New Harbor Freight Cordless Tools – Lithium 20V Earthquake XT Extreme Torque Impact Wrenches

Ready to get wowed? Harbor Freight is now coming out with a new cordless line of 20V Earthquake XT power tools powered by 20V batteries and unlike previous 18V Harbor Freight cordless power tools, the new 20V line runs on 20V lithium ion batteries! The new Earthquake XT line so far has 2 cordless tools both impact wrenches, with a 1/2 inch high torque wrench and a 3/8 inch compact wrench.

It’s no surprise the new cordless line is called Earthquake XT (Xtreme Torque) as the Earthquake brand has made a good name for itself as existing pneumatic impact tools. Both tools are sold as kits and include 20V 4.0 ah lithium batteries and charger. Extra 4.0 ah batteries and chargers can be sold separately if needed at $49 for the battery and $29 for the charger. Batteries charge in about 85 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) which is somewhat fast for  4ah batteries.

Earthquake XT ( Xtreme Torque ) 20V 1/2″ Impact Wrench

Description from the manufacturer:

Here’s a powerful cordless 1/2 in. impact wrench that delivers the power of air. The EarthquakeXT Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench pounds out 1200 ft. lbs. of bolt breakaway torque to power off lug nuts and head bolts with ease. Combined with the EarthquakeXT Lithium battery system this impact wrench delivers high power, long run times and fast charging.
  • 1200 ft. lbs. bolt breakaway torque for lightning fast removal
  • 864 ft-lbs fastening torque (info from manual)
  • Ergonomic design provides superior balance and control
  • All metal drivetrain and hammer mechanism improves life
  • Bright LED light for a clear view in dark places
  • Variable speed trigger with electronic brake for control and versatility
  • Rubber overmold reduces fatique and improves comfort
  • 0-1700 RPM
  • 0-2200 IPM (info from manual)
  • length 9.25 in.
  • weight: 7.1 lbs.
  • contents: (1) 1/2 in. 20V Max Earthquake™ XT Impact Wrench, (1) 20V Max 4.0 Ah Lithium Battery, (1) 20V Max Lithium Charger, (1) Kit Box
  • Price $249

My thoughts:

WOW! Who’d of thought Harbor Freight would come out with a new cordless high torque impact wrench with impressive stats? I sure didn’t. While they don’t list it’s fastening torque on the website (the manual lists it as 864 ft-lbs fastening torque), they do list it as having 1,200 ft-lbs of nut busting torque. With that kind of torque it matches or is better than today’s best cordless high torque wrenches from Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee although Milwaukee just recently announced their new high torque impact wrenches with 1,400 ft-lbs nut busting torque. What’s strange is that they (HF) managed this kind of torque without the use of brushless motor technology.

Impressive stats on paper nontheless but we still need to see how it stacks up in real world performance compared to the big boys. It’s one thing to talk the talk but it’s another to walk the walk if you know what I mean.

Unlike the other brands brushless high torque impact wrenches, this model does not have multiple speed and torque settings but it does offer a variable speed trigger to control torque. Although it is easier to dial down torque if you can select a lower speed and torque setting.

I also see a huge resemblance to the Milwaukee M18 Fuel high torque impact wrench from the Earthquake model and it doesn’t help that it’s also in red. The battery also looks somewhat similar to Milwaukee’s M18 batteries but not quite. It looks like a mashup between the Milwaukee M18 battery and the Ingersol Rand battery.

As far as price goes, this kit is priced at $249 which is less than a Milwaukee M18 Fuel high torque 1/2″ impact wrench kit 2763-21XC with one battery ($319). At about $70 less it might seem appealing to those on a budget. Those who will appreciate a brushless motor, multiple speeds and a larger 5.0 ah battery plus a larger selection of tools will have no problem spending a little bit extra on the Milwaukee or similar brand. I’d say that at $249 the value is about the same, you spend less but you get less. Still a impressive improvement in terms of features for a cordless tool sold at Harbor Freight. With tools like this we can see that Harbor Freight is maturing nicely.

Earthquake XT ( Xtreme Torque ) 20V 3/8″ Impact Wrench

Description from the manufacturer:

Here’s a powerful, compact cordless 3/8 in. impact wrench that delivers the power of air. The EarthquakeXT Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench pounds out 370 ft. lbs. of bolt breakaway torque to power off bolts and fasteners. Combined with the EarthquakeXT Lithium battery system this impact wrench delivers high power, long run times and fast charging.

  • 370 ft. lbs. bolt breakaway torque for lightning fast removal
  • 160 ft-lbs fastening torque
  • Ergonomic design provides superior balance and control
  • All metal drivetrain and hammer mechanism improves life
  • Bright LED light for a clear view in dark places
  • Variable speed trigger with electronic brake for control and versatility
  • Rubber overmold reduces fatique and improves comfort
  • 3/8 in. anvil with friction ring for quick and easy socket changes
  • 0-2000 RPM
  • 0-3000 IPM (info from manual)
  • length 6.7 in.
  • weight: 4.0 lbs.
  • (1) 3/8 in. 20V MAX Earthquake™ XT impact wrench,(1) 20V MAX 4.0 Ah lithium battery(1) 20V MAX lithium charger, (1) Kit box

My thoughts:

Just like the 1/2 inch high torque model, I’m also impressed Harbor Freight churned out a compact yet powerful impact wrench. This impact wrench is about the size and weight of an impact driver but with a 3/8″ inch drive and a bit more huevos than a typical impact driver. Just like the high torque 1/2 model it’s also using a brushed motor and single speed drivetrain with variable speed trigger.

The price is also appealing on this model at only $139. This makes it a lot easier to get into a 3/8 cordless impact wrench with good stats. It sure doesn’t have all the bells and whistles such as a brushless motor or multiple speeds and only comes with one battery but remember that it’s packing a 4.0 ah battery which will ultimately give you about the same runtime as having two 2.0 ah batteries, although you wont have an extra set to use when this one needs to recharge.

While the larger 1/2″ high torque Earthquake XT model was hard to tell as to who makes that one, the 3/8″ compact impact wrench looks like an identical clone to the AC Delco 18V 1/2″ impact wrench except for the color scheme and handle. It also sports decreased performance stats compared to the AC Delco model which means there’s been some downgrading underneath the hood considering the AC Delco has 625 ft-lbs of max. breakaway torque and 300 ft-lbs of max fastening torque.

My last thought is that I only found these 2 tools part of the Earthquake XT cordless 20V power tool line. While it’s great that Harbor Freight came out with very nice 20V cordless impact wrenches, the main downfall I can see at the moment is that this new line only has 2 tools. You basically have no upgrade path to go to. What this means is that lets say you do get either of these wrenches and you want a cordless saw, you would have to go elsewhere to another brand which means you’ll have to juggle a new battery system with incompatible batteries and charger. For HF to make this new Earthquake XT line appealing, they would have to come out with more new tools compatible with the Earthquake XT 20V batteries ASAP otherwise they’re limiting and crippling the system only to a select few users that only need a 1/2″ high torque cordless impact wrench and 3/8″ compact impact wrenches and nothing more.

A big thanks to Joshua B. for sharing this info with us.

Stay tuned for more Harbor Freight cordless tool news, as more info is coming soon!

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Billy Bob

Please do a in-depth video review when you get the chance. Thanks.

Billy Bob
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Billy Bob

Please do an in-depth video review comparing to professional models. Thanks.

Joel
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Joel

Double check your facts before you post, the new Milwaukee finding out IS brushless. And from skimming their product page, I couldn’t find one cordless, brushed 1/2″ impact.

Joel
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Joel

Please excuse my comment, reread the paragraph, the way it was written threw me off. That and I should probably be sleeping, not trolling through tool reviews, but who doesn’t love tools?

Will
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Will

I have a friend who recently bought an Earthquake XT 1/2” model. I borrowed it to work on my car and also to see how well it performed. I was extremely impressed with it’s performance. Bolts I had previously attempted to break free with a 1/2” X 24” breaker bar were no problem for this driver. I was also impressed with the battery life. I will be purchasing one for myself soon and I offer that for the price, this is one hell of a tool.