What’s an Impact Wrench?

Print anything with Printful

An impact wrench uses a hammer’s pressure to twist screws or bolts. It can be manual or powered by electricity or compressed air. It requires special accessories and expertise to avoid cross threading or overtightening. It reduces work and time involved and can be used to replace flat tires.

An impact wrench is a tool used to tighten or loosen a screw or bolt using the pressure of a hammer, which is converted into a twisting motion within the tool. It can be operated manually, or it can be powered by electricity or compressed air. One powered by an air compressor is also known as an impact wrench.
It works as its name suggests: through the principle of impact. A hand-powered impact wrench looks like a large screwdriver; at the end where the screwdriver blade normally goes, the operator can hook screwdriver bits or sockets. The bit or socket is driven onto the screw or bolt, then the operator strikes the other end with a hammer while holding down the wrench. The internal workings of the wrench transform the downward impact into a rotational motion and the bolt gradually loosens. This type of wrench works great, if a little slow, for breaking stiff or inflexible bolts.

An electric or pneumatic impact wrench works in much the same way: when the operator pulls the trigger, the impact of the small hammers inside the wrench turns into a rotational motion. The difference between one of these power tools and a hand wrench is that the tool does the job for the user and very quickly compared to the hand wrench.

Impact wrenches are often misused by those unaware of their special needs. First of all, it is very important for the user to be careful when tightening a nut or bolt with one. Cross threading can happen very easily; a novice can also overtighten a bolt or nut if he doesn’t know when to stop. To prevent such problems, the user should always be sure to hand tighten each nut or bolt before using the impact wrench; if he or she tries to start the nut or bolt with the wrench, you won’t be able to feel if the threads are crossed. If the wrench is not torque controlled, i.e. it will stop when the nut or bolt is tightened to a certain torque, the operator will need to go slowly and periodically check the torque value of the nut or bolt to make sure it hasn’t overtightened too.

An impact wrench also requires some special accessories. An air-powered model works with an air compressor with a tank; the air compressor should have a tank of at least 10 gallons (45.4 liters) and be capable of generating at least 3 hp. Additionally, this type of wrench requires special sockets designed to withstand the high torque applied by the tool.

While using an impact driver requires a certain degree of expertise, it certainly makes the job easier by reducing the amount of work and time involved. This tool can also make replacing a flat tire easier: Some manufacturers make portable wrenches that plug into a car’s cigarette lighter and come with a variety of sockets to fit any size lug nut.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content