In this article, we will examine the types of impact wrenches, their key features, pros and cons. Impact wrenches are broadly categorized based on the source of power which produces the torque. In this regard, there two types of impact wrenches; air powered impact wrenches, also known as pneumatic impact wrenches and electric powered wrenches. There are two types of electric impact wrenches; corded impact wrenches and cordless impact wrenches.
Air Powered Impact Wrench (Pneumatic)
Pneumatic impact wrenches were the first impact wrenches to be designed; they are the traditional models to be introduced. These tools are powered by compressed air from an air compressor which serves as its power source. These tools come in various drive sizes ranging from 0.25 inch, 0.375 inch to 1 inch. The drive size determines the amount of torque the tool can provide. Generally, the larger drive sizes produce more torque i.e. a 1 inch drive will produce more torque than a 0.25 inch drive.
These impact wrenches can be used in places without power as long as there is compressed air which isn’t so hard to find. Mobility is an issue with the pneumatic impact wrenches because the compressed air is stored in a tank which can be a burden to move around with. Pneumatic wrenches deliver so much torque and can be used for jobs requiring enough power and long periods. However, the amount of torque produced by most of these tools cannot be regulated, using them for jobs requiring little torque can pose a problem as they can damage nuts and bolts and cause over-tightening.
Corded Electric Impact Wrench
Corded electric impact wrenches are powered by electricity; they must be connected to an electricity source to power the tool. Typically, they have a cord and a longer body which accommodates the electric motor which produces the torque. The amount of torque delivered by this tool can be regulated unlike the pneumatic impact wrenches. The corded electric impact wrenches are rendered useless in situations and areas where electricity is not accessible.
Cordless Electric Impact Wrench
Cordless impact wrenches are the latest inventions in the impact wrench line of tools. These devices have become increasingly popular from the time of their inception. They are typically powered by lithium-ion (Li-ion) or nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries. The batteries are usually between 18-28 volts and are rechargeable.
Cordless impact wrenches are loved for their portability and because they can be used anywhere because they require no external source of power; perfect for on-road repairs.
Cordless impact wrenches do not produce as much power as the corded and pneumatic impact wrenches because they operate on stored electricity which isn’t as powerful as direct current; it also tends to run out faster, causing disruptions during work.
Those are basically the types of impact wrenches available. They all have their pros and cons, none is better than the other.