There’s a growing trend of scaffolders using impact wrenches for the job rather than specially designed scaffold spanners or scaffold ratchet wrenches. This isn’t a surprise since those types require more physical manual input on the scaffolder’s behalf, making their work strenuous and awkward to carry out when halfway up a building. It’s much easier to use impact wrenches instead, but not all of these wrenches are made equal. Some are more suited to scaffolding work than others.
Below you’ll find five of these impact wrenches, our favourite pieces of kit that work well on scaffolding, as well as a short buyers’ guide detailing how certain wrenches are superior to others. In our list, you’ll see that we’ve listed the pros and cons of each tool so you can see their important features at a glance.
If you need to get your hands on an impact wrench right now, take a gander at our number one option to save yourself some time. We chose the Ryobi R18IW3-120S Cordless Impact Wrench Kit, a great yet affordable impact wrench that comes with its own battery and charger. See some of the great features of this product below:
It packs 400 Nm of torque thanks to its 18V high-power motor, which should be enough for most people’s needs. You don’t feel any of that torque when you’re using it because of its impact mechanism which limits how much feedback the wrench gives.
The wrench is great for use in all kinds of settings. It has a tri-beam LED light system built into it which illuminates darkened areas for precise operation. It also has three speed settings so you can adapt it for different fastening uses.
Locks its socket in place using a ½-inch square drive and an accompanying locking pin, ensuring that nothing comes loose.
Best Impact Wrench for Scaffolding – Comparison Table
At number one is the Ryobi R18IW3-120S Cordless Impact Wrench Kit, an affordable product that boasts a lot of great features and occupies the Amazon’s Choice spot for the ubiquitous “impact wrench” search term. It’s a capable impact wrench in its own right, thanks mainly to the 18V high-power motor that generates 400 Newton-metres of torque, which should be enough for most standard fasteners.
One of the other reasons it can generate so much torque is because you can’t feel it. This is because it has a specially designed impact mechanism that pacifies the kinetic energy that’s released when this wrench is being fired up. Instead, it sits comfortably in the hand and gives little reactionary feedback, so you can maintain control of what you’re doing with it.
There are three speed settings that give you even more control in how you use this product, and you can use the different settings for different fastener types to add some functional versatility to the Ryobi.
It’s also easy to use in low-light conditions because of the tri-beam LED lights that triples your visibility over products with just one LED, eliminating shadows so that you can work precisely and efficiently in the dark.
It uses a ½ inch square drive which features a locking pin to keep your socket fitment safe and secure. The last thing you want then working on a scaffolding is for your socket tip to come loose, and the locking pin prevents that and keeps it sturdy.
18V high-power motor supports 400 Nm of torque to tighten or remove fasteners.
Little reactionary feedback thanks to its pacifying impact mechanism.
Three speed settings allow you to customise this product’s use.
Tri-beam LED helps you work effectively in even the darkest of work areas.
½ inch square drive and locking pin keeps your socket fit and secure.
In second place is the Ingersoll Rand 2235TIMAX Drive Air Wrench, a high-end option for those who can afford to spend more for their wrench. That extra spending bags you a pretty powerful wrench, however, with 930 feet-pounds of reverse torque and 1,350 feet-pounds of fastening torque. Translated into Newton-metres, that’s 1,260 and 1,830 Nm, making this the best option if you need some real firepower.
This workhorse of a wrench achieves its high torque through the incorporation of a twin-hammer impact mechanism into its design. Its mechanism shields the user from any strain that would usually come with operating such high-torque machinery, making it a breeze to actually use despite how powerful it is.
Ingersoll Rand is known for the incredible durability of their products and this particular model is no exception. It’s built with a titanium hammer case, steel-wear plate, and composite housing that keeps this tool and its inner workings safe from even the harshest environments. We think this makes it even more ideal for use outdoors.
Despite how durable it is, it weighs only 4.6 lbs. That places it on the heavier side where the products on this list are concerned but, with all of its features considered, it’s still very lightweight for what this product is capable of.
Ingersoll Rand also has a two-year warranty policy that can cover or replace your purchase should any workmanship errors beyond your control arise, so your purchase can be as sturdy as the product itself.
Impressive 930 and 1,350 feet-pound maximum torque capabilities.
Twin-hammer impact mechanism makes operating this product easy.
Built with a titanium hammer case, steel-wear plate, and composite housing that protects the tool from most that’ll come at it.
Here we have Amazon’s Choice for the search term “cordless impact wrench,” so you can be sure it’s a product that has been tested by your fellow consumers. the VonHaus Cordless Impact Wrench Kit. It’s a powerful choice thanks to the fact that its 20V MAX Impact Driver is powered by a high spec motor, which makes it perfect for working with the dense materials of a construction site when you need something fastened.
It’s also great for unfastening when nuts or bolts have become warped or rusted-on, which can happen with outdoor scaffoldings that are exposed to the elements, thanks to its maximum unfastening torque of 240 Newton-metres. Fastening and unfastening are also done intuitively through the inclusion of a variable speed trigger and directional control means you have the final say in how fast and which way the wrench turns.
The body of the wrench itself features an ergonomic handle and a cast aluminium gear head that’s both lightweight and durable all at once. It’s an impact wrench, so it’s a fair bit to lift anyway, but the lighter the better when you’re working up a scaffolding. Because it’s cordless, it’s ideal for working in a variety of situations, and unlike some of the other products in this list, it retails with the 20V Max 3 Ah battery required.
That battery will charge in about one and a half hours but will only last for approximately twenty to thirty minutes through heavy use.
20V MAX Impact Driver powered by a high-spec motor that enables strong fastening on even the densest of materials.
Makes light work of rusted-on/over tightened nuts and bolts with a 240 Nm maximum torque.
Variable speed trigger and directional control keeps you in charge of this versatile wrench.
Cast aluminium gear head is lightweight but strong and durable.
Cordless and comes with a 20V Max 3 Ah battery.
The supplied battery lasts about 20 to 30 minutes with reasonable use.
Next up is the Makita DTW285Z Impact Wrench, a product from one of the leading professional power tool manufacturers on the market. It’s capable of an impressive max IPM rate of 3,500, but its variable trigger allows you to maintain full control of how fast you want this wrench to work.
We’ve put it on the list because it has its own so-called “med mode,” which is a specially designated setting to make it compatible with use on scaffolding and other similar construction projects. If those projects happen to be in areas with less than ideal lighting, you’ll be glad to know that there’s an LED job light built into this device that should provide ample visibility.
Its brushless motor improves the battery run time between charges, and a battery fuel gauge and protection circuit ensure that you won’t overcharge this wrench model, or otherwise lose track of just how much power you have left and need. The only downside here, however, is that the 18V li-ion LXT slide battery that you’ll want for this product is a separate purchase.
Since it’s from a reliable industry brand, you may want to know that the purchase qualifies for one year of their manufacturer warranty and, if you register within thirty days of your purchase, that warranty can get extended an extra two years.
CBrushless motor and variable trigger speed are capable of 3,500 IPM.
CHas a “med mode” for scaffolding applications.
SBattery fuel gauge and protection circuits reduce the chances of overcharging.
ALED job light allows you to work in low-light conditions.
T1 to 3 years of manufacturer warranty can protect this purchase.
CIts 18V li-ion LXT slide-type battery is not included.
Finally, our list ends with the NoCry Cordless Impact Wrench. It’s not the weakest by any means, loosening at approximately 400 Newton-metres of torque, which should be more than enough for large screws and stubborn lug nuts. It tightens at about 350 Newton-metres too, allowing you to secure your construction projects quickly and effectively, and with no extra strain on you.
It operates very smoothly thanks to its max 2,700 IMP rate, so you won’t need to worry about any faults that could make these wrenches more hassle than they’re worth. At the tip, you’ll find a 1/2-inch detent anvil, the standard pin type where impact wrenches are concerned, since they’re the more secure pins that minimise the risk of your sockets falling out.
This page is actually for a bundle, with which you’ll get a belt clip, charger, and a carry case so you can take it all from point A to B easily. It’s also great for keeping dust and debris off of it when left around on the construction site. Included in the bundle is also a 20V lithium-ion battery that’s not only rechargeable but is ready to go in just about two hours.
Loosens with 400 Nm of torque and tightens with 350 Nm.
Maximum IPM rate of 2,700 fastens and loosens bolts easily.
½-inch detent anvil is perfect for construction projects and general repair.
Rechargeable 20V lithium-ion battery is ready to go in just 2 hours.
A bundle that retails with a belt clip, charger, and a carry case.
This product reportedly has trouble working with wheel bolts.
Best Impact Wrench for Scaffolding – Buyer’s Guide
How to choose the right impact wrenches
Maybe you’re unfamiliar with how you can use an impact wrench on scaffolding, or you’re just not familiar with impact wrenches at all, whichever one it is, we’ve written this buyers’ guide to help you.
We’ve broken down impact wrenches into the different performance properties that you’ll want to pay attention to when buying, allowing you to read up on certain aspects of these products. This way you can get the best deals and see for yourself how some impact wrenches will be superior to others.
It’s not surprising that torque power should be first on the list of considerations when looking for impact wrenches. You want a wrench that’ll be able to deliver on what you have planned for it, but with impact wrenches, there’s the very real possibility that fasteners can get over-torqued so some caution is required.
Torque is expressed in Nm, or Newton-metres, and the number indicates how much torque force is generated when the impact wrench is being operated. You’ll naturally want a higher Nm capacity when working with fasteners that need to be very tight, but most of the time you can get away with using 200 to 400 Nm impact wrenches, hence why most of them in the list above fall within this range.
For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, so when your wrench is turning and impacting a fastening, you want a model that mitigates that feedback so you can keep a firm grip on the wrench.
Since you want to use impact wrenches in a way that, for some models, is beyond the expected method of use, it’s a good idea to shop for versatility. The three main versatile features we can think of are variable speed, directional control, and LED lighting.
Variable speed triggers are where the impact wrench spins faster the more pressure you put on the activation trigger. This allows you to control the speed at which you fasten nuts and bolts, which is great for when you need to use a very specific amount of torque and don’t want to hit the fasteners with a full blast of fast rotation.
Directional control is simply the ability to press a button and have the direction that the wrench moves in be inverted, allowing for easy and intuitive fastening and loosening.
LED lighting is important for visibility. Some products have small LEDs to indicate when the battery is charging, but we mean actual mounted LEDs that provide visibility when working in low-light or even dark conditions. The weather can be unpredictable at the best of times, and here in the UK, we’d place bets on it being overcast or raining a lot of the time. LED lights enable precise fastening by lighting up your immediate area.
Due to the nature of securing fasteners, your impact wrench is unlikely to see continuous use, and so the conversation about battery life is instead focused more on the quality of the battery itself rather than longevity.
For example, a lot of batteries enable about 20 to an hour of use, which doesn’t sound like that much but when considering that you’ll be using them for a few seconds at a time, it spreads out. As always, higher voltage batteries will supply more power.
Some impact wrenches don’t even operate off of batteries, instead using cords, but we’d advise that you stay far away from those if you’re planning to use them on scaffoldings. You’ll want a portable and relatively lightweight model that you can carry with you up and down the scaffold.
The best batteries are also rechargeable, since power tool batteries can get expensive when you’re making follow-up purchases.
A lot of the above-suggested products are actually bundles that feature some other equipment, so we thought it’d be handy to detail why you should consider a bundle, especially since they can be just as cheap as a single tool.
Bundles may include the variable-speed triggers mentioned above, since sometimes they’re detached and can be attached to the wrench for precision fastening. Otherwise, you’re likely to see belt clips, battery chargers, and carry cases advertised alongside the impact wrenches.
Battery chargers are fairly self-explanatory, and we’ve already explained above why you’ll want to get rechargeable power tool batteries. The carry cases are great for general transportation and maintaining its quality by not leaving it out and about, but the risk of them accruing damage of harmful debris is greater when working in areas under construction. That’s why it’s useful to have a safe storage space for your gadget once you’re done with it, so it doesn’t lie around gathering dust.
Belt clips allow you to carry the impact wrench on your hip by attaching it to, you guessed it, the belt. This is useful for when both hands are needed, like when manoeuvring yourself on a scaffolding.