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  • Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

    Which kind of impact wrench is better an air driven one or corded? Does it matter.

  • #2
    Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

    There are good and bad of both. If you're thinking of needing to buy one the first thing to ask is if you have a good supply of clean and pressure regulated compressed air. By the time you get setup with air (if you don't already have it) you could buy a really good corded electric model several times. (The old $$$ factor)

    Please tell more about what you plan to use it for and will this be now and then or heavy duty use all the time.


    To answer your question a good quality pneumatic (air powered) impact wrench is the better choice in most cases. You get far more power for the size and weight of it, and a cared for air motor won't overheat. Take a look around big auto repair shops and tire dealers. They always use air power when they can. You're find you have many more choices than with corded electric models.

    If you need a good corded one for home use, there are several out there that will do some good hard work for you. Again, please tell more....

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    • #3
      Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

      Thanks for the information. I already have a dewalt air compressor that I use for my nail guns. I would be using the impact wrench for a variety of things. Nothing really heavy duty. I do a lot of side projects that I could use it for. Plus I do some minor work on my car that I would use it for also.
      Obviously the air compressor I have is portable but not always convienent to lug around so I was leaning toward the corded one. But if I would be better off with an air impact wrench I wouldn't be against that.
      Thanks for your help in advance.

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      • #4
        Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

        I worked as a mechanic. Forget the electric unless you buy a Milwaukee or Makita, the DW is wothless in their older model, the new one , not sure.
        I have several air impacts and really like the composite Husky[FL pneumatic]but that model is not in the HD now and no lifetime warranty either.
        Cheap air guns are also bad to buy, the HFT earthquake is a good buy for $70, made in Taiwan, IR also made good models.

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        • #5
          Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

          [quote=Solo;132637]Thanks for the information. I already have a dewalt air compressor that I use for my nail guns. I would be using the impact wrench for a variety of things.

          Which DW air compressor do you have that runs your impact wrench? I am considering the DW15 gallon emglo.

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          • #6
            Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

            Originally posted by Andrew M. View Post
            I worked as a mechanic. Forget the electric unless you buy a Milwaukee or Makita, the DW is wothless in their older model, the new one , not sure.
            I have several air impacts and really like the composite Husky[FL pneumatic]but that model is not in the HD now and no lifetime warranty either.
            Cheap air guns are also bad to buy, the HFT earthquake is a good buy for $70, made in Taiwan, IR also made good models.
            I used a Ingersoll Rand 8053 for years to drill through telepohne poles and to do tire work (lug nuts). Tool was a beast but heavy. Since you're a pro mechanic I'd like to ask you if you know anything about the Ingersoll Rand 19.2volt cordless 1/2" impact wrench. From the specs it sounds like a decent tool, don't know if it would hold up to the demands of a pro. The other thing is air ratchets seem to come in more shapes and sizes for tighter areas like those 3/8" hand air ratchets, what's your take on them? Thanks.

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            • #7
              Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

              If your looking for a good (not super) 1/2" drive air powered model, I really like the IR231C which was made in Japan. The later 231s are from China. The trick is to find new old stock if you can. If you don't mind some good $$$ then you can look into the industrial IR and Chicago Pneumatic models that are for factory use. Buy one of them, take care of it and most likely it will outlive a person. The lesser CP aren't worth bothering with. Gardner-Denver has some great ones, but the $$$ will make you faint.

              One word of warning: Never, ever use chrome plated hand sockets or cheapo imported impact sockets. They can and do shatter. Only buy good well known USA made brands. If you want darn good impact sockets look to Wright Tool Co in Ohio. They are what you'll see on assembly lines and on Navy ships.

              Tools from the tool trucks cost far too much for what you get. Go to a serious tool dealer or industrial supply house.
              Last edited by Woussko; 04-01-2008, 01:16 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

                Originally posted by reconx View Post

                Which DW air compressor do you have that runs your impact wrench? I am considering the DW15 gallon emglo.
                I have the Dewalt 2 Hp 4 Gal Air Compressor Model D55155. I haven't used it with an impace wrench only with my nail guns. I have no problems using my nail guns with it.

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                • #9
                  Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

                  That model compressor is best suited for nail guns that only require air intermittently. I own a similar type compressor with nearly the same cfm rating and gallon size as model#D55155. It works great with nail guns (even framing nailers) but when I hook up my Snap On 1/2" impact to it to drive lag bolts, etc., the tank empties very quickly and the compressor motor runs often. If you own any DeWalt 18 volt tools, I would recommend their cordless high torque impact wrench model DW059. It is great for lag bolts and lug nuts with no cords or hoses to get in the way.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

                    You'll need to add a 30 gallon tank to store enough air. The 2 HP compressor is OK but you need more air storage. When you pull the trigger an impact wrench takes lots of air. You won't get any work done with the little 4 gallon tank.

                    Unless you are thinking of getting a more serious air compressor, airline filter, regulator and more, you would (for $$$ reasons) be better to look into a good electric model.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Impact wrench: Air vs. corded

                      I worked as a mechanic for many years and I've used many impact wrenches - Snap-on, Mac, IR, etc. I still have my IR 231 which has seen lots of daily use. It's one of the best impact wrenches I've owned. I also have the IR 212 3/8" impact that's great for smaller jobs. Electric impact wrenches have their place, but usually are much bigger and not as powerful as the pneumatic impacts. They are good for an occasional decking job, etc.

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