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I am considering buying an impact wrench to make my life a bit easier. I have noticed a lot of the things I want to remove and replace involve getting into tight places so am considering buying a Right Angle Impact Wrench as being narrower it would hopefully fit into more spaces. Assuming this is correct my next decision would be whether to spend more to get a more powerful one or spend less and get a normal impact wrench as well. Knowing nothing about these tools my thoughts are:

  1. are they worth the money in terms of making life easier when doing a restoration?
  2. are right angle impact wrenches effective?
  3. would I be better off buying a less expensive right angle wrench and also buying a normal impact wrench as well?
  4. what budget would I be looking at for any of these options to ensure I bought something that would work and not be a source of frustration?
  5. have I missed something that would be a better option?

Apologies if the answers to this are obvious to the more experienced but after contorting myself to undo rusted nuts with a socket or spanner while at the same time holding the bolt head still I am ready to embrace technology if it would make my life easier. It would also hopefully reduce the damage to my hands and so reduce my wifes worrying about infection, bless her.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Bob  

 

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You will have a problem finding a  RIGHT ANGLE  Impact Wrench ,  they tend to ne NUTRUNNERS.      Effective   1/2" drive IMPACT wrenches , to be good - then they start abt.  £200

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I bought a fairly inexpensive cabled electric one which does not get a great deal of use, but it saves a LOT of bother and fuss on odd occasions.   One of those tools that now and again, you just cannot be without, unless you really do like hours of fiddling. I guess if you are planning on extensive use then it may pay to spend much more.

 

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I have  CP  1/2" and 3/8"  Impact gun style & nut runners  (air-ratchet)  ,  made in Japan abt. 35 years ago.  At best as some used to describe as 'automotive' rather than  'industrial'  ,  OK for occasional use (I hardly use the nut runners).  Earlier this year I decided on a corded 240 volt   82994  Storm Force for £70  .  Comparing specs.  odd ones had a bit more torque & blows/min.  however they did not have the reputation ? of Draper , they seem all made in China.  It is OK.

I have short=listed  1/2" air Impact  :-

Ingersoll Rand   2130XP   &  Clark  SA6002  (that is a bit cheaper)  ,  to buy a MAC or Snap-on  the  top$  name & £  would probably be  x2.  and in any case still pondering.

The best rechargeable ones are quite good & best seem to be brushless motors now,  however I don't feel I have the work for battery that may deteriorate,  both my sons don't go along with that - they buy the best rechargeable and don't worry about batteries = saying the "memory" problem no longer exists.  Younger son about to move from BMW to Tesla  ,  he still has his Subaru Imprezia - Special limited Edition on blocks in his garage to polish  LoL.  too much  £££

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I have recently generally moved from using air impact wrenches to Milwaukee M18 cordless wrenches, which are excellent. I have a range from 3/8" SqDr up to 1" SqDr, and I haven't yet found anything that an air tool or corded electric will do that these won't. I have a 3/8" Milwaukee right angle impact wrench, and it is a genuine impact wrench not a nut runner, but the 3/8" tools are relatively low torque and their suitability will rather depend on the size of your project.

 

For most vehicle work up to Landrover sort of size, I find the 1/2" drive most useful, it gets used a lot! Larger than this, 3/4" is most useful with 1" in extreme cases. The 1" tool, even though battery powered, is capable of inflicting great damage on things including the user, and actually outperforms my Master 35 petrol impact wrench in terms of breakout torque. An awesome tool.

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Don't forget you need a compressor to drive air tools. Go for 1.5 times tool air consumption for capacity.  A compressor allows you to use an air blow gun to clean items and run a spray paint gun.  Air tools are also good if working in the wet as there is no risk of electric shock (assuming the compressor is in the dry).  Choose whatever suits your needs best.

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Hi Bob

You asked:

Knowing nothing about these tools my thoughts are:

  1. are they worth the money in terms of making life easier when doing a restoration?
  2. are right angle impact wrenches effective?
  3. would I be better off buying a less expensive right angle wrench and also buying a normal impact wrench as well?
  4. what budget would I be looking at for any of these options to ensure I bought something that would work and not be a source of frustration?
  5. have I missed something that would be a better option?

I'll start by saying I've been playing with restoring military vehicles for something like 45 years, from that perspective one bit of advice protect your ears and eyes. 

Now to respond to your questions;

1. Yes they are worth the money, I have regular 1/2 air impact moderately expensive still using the same one I bought 40 years ago. 

You will be able to get bolts off with out breaking them that you will never get off with a regular wrench.

2-3  I have gone through 2 inexpensive right angle impact (nut spinners) they do wear out but they will save you a hell of a lot of time, as you can get them on to bolts or nuts that you will never get a regular impact.

4. The impact wrenches are the inexpensive part of the deal it is the air compressor.  But with both the compressor and the impact you can start in expressively  work your way up.  For about 10 years I used two small air compressors hooked together to get more volume.  Both of them were used when I got them.  The one air tool type that I have found not to go in expensive on is sanding equipment they just don't last as in some of them will not last through one project.  On air sanding tools I go professional grade I've got one orbital air sander which is now 50 years old and still in use.  The combination orbital rotary seem to have the shortest life.  After going through 3 of them on warranty the store stopped replacing them and gave me my money back (basically said go away)

5. As to other options for impact wrenches there are a lot of electric/battery powered ones out there but I don't have any.

 

Cheers Phil 

 

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7 hours ago, utt61 said:

I have recently generally moved from using air impact wrenches to Milwaukee M18 cordless wrenches, which are excellent. I have a range from 3/8" SqDr up to 1" SqDr, and I haven't yet found anything that an air tool or corded electric will do that these won't. I have a 3/8" Milwaukee right angle impact wrench, and it is a genuine impact wrench not a nut runner, but the 3/8" tools are relatively low torque and their suitability will rather depend on the size of your project.

 

For most vehicle work up to Landrover sort of size, I find the 1/2" drive most useful, it gets used a lot! Larger than this, 3/4" is most useful with 1" in extreme cases. The 1" tool, even though battery powered, is capable of inflicting great damage on things including the user, and actually outperforms my Master 35 petrol impact wrench in terms of breakout torque. An awesome tool.

The Draper  corded  240 volt "Storm Force"  I purchased this summer , it is quite a weighty object (that is a penalty) , however it does pack quite a punch for  1/2" drive.    Obviously - I could sit on the drive under a car , as I did and slog it out (as I did) , it was my own fault (a senior , not thinking moment) that I wasted much time and ended up using a angle grinder - so in a way I could have saved my £70 , however it is good to have it up my sleeve for the future.   Normally using a air impact of DeVilbiss  JGA  with a full air-cap , I would run my  single phase  compressors in tandem , the Broomwade  10 cfm FAD  on  'continuous' air-governor setting , and  Hydrovane  10 cfm FAD on 'auto'   that way I don't  have two 3 HP motors trying to start on on a 40A supply.   This is the problem with a home 1 phase supply ,  I find anything under 15 cfm is a waste of time ,  shot-blasting starts at 15 cfm.

                    So - for me the almost instant carefree use of a 240 volt corded impact hammer is good.

So - the question I would like to put to you -  if I were to purchase the best 18 volt rechargeable impact driver - just how long would I be able to use it from fully charged - until I need to put it on re-charge  ?

I don't know ?  possibly I should consider a rechargeable because for approx.  £250 - it looks like it will be the air Ingersoll Rand..

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That's probably adequate.  I need to compare a few data sheets .  

I like the durability of industrial air-tools that I have come across , mainly  Atlas Copco & Desoutter  , drills, nut-runners & screwdrivers - hundreds of them suspended on reelers.  Even is the oilmen neglected the mist lubricators they ran on and on. 

However - I can't recall the assembly lines using impact drivers , or any angle tool.    

I have often intended to lash out abt.  £200 for a Makita or Hitachi  - small angle drill  - they are very nice drills,  I have a large Makita angle drill - I don't often find the need to use it , but it's very good when I do.  Purchased almost new off Ebay for a fraction of the going £ for a new one..

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The  OP  query was in the main about considering a  ANGLE  Impact , and it does seem they now exist (as opposed to nut-runners).

The main problem as I see it is that these modern better make  10 volt re-chargeable - they must be like any battery , you work them -then they have a recuperation period that you must permit by resting between hammering away , otherwise they will sooner flatten.  A poster states he would expect a monring's work - but this can't possibly be near continuous usage.  I would have to learn more about this.

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Thank you for all your replies, it has certainly given me something to think about. I liked the look and ease of cordless but having seen the cost of air tools they are so much less even figuring in the compressor. Buying a right angle impact wrench or right angle wrench and an impact wrench with batteries, charger etc comes to a lot especially if going for something like Milwauke who seem to have a large slice of the market. Their M18 range looks really good but then it costs, a lot. I was surprised at the low price of air tools, some the cost of a rechargeable battery for a cordless impact wrench.

Corded 240 volt impacts come in a lot cheaper too but choice seems limited and most seem to be very large and I have not come across any compact versions but possibly they are there and I have yet to find them.

I think my choice will be between buying a corded impact wrench and a corded right angle wrench (a nut runner?) or the same but air powered. My only concern with air is that someone mentioned the CFM requirement being an issue. As I would not want to do any large area spray painting a good amatuer compressor with a 50 litre tank and around 10 CFM would probably do. It would not be getting constant use and I could adapt what I do if necessary to allow it to recharge.

Those are my thoughts from everyones comments and more research based on them. Please feel free to say 'but you have forgotten' or variations of this as money is limited so making the right decision is important.

Thank you again for all the help and advice.

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Compressors / receivers.     Air receivers being sold for quite a few years will be plated CE.   Buying used , then older ones will be to BS.   ISTR the only main change was by additional welded pads to the shell for the motor/compressor platform.    Used - often not correctly drained of condensate ,  you can get internal corrosion  & often the screwed inspection bung on small receivers seemed to get smaller.

The bigger tank - the better but unless a vertical model takes up more floor space.

----------------

Compressors -  comparisons  , always compare like with like on spec. sheets.   Such as  10 cfm  , does not mean a great deal  ,   10 cfm  FAD  (free air delivery ) - that means  ALL..

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I found that my Clarke 7.5 CFM compressor is good enough for spray painting without running out of puff, and will intermittently run a 3/4 in impact wrench, but not full time, while a 1/2 in impact wrench was no problem.  A 50l tank is good for portability, while 100l will give better endurance and run more powerful tools.  Provided you do your homework, there is no reason why you can't buy good second hand kit.  Again, go for the solution that best fits your needs and budget.

T

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