Do you have a hobby that requires screwdrivers? If you do, then the battery impact wrench is a tool that could be useful to you. This type of wrench can provide up to 1,350 inch-pounds of torque for loosening and tightening screws. It has a lightweight design and it’s also easy to use.
What are impact wrenches used for?
This question can be answered easily in general: An impact wrench is used wherever, on the one hand, an enormously high torque is required. On the other hand, an impact wrench makes sense, especially where a large number of work steps are necessary. Here, the device can prevent the worker from exhaustion and supports persistent work – such as in a car workshop. Because here, the sound of an impact wrench is as essential as the amen in church. However, workshops often use air-powered impact wrenches. However, these extremely limit the range of applications. Air tools, therefore, make sense mainly in the professional field, for example, when you have to change a lot of wheels every day.
Especially when a screw is so tight due to rust or other problems that it cannot be loosened with standard tools, the impact wrench comes into play. Here, an impact wrench can score with high power or torque. This torque is usually so high that no counter-holding on the tool is necessary. This, in turn, makes it possible to work in a way that is particularly gentle on the body.
How does an impact wrench work?
In general, a distinction can be made between two types of impact wrenches: Air-powered and electric impact wrenches. While the compressed air impact wrench is normally very location-bound due to the necessary compressor, the power supply source for the electric impact wrench is often in a rechargeable battery. Before we go into the individual differences between mechanical and cordless impact wrenches, we will briefly explain how they work in general:
If a screw or a nut is stuck and you don’t have an impact wrench at hand, you’ll want to resort to rough methods. Now the point would be, where one reaches for a longer lever and sets this with hammer blows in a rotary movement. This does not achieve a great deal of rotational movement on the screw but exposes it to extremely high torque. The impact wrench follows exactly this principle.
The impact wrench works when screwing or unscrewing screws by means of impulse-like rotary movements. These are generated in the following way by an overload clutch: This overload clutch consists of two contour discs that lie flush on top of each other and – as in a car – transmit the rotary motion of the motor. If a certain torque has to be generated, this can often be set on the impact wrench. This forces the clutch discs, which are pressed together by spring force, apart, but the motor continues to rotate – at the same time, the screw drive stops. After a very short rotary movement, the contour discs engage again and strike against each other in the direction of rotation. In this way – similar to the hammer blow mentioned at the beginning – impact energy can be generated which briefly enables an extremely high torque.
Compressed air impact wrenches
Compressed air impact wrenches are the most common models on the market. Since the compressed air impact wrench does not require a separate motor or a battery, it is usually lighter than a cordless impact wrench. Similar to a hammer drill, the impact wrench works with a pneumatic hammer mechanism, which is sometimes additionally combined with a pneumatic motor. In the private sector, you will find a compressed air impact wrench rather rare. Its working range is more relevant in commercial use when it comes to the assembly of a variety of rims. The background to this is that the compressed air impact wrench is light and its handy design allows a high working speed. However, the disadvantage is that a source of compressed air is always needed, which usually ties the pneumatic impact wrench to one place. In addition, you need a compressor for this, which must also be purchased.
For craftsmen and do-it-yourselfers, an air impact wrench is therefore only suitable to a limited extent, since a pneumatic infrastructure must always be available. This makes the compressed air impact wrench more of a stationary tool.
Battery impact wrench
As already described at the beginning, impact wrenches are characterized by high torque, immense power, and comfortable handling. If only there wasn’t the connection to the compressor – right? This is exactly where the cordless impact wrench can score. The advantage is obvious: Due to the battery operation, the cordless impact wrench can be used as if it were a normal cordless screwdriver. This mobility advantage, along with the fact that you don’t need an additional compressor, is the strongest point in favor of purchasing a cordless impact wrench.
Cordless impact wrenches are often used in metal construction, as they can screw in threaded screws at high speed and tighten them directly with high torque. The cordless impact wrench is also suitable for changing tires. Here, the tedious manual tightening with the wheel spider can be replaced by quickly screwing in the cordless impact wrench. Depending on the size and strength of the machine, torques between 120 and 1050 Nm can be achieved. As a rule, the battery runtime does not limit standard use in the craftsman or DIY sector.
Best impact driver wrenches also offer advantages when loosening difficult-to-tighten Phillips screws. Similar to the impulse function of cordless drill screwdrivers, the short rotary impulses allow the bit to center itself in the screw head again and again and not slip off. The cordless impact screwdriver is also suitable for predrilling in wood and metal.