Which Is Better: Cordless Or Air? A Comparison Between The Two Most Popular Types Of Impact Wrench

Which one is best? There are a lot of claims made by both the air and cordless impact wrenches. Each brand has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, if you have a really big job you should get an air impact wrench. But if you only have a normal size job (like tightening up the bolts on your truck) a cordless impact wrench will do just fine.

There are many types of impact wrenches out there. I use a cordless impact wrench with my tools because it’s easier to store and charge in the garage than an air impact wrench. But, you should choose the tool that fits your needs best—an air impact wrench or cordless impact wrench.

What is a cordless impact wrench?

Cordless Impact Wrench for Changing TiresA cordless impact wrench is a tool used to tighten or loosen fasteners by impacting them with a hammering motion. These wrenches provide just the right amount of torque to remove tight, rusty nuts. They use potent motors that deliver intense twisting motion to uninstall or install lug nuts.

It’s commonly used for tightening bolts on cars, bikes, and other vehicles, and it’s one of the most popular tools among mechanics. They are designed to work on a wide variety of nuts, screws, and other types of fasteners, and most of them have a variable speed setting.


  • Smaller, compact, and lightweight.
  • Powerful, delivering a whopping 150 Nm.
  • Offers minimal kickback.
  • Drives wrench quickly on hard materials.
  • Generates high torque.
  • Suitable for projects that require efficiency.


  • Controlling the torque is a bit difficult.
  • Unsuitable for projects that require precision

What is an air impact wrench?

Air Impact Wrench for Changing TiresPneumatic wrenches, also known as air impact wrenches, are also used for gripping and turning screw heads and lug nuts. They feature an air-powered motor that delivers continuous bursts of torque and can be can replace an electric impact wrench. This type of wrench is more suited for skilled mechanics.

They are more powerful tools used to remove fasteners (nuts, bolts, screws, etc.) that are difficult or impossible to remove with a regular wrench. An air impact wrench works by delivering a powerful stream of air at a specific angle and pressure to the head of the nut or bolt, thus causing it to explode off. This allows you to remove nuts and bolts with ease.

They have a range of attachments like ratchets, sockets, and wrenches, making them great tools for DIY projects.


  • Removes tightened nuts and bolts quickly.
  • Helps in completing fastening and unfastening projects efficiently.
  • Provides added security of a bigger bolt to support heavyweight.
  • Makes the nuts or bolt loosening process easy.
  • Offers required power to complete fastening and unfastening projects.


  • Without an air compressor, it can’t operate.
  • Early failure of the tool is quite common.

Main Differences

cordless vs air impact wrenchPneumatic wrenches are just as popular as cordless impact wrenches. If you are wondering which is the better option, you should know a few crucial facts. Pneumatic wrenches are lighter and inexpensive but more powerful than their battery-powered counterparts. They don’t provide as much portability on the downside because you need to use a compressed air hose. Controlling the torque and speed is more challenging, making this type of impact wrench more ideal for skilled technicians.

If you need the best cordless impact driver, you should be ready to dig a little deeper into your wallet. Such tools are more expensive than air impact wrenches, although they are portable and ideal for use during emergencies in the middle of nowhere.

While motorists and DIY enthusiasts are better off investing in cordless wrenches, professional mechanics may find it better to have pneumatic and battery-powered wrenches for enhanced versatility.

Comparison between Cordless and Air impact wrench

  • An air-powered impact wrench is far superior to the cordless design for driving these types of fasteners. The only time an air-powered impact wrench isn’t superior to a corded model is when you need to drive very small or very large fasteners.
  • An air impact wrench will give you a significant power advantage over a cordless impact wrench.
  • Cordless impact wrenches are great for tight spots. An air-powered impact wrench is perfect for extended reach.
  • A cordless impact wrench is quieter than the air version and won’t disturb others if you are working in a residential area.
  • The cordless impact wrench weighs less than the air version and is, therefore, easier to handle.
  • Cordless tools are usually more expensive and less powerful than their corded counterparts, but they’re great for the environment.
  • Cordless impact wrenches are safer to operate than their air counterparts.
  • Cordless is great when you’re trying to be a bit more environmentally conscious.
  • The power of cordless is undeniable. It can reach places the air wrench can’t.
  • An air impact wrench can be a better tool for the job, but it requires practice to master its tricks.

Side-by-side comparison of air and cordless impact wrench

Cordless Impact Wrench Air Impact Wrench
Power Source: Battery Power Source: Air Compressor
Highly portable Less portable due to additional weight of air compressor.
Speed can be accurately controlled. Speed can be only minimally controlled due to airflow.
Powerful Air impact wrenches are comparatively more powerful
Less noisy Noisier
Use for DIY, construction, home improvement, car tire generation. Use for Nail guns, assembly lines, air ratchets, auto repair, maintenance of heavy equipment, etc.
The set-up procedure is very easy and Hassle-free. Quite complicated, due to the attachment of the compressor.
Expensive Comparatively cheap

Price Comparison

Generally, the price range doesn’t have that much difference between an air impact wrench and a cordless impact wrench.

In the case of an air impact wrench, you have to buy the air hose and reel separately. So, if you buy the main unit at a low price, the air hose and reel let you cost a few extra bucks.

On the other hand, a cordless impact wrench has a motor, wiring, and computer systems. That is why the price is a little bit higher than the air compact wrench.

Cordless vs Air Impact Wrench: Which one is the Winner?

Through the above discussion, now you know all the details of an air impact wrench and a cordless impact wrench. One factor to remember is, whatever tool you choose, make sure it meets your requirement.

If your project requires portability, ease of use, investing in a cordless impact wrench will be wise. On the other hand, if you need more power, more torque, buy an air impact wrench.

Final Words

There are many great cordless impact wrenches on the market today. They can be used for the same tasks as a traditional wrench. They are usually cheaper than a traditional air-powered impact wrench, and they are easier to use. However, they aren’t as powerful as a traditional air-powered impact wrench, so if you need to remove stubborn bolts or nuts, they won’t do it. If you need to remove them fast, you should buy an air impact wrench. A cordless impact wrench is a great option for small jobs around the house, but if you need to remove a lot of bolts, you should invest in a quality impact wrench.