Have you ever experienced the frustration of loosening a corroded fixing? Mechanics and fitters regularly experience the frustration of trying to loosen rusted nuts and bolts from awkward position. It consumes a lot of their time, but also injures their hands or damages the tools.
Fortunately, impact wrench helps to avoid injuries, broken tools, and lost time. It is a torqueing tool designed especially to loosen hardened bolts and nuts as well as fasten them securely in place.
Professional mechanics and DIY hobbyists can get their tasks done precisely and quickly. Let’s understand how impact wrench works and what its vital features are.
Mechanism of impact wrench
Impact wrench is available in two shapes –
- Oversized screw-driver shaped
Shape does not matter because the basic concept is similar. A rotating mass housed inside the tool builds energy, when the motor is activated. The mass then gets pushed into an anvil, which is located on the tool end. Enough torque needed to fix a big steel bolt in place gets created. The operator cannot feel the impact because the mass rotates constantly. Many impact wrenches operate to remove the bolts, as well.
Torque created with the help of motor, anvil and hammer together is more powerful than force applied by manual wrench. Electrical technology enables impact wrench to be very precise. This feature is necessary in fixing bolts on car wheels or in under construction building projects.
Kinds of impact wrenches
Air or pneumatic impact wrench
Air-powered wrenches include a short-length hose and a flow regulator to control torque in both directions. These are easy to use and light-weight. They cause less exhaustion while operating, so you can see them in automotive shops, homes, garages, and several construction sites.
These come in different drive sizes like .25”, .375”, .50”, .75”, and 1”. Basically, torque amount is described by drive size. One-inch drive size produces 3000 feet/lbs of torque. It means impact wrench with high drive size will generate large amount of torque.
Pneumatic wrenches can be applied constantly in situations, where electricity is not available. Compressed air is easy to find. It is small, so you can work with it in tight areas, perfectly.
The only drawback is that it does not have power adjustment mechanism, which makes it hard to use in situation where less torque is needed. Sometimes less power is required, but air impact wrench produces excessive power and this can damage or shatter the nuts and bolts.
Corded-Electric impact wrench
This wrench is designed to tighten or loosen the tough nuts and bolts. The torque delivered is similar to air impact wrench. You will need to plug the tool in an electric socket, which can curb your movement, while using. It can be used in places, where electricity is available.
Corded power wrench is available in drive sizes of .50” and .75”. These have long bodies than air wrenches. Amount of torque can be regulated, so they are best in any kind of situations. They are useless in places, where no electricity is available.
Cordless-Electric impact wrench
These tools use the latest technology, so are lightweight, compact, and powerful. No cables or air compressor is needed to activate the tool. Batteries are used to operate them.
Batteries range from 18V to 28V. It depends on the model but is generally rechargeable. Its portability and no need for external power source, makes it usable anywhere. It offers flexibility and convenience, especially for on-road repairs. Sufficient torque is delivered to perform light to moderate tasks.
Cordless wrenches are less potent than air and corded impact wrenches. Batteries cannot store sufficient power to generate torque amount needed for more powerful tasks. Batteries get dead faster and need to be replaced often, during work.
Hydraulic impact wrench
Water under pressure concept is used to deliver adequate torque to the tool to loosen or tighten the nuts. Hydraulic wrench is very powerful but less common. These are reserved in extreme applications like construction and manufacturing industries.
Manual impact wrench
Manual impact wrench is operated by hand. Spring power is converted into sharp tensional blows, which is several times more than the force you apply on the handle. In this way, ample torque is applied to lose rusted bolts without any requirement of batteries, electricity, air compressors, or hydraulics.
Manual impact wrench is not as potent as air or electric wrenches but takes pride in features like safety, portability, durability, and affordability. Campers, travellers, and military people prefer this type because it does not need any power source and fits easily in a toolbox.
Consider these FAQ to choose an appropriate kind of impact wrench
- Which is the best impact wrench kind for me?
First define your requirements to discover the suitable one to fulfil your needs.
- Which kind is appropriate for home garage?
For home garage, you need an impact wrench that performs light applications – electrically powered models
- How to compare prices of different kinds of impact wrenches?
Cordless electric model uses the latest technology for ease and high performance, so is the most expensive wrench. Manually operated impact wrench is the cheapest.
- Will I be able to loosen frozen or rusted fixtures with manual impact wrench?
In small and medium sized nuts, which are not rusted a lot can be loosened with manual impact wrench.
In a nutshell, choosing the ideal impact wrench will rely on the kind of task you wish to perform.
Where to purchase impact wrenches?
Hardware stores generally stock impact wrenches because they are vital and in-demand tools.
Large ware-house outlets display wide selection in comparison to small places that store impact wrenches suitable for buyers looking to use on small tasks.
Online hardware stores offer largest selection or you can check the power tools online retailers. Online shopping is convenient but has no salesperson to advice clients but product description is provided. Customers visit review site like Nutty DIY to look on what kind of impact wrench to buy and from where.