Your Guide to Impact Wrenches
What is an Impact Wrench?
An impact wench is designed to do one thing well, and that is to fasten and unfasten nuts/large nuts efficiently. It does this thanks to the crazy amounts of torque they produce.
You will often see scaffolders, car mechanics, construction workers and various other trade industries using these over impact drivers due to high torque output. They are not commonly used in home DIY jobs as an impact driver is usually sufficient for home DIY jobs, you may see people use them for car wheel lug nut removal at home, apart from that an impact driver will be better for home DIY use.
Unlike impact drivers that have a quarter inch HEX chuck, impact wrenches come most commonly with a half an inch square drive chuck. This allows the socket adapter to handle more torque without the risk of snapping. You will also find impact wrenches with three quarter, and 1 inch square chuck.
Different Types of Impact Wrenches?
There are two different types of impact wrenches, cordless (most popular) and corded. An air gun would come under corded, as it requires an air compressor unit, you will commonly see these in car mechanic garages.
As battery technology has come a long way, battery operated impact wrenches have become extremely popular and become the preferred option over corded impact wrenches for most users. A good example of how good cordless impact wrenches are, is scaffolders, they use cordless impact wrenches day in day out to put up and take down scaffolding.
What to Look for When Buying an Impact Wrench?
Torque: The main feature of an impact wrench is torque, the higher the better.
Adjustable torque setting: This is another feature to look out for, being able to reduce the torque output will be beneficial for more delicate jobs, as there is less risk of damaging fasteners.
Square Chuck Size: You will find half inch is the standard size chuck among impact wrenches, bear in mind that bigger size chucks are available, and may be needed for very high torque jobs.
Brand: As impact wrenches are a very high duty power tool that takes a lot of hammering, buying reputable brands such as Makita or DeWalt will pay off in the long run as they are less likely to break down from heavy duty use.
What is the Difference Between an Impact Wrench and Impact Driver?
An impact driver is manly for jobs that require fastening and unfastening screws, although they can do nuts as well. Impact driver will drive large screws directly into timber, drive screws into thin metal sheets, and any other task that involves screws.
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