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

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by SCFirefighter, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Nov 24, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    #1
    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter [OP] on idiot patrol ;)

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    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?
     
  2. Nov 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM
    #2
    OH-MAN

    OH-MAN Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  3. Nov 24, 2011 at 12:02 PM
    #3
    Johns Taco

    Johns Taco I'm not 4x4, and have an open diff. So i'm 4x1

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    +1
     
  4. Nov 24, 2011 at 12:08 PM
    #4
    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter [OP] on idiot patrol ;)

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  5. Nov 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM
    #5
    OH-MAN

    OH-MAN Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  6. Nov 24, 2011 at 12:25 PM
    #6
    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter [OP] on idiot patrol ;)

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  7. Nov 24, 2011 at 12:31 PM
    #7
    jflan

    jflan Well-Known Member

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    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 :p
     
  8. Nov 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM
    #8
    4Wheelin4Banger

    4Wheelin4Banger Longtime Toyman

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    I would like to get one, it's what made my lift so easy to install.
     
  9. Nov 24, 2011 at 2:53 PM
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    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter [OP] on idiot patrol ;)

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    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!
     
  10. Nov 24, 2011 at 2:59 PM
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    2008taco

    2008taco Well-Known Member

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  11. Nov 24, 2011 at 3:05 PM
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    Takeem029

    Takeem029 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  12. Nov 25, 2011 at 6:54 AM
    #12
    saugus

    saugus Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  13. Nov 25, 2011 at 7:01 AM
    #13
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Did you read the amazon reviews on that 12v wrench you linked? That things a piece of junk!
     
  14. Nov 25, 2011 at 7:19 AM
    #14
    [eric]

    [eric] Well-Known Member

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    do impact drivers have a torque setting on them?
     
  15. Nov 25, 2011 at 7:24 AM
    #15
    OH-MAN

    OH-MAN Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  16. Nov 25, 2011 at 7:25 AM
    #16
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    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.
     
  17. Nov 25, 2011 at 9:19 AM
    #17
    saugus

    saugus Well-Known Member

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    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.:cool: I have a harbor freight version that I payed $30 for. It does the job.
     
  18. Nov 25, 2011 at 10:25 AM
    #18
    jflan

    jflan Well-Known Member

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    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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