When Not To Use An Impact Wrench? – Complete Guide 2022

When not to use an impact wrench? This is the most common question asked by people considering buying an impact wrench. Impact wrenches are great tools. However, there are times when not use an impact wrench.

Impact wrenches are useful When you need to remove a nut, bolt, or other fasteners from a steel beam or concrete foundation with minimal damage. 

This blog post will teach you when impact wrenches are appropriate to use and when you should avoid them. So, Let’s start reading!

Read Also: What is An Impact Wrench?

How Does An Impact Wrench Help A Mechanic?

Impact wrenches are very useful when working on cars and light trucks, as they enable you to work in tight spaces and hard-to-get-to places.

They are also very handy when working on farm equipment or large machinery, as they allow you to work under big and tall vehicles. But impact wrenches are not essential for all mechanics.

If you’re learning how to change oil or rotate a tire, you won’t need one. However, if you plan to become a master mechanic, you will want an impact wrench as a part of your tool kit.

How to Use an Impact Wrench?

 Always follow these simple rules, and you’ll have no problems:

1. When tightening or loosening a nut or bolt, start with the tip of the handle, move toward the fingerboard.

2. Don’t overtighten – stop when you feel “friction”.

3. Don’t under-tightening – stop when you feel “friction” but before the threads begin to round off.

4. Grip the handle firmly and evenly, with your hand at the very end of the grip, where the handle’s cap joins it. Your palm should be flat and face the fingerboard.

5. Keep your other hand on the lever, near the trigger.

6. Place the object to be tightened or released (bolt, nut, whatever) as far away from you as you can.

7. When using the impact tool to remove stubborn objects, start by turning the handle slightly counter-clockwise.

When Not To Use An Impact Wrench?

In the following conditions impact wrench is not used:

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1. Loose or damaged threads – when the threads are damaged, even a short length of the wrench can cause a spark that ignites the material of the bolt or nut, causing fire and explosion.

2. Bolt stuck fast – when a bolt is so stuck that it cannot move the socket with the wrench, you need a breaker bar or similar device to free it

3. Bolt loosened by other means – if you have loosened a bolt in another way and need to retighten it, you should retighten it the correct way and not with an impact wrench

4. When tightening or loosening small fasteners – for example, nuts for cabinet drawers, which are not generally larger than 2mm

5. When loosening the head of a stud bolt

What is The Main Advantage of Using an Impact Wrench Over a Regular Wrench?

The following are some advantages of using an impact wrench:

1. It has variable speeds – this allows you to use much higher torque without causing the tool to heat up and burn your fingers.

2. It can tighten or loosen nuts and bolts faster than a hand or a standard tool – it depends on the size and design of the impact wrench, but you can tight or lose a bolt or nut with an impact wrench in 20 seconds or less, as opposed to one hour or more with a normal ratchet and socket set.

3. Impact wrenches are quieter – this means you can use them without disturbing others who may be sleeping or taking a nap nearby.

4. They are less expensive than a standard ratchet and socket set.

5. Impact wrenches are easy to use – they have push-button control, and you don’t have to worry about turning the handle to the proper position or getting the correct size socket for the nut you are trying to work on.

6. It lasts longer because it is steel instead of cheap plastic like most ratchet tools.

7. Impact wrenches are very compact – this means they take up much less space than a ratchet and socket set.

8. Impact wrenches can be purchased in pairs – this means if one gets lost or destroyed, you still have the other one to keep your tool kit neat.

9. Impact wrenches can use on just about any nut or bolt – this means you can use them almost anywhere.

Safety Tips for Using an Impact Wrench

The following are some safety precautions to keep in mind when using an impact wrench:

1. Wear eye protection An impact wrench is an extremely powerful tool and can easily cause serious injury or damage to your eyesight. Be sure to wear safety goggles or a safety mask when using an impact wrench.

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2. Keep children and pets away from the area you are working in with an impact wrench If someone is allergic to nuts and bolts, have that person stay at home or move away to a safe distance. Also, make sure you turn off the power source (electricity) before you use an impact wrench. This will prevent electrical shocks and electrocution.

3. Never use an impact wrench when you are exhausted The extra strength and energy you need to use an impact wrench must come from somewhere within you.

Before utilizing an impact wrench, make sure you’re well-rested and have enough energy. This is exceedingly hazardous and can quickly lead to errors that end in bodily harm or death.

4. Keep your hands away from the moving parts of the impact wrench Never hold the handle or the trigger when using an impact wrench. Doing so can cause you to lose control of the tool and allow it to hit you in the head or other parts of your body, causing you serious injury or even death.

if you are holding the tool, be sure to keep your hands away from the moving parts of the impact wrench

5. Keep the impact wrench turned off when you are done working Always shut the impact wrench off after you are finished. If you don’t, you could cause a spark and electrocution.

6. Use only the highest quality oil or grease Do not use oil or grease with a low flashpoint. If you are using oil or grease, ensure it is the proper type with your specific impact wrench.

Do not use oil or grease made for automotive use; it might eat away at the steel parts of your impact wrench. Instead, use high-quality grease or oil such as Pennzoil 5W-40, Castrol 10-50, or similar.

7. Keep an adequate distance Always keep at least 16 inches of space between you and the object you are working on. Use a measuring tape to make sure you stay clear.

8. Work in a well-ventilated area dust and debris from working with an impact wrench can be very hazardous to your health. Make sure you have quite enough ventilation so that the dust and debris from your work area don’t endanger you or others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Impact Wrench or Torque Wrench, Which one do I Need for Lug Nuts and Automotive Work.?

It depends on what you are doing. If you are changing your lug nuts, you need a torque wrench. On the other hand, if you are tightening up bolts, nuts, and fasteners, then an impact wrench would be useful. To identify which tool is ideal for the job, you should get advice from a professional.

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Is an Impact Wrench The Same as a Torque Wrench?

A torque wrench isn’t the same as an impact wrench. Impact wrenches are used to tighten fasteners with a lot of kinetic energy, whereas a torque wrench is used to very accurately apply just the right amount of force (tension) needed to turn a nut or bolt.

Hence, if you need a proper torque wrench, you should get one specifically designed for this purpose. 

What Size Impact Wrench Do You Need?

You will need a size ten impact wrench since it is the standard size for automotive work.

However, any impact wrench will do, as long as it has a torque rating of 20 foot-pounds or more. A lower torque rating might be adequate for home improvement tasks but not automotive repairs.

Make sure you get one with a large enough torque rating, so you don’t have to keep coming back to get another impact wrench. 

What is a Hammer Wrench?

A hammer wrench (sometimes called an open-end wrench) is a socket wrench with a hexagonal head instead of a standard square head.

It fits onto a similarly shaped nut or bolt, but it is ineffective when working with a box end or Phillips head nut or bolt. Hence, they are mainly used with hexagon nuts and bolts.

Impact Driver VS Impact Wrench – Which Tool Is Right for You?

These tools can use for most tasks, but each has its specific advantages and disadvantages.

A typical impact wrench is good for light-duty work like tightening nuts, bolts, and screws, while a typical impact driver can use it for heavier jobs like driving fasteners into drywall and framing.

Some of the best impact drivers come with a power source to make working in tight spaces easier. But you’ll need a proper impact wrench for heavy-duty projects.  

Conclusion

When using an impact wrench, it’s important to know when NOT to use it. Impact wrenches are a crucial part of the car repair tool kit.

However, they should only be used by those individuals who have been instructed on how to operate them properly and safely.

Impact wrenches are designed to deliver massive power in a very short period. However, they can cause serious injury or damage your vehicle if you aren’t using them properly.

Have you ever used an impact wrench improperly? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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