Impact Key: How to choose the best one in 2021
A place to find and get to know everything you are looking for. Today you will get to know – or go deeper – a very useful tool: the impact wrench.
You may not know all the uses, but you have probably seen one in action, either in the city tire shop or watching a car race. Those pistol-like things for removing the tire bolts are impact wrenches.
In addition to this common use, they also serve in various tightening or loosening jobs. If you are interested in an impact wrench, read on. We will explain how it works, what types exist, and other information to help you a lot in purchasing one!
First, the most important
- Many professionals and industries need impact keys for their activities. Automotive repair, equipment assembly, construction of buildings, are some of its uses.
- Regardless of the work to be done, today it needs to be done quickly, easily and efficiently. An impact key brings these characteristics to the activity it performs.
- Like all tooling, it requires some maintenance and care. Using it in nonconformity can cause damage to the place of use and even to the user (you).
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Best impact keys: Our recommendations
Existing for some decades, the impact wrench has a great diversity of models. There are many factors to choose from, which can complicate the decision. To help, we’ve put together a list of some of the best.
- Online users’ favorite
- The best impact wrench for changing tires
Extremely specialized, there are different types for different applications. That’s why you need to know an impact wrench well before you go shopping. But, without worries, we are here to guide the way. Come with us!
What is an impact wrench?
It is very likely that you know the noise of one of these. Impact wrenches are essential tools on any mechanic’s list, and if you have the opportunity to use one, you’ll understand why.
No matter how tight something is, this key is able to unscrew in seconds. As long as you have enough fist to keep it in place while you do the job.
Its most common shape is the pistol (in L). It is the easiest to handle and control, although there are other types. In addition, there is a wide variety of sockets, depending on the screw head or nut model to be tightened or loosened.
Widely used in the automotive area and in the civil construction sector, its most common form of use is pneumatic energy (compressed air). However, today there are impact wrenches with a high power battery, which leave nothing to be desired.
Do you know why it is so used?
What are the differentials of the impact switch?
The truth is that there are different pieces of equipment capable of tightening or loosening screws and nuts. Screwdrivers were born for this purpose, and many electric drills with speed adjustment and swing side also apply to the function.
But, here’s the truth: none of this equipment has enough energy to perform the task of the impact wrench. This torque tool can even loosen rusted screws, thanks to the hammer and anvil system that they use to rotate the socket (tool tip).
Not only strength, the system also provides fast pulse rotation, perfect for a variety of uses. Mainly in workshops and repairs.
Portable, they provide enormous pressure on the bolt or nut to turn it. Its use is easy and the result is efficient, as well as extremely fast.
You will never again worry about pushing to change a tire, with one of these in the car. You can even play “stock car” while making the exchange, the noise will be very similar.
Are there different types of impact wrenches?
Although there are many different types and formats of impact wrenches, there are three broad categories that cover them, related to the energy they use. Impact wrenches can be commonly:
- Pneumatics: They were once the most common, although today they are gradually being replaced by models with more efficient systems. Impact wrenches in this category are powered by compressed air from an external compressor. That is, you need other equipment to power your tool. However, the compressed air brings a difficulty related to the regulation of the torque. When you need little “power”, this is not so easy to adjust, and you can end up damaging the screws.
- Electric: Powered by electricity, you need a nearby source of energy to use the tool. A big advantage is the power regulation, which allows you to adjust the torque according to the activity to be performed. Despite changing the energy source, an electric impact wrench provides a torque similar to pneumatics. Its only limitation is the need to connect to a constant electrical source.
- The battery: Created to offer portability and use in remote locations (or away from other sources of energy), within its capacity. Due to limited use of available battery power, they have slightly less torque. Also, when the battery runs out, you will be unable to use the equipment until it recharges. Depending on the use, consider purchasing an extra battery.
Still, it has been gaining popularity for convenience. Compact, light and powerful, it does most of the work possible with great speed.
How to use an impact wrench?
One of the most important sections, it is essential that you keep in mind how you can use this tool. And, most importantly, how you should not use it.
An impact wrench is designed to remove or install bolts and nuts. In fact, to perform the most time-consuming part of the activity, which is to insert or remove the entire length of the thread.
The main advantage of it is precisely to avoid this fatigue and muscle tension necessary to insert or remove an entire screw or thread from the location.
The main problem around an impact wrench is over-tightening. Excessive tightening can dust the screw head, weaken the fastening system and worst of all, twist the head of a screw.
This will mean having to remove it – without the main part for that, which twisted. You can even start the tightening with the impact wrench, but finish it manually.
Likewise, insert the nut or bolt with your hands. The high torque can complicate the placement of the bolt or nut and damage the materials you are working on.
Finally, use sockets intended for use with impact wrenches. They have larger walls and are more robust, in addition to having less hardness. This makes it easier to model the tool’s hammer system.
How much does an impact wrench cost?
Impact wrenches are not very cheap, that’s the truth. You will find good options starting at R $ 300, mainly pneumatics. Although, depending on the torque of the tool, this value easily passes the R $ 1,000.
If you are considering purchasing an electric, or even a battery, prepare the pocket for the range of R $ 400 onwards. But, if the goal is just to change tires, for example, you will have options with a slightly lower price, starting at R $ 250.
As you already noticed, there is a big fluctuation in the price of impact wrenches, which occurs for two reasons: power supply (energy) and torque of the tool.
Where to buy an impact wrench?
The impact wrench is a tool that has existed on the market for a long time and is popularly used in several areas of industry and commerce. For this reason, you will find models of them in construction and hardware stores, in addition to specialized ones.
Another excellent option for this tool, is the online search. You will have access to a multitude of products of the most varied types, stores Amazon will offer you excellent models.
This way, you can buy products calmly and define the best for you, and you will receive it at home!
Purchasing Criteria: How to choose an impact wrench
You certainly already know the main uses of an impact wrench, and that there are different models available. However, their variety still requires a little more knowledge for the best choice.
As a tool using external energy and several internal components, some characteristics make all the difference during use. Therefore, when purchasing one, consider:
- Screw or nut size
- Compatible sockets
Check now the details of each criterion:
Screw or nut size
You buy an impact wrench, usually thinking about its usability. After all, you want to tighten or loosen something.
If you want to buy an impact wrench, define what you want with it and what the characteristics of the screw or nut are. Measured in diameter, they take into account the thread thread and not the head (widest part).
Complementary to the first item, it indicates what types of output the impact wrench can have. Just like a screwdriver or drill, you can modify this nozzle for use on different parts.
It is necessary to observe, therefore, not only the size in inches that it is capable of working, but also that sockets are compatible.
Of course, to tighten or loosen, you need strength. On machines, this is called torque (or traction).
The higher the torque, the greater the wrench’s ability to use.
After all, she can use more strength to get the job done. The advice is to look for those with a minimum torque of 200 kgfm.
Knowing their categories better, you are able to imagine which one is best suited to your needs. After all, an impact wrench depends on some energy source to function.
If you already have an enterprise that uses compressed air, the best option is a switch powered by this type of energy. Now, if you want a tool that allows you versatility, battery options are ideal.
The fact is that some impact wrenches are heavier than others, and this goes directly to your physical endurance. Working with heavy equipment for a long time will cause the body to deplete.
The result is an impact wrench that is harder to control and more tiring to hold, which can even cause an accident.
Take into account what jobs you intend to do and their frequency throughout the day. It may not seem like it, but a few hundred grams make a difference.