12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

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12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Zembecowicz » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:37 pm

I was killing time by looking around on Harbor Freight's web site and noticed something they called an emergency impact wrench. It runs off 12 volts from a car cigarette lighter.
I noticed that some other manufacturers make similar tools. What they seem to have in common is that they only impact once per second.
I thought something like this might be useful to keep in my truck in case of a breakdown out in BFE. Does anyone have any experience with them? I've only ever used pneumatic impact wrenches.

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by KYZHunters » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:19 pm

I got one from DRMO in Afghanistan that charged from a lighter but operated off its own internal battery and it worked great, easily busting lugs on 5 tons and 105 trailers that were probably set on the assembly line.
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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Stercutus » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:59 pm

The Harbor Freight one sucks. It uses a race that gets up to speed and then engages a momentary clutch. Then it does it again. And again. And Again. Eventually the lug nut comes loose. Eventually the clutch wears out too. By "eventually" think "made by lowest skilled person possible with cheapest possible materials". Then you throw the wrench away and keep the lug sockets which are not horrible.
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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by azrancher » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:01 am

I have a DeWalt 18 volt impact wrench, works as well as my pneumatic wrench.

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Dawgboy » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:57 pm

Not great, but I threw one in my GF's car so she can change a tire without braking her fingernails. She is grateful for the mechanical advantage.
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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Paladin1 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:27 pm

The expedition rigs have on-board for various things and they will typically have an impact wrench. But I have also seen a dual battery setup running electric impacts. But not HF ones :wink:
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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by JT42 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:57 pm

I have some off-brand 12 V impact wrench purchased from a large sporting goods / camping store. It operates just how Stercutus described. For those of us who aren't brutes, it's nice to know it's there in case I need to change a tire away from home. If there's a lug nut that I can't get with my cross type wrench, it normally only takes two or three whacks with the 12 V impact wrench to loosen it enough to get it by hand.

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Unorthodox » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:27 am

I keep a toolbox in my trunk along with a length of black iron pipe that will easily extend a socket handle.

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Polar_Bear » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:18 am

This type of impact can be quite handy too

http://www.uktools.com/power-bar-hand-i ... 54752.html

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Roch » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:22 pm

Polar_Bear wrote:This type of impact can be quite handy too

http://www.uktools.com/power-bar-hand-i ... 54752.html
I've never seen one of these but I just ordered a similar one, thanks

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Polar_Bear » Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:30 pm

Roch wrote:
Polar_Bear wrote:This type of impact can be quite handy too

http://www.uktools.com/power-bar-hand-i ... 54752.html
I've never seen one of these but I just ordered a similar one, thanks

No problem. Hope it works well for you.

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by tedbeau » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:33 pm

I got one when I first joined The Sportmans Guide membership club. I can't remember if it was an additional $20 or was included in the $20 membership, but I will say this, I absolutely love it. I have used it numerous times to change tires and it works great.
It does speed up until the clutch engages and it impacts about once per second, or maybe even a little faster, like 2 times in three seconds. On a standard car tire lug it usually takes about three impacts before the nut spins off freely.

One time I was transferring my daughters almost new tires from her old car to a newer car she bought so I had to do 8 tires off and 8 tires on all at once. I put both cars up on jack stands and used the electric impact. It probably only took me 20 minutes once the cars were on the jackstands.

The only issue I have ever had, and this is not the fault of the wrench, is one time while removing the lugs on my Jeep it had those stupid #@^&^*& lug nuts that have a welded on sheet metal cover. Sometimes the cover comes off so the socket doesn't fit properly. I managed to spin my 3/4 socket one of those lugs. The socket wall actually flared a little and got stuck on the lug. I never was able to get it off. I had to replace the socket, and last time I had the tires rotated I told the guy at the tire store to replace all the lug nuts with solid one piece nuts.

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Re: 12 Volt Impact Wrench - Worth The Trouble?

Post by Tobias05 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:09 pm

I've used a Dewalt electric impact to break loose axle nuts on a FWD car, but i think it was an 18v...

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