What impact wrench to get?

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Firstly, IT MUST BE CORDLESS. I don't have space for an air compressor.

Past year I've gotten into doing my own car work, can't stand the $500 brake or ball joint jobs anymore, so I've been slowly getting tools. One tool I would like to have, but not sure I need is an impact wrench. IMO, a breaker bar is cheaper, but the speed of an impact gun is hard to argue with.

There are a lot of brands to choose from and this is mostly going to be a "what brand should I buy into?" topic. I'd like to get a brand that I'll also get other power tools in the future that use the same battery; I don't want to go and buy a Milwaukee impact gun and then proceed to buy Ryobi drills, saws, and fan and end up with a bunch of different batteries.

So, how is Ryobi? What about Dewalt, Crafstman, Black & Decker? Or is Milwaukee the only real choice?

I'm not a professional, just a DIY guy, not going to be using these power tools every day, maybe once every couple months.

EDIT: No Snap-On. Could buy a Geo Metro with the price of a Snap On impact wrench.
 
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Laderbuilt

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For just a DIY situation I’d strongly recommend you go with a corded unit from Dewalt and or Milwaukee.
Here is why corded over cordless. A cordless battery will die if left in an uncharged state. It will also die over time as well as if left on a charger. They are meant to be used and often. They are expensive to buy and over time battery technology or attaching methods change and replacement batteries can become Prohibitively expensive over time.

A corded model is ready when you are no need to remember to “charge” before you start work.
It can last a long time if well cared for.
Won’t die in the middle of a job or experience a costly battery failure.
Nothing to buy later unless you wear it out.
Cheaper to buy upfront as well.

As far as a breaker bar is “cheaper” your right as far as buying it goes but it can cost you as well.
On rusted fasteners torque alone can cause bolts to snap where an impact could get them apart without breaking. (Not always true but darn close)
Time is money. Sooner the job is done the sooner your on to other chores or spending time with the family.

A Dewalt DW293 has 345lbs of useable torque and costs 180$ that’s not to bad strongest electric out there nope. The Milwaukee 18v cordless is much stronger but also 2-3 times the investment.

I hope this helps you.
 

mwalsh9152

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Laderbuilt has you covered. In the days before cordless impacts, in used to have a generator on the back of my wrecker to run a corded impact, that thing was awesome for it's time.

I have a Snap On 18V impact that I bought in a previous career. They sat for a few years, and I ended up having to rebuild the batteries. (Cheaper option than new from Snap On) I also need to plan ahead and charge my batteries before doing any work, because its probably been 2-3 months since I last used them.

I definitely would recommend a cordless 3/8 impact though for smaller work. If you already have a drill, get that make 3/8 for under $100 I think.
 

mikelawtown

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I had a craftsman that worked OK I bought the harbor freight impact brand which is pretty strong but I did return it in favor of the rigid brushless GEN five 1/2 and really like it.
Has a few different settings and I just leave it on high and takes my truck Lugnuts off in a second
450 ft lbs torque
 

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Alien

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Cordless has come a long way! Check out Garage journal for discussions on just this subject. Corded just doesn't have the torque rating the good cordless ones do. If I were to buy today it would be the Milwaukee Fuel Brushless, they are a beast. I have a snap on (not impressed) and an Ingersoll Rand cordless impact. I can leave that Ingersoll Rand Cordless Impact (I also own the drill that uses the same battery) and it sits in the toolbox of my truck, out in the cold and have never had the battery any less than it was when I put it there even 6 months later. Another advantage to cordless is you can use it to remove your lug nuts if you are out on the road somewhere that a corded one will not be useful.
 

Tinkermatic

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I’m in the Dewalt house. Their 20V batteries are expensive, but if you find package deals as you build a collection, it can save you big money.
I use them every day for work and even the small 1.5Ah batteries have plenty of power and life. They make much larger 4 and 6 Ah batteries as well.
It’s fallen off the back of the truck driving away, down stairs, off ladders on to concrete and seen more drywall and plaster dust than can be considered healthy. Still going strong. This driver is 5 years old, not one of the new fancy brushless ones.
Just MHO
 

PatMcD

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It's not just the impact gun you are buying: you are buying into a system. You might as well get an impact gun that will swap out batteries with other things you might want in the future.
I've used Dewalt, Makita, and Rigid. All do some or most things well, but not all things.
Late last year I had a few extra bucks in my business account and decided it was time for a change. I went all-in with MILWAUKEE FUEL. Best tool decision I ever made. The kit I started out with came with an impact gun. I'm no mechanic, but it spins the rusted lug nuts off of my 2005 GM truck no problem. It stays in the vehicle at all times for any roadside issues.
 

sieveboy

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Gotta spend money as far as I know. My experience with middle of the road brands has not been good.

I bought a Ridgid because I already had a couple of drills and it took the same 18v battery.

It blows. Max torque is about 25 ft-lbs. I use it to spin fasteners after breaking them free with a bar.
 
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Don’t laugh ! Anyone use Harbor Freight cordless impact ?
Cordless, no, but I did but and am happy with my Harbor Freight 3/4" impact.

I love my Milwaukee cordless tools. I use my cordless ratchets and drill/driver every day. For homeowner/home mechanic work I have a bunch of M18 tools including the big Fuel 1/2" impact. It's nice.
 

Mark from MA

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I had a craftsman that worked OK I bought the harbor freight impact brand which is pretty strong but I did return it in favor of the rigid brushless GEN five 1/2 and really like it.
Has a few different settings and I just leave it on high and takes my truck Lugnuts off in a second
450 ft lbs torque
The Ridgid has been great for me. Think it cost me 159.00 online with the large battery. I never use the compressor anymore for lugs and it's taken off some stubborn ass nuts. Plus everything else cordless I has is Ridgid, so it's really a no brainer, and the lifetime warranty.
 
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If you want to buy into the whole system and are willing to spend the $, go Milwaukee (cordless)

I’ve had a Ryobi impact wrench for about 3 years and have used it for everything from brake jobs to wheel changes are multiple cars. Large 18v battery lasts quite a while (even with car wheel changes) and I think I paid around $100 at HD. I also added a drill and circular saw to the kit later for a very reasonable amount. For a home DIY I find Ryobi a good fit. But if I was willing to spend a tad more I would upgrade to Milwaukee. But no regrets in the Ryobi (has yet to meet a frozen nut it couldn’t break loose)
 

Mark from MA

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Gotta spend money as far as I know. My experience with middle of the road brands has not been good.

I bought a Ridgid because I already had a couple of drills and it took the same 18v battery.

It blows. Max torque is about 25 ft-lbs. I use it to spin fasteners after breaking them free with a bar.
Not mine......It's spun the lugs off every tire it's met so far without loosening.

What people say about a system is correct. I had bad luck with Milwaukee batteries years ago when I bought 5 tool set and the batteries crapped out in 3 years. Milwaukee did nothing for me, and I had 5 useless tools unless I bought another 300 dollars worth of batteries.

I've had good luck with Ridgid screwgun and batteries, so i now have that whole set of carpentry tools, and a slew of batteries. Some are 8 years old and still kicking, and have a lifetime warranty, that I can put in online and register for. I can see all my tools that are covered right online. The new batteries also fit my older ridgid tools, so those are still good, even though i use the smaller ones now for the most part. Its nice not to have to throw old stuff in the trash. So far I've never had to use the warranty...the batteries have been great.
 
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silversquirrel

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CPO Makita 18V hammer drill Kit with charger and 2 batts, added bare tools as needed, circ saw, 1/4 impact, etc. then they changed to the newer smart battery that wont work on older tools, but found old style 5A Li batts on ebay for 25 bucks. Gtg.
Had 4 original batts all dead now after 8 years
1/4 impact for wood screws etc wont break loose stubborn lug nuts, i crack em with a breaker, then spin them on or of with the makita. Torque wrench to finish.
Want to get a 3/8 or 1/2 impact but now will have two makita battery types, might get milwaukee next instead. I dunno. Sorry not helpful.
 
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Bernietech

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I watch AVE/BOLTER regularly, but not all of his reviews. My impression of his commentary is Makita, nothing else is close for a system. The others do have some standouts. I own only corded tools. I think for diy, that is the way to go. For daily professional Both
 
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Milwaukee for spinning bits, DeWalt for spinning blades and disks. Or hitachi as their 7" angle grinder is awesome.

The M18 batteries hold up really well and the chargers are all Rock solid.
 

Sweeney

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When it comes to cordless tools I'm a Milwaukee fan. In the past they had issues with their NiCad battery packs but the M18 Lithium packs have been flawless in my experience.
 

Matt-CZ

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Harbor Freight and a long extension cord have worked well for my infrequent usage. Managing batteries for a tool that is only occasionally used is going to suck.
 

mtnbiker26

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No one has mentioned battery shelf life yet. Cordless is great if you're using the tools often enough get your money's worth over the 5-ish year life of the battery. Not a good value when you only use the tool two or three times a year and then you have to replace the expensive battery and it eats into that money you're saving by DIY. Corded will last forever.

If I were buying into a system I'd go with the Milwaukee Fuel 12V stuff for drills and impact drivers because they're small, light and powerful. Super easy to carry in a tool belt and they don't swing around and get caught on the ladder and stuff. I'd go Dewalt 60V for all the big stuff like reciprocating saws and grinders. 60V DC = 120V AC. My boss bought into the Dewalt 60V stuff and he was telling me how Dewalt makes an inverter that lets him use two 60V batteries to output 120 VAC and he used it to power a little space heater to blow on his wife's feet when they went to the drive in movies in cool weather.

For me, cordless drills and impact drivers get used enough around the house to be a good value but all my other tools like Sawzall, routers, sanders, grinders are corded and my automotive tools like impact wrenches, air ratchets, air hammers are pneumatic.
 

pupchow

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Once I bought a Ti pneumatic, I was kicking myself for waiting so long, putting up with inferior tools. Yeah, it needs a compressor and an air hose. But it's light AF and compact. It has yet to meet a fastener it cannot break free.

2135PTiMAX Series Impact Wrench
 
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