How to Adjust Torque on Cordless Impact Wrench

How to Adjust Torque on Cordless Impact Wrench

As the demands of users have grown, more and more battery-powered tools, specifically cordless impact wrenches have entered the market in order to handle the increasingly more demanding tasks. The purpose of today’s article is to discuss how to adjust torque on cordless impact wrenches.

The use of impact wrenches simplifies our lives considerably allowing us to be more productive. When it comes to cordless impact wrenches, they are intentionally designed for precision in the workplace. However, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that these impact wrenches have one major weakness. For maximum torque and power, impact wrenches use a combination of rotational force known as torque and short, concussive blows known as impacts. These tools are prone to damage if they have too much torque applied to them.

How to Adjust Torque on Cordless Impact Wrench
How to Adjust Torque on Cordless Impact Wrench

Torque and Cordless Impact Wrenches: How do they relate?

In case you are a beginner, you have to know what exactly a torque is?

Torque is an indicator or measurement of the strength of a particular engine’s rotational force responsible for causing an object to rotate. An impact wrench rotates its drive due to the torque; the torque turns the drive shaft. It has an internal rotating mass that turns it to turn. Torque is basically the amount that an engine has available when it exerts itself. It is usually measured in pounds-feet.

How to Adjust Torque on Cordless Impact Wrench
How to Adjust Torque on Cordless Impact Wrench

How Torque works in a Cordless Impact Wrench

A cordless impact wrench generates power by using batteries as its power source. It is through the rotational movement of the motor that generates energy to be pushed through the anvil at the end of the tool. During the process, a considerable amount of torque is produced, which exceeds the human capacity. These hammer-like cordless impact wrenches have a rotating mass inside them which continuously tightens once in use.

How much Torque do I need in an Impact Wrench?

Cordless impact wrenches offer great torque and accuracy, making them ideal for a variety of tasks. Their usefulness is directly related to the torque that they generate.

When selecting an impact wrench, you should bear in mind the amount of work the tool will be doing. Moreover, which level of toughness it requires. For professional use, you may want to consider an impact wrench with maximum torque, but for frequent home usage, getting by with a less powerful impact wrench is sufficient.

There is a variety of tightening torques for impact wrenches, starting at 22 ft-lbs and increasing as high as 2212 ft-lbs. Specifically:

  • To loosen giant fasteners with this tool, it should generate a lot of torque, however, 500 ft-lbs of torque is enough to loosen lug nuts.
  • Plastic repair will require an indicator of 100 – 120 ft-lbs.
  • About 500-750 ft-lbs are required for rail construction.
  • A suitable torque for installing and removing the rims should be 70 ft-lbs..

To tighten a large stubborn bolt, for example, you will need more torque than you will need to tighten a small bolt. However, If you perform various forms of work, you don’t have to have a different impact wrench for each one.

Why Torque limitations are Important?

In the case of too little torque, friction between the parts will occur as well as vibration between the parts. Overtightening may cause the bolt to break, wear the thread, or damage the retainer if it is not done properly. As the bolt will be too tight, it will be extremely difficult to remove it.

In addition, excessively high torque can damage the threads on nuts and bolts or may even break the bolt, while low torque may pose a risk to your equipment It is important to know the upper and lower limits of torque you should be using when working on a particular application.

why torque limitations are important

Why does an Impact wrench have no Torque settings?

The first impact wrenches were designed without consideration of how to control the torque. But thanks to more innovations, we now have a bunch of ways to adjust the torque on any cordless impact wrench.

Torque adjustment is available

A certain type of impact wrench allows you to control the application of torque by using the air regulator. There are two reasons why they are good: they are easy to use and you can adjust the torque precisely with them. They simply adjust the torque by turning the ring on the numbered dial. 

Note: In case, if you don’t know how to oil an impact wrench, then here is the detailed guide

No torque adjustment is available

Right now, there are some cordless impact wrenches available that don’t give you the option of adjusting the torque to your precise needs. It is possible to solve this problem with an attachment that fits over the impact which we can use to limit and manage the tightening torque.

How to adjust Torque on an Impact wrench

Is an impact wrench adjustable? Despite the fact that it sounds simple, adjusting the torque of an impact wrench is not as straightforward as it may appear. The tool must be prepared for your project in a few specific ways instead of just turning a dial or turning it on and off.

What is an Air Regulator?

A typical impact wrench will come with a piece of equipment called an air regulator, which manages the pressure inside the tool by regulating the airflow. You may also be able to install an air pressure regulator between the air hose and the impact wrench, which increases the pressure of the air. The less air entering the wrench, the lower the torque.

How to adjust the Torque on an Impact Wrench with air regulator?

Previously, we mentioned that there are no set standards for torque. The torque requirements can be adjusted easily to achieve the required level for different tasks.

adjust the Torque on an Impact Wrench with air regulator and compressor
adjust the Torque on an Impact Wrench with air regulator and compressor

So, what are some ways to adjust the torque according to the task?

The torque regulator enables you to easily modify the torque and adjust the speed by either one of the following two methods:

Method One: Adjusting torque by using an Air Regulator:

The air regulator is integrated into the impact wrench, so if your impact wrench does not have one, then you will need a special tool air regulator to adjust the torque.

You will need the following:

  1. Air hose
  2. Impact wrench
  3. Tool air regulator

Attach air regulator

To get started, you will need to attach the tool air regulator directly to the impact wrench in order to take a good measurement of its air pressure.

Attach air hose to air regulator

Following that, the air hose needs to be connected to the tool regulator.

Adjust the regulator

If you have completed installing the air regulator and air hose, then the air regulator can be adjusted until you reach the torque level you need.

Method Two: Adjusting torque by regulating line pressure

Secondly, you can adjust the torque of an impact wrench by regulating the line pressure.

You will need the following:

  1. Air hose
  2. Impact wrench
  3. Compressor with air regulator

Turn on the compressor, run until it reaches shutoff pressure

The very first thing you need to do is turn on your compressor and let it run until it reaches its shutdown pressure. By going through this process, you will be able to get the right amount of air pressure.

Attach the impact wrench to the compressor using an air hose

The air hose is connected to your impact wrench once the compressor reaches its shut-off pressure.

Adjust the pressure regulator on the compressor to reduce the pressure

To reduce the pressure on your tool, slowly adjust the regulator on your air compressor.

How to modify your Impact wrench to get more torque?

You should always keep the air pressure wrench within its recommended range.

Modifying the torque settings beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations by yourself is not a good idea. Instead, you should purchase a tool with higher torque ratings. The tool could be irreversibly damaged if you try to modify it yourself.


It is advisable to conduct some tests so as to determine if your air regulator or air compressor has changed the torque. Depending on the model you choose, you can adjust the applied torque. You just have to follow the instructions.

Bahram Shahab
Bahram here! A certified Electrical Engineer who knows his way around using power tools like a professional. My journey of using these robust tools started back when I graduated. Since then, I have finished almost a dozen DIY woodworking jobs. Apart from that, I have developed this habit of jotting down my personal experience about using a specific tool. So, I write on them to help the community in the best possible way.