Impact wrench buying advice

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Impact wrench buying advice

Postby Syncronorth » 07 Dec 2019, 04:01

Watching YouTube mechanics with their nice electric impact wrenches make me feel slow :)

Is it best to buy a small one then do the heavy work by hand, or is it best to buy a big one that can handle everything? I will mainly use it for T25 work.

Anyone have recommendations? Brands to avoid?
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Re: Impact wrench buying advice

Postby 937carrera » 07 Dec 2019, 08:27

Milwaukee M18 1/2" is what I went for. Current mid range model is rated at 670NM

Expensive ? - yes

Terrific bit of kit ? - yes

Fast battery recharge that works and great for tool envy. Recognised as good kit by garage and building trades. I have the drill and worklight as well
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Re: Impact wrench buying advice

Postby Aidan » 07 Dec 2019, 10:17

IMHO use appropriate breaker bar for breaking 3/8" and half inch and 3/4" as needed for socket size and for retightening and check with torque wrench
If you need something for winding on and off then the Makita 1/2" is great, well made, batteries run many tools, can be had quite cheaply in body only if you already have bought into Makita tools and have battery and charger, but it won't undo seized stuff much beyond M8 and even then you'll want to use PlusGas, Patience, Heat cycle
Personally I like to feel what's going on so do nearly everything by hand, and make sure I don't overtighten so that in the field I stand a chance of undoing things with the correct tools, we've all experienced wheel nuts tightened with a big Snap-On or Milwaulkee gun, done up so tight even the 3/4" bar struggles and often find threads or seat of the rim damaged and often I have found inappropriate use of thread lock or plastic metal used as a glue/thread repair done by your cheapskate mechanic types rather than replace the fixings that were already damaged or do a proper repair
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Re: Impact wrench buying advice

Postby 937carrera » 07 Dec 2019, 11:06

Aidan wrote:I we've all experienced wheel nuts tightened with a big Snap-On or Milwaulkee gun,


Indeed we have, but that's the operator, not the equipment.

The impact gun is particularly useful for getting things like crank pulleys off (non T25) where a breaker bar would also mean the use of a second pair of hands or locking tools to hold the component still

I did a gearbox removal / refit recently. Three of the captive nuts had to be helicoiled becuase the last garage to do this job obviously used a gun and stripped the threads. The wrong bolts, with nuts in one case were the give aways. As you suggest, I used hand tools to undo and refit the fixings anyway. They're really handy for tight wheelbolts though.
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