Impact wrench (cordless) advice

Recently replaced my radiator on my own and figured i might start doing as much maintenance and repair as possible. Currently, I am considering getting the milwaukee m18 impact wrench for wheel removal and possibly suspension work if i feel comfortable with the steps involved (once i see how its done). What is the least i could spend in this scenario? Can i do without onekey? Should i just buy the tool and the cheapest battery and charger versus the best redlithium battery?

Good for you for starting DIY on your car. The Milwaukee is a nice tool.

Before you buy it, think about how much you will use it. I have a HF impact wrench, have not used it at all in the 5 years I owned it ($50.00). I have replaced radiators, water pumps, brakes, plugs, shocks, starters, alternators, & electronics. I do a lot of my own work but will leave suspension work to a professional.

I own a 20v impact driver that accepts various adaptors for 1/ to 1/2 sockets. It is really only powerful enough for 3/8 drive. I use it occasionally. Because it is larger than a socket or hand wrench so it is limited at times.

I have a pneumatic 1/2 impact wrench I use the heck out of (I am on my 3rd in 35 gears) mostly for wheels. But I own a compressor. I’d own a battery impact but only buy a quality unit because of how much I use it. As for suspension use, my 18 inch breaker bar is a must own.

Ryobi and Makita are lower cost alternatives I’ve had good luck with for light usage.
I have a 1/2" HF impact, about 30 y.o. For the last 20 years I use it about once a year to rotate tires.

I like cordless tools but for something that I am going to use on a seldom basis I prefer corded .
As for buying the tool and then trying to find a battery and charger just get the complete set and be done with it . Don’t complicate things.

How often do regular vehicle owners need to do suspension work anyway ?

1 Like

I use a corded impact wrench for wheel work. What are the specs on the cordless model you are thinking of getting?

I own a Ryobi P260 18V 1/2 impact wrench for light duty and it has worked for me. I chose the Ryobi because I own a few other 18V Ryobi tools and I only need one battery. That saves on tool cost. I’ve never had to recharge when working on the car, only trimming at the edge of the woods in the back yard. You will also need a universal joint, and should probably get a set of impact sockets.


Is this the next best place to spend your tool $$? Do you have a good set otherwise? I wouldn’t use an impact wrench enough to justify the cost.

Of course, if you’re swapping winter/summer tires on rims twice a year, that’s different. I have a pneumatic one I used for that while living in Anchorage, haven’t used it since (in 27 years).

1 Like

The way i look at it is its expected to last long so maybe if i have a couple cars in the foreseeable future then this tool will be there to get me through the pad and rotor swaps, possible seasonal rim swap, and maybe a lift on a truck, etc. My current arsenal consists merely of a cheap ratchet/ general use tool set from harbor freight.
Edit: i thought about pneumatic but it doesn’t seem feasible since I’m in an apartment and my car work will most likely be done in the parking lot at work.

I wouldn’t put a cordless impact at the top of my list, but I will put it on my list. I bought a Hitachi cordless impact wrench 5+ years ago. I’ve used it for more than just dealing with lug nuts. Very handy tool.

It is very possible that if you take on a repair that has your vehicle on jack stands or setting in one place too long the apartment management just might have it towed .

Yeah, the repair would be done in the parking lot at my job, not at the apartment. This is the reason why i dont think pneumatic would be a good choice. And i would be completing any repairs/maintenance in a timely manner as well. Good heads up

I agree. If it’s not used much, the battery will likely not last as long. I’m in a similar predicament. I need/want an impact. I have a shop and a small compressor. May go pneumatic, but I’m not sure the little pancake compressor can keep up. Will most likely try to find a corded impact at HF. I try to avoid suspension work for the most part. Mainly I’m just tired of removing lug nuts with a lug wrench like I’ve done for the last few decades when I rotate tires or replace brakes.

1 Like

In your situation I would skip the impact gun. I would get a good torque wrench instead. you will use it more than an impact gun. Or at least you should.

1 Like

Look into the DeWalt impact gun.,eto:10141566391408565821_0,rsk:PC_2581037726979602848&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRwuykxfX1AhWZkYkEHbqWBacQ9pwGCAc

I’ve had my 12 volt for over 20 years while working out of my auto repair shop.


1 Like

I echo this- if the usage will be enough. For seldom used impact, you’ll do better long term with corded (batteries go bad with age, whether you use them or not- or will be dead when you need them.)

I have two 18v Dewalt Impacts (38"drive, 1/2" drive,) and recently upgraded to two 20v Dewalt Impacts. as a pro, I use them now more than my pneumatic Snap-on impact guns. I also have a Milwaukee 12V 3/8" drive cordless ratchet, and love it. My pneumatic ratchet has a ton of dust on it. Haven’t touched it in years. :confused:

Now why wouldnt i just use a torque bar attachment on the impact gun instead? That way i still have the impact gun to remove stuff with ease.

My main obstacle with corded tool is that ill likely have to run a long extension cable from the storefront out to my car or throw down some more cash on a generator. Portability is a must in my case. Now, im just wondering the extra price tag on the milwaukee is really just branding or if the tool is better than say the dewalt suggested for example.

Because you’ll be able to use the torque wrench on lots of things you wouldn’t use the impact gun on.

1 Like