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  • Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

How Does An Impact Wrench Work

BySomiala Obgorto

Oct 15, 2022

Trying to loosen a lug nut with an impact wrench, only for the tool to tighten it further is a result of not knowing how the tool works. If you pay close attention to how every part of the impact wrench works during learning, you will never be stuck in such situations with stubborn nuts.


There is no doubt that using an impact wrench is a very simple and straightforward task that does not involve any complicated steps. However, you still need to know precisely how the tool works and which parts are responsible for its seamless operation to use it properly.


Before you jump onto YouTube and start spending hours watching videos on how to use an impact wrench, I’m gonna stop you right there. I have written the whole procedure of using this power tool in simple steps. Therefore, you will be able to use your impact wrench around the house with ease in no time.

How Does An Impact Wrench Work?

With the following steps, you will easily learn how an impact wrench works and use it for various projects.

Knowing The Types Of Impact Wrenches

The first step is to know which impact wrench you are going to use. If you are using a corded impact wrench, then it will be convenient if you find a workplace near an electrical outlet. Otherwise, you will have to drag extension cords around. On the other hand, if you are using a cordless impact wrench, then you can use it anywhere without worrying about finding an electrical outlet.

Understanding Its Parts

An impact wrench comes with a small button which is normally present near the handle grip. This is the trigger button which is also known as the power button of the tool. Near this button, there is another small button which controls the direction of the rotations. It is responsible for turning the chuck in a clockwise or anti-clockwise motion. When the power button is pressed, the motor of the impact wrench roars to life and the chuck or the anvil starts rotating in the direction that the user has picked. Another important thing to understand is that the head of an impact wrench does not twist continuously for as long as you hold the power button. Instead, it twists for shorter periods that last 4 to 5 seconds with a break of a few seconds in between.

How Does An Impact Wrench Work

A rule of thumb for using impact wrenches is to never power the tool first and then place it on the nut afterwards. You always place the anvil or the chuck on the nut that you need to tighten or loosen first before turning the tool on. When the user presses the trigger button of their impact wrench, the electric motor of their power tool comes alive. The motor forces the spring present on the gear box to move in the selected direction. When the spring moves, it pushes the anvil of the impact wrench to move as well.


Here comes an interesting part, every model of an impact wrench has a rotating hammer present behind the rotor. When the impact wrench makes contact with a stubborn nut that won’t budge when the anvil is rotating, the hammer of the tool kicks into motion. It forces the anvil to move at a higher speed, with a higher force to unscrew the tight nut. If the nut loosens immediately, the rotating hammer goes dormant. However, if the stubborn nut does not unscrew, the hammer keeps adding more force to the rotations till it unscrews. The high force and speed are basically how an impact wrench easily tackles lug nuts that are hard to loosen with manual wrenches.


Understanding how a power tool, especially an impact wrench, works is a critical part of knowing how to use it perfectly for your projects. The knowledge also comes in handy when something goes wrong, and you need to change a part. Therefore, if you want to know how every part of the tool operates and how an impact wrench works, read the article above.


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