Getting the right tool to work with is very important to the task at hand. Even when the right tools are available, it is important to use the right one to get the desired result and deliver the job with lesser strain and stress. Failure to use the right tool could be due to several reasons, one of which is being unable to know or pick out the right tool.
Every tool is designed for a purpose and to achieve specific needs. It is important that tools are used according to the purpose for which they were designed. Using the wrong tools, especially hand tools causes great discomfort and pains to the hands and increases the likelihood to sustain injury. It can also destroy the tool being used.
Many accidents in the workplace can be traced to situations where the right tool for the job was nor used. Caution and safety are paramount and should not be compromised for the sake of making do with what is available.
An impact driver and an impact wrench are two important engineering tools that are often confused with the other and used wrongly. This is understandable since they almost look alike and are used for similar operations. In spite of their similarities, they are different tools and are not to be used for the same purposes. It is easier for these tools to be mistaken for each other, hence the need to examine them critically and explain how each tool can be properly used.
An impact driver is a tool that is used to tighten or loosen screws and nuts. The direction of an impact driver can always be reversed, that is why it can be used for both tightening and loosening. They are tools that can be used to loosen screws and nuts that cannot be taken out by screwdrivers and to tighten with more torque than a screwdriver can produce.
An impact driver is lighter, and because they do not experience resistance, they do not strain the hands much.
In purchasing a cordless impact driver, it is important to look out for lots of torque and high voltage battery. When it is needed to work on screws in high succession, an impact driver with a high RPM count will company on handier. Look out for impact drivers that use batteries with a longer charge time or one that comes with multiple batteries, so that your batteries do not die in the middle of the job.
When buying an impact driver, particular things to take note of are size, battery life, weight, RPM, and power rating as well.
An impact wrench, on the other hand, is a tool commonly used to loosen and tighten lug nuts/sockets from cars and trucks.
Impact wrenches are more powerful than the impact drivers. The rotational torques it produces are higher than that provided by the impact drivers. This is so because of its internal hammering mechanisms and the way it moves kinetic energy to the output shaft.
They are mostly used in factories, automobile industries, mechanic shops and commonly used in changing car tires. It is used to assemble automobiles, repair vehicles, assemble heavy equipment and on large construction projects.
There are various kinds of impact wrenches and they are usually classified based on the power source used.
The various types of impact wrenches are corded electric, cordless impact wrenches and air impact wrenches.
Corded impact wrenches are impact wrenches that have to be plugged into an electric socket to power them up. They are usually easy to carry around since it has no need for an air compressor, but usually more expensive when compared to the air impact wrenches.
Cordless impact wrenches are impact wrenches that are usually powered by batteries. Because they are cordless, they can easily be carried about and used in small spaces, but continuous use will drain the battery.
Air impact wrenches are impact wrenches that are powered using compressed air. The designs are usually simple and this accounts for why they are usually cheaper. The air impact wrenches also do not suffer from heating problems, this is because any heat generated by the rotation is cooled by the air that is compressed. However, the air impact wrenches need a constant supply of compressed air in order for it to keep working.
An impact wrench is what you need if are looking to remove rusted bolts, high-torqued nuts and for driving fasteners that require high torque force.
Differences Between an Impact Driver and an Impact Wrench
Both an impact driver and an impact wrench are used by mechanics and engineers, but they are different tools and designed for different purposes. Both serve the same general purpose, what basically distinguishes them is the force and power that each tool has the ability to produce. Both tools have a similar outlook and can be used for similar purposes, but there are differences with regards to their individual practical applications and these differences will be examined below:
Impact drivers are mostly used at home, for carpentry works, and for do-it-yourself household works. It can be used by amateurs and professionals. Impact wrench, on the other hand, are mostly used by mechanics and professionals in industries. The power that an impact wrench has can be disastrous if used at home.
An impact driver either uses electricity or it could be cordless, thereby using a battery to power it. An impact wrench, on the other hand, uses compressed air, battery or electricity.
The basic source of power for an impact driver is electricity, whether it is cordless or corded. The basic source of power for an impact wrench is compressed air.
Force of output:
An impact driver uses less torque while an impact wrench uses more torque. Torque is the force that causes nuts, bolts and other related equipment to rotate. Even though, the impact driver produces a high amount of torque, it cannot be compared to that which is produced by the impact wrench. The impact wrench produces higher torque with minimal exertion.
An impact driver uses rotational forces and impacts force in an axial direction to achieve its aim while an impact wrench uses hammering force in a rotational direction.
Impact drivers are usually quiet and do not cause any form of noise when it is used. An impact wrench, on the other hand, makes so much noise while being used, and as a result, not usually ideal for home use. It is usually used in factories, industries and mechanic shops where earplugs are used to protect the ears from the noise it produces.
An impact driver is regulated using the speed parameter, which is used to either increase or reduce the speed of the machine depending on what is required for the task at hand. An impact wrench, on the other hand can adjust itself while being used and does not require any sort of manual adjustment. The output torque is regulated according to the duration of the output pulse.
Impact drivers are usually smaller in size and come in sizes of 1/4. It is usually one handed tool and cordless. While impact wrench comes in varying sizes of 3/8, 1/2 and 3/4. Because of their big sizes, impact wrenches cannot be easily handled.
An impact driver also uses 1/4 inch hexagonal socket while an impact wrench uses 1/2 inch square shaft.
An impact driver and an impact wrench may be similar in so many ways, yet their differences determine the purpose for which they are used. Hence, it is important to use the right tool that suits your need.