Impact wrenches may not be thought of as basic everyday tools, but they can and will make your work easier in the event you need additional force to complete a given task at hand. Given their power delivery, impact wrenches are mostly spotted in tire and mechanic shops. They are often used to change car wheels. Even with their high torque, they are designed in a way that most of the power is in the unit and not from your wrist. As such, they need minimal exertion. You should also note that most impact wrenches are operated using compressed air, and this is the reason why you will notice some hissing sound when in use. Now, contrary to popular belief, using an impact wrench is fairly simple and easy.
Things you will need
- An air compressor complete with the hose
- Impact sockets
- Pneumatic lubrication oil
The first step is to plug the air compressor to a power outlet and have it ready to run. Afterward, you should adjust the range of the air compressor to between 90 and 100 PSI. This is the range compatible with most of the impact wrenches models available on the market.
Connect the rubber air hose to the air compressor outlet and extend its length. It is imperative that you stretch out the hose getting rid of any twists and kinks on its lengths before you connect it to the impact wrench. This air hose can be likened to a water hose. In the event there is a kink along the length, water will get stuck resulting in a bulge and an increase in pressure which can be a safety hazard. The air will behave the same hence the need to check for kinks and straighten the unit.
Before you attach the cordless drill, you should allow air to run through the hose for a maximum of 10 seconds. This will get rid of any dust, moisture, and debris that might have found its way into the air hose. At this point, you can turn off the air compressor.
As you prepare to attach the impact wrench to the air compressor, you should check to ensure that the trigger is in the off position. If the wrench you are using is not self-lubricating, add three drops of your pneumatic tool oil to the impact wrench air inlet which is located at the end of the tool’s handle. Doing this every time before using the impact wrench helps it to last for long and be even quieter while in operation.
Attach the hose to the impact wrench’s inlet. Tug on the hose gently to ensure it is secure and firmly attached to the tool. Next, attach the correct socket size to the wrench’s anvil. The anvil is the shaft that is usually sticking out of the nose of the tool.
Turn the air compressor back on. Now, turn the wrench on and slightly tug on the impact wrench trigger to test the direction of the impact wrench. Depending on the impact model wrench that you have, there will be a button, switch, knob or latch above the trigger at the rear end of the unit that moves left or right. This controls the forward or reverse movements of the socket. To loosen lug bolts, have the unit set to counterclockwise and to tighten have it in the clockwise direction.
Locate the speed dial and adjust the torque to the desired level. Note that the torque you choose will be determined by the task at hand. When you are happy with the speed settings, you can proceed to tighten or loosen the lug nuts on the car wheel. Be sure to hold the unit tool firmly with the dominant hand. Once the lug is tight or loosened, you can release the trigger.
Safety Tips and Warnings
Like with every tool, impact wrenches come with a specific set of safety guidelines which are designed to make using them safer. They are powerful, and they could potentially cause a lot of harm when proper care is not taken.
Before you start using the impact wrench, it is imperative that you read the instruction manual that the unit comes with. Be thorough in your reading ensuring that you understand all requirements and pointed out warnings.
When handling an impact wrench, you should not be in loose dressing. Flowing hair or have jewellery that may get in the way.
Wear safety accessories
Prior to commencing your project, analyze your work surrounding. If it is dusty, put on a respirator or at the very least a face mask to keep yourself from inhaling unclean air. Have your work area free of clutter and any object that may trip or even cause you to lose your balance. Also, it is imperative to have safety goggles on, a thick jacket and gloves.
Use the right accessories
Impact wrenches are designed to work with specific accessories including sockets, drill bits and torque sticks for tightening lugs. Ensure that all accessories you choose are compatible with the impact wrench model you have. Lacking compatibility may render the parts to be fragile causing them to break thus leading to injuries.
Unplug the tool when not in use
When you are not using the power tool, it is imperative that you unplug it and store it in a dry and enclosed area. You should never change the accessories when the wrench is still plugged in. In the event it accidentally turns on, you may sustain grievous injuries.
Operate the Power Tool Properly
You should never use your impact wrench to complete tasks that it was not intended for or tasks that are too complex for your particular model. Forcing the tool to deliver higher performance may lead to accidents.
You should also ensure that you have a firm grip on the unit at all times. Also, check for the recommended torque for use with the varied sockets.
With the above guide, you can now go ahead and use your impact wrench with confidence and without fear of having anything go wrong.