Beginners Guide of Impact Wrench

by admin on February 18, 2018

If you are a DIYer, auto mechanic, or whoever does kind of jobs fixing and maintain the machine, these tasks involve loosing and tightening fasteners a lot of times. Sometimes, fasteners are in tight spot, and it may be extremely difficult to loosen or tighten with hand tools. Getting scratches on your knuckles, losing hand tools or impossible to retrieve them from a tight spot, taking plenty of time to loosen a single bolt, an impact wrench can eliminate all these frustrations.

How does an impact wrench work?

There are two types of an impact wrench. They have a different power source; compressed air or electricity. However, the foundation of impact wrench is all the same. It coverts power from the source into a rotational force (=torque.) When a fastener is tight, the force isn’t continuous or steady but short and sudden just like a hammering. This is how an impact wrench tightens or loosens fasteners. After it loosens or until it tightens, an impact wrench turns fastener freely and rapidly. This is how you can save the time.

Types of impact wrench

There are two main types of impact wrench; pneumatic or electric. A pneumatic impact wrench uses compressed air as a power source. You need an air compressor and air hose to make it work. It can provide a relatively large torque, and you can use it continuously. It’s ideal for use in the professional environment. Conversely, it’s not suitable for infrequent home use. It also requires the maintenance of not only an impact wrench itself but also an air compressor and air hoses.

An electric impact wrench can be divided into two types; corded and cordless. Corded impact wrenches are powered directly from an outlet. In most case, you will need to an extension cable because of the limited length of cord from the impact wrench. Unless a power outage or other electrical problems occur, you can use it continuously. It may be suitable for homeowners when working within or near a garage. Cordless impact wrenches, on the other hand, need a battery and charger. It can only work until a battery dies. It’s important to know how long it works with a fully-charged battery. Some batteries have an indicator light which shows how much charge is left. The benefit of cordless impact wrench is the mobility. As long as a battery has a charge, you can use it anywhere.

The size of impact wrench

Choosing the right size of an impact wrench is essential. Consider what size of socket you usually use, and you will know the size of an impact wrench you need. For example, 3/8-inch drive impact sockets are typically ranging from 8 mm to 19 mm, or 5/16″ to 3/4″, while 1/2-inch drive impact sockets are typically ranging from 13 mm to 27 mm, or 1/2″ to 1″. If you are using 24 mm or 15/16″ very often, you need a 1/2-inch drive impact wrench. Although socket adapters let it fit smaller or larger size of sockets, it’s better to choose one based on the size of sockets you frequently use.

Lightweight and comfort

If you are a mechanic, you probably choose a pneumatic impact wrench because a mechanic garage already has an air compressor as equipment. The weight of impact wrenches varies widely depending on models. Lightweight one, such as Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX, is very popular and a wise choice for those who work with it quite often and for a long time.

More power in cordless impact wrench

As technology advances, new impact wrenches have a better performance and improvements. In general, pneumatic impact wrenches are more powerful than electric ones. However, in the recent year, cordless ones have improved a lot. Ingersoll Rand W7150 beats many pneumatic impact wrenches in power. Unfortunately, the battery is large and heavy. But, it’s suitable for those who use from time to time. And it’s popular among even mechanics for private use or outside the garage. You don’t need to connect multiple air hoses from inside the garage.

Conclusion

An impact wrench is a great investment for DIYers, professionals, or anyone who does kind of job fixing and maintaining the machine. Not only can it let you work smoothly but also save your time and effort. Choose the right one for you, and you can do your jobs done fast and safely.

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