Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Will a electric impact driver remove lug nuts?

Corded because when you want to use it you don’t have to wait for batteries that need charged. It isn’t like you are going to use this thing every day is it?

When buying a drill, I made a mistake and listened to my friend and got a cordless. The problem is I don’t use it daily, maybe once a month at most and every time I need it the battery is low on charge. I would had been perfectly fine with a cord and extensions.

As far as the impact wrench, I have had issues with shops tightening the lug nuts too much, but a schedule 40 one inch PVC pipe as “extension” has always done the trick. Still looking for an excuse to buy the electric impact wrench though.

“> Yes, but “common usage” does not make something correct.”

Actually, it often does. That’s how language evolves. Even “ain’t” was eventually accepted by the powers that be… due to its common usage.


Buy a cordless

Corded impact wrenches are pretty gutless, IMO.

Milwaukee cordless would be just fine for diy use, for example

My son has been buying several new tools & he has been buying Rigid brand . Rigid has a lifetime warranty on the tools & even on the 2 batteries that come with the set . Almost all of my tools of this type are Milwaukee & they are great but if I was in the market I’d take a long look at Rigid because of their warranty .

I like my cordless Ryobi as I mentioned earlier. I’ve had it for about 2 years, and haven’t had to recharge it yet.

I believe the replies saying cordless is more powerful than a corded, but it puzzles me.

Is it because the cordless battery can deliver a larger surge of current than the corded?

OP may find other uses for an impact wrench, but I don’t think an impact wrench is required just for removing lug nuts. But don’t use the lug wrench that comes with the car either, those tend to be poorly designed and frustrating to use. Instead purchase a 24 inch long 1/2 inch breaker bar configured w/ a universal-joint tip and appropriate sized 1/2 inch drive socket. Removing & installing lugs nuts is simple as pie with that tool. Once you get the nut loosened using it in the 90 position, then you just tip it to the straight-on positing and twist the nut off. Takes very little time. If you have a really rusted-on lug nut, you can always add a length of 1 inch pipe cheater to increase the leverage.

I’ve had my DeWalt 18 volt impact gun for years.

Not only does it remove lug nuts, but other hardware on a vehicle.

I take it to the U-pull yard to quickly disassemble vehicles for parts.

I’ve had people at the yard ask me if they could use it because of how it breaks fasteners lose.

Also, one winter evening with the wind chill at -30, the wife calls from work saying she came out to a flat tire. I grabbed the floor jack and the impact gun with proper socket.

I had that tire replaced in five minutes.

So, when you invest in a tool, make sure it’ll work in all circumstances.


Unless you plan to use this on a very regular basis or have other uses for it, I can’t see why you’d buy one. What does it take to remove lug nuts from a standard passenger car wheel by hand? Maybe 30 seconds? And if you’re installing them properly you’ll be hand-tightening them anyway to ensure proper torque. You’ll always want to hand torque when using a cordless gun because a weak battery may affect how tight you get things.

So how many hundreds of dollars are you willing to spend to save 2-3 minutes on a tire rotation?

But to answer your question, most quality cordless 1/2" impact wrenches will loosen lug nuts.

I have been using a Harbor Freight 1’/2 " corded electric impact gun for more than 15 years and am very happy with it. I use it to rotate my tires and to change from summer wheels to winter ones and back. I got it for $35. It is also great for taking the blades off my riding mower to sharpen them. I do put the lug nuts on with it but only snug them. I tighten them with a $10 Harbor Freight 1’/2 in drive click type torque wrench.
At my age and girth it is too hard bend over and read my Craftsman beam type.

Do tire shops actually use a torque wrench to tighten lug nuts or just tighten them with their air impact driver? Do they make a air impact driver where you can set it to torque your lug nuts to a certain amount?

The good shops will use a torque wrench to tighten lug nuts.

Some shops will use torque sticks.

These work like torsion springs where no matter how much torque is applied to the fastener, the torque stick twists to limit the torque applied.

I myself? I prefer the torque wrench.



torque sticks

Does it matter if I get a 1/4 or 1/2 inch impact driver?

If you want to remove lugnuts you want 1/2 " .

1/2" is recommended for common lug nuts, 1/4" is for small screws.

I was thinking of getting this is it strong enough to take off brakes?

230 is enough to break off bolts and wheel studs if you are tightening when you should be loosening by mistake. The rating may be exaggerated but even 150 should be enough for wheels and brakes.

Will it work with torque sticks?