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1/4" or 1/2" driver? (Impact driver)

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Old 11-24-2011, 11:56 AM   #1
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1/4" or 1/2" driver? (Impact driver)

I'm in the market for a portable impact driver. I saw it in use on a trail last weekend. I never thought about owning one but it makes changing tires a breeze.

Now all I have at home is a 1/4" hand tool with sockets etc.

Is there a benefit to the 1/2" driver? If I get the 1/4" I can re-use my existing sockets - or is that a bad idea? Will I be ruining my sockets?
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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1/4" will not have enough torque to do wheels.
Get a 1/2" and a set of sockets to compliment it.
As batterys wear down they will lose torque also making the need for more power important out in the bush.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
I'm not 4x4, and have an open diff. So i'm 4x1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OH-MAN View Post
1/4" will not have enough torque to do wheels.
Get a 1/2" and a set of sockets to compliment it.
As batterys wear down they will lose torque also making the need for more power important out in the bush.
+1
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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That is a good one I have 2 one in each of my trucks.
I rotate the battery packs 2 with the impact in the box and one in the charger in the garage.
If i am going out on a trail trip I charge both before going to make sure I have them ready.
I also use 18 volt DeWalt tools at home so I have the extra batterys going for them as well.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCFirefighter View Post
Now all I have at home is a 1/4" hand tool with sockets etc.
Dude, if you only have a 1/4" drive ratchet and sockets you don't have much.
Tool up and go with a 1/2" drive "rattle gun" (impact driver).

I'm in heavy construction and lately we've been using the impact sockets from Harbor Freight and they've been holding up.

Bona fide impact sockets are almost always 6-point and of high carbon steel. They are usually black in color and expensive except for the Harbor Freight (China) sockets mentioned above.
A rattle gun can destroy normal sockets especially if they are 12 point.

Don't hurt yourself, firefighter
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #8
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I would like to get one, it's what made my lift so easy to install.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:53 PM   #9
on idiot patrol ;)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflan View Post
Dude, if you only have a 1/4" drive ratchet and sockets you don't have much.
Tool up and go with a 1/2" drive "rattle gun" (impact driver).
Yeah, I know. I installed my entire suspension kit (Toytec coilovers plus TSB AAL, 5100 x4) using a set of Taskmaster hand tools. It's time to upgrade

Haven't gotten hurt yet!
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:59 PM   #10
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I doubt you could even get a 1/4 inch drive to loosen your lug nuts at all. Why not save yourself the money and hassle of batteries and buy something like this http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-EL2257-V...2175482&sr=8-4
You'll never have to worry about having a dead battery on the trail, or have to switch out batterys every month or so.
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:05 PM   #11
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I have a 1/4" and a 1/2" cordless impact. Go with the 1/2". The 1/4" works good for my wheeler's and snow machines. It sometimes has some problems with the lug nuts on the wheelers. 1/2"=no problems.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:54 AM   #12
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I wouldn't torque down with 1/4" on anything above 14mm. For lugs 1/2" cordless minimum.

Also, I would not suggest torquing down the nuts with any portable driver. I would be too paranoid that the torque setting might be off.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2008taco View Post
I doubt you could even get a 1/4 inch drive to loosen your lug nuts at all. Why not save yourself the money and hassle of batteries and buy something like this http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-EL2257-V...2175482&sr=8-4
You'll never have to worry about having a dead battery on the trail, or have to switch out batterys every month or so.
Did you read the amazon reviews on that 12v wrench you linked? That things a piece of junk!
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:19 AM   #14
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do impact drivers have a torque setting on them?
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:24 AM   #15
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Do not rely on a rattle gun for the torque setting.
Run the nuts in wth them snug and use a real torque wrench to set the final load.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [eric] View Post
do impact drivers have a torque setting on them?
Some do, but they tend not to be real reliable and it's best to use a torque wrench to set the final torque, even if using power tools to spin a bolt or nut into place.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmoose View Post
Did you read the amazon reviews on that 12v wrench you linked? That things a piece of junk!
May be junk compared to $100+ tools, but sure comes in handy when you're tired and need to spin off lugs in a pinch with the front wheel off the ground and spinning freely. I have a harbor freight version that I payed $30 for. It does the job.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmoose View Post
Some do, but they tend not to be real reliable and it's best to use a torque wrench to set the final torque, even if using power tools to spin a bolt or nut into place.
Agree.
Never, ever rely on a rattle gun (impact driver) for final torque on a mission critical part.
Whether it's a lug nut or a tilt-up brace, always use a torque wrench to dial in final torque.
Big period on the end of that.
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