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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2003, 02:31 PM
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Impact wrench torque?

This month's special at harbor freight is a 1/2' reversible 235 ft/lb impact wrench for $20. Not having any air tools (besides a compressor obviously) i wanted to start getting some, but am not sure if I would actually use them that much, so i don't want to put too much of an initial investment in so I was wondering how the torque ratings on these things work. Is 235 enough to do anything, i see some that say 450ish, I don't think I could even hold on to that! I realize that the cheap harbor freight is cheap, and if i break it, because of using it often, i will buy a nice one, but don't want to shell out 150$ and never actually use the damn thing. Comments? [img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2003, 02:49 PM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

This one? Will I've used it and I got about a 2 years out of it. There are times when a lot more torque is needed to remove frozen bolts but, hey, it's only $20.00, you could save a few muscles and scrapes with it.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2003, 03:52 PM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

A cheap one is better than nothing and will be quite handy. There are some jobs that a cheaper impact wrench is real helpful for, and others that you will will have to break the fastener loose by hand with a breaker bar or a hammer on a wrench, as it doesn't have enough torque. The reality is, you have to spend a whole lot more to get something twice as good. I used a cheap one for 15 years, then finally broke down and bought one that cost 10X the harbour freight model, but puts out over double the torque. I'd say get it, it will come in handy and speed up any disassembly you are doing. One day while bored at work, we all brought in our various made in Taiwan impact wrenches and had a little showdown. There was a difference between some of the models, but they all worked reasonably well. We were all using $60.00 or less models. One that the boss had just purchased, worked very poorly till we cleaned it out with some solvent. Must have been some grease or dried out something in the impellers that was dragging. After that, it was the best of the bunch.

If you want a really good one at a reasonable price, check out the Husky impact sold by Home Depot. It's not Snap On, but I'm told it's made by the same plant.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2003, 04:36 PM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

I've got the one that you are looking at (I think) Mine came with a kit and my dad had a good one, so he gave me the cheap impact wrench. I would wait. Mine will not loosen lug nuts on my vehicles. I have to loosen them with a star wrench, then loosen. It gets old.

As an FYI, there was a pretty good thread about this last week on the Jeepsunlimited forum.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2003, 05:35 PM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

I got mine at Wall-Mart.Under $60.00 and works
pretty well.For them realy stuck bolts I have a
NAPA brand 1/2 ratchet with about an 18 in.
handle and a pipe.But don't tell about the pipe
if the ratchet breaks. [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Had the rachet before
the impact and have never needed the pipe
since. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img].Only reason for getting the Cambell-
Hausfeild at Wally-World was no waiting and
a slight guarrentee with the name.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2003, 06:44 PM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

OK let me tell you all the "Harbor Freight Secret". In Lafayette, Louisiana, the Harbor Freight here is HELL BENT on 1 thing. Pleasing the customer. (I know because I used to work there.) If you have ever bought anything from them you will know that they will most likely try to sell you the "extended warranty". At the one in Lafayette this warranty was BS. There were some people who would buy a 200 dollar floor jack and bring it back 3 years later ,broke, and we would give them another one......FOR FREE. They wouldnt even have any warranty. The thing is it works like that for EVERYTHING at Harbor Freight. I can only talk for the one in Lafayette. If you live in a bigger city like Houston in might not be as easy to get away with somthing like that.

About the air impacts. I have sold MANY central pneumantic air impacts from Harbor Freight and I can say that we have not had many come back because they didnt work. If for some reason it does break, you could always get another because that one is so cheap or you could try what everyone is Lafayette does and bring it back and complain. Chances are the managers will easily break down and give you another.

Also at Harbor Freight. You can haggle! I have seen guys talk out manager down from like a 210 dollar parts washer to a 150 dollar parts washer. HAPPENED ALL THE TIME!
post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2003, 10:13 PM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

ive got the husky from home depot that tim spoke of.. it rocks, I think it was arund $100 ( I got it as a gift)
it will remove or BREAK off just about anything.

ive had quite a bit of play time with some dirt cheap 1/2 impacts that come with air compressors, like tool kit things, they arent worth hoking up to me.

yes it is faster than doing it by hand, BUT the ones that Ive played with wont remove anything I need taken off, I personally think youd be better off spending $10 on a good cheap 1/2" breaker bar

I guess you could use a weaker imapct after that to quicken the deal.

check it thru also, Harbour freight is nice to charge $20 for the tool, then another $14 to ship it.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2003, 07:52 AM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

This discussion has made me have to ask the following question.
Would'nt the torque ability of the gun go hand in hand with the amount of psi comming out of the compressor and the cfm usage of the gun. What good is a 500 torque gun if you only have the ability to run a 100psi compressor?
See what I'm saying? Are guns rated for torque as a specific psi?
Sorry, most of my purchases are second hand so I don't see the statistics on stuff like that.
I like Harbour Frieght stuff. I may be less durable equipment but if you use the tool more than once/twice it pays for itself.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2003, 09:21 AM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

they are usually rated at a specified psi, usually 90 psi., and a specific air consumption, usually 4.5 cfm. More air pressure will give higher torques. One problem a lot of "home" shops run into is constrictions in the air line, read too small of air hose to move the quantity of air. with big air tools, look for 3/8" hose.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2003, 09:25 AM
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Re: Impact wrench torque?

The torque would definately be in some way proportional to the psi available. Most outputs are rated at 90 psi. I've found that the better quality air tools are significantly more efficient. They use less cfms to deliver the same or more output. The cfm rating is certainly important as well, because if your compressor can't replenish the supply at the same rate as consumption, pressure will drop, and in a short while you will have less psi, and therefore less torque. So if I were sizing up two impacts, I'd look for the one that delivered the most torque (a good one is at least 450 ft-lbs) for the least cfms. The greater your cfm consumption exceeds the compressor's output, the longer you sit waiting for it to come back up to pressure. Put on a bigger tank, say twice as big, and it will take longer to run it down, but then it will take twice as long to fill it back up again. And there you sit, waiting again. I just bought a higher quality japanese die grinder, and it delivers 1/2 hp output and only consumes 4 cfms at 90 psi. It's simply more efficient than the $20.00 models. So I'll spend more time working, and less time waiting. Also less wear and tear on the compressor.
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