What’s an Impact Wrench?
An impact wrench is a powered socket wrench that combines hammering and twisting at the same time to provide a high torque to the nut or bolt during driving or removal. Other names known to the impact wrench include the ratchet gun, torque gun, air wrench and air gun. They can use one of three sources of energy: air, battery or electricity.
Sources of Strength
There are three different types of power that the impact wrench may use:
- Compressed air – Many trained mechanics use compressed air effect wrenches in the garage to repair vehicles. The air tank is attached to the wrench and serves as the main source of power. The air compressor lets the impact wrench produce a lot of torque. This makes it really good for a heavier work. Without an electrical power source, the air compression effect wrenches are relatively lightweight. The only downside is that you’re going to need a compressed air tank ready to make it work.
- Electricity – Electricity-powered impact wrenches often have a great deal of torque. They’re not as strong as the impact wrenches that use compressed air. Electricity driven impact wrenches are well designed for smaller employment, such as home workshops. You’re going to need electricity to power these types of impact wrenches. Corded impact wrenches are not very heavy at all due to the lack of a battery supply attached to the impact wrench.
- Battery-Some impact wrenches are powered by the battery. They are cordless, which makes it very easy for them to travel about. You’ll need to make sure that the battery is completely charged so that you don’t run out of control while you’re in the middle of a job. A lot of users would purchase an extra battery to have on hand when they lose their charge. This will avoid any lapse in the use of the tool.
What to Search While Buying an Impact Wrench
When you’re looking for a good impact wrench, you want to make sure that you’re looking at the various features that they can have. If you just use the impact wrench at home or seldom, you won’t need the same consistency or power as you do if you use the impact wrench every day.
- Torque – Torque is what you need to loosen the fastener, and having enough torque can decide the types of jobs you can do. Look for a minimum of 150 foot-pounds. (1800 lbs)
- Weight – How hard the impact wrench is will affect things like how tired your hand and arm gets as well as other things. Weight isn’t that big a deal for short projects, but if you’re doing a long project, a heavy impact wrench will cause a lot of fatigue.
- Size – The bigger the impact wrench the stronger, but sadly, the smaller the impact wrench the more frequently the torque is sacrificed. Not all the time, but there’s something to look out for. Not all the time, but there’s something to look out for.
- No Load Speed – this is how fast the wrench turns when it doesn’t do something. Higher no loading speeds will fasten the screws and bolts quicker, but also higher speed means lower torque. If you need to choose between higher speed and higher torque, go for the higher torque.
- Drive Size – The most common drive size is 1⁄2″ which works for almost every application. The next size that is widely used is 3/8.” It will be a smaller torque wrench overall and will have less torque than a 1⁄2″ drive wrench.
- Ergonomics – Preferably, you would like to select an impact wrench that is easy to handle and easy to keep and use, even for long periods of time. Comfortable grip materials are also essential for convenience. A secure impact wrench handle ensures that you can take care of longer work with less fatigue and cramping or soreness.
- Warranties – Find a decent warranty effect wrench. Most manufacturers offer at least one year of warranty, although you can find some that offer 2, 5 and even longer warranties.
- Torque Adjustment – This function enables the user to adjust the output torque given by the impact wrench. This is very effective at keeping the bolt head from being overturned or broken right off.
- Impacts per Minute – Higher impacts per minute means that the impact wrench can move screws quicker and that the torque bolts can also be loosened more tightly.
How to Not Use the Impact Wrench
Don’t overturn the fastener to make sure it’s not stripped or broken.
Don’t start threading the bolt with the impact wrench. Start it by hand, and then get out of there.
Do not use sockets that are not meant for impact wrenches.
When using the impact wrench, wear safety goggles. Applying too much force to the metal parts will result in tiny pieces chipping and flying right into your eyes.
Compared to your other tools, impact wrenches are more advanced in what they do, but that doesn’t make them less important or useful in your toolbox. Whenever you have to deal with larger nuts and bolts, you’ll really appreciate getting a quality impact wrench on hand. It’s even more important if you’re working on a hobby car, or if you have a real automotive repair company.
The information given to you in this Buyer’s Guide will support you by providing you with the knowledge you need to sort through the many different impact wrenches available. Make sure you know when you’re going to use your impact wrench and how much you’re going to use it, and you’re all set to pick the right impact wrench for your unique needs.