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  • Impact driver performance questions

    Howdy,
    I just picked up a cordless 1/4 inch impact driver (not impact wrench) to use on a deck project. Never used an impact driver before so wasn't sure what to expect. Anyway, two things surprised me about it once I tried it out, and I'm wondering if this is normal/expected or is this tool defective?

    1) I happened to notice that if I attach a socket to the driver (not a big socket, just a 14mm size), and if I then grip the outside of the socket between my thumb and index finger and pull the trigger, what happens is that the impact driver goes into its rat-a-tat-tat impact mode, BUT it doesn't apply enough torque to spin the socket out of the grip of my fingers. It's a sensation much like when the clutch slips on a regular drill. What surprises me is that I would have expected not to be able to maintain grip on the socket, and would have expected the socket to spin, but it doesn't! The socket remains stationary and the impact driver just hammers away. I would add that the impact driver does drive 3" screws into decking just fine, yet, it can't overcome my two-finger grip on an attached socket. Is that normal behavior for an impact driver? (Note, I'm not Superman, my grip isn't all that strong!) If anyone else has their impact driver and a socket handy, perhaps you could give it a try and see if the behavior is the same as I described. You might be surprised at the result.

    2) I notice that many people try using their impact drivers to remove lug nuts. I understand that the tool isn't made for that. But what the hey, I tried it anyway, and found that indeed it couldn't budge lug nuts that were applied with 75 ft/lbs. of torque, which isn't all that tight. Given that the impact wrench is rated at 1200 in/lbs (which converts to 100 ft/lbs), I would have thought that the 100 ft/lb impact driver would probably be able to break loose those 75 ft/lb lug nuts, but it didn't. Is there a logical explanation for this (any physics majors out there?) or is it an indication that the unit may be defective?

    Thanks for your feedback.

  • #2
    Re: Impact driver performance questions

    what brand/voltage impact driver did you get?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Impact driver performance questions

      I have no idea about your specific experiences, but you must first realize that there is a big difference between the "applied torque" and the amount of torque it takes to break it free again.
      Try it with a torque wrench.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Impact driver performance questions

        I have the Ridgid 18 volt impact driver and I can tell you two things for sure. One, I have a pretty good grip and I cannot hold and stop a socket from moving. Two, the tool reaches over 100ft lbs of torque and can easily snap the heads off of deck screws if pushed and could probably loosen a auto lug nut. Now if your lug nuts are rusted on or have been tightened with a heavy duty impact gun, the 1/4" driver will not be able to move them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Impact driver performance questions

          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
          I have the Ridgid 18 volt impact driver and I can tell you two things for sure. One, I have a pretty good grip and I cannot hold and stop a socket from moving. Two, the tool reaches over 100ft lbs of torque and can easily snap the heads off of deck screws if pushed and could probably loosen a auto lug nut. Now if your lug nuts are rusted on or have been tightened with a heavy duty impact gun, the 1/4" driver will not be able to move them.
          I second that comment.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Impact driver performance questions

            Originally posted by Fred G. View Post
            if I then grip the outside of the socket between my thumb and index finger and pull the trigger, what happens is that the impact driver goes into its rat-a-tat-tat impact mode, BUT it doesn't apply enough torque to spin the socket out of the grip of my fingers


            FYI: I could not stop my 18V Makita impact driver but I was able to stop my 10.8V Bosch Impactor


            I notice that many people try using their impact drivers to remove lug nuts. I understand that the tool isn't made for that. But what the hey, I tried it anyway, and found that indeed it couldn't budge lug nuts that were applied with 75 ft/lbs. of torque, which isn't all that tight. Given that the impact wrench is rated at 1200 in/lbs (which converts to 100 ft/lbs), I would have thought that the 100 ft/lb impact driver would probably be able to break loose those 75 ft/lb lug nuts, but it didn't. Is there a logical explanation for this[/quote]

            I have the Dewalt Impact wrench 345 ft/lb for lug nut removal. I think you need at least 175-200 ft/lb to remove the average lug
            Last edited by reConx; 07-29-2008, 10:05 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Impact driver performance questions

              I think he is talking about a Ryobi Impact Driver. I have one, and you can hold a socket and prevent it from moving. Since Ridgid and Ryobi are from the same company I would have thought both would act the same. It maybe something to do with the hammering action of the impact driver rather than a continuous rotation applying the torque like a drill.

              I've loaned out my Ridgid driver, and will not have it back until the weekend, so I can't check it right now. Maybe the Ridgid has a higher rotational torque. I know it's overall torque rating is higher than the Ryobi at 1450 in-lbs vs 1200 in-lbs.

              I believe the torque rating is not from a standard method of measuring. The driver cannot overcome an oposing force of the rated value (it can't unwind a spring), but is a measure of how much static force it can overcome (loosening a nut).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Impact driver performance questions

                Since we are discussing auto lug nuts and impact wrenches, I can't help but mention the idea of Ridgid introducing a 18volt 1/2" heavy duty impact gun. I have suggested this idea in the "New Tool Ideas" thread several time becauses I think it would be a good seller. There are several manufacturers that currently offer a cordless impact with anywhere from 200 to over 340ft lbs of torque. I doubt Ridgid will make such a tool since they seem to have a very limited offering compared to many of the other companies. I still can't figure why Home Depot does not have a good display of Ridgid cordless tools? This is a great Internet site for discussion of many topics including Ridgid tools, but if they don't have their tools on display and in the stores they are losing customers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Impact driver performance questions

                  Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                  Since we are discussing auto lug nuts and impact wrenches, I can't help but mention the idea of Ridgid introducing a 18volt 1/2" heavy duty impact gun. I have suggested this idea in the "New Tool Ideas" thread several time becauses I think it would be a good seller. There are several manufacturers that currently offer a cordless impact with anywhere from 200 to over 340ft lbs of torque. I doubt Ridgid will make such a tool since they seem to have a very limited offering compared to many of the other companies. I still can't figure why Home Depot does not have a good display of Ridgid cordless tools? This is a great Internet site for discussion of many topics including Ridgid tools, but if they don't have their tools on display and in the stores they are losing customers.
                  Here, here.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Impact driver performance questions

                    To address your question about the removal of lug nuts an Impact Driver is not designed to do that. They are designed for driving bolts not removal of bolts. I don't know all the science behind it because I just work with the tools but that is the reason.

                    I have tried the test you were talking about before and have been able to do the same thing so I don't thing your unit is defective even though it is Orange and not Yellow. I would say as long as you're able to perform all the task than it is workign fine. Not sure about the Ridigid but I know the DeWalt is rated at 1330 Inch Pounds of Torque which is plenty to drive a screw all the way through a 2x4 or snap heads off of bolts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Impact driver performance questions

                      Hello,

                      Take a look at the article on Wikipedia about impact wrenches. It goes into some detail about the way impact wrenches work and the concept of impulse (force delivered over a certain period of time). What you might be experiencing in your situation is that you are gripping the socket, but since your skin etc. is flexible and gives, it spreads out the impact over a longer period of time and the socket doesn't turn.

                      Kyle

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Impact driver performance questions

                        I tired to remove my lug nuts with my 18V impact driver and I broke the 1/4 hex to 3/8 drive converter. (twisted the hex outside of the chuck and snapped) What are other using to even attempt this job? I want to be able to use my 3/8th socket set with this tool.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Impact driver performance questions

                          Again, an impact driver is not recommended for using lug nuts. The torque needed is much higher than an impact driver can produce usually. It is recommended to use an impact gun (torque in foot pounds) for removing/installing lug nuts, rather than an impact driver (torque in inch pounds).

                          You could still use your 3/8" socket set with your impact driver. They're great to use for driving lag bolts for heavy duty wood/materials fastening. Also, if your 1/4"-to-3/8" adapter broke where you're describing, then that was just simply a bad part - get a new one. I've always liked and had good results with Apex adapters and screw bits and pieces.

                          An impact driver should really just be used for driving screws, lag bolts, removal of seized/rusted fasteners, etc., not lug nut removal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Impact driver performance questions

                            I have never tried to use any of my impact drivers for lug nut removal simply becuase they do not produce enough torque. I did use mine for tearing down an engine and had great sucess with everything it would reach. I didn't take the head off the motor, but the intake and all other bolts came off with ease.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Impact driver performance questions

                              Yeah I figured it wouldn't take off the lugs, but I figured I would give it a try. I didn't expect to break the adapter (Craftsman). I just want to use my 3/8 drive sockets, but now I'm afraid I'm going to break the adapter it seems weak.

                              KJ

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