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View Full Version : Need some direction on getting an impact wrench


bradleyheathhays
September 19th, 2017, 18:53
What's a good impact gun for a decent price that will hold up well for a weekend warrior like myself? Probably be used less than 10 times a year. Harbor Freight had some for about $43 from Central Pneumatics that did something like 550 ft lbs. Although I'm not familiar with CP that one sounds ok but I'd rather have a little more ft lbs. And I'm guessing air driven (vs. battery) would end up giving more torque for the cost.

Also, with the higher torque capacity I'm wanting I'd guess the 1/2" drive is what I should be aiming for?

Green Mesa XJ
September 19th, 2017, 20:42
Might be pricy but the Lowes house brand (kolbolt?) is a great impact tool. 24v rechargeable it takes on the stuff the air tools donít even budge.
My air tools are rated well two good names with high specs and one or two very cheap Chinese brands. Itís not the tools, well not all of it, my tank and system has to be letting down the tools, I was shocked when the kolbolt zipped off a bolt from a steering gear pitman arm the air impact couldnít tackle.
If It were ever lost Iíd buy another no doubt. After I hunt down the SOB who dared touch my tool box.(jk)

Hereís the part #
Kobalt 24-Volt Max 1/2-in Drive Cordless Impact Wrench
Item # 672825 Model # KIW 1524A-03




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md21722
September 19th, 2017, 20:55
The IR 231 is the old school favorite.

The IR 2135/2235 are the more current models with composite housings & tons of power.

3/8" drive is for speed on smaller things.

If you're working on suspension and stuff like that, your first impact wrench should be a 1/2" drive.

Look at the Sunex or Tekton impact sockets for good starter sets.

The Sunex master sets are hard to beat.

lawsoncl
September 19th, 2017, 21:22
The Harbor Freight Earthquake line looks nice and gets good reviews. There are a few other compact 1/2" guns I've been eyeing lately. You absolutely need good air flow to get the most out of an air impact. Long 1/4" air lines will choke them. That 90-psi spec is measured at the tool while running, so the regulator at the compressor needs to be set higher. I run 150 at the compressor for my IR 231a and have about 110 at the gun. I also have a 3/8-impact and air ratchet but rarely ever use them.

Cummins90
September 20th, 2017, 06:48
I've been abusing a HF plug in 1/2 impact, that I bought for a one day job, for about 3 years now. Its almost comical at this point.

xCWolf
September 20th, 2017, 06:57
I got the Milwaukee. Pricey but the thing can take off my driveshaft bolt (the 36mm in the front) no sweat.

techno1154
September 20th, 2017, 14:39
I got the Milwaukee. Pricey but the thing can take off my driveshaft bolt (the 36mm in the front) no sweat.

What he said.

bradleyheathhays
September 20th, 2017, 19:05
Man wish I could put out for one of those batt types. In the end I found a good deal on a barely used 1/2" 800 ft lb pneumatic Husky from HD.

Anybody know of any bad experiences with this one?

Green Mesa XJ
September 21st, 2017, 06:14
I've been abusing a HF plug in 1/2 impact, that I bought for a one day job, for about 3 years now. Its almost comical at this point.


I had a sears electric impact gun I run until the brushes went to crap 15 years ago. Worked great before that, one of my fist serious tools cause, couldnít afford the air tank system back then. Tired to fix that sears impact but ran out of time ended up buying an air tank one Black Friday later picking up a very good IR impact. Gave the sears impact gun to somebody who was good repairing stuff like that I donít he ever got it fixed either.
Didnít look back at electric until the Kobalt cordless, the power of that machine reminded me why I like electric motors in the first place. The newer corded impact guns look better than that old sears impact, only went cordless because the garage I was doing a project in had limited outlets didnít want to be dragging extra crap like the tank or extension cords. Thought in the back of my mind it would never be quite as good and Iíd probably have to return it, was I ever wrong.

For air tools a good tank and compressor are a must, my compressor & tank are rated for the 90 cfm most tools are supposed to have. Something from tank to the the 3/8 hose set up has to be letting it down or limiting it somehow, all should be good quality but at full power wide open my highest rated impact gun something like 650-700 ft lbs is whooped by the cordless impact. Not even a contest. I can only surmise the tanks capacity is letting they system down.



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Green Mesa XJ
September 21st, 2017, 06:21
Man wish I could put out for one of those batt types. In the end I found a good deal on a barely used 1/2" 800 ft lb pneumatic Husky from HD.

Anybody know of any bad experiences with this one?


Looks ok, decent reviews. Unless somebody abused the hell out of it should be ok.
Your setup will be more the deciding factor for its over all power. Check what it requires for inline filters and oil when your setting it up.



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burntkat
September 22nd, 2017, 10:10
I've been abusing a HF plug in 1/2 impact, that I bought for a one day job, for about 3 years now. Its almost comical at this point.

Same here, except I bought mine 15 years ago.

I'm NOT a professional. I'm a heavy-duty weekend warrior sort. I do solid axle swaps, engine changes/repowers, etc.

No complaints at all. Beat the snot out of it and when it starts acting up, go buy another one. DO NOT buy the extended warranty.

After 15 years, mine is just starting to act up- and it's my understanding their current offerings are better than they were back then.

If you were feeding your family with these tools, by all means buy the Ingersoll-Rand. But you don't need them at this level.

I'm eyeing the Earthquake line as my replacement unit.

Oh, one thing- you might want to make sure you remove the fasteners, add blue loctite, and replace. That's been my only complaint- the damn thing shakes itself to death if you don't take care of it.

burntkat
September 22nd, 2017, 10:11
Looks ok, decent reviews. Unless somebody abused the hell out of it should be ok.
Your setup will be more the deciding factor for its over all power. Check what it requires for inline filters and oil when your setting it up.



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FWIW, I do not run an inline filter or oiler on my air lines.

I have a bottle of Marvel Mystery Oil. Whenever I think of it, I add a few drops to the air chuck end of the tool (NOT the air line).

You really don't want oil mist in your lines. If you ever go to start painting it will give you fits trying to figure out why your paint isn't laying down well. Ask me how I know.. ;)

burntkat
September 22nd, 2017, 10:13
I got the Milwaukee. Pricey but the thing can take off my driveshaft bolt (the 36mm in the front) no sweat.

So can a $15 breaker bar and a piece of pipe.

Seriously, it's not even that tight.

Cottontail
September 22nd, 2017, 16:23
I have a used Craftsman air impact that has sat in my drawer since the day I got my Milwaukee M18 battery driven impact. Great deal on it last Black Friday.

Green Mesa XJ
September 22nd, 2017, 23:48
FWIW, I do not run an inline filter or oiler on my air lines.



I have a bottle of Marvel Mystery Oil. Whenever I think of it, I add a few drops to the air chuck end of the tool (NOT the air line).



You really don't want oil mist in your lines. If you ever go to start painting it will give you fits trying to figure out why your paint isn't laying down well. Ask me how I know.. ;)

+1 A lot of mechanics I know just add a drop of tool oil to the air inlet before using the tool. Even if thereís a dedicated in line Oiler somebody has to check and maintain it, you donít want to bet you tools on a maybe.

My first compressor had the whole nine yards of properly set up filter and oiler, inlaws trashed it when they borrowed it..second compressor I didnít bother with in-line anything because we were renovating a house and used air to paint. Also had it in the back of my mind to repaint one of the jeeps. If you ever had a oil m in line youíll never get a good paint job even if itís all removed and you think the line is clean. I probably should add a moisture filter, especially being in the humid south.



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iwannadie
September 23rd, 2017, 02:58
My first air tool was the ingersol rand thunder gun and I love it. It has alot of power and seems well built plus has that cool nascar sound that just make you want to pull the trigger for fun a few times.

I don't have an inline oiler. Always just add a few drops into the tool before and after use. Once in a while after use ill add a few drops rehook the air and run it for a second to circulate the oil. Never had an issue.

trippled
September 23rd, 2017, 08:11
I had an ir at work. Worked good until it fell at shattered the nose cone. I have all aircat guns now. They are durable powerful and well priced. I rarely ever oil them. My 3/8 is 4 years old and used 5 days a week.

typerr
September 24th, 2017, 16:56
Also a weekend warrior, not a pro but I've been collecting and using air tools for 30 years. I've had great luck with the Harbor Freight Earthquake line. The latest version is very lightweight and has been working great for me. I always print out a 20% off coupon before I go to HF. https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-composite-xtreme-torque-air-impact-wrench-62891.html

I also have a HF 3/4" impact that I bought probably 15 years ago for maybe $75 that has never failed to loosen axle nuts, crank bolts and anything else I've needed it for. I only use it to loosen never to tighten.

JeepNoob
September 28th, 2017, 18:30
The Harbor Freight Earthquake line looks nice and gets good reviews. There are a few other compact 1/2" guns I've been eyeing lately. You absolutely need good air flow to get the most out of an air impact. Long 1/4" air lines will choke them. That 90-psi spec is measured at the tool while running, so the regulator at the compressor needs to be set higher. I run 150 at the compressor for my IR 231a and have about 110 at the gun. I also have a 3/8-impact and air ratchet but rarely ever use them.

Can confirm. I don't have the full-on top of the line HF 1/2" Earthquake model, but I have the next model down. Still plenty capable of breaking shit if you want it to lol. And I work at a dealership where this thing gets tossed, slid across the floor, dropped off lift arms, covered in grease and oil, you name it. Still works great. Settings are super easy to use, because there's only 4- "take that bitch off," "snug it up", "more please", and "I'm trying to assemble an armored ****ing Cat D9 bulldozer here." Just one knob on the back of the gun, no having to push it from side to side or toggle through 23 different power levels. Honestly though, I feel like my air ratchets are much more useful tools, especially for a flat-rate tech trying to beat the clock, hence I have two, both 3/8" drive. One's a little Craftsman that only puts out 20 ft/lbs or so, but works greating for snugging up little 10 and 13mm fasteners and is easy (or at least, EASIER) to get into tight places. The other's a full-sized model that puts out 60 ft/lbs or so and is great for zipping stuff off and putting it back together.

burntkat
September 29th, 2017, 06:50
God yes. I was reminded last weekend how much of a blessing impacts are for working on this sort of stuff when I had to R&R the intake and exhaust manifolds on my wife's ZJ... twice.

Didn't remove the exhaust the first time, thinking it was due to loose bolts and a bad gasket. Reassembled, still sounded like death (even with my checking the alignment on the intake to make sure it was on the locating pins). Took it all apart again on Sunday, took the header wrap off, to find every weld on the damn thing was blown out. I mean EVERY. DARN. WELD.

Replaced it with the Dorman part with a lifetime warranty, sounds like a luxury SUV now.

My 20V Electric Porter-Cable impact made taking things apart much quicker.