Electric vs Air Impact Wrench: Which One To Choose?
Wrenches are some of the most essential tools that any craftsman, automotive mechanic, or home repairman needs to have in their toolkit. While they’re standard tools, manual wrenches can be challenging to use on tightly installed nuts and bolts.
This is especially true when performing maintenance or repair work on vehicles or larger structures. Sometimes, nuts and bolts are installed so tightly that it’s impossible for you to loosen or remove them using muscle power alone. Even when you encounter regular nuts and bolts, using a power tool is often easier instead of undoing all the bolts by hand.
Enter impact wrenches. They provide the same fast response and excellent performance as electric drills. Although all impact wrenches are useful, it’s important to know the difference between electric and air impact wrenches so you know which one you should choose.
Quick Overview of Impact Wrenches
An impact wrench looks similar to an electric drill, but it’s designed for specific tasks. An impact wrench uses a power source to drive a hammer hidden in its interior, which strikes an anvil connected to the impact wrench’s square driver. The hammer causes the driver to turn and applies force to the nut or bolt that the wrench is attached to.
The impact wrench can perform the same function as a regular wrench but with more force and without requiring muscle strain on your part. Most impact wrenches can turn nuts and bolts in incremental bursts of power with each pull of the tool’s trigger.
Electric Impact Wrench Overview
An electric impact wrench, as the name suggests, is powered by electricity. Electric impact wrenches come in either corded or cordless models. Corded electric impact wrenches provide more power than their cordless counterparts, and they remove larger sizes of bolts, nuts, and screws. However, corded electric impact wrenches are a little more cumbersome.
Portability & Power
Cordless electric impact wrenches are portable and smaller. Thus, they’re ideal for carrying from worksite to worksite or using in hard-to-reach places. However, cordless electric impact wrenches can run out of power quickly and are usually not as powerful as the other types.
Both types of electric impact wrenches can come with variable triggers, which offer you greater control over the turning speed of the tool. This makes electric impact wrenches better for precision work, especially for beginners.
Air Impact Wrench Overview
The big difference between air impact wrenches and electric impact wrenches is that air wrenches use compressed air to power the internal hammer and turn the driver. Compressed air does all the work rather than relying on a motor, but pneumatic impact wrenches need a powerful air compressor to function.
Portability & Power
Air impact wrenches are usually better for stationary work or use at a single worksite. Auto mechanic garages and manufacturing plants often use air impact wrenches instead of electric models. Although air impact wrenches are more cumbersome than cordless electric impact wrenches, they usually deliver more power. So, they’re better for taking care of larger nuts and bolts.
While air impact wrenches don’t usually have variable-speed triggers, they’re pretty easy to operate, and you can adjust the power by adjusting the air compressor.
The question of electric vs. air impact wrenches is somewhat straightforward: Do you need portability or power? If you need to move your wrench from place to place, use an electric tool. If you only need an impact wrench at a single location, an air impact wrench is your best bet.
Utimately, both types can make your repair or maintenance work much faster and easier. Remember to consider your budget and experience level before making a final decision, and you’ll be set!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay