3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 Cordless Impact Review

IR 5132 Under Truck 2
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  • Build Qality
  • Ergonomics
  • Power
  • Value
  • Functionality

Final Thoughts

Ingersoll Rand set their sights on changing the market for cordless impacts, and they did just that when they designed the W5132.

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Auto technicians are yearning for tools built for their needs, and Ingersoll Rand has answered the call. The new 3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 cordless impact was engineered, designed and manufactured specifically for the automotive service technician. While it may be built for the technician, the W5132 will find its way into many auto enthusiast and hotrodder’s toolboxes as well.

Impact wrenches are nothing new, and even cordless impact wrenches have riddled the market for years now. Air (Pneumatic) impacts have been the go-to in the automotive industry for over a century. It seems the cordless (battery-powered) impact market has been owned by the “construction” tool makers. Many of these cordless impacts cross-over into the automotive world, but the focus of creating the tool wasn’t based on the automotive technician.

With the 3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 cordless impact, you get a tool that is agile around a car. The angled head gives you more maneuverability and the shadowless light illuminates dark places. The 20V 5ah battery with the brushless motor gives you 550 ft/lbs of breakaway torque. The rubber-coated handle is resistant to most fluids any technician will come in contact with. Drop-testing has proven this tool is not only comfortable and powerful, but it is also one tough customer.


3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 Cordless Impact

Ingersoll Rand W5132 Cordless ImpactWhen a technician puts an 3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 cordless impact in their hand, they get 50% more torque than the leading 3/8” cordless impact tool. Power comes from a brushless motor and impact mechanism that are tuned to work in unison. Breakaway, or nut-busting (as Ingersoll Rand calls it) torque is measured at 550 ft-lbs and 365 ft-lbs. of maximum torque. All this in a package just over five pounds.

So you have the most powerful 3/8” cordless impact tool, but can you access the places you need and control all that power? Ingersoll Rand compacted all this power into just 6 1/2 inches from the 3/8” anvil/square to the back of the tool where the power dial indicator resides. The IQv Power Control System includes 4 modes, as indicated on the back of the tool: Full Power, Mid Power, Wrench Tight, and Hand Tight. The power dial on the back of the W5132 makes it easy for the technician to choose the right mode, so the correct amount of torque will be delivered.

What good is it to have all that power and portability if it won’t hold up? Ingersoll Rand made durability a top priority when designing the W5132. In fact, the steel reinforced frame is protected by a patent, add to it the impact and chemical resistant housing, and you have a tool built to last. Not only does the W5132 provide more power, but the IQv brushless motor technology does so more efficiently. This makes for a longer life motor, hence a longer useful life of the tool.

IR 5132 Halo Light

Using the W5132 Cordless Impact

While there is a lot of hype and attention given to breakaway torque and max torque, I think the beauty of the Ingersoll Rand W5132 3/8” cordless impact is the 4 modes for tightening torque. More specifically, the Hand Tight and Wrench Tight modes. The Hand Tight mode will tighten the fastener 2-9 ftlbs., and the Wrench Tight mode will apply 10-24 ftlbs of force. Seeing and feeling these modes work first hand is a real eye-opener.

Hand Tight and Wrench Tight Modes

Hand Tight mode was selected on the W5132 while replacing a headlight on a 2012 Chevy 2500HD. I was able to quickly install eight (8) or more small bolts that attach the plastic grille and surrounding pieces. Afterward, I then twisted the dial one click to the right, Wrench Tight mode, so I could tighten the screws on a couple of fender braces over the battery. These modes enabled me to not over-tighten the fasteners. I came back later with a socket to tighten by hand, or I could have taken out the torque wrench to tighten them to proper specs.


In addition, I put the W5132 in the hands of Rick Sanchez, owner of a pristine ’53 Ford pickup hotrod. From tightening polished Allen head bolts holding on fenders to replacing the lugnuts on the 15-inch wide aluminum wheels, he was very impressed with the W5132. After using it for a while, he said: “It wouldn’t bother me to run door panel screws in with this tool, it just feels that good and precise.”

IR 5132 53 Ford Wheel

Breakaway Power

Another great feature about the 3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 cordless impact is that no matter which mode you have the dial set to, you always have full power in reverse. When you pull the trigger, you get the full 500+ ft/lbs. of breakaway force. From removing lugnuts on the ’53 Ford to the skid plate removal on the 2500HD, the W5132 had no problem removing the fasteners.

If you want a more docile tool to work with, just change the battery from the 5ah to the 2.5ah and you get reduced power across the board. Using the smaller 2.5 ah still provided enough power to work with most fasteners, but with a little softer feel. This will also give you a smaller and lighter tool to work with, even more agile.



With the brushless technology and the 5ah battery, the runtime for the 3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 cordless impact is longer than an automotive technician would need in a day. For testing purposes, I removed 107 spax-style lag screws from some industrial pallets, and these were all 5 to 9 inch lag screws. All these screws were removed with 1 battery and there were 2 bars left when I finished. I doubt anyone will use it for this purpose, but it’s good to know the W5132 will last thru the day if you wanted to disassemble a car.  By the way, when you do charge the battery, notice the USB charging port on the charger that will charge your cell phone.

Removing 107 Spax Screws


Impact wrenches are easy to find, and even cordless impacts have become very popular. Finding a cordless impact that is compact yet still powerful has been the challenge. Ingersoll Rand set their sights on changing the market for cordless impacts, and they did just that when they designed the W5132. Making a cordless impact specifically for the automotive technician should prove to be successful, and I’m excited to see what future features will emerge. With the shadowless task light, the 20V brushless power, and durability of the impact resistant body, the W5132 should be around for a long time.

For more information on the 3/8″ Ingersoll Rand W5132 cordless impact and where to purchase, please click here.

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