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#4534489 - 10/05/17 10:29 AM Cordless Impact buying questions.
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6625
Loc: Hudson, NH
I need to learn about cordless impact wrenches before making a purchase so I have some questions.

Do they hammer same as air?

Can you set them for different torque settings?

What torque is good for anything around the house including my truck, lugs, etc

What is the difference between the 18v and 20v? They both provide similar torque ratings. Are there any more?

What is the trending/newest/longest lasting/best battery type?

I read descriptions like Hog ring, anvil ring, friction ring, and detent pin. What are the benefits of each, which is desirable?

Experienced cordless impact users, how reliable are they compared to air? Does the battery slowly degrade like lithium?

Anything else to consider

Thanks everyone.
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#4534514 - 10/05/17 11:05 AM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3118
Loc: NJ
What's your application?

I have the Craftsman and it's great and people say the Milwaukee is even better. It runs off a lithium battery. I don't know of any household uses for it besides working on cars/trucks.
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#4534525 - 10/05/17 11:19 AM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19354
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Cordless should not be viewed as a replacement for air but more as a valuable supplement. The larger 1/2" cordless are not one of my favorite tools, they are 5Lb+, large and use pin clutch mechanisms which is the least desirable for automotive work.
There is no other way of generating that much torque from a battery operated electric motor that is small enough to used in a compact hand held package. The problem with pin clutches is they generate 100% torque right out of the gate and are not very controllable, this isn't a real issue with smaller 1/4 and 3/8 drive tools.

Many times I will set my air impact on low in reverse (not all air impacts can do this) or feather the trigger to hammer rusted bolts vibrating them to work penetrating oil into the threads before turning up the power, its works well. With a pin clutch this isn't happening, it will usually just either loosen it or break it off.
Most 1/2" and lower use friction rings aka hg rings, split rings, they work okay and are convenient and easy to replace. On big stuff you want a detent pin meaning you need to depress the pin when you want to remove the socket, not convenient if your changing sockets often on a job.

Some of the most powerful impacts I own do not have the highest torque on paper but have big hammers and that's what loosens the bolt, pay no attention to nut busting torque, its meaningless advertising hype, most impacts are in the 400-500 ft.lb range of real torque.
My favorite guns are the mini 1/2 air with twin hammer and the 1/4 and 3/8 cordless Makita 18V, For bigger stuff I have a full size 1/2, 3/4 and 1". I bought this one but like the rest of them this size I didn't like it for general automotive work.


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#4534555 - 10/05/17 12:05 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: Trav]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4316
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Trav
Cordless should not be viewed as a replacement for air but more as a valuable supplement.


^^This


I have a Dewalt battery impact. It's awesome for all the small stuff working on cars and small engines. I still have my big air impact for the really big stuff. The battery impact is good for pretty much everything I'd use a normal ratchet on. The Dewalt is powerful enough to take off lug nuts if I needed to, but that is probably the max of it's capability.
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#4534563 - 10/05/17 12:18 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4405
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Why not get a corded one instead?
They are cheaper and better.

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#4534574 - 10/05/17 12:44 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: zzyzzx]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12740
Loc: NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
Why not get a corded one instead?
They are cheaper and better.


not true.

many cordless are much stronger than most corded electric impacts.

If you have a compressor go AIR, or cordless for convenience.

if you don't have air go cordless.. unless you are in some type of industrial shop using
specialty tools.
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#4534586 - 10/05/17 12:58 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9117
Loc: Ontario, Canada
For just zipping wheels off and on, anything 1/2" will work. For swapping wheels I have one of these 1/2" impact heads and if you have a decent cordless drill already it does the trick. I'm guessing it does atleast 150ft-lbs as any lugs I've used it on take no time at all to bust loose. 4" 3/8" lag screws into wood either strip the hole or break with it as well. They used to sell them at Canadian Tire for $20 on sale.

For actual mechanical work I have a corded 1/2" electrical and it is a bit large at times, so I can see why going with an air gun is the way to go for even a weekend mechanic.
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#4534588 - 10/05/17 01:01 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: Rand]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4316
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Rand
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
Why not get a corded one instead?
They are cheaper and better.


not true.

many cordless are much stronger than most corded electric impacts.

If you have a compressor go AIR, or cordless for convenience.

if you don't have air go cordless.. unless you are in some type of industrial shop using
specialty tools.



I actually have all three.

The corded one is in between the air and the battery for power. The corded one is an industrial Dewalt I bought refurbished off eBay, so it had almost the power of the air impact. It is to the point where I only break out the air impact for the tough stuff like rusty axle nuts.

The power of each one really depends on the brand and specs. I've used cheapo air impacts from harbor freight that couldn't loosen a lug nut, and battery ones that were very powerful for their size.
_________________________
2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (180k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
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#4534593 - 10/05/17 01:08 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12740
Loc: NE,Ohio
I had an IR corded electric it was around 300lb-ft and worked ok.

The dewalt dcf899 I replaced it with hits much harder.. has variable settings also.

I have an aircat which is pretty nice for air impact. I end up using the dewalt 95% of the time.
I wouldnt mind adding a smaller one although most of the time
my impact driver does ok.

Almost all corded electric impacts you will find in a store such as tractor supply or home depot will be 5-8amps and 180-350lb-ft

https://www.amazon.com/Kawasaki-841426-2...6E6XG6EDKQSSBVC

https://www.amazon.com/Kobalt-120-Volt-C...6E6XG6EDKQSSBVC

https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW292K-2-I...6E6XG6EDKQSSBVC


Granted you can find monsters such as this 800$ makita but not optimal
https://www.amazon.com/Makita-TW1000-1-I...6E6XG6EDKQSSBVC

IIRC I paid around $260 for my dewalt dcf899 with a 5ah battery.

It is pretty legit.. although heavy esp under the car.
https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCF899P1-Brushless-Torque-Impact/dp/B00X52TWA4
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#4534619 - 10/05/17 01:43 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 4205
Loc: KY
I went with a cordless Makita- great for track days and switching out winter/summer tire and wheel sets.
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#4534698 - 10/05/17 03:35 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
razel Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 486
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
If you want to remove a lug nut use an impact wrench. It will have the hex or square male end at the tip that you attach sockets to. If you want to drill a screw into a piece of wood, use an impact drill. Those are the typical chucks that you put bits in. You wouldn't think that it'd matter, but I found out the hard way when I was shopping for one.

The impact drills I bought was not strong enough to loosen lug nuts. I thought it was just because I bought a cheap entry level Ryobi. I then tried a more expensive DeWalt, but still no luck. Then my pops told me the difference and I'm beyond happy with my Black and Decker bolt-on impact wrench attachment. Already came in handy for MANY crusty, stuck bolts, not just for removing lug nuts.


Edited by razel (10/05/17 03:35 PM)

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#4534710 - 10/05/17 03:45 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5723
Loc: South Florida
My dad has a 30 year old Snap On air impact wrench. Still works. My air impact wrench is about 8 years old. I bet I will still be using it in 30 or 40 years.

Air is the way to go for longevity. Batteries have come a long way, but an air impact will still be working in 30 years (residential use), while a battery powered one will have been obsoleted 7 times by then. Add up the battery replacement cost over its lifetime and .....

Battery powered is certainly convenient. But my honest opinion... if you have a compressor at the house, its hard to beat a good air impact. And if you dont have an air compressor at the house, then buy one.
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#4534711 - 10/05/17 03:48 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: razel]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5723
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: razel
The impact drills I bought was not strong enough to loosen lug nuts. I thought it was just because I bought a cheap entry level Ryobi. I then tried a more expensive DeWalt, but still no luck. Then my pops told me the difference and I'm beyond happy with my Black and Decker bolt-on impact wrench attachment. Already came in handy for MANY crusty, stuck bolts, not just for removing lug nuts.


This conversation is not about impact drills.
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#4534716 - 10/05/17 03:57 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20569
Loc: Upstate NY
You should somewhat consider what other cordless tools you have or want so you can buy one maybe two batteries and many bare tools.

The newer cordless motors are brushless. I got a Milwaukee M18 Fuel High Torque impact. It does everything I need which are usually rusted lug nuts on a trailer.
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#4534717 - 10/05/17 03:57 PM Re: Cordless Impact buying questions. [Re: LeakySeals]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20569
Loc: Upstate NY
You should somewhat consider what other cordless tools you have or want so you can buy one maybe two batteries and many bare tools.

The newer cordless motors are brushless. I got a Milwaukee M18 Fuel High Torque impact. It does everything I need which are usually rusted lug nuts on a trailer.
_________________________
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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