Author Topic: Cordless Impact Wrenches  (Read 1499 times)

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Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 633
Cordless Impact Wrenches
« on: November 28, 2018, 12:54 PM »
I have a few tools in the Dewalt FlexVolt family (table saw, miter saw, blower and hedge trimmer). I more than happy with their performance. I have been looking at 3/8" or 1/2" impact wrenches that can use the FlexVolt batteries. Are battery powered impact wrenches capable of removing lug nuts?

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Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 180
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2018, 01:11 PM »
My Milwaukee Fuel 3/8” impact is capable. I can’t speak for the DeWalt.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1290
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2018, 02:13 PM »
As with anything, the phrase "it depends" applies.  Which car, which gun and what condition the bolts/nuts are in.  Best case is a passenger car, properly torqued to 80-100 ft-lbs and rotated regularly (bolts aren't siezed in with rust), a cordless impact gun should have no trouble at all with them.  Anything rated for 200-300 ft-lbs should do it nicely (you could probably get away with something that was rated as low as 170-180).  On the other end is something like a work truck where the torque spec is closer to 150, they haven't been removed since the last time the tires were changed and it lives in the rust belt.  Expect that to give a 300 ft-lbs wrench a run for it's money.  10 seconds of rattling may get each bolt off...or not. 

The tires on my cars are swapped 2x's a year and I don't remember the last time I broke out the air gun.  It's either the cordless impact or in one case, a 2ft breaker with a 2ft cheater thanks to a careless tech.  I have a 3/8" milwaukee fuel that I haven't been impressed with (sometimes takes 5-10 seconds of rattling on a nut before it breaks loose).  But their mid-torque wrench has enough extra power to tackle all but the most stubborn lug nuts.  It zips off the bolts on my cars without hesitation, but I don't have a rusty work truck to test it on.  They have bigger impact wrenches, but the added size and weight make them impractical for suspension work and they are really inconvenient. 
-Raj

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 633
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2018, 03:00 PM »
As with anything, the phrase "it depends" applies.  Which car, which gun and what condition the bolts/nuts are in.  Best case is a passenger car, properly torqued to 80-100 ft-lbs and rotated regularly (bolts aren't siezed in with rust), a cordless impact gun should have no trouble at all with them.  Anything rated for 200-300 ft-lbs should do it nicely (you could probably get away with something that was rated as low as 170-180).  On the other end is something like a work truck where the torque spec is closer to 150, they haven't been removed since the last time the tires were changed and it lives in the rust belt.  Expect that to give a 300 ft-lbs wrench a run for it's money.  10 seconds of rattling may get each bolt off...or not. 

The tires on my cars are swapped 2x's a year and I don't remember the last time I broke out the air gun.  It's either the cordless impact or in one case, a 2ft breaker with a 2ft cheater thanks to a careless tech.  I have a 3/8" milwaukee fuel that I haven't been impressed with (sometimes takes 5-10 seconds of rattling on a nut before it breaks loose).  But their mid-torque wrench has enough extra power to tackle all but the most stubborn lug nuts.  It zips off the bolts on my cars without hesitation, but I don't have a rusty work truck to test it on.  They have bigger impact wrenches, but the added size and weight make them impractical for suspension work and they are really inconvenient.

Passenger vehicles will be the main purpose. I rotate the tires and tighten the bolts to the specified torque about twice a year so a cordless should work. Sometimes I do have to use the breaker bar, but at least I'll be able to quickly get the lugs off once they are loosened.

Do you use standard sockets for the job or impact sockets?

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 788
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018, 03:41 PM »
Impact sockets should be preferred.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline SRSemenza

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  • Posts: 8647
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2018, 03:45 PM »
Impact sockets should be preferred.

Kind regards,
Oliver


Yup get impact.  Take a look at Sunex and Tekton for good quality and reasonable prices.  BUT you may need thin wall (to fit into the recess) sockets for the lug nuts depending on your vehicles. Those would not be part of a standard impact set.

Seth

Online Joe Felchlin

  • Posts: 147
  • Just another day in paradise - Livin’ the dream!
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2018, 03:52 PM »
Ditto with Oliver and Seth on using impact sockets.
Use “regular” sockets with an impact wrench -
And eventually one will shatter/explode on you.
Regular sockets just aren’t made to take the torque force.
If they were - Companies wouldn’t/couldn’t sell impact sockets. [wink]
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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1290
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2018, 04:40 PM »
Seth is right, many times the access doesn't allow the thicker wall of an off the shelf impact socket, but they do sell thinner impact sockets meant for use on wheels.  They usually come with nylon sleeves around the outside to protect the finish on the wheel.  The one below is such a set (at least going by the questions and answers).

https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-4950-2-Inch-Service-4-Piece/dp/B00944N154/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543438821&sr=8-3&keywords=lug+nut+impact 

-Raj

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 633
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2018, 04:49 PM »
Thanks to all for providing me all of the information I need.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5171
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2018, 06:23 PM »
Check to see if the Dewalt has a reduced speed mode. The Milwaukee's have this feature and it's really nice. When trying to loosen the lug nut, the gun will run at 1750 rpm, after the nut has broken loose, the gun automatically slows down to 750 rpm. This prevents the lug nut from traveling across the room as you take the gun off of the wheel.

It's also been my experience that you'll need some thing over 300 ft lbs of torque to consistently remove the lug nuts.  In the past I've used a corded Milwaukee @ 300 ft lbs and a cordless Milwaukee @ 325 ft lbs. I'd still have to use a breaker bar probably 30% of the time and that pretty much defeats using the impact. [eek]  I've moved on to a Milwaukee that's now rated at 1100 ft lbs...that works 100% of the time.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 633
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2018, 07:11 PM »
Check to see if the Dewalt has a reduced speed mode. The Milwaukee's have this feature and it's really nice. When trying to loosen the lug nut, the gun will run at 1750 rpm, after the nut has broken loose, the gun automatically slows down to 750 rpm. This prevents the lug nut from traveling across the room as you take the gun off of the wheel.

It's also been my experience that you'll need some thing over 300 ft lbs of torque to consistently remove the lug nuts.  In the past I've used a corded Milwaukee @ 300 ft lbs and a cordless Milwaukee @ 325 ft lbs. I'd still have to use a breaker bar probably 30% of the time and that pretty much defeats using the impact. [eek]  I've moved on to a Milwaukee that's now rated at 1100 ft lbs...that works 100% of the time.

https://www.dewalt.com/products/power-tools/impact-drivers-and-wrenches/20v-max-xr-12-in-midrange-cordless-impact-wrench-with-detent-pin-anvil-kit/dcf894p2

This one looks like it meets your recommended specifications. It's a kit, but I can find the bare tool and the 20v stuff works with the FlexVolt batteries.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5171
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2018, 08:24 PM »
Ya Jim, that one does have the slow down feature...just wish it had a few more horses.  [big grin]

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5171
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2018, 09:33 AM »
Also of note, when I was using the 300-325 ft lbs guns, there was a lot of rattle time per lug nut because the torque spec was 110 ft lbs.. This eventually meant that the lug nuts became so distorted and damaged that they all had to be replaced at Chrysler prices of $7 per lug nut.  [crying]

The lug nut is comprised of a stainless appearance cover married to the actual steel lug nut. However, once the damage is done, a socket will no longer fit the lug nut. So I then needed to purchase this to remove the damaged lug nuts. 

https://store.snapon.com/Product-Details-TSR1250-P648104.aspx

Offline Topper

  • Posts: 2
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2018, 10:23 AM »
I have the Dewalt High Torque DCF899B that I use at home and on our farm.  It has 3 rpm settings(0-400/1200/1900) and hasn't let me down yet.  1200ft-lbs breaking so it gives us no trouble on the farm.  Might be bit overkill (and heavy with a flex volt battery) for just automotive tires but I see they have a Mid-torque (DCF894B) one that would probably suit your needs if you don't want to go for the big guns

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 633
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2018, 01:00 PM »
Hog Ring or Detent?

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1290
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2018, 02:24 PM »
Hog ring for me.  I can readily install or remove the socket and it never comes out unless I want it to.  I had one gun with a pin (didn't offer the option) and finding the little awl to press the pin in so I could release the socket was always a chore.  I could have just not aligned the hole in the socket with the pin so it never engaged, but I didn't want that socket to accidentally go airborne on me.
-Raj

Offline EdL

  • Posts: 107
Re: Cordless Impact Wrenches
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2018, 12:47 PM »
on the DeWalt DCF899HB & DCF899B impacts, setting 1 is limited to 100 ft/lbs., just for torqueing lugnuts.

Ed