How To Use An Impact Wrench: Easiest Way With Tips!

How To Use An Impact Wrench

The usage of an impact wrench is just as complex as its mechanism. Using it for the first time may feel extremely tricky for novice DIYers. But our tutorial on how to use an impact wrench with some expert tips & tricks will make the process an absolute breeze.

So without further ado, let’s dig into the tutorial—

Parts Of An Impact Wrench

Before getting to the tutorial, we think it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with the parts of this tool. If you know the parts better, the tutorial will be more understandable to you. As you know, there are two types of impact wrench, one is a pneumatic impact wrench & the other one is an electric impact wrench. The basic parts of an impact wrench are—


The chuck is the part that holds the nut or bolt for loosening or tightening purposes. Usually, most impact wrenches have a quick release hexagonal shaped chuck. This chuck can easily accept & release the nut or bolt with its hexagonal shanks, making the process easier.

LED Light

Some impact wrenches come with an LED light around the chuck to better see the location. Your impact wrench may not have an LED light depending on its model.


Your impact wrench will definitely have a trigger to carry out the command. If the speed is adjustable, the trigger may be a speed control trigger.

Forward & Reverse Switch

An impact wrench not only loosens up a nut or bolt but also tightens them too. For that, it needs to circulate in a certain direction. The backward or reverse motion helps to loosen up the nuts where the forward motion helps to tighten them.

To help you set your preferred direction, the forward & reverse switch is going to help. This two way switch enables forward or reverse motion in your impact wrench, helping you to complete your task.


This is the part that you use to hold the machine. Most of the grips are ribbed or carved to avoid slipping.


The motor is obviously the most vital part of an impact wrench. This is the part that produces a high torque output to serve your purpose. The motor is present only in an electric impact wrench, a pneumatic impact wrench generates its torque through the air compressor.

Air Inlet (For pneumatic impact wrench)

Every pneumatic impact wrench has an air inlet for drawing in air from the air compressor. Based on the model, the air inlet may come in different sizes, make sure to choose accordingly.

Battery (For cordless impact wrench)

All cordless impact wrenches will have a portable battery under the tool. You can easily swap out the batteries to replace them with new ones.

Read also: What Is An Impact Wrench Used For? [A Detailed Guide]

How To Use An Impact Wrench

Depending on the type of your impact wrench, the setup process might be a little different. But other processes are pretty much the same for all types of this tool. Here we are describing the setup procedure for you—

Take Safety Measures

Using an impact wrench isn’t that much risky, but you still should take some safety measures for, well, safety reasons. Use some safety gears like goggles, hand gloves & helmet to ensure a mess free operation. Now move on to the next step.

Set Up The Tool

If your wrench is of electric or cordless types, there is no setup process. All you need to do is to plug in the adapter or enter new batteries. But in a pneumatic impact wrench needs to be set up with a suitable air compressor before getting started.

Your impact wrench will come with an instruction manual describing the setup process. In case you find that complicated, we are elaborating the process—

How To Connect A Pneumatic Impact Wrench With Air Compressor

In order to hook up your pneumatic impact wrench with the air compressor, make sure you have all the elements in hand. You’ll need a few QC couplers & nipples in the appropriate size. Also, you’ll need an air hose to make the connection.

As you know, all air compressors have air outlets that we use as the air supply for our air tools. The main goal is to connect the air inlet of your impact wrench with this air outlet so that it can draw in the air.

To start, install the QC couplers on both the air inlet & outlet followed by the QC nipples. Then connect the air hose with the QC nipples on both ends. Now you’re all set to start working with your wrench.

Go For A Test Run

Now that you have set up the tool, it’s time to check if the tool is working properly. For that, turn on the air compressor once and see if the air leaks from any junction. If it does, check for any possible hole or kink in your air hose.

Now, hold the machine and pull the trigger to see if it turns on. If the wrench chuck starts to rotate, you can start working.

Select The Speed

Depending on your impact wrench model, it may have multiple speed settings. Your preferred speed will depend on your project, the faster you need to pull out the nuts, the higher speed you’ll need.

Loosening A Nut

Now the actual process starts. In order to loosen a nut, first, choose the appropriate chuck size to fit the nut or bolt you’re intending. Your impact wrench may come with a set of chuck or sockets to fit with different sizes of nuts.

Test each chuck by trying to fit it to the nut, and choose the one that fits the nut nicely. You shouldn’t choose a chuck/ socket that is too tight or loose to the nut. Otherwise, the nut will end up getting damaged or stuck with the chuck.

Now that you found the perfect sized chuck, install it on your impact wrench and turn on the tool. Find the forward/ backward switch and turn it on backward/ reverse since you’re loosening up the nut. If you can’t find the switch, take help from your user manual.

Now set the chuck on the nut while holding the wrench firmly. Then pull the wrench trigger & firmly hold it until the nut becomes loose and comes out. You can then remove the nut & bolt easily with your hands.

Tightening A Nut

An impact wrench is capable of tightening a nut or bolt too. The process is pretty much the same, only this time, turn the switch on forward. Put the nut or bolt in the chuck and place the chuck on the hole. Hold the wrench firmly and pull the wrench trigger until the nut tightens up all firmly.


After you’re done with your task, turn off the tool. Or if you’re using a pneumatic one, turn off the air compressor and disassemble the setup.

Detach the air hose from the air compressor outlet & also from the wrench inlet. Make sure to keep the wrench in a dry & clean place. And you are all done!

Final Words

So that’s the end of our tutorial. From now you won’t have to wonder how to use an impact wrench. We hope this article will help you to have better skills & you can be an even better DIY mechanic! Happy working!

Related: What Size Air Compressor Do You Need For Impact Wrench?

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