Impact wrenches go by a number of names including an impact gun, torque gun, air wrench, and impactor. It is a socket wrench power tool designed to help minimize the user’s exertion while delivering high torque output. This handy tool comes with a number of power sources including electric, hydraulic, and compressed air.
The impact wrench can help loosen or tighten fixings, nuts, or bolts that may be a bit too tight to do by hand, or in a location that is difficult or impossible to reach for manual work. Much like a nail gun vs. a hammer, or an impact driver vs. a screwdriver, the impact wrench can certainly be a time saver compared to the standard wrench, but that doesn’t come without added safety risks and concerns.
Any piece of equipment can be dangerous if it is not operated properly, this is especially true for power tools. Here are some basic tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your impact wrench safely!
- As with all equipment, do not use the impact wrench if it or its accessories are damaged. Make it a habit to check your equipment before use every time!
- Do not use the impact wrench in wet conditions, this can lead to electric shocks.
- Impact wrenches should be used with an impact socket, not standard sockets which aren’t equipped to handle the torque output of an impact wrench.
- Wear equipment suitable to the job and your surroundings, gloves and safety goggles should always be worn along with any other equipment deemed necessary.
- Ensure you are in control of the wrench at all times, keep a firm grip on the tool and keep yourself firmly grounded.
- If your impact wrench is powered by compressed air, make sure you’re getting the minimum PSI your wrench requires (normally 90 PSI, unless otherwise noted in manual or on the tool).
- Try to avoid using an impact wrench when dealing with aluminum, as aluminum is prone to stripping which can damage you, the wrench, and your project.
- When using an impact wrench, you should always try to start the threading by hand to prevent damage and be careful to not over tighten (impact wrenches are very powerful and can easily stretch and strip threads!).
- When you’re finished using the impact wrench, remember to remove the power source and store the wrench and its accessories in a dry, enclosed location.
Power tools are a great way to improve efficiency and range of tasks you can do, but it’s always important to make sure you and those around you are safe, use tools responsibly.