An impact wrench is a tool mostly used in industrial and mechanical applications. Primarily, it is used in the changing of car tires to disassemble the wheels.
The tool operates simply. It features a spring, an impactor, and an anvil all of which work to tighten and untighten bolts. That is just the tip of the iceberg, as you will realize later when we go into detail about how the tool works.
Right now, we want to give you some tips that will help you keep safe as you use the impact wrench.
Table of Contents
- Safety Tips
- How to Use the Impact Wrench: 7 Steps
- Mistakes to Avoid
- Final Thoughts
Just like any other tool, an impact wrench comes with a unique set of guidelines that are designed to make your user experience safer. Note that the tool is powerful and likely to cause harm if not handled correctly.
Before you begin using the impact wrench, you want to read the user instructions that come with it. Read everything and ensure that you understand it.
Tuck Everything Away
It is important to tuck any loose clothing away or better still, wear fitting clothes. You also want to tie your hair up and remove any flowing jewelry that may get in the way as you are using the tool.
Safety is Paramount
Before embarking on your project, assess your surroundings. That way, you can determine whether you need some safety gear.
For instance, you will need to wear a face mask or respirator if you are working in a dusty area. Other things like safety goggles, gloves, and mask are standard so ensure you put them on before starting.
Did you know that impact wrenches are designed to work with particular accessories like drill bits and sockets?
As such, you want to ensure that the accessories you pick are compatible with your impact driver. The implications of lacking compatibility include breaking of parts and injuries to your body.
Always Unplug After Using
You must unplug the impact wrench from the power outlet and store it in a cool dry place after using it.
Never attempt to change the accessories when the tool is still plugged in because you may incur serious injuries if it accidentally turns on.
Operate As Recommended
We have already mentioned that you should read the user manual before using your wrench. That way, you will know what tasks it can and cannot handle.
You do not want to force the tool to deliver higher performance than what it is designed for can lead to fatalities and we are sure you do not want that.
How to Use the Impact Wrench: 7 Steps
It is now time for you to know exactly how the impact wrench works. Here are the steps.
It shouldn’t surprise you that the first step involves assembling the parts of your impact wrench. This is particularly important if you are using the tool for the first time.
If you are not good at the job, consider getting an impact wrench that will not require much assembling. Again, the user manual will come in handy here.
The next thing you want to do is check your connections to ensure that they are safe and compatible with your tool.
It is now time to use your impact wrench and you want to begin that by testing the machine as it will help you determine the direction in which it spins.
If the direction is wrong, you want to hold the knob and reverse the direction of your socket.
You then want to set the correct speed for your particular project. Speed is measured by RPM. Lower Resolutions per Minutes (RPM) deliver low torque and vice versa.
After testing the tool and setting the speed, you then want to get several sockets to improve your results.
Park your car on a level surface and apply the brakes. That is supposed to lock and stop it from moving when you begin removing the lug nuts.
You also want to have your spare tire at hand while doing this so that it is good and ready to be installed.
Next, you need to examine your car’s lug nuts to check whether they are corroded or frozen. If they are, you can break them with the impact wrench.
Whatever you do, do not jack up your tire at this point. The bolts should have lug nuts on when you jack up your car.
You can now jack up your car and undo the lug nuts. Remove your flat tire and fix the replacement using your fingers to fasten the lug nuts until they are securely fixed on the wheel.
Check to see if your tire is lowered to a level that the jack can be removed and then fix the nuts back using your impact driver.
If you want maximum torque, use a torque wrench to install the nuts tightly.
For a maximum torque amount, use a torque wrench to fix the nuts tightly.
Mistakes to Avoid
It is easy to make mistakes when using your impact wrench especially if you do not take the time to read and understand the user manual.
However, whether you read yours or not, here are some common mistakes you need to avoid if you want a seamless user experience.
Mistake #1 Over Tightening Fixings
This is a common mistake made by first-time users who have no idea how much torque an impact wrench can deliver.
It is understandable for you to think that over-tightening screws or nuts guarantee a secure fix. However, most of the time, over-tightening or securing beyond manufacturer recommendations will do more harm than good.
Mistake #2 Damaging Threads
If you intend to use your impact wrench to tighten a bolt or a cross-threaded nut, you may end up damaging the treads further and irreparably at that.
The best way around that is to manually thread the nut or bolt in the recommended manner before using the impact wrench.
Mistake #3 Using Incompatible Sockets
One of the most important things you need to remember is that your regular sockets are incompatible with impact wrenches. Yes, you read that right!
As such, you want to use dedicated impact wrench sockets to ensure that there are no mishaps and that cyclic loads are handles as required.
Mistake #4 Buying the Wrong Wrench Size
Consider the size of the fittings and fasteners that you are going to work with because that will help you purchase the correct impact wrench size.
A general rule of thumb is that the torque rating of your tool should be greater than the torque recommended for your application.
Mistake 5# Buying the Wrong Kind of Wrench
There are various kinds of impact wrenches to pick from. That could leave you confused but one thing you need to know is that air impact wrenches come with the best weight to power ratio.
On the other hand, electric impact wrenches are perfect for domestic repair works et al.
Using an impact wrench can be hard, but it can also be easy. No one wants to have a hard time and to avoid that; you can begin by making the most out of the user manual. Nonetheless, we have taken the guesswork out of the process so feel free to use this guide when using your impact wrench.