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#4459729 - 07/14/17 10:15 PM Impact universal sockets - how do you use them?
ledslinger Offline


Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 1123
Loc: Missouri
I've been a mechanic for many years, mainly work mobile without air or powerful impact tools. I just got a set of GearWrench pinless 3/8" metric sockets, am not real familiar with how to best utilize them. It seems they are a key tool for increasing efficiency and profitability for flat rate mechanics.

A few questions:

Do you keep normal impact sockets just as handy and use them if a straight path to the fastener is available, or just use swivel sockets for all bolts?

Do you normally use extensions with universal impact sockets or do you often use them without extensions?

It seems very long (over 12") extensions would be handy with universal impact sockets. Do you use long extensions with these sockets? How long?

Are air tools getting replaced by cordless impacts, or are air tools still very effective when used with universal impact sockets.

What's a good cordless 3/8" impact that isn't real expensive?

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#4459747 - 07/14/17 10:44 PM Re: Impact universal sockets - how do you use them? [Re: ledslinger]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12654
Loc: NE,Ohio
Those look like nice sockets.. Personally I would only use them if regular ones wont work for the location.

What's a good cordless 3/8" impact that isn't real expensive?
there really arent many. They make them but they arent any more powerful than 1/4" drive
Dewalt has a 150 lb-ft model for example in 3/8" drive

I'd go 1/2" drive some are more compact than others.
You might want both a high power model and a smaller compact model depending on your work.

Do you normally use extensions with universal impact sockets or do you often use them without extensions?
While a short impact rated extension is ok.. they can rob some of the impact force.


Disclaimer: I dont do this for a living. You will probably want to hear from people who do this everyday.
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#4459752 - 07/14/17 10:52 PM Re: Impact universal sockets - how do you use them? [Re: ledslinger]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: ledslinger
Do you normally use extensions with universal impact sockets or do you often use them without extensions?


I've seen guys use them without extensions on air ratchets when removing U-joint bolts. Those were the 3/8'' drive universal impact sockets.

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#4459773 - 07/15/17 12:08 AM Re: Impact universal sockets - how do you use them? [Re: ledslinger]
UncleDave Online   content


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1648
Loc: Ca.
I run a small boat manufacturing, service and repair company and the guys still use air the vast majority of the time.

What I see are Snap On and Chicago Pnuematic, but I supply enormous volume and pressure (fully redundant for the glass shop so one failure won't kill a hull in process) and properly hard lined and dried throughout the shop.

A younger kid we had in for a while used the battery tools, he really liked the and seemed to keep up, but everyone noted that if you have air they'd rather not put cycles on batteries in a full time environment, but at home you don't have that and the electric guns work pretty well but you need a bunch of batteries and guns.

Sockets/ extensions wise Our guys use them all. Typically they gun stuff off sometimes change to butterflies from fastening and hand finish with and without extension as boat engines in bilges makes for infinitely weird angles.

UD


Edited by UncleDave (07/15/17 12:10 AM)
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#4459802 - 07/15/17 03:44 AM Re: Impact universal sockets - how do you use them? [Re: Rand]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 9651
Loc: Central Washington
Originally Posted By: Rand
Those look like nice sockets.. Personally I would only use them if regular ones wont work for the location.

What's a good cordless 3/8" impact that isn't real expensive?
there really arent many. They make them but they arent any more powerful than 1/4" drive
Dewalt has a 150 lb-ft model for example in 3/8" drive

I'd go 1/2" drive some are more compact than others.
You might want both a high power model and a smaller compact model depending on your work.

Do you normally use extensions with universal impact sockets or do you often use them without extensions?
While a short impact rated extension is ok.. they can rob some of the impact force.


Disclaimer: I dont do this for a living. You will probably want to hear from people who do this everyday.

I used to work in a manufacturing facility that went though tons of Milwaukee 18v 3/8 and 1/4 hex impact drivers. At they time they were running two 10 hour shifts, but they often turned into 11.5 hour shifts, so the guns were used round the clock by people who didnt own them.
The advantage of the 3/8" 18V class li-ion impact over a equivalent 1/4 drive one is:
1) You dont break the 1/4 hex -> 3/8 or 1/2 drive adapters. I bought a 1/4 drive for my personal use because its what was in stock but I keep two of each adapter type on hand because even the "impact rated" ones shatter eventually.
2)After a lot of use, the 1/4 hex drive on the gun itself has a tendency to explode, rendering the whole thing garbage. I saw half a dozen or so guns experience this failure, just in the areas that I worked in, so it wasnt uncommon. I never saw any of the 3/8 drive guns experience a similar failure. They ran until they were totally clapped out.
They are basically the same gun, but the 3/8 drive one is way more sturdy for long term or hard use.
They have plenty of torque. At full go, you can easily snap 1/4 Grade 8 bolts, and ruin Grade 8 5/16 or 3/8 bolts, and mushroom flat washers. They are just about perfect for 7/16 and 1/2 bolts.

Now that Im working as a tech repairing the same sort of machinery I used to assemble, I love my Milwaukee impact. Buzz a dozen bolts out of something quickly, with no airline to drag around and get hung up on everything. The only thing is I dislike going though the expensive 3/8 and 1/2 drive adapters, and I know the 1/4 hex on the gun is gonna explode someday, but Ill buy another, and just wait the couple days to get a proper 3/8 drive one.


Edited by Colt45ws (07/15/17 03:51 AM)
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#4459975 - 07/15/17 09:46 AM Re: Impact universal sockets - how do you use them? [Re: ledslinger]
AVB Offline


Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 1283
Loc: Georgia
I use universal/wobble sockets all of the time. I use what ever length extension it takes to get on the fastener. I use a 18v Makita impact driver 80% of the time. It can't fully replace air impacts or hand ratchets, but there is a lot of overlap and it has made air ratchets very rarely used. I don't remember the last time that I used my 3/8 air ratchet, I do use my 1/4 air ratchet every now and then in tight spots.

I do use straight sockets when I can.

High rpm can sling a wobble socket across the shop. I dented a car in the next bay when one launched off of my impact wrench about 15 years ago.


Edited by AVB (07/15/17 09:51 AM)

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#4460030 - 07/15/17 11:01 AM Re: Impact universal sockets - how do you use them? [Re: ledslinger]
MrHorspwer Offline


Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1423
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: ledslinger

It seems very long (over 12") extensions would be handy with universal impact sockets. Do you use long extensions with these sockets? How long?

Are air tools getting replaced by cordless impacts, or are air tools still very effective when used with universal impact sockets.

What's a good cordless 3/8" impact that isn't real expensive?


Back when I was wrenching professionally, my go to shallow socket for common GM sizes (10, 13, 15) was a Snap-On 3/8 swivel ball extension socket.

https://store.snapon.com/Extension-Socke...et-P745792.aspx

It's not a true universal socket, but the swivel end had enough angle and the extension was long enough to allow some fudging when it was difficult to access a fastener straight on. Everyone at the time knew them as "on a stick". As in, "Hand me my 10 on a stick."

I'm going to date myself, but when I was wrenching, it was the infancy of cordless impacts. I still have my Makita 3/8 cordless impact. I never used 3/8 impact sockets. Torque values of typical fasteners you'd be using a 3/8 drive for are so low and the power of cordless 3/8 impacts is also so low, I never saw the need. I always looked at a 3/8 impact as a faster means of removing fasteners than an air ratchet if you had the space.

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#4460454 - 07/15/17 08:32 PM Re: Impact universal sockets - how do you use them? [Re: ledslinger]
robertcope Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 1002
Loc: TX
I have a 1/2" DEWALT impact that works great. Battery life is good. If I was buying one today, I'd probably buy a RYOBI, only because I use a few other ONE+ system tools. I just picked up a Milwaukee 3/8" cordless ratchet; it has been a game changer for me.

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