How to Choose the Right Tool for the Job: A Review of the Impact Wrench vs. the Breaker Bar

When it comes to your home improvement projects, choosing between a breaker bar or an impact wrench can be a big deal. Which tool should you use for your next project? What’s the difference? Here’s a handy comparison chart that explains everything you need to know.

What is a Breaker bar used for?

A breaker bar is a long-handled steel rod with a set of dimples on one end and a handle on the other that is used for prying, cutting, and other common household repairs. This bar looks like a long, thin steel ruler with a sharp edge on one side. It’s a multi-purpose tool that can also be used for working on your car. A breaker bar is ideal for prying off stubborn nuts and bolts that are stuck in place. In some cases, you can use it to cut through metal too.

A “breaker bar” is a great tool to have around the house when you are working on something that has a lot of nuts and bolts. Use this tool by pushing it against the part of the nut or bolt that is stuck, and then pull it away and give it a sharp tug. This tool works great for removing stubborn nuts and bolts and it also prevents “arcing” or welding together of the nut or bolt when you are using an impact wrench.

You can use it to pry rusty things loose or to start a car if the battery is dead. It can also be used to break off parts of things that are stuck. You can use it to pry things loose or to start a car if the battery is dead. It can also be used to break off parts of things that are stuck. Use it as a crowbar. Just keep pulling and prying until the thing you are working on gives way.

The Purpose of Breaker bar

A breaker bar is a simple tool. It’s perfect for everyday tasks, like opening boxes or pulling wires. But it’s also good for a lot more than that. You can use it to open a stuck door, unscrew stubborn screws, or pop the lid on a paint can. There are also some DIY hacks you can do with a breaker bar. Here are common uses of breaker bar included:

  • Pull a breaker bar across an old car tire.
  • Use a breaker bar to make quick work of bending those metal pipes.
  • Remove the handle from a can of paint with a breaker bar.
  • Open up those stubborn boxes with a breaker bar.
  • Clean your car’s windshield with a breaker bar.
  • Break through a frozen door or window.
  • Use a breaker bar to lift heavy things.
  • Use a breaker bar to clean the grout in a shower.
  • Unscrew stubborn nuts and bolts with a breaker bar.
  • Use a breaker bar to bend nails on a wood fence.
  • Use a breaker bar to open a stubborn mailbox.

The other name of the breaker bar is the power bar. It is a popular tool for unfastening lugs and nuts. In fact, it is an upgraded version of a standard-length socket wrench. In order to get the best efficiency while removing nuts, a breaker bar needs to be used with a socket wrench.


You will get the below benefits when you have a breaker bar in your hand.

  • When replacing type iron, a breaker bar is an impressively beneficial tool
  • It is small and compact and doesn’t take much space in the toolbox
  • Its long handle produces enough leverage, giving you the necessary power to remove impossible nuts and lugs.
  • Breaker bars are lightweight and don’t put much stress on hands and arms while working
  • Snapping a 3/8” drive is not a challenging task for a 150 ft.-lbs. breaker bar


Although the breaker bar is an efficient tool for removing lugs and nuts, it has a few demerits also.

    • This tool doesn’t come with a ratcheting mechanism. It is used to loosen the lugs; then a ratchet does the rest
    • A breaker bar is unable to fasten or tighten nuts or bolts. So, you have to use a separate tool for fastening bolts
    • The usability of this tool is one-dimensional
    • The hand tool may damage if you try to pull any object with it
    • Manual tool

What is an Impact Wrench used for?

An impact wrench is a tool with a long metal shaft attached to a hammer-like head at one end, and a socket or another tool attachment at the other. They are designed to drive fasteners like nuts and bolts, remove jammed or stuck screws, or do other similar functions. Impact wrenches are useful in many situations but are especially handy when working on automobiles and other vehicles.

It’s used to drive fasteners (nuts and bolts) by hitting them with the hammer-head. Impact wrenches come in many different sizes and configurations, but the most common size is a 1/2-in-dia. (1/2-in.-wide) impact wrench.

The Purpose of Impact Wrench

An impact wrench is one of the most popular tools among mechanics. It is a tool that is used to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts. This type of tool is a great way to improve your workmanship. You don’t need to use a hammer or a socket to tighten or loosen a nut or bolt.

  • Use an impact wrench to tighten or loosen screws.
  • To loosen stuck bolts.
  • To tighten nuts.
  • To remove rusted bolts.
  • To break in tires.
  • Use an impact wrench to break in brake pads.
  • To adjust wheel bearings.
  • To adjust the suspension.
  • To install a door lock on an antique cabinet.
  • Use a screwdriver to pop a door hinge of a dresser drawer.

An impact wrench also performs similar to a breaker bar, unscrewing lugs and nuts. It is a highly preferable tool in the automotive industry, manufacturing, hardware, maintenance, and construction sites. Impact wrenches come with the below benefits:


  • It is a powerful tool that unfastens stubborn lugs and nuts quite easily
  • This tool can be used as a semi-drill. You can create holes in light-gauge steel or softwood using an impact wrench
  • Impact wrenches create a lot of torque, enabling you to remove hard and tight screws, nuts, lugs, and bolts with less hassle
  • This tool is a versatile one, permitting you to handle a wide range of tasks like lower ball joints, wheel hub assemblies, upper control arms, or other tasks where screwing is necessary
  • Since impact wrenches perform with fewer movements, it is generally effortless to maintain and clean
  • Handling impact wrenches are pretty effortless.


  • Impact wrenches create a loud whirring sound that can annoy you when working for a long time. For this reason, wearing hearing protection is a mandatory
  • The corded model consumes a significant amount of energy
  • Additional training is required to work with an impact wrench because some projects require high torque while others require less torque. So, controlling the torque is mandatory to get the work done efficiently.


  1. A breaker bar is great for working hard to get to bolts and screws. It can also be used to open containers and even cut through wood. An impact wrench is a tool that you need to loosen stubborn nuts and bolts. It works on large, metal objects and is usually heavy and bulky.
  2. The breaker bar can be used for regular jobs, like loosening a lug nut, while an impact wrench will be required when it comes to tightening up tight areas.
  3. It takes less time to use the impact wrench as the breaker bar. But if you are dealing with a nut that’s really stuck, you’ll have to resort to the breaker bar.
  4. The Breaker Bar is designed to be used while standing up, so you can work with it while on the job site. The impact wrench is ideal for working on vehicles in tight spaces, like under a car.
  5. A breaker bar is a classic tool and a great multi-purpose tool. It has many applications around the home and the garage. An impact wrench is a good tool for specific jobs such as tightening nuts and bolts or repairing electrical and mechanical components.
  6. Impact wrenches are also great for loosening tight bolts, while breaker bars are ideal for removing a nut or a bolt. Breaker bars are useful for breaking through concrete and other hard surfaces.

The impact wrench is made for the DIYer who likes to get their hands dirty and works hard to get things done. It’s the wrench for the person who wants to get things done quickly. It can be used for multiple applications such as removing screws from walls, tightening nuts and bolts on motors, and loosening stuck bolts.

The breaker bar is the opposite. It’s made for the person that loves to do projects and enjoys working with their hands. A breaker bar is a tool for the home handyman or carpenter. It can be used to loosen and tighten fasteners, cut sheet goods, and bend metal.

Side-by-side comparison

Breaker bar Impact Wrench
The breaker bar is designed for more than just breaking. The impact wrench does more than just break.
This bar looks like a long, thin steel ruler with a sharp edge on one side. The “impact wrench” is the most versatile tool for jobs like installing a handle on a toolbox.
If you have to do it yourself, get a breaker bar and start breaking. If you don’t have a breaker bar, an impact wrench will work.
If you’re a car mechanic, buy a breaker bar. If you’re a DIYer, get an impact wrench.
If you’re new to power tools, start with a breaker bar first. If you’re experienced with power tools, start with an impact wrench first.
Breaker bars are for driving into concrete and metal, like framing and sheetrock. Impact wrenches are good for driving screws, fasteners, and nuts into the wood.
Braker bar can be operated with a single hand An impact wrench requires two hands to operate
Almost everyone can use it. They’re not for everyone.
Breaker bars are cheaper than an impact wrench Impact wrenches are more expensive than a breaker bar

Cost Comparison

Impact wrenches are available in corded and air-powered designs. Thus, they are slightly expensive compared to breaker bars.

In some situations, impact wrenches offer some lovely traits that you will never find in the breaker bar. On the other hand, breaker bars are easily replaceable in the case of breakage.

Breaker Bar vs. Impact Wrench – Which One is Better?

No tools are single best ones to call good and best. Every tool is designed with its specific purposes and features.

Choose a breaker bar,

  • If your budget is tight
  • If you need to handle a lot of unfastening impossible nuts and lugs projects

Choose an impact wrench,

  • If you need to remove hard-to-reach nuts and lugs
  • If you need different torque for fastening or unfastening bolts

Making a decision is quite challenging. The decision entirely depends on the user and project requirements.


How to jump-start a car using Baker bar?

A breaker bar is very handy to have around. It is made up of many small, round steel bars. A little-known fact about breaker bars is that they are also very useful in starting car engines.

If you have a dead battery and you need to jump-start a car, what you do is take the positive terminal of a charged battery and connect it to the negative terminal of the dead battery. Then, you use a little-known tool called a “breaker bar” to break the connection in the positive terminal of the dead battery. What happens when you do this is a small amount of electricity starts the engine of your car. You just turned a dead battery into a working battery!

Final Words

In conclusion, I don’t care how much you know about cars. If you can’t explain the difference between a “Breaker Bar” and an “Impact Wrench” in plain English, you don’t know shit about automobiles. You see, there are millions of Americans who have a real passion for their automobiles. They know more about them than you could ever learn in a lifetime of driving. These people don’t care what you know. They only care that you understand the difference between a “Breaker Bar” and an “Impact Wrench.” If you can’t explain it simply, get the hell out of the way, and let somebody that can explain it clearly take control of the situation.

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