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Recommendations 1/2” air impact wrench for home mechanic

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December 01, 2019, 07:41 PM
Russ59
Recommendations 1/2” air impact wrench for home mechanic
Guys, looking for recommendations for 1/2” impact wrench. My son was in town for Thanksgiving and we did an impromptu wheel bearing replacement on his Subaru. Sadly my Craftsman 1/2” didn’t have the juice to break the stabilizer bolt. Borrowed my neighbor’s Mac impact and it did the trick. My research shows my Craftsman is rated at 400# while the Mac is likely over 1000#. My air compressor (240v) is rated at 10.2 SCMF at 90#, so I think I’m OK for most 1000# wrenches quick trend around 8 SCMF.

Internet search shows preference for Aircat, Nitrocat and Chicago Pneumatic. I’m d like to stick under $200. I don’t think I need to spend $250-300 for SnapOn or Mac. I won’t use it too much.

Thanks for your input.


P229
December 01, 2019, 07:51 PM
egregore
I have used an Aircat 1150 every day and hard for over three years, which is probably a lifetime of your intended use. It has done everything I have asked of it, including Honda crankshaft pulley bolts. https://www.amazon.com/AIRCAT-...TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ== I assume you have an adequate air compressor to run it.
December 01, 2019, 07:53 PM
Beancooker
I understand wanting to keep it under $200, but if you can get a snap on or Mac fir $50 more, it’s probably money well spent.

Not sure if they even make them anymore, but one of the guys at a shop I used to frequent in Washington, PIA (Pacific Import Auto) had a few Ingersoll Rand impacts. You had to stop way short and use a torque wrench in order to not shear off bolts. They were damn old and still the powerhouses of the shop.

These: 1300 ft/lb nut busting torque.




quote:
Balzé Halzé:
now I see that you're about as bright as a black hole, and twice as dense. Good lord.
The “lol” thread
December 01, 2019, 08:02 PM
Black92LX
My Ingersol Rand has been thumping just fine for over a decade now.


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December 01, 2019, 08:08 PM
64dodge
Ingersoll Rand IR231. I've had one for years and the first several were daily use. It's never let me down. They can be had for about $130.00. Anything in the 1,000 lb./ft. range would probably be overkill for home use unless you're working on big tractors or class 8 trucks.
December 01, 2019, 08:28 PM
Patrick-SP2022
I retired from the repair business over 20 years ago.
The Ingersoll Rand IR231 was the one I used for years. Never had a problem with it.



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December 01, 2019, 08:33 PM
mark60
Add one more vote for an IR231
December 01, 2019, 08:43 PM
Russ59
Thanks all. Think the Aircat checks all the boxes.

Suggestions for sockets? Metric and SAE.


P229
December 01, 2019, 08:57 PM
bushpilot
I have both air and electric (120 vac) and like the electric for power and ease of use. Most of my work is on aircraft and a '77 FJ40 I am restoring.


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December 01, 2019, 09:02 PM
burnetma
One name: Ingersoll Rand
December 01, 2019, 09:12 PM
Beancooker
quote:
Originally posted by Russ59:
Thanks all. Think the Aircat checks all the boxes.

Suggestions for sockets? Metric and SAE.


6/8 recommend the Ingersol Rand, and you choose differently?
Why did you even ask us?




quote:
Balzé Halzé:
now I see that you're about as bright as a black hole, and twice as dense. Good lord.
The “lol” thread
December 01, 2019, 09:57 PM
cruiser68
Been using IR impact tools for 20 years. Great power, completely rebuild-able, quality product. Top tier impact manufacturer IMO. Of course I am also now an IR Industrial Distributor Smile The automotive stuff is great for a home garage, the industrial impacts are great for high duty cycle use.
December 01, 2019, 09:59 PM
Scooter123
For Air Tools IMO Ingersol Rand is much better for quality and service life than Chicago Pneumatic.

However I'm moving away from air, that darned hose has always been a hassle to deal with. What I am going to is Milwaukee M12 and M18 tools. Currently have two drill driver sets, one for work and one for home. Also have the Handisaw, a leaf blower, and am waiting on an extended 3/8 inch M12 ratchet to get to my store. Next up will be a 1/2 inch impact and Milwaukee offers 3 levels of M18 impacts in 1/2 inch. Two are high torque models with something in the range of 800 ft.lbs. for loosening. My choice will be the "reduced torque" model because I don't foresee the need to break loose anything with more than 400 ft/lbs. and the reduced torque model has nearly 2 times the rpms of the higher torque version. In addition it's lighter. BTW, for those needing to bust some really high torque fittings Milwaukee offers up to 1 inch drive M18 impact drivers with something like 2000 ft.lbs. of torque.

Yeah, I know, you didn't want to spend Snap on money for a Impact Wrench. Once you start using electrics instead of air you'll come to understand why it can be a real blessing to not have that damned hose to contend with.


I've stopped counting.
December 01, 2019, 10:07 PM
armored
For very occasional use at home I would look no further than Harbor Freight air tools.
I recently bought a HF Bauer corded impact with about 1100# of break away torque on sale now for $69.
December 01, 2019, 10:08 PM
Oz_Shadow
Make sure you have larger ID hose and fittings. Makes a difference.
December 01, 2019, 10:13 PM
OKCGene
I’m going to recommend an electric impact for you.

You’re not a professional using an air powered impact every day.

A good electric 1/2” impact doesn’t require you to maintain an air compressor, lines, hoses, fittings, pressure regulator, and a water filter. That’s more money chasing the air impact tool. That’s fine, if that’s what you want to do.

Just plug the electric into 120V power and you’re doing what task needs to be done.

Battery powered impacts are quickly becoming more powerful. However, since you’re not a Pro Tech, you don’t need to wonder where the battery charger and spare battery are, because your battery is flat.

My credentials for this advice? Former Snap On Tools Dealer.

Good luck to you, there is no wrong answer for you, whether Air powered, battery powered, or 120 V corded tool. Any will do what you want and need. Get the one you want.

When you do get the tool, then consider a torque wrench, don’t overtorque the fasteners.
December 01, 2019, 10:36 PM
BlackTalonJHP
I like Sunex or Tekton for impact sockets
The Tekton are CrV instead of the usual CrMo so they are a little cheaper.
December 01, 2019, 11:18 PM
Russ59
quote:
Originally posted by Beancooker:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ59:
Thanks all. Think the Aircat checks all the boxes.

Suggestions for sockets? Metric and SAE.


6/8 recommend the Ingersol Rand, and you choose differently?
Why did you even ask us?


The IR231 has a max torque rating of 650 and my current wrench is 400#. Im afraid that I need to aim for >800#. IR in that range are well over $300.


P229
December 01, 2019, 11:54 PM
21bubba
There is no fastner on a car or pick up truck that a Ir231 won't remove.



"I'm sorry, did I break your concentration"?
December 02, 2019, 02:19 AM
Scott in NCal
quote:
Originally posted by armored:
For very occasional use at home I would look no further than Harbor Freight air tools.
I recently bought a HF Bauer corded impact with about 1100# of break away torque on sale now for $69.


I have one of those, ot is great