Kobalt ½” Electric Impact Wrench – Brute Force

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I have a small shop, and in that small shop I have a small compressor. For the woodworking side of the shop, it is plenty big enough to run finish nailers and staplers. But, for those occasions when I want to work on a rusty old farm implement or rotate the tires on my ancient Chevy Blazer, I borrow my buddy’s pneumatic impact wrench. It works okay, but my poor little compressor really can’t keep up with that mondo air tool. I have long considered buying an electric impact wrench for those occasions, but have always heard from friends that most models on the market fall short in the power department. Recently, HomeFixated was sent a new Kobalt ½” model to take for a spin, and I was pleasantly surprised at the power it packed.

kobalt impact wrench trigger
Not your typical trigger design if you’re used to cordless drills

Kobalt Tools, for those who aren’t familiar with the brand, is the house brand of the Lowe’s Home Improvement chain. I have always been impressed with the quality of the Kobalt tools that I have looked at while browsing the local Lowe’s, but haven’t actually spun any of their power tools before. Unpacking the impact wrench, I appreciated the minimal packaging that wrapped the sturdy hard carrying case. Inside the case I found a beefy looking tool, along with a seven piece starter set of nice quality impact sockets.

A solid tool! It includes a sturdy case and starter set of impact sockets.
A solid tool! It includes a sturdy case and starter set of impact sockets.

The tool itself is HEAVY (weighing in at over 8 pounds) with an 8 amp 120V motor onboard, but I found it nicely balanced for a tool of its size. It has a big…like REALLY big… rocker switch trigger, which takes a little getting used to. Reverse is on top, where your index finger rests, and forward is below, where your middle finger rests. It makes sense though, since this is a tool for taking things apart more than putting them together, but for a guy so programmed to using a standard cordless drill with a forward/reverse switch, I struggled a bit to remember which way I was going.

In terms of power, it broke loose the rusted lug nuts on my Blazer without breaking a sweat. It packs 350 ft/lbs of torque, and 1700 IPM, which is a lot less than my buddy’s air wrench, but for my needs, it is really nice. It might not spin the giant nuts on his earth moving equipment, but for basic auto and tractor repair, it is a solid contender.


It was easy enough to operate with one hand, and the 12 foot cord and blue power indicator light are nice extra features. Nothing says “el cheapo” like a skimpy, short cord! No other bells and whistles on this tool, but it doesn’t need them. For the price (about $139 at the time of this article), the Kobalt is a real brute.

Buy Now - via Lowes

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About Rich

Rich Dana loves to build things, to tinker on things, and to grow things. After more than a decade as a historic building remodeler in Brooklyn, New York, he and his wife Ericka moved to their back-to-the-land dream home (and fixer-uper nightmare), an 1870s farmhouse on 15 acres in eastern Iowa that they call “Catnip Farm.” For the last 18 years, Rich has specialized in super-efficient historical renovations and solar PV installation. He is working to convert much of the farm into perennial food crops like nut trees and berries, and he helps Ericka out with her heirloom seed project. His latest passion is learning to sew.

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5 thoughts on “Kobalt ½” Electric Impact Wrench – Brute Force”

    • You can try Lowe’s customer service at 1-800-445-6937. Another place to check is eBay; I’ve found tool cases and tool bags for several of my tools there.

  1. Just bought one of these today to remove anode rod from my hot water tank. Couldn’t make it move with breaker bar and cheater pipe. This impact removed it in 3 seconds. Really impressed with its power.

  2. I find myself going more to where a car broke down can’t be moving my compressor from one job to the next I thought electric or battery power would be nice. My buddy has one (not sure of brand) but not enough power to free lug nuts so my thoughts, don’t waste my money. Does this Kobalt Impact Wrench really work the way it should, can it do the job? Convince me, Make me a believer! Then I will trust in the brand name Kobalt.

    • I use mine all the time at my home shop and it does real well yes it is a little weighted down lol but has taken every lug nut and body bolt I’ve ever put it on


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