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Compressed air or electric #5424131 05/08/20 01:54 PM
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Lolvoguy Offline OP
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Is there any benefit to going with compressed air over electric impact sockets etc.?
Considering a year long project that will involve a lot of taking parts off of my old BMW including suspension, engine, trans etc.

There's currently a sale at CT where I can purchase an air compressor and impact etc for a fraction of regular price.
This will greatly make the project MUCH easier! OR I can go with an electric impact....


Please let me know the pros and cons of both.

thank you


06 Lexus IS350- Wife
88 BMW 325is- Mistress
Say "no" to Turbo!
Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424150 05/08/20 02:19 PM
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sloinker Offline
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I have both. Milwaukee Fuel impact is the way to go.


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Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424155 05/08/20 02:31 PM
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Delta Offline
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I decided to go with air as I already had a compressor, that and I haven't been happy with the cordless (Milwaukee and DeWalt, both 18V 1/2") ones we have at work. They work ok for removing sorter slats or machinery guards, but lack on everything else. If we're working on an electric tugger I need to break out the old Ingersol 1/2" air.


I have a 1/2" stubby from H-F and its been stellar. Much more compact than a cordless and has plenty of oomph; it even took off a stubborn front axle nut on my Tacoma.


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Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424158 05/08/20 02:38 PM
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supton Offline
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Life is short--get both.

Or I should say, buy as stuff comes up on sale. I recently grabbed a 1/2" Makita impact from Home Depot, 260ft-lb, with battery and charger, for $149. Matches the drill and 1/4" impact that I already got, and have been using on a regular basis, so another battery and charger kinda made it a no-brainer, IMO. That said, I still have my 20 gallon compressor (a cheapo oilless one, it was a gift from the spouse) and a 1/2" HF Earthquake for when the going gets tough. Or tires need to be aired up.

I'm guessing that if you run the numbers, "big" powerful electrics are still more expensive than a cheap air setup. I haven't run the numbers so I might be surprised--the electrics keep coming down in price and up in power.


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Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424159 05/08/20 02:39 PM
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He who dies with the most tools wins.


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Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424169 05/08/20 02:53 PM
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Zaedock Offline
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I have a Dewalt 899 electric and several pneumatic 1/2" guns - Matco, Craftsman, IR.

I like both. Nothing wrong with big guns. shoot


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Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424200 05/08/20 03:30 PM
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Oildudeny Offline
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I have the kobalt corded 1/2" impact gun. It's a complete beast for the little I use it I'd never go air again.

Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424203 05/08/20 03:35 PM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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Advantage
You have all the stored energy in the air tank, more power
Tools if oiled once and a while last forever
Disadvantage
Hose
Waiting for the compressor to pump up

Advantage
No Hose
Disadvantage
Less power
Run time
Waiting for battery to charge
Battery wear out

Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424204 05/08/20 03:35 PM
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ABN_CBT_ENGR Offline
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Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
Is there any benefit to going with compressed air over electric impact sockets etc.

Please let me know the pros and cons of both.

thank you


First, when you say "electric" are you talking battery or 120VAC corded?

With torque being equal and standard.

Air guns are generally lighter and cheaper but require a compressor, dry air and periodic lubrication for optimum performance. The duty cycle is only limited by the compressor.

Battery units are infinitely more portable but the battery loses electromotive force as it drains plus that's a cost and they do expire requiring replacement. The duty cycle is limited by battery charge/load ratio and the number of good batteries plus recharge time.

Corded units are heavier but usually have no limiting duty factors, but are subject to load and line issues as with any extension cord. Wet environments can present a safety issue more than the others. They wear out and often have to have brushes.

What's best is in the eye of the beholder but I would recommend air when looking at all things equally EXCEPT when working remotely.

Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424234 05/08/20 04:35 PM
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samven Offline
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If you have big jobs to do and can reach them with air hose go air. Not just for impact drivers large and small but for die grinder, air hammers, needle scalers, paint sprayers, drills and a ton more. I bought most of my air tools 30 years ago and they are still working just like new. Even if you dont use them for a year or 2 they still work when you pull them out.
Good corded tools are great but they get expensive if you need to buy a large variety and are always heavier than the air version, they last for years and are only slightly less reliable than air if taken care of.
Battery power has its place, they are way more portable and you can use them anywhere without tripping over cords or hoses and they are more convenient for those quick jobs but they can get expensive. I have never had a decent cordless tool break and yet I have had to buy 3 sets because they discontinue batteries or chargers. I still have my old Dewalt 12v drill but have had to rebuild my battery pack 4 times, if the charger gives out its done. The old Nicad batteries were always dead when I needed them so I had to wait several hours for them to charge and usually ended up with a corded tool. The new lithium is much better about holding a charge but they dont suffer drops too well and are more expensive when you want to buy a spare or 2 but if you need remote use like the side of the road or out in the field or up on the roof nothing else compares.

Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: ABN_CBT_ENGR] #5424253 05/08/20 05:06 PM
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Lolvoguy Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ABN_CBT_ENGR
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
Is there any benefit to going with compressed air over electric impact sockets etc.

Please let me know the pros and cons of both.

thank you


First, when you say "electric" are you talking battery or 120VAC corded?


Sorry, i meant to say "corded" as I don't care for battery packs, especially when the temps get a bit chillier.

These are the products I'm considering...all currently on sale

Corded:
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/...rench-1-2-in-0542099p.html?rrec=true#spc

Compressors:
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mastercraft-8-gallon-air-compressor-1-5-hp-0589316p.html
Of course, then I'd have to invest in a gun, and air line etc.

Either way, i'll also have to get a set of impact sockets
These seem decent.
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/maximum-3-8-in-1-2-in-impact-socket-set-83-pc-0589444p.html

Either way, i'm not interested in starting a collection of tools and after my project is finished, i plan on selling the impact tools.
Mostly because I have no place to keep them, and i don't care to do this type of work again.



06 Lexus IS350- Wife
88 BMW 325is- Mistress
Say "no" to Turbo!
Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424264 05/08/20 05:21 PM
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ABN_CBT_ENGR Offline
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Originally Posted by Lolvoguy


Sorry, i meant to say "corded" as I don't care for battery packs, especially when the temps get a bit chillier.

These are the products I'm considering...all currently on sale

Corded:
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/...rench-1-2-in-0542099p.html?rrec=true#spc

Compressors:
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mastercraft-8-gallon-air-compressor-1-5-hp-0589316p.html
Of course, then I'd have to invest in a gun, and air line etc.

Either way, i'll also have to get a set of impact sockets
These seem decent.
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/maximum-3-8-in-1-2-in-impact-socket-set-83-pc-0589444p.html

Either way, i'm not interested in starting a collection of tools and after project is finished, i plan on selling the impact tools.
Mostly because I have no place to keep them, and i don't care to do this type of work again.




If that's the qualifier then buy the electric. To do what you want that A/C listed will be woefully inadequate in pressure and duty cycle so you would need a much bigger unit in HP and tank size for impact tools. ( unless you don't mind waiting for pump ups)

Just on single event and price point- get the corded with about a #10 extension cord.

Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424274 05/08/20 05:47 PM
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Sluggo0018 Offline
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I have both compressed air and cordless electric impact wrenches. I find myself reaching for the electric one more and more frequently. I like having both types, but if I was starting over again, I would purchase only the electric unit.

By the way, that compressor that you have listed is way too small for any significant wrenching.

Last edited by Sluggo0018; 05/08/20 05:49 PM.
Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424278 05/08/20 05:53 PM
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Silverado12 Offline
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Electric should have all the power you need for automotive work. Only place you may need a compact unit for is on a harmonic balancer. Check your clearance.


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Re: Compressed air or electric [Re: Lolvoguy] #5424289 05/08/20 06:27 PM
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nobb Offline
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You have to factor in the replacement costs of batteries over time. Might have to replace them every 5 years, and after 15 years there's no guarantee you'll even be able to get replacements. Air tools should effectively last forever if maintained and the air connection standards should be the same even 50 years from now.

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