Author Topic: Impact driver recommendation  (Read 2981 times)

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Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1836
Impact driver recommendation
« on: April 13, 2018, 05:43 PM »
Okay, guys. I need some advice. We have identified an application where I work that will require acquisition of about 30 impact drivers with 3/8 square drive spindles to run bolts in BUT NOT TO FINAL TORQUE. In other word they will just do the job of spinning in so that the operators will not need to do that by hand. The last few turns and Final torque will be done by specialized tools calibrated to seat the bolts in a range between 300and 500 ft.lbs. which is a different requirement altogether.

I am interested in which brand to settle on. Milwaukee and Makita make these tools but I am sure there are others so if you have experience in this area I am all ears. I need to stress this is an industrial application and we are talking 4000 to 6000 cycles per month. The good side is the impact function itself will not be used. The bolts will stop short of full depth and that will be done with a different tool so the real strain of impacting will be avoided.

I am thinking brushless, battery gauges, and robust construction. Price is hardly relevant. Since Festool does make this range my conscience is clear. [wink]
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

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Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 397
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 05:46 PM »
Fein do an extensive line of products for industrial applications. Might be worth a look..

Offline Chance B

  • Posts: 37
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 06:59 PM »
I love my Milwaukee Surge. Super quiet and sounds like it would do the job for your requirement.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1183
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 07:41 PM »
I would go with the compact 18V Makita with a 3/8” socket driver attached.  You’re not looking for oomph, but I’m sure the lighter weight would be appreciated and the battery should last plenty long if it’s just spinning bolts.

I had an 18V Makita impact that I used as an impact wrench working on my car for over 10 years.  It did far more than it was advertised to do and never gave me trouble.  I have Milwaukee stuff right now and while it’s serviceable, I think the overall quality could be better and the power isn’t quite what they state (across multiple fuel 18v tools).  Longevity is TBD, they are all less than 2 years in service.
-Raj

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1836
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 09:21 PM »
Three recommendations so far.  [thumbs up]

Anyone have experience with hilti? They have a ‘fleet service’ maintenance agreement that looks interesting.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline TOOLTOWN

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Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 09:27 PM »
My Panasonic rep is always telling me about the latest and greatest from their Industrial (not just fake contractor grade "industrial") lineup.  They make tools that sync up with a phone or tablet device and can tell you what bolt was torqued to what degree, creating a whole logbook (can sync with bar-code locators, GPS, etc.).  He says its used in applications such as solar farms where there are thousands of bolts to drive home to a high degree of precision.

If this sounds like something that may be helpful to you let me know and I can get you two in touch!

Ken

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 658
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 01:28 AM »
Why cordless?

Pneumatic Snap-on Tools, with an auto oiler system. They make specific tools for industrial settings that can bring them to the proper torque in one step.

There are other industrial type tools but I am unsure of the brands.

Not that I haven't driven 6,000+ screws in a week with Makita and Milwaukee impacts. I would never use 30 of them in an industrial setting, as there are better tools for the job. 

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1836
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 07:45 AM »
Why cordless?

Pneumatic Snap-on Tools, with an auto oiler system. They make specific tools for industrial settings that can bring them to the proper torque in one step.

There are other industrial type tools but I am unsure of the brands.

Not that I haven't driven 6,000+ screws in a week with Makita and Milwaukee impacts. I would never use 30 of them in an industrial setting, as there are better tools for the job.

There are already deburring  tools and final torque drivers tethered to hoses at these stations, plus air hoses for blow off. The final torque drivers are too slow to use from initial insertion plus they have anti-rotation arms that cause issues. Each component has two bolts and they both need to be near fully installed before a final torque driver is used or the counter torque can damage the second bolt for lack of adequate engagement. Cordless is desired to minimize tangled hoses and to facilitate rapid bolt insertion. The hoses cannot be hung because overhead crane clearance needs to be fully clear.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline gbalcom

  • Posts: 2
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2018, 08:04 AM »
Not sure about that high of torque, but some brands of industrial drivers that come to mind would be Desoutter, Atlas Copco, Cleco, Weber. Most of the workstations I've designed with drivers included have included tool balancers or torque arms as well. I know you mentioned the final torque drivers are too slow to run the bolt from the start; what sort of controller are you using to set final torque?

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 278
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2018, 08:55 AM »
Makita are renowned for their rattlers.  I've only ever owned one myself, and then only for a weekend.  It was an extremely disappointing 4-in-one rattler/2 speed drill/hammerdrill that was utter rubbish.

Nevertheless, almost all builders I've known to a man use & swear by their rattlers.  I myself use Metabo's rather compromised models simply because of my current investment in the Mafell Metabo battery platform.  If I used them as my primary tool, then I'd probably be using Makita's cordless range instead.

Makita have the biggest range, the most features & usually the latest developments in Professional grade rattlers.  Their current "oil drive" impact mechanism is also mercifully quieter than conventional drive geartrains too, if perhaps lacking a little in outright driving torque in comparison to their "conventional" range.  M is pretty well the industry standard in rattlers.
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Offline duburban

  • Posts: 939
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2018, 09:39 AM »
you said 30?

I've had experience with the majority of them on the market. Hilti feels like butter and has great trigger control, heavy though. Makita is still a really great compact little tool.

I'd say to go straight to hydraulic impact but if you're not going to be setting fasteners you won't gain much from the decreased noise pollution.
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Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1836
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2018, 03:59 PM »
Really don’t need the impact function at all but do want the compact form factor of the impact driver over a drill with a chuck and the speed difference is a big deal.

Yeah, 30. In fact a case could be made for 50 but due to subtle differences in each application the real need is 25 with some spares. It is a 24/7 operation.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline denovo

  • Posts: 44
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2018, 07:34 PM »
I'd avoid Milwaukee.  I find the triggers start to fail after a year of 10 hour work days.  Milwaukee's warranty is also a joke; after a year they will not warranty their tools unless they are in mint condition. 

Offline Feinlookinfella

  • Posts: 2
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2018, 03:25 AM »
I love my DeWalt 887. Just use an adaptor for the sockets for the bolts. Power for days.

Offline wpz

  • Posts: 11
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2018, 05:04 AM »
If you dont need the impact, you might want to have a look at a high speed production line screwdriver like this one:

https://www.bosch-professional.com/gb/en/products/exact-ion-4-2000-0602494401

Makita, Dewalt or Milwaukee probably have a similar production line range, I just know the Bosch one.

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1836
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2018, 12:31 PM »
The bolts being inserted are M20 and M22 x 2mm pitch with hex heads in the 30 to 32mm range. Even 3/8 square drive sockets are relatively hard to find so 1/4 drive hex won’t work. The 1/2 inch square drive tools will have a larger form factor and higher weight than I would prefer so I feel the sweet spot is 3/8 square drive impact drivers for ergonomics and speed.

We probably can’t go wrong and might just try several brands as this will probably be a long term application. Maybe, by the time we settle in I will be able to contribute real word experience for these types of conversations. Of course the technology will continue and tools will be leapfrogged by others.......
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3471
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2018, 02:22 PM »
Bolts are how long?
What rpm do you think would be best?

Do you want a rigid coupling between driver and socket?
Will mechs try to start bolt with tool or start with fingers first?

Sometimes rigid is good, sometimes a cut-back “wobble” adapter is good, sometimes you have to start by hand.

Didn’t read very closely so missed why you wouldn’t want to use an air drill with tool balancer. If totally cordless is required, impact is not required, seems like a compact drill or 1/4 hex drive with adapter as previously suggested would be good.

True square drive impact tools are kind of slow and heavy and noisy

Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2018, 04:55 PM »
For comfort I'd look into Hitachi impacts. Their new triple hammer seems great.  Ergonomics seem top notch.
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Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2196
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2018, 04:11 PM »
The bolts being inserted are M20 and M22 x 2mm pitch with hex heads in the 30 to 32mm range. Even 3/8 square drive sockets are relatively hard to find so 1/4 drive hex won’t work. The 1/2 inch square drive tools will have a larger form factor and higher weight than I would prefer so I feel the sweet spot is 3/8 square drive impact drivers for ergonomics and speed.

We probably can’t go wrong and might just try several brands as this will probably be a long term application. Maybe, by the time we settle in I will be able to contribute real word experience for these types of conversations. Of course the technology will continue and tools will be leapfrogged by others.......
As someone who has to use impacts and sockets around bolts on a daily basis, you are pushing the limits with the choice of only a 3/8" impact regardless of its power source since a 30mm or 32mm socket is pretty big.  Even if you use a step adapter to get that 3/8" impact to handle a 1/2" drive socket, you've also changed the ergonomics of the impact as well since an adapter will take the weight of the socket further away from the gun.
 I suggest 1/2" drive pneumatic since you already have air, and yes I know you're trying to avoid hoses.
 You can get very reliable and VERY small new 'mini' style 1/2" guns that will easily move a 30mm or 32mm socket VERY quickly all day long even if you're not needing their higher Impact Power rating over any 3/8" gun.
 These new MINI guns are shorter than a Traditional 3/8" air impact and just as light.
 AND, as an added benefit, you can buy standard 1/2" drive sockets in the size you want without hunting down very large sockets in a rare 3/8" drive size. 
 
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Offline KGB pilot125

  • Posts: 65
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2018, 11:02 AM »
I have used my Milwaukee 3/8 impact as pretty much my go to impact at work.  Auto tech flagging 50-60 hours a week.  I really like mine.   I use my stubby 1/2 air for wheels and some suspension stuff but the electric for all other stuff.  I have the 3/8 in the 18volt and the 3/8 and 1/4 in the M12.

@leakyroof is right though the new stubby compact 1/2 impacts are awesome and you wont have to run adapters or super expensive sockets.  I know this will get scoffed at but the harbor freight stubby 1/2 drive out performed my air cat and IR.  I originally bought it to put in my apprentice/helper cart that I outfit so my helpers can get certain jobs done with out getting in my big box and I ended up swapping the HF to my box and left the IR with them.  The air cat got traded in to the tool truck on a new long barrel air hammer, thats how much I didnt like it.

 

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 709
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2018, 05:40 PM »
Hi!

It sounds like what the OP is looking for is a "higher RPM" "Spinner" that doesn't hurt the wrist if it's by accident not stopped on time. Hence the 3/8 impact. Higher RPM and if not stopped on time it won't break your wrist when operated with one hand.

Personally I think that if you're looking to buy 30 units, at least 2 - 3 batteries per unit and probably even a charger each - that's something that most representatives from the afore mentioned manufacturers/importers of Panasonic, Hilti i.e. will gladly come out to demonstrate what they have. I can't speak for Hilti US, but their fleet service around here is top notch and the tools, honestly, they are what they are.

"Problems" I see: No one is really going to like the Idea of a 3/8" (or even some 1/2" compact type) driving 30 or 32mm sockets - even if their main job is only going to be "free-spinning" a bolt . This is going to be an issue especially when looking for service/repair/replacement because of premature wear.

But like I said, I really think it's best discussed with actual sale reps of those "usual suspects" like Panasonic, Hilti - maybe Snap-On, but I don't know if they do industrial stuff directly in the US - As I definitely wouldn't want to be hanging by one franchisee in your type of work/ overall setting. And I don't know if it would be the right tool for the job anyway - I love my 3/8" Snap-On for what it is and it serves me well, but I'm not even close to your usage cycles, compared to what you're looking for, what I do is pathetic.

I think if I was in your situation, I'd call Hilti and hear what they say face to face on location.

Kind regards,
Oliver

Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2196
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2018, 08:07 PM »
Hi!

It sounds like what the OP is looking for is a "higher RPM" "Spinner" that doesn't hurt the wrist if it's by accident not stopped on time. Hence the 3/8 impact. Higher RPM and if not stopped on time it won't break your wrist when operated with one hand.

Personally I think that if you're looking to buy 30 units, at least 2 - 3 batteries per unit and probably even a charger each - that's something that most representatives from the afore mentioned manufacturers/importers of Panasonic, Hilti i.e. will gladly come out to demonstrate what they have. I can't speak for Hilti US, but their fleet service around here is top notch and the tools, honestly, they are what they are.

"Problems" I see: No one is really going to like the Idea of a 3/8" (or even some 1/2" compact type) driving 30 or 32mm sockets - even if their main job is only going to be "free-spinning" a bolt . This is going to be an issue especially when looking for service/repair/replacement because of premature wear.

But like I said, I really think it's best discussed with actual sale reps of those "usual suspects" like Panasonic, Hilti - maybe Snap-On, but I don't know if they do industrial stuff directly in the US - As I definitely wouldn't want to be hanging by one franchisee in your type of work/ overall setting. And I don't know if it would be the right tool for the job anyway - I love my 3/8" Snap-On for what it is and it serves me well, but I'm not even close to your usage cycles, compared to what you're looking for, what I do is pathetic.

I think if I was in your situation, I'd call Hilti and hear what they say face to face on location.

Kind regards,
Oliver
. The 1/2” Compact Impacts will easily handle a standard length 30 or 32mm socket. Especially if you need their higher RPM operating speed over a Cordless Tool with no huge impact blows setting the final torque since that will be handled by another tool.
I recommend Astro-Pneumatic’s Onyx model since A-P will tell you they weren’t trying to match the much higher quoted Torque Ratings of their Competitors models. But instead, a more reliable tool in the Compact class, needing less downtime or repairs.  The Direction Control and Power Setting valve is on the Rear of the Tool, making it easier to reach and adjust in my opinion compared to what seems to be a common design with the power adjustment around the Tools’ Trigger on other Compact Impacts.
 I’ve seen THAT design more problematic out here in the field since it seems to be a bit delicate.
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Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 709
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2018, 07:27 AM »
Hi!

Just to clarify, I wasn't referring to your post about the compact air tools, when I made my comment in regards to 1/2" compact (battery powered) impacts.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2196
Re: Impact driver recommendation
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2018, 12:35 PM »
Hi!

Just to clarify, I wasn't referring to your post about the compact air tools, when I made my comment in regards to 1/2" compact (battery powered) impacts.

Kind regards,
Oliver
   Not a problem Oliver.... [thumbs up]
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