Finding a stubby impact wrench that isn’t only compact but also powerful and reliable is a hard thing to do nowadays.
I mean, brands are more focused on spending money on ads or on reducing costs by outsourcing manufacturing instead of making sure their tools actually get the job done.
This is why I made sure to test and review a lot of stubby impact wrenches to find those that are actually worth your hard-earned money. I also added some tips and sections I thought you might find useful.
What’s a Stubby Impact Wrench?
We all know an impact wrench is designed to deliver a high torque output needed to remove stubborn nuts and bolts with minimal physical effort, making the process faster, more efficient, and less tiring.
But… have you heard of a stubby impact wrench?
A stubby impact wrench packs the power of a regular impact wrench into a smaller package, giving you greater control and maneuverability.
In fact, the term “stubby” refers to the shorter length of the tool compared to traditional impact wrenches.
This tool is perfect to work in tight spaces or with awkward angles as its reduced length allows it to fit in tight spaces, such as between pipes, machinery, or in hard-to-reach areas like engine bays.
And while it may be short on length, it’s certainly not short on power.
In fact, most stubby impact wrenches deliver the same powerful torque output as regular impact wrenches which allows owners to enjoy all the benefits of a traditional impact wrench, but with added convenience and maneuverability.
The Best Stubby Impact Wrenches
Here is my selection of the best stubby impact wrenches in the market:
- M12 FUEL 1/2″ Impact Wrench Stubby Impact Wrench
- TZTOOL 3/4″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- Chicago Pneumatic CP7732 1/2″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- Ingersoll Rand 36QMAX 1/2″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- DEWALT DCF923B 3/8″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- AIRCAT 1778-VXL 3/4″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- Makita XWT14Z Stubby Impact Wrench
- M12 Fuel 3/8″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- DEWALT DCF913B 3/8″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- Sunex SXMC12 1/2″ Stubby Impact Wrench
1. M12 FUEL 1/2″ Impact Wrench Stubby Impact Wrench
This M12 1/2″ stubby impact wrench changed my view on all stubby impact wrenches as I couldn’t believe that an impact wrench this small could be that powerful.
It stands at only 4.9 inches in length, making it easy to access tight spaces where a tradesman (i.e. mechanic) might have to work in.
With a motor that outputs up to 250 ft-lbs of breakaway torque, there’s no stubborn nut or bolt that can stand in its way.
What truly sets this tool apart, I believe, is its 4-mode drive control. This feature allows for greater precision and control over torque and speed, making it easier to adapt the torque and speed to the task at hand.
And, with its auto-shutoff mode, one can say goodbye to over-fastening nuts and bolts which is a huge headache with other impact wrenches.
- It’s only 4.9 inches in length to access tight places
- Motor outputs up to 250 ft-lbs of breakaway torque to deal with stubborn nuts and bolts
- 4-Mode drive control allows for more precision thanks to the provided torque and speed control
- Auto-shut off mode prevents over-fastening nuts and bolts
- Not for heavy applications
2. TZTOOL 3/4″ Stubby Impact Wrench
When you use this TZTOOL 3/4″ stubby impact wrench you’ll be surprised by the level of torque this small tool outputs.
Its solid all-metal construction ensures the durability you’d expect of a stubby impact wrench of this caliber, while its motor with powerful hammer mechanism outputs 1050 ft-lbs of max torque, making it easy to remove even the most stubborn, rusty nuts and bolts.
What’s more, the TZTOOL stubby impact wrench has a very convenient torque selector which allows users to easily adapt the torque of the tool to the specific task at hand.
Moreover, the tool is only 6.2 inches in length and 5.8 pounds in weight, making it compact and easy to maneuver, which is perfect if you’re the kind of tradesman that frequently works in tight places.
Last but not least, it has three convenient reverse and forward modes that boost productivity and make using this tool very easy.
- Solid all-metal construction guarantees durability
- It outputs 1050 ft-lbs of max torque through a hammer mechanism to remove rusty nuts and bolts
- Torque selector to adapt the torque to the task at hand
- It’s only 6.2 inches in length and only weighs 5.8 pounds
- 3 reverse and forward convenient modes
- It needs a bit of maintenance (3 drops of oil before use)
3. Chicago Pneumatic CP7732 1/2″ Stubby Impact Wrench
I hear often that stubby impact wrenches aren’t as powerful as regular sized impact wrenches. However, this is not true, especially when we consider models such as this Chicago Pneumatic CP7732 1/2″ stubby impact wrench.
With its compact and stubby design, this tool is only 4.4 inches long and weighs only 1.9 pounds, making it ideal for use in tight and uncomfortable spaces for hours.
Despite its small size, it still delivers a formidable 450 ft-lbs of torque which makes it easy to remove stubborn and rusty nuts and bolts you’d find in most old cars.
Lastly, this Chicago Pneumatic stubby impact wrench features a durable steel and aluminum body, ensuring long-lasting performance and reliability which is hard to find in other impact wrenches.
- Compact, stubby design that is only 4.4 inches long that fits in tight spaces and weighs only 1.9 pounds
- It delivers 450 ft-lbs of torque to remove rusty nuts and bolts
- Jumbo hammer mechanism
- Durable steel and aluminum body
- Trigger is clumsy
4. Ingersoll Rand 36QMAX 1/2″ Stubby Impact Wrench
I truly believe this Ingersoll Rand 36QMAX 1/2″ stubby impact wrench might be the best one I’ve ever came across.
Let me explain:
Its motor, equipped with a rugged titanium hammer, delivers up to 650 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque, making it more than capable of tackling even the most stubborn nuts and bolts.
Weighing in at only 2.4 pounds, this tool is the perfect choice for lengthy tasks as it won’t wear down your arms when holding them for longer.
With its 3-mode power regulator, you can easily adapt the speed and torque to your specific task, ensuring optimal performance and control.
Last but not least, it features a convenient one-handed operation and a forward and reverse mechanism for enhanced productivity.
- Motor with rugged titanium hammer delivers up to 650 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque to remove rusty nuts and bolts
- It only weighs 2.4 lbs, which is perfect for intensive tasks
- 3-mode power regulator that allows users to adapt speed and torque to the task at hand
- Convenient one-handed operation
- Forward and reverse mechanism for enhanced productivity
- Not made in America
5. DEWALT DCF923B 3/8″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- Length: 5.9 inches
- Torque: 300 ft-lbs of max fastening torque and 450 ft-lbs of max breakaway torque
- Type: Battery
These days, it’s pretty hard to find a stubby impact wrench that is both powerful and compact at the same time, which is why I was surprised when I first got my hands on this Dewalt DCF923B 3/8″ stubby impact wrench.
With 300 ft-lbs of max fastening torque and 450 ft-lbs of max breakaway torque, this tool is capable of handling stubborn nuts and bolts with ease.
The four-speed settings allow for total control and customization for any task, while the Precision Wrench Control helps to prevent over-tightening, which is a common issue when using a powerful impact wrench.
The LED light provides enhanced illumination, which is particularly helpful in low light environments.
And, the hog ring anvil allows for quick and easy socket changes which become essential when you have to work on a variety of tasks.
- 300 ft-lbs of max fastening torque and 450 ft-lbs of max breakaway torque
- 4 speed settings provide total control
- Precision Wrench control that prevent over tightening
- LED lights for enhanced illumination
- Hog ring anvil allows for easy socket changes
- Battery powered
- Only for light duty tasks
6. AIRCAT 1778-VXL 3/4″ Stubby Impact Wrench
There are plenty of features that make this AIRCAT 1778-VXL 3/4″ stubby impact wrench as my personal favorite of this article, starting with its impressive maximum torque output of 1,450 ft-lbs and loosening torque of 1,700 ft-lbs, making it effortless to remove even the most stubborn bolts.
It measures only 7.4 inches in length, making it ideal for those tight spaces where larger tools simply won’t fit.
Additionally, its muffler exhaust system ensures that operation is incredibly low noise, making it a fantastic choice for those who are work noise-sensitive.
The ergonomic handle is another reason to love this impact wrench, making it comfortable to hold for extended periods of time, regardless of the job at hand.
And, the composite plastic construction not only makes this impact wrench lightweight but also incredibly reliable, ensuring it will stand the test of time.
- It outputs 1,450 ft-lbs of maximum torque and 1,700 ft-lbs loosening torque to remove stubborn bolts
- Design of only 7.4 inches in length
- Low noise thanks to muffler exhaust system
- Ergonomic handle that makes holding this tool for longer something comfortable to do
- Made of lightweight yet reliable composite plastic
- Patented clutch reduces vibrations and wear
- Control switch is a bit wobbly
7. Makita XWT14Z Stubby Impact Wrench
- Length: 5-5/8 inches
- Torque: 240 ft-lbs of max torque and 430 ft-lbs. of nut-busting torque
- Type: Battery
Makita is known for manufacturing powerful and reliable tools, and this XWT14Z is no exception.
This impact wrench is powered by a brushless motor that delivers 240 ft-lbs of maximum torque and 430 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque, which is perfect to remove rusty nuts and bolts most tradesmen have to deal with at some point.
The 5-5/8 inch stubby design is perfect for tight spaces, and its 4-pound weight makes it easy to work with for extended periods of time.
The 4-speed power selection provides precision in fastening control, while the 3 forward and 3 reverse auto-stop modes make it incredibly convenient to use.
Finally, the tool has the so-called Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) that provides dust and water resistance, making this impact wrench suitable for use in harsh environments.
- Brushless motor delivers 240 ft-lbs of max torque and 430 ft-lbs. of nut-busting torque
- 4-pound stubby design is only 5-5/8 inches long to make it easy to work in tight places
- 4 speed power selection provides precision in fastening control
- Convenient 3 forward and 3 reverse auto-stop modes
- Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) provides dust and water resistance
- LED lights
- Friction ring is not the best
8. M12 Fuel 3/8″ Stubby Impact Wrench
If you want a stubby impact wrench that is compact, lightweight and useful enough to handle light tasks, then you’ll love this M12 3/8″ stubby impact wrench.
The 4.8-inch design is versatile enough to allow its users to work in tight spaces that are normally inaccessible to larger tools.
With 250 ft-lbs of breakaway torque, the M12 Fuel can tackle stubborn nuts and bolts with ease.
The 4-Mode drive control system offers maximum precision when tightening or removing fasteners, to provide confidence and control when you most need it.
Additionally, the auto shutoff mode prevents over-tightening which can be highly frustrating.
- 4.8-inch stubby design that makes it easy to work in tight spaces
- 250 ft-lbs of breakaway torque which is sufficient to deal with some stubborn nuts and bolts
- 4-Mode drive control allows for maximum precision when tightening or removing fasteners
- Auto shutoff mode prevents over-tightening
- Not for intensive jobs
9. DEWALT DCF913B 3/8″ Stubby Impact Wrench
- Length: 5.87 inches
- Torque: 250 ft-lbs of tightening torque and 400 ft-lbs of breakaway torque
- Type: Battery
This Dewalt DCF913B 3/8″ stubby impact wrench is a both highly reliable and compact tool.
With its 250 ft-lbs of tightening torque and 400 ft-lbs of breakaway torque, this impact wrench packs a punch that is strong enough to remove stubborn bolts.
Despite its power, it still retains a compact and stubby structure that allows users to work in tight spaces with ease.
The hog ring anvil adds a touch of convenience, allowing for rapid and easy socket changes.
Additionally, the LED light is a welcome bonus, illuminating dark areas and making it easier to see what you’re working on.
- 250 ft-lbs of tightening torque and 400 ft-lbs of breakaway torque
- Compact stubby structure that allows users to work in tight spaces
- Hog ring anvil for rapid and convenient socket changes
- LED light to illuminate dark areas
- Sockets fit kinda flimsy (they work though)
10. Sunex SXMC12 1/2″ Stubby Impact Wrench
I use this Sunned SXMC12 1/2″ stubby impact wrench whenever I need a powerful yet compact impact wrench.
Its compact 4.29” long design makes it easy to fit in small spaces, while still being powerful enough to tackle tough jobs.
It’s also lightweight, coming in at only 2.9 pounds, making it possible to operate with just one hand too.
The jumbo hammer mechanism is a real standout feature, producing an impressive 500 ft-lbs of breakaway torque which is enough to handle stubborn nuts and bolts.
And with the forward/reverse and 3-speed modes, you have maximum control over your work which is an essential feature for a lot of tradesmen.
- Compact 4.29” long design which weighs only 2.9 pounds that fits in small spaces
- It can be operated with one hand
- Jumbo hammer mechanism produces 500 ft-lbs of breakaway torque
- Forward/reverse and 3-speed modes for maximum control
- It needs lubrication
The Best Stubby Impact Wrench Overall
AIRCAT 1778-VXL 3/4″ Stubby Impact Wrench
I selected this AIRCAT 1778-VXL 3/4″ stubby impact wrench due to its following amazing features:
- 1,450 ft-lbs of maximum torque and 1,700 ft-lbs loosening torque which is sufficient to remove rusty nuts and bolts
- Compact design (only 7.4 inches) which fits in tight areas and ergonomic handle
- Muffler exhaust system that reduces the noise made
Must Have Features of The Best Stubby Impact Wrench
If you’d like to go on your own and find a stubby impact wrench that meet all your needs, I’d first make sure to pick one with the following features
High Torque Output
Do you know that feeling of pure frustration when you’re trying to remove a stubborn nut or bolt and no matter what you do, it just won’t budge?
Well, we’ve all been there, and let me tell you, impact wrenches are the knight in shining armor that saves the day in such scenarios.
These tools have powerful motors designed to make the removal of stubborn nuts and bolts something simple, and stubby impact wrenches take this to the next level.
With their compact size, stubby impact wrenches can fit into tight spaces where regular impact wrenches simply can’t, making them the ideal solution for those tough-to-reach nuts and bolts.
I’d say that if you want a reliable stubby impact wrench, you should look for one that has a minimum torque output of 250 ft-lbs of nut-busting power as it’s enough torque to deal with stubborn nuts and bolts.
Working in tight spaces can be a real headache, especially when you’re using a regular-sized impact wrench as their bulkiness can make it difficult to maneuver and access those hard-to-reach spots.
A stubby design in an impact wrench can be the perfect solution for that issue as it makes the impact wrench compact and short, with an average length of just 6 inches which makes it easier to work in tight spaces, reducing potential frustration and making your job easier.
Holding an impact wrench for hours on end can be tiring, but we already learned that with a stubby impact wrench that’s an issue that is easy to solve.
However, I still believe it’s crucial that these stubby impact wrenches should have an ergonomic grip as it makes the impact wrench fit comfortably in the hand and distribute weight evenly, reducing the risk of fatigue and pain.
Without this, even the most lightweight stubby impact wrench can become a burden to hold for extended periods, causing hand fatigue and discomfort.
Variable Speed Trigger
Precision is key when it comes to using an impact wrench as if it’s not used with precision, it can cause damage to the fasteners you’re working on.
And that’s why having a variable speed trigger is a game-changer as it allows you to have complete control over the speed of the tool, making it easier to achieve the desired results and avoid headaches.
Whether you need to make a delicate adjustment or power through a stubborn nut or bolt, the variable speed trigger gives you the flexibility to keep the impact wrench from overtightening or stripping the fastener.
Not only does this feature increase the precision of your work, but it also makes it easier and more efficient.
You don’t want your tool to break down in the middle of a job, leaving you stranded and unable to finish your task, right?
That’s why I believe a durable construction in a stubby impact wrench is essential as it is what will ensure that the tool can handle heavy-duty tasks without falling apart.
So, don’t settle for a cheap, flimsy tool that won’t last. Look for a stubby impact wrench with durable construction and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve made a wise investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequent questions asked regarding stubby impact wrenches and my attempt at answering them. Let’s begin.
What size impact wrench is best for automotive work?
I believe the best size of impact wrench for automotive work is a 1/2″ stubby impact wrench.
I mean, have you ever found yourself under the hood of your car, struggling to remove a bolt with a clunky, full-sized impact wrench?
Well, my friend, it’s time to say goodbye to those frustrating days and hello to the hero of automotive work – the stubby impact wrench.
I mean, a stubby impact wrench is a compact yet powerful tool that can easily fit into the tightest of spaces a mechanic usually has to work in, allowing you to tackle any fastening task with ease, ready to handle anything from removing stubborn lug nuts to tightening suspension bolts with ease.
And when it comes to selecting the ideal anvil size, the 1/2″ anvil stands out as the most versatile option as it can handle a wide range of fastening tasks, including removing and installing lug nuts, tightening suspension bolts and removing wheel’s lug nuts.
What is the best stubby impact wrench brand?
I believe Milwaukee is the king when it comes to stubby impact wrenches. Let me explain.
From the moment you pick one up, you’ll feel the difference in quality and performance. The ergonomic design and powerful motor of most Milwaukee’s stubby impact wrenches make them perfect for removing stubborn bolts, while the compact size allows one to reach tight spaces with ease.
But it’s not just the tool itself that sets Milwaukee apart – it’s their commitment to providing the best customer experience possible. I have nothing other than nice words about their customer service.