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Old 04-12-2010, 09:20 AM   #1
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Icon6 Tool Talk - Impact wrench

What is the difference between impact wrench and a cordless electric drill?

Can I use my electric drill to install a coilover, for example?

TIA

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New question at bottom Post # 15. http://honda-tech.com/showpost.php?p=46974215&postcount=15

Last edited by GoLowDrew; 03-05-2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

I doubt it. Doesn't an impact wrench have a 3/8 or 1/2 inch cube on the end for sockets only, like a regular socket wrench? A cordless drill only has a little triangular thing that can accept cylindrical drill bits....
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

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Originally Posted by Uncle Ben's View Post
I doubt it. Doesn't an impact wrench have a 3/8 or 1/2 inch cube on the end for sockets only, like a regular socket wrench? A cordless drill only has a little triangular thing that can accept cylindrical drill bits....
I figure they would sell an adapter for a drill that would allow one to use sockets. I've not look for it (yet).

Does anyone know? I'll make this a question too.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

Not quite the same. An Impact wrench has an internal hammer mechanism involving a weighted mass, pistons and some clutches, while an electric drill feeds a constant torque from a motor.

An impact wrench constantly "hammers" at a nut or bolt until it's loose. A hammer mechanism allows much higher torques than an electric motor's T = I x lB
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

It might have an adapter, maybe? But I doubt it would have enough torque to break the bolt loose.

(see what I did there for all you retards who don't know the difference between lose and loose)
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

Not sure why you would need either to install a coilover...
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

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Not sure why you would need either to install a coilover...
Someone suggested on another forum that unless "I'm 250lbs and works out regularly" I should use an impact wrench. Breaker bar will not cut it for an old girly man like me.

Work on a (2008-) 2010 Accord.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

You won't need an impact wrench/ratched/gun for a coilover install. It might make some things quicker, but it definitely isn't a necessity. Like Xentropa said, it's the hammer mechanism that breaks the bolts loose. A constant torque like that from a drill won't do much to tighten/loosen stubborn bolts.

A nice ratchet set with some crescent wrenches are all you need.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

I don't work out at all and I was able to break loose all of the suspension bolts with with a 15" breaker bar.

I did use an impact wrench for the spring compressor though. It's easier to pull a trigger than use a ratchet. But I had to reuse the OEM top hats. If you're installing full coilovers then it won't matter.

Also, I'm in CA and there is just about zero rust under my car. Maybe those other guys have cars where the bolts are starting to rust to the suspension arms?
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamoo View Post
You won't need an impact wrench/ratched/gun for a coilover install. It might make some things quicker, but it definitely isn't a necessity. Like Xentropa said, it's the hammer mechanism that breaks the bolts loose. A constant torque like that from a drill won't do much to tighten/loosen stubborn bolts.

A nice ratchet set with some crescent wrenches are all you need.
the onlything a drill will do is spin YOUR wrist around and thus hurting/breaking your hand(S)
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

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the onlything a drill will do is spin YOUR wrist around and thus hurting/breaking your hand(S)
Yep. Made that mistake 10 years ago. Never gonna do it again.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

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the onlything a drill will do is spin YOUR wrist around and thus hurting/breaking your hand(S)
I can imagine that. Thank you.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

A drill will not have the same torque as an impact gun. And like was said, you really don't need one. I have replaced everything from shocks, springs, control arms, timing belt, water pump, exhaust, etc...using nothing more than basic hand tools. Unless you live up north around salt and snow, your bolts should not seize up on you. I would suggest using some PB Blaster on them but that's about it.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

yes but buying a snap-on 18V cordless 1/2" drive impact gun for $500+ will be your best friend forever.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench vs Drill

New Question.

Impact Driver or Impact Wrench.

The way I see it is. One is female and one is male. Why the difference? I understand with extensions and adopters, they would be the same.

Which is better for this newbie?
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

Impact drivers were mostly designed/used for fasteners like self tapping screws. An impact wrench is actually made for nuts and bolts and will do that job better than an impact driver. Both are great tools to have though
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

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Originally Posted by sCeRaXn View Post
Impact drivers were mostly designed/used for fasteners like self tapping screws. An impact wrench is actually made for nuts and bolts and will do that job better than an impact driver. Both are great tools to have though
Why is that? Educate me, since I can only have one.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:57 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

From another thread:

Quote:
yes from the tool. An impact wrench provides only rotational force/impacts whereas an impact driver provides downward force/impacts in addition to rotational force...the latter somewhat similar to a hammer drill. Wikipedia has a somewhat useful definition of the two. AFAIK impact drivers are not commonly used in automotive work...that's usually the domain of impact wrenches. Impact drivers are great for screws and such. But in most automotive work....you don't really need the driving component of an impact driver. In fact...again AFAIK...it would be undesirable in the situation where you are trying to remove a fairly tight bolt....because the impact driver ...even in reverse mode...will be applying the downward impact as well...whereas the impact wrench will only apply rotational force...a good thing for a bolt you are trying to remove. However an impact driver might be the better tool to remove a frozen screw as it would tend to keep the head seated and minimize likelihood of stripping the head.Whilst impact wrenches, impact drivers, and hammer drills...all have some degree of overlap in function.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:57 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

Do you own a compressor? why can you only have one?
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

I just did coilovers on my brother's car and even though we used an impact wrench, we still needed a breaker bar to break the strut bolts loose. All you would really need is a good set of tools and a nice breaker bar to do the job.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #21
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

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I just did coilovers on my brother's car and even though we used an impact wrench, we still needed a breaker bar to break the strut bolts loose. All you would really need is a good set of tools and a nice breaker bar to do the job.
Correct. I was just thinking of adding a tool to help out. My time and energy will be limited, so I want to make some steps easier to better spend it on other part of the install process.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #22
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

my electric impact gun is one of my favorite tools in the garage.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:39 AM   #23
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

Well, unless I've had the definitions wrong all these years, impact drivers and impact wrenches/guns do entirely different things.

Impact drivers are usually hand held and are mostly used for loosening screws that just "fasten" things on and don't really tighten to anything. Think about those two stupid Philips screws that hold your brake rotor on. Do you think those two little screws actually hold your rotor on? They don't, really. They do hold the rotor on on the assembly line, but that's it. But to get them off, you need an impact driver. A regular screw driver won't budge them (but you can screw them back on with a regular screw driver).

This is a pic of an impact driver.

Click the image to open in full size.

You "impact" the end of it to unscrew things like that pesky rotor screw. So far, through all my work on cars, it's the only thing I've had to use it for. I haven't seen an American car with screws on the rotors.

Click the image to open in full size.

And impact wrench/gun is much more useful. I would get that if you were going to buy anything. You can get an electric one (I haven't used one, but I have heard good things). Or an air powered one (you need a compressor). They look like this.

Click the image to open in full size.

Electric ones look the same, but are obviously plugged in.

Click the image to open in full size.

I would get an impact wrench/gun if you were going to buy something to work on cars. It has made a lot of jobs easier. Keep in mind that it's the "impact" feature of the tool that makes it useful. It's good for getting off stubborn bolts like corroded suspension bolts.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:54 AM   #24
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

The one we were using is made by milwaukee and was around 300ish if i remember, it comes with an extra battery too.

I think this is the one.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...5215_200385215
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:32 PM   #25
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Default Re: Tool Talk - Impact wrench

Shamoo,

They make electric/pneumatic impact drivers that look similar to an impact wrench for those who aren't "in the know." That's why he asked.

OP, if you're just a casual mechanic. Pick up the craftsman 19V kits with an impact driver and impact wrench. Should be able to get a set with a couple batteries for <200 on sale.

The set screws on the rotor hold it on when the wheel is removed so you don't need to re-align the rotor everytime the wheel is off.
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