If you’re a handyman like myself who also likes to work on DIY projects in their spare time, you know how frustrating over-tightening a bolt or nut can be. It’s at that moment that you realise you need to add a new tool to your kit. One of the most valuable tools for performing any type of bolt and nut work is the impact wrench. Impact wrenches are powerful tools that have more torque than most drills, and they’ll deal with a stuck bolt or nut in a matter of seconds, saving you time and more importantly, frustration. When looking for these power tools for sale, there are a couple of important things you need to know in order to make sure you get the best wrench.
But before I get into that, let’s discuss how impact wrenches work. Impact wrenches can be either corded or cordless. Personally, I use a cordless model, as it allows me to perform work wherever without having to worry about having a power supply nearby and accidentally tripping over cords. Regardless of whether you go for a corded or corded model, the tool will feature a rotating mass inside. The motor builds up energy using this rotating mass that’s pushed into an anvil found at the end of it. This results in a huge amount of torque.
Not only are these tools very powerful, but they’re also precise, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. For that reason, they’re ideal for use on construction sites, or even when securing lug nuts on wheels. Although all impact wrenches have the same working method, when you compare different models, you’ll easily notice quite a few differences. For instance, cordless models generate a lot of torque, but not as much as pneumatic models. As a result, they are generally used for lighter-duty tasks, such as home workshops where space is limited. Cordless models are heavier than corded models, as they use rechargeable batteries. However, they do offer greater portability and mobility, which is crucial when working in remote or tight areas.
Things to Consider When Buying an Impact Wrench
When shopping for these power tools for sale, you have to consider their socket size and shapes, comfort, durability and torque.
Design and Socket Size
Impact wrenches are available in two basic designs – pistol-grip and inline. Inline wrenches look like a big screwdriver with a grip behind the anvil and hammer. Pistol-grip wrenches, on the other hand, look like a handgun, with a grip beneath the motor. As far as socket sizes go, there’s a wide range of socket sizes specifically designed to fit bolts and nuts of various sizes. Inline wrenches are best suited for jobs performed in tight spaces that can’t fit a pistol-grip model. So if you frequently work on cars and machinery, an inline impact wrench is the obvious choice. Pistol-grip impact wrenches, on the other hand, are more ergonomic, but also bulkier. Some models feature side handles that let you use your weight for better leverage and maintain a correct working angle. The most common socket sizes are 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and 1-inch. There are also larger socket sizes, but nuts and bolts that large are usually found in large-scale jobs that require heavy-duty wrenches.
Tasks that require the power of impact wrenches generally entail using them for long time periods. For this reason, you have to make sure you select a model with anti-vibration and ergonomic handle grips to reduce strains. Further, you should get a wrench that has enough power to perform the tasks properly. Anything too large will be uncomfortable to use and cause physical strain.
No matter what type of impact wrench you choose, and what socket size it’s compatible with, the most important thing you need to consider is the amount of torque it can generate. When comparing different models, pay attention to the maximum torque. Many impact wrenches come with multiple torque settings, making them more flexible than those that only have a single torque setting. Adjusting the torque will ensure you get the most out of your battery and it will prevent overtightening bolts and nuts.
In terms of durability, impact wrenches come with a variety of design enhancements, including high-strength plastic over moulds or all-metal construction for the gear housing. These things prevent damage in the event you drop or hit the wrench with another sharp tool. Some models feature brushless motors that feature fewer moving parts, meaning there are fewer things that can go wrong, and there’s less need to perform maintenance and repairs.
Impact wrenches are specialised tools suitable for tightening or removing nuts and bolts. While you can do the same thing using their hand-operated counterparts, impact wrenches can save you time and energy, as they’re accurate tools that require little effort to use.