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Battery impact wrenches

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A few months ago I took one of the vehicles in to a workshop to get the tyres changed. Rather than stand around like a spare part and because I know the folks working there, I helped taking the wheels off - after being handed a battery impact wrench, which I've always regarded as a bit of a toy. Wrong - this was a Milwaukee and was astounding - if anything better than my CP air wrench. I looked it up when I got home to find that the model they had was about £500 or so - as befits a garage using it every day.

What are views on the more budget end of the market - something like this https://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/tools/cordless-power-tools/ryobi-18v-one--impact-wrench-starter-kit-1x2-0ah

Worth having or not? Any others to look at? Recommendations from personal use? It needs to be able to free sticky wheel nuts comfortably, if it can't then it isn't worth anything.

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I have a 1/2" impact from Milwaukee, ~170lb/ft  version, it is very good at most things, but will of course get stuck on bigger stuff, or LR wheel nuts that have been jumped on.

That Ryobi one looks good value, and will do~250lbtft. I suspect the one at the garage was a good step more than that though?

If I was going for one for home workshop use (i.e. not in the field), I'd look at a 240V version, which are FAR cheaper, as the batteries are the expensive bits, e.g. and no recommendation: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VonHaus-Electric-Impact-Wrench-Driver/dp/B06XKLYQZW/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp?keywords=240v+impact+wrench&pd_rd_i=B06XKLYQZW&pd_rd_r=92e53829-a9bb-4dc7-9555-b16e02d056b1&pd_rd_w=Ruf3y&pd_rd_wg=F61z6&pf_rd_p=7dc56c0d-8a5f-4d97-9143-7233b106859a&pf_rd_r=5R2S5T9T2V24SHVEW06G&qid=1572950648&refinements=p_36%3A118663031&rnid=118657031&s=diy

500nm/350lbft.

Of course if you have air, then grab yourself one of those :) 

I've always been very happy with the Milwaukee kit, takes a load of abuse and the batteries are less fragile than the Makita.

 

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I have 2 DeWalt ones. One big and one small. I get an insane amount of use out of the small one. It's relatively small physically as well so it's light to work with and it can get in places. You have to be a bit careful with it because it packs serious power and I have sheared several bolts and screws with it.

The bigger one I don't get to use as often but it's magic for wheel nuts and other things that just won't move. It's quite heavy and loud though and considering the amount of use I get out of it I consider it expensive. If you do more wheel nuts, or more bigger stuff then maybe it's worth it for you....

Ryobi seems to be doing a lot of pretty descent tools at the moment. Not Snap-on quality but not Snap-on price either. Reviews would suggest that maybe it's not as powerful but it will be up for most jobs. Price at halfords seem pretty good to.

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Good point re: size, I went for the smaller one precisely for this reason -I wanted to use it as much as possible, and certainly the pre-Fuel versions of the bigger gun were MASSIVE, I don't know how much smaller the Fuel versions are, as much of the size is in the hammery bit, but should be a bit lighter.

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I've debated over this for a lonnnnng time finally pulled my finger out and got one. I got 1/2" drive from that well know brand "VonHaus" 🤣😁 got it off ebay for 80 squid. Did check out some reviews and thought id give it a shot. Considering I've had it about 8 weeks and just happend to rip my truck apart for the 100th time, its come in bloody handy and got to say I've been pretty chuffed with what it can move. Heavy stuff you might need to manually "crack" , it but its moved some fully torqued wheels nuts on my truck by accident... meant to crack them first.

If it dies then i haven't lost much, but when it does it will get replaced with another immediately!

Mav

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bang for buck, get a dewault. naked there £150. full kit is £250

i use milwaukee. cant fault it really for the use and abuse it gets. 4-5 years and its had 2 cases and 2 switches. (second time was out of warrenty which cost me £160.. 🤬) original batteries which are still strong. again, full kit on ebay is £380

snap on are only fit for the bin.

Edited by Landy-Novice

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We've been using a big DeWalt (DCF889) at the workshop for almost 4 years now. Very useful, though it does have its limitations. For heavy stuff, you need to make sure the battery is fully charged. Very handy to take with you, for example when we come over to UK to play and need to change wheels. I couldn't imagine coping without it, now that I've got so used to it.

Before we had a similar corded one, I do think it was slightly more powerful. As above, if you don't need to be able to take it with you, no need to pay the premium for cordless. I don't like airtools as that means there's a compressor running (somewhere) most of the time, so can't compare to those. 

If I were to replace, I'd consider the recent Milwaukee 2763. Supposedly the strongest one available, and comes with 2 setting for fastening, to avoid overtightening. We're very impressed with our Milwaukee battery powered ratchet, so if the impact is similar quality, it might just be worth the high price.

My experiences with cheap alternatives for cordless tools have been less positive. I can understand not wanting to pay for a Milwaukee or DeWalt, but you don't want to grab a tool and find it can't cope or fails prematurely either. All depends on intended use of course.

Filip

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Iv also got the large dewalt -(never had any air tools before). Ive found nothing on a landy it won't loosen and it makes changing tyres 'n' stuff a breeze (can't undo the nuts on my lorry tho). Also on cars where a screw jack is turned by the wheel wrench, you can lift car and take of tyre in, I dunno, 60 seconds? I thought long and hard before buying but it almost instantly become a go-to, one of my favourites.

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My experience is pretty similar to others on this thread. I think the Milwaukee one is considered as the best on the market but you pay for it. The Makita ones also have very good reviews and the range of tools that take the same battary (LXT range) is huge.

I went for the biggest one they do in half inch, it is heavy and a little cumbersome but everything either comes undone or shears off! I am considering buying a smaller one for making nut running bolts easier. The price of the bare tool one you have some batteries is not too bad

https://www.howetools.co.uk/makita-dtw1002z-18v-impact-wrench-12-square-drive

 

I also bought the most powerful cordless drill they sell with a metal chuck and a 4 inch angle grinder. The cordless angle grinder has changed my life! I can't imagine using a corded one now.

 

Whatever you buy the size of the batteries make a big difference. You really want 5ah or 6 ah or the tools won't run for long

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I have a neilson which is a good few years old, ni-cad batteries no li-on unfortunately. It'll get a wheel nut off so long as it's normal tightness. It wouldn't touch the nut on a bottom pulley so it depends what you want. It is faster but I do find it heavy and bulky to get in places.

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The guy I used to share a lock up with had the Ryobi tools system including the impact wrench.  It was bluddy good and would undo some really tight nuts, provided you had the room to swing it.  They are not compact.  My £15 eBay-special windy gun got into spots the Cryobi just couldn't.

As we're on this subject, when I last when to my local tyre place, the foreman told me they'd gone from Milwaukees back to air impacts guns.  Why?  No battery changes, they're less desirable so don't 'walk', and a decent air impact will outlast an electric model, and of course is much cheaper.

All of this means that I'm sticking with air.  I'm setup with a 3hp compressor, and don't need it to be mobile. 

I do have other  Makita tools so could just buy the bare gun when it next comes on special, and doubtless I'll eventually give in, but having used both, I'm happy with my windy gun for now.  

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I can't comment on the cheaper end of the market since all my cordless tools are Milwaukee. I had the opportunity to use the High Torque 1/2" at a garage in Kendal and like you it made an impression, to the point where when I got back from the trip I ordered one.

It largely depends on what you want to do with it - I was using the big gun on erecting some scaffolding at home yesterday and my arm was knackered after going around, it's a heavy lump. It's worth having a watch of this video where Rich strips down a Cummins and most of the time he barely breaks into the bigger impacts.

The half inch impact (no longer their biggest by a long way) makes mincemeat of every bolt on a Land Rover (with a decent impact bit), crank pulleys, radius arm bolts etc., no issue at all.

One thing to bear in mind is whether you might want any of the other tools because it's the battery system that's expensive. Have a look through their tool ranges and see what you might be interested in. Milwaukee focus on particular markets, they've basically sorted the mechanics side of things, they're focusing on construction now and a bit more of the garden variety with saws and hedge trimmers. Their motto / branding is removing the cord from the jobsite and to be honest they're achieving it, cordless 9" grinders, flood lights, nailers, impacts the lot. From a professional environment it saves a lot of paperwork if you don't have cables running across the site. But they don't necessarily come cheap...

I personally will try and get cordless where possible now because I tend to use them places on the farm / property where there isn't power readily available and it's just so much more convenient.

 

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The tyre place I used still has air tools as they also use the air jacks so if your dragging your airline out for one might as well use it for both. They also use torque wrenches tightening up which I like to see. 

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43 minutes ago, Cynic-al said:

The tyre place I used still has air tools as they also use the air jacks so if your dragging your airline out for one might as well use it for both. They also use torque wrenches tightening up which I like to see. 

10 ugger duggas works for me ;)

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I have a compact M18 Milwaukee 1/2” impact wrench and an M18 drill. All good, but the compact wouldn’t undo fastened (torqued correctly) wheel nuts and harder stuff, even though it was rated to 300NM. It’s size is great though for getting into most things and it’s relatively light for long use.

So when I wanted a beefier impact wrench I found the Makita ones better specified and cheaper than Milwaukee, even though it meant a battery system change. It didn’t for me as I’d recently bought some 36v (2x 18v) Makita tools for gardening. So last year I bought a Makita DTW1002Z - £190 body only at that time with a discount, available then at £210. 
 

As said above it’s a lot heavier, so using it upside down under a car will be tiring, and it’s bulk sometimes limits it use, but it loosens everything first time, or it snaps it off 🙄, even M12 nuts. 
 

There’s obviously not much to pick between them, but if I had to settle on one make after using both, I’d go Makita.

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1 hour ago, SteveG said:

There’s obviously not much to pick between them, but if I had to settle on one make after using both, I’d go Makita.

Nice to hear as I didn't get to try before I bought.

 

I think I will buy a smaller version from Makita as well...just not sure which one

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Is it the same brands that would be recommended for a drill or screwdriver?

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I’ve recently invested in a Makita impact driver and it’s an amazing tool. I have slightly older 18V combi drill of theirs too which is also very good but comparing the two really shows how the brushless technology has changed things.

As others have pointed out its all about the batteries,  I have bought into the Makita 18V battery system and so I am looking at getting one of their impact wrenches in time. The mid-size one looks a good option, as I could use the air impact gun for bigger stuff on the odd occasion it was required.

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All of the above brands are decent.

I'm biased towards Milwaukee and from what I hear from people who have run all of them they are the more robust of the Dewalt / Makita brands. But they do miss a few tools from the others that might be useful.

An interesting viewpoint was Dewalt were outside Screwfix when I went to pick up a couple of things. They cornered me and once I said, sorry I use red and black, one guy said well we're never going to convert him. The other then asked why I'd gone Milwaukee, the initial reason was the 1/2" impact which I happened to have in the Land Rover. He asked to see it as they, personally, had never actually got their hands on one. Once he felt it he said - "Yeah... We've got nothing to touch that".

Should say that Dad did an entire 20x8m barn roof with 5m sides in box profile with Tek screws on a single charge of a 4Ah battery with the dinky 1/4" impact driver. Probably a few thousand screws into oak roof joists.

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I also have Milwaukee excellent kit however I also have a half inch drive high torque Bosch impact wrench which tackles what the compact Milwaukee can't again as with others you have to be careful as it will shear bolts easily for really tight stuff I have a 3/4" corded Makita impact gun which is awesome regards Stephen

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On 11/6/2019 at 3:06 PM, L19MUD said:

10 ugger duggas works for me ;)

I had a tyre place strip the threads once putting a wheel on. Not our fault mate must have been weak. No we cant say it's safe to drive home on. So I'm paranoid :)

I recently went makita for the twin 18v gardening tools. In terms of diy tools I only have a hammer drill and one of the little impact drivers. I'm impressed though, batteries last well and it put 8mm x 150mm concrete screws into block work easily for a radiator I fitted the other day. 

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At the other end of the market, I've a Lidl battery impact and I find it very good. I don't do enough to justify a Milwaukee, but this is a good tool so far.

The battery is not enough, at 2ah, and the charger is slow, but spare batteries are inexpensive.

It undid the crankshaft bolt on the TDI, so I think the claimed 400 nm may be quite close to truth, and it feels reasonably well made.

Not bad for £60.

I've also got a mains powered version. Which is much heavier and bulkier, but has done nearly all that was asked of it.

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