injuries.
Different Types of Impact Wrenches
We tend to use “impact wrench” as an umbrella term. In reality, there are many different types of impact wrenches. But you can usually boil these down to three primary categories.
Air-powered impact wrenches (also known as pneumatic impact wrenches) require an air hose and a compressor to work. An electrical impact wrench simply needs to be plugged in. And as the name suggests, battery-powered impact wrenches run on batteries.
The battery-powered wrenches tend to be popular for handymen around the house because they are easy to use, charge, and store. Electrical and air-powered wrenches are also handy, but you need to have the right tools and environment to really take advantage of such a wrench.
Major Factors to Consider
In our reviews, we examined several important factors for these different budget impact wrenches. In order to make your decision, you need to know more about each of these factors and what makes them so important.
In many ways, torque is the most important thing about an impact wrench. This represents how easily the wrench in question can remove a fastener.
While there is such a thing as too much torque for your needs, you can usually follow a simple truth when shopping: the higher the torque, the more your impact wrench is capable of.
Weight is one of the most important considerations when you are shopping for a budget impact wrench. At first glance, the weight of the tool may not seem too heavy. But you need to consider how heavy it will feel after you have been holding it in your hands and working all day.
The lighter the wrench, the longer you’ll be able to work before you get too tired. And when it comes down to two equally-solid impact wrenches, we’ll always recommend the one that weighs less.
Does “size matter” when it comes to an impact wrench? The short answer is “yes,” but there are other factors you should consider.
Most handymen prefer a smaller impact wrench. This helps to keep the weight down, and a small wrench is easier to use in a very confined space.
At the same time, the smallest wrenches also have a reduced torque. When shopping, the trick is to find the balance between the smallest wrench and the amount of torque it provides.
Impacts Per Minute
Another factor we examined in our reviews were the different impacts per minute for various wrenches. This number represents how often the hammer hits the anvil on your new tool in a 60-second period.
A higher number means your wrench will be faster when it comes to driving screws. And it will also have an easier time when it comes to loosening very tight bolts.
Earlier, we talked about the importance of weight for a tool you might hold for long periods of time. It is equally important to focus on the ergonomics of its design.
Long story short? You want an impact wrench that is properly balanced and comfortable to hold. Otherwise, you will experience discomfort, fatigue, and strain much more often than you otherwise would.
A good warranty is the “icing on the cake” when it comes to budget impact wrenches. If you can find a good warranty for 1 or 2 years (or even more), you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your tool is protected from potential damage.
Now that you’ve finished our reviews and our buyer’s guide, you know more about budget impact wrenches than ever before. But we need to return back to the big question: who were the biggest winners when it comes to our budget wrench round-up?
For the best overall pick, we must go with the PORTER-CABLE PCE211 Impact Wrench. It brings you power and versatility, and in return, you just need to keep a “weather-eye” on the sockets and motor.
Normally, we’d also highlight the best value pick. But since all of these wrenches are under $100, each represents a solid value. But the best overall pick will give you the most bang for your buck.
At the end of the day, only you can decide which budget impact wrench is best for your upcoming projects. And just wait until you see how much time and effort a good impact wrench will save you!
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 10 Best Budget Impact Wrenches under $100 – Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. PORTER-CABLE PCE211 Impact Wrench – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Avid Power MCIW326 Cordless Impact Wrench
- 2.3 3. Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV Impact Wrench
- 2.4 4. Dobetter DBCIW20 Cordless Impact Wrench
- 2.5 5. ACDelco ANI405A Pneumatic Impact Wrench
- 2.6 6. Enertwist ET-IW-1020 Electric Impact Wrench
- 2.7 7. Hammerhead HDIW075 Impact Wrench
- 2.8 8. VonHaus 9100012 Impact Wrench
- 2.9 9. WEN 48107 Two-Direction Electric Impact Wrench
- 2.10 10. Makita WT01ZW Impact Wrench
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion