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Old 04-13-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
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New tools got a good air compressor but pair it with a crappy impact wrench

Today my dad told me to go get myself an air compressor and an impact wrench as he saw that I had a hard time with my limited tools working on my car. So cool dad.

Any why just thought Id give everyone a heads up on this.

Its a craftsman impact wrench which has a maximum of 450 lb-ft of torque. Or so they advertised. Well it most certainly does not. @90 psi with a 17gallon compressor I could stop its rotation with my hand so clearly I could not get my lug nuts out with it. Well I should have known better it was a $60 gun that came paired with an air nozzle and other small things. I gave it he benefit of the doubt because it wasn't a harbor fright tool. But any why I am returning it tomorrow to sears and getting a better gun.

Just wanted to share that info and give a heads up to anyone in the market for an impact wrench. Avoid this one.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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You sure you have your regulator on the compressor set @90psi? Also check the adjustment on the impact wrench. The other factor is your hose inside diameter. Craftsman make very good tools and should have a lifetime warranty. @ $60.00 that is a deal.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:03 AM   #3
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Some questions.....

First, is there any chance the gun is adjustable? Lots of guns have an adjustment that actually dials up/down air flow into the tool that changes power. Read your manual.

Second, 90 psi is all well and good. How many Cubic Feet Per Minute does the compressor flow? Impact wrenches use a VERY high volume of air. If the compressor can not put out the correct volume at a high enough pressure, then the anvil will have no torque.

Third, how large is your air hose? If it is one of the coiled plastic hoses that come with most compressors, it will not flow enough air to operate an impact properly. It would however work to a point, just not well.

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Old 04-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #4
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Don't get me wrong I checked all the possibilities. I went online to find out what was wrong. I bought the 3/8 hose 25ft long. The compressor can put out 4-6CFM and at first I thought that was the problem. But after some research I found that the majority of the reviews for this particular model have the same problem I had. They say that this gun can't put out the torque so they tried the heavier duty one that cost $129 and had no problem. This one its rated at 580 ft-lb.


Craftsman 1/2 Heavy Duty Impact Wrench: Find the Power at Sears

There is a link. I will try this gun and see if I get any results. If I don't then I can be sure that its the compressor.

And thanks for the trouble shoot check list skootnasty.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:39 AM   #5
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For most air tools you can get away with cheap tools that will work pretty well. That includes air chisels, die grinders, speed wrenches, grease guns, etc. But spend the money for a decent 1/2 inch impact wrench. I think mine claimed to have close to 700 lb-ft of torque and it is barely enough for many jobs.

The compressor it's paired with isn't nearly as important as the quality of the impact wrench, because you usually only use them for a few seconds at a time and the compressor can re-charge and recover. Now if you regularly use a die grinder or air drill that use high volumes of air and typically runs continuously for much longer intervals a better compressor with higher CFM would be helpful.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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Air tools annoy me. I much prefer something like this that is totally portable, doesn't make such a racket when in use, and no hoses to trip over. Compressors are for filling tires and running paint sprayers. As always, YMMV

Makita BTW120SA 12 Volt MAKSTAR 1/2" Drive Cordless Impact Wrench Kit - Amazon.com
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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True, but I get tired of buying expensive replacement batteries for my battery-powered tools!
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen wilson View Post
True, but I get tired of buying expensive replacement batteries for my battery-powered tools!
The old NiCad batteries from the 80s were only good for about 1000 charges and suffered "memory" if you didn't fully discharge them every time. I have never needed to replace a NiMH battery and they are charge-at-will with no memory. Been using them nearly every day for 5 years. The only way to go if you do a lot of track work and need full portability IMO.

http://www.amazon.com/Makita-B9000-Battery-9000-9-6V/product-reviews/B000ZN7KFK
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:20 PM   #9
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Wish my NiCad batteries lasted like that. None od mine managed to survice. I use LiIon now and tehy weight significantly less and twice the power. But I also have an air compressor and pnematic tools and use them as well.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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The impact wrench is the problem. Even though it is a craftsman, it is the cheaper line that doesn't carry it's lifetime warranty.

I did a lot of research and believe it or not, the harbor freight higher line works perfectly fine for the lugs of all my cars. I believe it is the $80-90 1/2 " drive and the torque is somewhere around the 600.

Between swapping tires/brakes for track duty, and 1-2 track days per month for 10 months of the year, I use the impact wrench quite often.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:36 PM   #11
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ok so I splurged on the gun put down an extra $100 dollars and got this one.

Not as pretty as the other two but it has 711ft-lb and its the better quality one. I tried it out and the bolts came right off no hassle love it.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:16 PM   #12
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Nice. Does this one come with the lifetime warranty?
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:22 PM   #13
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Unfortunately no. It only comes with a one year warranty. So that sucks. But I wont be giving it a full commercial work out so I don't worry about that too much. It would have been nice to have a lifetime warranty though.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:48 AM   #14
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I don't think any of the Sears power tools come with a lifetime warranty like their hand tools. Glad to see you upgraded to a better impact wrench. It makes a huge difference.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:13 AM   #15
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I believe my 18V makita batteries are NiMH, and they did last around 5 years. Cordless is almost mandatory at the track, unless you lug a compressor around.

I don't buy Sears power tools, and prefer Ingersol Rand for air tools.
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