How Much Torque Do You Need In An Impact Wrench?

How much torque do you need in an impact wrench? Have you ever wondered about it? You require 1100 ft torque pounds in your impact wrench automotive repairs. For removing lug nuts, an impact wrench will need to have 500 ft. torque pounds, which is mostly used for automotive repair like for changing tires which are required once every 6 years normally.

In case you buy an impact wrench with around or more than 1100 lbs torque, you can accommodate all kinds of automotive work. However, while working in the rail or semi-trucks industry, you require an impact wrench of 1600 ft. pounds or even more. Below, for your convenience, we are going to discuss this question in more detail.

Read more: All You Need To Know About Impact Wrenches

How much do you require in an impact wrench for automotive work?

Heavy-duty automotive needs 120 to 600 ft. lbs torque. Some of the common applications consist of drive line bearings and components which need huge impact force. Moreover, it includes the work related to differentials and transfer cases.

Automotive fasteners that are very heavy-duty require 200 to 1000 ft. torque lbs or higher. Some of their applications involve the work of racing vehicles as well as off-road vehicles.

Very light-duty torque applications range between 15 and 75 ft. lbs. These are used for maintenance requirements of valve cover bolts, spark plugs, and oil drain plugs.

Light duty torque applications, on the other hand, range between 30 and 150 ft. lbs. Without having a torque wrench of the same range, you will not be in a position to carry automotive repairs. Mostly, these include the repair of caliper bolts, head bolts, and lug nuts.

Moderate-duty automotive fasteners need around 50 to 250 ft. lbs. Few of the common applications in this torque range include hub bolts, axle bolts, and bolts on trailer hitches.

Mechanism of torque in an impact wrench

The impact wrench has a particular function when it comes to its generation of torque. It is known as the epicyclic gear system. There are planetary and sun gears. During the rotation of the sun gear, the planetary gear keeps rotating at a different speed. This results in an increase in torque. Due to this, there is not much noise, and it offers you the best user experience.

How can you adjust the torque in an impact wrench?

It’s not always ideal to use an impact wrench at its maximum torque. At times, you may need to adjust the torque in order to make it suitable for different tasks. There are impact wrenches that come with customizable torques that you can control by a lever on its handle. You can regulate the pressure in two ways.

  1. You can adjust the air regulation in order to give off more air. More air will result in the production of more torque output. The disadvantage is that you may end up damaging the hand tool or the air compressor. But, without any kind of risk, you can turn down the level of air pressure.
  2. Buying an aftermarket tool regulator that you can plug into an air hose between the impact wrench and the compressor will provide you with fine-tooth control over your project’s airflow.

What are the torque requirements in impact wrenches of different sizes?

  1. Compact impact wrenches

When you do not need a large amount of torque, smaller and lighter impact wrenches provide a convenient solution. These impact wrenches weigh around 3 lbs, including the battery. As a result, these are especially helpful when you have to work for a prolonged period of time. Another reason that one can go for compact impact wrenches is their affordable price.

  1. Heavy impact wrenches

If you require bigger impact wrenches with a high amount of torque, for instance, around or more than 750 ft. lbs, you will be able to work on a piece of heavy equipment. Going for a cordless wrench will ensure that you can lug a 7-8 pounds tool. With a high torque rating, the price will also become expensive.

  1. Moderate impact wrenches

For doing some mechanical work, you need a torque range of 450 ft. lbs. This range will cover different kinds of automotive work. Cordless guns can weigh around 4 to 5 pounds with an attached battery.

Read more: What size of air compressor do you need for Impact Wrench?


The question- How much torque do I need in an impact wrench comes to everyone’s mind when they are about to do some kind of automotive repair? There are different types of torque ranges that are available for carrying heavy-duty, very heavy-duty, light-duty, very light-duty, and moderate-duty work.

Impact wrenches function on the epicyclic gear system. This helps in increasing the torque. Adjusting the air regulation will help in the production of torque output.

When you do not need too much torque, you can opt for a compact impact wrench. If you require a high amount of torque, you can go for a heavy impact wrench. Lastly, moderate impact wrenches produce mid-range torque suitable for mechanical work.

So if you are a DIY guy and want to do your automotive work like changing tires safely, make sure you choose wisely.

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