Novices who are planning on buying an impact wrench would often ponder the question, “Air impact wrench vs electric impact wrench? Which one is better than the other?
So what is the answer to this question?
Well, from the standpoint of power output, air powered wrenches is generally far superior to their electric powered counterparts. But if you’re using a really cheap air wrench, you know the less than $50 kind, well that’s a different matter because those cheap low-quality ones offer mediocre torque strength.
Basically, in terms of power to weight ratio, I’ll say that air impact wrenches are the victors in this department. Now, let’s talk about reliability. In the reliability department, the award once again goes to the air powered wrench. I think the pneumatic ones are more reliable because if you have a decent quality air compressor for impact wrench, you can keep working on your vehicles projects with minimal disruption.
I’m not saying that electric impact wrenches are unreliable; it’s just that from my experience, they tend to get burned rather easily. Besides, you can use the air compressor for other air tools such as ratchets, sanders, die grinders, blow guns, paint guns, brad guns, nail guns, air saws, and many, many more.
What about the setup department? Which one is easier to setup? Okay, when it comes to the subject of air impact wrench vs. electric impact wrench, the setup is a big concern for many people. Of course most folks would prefer something that’s easy to setup and doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Hence, in this aspect, the electric impact wrench trumps the air powered wrench. The latter requires quite a bit of money to setup. First, you have to get yourself a good air impact wrench, and expect to spend more than $100 for a decent one. See air impact wrench reviews for some top rated recommendations.
Second, you have to spring some more cash for a decent air compressor. The more powerful the impact wrench, the higher the air requirements, therefore the more money you have to spend on an air compressor powerful enough to support the wrench.
If you’re on a tight budget and you need a solid 1/2 air impact wrench, then I suggest the following compressor + pneumatic wrench combo:
Chicago Pneumatic CP734H Air Impact Wrench
It has enough power to help you complete many general automotive repair jobs. Not enough juice to be used for heavy equipment stuff however (see Chicago Pneumatic CP734H review)!
As for the compressor…
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
There you go. The above setup is solid and doesn’t exactly break the bank, relatively speaking. Trust me, there are waaaay pricier setups. The aforementioned combo is ideal for the average home user and with the proper maintenance, has many years of lasting durability and satisfaction.
Still, it can’t be denied that the cost of the setup might be a hindrance to a lot of folks. Electric impact wrench is of course easier and cheaper to get going because you don’t have to fork out the money for a compressor, hose, and things like that.
So that’s pretty much it. Each tool has its pros, cons and each has its place. I have both types of wrenches and personally, I prefer the pneumatic wrenches because they possess so much power which makes my job easier and they’re also a lot of fun to use!
Air Impact Wrench vs Electric Impact Wrench Battle Recap…
Power: Air impact wrench wins!
Reliability: The triumph belongs to air impact wrench!
Flexibility: The award goes to the air powered impact wrench, yet again! However the true victor is actually the air compressor because it allows you access to other pneumatic tools like nail guns, air ratchets, etc.
Ease of Setup: This time the electric impact wrench emerges triumphant!
Cost of Setup: Electric impact wrench is the champ!
Fun Factor: The air impact wrench claims victory for the fourth time!
The air impact wrench is the overall champion by claiming victory against the electric impact wrench by a close score-line of 4-2!