Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

Pneumatic impact wrench usage

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--- Quote from: Benta on September 07, 2021, 07:16:07 pm ---Impact wrenches have no business tightening things.

--- End quote ---
Strongly disagree.
In the hands of an experienced user there is nothing wrong with them and for the inexperienced torque limiting must be used and maybe a pressure regulator too.
Much production assembly has been done for decades with properly calibrated air tools.

Brought my first a pistol grip 3/8" dive rattle gun nearly 45 years ago when on small motor repairs however a butterfly type may have been better I needed it for auto repairs at home also. 


--- Quote from: tautech on December 04, 2021, 06:52:27 am ---Much production assembly has been done for decades with properly calibrated air tools.

--- End quote ---

Which is exactly not what most people have. It's one of those things that an experienced person with proper tools that are properly set up can do safely, but it's something I would never recommend to anyone who is asking basic beginner questions about using an impact wrench. Unless you are an expert and know what you are doing, never use an impact wrench for tightening.

Here's a discussion of pulse tools v. impact tools: https://blog.mountztorque.com/power-assembly-tools/impact-drivers-vs-pulse-tools-how-to-improve-process-efficiency/  One also has to consider tools with slip clutches (air or electric).  However, the subject of this thread seemed to be the proper use of a relatively uncontrolled impact wrench.

I am on the side that when assembling, one needs torque control.  When disassembling, an impact wrench can be helpful, but is not always advised.  As an example of that, take loosening a bleeder valve on car brakes.  They are often rusted and stuck.  The valve is usually soft steel.  Applying brute force can easily break them.  Applying force with a tapping motion (not a 1/2" impact wrench) will work better,  A piece of hardwood or small mallet is a great tapping tool.

As for assembly, slip clutches and pulsing are often quite useful.  Take building a steel shed (frame and covering both steel).  Hundreds, even thousands of self tapping sheet metal screws are used.  Those are best installed using a pulse tool with torque and depth limiting.   It is probably a rare building that is put up professionally without such a tool.

Don't forget the ear protection, air tools are that loud.

I'm also firmly in the hand assemble everything camp. The pros (barely) get away with it, but it's fairly easy to make dangerous mistakes if you don't know how things are supposed to look and feel going together, nevermind with a impact gun forcing things with little feedback to the operator. Know the torque specs and at least try to approximate them (this comes with experience, super cheap import torque wrenches are a good learning aid).

I have personally seen an impact tightened wheel come loose, and that wasn't done by an amateur, it was done by a seasoned licensed mechanic on his personal vehicle.


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