Cordless Vs. Corded Impact Wrench: Air Impact Wrench Vs. Electric

Wrenches are among the few mandatory tools that every household should own. They come in handy when changing tires and tightening or loosening industrial bolts and screws. There are mainly two types of wrenches, an air impact wrench, and an electric wrench. Electric wrenches are again of two types, corded wrench, and cordless wrench.

The primary difference between corded and cordless impact wrenches is that the cordless ones use batteries to power the unit, while you need the corded wrench to plug into an electrical output to function. Air impact wrenches function by compressing air and using it to turn the hammer in the equipment. Electric impact wrenches, on the other hand, need electrical power to work. Basically, both provide impact force.

Read: Should you Get 3/8 Or 1/2 Impact Wrench?

Cordless Vs. Corded Impact Wrench

Power supply

Both the cordless and the corded wrench need electrical power. The cordless ones use the batteries to work, while the corded wrench needs an electrical output to function.

Cordless wrenches come with rechargeable or changeable batteries, while corded ones do not require them. The batteries in the cordless wrenches are durable, so they do not run out or slow down easily when you are not using them, although they will soon run out of power, and you need to change the batteries.

Corded wrenches will not slow down because it is connected to a power outlet constantly. Doesn’t matter how long you use them; their performance will not fall. However, you cannot use them if you don’t have a power outlet nearby.

Air impact wrenches use compressed air to rotate the hammer inside the equipment and are by far the most powerful wrench on the market. You need a high-powered air compressor attached to the wrench to use it.


Cordless electric wrenches use batteries to power; hence they are lightweight and easy to use in almost any situation. You don’t need to worry about the cable or a power source, and their compact size allows you to use them in many tricky areas where a corded or air impact wrench cannot fit in. In regard to portability and usability, cordless wrenches are the best.

Corded wrenches are a bit bulkier than cordless ones, and hence, they are heavier. Moreover, as they need to remain connected to a power source, working with them in tricky areas and corners remains a problem. You may not even use them if there’s no power source.

Air wrenches are heavier compared to electric ones, so they suit stationary situations best. Also, you need a powerful air compressor to power it, and the compressor may need electrical power. That makes the air wrench unsuitable for portability.


Cordless wrenches are smaller in size, and the absence of a cord makes them the easiest to store. You can simply mount them on the wall or put them in a box for future use. Moreover, their interchangeable batteries also don’t create problems while storing due to their small size. Most cordless wrenches come with their own cases to make storage easier.

Corded wrenches can be difficult to store because of their cord. For that reason, they require more space for storage, and you have to take care that the cord doesn’t get tangled. You can detach the cord for some varieties, but if not, that may create further issues. You need to curl the cord around the wrench and store it in a box or detach the cable and store them separately. However, all of that depends on the model and the storage space itself.

Air wrenches are not portable, so you have to use them in a stationary setting. So, the question of storage becomes much more significant. You need a dedicated spot for storing and using the wrench in most cases, and with that, you need to worry about storing the air compressor, too.


The performance of these wrenches highly depends on their source of power. The cordless wrench uses batteries that eventually run out and need recharging or changing. As they are smaller and compact, the power output is quite good but less compared to a corded wrench.

Although it will handle regular jobs such as tightening and loosening screws quite easily, they will take a little more time than corded wrenches. If you compare a cordless wrench with fully-charged batteries alongside a corded wrench, the corded wrench will still win in terms of power output. More power output means faster operations.

Air impact wrenches, in comparison, are far superior to electric wrenches in terms of power output. These wrenches use compressed air to rotate the hammer present inside, and that produces a lot more torque than electrical wrenches, both corded and cordless.

The result is a very high performance, tightening and loosening screws and bolts in no time. Due to this reason, most industries and garages tend to lean on air wrenches for their unmatched power and capability.

So, if you handle bigger and tighter screws and bolts, air impact wrenches are the best option for you.


Maintaining the equipment is necessary in order to make them work perfectly every time. In that matter, electric wrenches surely have that edge over air impact wrenches. Electric ones, especially cordless wrenches, only have an electric motor, which has very few components.

Moreover, they are easily available in the market. For battery-operated ones, replacing the battery often gets the job done. Corded wrenches also perform in a similar fashion, where you may need to change the cable if it gets damaged over time.

Air wrenches can be hectic to maintain because of their size and additional components. These need to be lubricated regularly for optimum performance, and some of them need replacement from time to time.

However, you can rebuild an air wrench, but that becomes a problem for electric ones. If one of the primary components is damaged, replacing the wrench with a new one is easier than repairing it.


These are the basic differences between cordless and corded electrical impact wrenches and also air impact and electric wrenches. All of them have their pros and cons, so it is up to your usage and preference which one suits you the most.

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