The Pneumatic Impact Wrench

Impact Wrench Buyer's Guide
A pneumatic wrench is a powerful and widely used tool in most automotive work shops. The pneumatic wrench is a socket wrench power tool engineered to produce high torque output with minimal physical effort by the operator, by storing energy in a rotating mass, then delivering it suddenly to the output shaft. The pneumatic wrench is also called: impact wrench; impactor; air wrench; air gun; rattle gun; torque gun.

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The power source for impact wrenches depends on the design. A lot of heavy duty impact wrenches are driven by compressed air. Other models are run by electricity.

There is an ever more popular design of pneumatic wrench, namely the battery powered cordless type. Advances in battery storage technology mean this type of impact wrench is particularly popular for the mobile mechanic and home pro-sumer.

Impact wrenches are commonly used in a good number of industries, which can include: automotive repair; heavy equipment maintenance; product assembly (often often called "pulse tools" and designed for precise torque output); major construction projects, and any other instance where a high torque output is called for.

Impact wrenches are offered in every standard socket wrench drive size, for instance:small 1/4" drive tools for small assembly and disassembly, up to 3.5" and larger square drives for major construction and heavy duty industrial purposes. Impact wrenches are one of the most commonly used air tools, and are found in virtually all automotive mechanic shops.

There are various brand name air impact gun on the market to choose from. Popular brands available:

Pneumatic Impact Wrenches Electric Impact Wrenches Cordless Impact Wrenches

Aircat

Ampro Butterfly

Cambell Hausfeld

Chicago Pneumatic

Florida Pneumatic

Ingersoll-Rand

Jet JSM

Porter-Cable

Sioux

SK Progun

Speedway

Dewalt

Hitachi

kawasaki

Makita

Milwaukee

Black & Decker

Bosh

Dewalt

Hitachi

Makita

Milwaukee

Porter-Cable

Impact wrenches are on the market in all conventional socket sizes and in several styles, depending on the purpose.

- The smaller 1/4" drive wrench is generally available for both 'inline' (used in a similar manner as a hand screwdriver), and pistol grip models (the user holds a handle grip, which is at right angles to the socket end). A more uncommon style is the angle drive wrench. This style share similar design features to the inline impact wrench tool

- Impact wrenches of the 3/8" size are most commonly available in pistol grip type. Also available in the market place is a distinctive inline form referred to as a "butterfly" wrench, which has a large, flat throttle paddle on one side of the tool which can be tilted to one side or the other to handle the direction of rotation, rather than using a separate reversing control. This particular design feature allows for access into restricted work areas.

- Standard inline and angle 3/8" drive impact wrenches are uncommon, however, can be sources from specialty tool stores.

- Impact wrench 1/2" drive units are essentially only available in pistol grip shape, with any inline type being near impossible to obtain, mainly due to the higher torque carried back to the operator and the increased weight of the tool requiring the larger handle.

- Impact wrench 3/4" drive impact wrenches are mainly only obtainable in pistol grip form.

- Impact air wrenches of the 1" size are available in both pistol grip and "D handle" inline models. The latter model features an enclosed handle grip on the back of the tool. Both of those models often include a side handle, enabling both hands to hold the tool at once.

- Impact air guns 1.25" and larger wrenches are usually available to buy in "T handle" form, with two large handles on either side of the tool body housing, enabling for optimum torque to be applied by the operator, and offering the best control of the tool.

Impact wrenches require sockets in order to carry out their task. Its also essential to use good quality sockets. Specific impact sockets are engineered to take the abuse of these powerful tools. An average socket will not last long under such high torque scenarios. Thus, it is recommend to get the best air impact wrench and matching sockets your budget provides.