Automotive Impact Wrenches

Automotive Impact Wrenches

An impact wrench belongs to a specific category of wrenches that mechanics use, typically in the automotive industry, for things like auto repair. However, you can find these wrenches elsewhere, and an impact wrench kit is practically a staple of toolboxes everywhere. Brands like Makita, DeWalt, and Milwaukee specialize in impact wrenches and similar impact driver power tools.

What is an impact wrench?

Although it is similar to other wrenches in that youll use it to loosen or tighten various nuts and bolts, an impact wrench provides extra-strong torque and power. This power is useful if you want to loosen lug nuts from heavy, difficult surfaces, such as those found on cars or trucks. Note that while the name is similar, an impact wrench is not quite the same as an impact driver. While an impact driver is a power tool that has a hex bit opening, standard impact wrenches for automotive use accommodate half-inch sockets, such as those youre likely to find on a wheelbase.

How does an impact wrench work?

An impact wrench still functions on the same basic principle as most other wrenches. Through a strong grip, youll be loosening or tightening lug nuts or bolts. However, its form and function are different from wrenches in other categories. To understand how an impact wrench works, consider the following:

  • Traditionally, an impact wrench achieves its large impact by pneumatic power, meaning it utilizes pressurized gas or air power to apply the immense force needed to loosen very tight lug nuts.
  • You can also find cordless impact wrenches that can operate at 100 feet of torque or more.
  • The ability of an impact wrench to apply such great amounts of torque is thanks to a hammer mechanism inside the unit that quickly and efficiently delivers concussive blasts of force in rapid succession.
How do you properly use an impact wrench?

When using an impact wrench, keep the following in mind:

  • An impact wrench is extremely powerful and requires a steady grip to operate effectively and safely.
  • Although the head of the device will move very slowly at first, it will start to move faster as the lug nut becomes loose.
  • You should exercise caution when tightening lug nuts as the powerful hammer only needs a few turns to successfully tighten objects.
  • Because of its immense power, an impact wrench generates a great deal of noise. Therefore, you should wear proper ear protection when using one.