Matco Tools High Torque Impact Wrench MCL2012HPIWK Review
There's both good news, and less good news to consider with the Matco Tools High Torque Impact Wrench. Can its performance balance out its high price?
From our recent cordless high torque impact wrench shootout, we’ve discovered a lot of high-performance tools. Models like the AC Delco ARI2002, Milwaukee 2767-22, MAC Tools BWP151-M2, Ingersoll Rand W7150-K22, and Makita XWT08 all performed very well in our testing. Today, we’re looking at the 8th place finisher, the Matco Tools High Torque impact wrench (model MCL2012HPIWK).
Before we get rolling with this standalone review, it’s worth acknowledging that this 5-year old tool was competing against much newer models in our shootout. While air tools and hand tools can stand for years and hold their own, the battery-powered world moves quickly. Motor improvements, battery advances, and other technological gains give the advantage to the most recent cordless impact wrenches. I say this to preface the rest of the review because the age of this wrench certainly factors into some of the results. If this is your tool, don’t get too ruffled by the results. Matco still gets the job done—they’re just due on the refresh cycle.
The Matco Tools High Torque impact wrench has some things going for it that point toward why so many mechanics happily use it. As seen from our speed tests, it has a really hard initial impact that really gets things moving quickly. It tied in third place with a time of 13.1 seconds, beating out DeWalt, AC Delco, Mac Tools, and Bosch. Even 5 years old, this impact wrench still loosens nuts as fast as the quickest newer models.
We also really like the angled head. The design keeps that battery kicked back a bit, granting the wrench more clearance in awkward workspaces. Matco also includes a helpful work light that helps in the dimmer areas of the workspace.
The Matco is, however, starting to show its age, and would benefit from an upgrade. Its tightening capabilities left a little something to be desired. It could only generate 75% of the torque that our winner could manage, which tied it for 7th place with Makita. Only Bosch fell behind that with their HTH181-01.
The Matco MCL2012HPIWK impact wrench still uses a brushed motor, which could be a contributing factor to why this gun’s torque lagged behind the leaders. While it does include a variable speed trigger, it only has one available speed. A brushless motor also allows for more intelligent use of battery power. That’s not available with a traditional motor.
Another point to consider: the Matco Tools impact wrench weighed more than everything else we looked at. It’s over a half pound more than the median weight and roughly 1.2 pounds over the Ingersoll-Rand W7150-K22 (our second place power performer). This might not factor too much into your purchasing decisions if you’re only using an impact wrench sporadically. For those who use it throughout the day, you may want something lighter.
Where the Matco Tools High Torque impact wrench really drives a hard bargain is with its pricing, availability, and warranty. When you break it down, this 5-year old tool underperforms its peers and costs $130 more than the next most expensive model. The warranty also sits below other manufacturers—just 18 months according to a call to their customer service department. In terms of availability, this tool can only be purchased via a Matco tool truck (a distributor) or their website.
Matco Tools doesn’t make a bad product, but the recent advancements in technology are quickly leaving it behind. That gap will only continue to get larger. We look forward to seeing what’s next for this company. Certainly, a move to brushless technology will help.
Summing it All Up
In the age of smartphones, where information is available as fast as you’re able to type, the vast majority of people are researching new purchases. When you’re plunking down $700 on a new tool you’re bound to look at your options. The market typically drives innovation, so we look forward to seeing it drive Matco to greater heights.
The build quality on the Matco is good, and it will definitely get the job done for years to come. With the pricing they charge for their products, however, we simply expect a lot more.
Matco Tools High Torque Impact Wrench Features
- 4-pole brushed motor
- Variable speed trigger
- Trigger activated dual LED light
- Balanced housing design with positive touch TPR handle
- Stainless steel screened motor vents
- Forward / reverse trigger lock
- Optional side handle
- Battery fuel gauge indicator
- Universal charger (10.8V-20V) with USB port capable of charging a 4.0Ah battery in less than 60 minutes
Matco Tools High Torque Impact Wrench Specs
- Model Number: MCL2012HPIWK
- Anvil: 1/2”
- IPM (Impacts Per Minute): No Manufacturer Data
- Max Tightening Torque: No Manufacturer Data
- Max Loosening Torque: 1,300 ft-lbs.
- Battery: 20V 4.0 Ah
- Weight: 8.02 lbs.
- Speeds: 1
- Warranty: 18 months materials & workmanship
- MSRP: ~$699
Click the link to find more information on the MATCO TOOLS MCL2012HPIWK.