Impact Wrench vs. Torque Wrench (2023)

Last updated on September 22, 2022 byJohn Smith

There is a lot of confusion regarding thatDifferences between impact wrenches and torque wrenches.

This guide compares the differences and similarities of each tool to help you decide which one is best for your needs.

Let's start.

Table of Contents

  1. Impact Wrench vs. Torque Wrench
  2. comparison table
  3. When to choose an impact wrench
  4. When to choose a torque wrench
  5. What is the best impact wrench?
  6. What is the best torque wrench?
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

Impact Wrench vs. Torque Wrench

These are the main differences between impact wrenches and torque wrenches.

torque and efficiency

The myth that impact wrenches and torque wrenches are interchangeable is dead wrong.

In fact, these tools are fundamentally different, particularly in terms of torque delivery.

Impact wrenches have internal motors that usecompressed airÖelectricityspin their anvils and bushings at high RPM and high torque, allowing them to quickly remove rusty nuts and bolts.

Torque wrenches, on the other hand, are tools used to tighten or remove a fastener by applying manual force through its handles.

They have torque scale markings to set the desired torque and once the torque is reached they stop tightening the fastener. Therefore, they are ideal for mechanics or maintenance workers who demand maximum torque accuracy while placing torque force laterally.

Torque wrenches are much slower and less powerful than impact wrenches because they don't have internal motors.

control and precision

Another key difference between impact wrenches and torque wrenches is their control and accuracy.

Torque wrenches are manually operated, setting a desired preset torque and preventing the tool from rotating the bushing once that torque is reached.

This gives the user complete control and precision over torque delivery., which is essential when working with sensitive mechanical parts (e.g. car engines or suspensions).

However, impact wrenches deliver significantly more torque than torque wrenchesTorque levels cannot be controlled🇧🇷 In most cases it has a variable speed trigger, but you can only use it to control the speed at which the anvil rotates, not the torque delivered.

general use

We recommend that workers use torque wrenches to work on some bolts and nuts that require specific torque..


Because, as mentioned above, torque wrenches have torque scale markings that allow users to set the desired torque to be applied to the fastener when tightening. This allows for maximum accuracy, which is essential for mechanics and maintenance personnel.

Also, they're not power tools, so they don't have internal motors to spin their socket quickly; You must do this manually. So if you plan on removing hundreds of nuts and bolts with a torque wrench every day, you're in for a world of pain.

Impact wrenches, on the other hand, are ideal for loosening hundreds (or even thousands) of nuts and bolts a they have powerful internal motors that spin their anvils at high torque, which is ideal for removing rusty nuts and bolts with almost no hand or arm fatigue.

power supply

One of the key differences between impact wrenches and torque wrenches is the drivetrain.

Torque wrenches are operated manually, which means they don't need electricity or an air compressor to work. All you need is your arm to apply strength through the grip.

Impact wrenches, on the other hand, have internal motorsIt can be powered by an air compressor, battery or wall outlet.

For more information, see:

  • Best 3/8 Air Impact Wrench
  • The best cordless 3/8 impact wrenches
  • Comparison impact wrench 3/8 x 1/2


torque wrenchnot only offer maximum torque accuracy due to their internal mechanisms, but alsoPlease don't make any noisebecause they do not have noisy internals (e.g. motors).

Impact wrenches, on the other hand, make a lot of operation, independent of the power supply, since they have a motor that makes a lot of noise during operation (mainly their pneumatic versions)

Easy to use

In terms of usability, I would say that both tools are very easy to use, but in different ways. let me explain.

Impact wrenches are powered by internal motors that spin their anvils quickly and with significant torque, allowing them to effortlessly remove nuts and bolts with minimal effort.

As a result,Workers can use impact wrenches longer because they don't need to exert any physical force to use this type of tool, they pull the trigger and that's it!

Torque wrenches are simple, hand-operated tools., making them very easy to use in the short term as you don't have to worry about batteries or cables.However, they are not designed to be used over and over again as they require physical strength to function which can be tiring..


There is a significant price difference between them.

Impact wrenches are significantly more expensive than torque wrenchesdue to their expensive internal components (e.g. brushless motors).

It could be argued that air impact wrenches are cheaper since they have fewer internal components but rely on expensive air compressors that not everyone out there has.

Corded and cordless impact wrenches are by far the most expensive.

Torque wrenches, on the other hand, are simple, mechanically oriented designs that are easy to repair and inexpensive to replace.

comparison table

torque wrenchkey of effect
torque and efficiencyMore torque and more efficiencyLess torque and less efficiency
control and precisionless controlmore control
general useTighten and remove some nuts and bolts with maximum torque precisionRemove many nuts and bolts without torque accuracy
Energy ThoseManualPneumatic, corded and battery operated
Noiseany noiseloud noise
Easy to useEasy easy but tiring
Preisgravesmedium to high

When to choose an impact wrench

You can use an impact wrench for jobs that require a lot of torque and speed because it has internal components (e.g. brushless motors) that allow the anvil and bushings to spin at higher speeds with lots of torque.

Changing a tire is a great example of how an impact wrench can be used, as this job typically involves removing hundreds of nuts and bolts a day.

Another prime example is the construction industry, where workers spend their days removing and driving thousands of screws. A solid impact wrench can make life a lot easier in these situations.

However, you should be aware that an impact wrench should not be used on delicate machine parts that require precise torque, as these tools do not have torque scales to ensure a nut or bolt is tightened to a specific torque.

When to choose a torque wrench

In turn, the torque meter is a tool that allows us to define the desired level of torque to tighten a screw or bolt and once this level is reached, the torque meter prevents the bushing from turning, ensuring maximum precision.

Because it does not have an internal motor that allows for high-torque automatic socket rotation, it is better suited for tasks that require torque accuracy but not efficiency or speed, as the torque wrench is manually powered.

Mechanics often use a torque wrench when working on internal car parts (such as engines or suspension) because they require maximum torque accuracy.

What is the best impact wrench?

In fact, I wrote an article addressing thatbest impact wrench🇧🇷 But if you want a quick answer I would say the DEWALT 20v XR impact wrench is the best available.

DEWALT Impact Wrench 20V Max XR


  • maximum torque: 700 pound-feet of maximum torque
  • starting torque: 1200 ft-lbs maximales Startdrehmoment
  • anvil size:1/2 inch
Impact Wrench vs. Torque Wrench (3)Impact Wrench vs. Torque Wrench (4)

One of the main reasons I voted this Dewalt impact wrench as the best overall is its cool features as isPowerful motor with 700 ft-lbs of peak torque and 1200 ft-lbs of starting torqueto remove rusty nuts and bolts.

There is avery compact design and weighs only 6 pounds, so not only does it fit in tight spaces, but it's also easy to hold for long periods of time to prevent fatigue and the like.

I likeMulti-Speed-Triggerbecause I can program the desired speed with one finger.

Finally yourslights ledIt stays on for 20 seconds, which is great when I'm removing nuts or bolts in low light.


  • 700 ft-lbs peak torque and 1200 ft-lbs peak break torque
  • Compact design that is 8-13/16 inches long and weighs only 6.0 pounds, which is perfect for fitting into tight spaces
  • Multi-speed control thanks to variable speed trigger (0-400/1200/1900 rpm)
  • LED light with a 20 second delay to improve visibility in dark rooms

In contrast

  • no cons here

Customer reviews and ratings

there is more than4.813Reviews on for this productwhen writing andThey gave him a 4.8from 5 reviewsMiddle. These reviews are generally positive.

What is the best torque wrench?

SERRATED WRENCH 1/2″ Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench 30-250 ft/lbs.


  • torqueAccuracy: +/- 3%
  • Project: Slim profile, sealed, teardrop head
  • Scale: easy to read scale markings
Impact Wrench vs. Torque Wrench (5)Impact Wrench vs. Torque Wrench (6)

This gearwrench torque wrench is amazing because it includeseasy to read markings on the torque scalefor those of us who don't have the best eyesight.

Also yoursSlim profile and drop head designThis allows me to easily use this torque wrench in tight spaces, which is a very common problem for me.

There is a+/- 3 percent torque accuracy, which is ideal as I like to be extremely precise when working with a torque wrench (otherwise I would use an impact wrench).

And while I don't like the fact that it's made overseas, it has similar featuresergonomic handle, which allows me to use the tool repeatedly, which does more to prevent than compensate for hand fatigue.


  • Precision clockwise with +/- 3% torque accuracy
  • Pull the adjustment ring for easy torque adjustments
  • Slim profile, sealed drop head design for easy access
  • easy to read ticks
  • Ergonomic handle to avoid hand fatigue.

In contrast

  • made abroad

Customer reviews and ratings

there is more than1.115Reviews on for this productwhen writing andThey gave him a 4.7from 5 reviewsMiddle. These reviews are generally positive.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions when comparing impact wrenches and torque wrenches.

Can an impact wrench be used instead of a torque wrench?

You can, but you have to be careful..

An impact wrench is a power tool with a motor that turns the anvil and socket at high speed and high torque, while a torque wrench is a hand tool that allows you to set the desired torque and then stop tightening the fastener once. 🇧🇷

An impact wrench doesn't offer the same torque accuracy as a torque wrench, which means that if you need to torque a fastener to a specific torque, you could easily exceed that torque and break the tightened nut or bolt, which would cause a big problem. Headache.

So if you decide to use an impact wrench instead of a torque wrench, make sure you only remove one fastener. And if you decide to tighten a nut or bolt with an impact wrench, be very careful and go very slowly.

Is an impact wrench the same as a torque wrench?

No, these are completely different instruments..

Impact wrenches are power tools that are commonly used to loosen many nuts and bolts because their motors deliver extremely high RPM, peak torque and breakaway torque. They are often used to remove rusted nuts and bolts and change tires.

Torque wrenches are manually operated tools that allow the user to set a desired torque to ensure a fastener is properly tightened. Mechanics and engineers often use torque wrenches when working on highly complex machines that require maximum torque accuracy.

Should I use an impact wrench to tighten the nuts?

I would say no It would be better if you didn't use an impact wrench to tighten the nuts..


Impact wrenches have very powerful motors that deliver high levels of torque that are difficult to control accurately. This means it will be extremely difficult to tighten a lug nut to the desired torque, which can break the fastener and cause a big mess.

This is why you would tighten a nut with a torque wrench.

However, if you must use an impact wrench to tighten a nut (which I don't understand why), go slowly until the nut is tight. That would be my recommendation.

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