Home

Ratchet Gun Requirements

Posted By: Spetz

Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/13/19 11:34 PM

Hi guys,

I want to buy a battery ratchet gun and wondering what I should be looking for.

I'd like to use it to:
Undo wheel nuts
Undo suspension bolts and other bolts on the car
Might need it to undo driveshaft bolt and and crank bolt, flywheel bolts
And also be able to do up these bolts but with enough finesse such that I do them up semi tight and then tighten with a torque wrench.

I see that some (for similar cost) might have 200nm and others over 1,000nm (1/2").

What NM would I need for undoing driveshaft bolts and/or crank and flywheel bolts?

Does the higher NM rating mean there is less finesse when doing up bolts?
Or slower speed?
Posted By: demarpaint

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 12:16 AM

Size and weight matters, more power means a bigger bulkier unit. That makes it less user friendly imo. Fellow member and friend Trav swayed me toward this tool: Makita Battery Impact Gun So far I've used it for a few tire rotations and brake jobs. The little Makita is strong and light, the battery life is amazing. Wheels torqued to 100 foot lbs.+ are no problem breaking free. I think their power rating numbers are on the conservative side. For me it has plenty of power for a lightweight easy to handle cordless impact gun. For HD work I'll use my Air Cat Impact Gun.
Posted By: Rand

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 12:40 AM

you normally need 300-400lb-ft for wheel lugs.. considering road salt, time, and other people who put them on too tight.

Lug nuts are the easiest because they have access.. when doing suspension work.. the size of the impact wrench can also work against you (too bulky)

so you need a smaller version that is still strong.
Posted By: vwmaniaman

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 12:52 AM

I bought a Craftsman 19.3V one at Sears that says it does 175 ftlbs. Three other people have used it to change wheels. Everyone including me really like this driver. It is light and pretty small but works great and is very quiet. Has plenty of capacity on its 4 amp battery too. Lithium battery of course.
Posted By: maxdustington

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 01:02 AM

Originally Posted by Rand
you normally need 300-400lb-ft for wheel lugs.. considering road salt, time, and other people who put them on too tight.

Lug nuts are the easiest because they have access.. when doing suspension work.. the size of the impact wrench can also work against you (too bulky)

so you need a smaller version that is still strong.
You can pick up a IR231 for under $100 for tight suspension bolts. The whole point of the cordless is convenience for 95% of automotive fasteners, not a cordless destroyer of worlds. I'll bet a pro level cordless gun can tackle most suspension bolts, if they are that stuck and rusted they might just snap off under more torque anyway.

It would be nice to change tires or service brakes without the need to wait for the compressor to fill, get the hose, drag the hose around, recoil the hose when done (major PITA for me and I've coiled a lot of air hoses).

If you are considering the Makita, I have found that Dewalt and Milwaukee batteries are a lot easier to get cheap on sale. Makita deals are less common, usually BF, boxing day or statutory holiday and not as good. I compared all three on BF IIRC last year, the 4AH Makita batteries were like 30-50% more expensive than the Dewalt, and the Milwaukee batteries were comparable but slightly more than the Dewalt. This is especially important with an impact where the tool might not reach it's full potential without a high demand battery.

Milwaukee tools are probably the best out of the three, but Dewalt is more attractive to me to build a system around. Tools from all three improve and become more powerful, but the batteries stay the same. You are really buying the batteries to power the tools.

If the Makita is a much better tool and you have no interest in buying more cordless tools then grab it.
Posted By: das_peikko

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 01:40 AM

Whatever brand you choose, you're going to need the most powerful one they make in 1/2 inch drive.
Posted By: tomcat27

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 02:30 AM

I got a Ridgid. lifetime warranty on the tool and the battery
Posted By: Trav

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 03:18 AM

Originally Posted by demarpaint
Size and weight matters, more power means a bigger bulkier unit. That makes it less user friendly imo. Fellow member and friend Trav swayed me toward this tool: Makita Battery Impact Gun So far I've used it for a few tire rotations and brake jobs. The little Makita is strong and light, the battery life is amazing. Wheels torqued to 100 foot lbs.+ are no problem breaking free. I think their power rating numbers are on the conservative side. For me it has plenty of power for a lightweight easy to handle cordless impact gun. For HD work I'll use my Air Cat Impact Gun.


That Makita is what I use the most, they make a larger unit but the more powerful they get the more unwieldy and heavier they get. The Makita will do almost everything you throw at it and its small and light.
I have Makita batteries that are 11 years old and still holding a good charge and lasting, the Milwaukee stuff I had the batteries were not worth the powder it would take to blow them to bits, crap!
Posted By: Spetz

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 11:07 PM

So would 295ft lb of torque be enough to undo crank bolts, driveshaft bolts etc?
Posted By: Rand

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/14/19 11:29 PM

Originally Posted by Spetz
So would 295ft lb of torque be enough to undo crank bolts, driveshaft bolts etc?



no. crank bolts esp. can require tons of force and special heavy sockets.
Posted By: HangFire

Re: Ratchet Gun Requirements - 03/16/19 01:38 AM

Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by Rand
you normally need 300-400lb-ft for wheel lugs.. considering road salt, time, and other people who put them on too tight.

Lug nuts are the easiest because they have access.. when doing suspension work.. the size of the impact wrench can also work against you (too bulky)

so you need a smaller version that is still strong.
You can pick up a IR231 for under $100 for tight suspension bolts. The whole point of the cordless is convenience for 95% of automotive fasteners, not a cordless destroyer of worlds. I'll bet a pro level cordless gun can tackle most suspension bolts, if they are that stuck and rusted they might just snap off under more torque anyway.

It would be nice to change tires or service brakes without the need to wait for the compressor to fill, get the hose, drag the hose around, recoil the hose when done (major PITA for me and I've coiled a lot of air hoses).


Well stated. I have a wimpy 110 ft/lb Bosch 1/2" impact, I use it a lot because it's handy and it fits in tight places. Lately I've been doing pickup truck suspension work, out came the air tools. Both have their place. If I had 200 ft/lbs on the cordless but kept it the same size (in other words, Trav's Makita), I'd use it that much more and the air impacts that much less.

But my tiny 3/8 AP Nano packs a real 450 ft/lbs into something smaller than a cordless. It sure has saved me time doing exhaust work. I have to laugh at the size of the big cordless impacts. Great I guess as long as you also have the smaller one, and no compressor.
© 2019 Bob Is The Oil Guy