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electric impact wrench.. need impact socket?

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Old 07-01-2010, 09:06 AM   #1
ywen [OP] ywen is offline
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electric impact wrench.. need impact socket?

I just purchased a HF 1/2" electric impact wrench.. Do I really need to use impact sockets? It seems to me the electric version takes a second to spool up to full torque, whereas air-powered wrench has immediate sudden torque. So I think with air powered wrenches, you definitely need impact sockets, maybe not so with electric ones. Is that observation valid? What do guys recommend?
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:14 AM   #3
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go with the impact sockets. i have a milwalkee bad to the bone impact. i can do my entire truck twice (on and off) with one battery. i got it for tire changes at track days. it hits almost as hard as my air tool. impact sockets have three advantages when used with a air or electric gun.
1. they are burly. i have had a regular one explode. not fun.
2. they are unchromed. when a regular socket starts to go, it forms cracks. the cracks peel up the chrome. when was younger..i spun up a regular socket and pushed a tiny sheet of chrome into my hand...it was unbelievable how much it hurt. had to go to doc to have it removed. no chrome makes a socket easy to inspect for damage.
3. that have that tiny hole in the side that locks the socket securely on a gun. try a regular socket and you will be reattaching it on the gun repeatedly.

dont by HF impact sockets. my milwalkee kept smashing apart the 19mm.. i tossed the entire box,and bought a set from ACE hardware. bullet proof.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:16 AM   #5
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i recommend using impact sockets, but it depends on how tight you plan on getting the nuts / bolts and how tight the nuts / bolts are that you are removing. impact sockets are designed for impact, so if you're busting the lugs on your truck (for example) a regular socket might work for a little bit but it will eventually fail.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:18 AM   #6
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I only plan on using it to remove stubborn bolts and also loosening and tightening bolts, but not to torque it down.. I still plan on using my torque wrench for the final bit...
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakerla View Post
ia regular socket might work for a little bit but it will eventually fail.
^^ this
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ywen View Post
I only plan on using it to remove stubborn bolts and also loosening and tightening bolts, but not to torque it down.. I still plan on using my torque wrench for the final bit...
keep in mind that each time that impact hits it causes vibrations on regular sockets which are made of a brittle steel and can cause them to crack over time, or flake off that shiny coating. impact sockets are made of a "softer" metal allowing absorption of impacts.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:44 AM   #9
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I have been using my craftsman sockets with my electric impact. The take a beating for sure, but if you break any craftsman socket you take it in, they give you a new one. I havent broken one yet, but I figure I might as well save my money and not get impact sockets.

If I was a mechanic for a living, I would definitely have impact sockets
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:58 AM   #10
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After you shatter a chrome socket, and get a few pieces stuck in you, your observation will change drastically. It isn't the principle of breaking the actual socket, it comes down to the safety of yourself, and the people working around you. Sure you can probably get away with it, but all it takes is that one time. Impact sockets are not around for no good reason.

Yes, you do need to use impact sockets on ANY impact wrench. Electric or air makes no difference.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:29 AM   #11
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I have broken half my Harbor freight set, so keep that in mind.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:06 PM   #12
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The HF impact doesn't have enough power to break a regular socket
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC4333 View Post
After you shatter a chrome socket, and get a few pieces stuck in you, your observation will change drastically. It isn't the principle of breaking the actual socket, it comes down to the safety of yourself, and the people working around you. Sure you can probably get away with it, but all it takes is that one time. Impact sockets are not around for no good reason.

Yes, you do need to use impact sockets on ANY impact wrench. Electric or air makes no difference.
That sounds amazing...i did not realize metal was a brittle material and that it could explode.

Metal, even heat treated like sockets, is still considered a ductile material. It will stress, expand, and fracture, but will not explode. Hearsay is one thing, but show me proof and ill retract my comments.

The worst you will do it break a piece of your socket off, damage the square mounting drive etc.
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