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Old 04-09-2019, 08:08 AM
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Default Let's Talk Impact Guns

Impact guns.
I LOVE THEM!
Specifically wireless electric ones.
I just discovered that my dad had one while I was trying to get stubborn hub nuts off, and I probably saved about 30% of my time and busted knuckles in the process.
Granted I did strip some threads and slightly damage some nuts, but over all, I had no idea impact guns are so useful!
I was unsure before because, my dad was against using air impact guns on his car lug nuts, since he doesn't want the studs to break(has been a problem in the past), and I was worried about stripping out threads.
But I've found that it's easier to tap and die new threads than to bust knuckles and waste time with the likes of a breaker bar.
Please post your experiences/thoughts on impact guns!
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:01 AM
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You clearly haven't tried putting a 5ft steel pipe over your ratchet handle yet. I can't afford nice tools like that, but still works a treat.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:33 AM
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Mmmm, didn't think about that.
BUT, that wouldn't have worked anyway.
Because the wheel/hub was sitting on the workbench with only me holding it to keep it from turning, so the wheel would turn before the nut would loosen.
With the impact gun, I mostly just had to keep it from vibrating too much.
Very useful tool!
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:40 PM
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my wife bought me one for Christmas, a little makita. bought the 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" adapter. Real slick. i still hand tighten or use a torque wrench when i gotta get a "feel" for how tight it needs to be. I'm afraid of either over-tightening or under-tightening nuts and bolts with this thing. Some stubborn bigger axle nuts wont come off, and that's when the air impact comes out and they zip right off. Nice handy tool for easy disassembly and OK for reassembly until it comes to getting the bolts and nuts tight enough.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:20 PM
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My dad bought me 1/2" Porter Cable 20v impact gun. Granted it's only 330ft/lb of torque, it busts Ram heavy duty lug nuts off (140ft/lbs) and Ford Super Duty lug nuts (160-180ft/lbs) without too much struggle. Though sometimes it sounds like the hammer is going to explode the case. I trust an electric impact over an pneumatic one. Air pressure changes quite a bit, so even using torque sticks, it varies quite a bit at times. Electric tends to be much more consistent. Only reason why I asked for the Porter Cable one is, I have batteries for other Porter Cable tools. If it were up to me, I would have chosen one from DeWalt (though they are both under the Stanely Black and Decker name, as is Mac Tools), or a Milwaukee.

I also have a smaller 1/4" DeWalt impact, that I've had for 6 years. Same batteries as well (20v lithium)...granted those should be replaced soon. I've used it to take off skid plates or fasten stuff in long enough to be hand tighten more or torqued to spec. A cordless impact should be in everyone's tool box.

If you buy one, make sure it's from a brand you intend to buy more tools from, so you have batteries that interchange. It's not fun having batteries that do not swap out.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:25 PM
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My neighbor has a 2 1/2" drive impact. He works on heavy machinery. That is a beast. I have a 20v 1/2" drive dewalt that I keep in my truck. When you blow out all 3 of the right side tires out on your camper it sure helps getting them off and on.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:04 AM
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I’m a career auto mechanic and use air and electric impacts constantly. I couldn’t imagine life without them.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:03 AM
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I have used an electric impact before, but I still prefer the older impacts that you hit with a hammer.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.S.@SMS View Post
I have used an electric impact before, but I still prefer the older impacts that you hit with a hammer.
Nah, I have a free impact. I got two of them many many years ago, and they have gotten bigger and stronger over time. Definitely a worth while investment.

KICK THE WRENCH. I have actually gotten overtightened lugs off this way. Not so much kick, as literally taking a leap of faith a landing on the end of a two foot wrench. I just don't weigh too much so I don't have the advantage some others have.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:15 PM
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Impact guns are great, but not in manufacturing, well at least in my experience.

At my job, we use a wide variety of fasteners to assemble a wide variety of products. The assembler's do not want to use torque wrenches, which is fine is most cases, but it is required on critical components.

Their manager's solution was to buy a bunch of impact guns. What followed was, customer complaint's, damaged products, stripped fasteners and so one. Even had bolts coming loose, due to the assemblers thinking the impact gun was torqueing them properly. They said, "well it ugga uggaed twice".

It's a shame, but a lot of hires do not know of or have the "feel" of a properly torqued bolt.

Since it's all about productivity and they didn't want to be setting torque wrenches for various bolt sizes and materials, they actually bought in a salesman to pitch high end digital torque set impact guns. The price point killed that idea along with some well placed questions bought during his presentation

When viable, on personal projects, a quick strike to a wrench with a rubber mallet usually works for me on high torque fasteners.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:29 PM
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Nobody put torque limiting bars on the impact for getting the correct torque?
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tpdingo View Post
Nobody put torque limiting bars on the impact for getting the correct torque?
Impact wrenches aren't for tightening.
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anickode View Post
Impact wrenches aren't for tightening.
Well I know that but it would have atleast saved a few complaints. The torque bars are pretty precise given what they are, usually +/-10lbft
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:25 PM
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I call BS on torque sticks being accurate. Use them every single day, and guess what? With air pressure never being consistent, it's still off by a few ft/lbs. This is one reason why I went to an electric impact instead of the Nitro Cat I was going to get instead. Get the lug nuts snug, and finish the job with a torque wrench.

Torque sticks are in my opinion after using them quite a bit, expensive paper weights. You'll hurt an electric impact, if you use a torque stick on it...seen a couple impacts break doing it that way.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:41 PM
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Good torque sticks are accurate. I dont know what kind of compressor your running, but my 60 gallon IR compressor never dips under the set regulator pressure (90 psi). My snap-on 1200ft/lb impact is consistent and so are my torque sticks.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:11 PM
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We have very outdated equipment to put it simply and our bosses are too cheap to buy us new stuff. But I like the reliability of a cordless impact over pneumatic now. Especially if we end up with air problems.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kartorbust View Post
We have very outdated equipment to put it simply and our bosses are too cheap to buy us new stuff. But I like the reliability of a cordless impact over pneumatic now. Especially if we end up with air problems.
And I'm just sitting here like I have a Craftsman tool set, a torque wrench, a big pipe and my own two hands.

Oh what I don't have the money for!
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:28 AM
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For saftey sake use only impact rated adapters extensions and sockets on even the smallest of either electric,battery or air impacts.

A shard of fragmented steel can ruin the fun of ease very quickly.

I have a set of 24v brushless cordless kobalt tools and they are very impressive products.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:34 PM
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My buddy at work just bought a Matco 1/2 inch battery impact and we used a precision tool torque stick rated for 120lbs. And then checked it manually with a torque wrench and it was somewhere around 145lbs. After the impact hit it! So needless to say we now drop down a size with the torque sticks then manually bring an up to spec.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:56 PM
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I've been using my Porter Cable 1/2" impact for several months. I do not use torque sticks ever. I run the lug nuts or lug studs down, hit them a second time, then torque to spec. Torque sticks are generally only used on air impacts on a low setting...one because air pressure is not that consistent compared to an electric motor, and two, some electric impacts do not have a high or low setting (Milwaukee and DeWalt I believe are the only ones that I know of that have at least 2 power settings).
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