What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For Impact Wrench

Latest Update On: December 22, 2020 | Author:

An impact wrench is a power tool that you can use to tighten or loosen lug nuts. When you work with heavy lug nuts, especially the once which are rusty or frozen, impact wrenches come in handy. They are powerful enough to produce enough torque that can loosen up any amount of rust. They are small, handy, and portable, yet have a high level of working efficiency, especially for the auto industry when it comes to tire fitting.

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For Impact Wrench

Impact wrenches work best when they are powered by air pressure instead of power drive, locally on the tool. Depending on the different power of a wrench, you have to select your air compressor wisely. If you’ve been thinking about what size air compressor do I need for an impact wrench, This article will surely help you.

Why Do I Need To Choose The Right Size Air Compressor For Impact Wrench?

To get the most output from your impact wrench, you must get the right size of the air compressor. The impact wrenches come in a variety of types and sizes, including the different amounts of power to do heavy nut jobs. Here are some reasons why you must choose the right size of air compressor for your impact wrenches:

  1. To have the right torque: The right size of an air compressor will allow you to deliver the right amount of rotating torque on the tool. Only the right amount of torque can help you pull heavy-duty jobs, especially in the auto industry, with heavy-duty tires.
  2. For different impact wrenches: An adequate amount of air compressor power will help you with different impact wrenches as well. You can pull out any sized wrenches and hook it up to the air compressor if you have more power than you need.
  3. Multiple wrenches: You can run multiple impact wrenches with a single air compressor if you choose the right size. If you’re running a small too big industry with multiple impact wrenches in action, it’s mandatory. It will help you keep all the workers in work without having to let only one in the production.
  4. To ensure safety: An air compressor heats up pretty early if you don’t have the adequate size and power in it. Thus you have to opt-out for the best possible powerful compressor for yourself.

To know more about the application requirements of the right size of an air compressor, Read Here for a dedicated article on it.

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For Impact Wrench?

The size of the air compressor you’re working with has a big deal with the size of the impact wrenches you’re going to work with. If you don’t meet the criteria of the amount of size in the air compressor as your impact wrench requires, you won’t be able to run the tool.

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Or, you might even end up getting a broken compressor or frozen wrench as well. So, here are the requirements for you if you think what size air compressor do I need for impact wrench:

Different sizes of impact wrenches

Choosing the right size of an air compressor for an impact wrench depends on the size of the wrenches you have. As there are many different sizes available in the wrenches, you must calculate the pressure it needs for the particular nut you’re working on. A 1/4 inch impact wrench size isn’t going to require the same size or pressure as a 1-inch wrench size. The same goes for impact drivers as you have to work with both wrenches and drivers at the same time. I’ll talk about the impact drivers separately in a bit.

What size is perfect, then?

The 1/4 of an inch and 3/8 of an inch are the smallest sizes in the impact wrenches lineup. This size of impact wrenches requires only 3 CFM off the air compressor while it’s in 90 to 100 PSI. If you’re working with an impact wrench with the size of 1/2 inch, you are going to need 4 CFM with the PSI rating of 90 to 100 PSI. If you go up to 1 inch of the impact wrench, you’ll need at least 10 CFM from the air compressor with the PSI rating of 90 to 100.

What about the impact driver?

If you’re working with an impact driver with the size of 1/2 inch, you can go for an air compressor with 4 CFM at 90 to 100 PSI. For a 3/4 inch of an impact driver, make sure the air compressor has at least 7 CFM at 90 to 100 PSI. If the driver size is 1 inch, you need more power; then, you would go for an impact wrenches. You must have an air compressor of at least 12 CFM, while the PSI rating is on 90 to 100.

What about the motor HP and tank?

When you go for buying an air compressor to run your impact tool, it’s important how powerful a machine you’re going with. The Horsepower (HP) rating of the motor of the compressor will define how much CFM and PSI you’ll get out of it. To put perspective for you, a 2 HP motor on the air compressor can produce you up to 4-8 CFM at 90 PSI of compressed air. Now for the air tank, you should get an air compressor with at least a 20-gallon tank. It will help you keep working without having to take a long buffer between different lug nuts.

How To Choose The Air Compressor For Impact Wrench

If you need a recommendation for a compressor that can keep you up no matter what size of a wrench you have, follow this. Get a compressor that has at least 4-6 HP of power in the motor, and it will ensure you’re coming in short for power. For the CFM and PSI rating, the compressor should be able to go up to 14-18 CFM, where the PSI is 90-130. If you’re looking for recommendations from experts, visit this extensive post on the best air compressor for impact wrench with review and suggestions.

How To Use Air Impact Wrench?

The air impact wrenches are one of the sturdiest and most impactful power tools used in the automotive industry. Here is how to use an air compressor powered impact wrench:

  • First, plug in the air compressor motor to the power source and power it up. Now attach the impact wrench to the air compressor hose.
  • Put on your safety gear and let the compressed air force to the impact wrench through the hose you’re connected to the compressor.
  • Set the PSI on the compressor on 90 to 100. Set the CFM according to your wrench requirements, as I mentioned earlier.
  • To test the wrenches if it works, set the air regulator valve accordingly and start the wrenches. If you’re getting the right torque, you’re good to go.


Here are the most commonly asked questions about Impact Wrenches you also might have in your mind:

How many gallon air compressor do I need for impact wrench?

You should get at least a 20-gallon air compressor for impact wrenches.

Will a pancake compressor run an impact wrench?

It can run the wrench, but you won’t get the right torque for the best result.

Can I use chrome sockets on impact wrench?

No, you shouldn’t use chrome sockets on impact wrench as they tend to crack or shatter.

Final Thought

When you have a vast amount of work in the line, you cannot have major intervals between the production line. That’s why I tried to put you on a specific perspective with a decent amount of power in the air compressor you’re going to choose. I hope you’ve found the article helpful and got the answer to the question, what size air compressor do I need for impact wrench. Best of luck on your next shopping for an air compressor to operate your impact wrench.

Jim Smith

Hello, this is Jim Smith. I am the owner of this website “power tool wiki” that will inform you about all the latest power tool machines like an air compressor, it’s related accessories and use and maintenance information. As a technical expert on this air compressor machine, I have a complete idea about its function and features. Not just because of a technician I know about this machine, I have been researching this machine for the last few years.

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