Working with nuts and bolts all day and not having the right equipment might annoy you. A professional mechanic knows his tools very well, but if you have just begun working as a technician, you must know what tool suits you the most. Air Ratchet and impact wrench are two of the most prominent tools used in workshops, both serving their purpose, and both having their own pros and cons.
This article is all about understanding and knowing all about air ratchets and how are they different from impact wrenches. So that when you go to your workshop you know how to keep things simple and manageable. And let’s just not keep you waiting anymore, and begin.
Air Ratchet vs Impact Wrenches
Air ratchet is immensely popular among workers working in automotive, aerospace, heavy construction, or heavy manufacturing, this tool is used to tighten or lose the bolts in places where there is limited space. The basic concept behind its functionality is utilizing force from a high-pressurized gas, and converting it into torque. The gadget has a systemized arrangement of ratchets, turbines, and gearboxes.
The turbine present in the air ratchet converts the pressurized gas into mechanical energy. The air pressure flows through the turbine’s axis thus generating torque. Throughout the process, it is necessary that the flow of air remains constant. The axle of the turbine is connected to the gear set.
Impact wrenches generate an exceptional rotational torque to tighten or lose the nut and bolts and you have to apply minimal force to get the work done. The impact wrenches can be found extensively in the construction and automotive industry. The impact wrenches work to make things smooth and quick. In this gadget, the operating system is the motor that initiates the hammering process to produce a strong force.
So, no matter how tight a nut is, that’s a zero challenge for the impact wrenches. This amazing tool is available in different sizes and has the maximum potential to be utilized in the industry. Their capability is measured by the torque they produce and how fast they can fix a nut.
Differentiating Air Ratchet From Impact Wrenches
Size, Weight, & Dimensions
Lightweight and compact, that’s how you recognize an air ratchet. You can keep up the pace of your work for they are easy to handle. If you are working in a confined place and do not find enough space to access the nuts, the air ratchet would be the best option to work with. Air ratchets can help minimize effort and money for they will be giving you maximum output with the least input. More importantly, they are more widely used in the automotive industry along with the industrial and agriculture sectors.
The impact wrenches are heavier for they have a bulky motor operating in them. If you counter the bolts which are tighter
/98*/and rustier, they will be difficult to deal with. Moreover, they won’t be suitable in closed spaces, for they are hefty and need substantial effort to deal with. You will find their practicality in heavy-machinery maintenance, mega-construction projects, assembling, and manufacturing products.
Size availability in air ratchets are ¼ inch, ⅜ inch, and ½ inch, and you will get wrenches of sizes ¼ inch, ⅜ inch, ½ inch, and 1-inch.
Due to their lightweight and compactness, air ratchets have far better control and they are more accurate and precise. They produce less vibration for their running force is the air pressure that is created with the coordinated function of the turbine, gear system, and ratchet. Impact wrenches, on the other hand, are bulky enough and, generate enormous, torque, therefore, they aren’t suitable for narrow spaces.
The torque defines the strength of the equipment. And here an impact wrench beats the air ratchet. Its a 66 ft/lbs Vs 500 ft/lbs competition. So, the impact wrench would deliver an efficient performance on heavy-duty machinery, and the air ratchet would be appropriate for bolts and nuts that won’t be requiring much torque. I was amazed to see how quickly the air ratchet simply fixed the fastener without producing vibration and snapping off their heads.
Power Source & Sockets
As they are simple in construction, the air compressor renders power to the air ratchet. Therefore, you can plug them in simple sockets for they won’t be requiring a high voltage. However, portability might be an issue so better to get an extension with you, or you can search for a cordless air ratchet in case you want portability as an added benefit.
Since impact wrenches generate heavy torque they would require only impact sockets. Adding to that, there are two kinds of impact wrenches available in the market and they are corded and cordless. Cordless ones cost you extra money but they are worth the investment for they are more powerful and convenient while maneuvering, whereas corded impact wrenches need to have a secure electrical outlet.
Compactness brings this benefit along that the air ratchets perform with minimum noise. The air ratchet would deliver smooth noiseless functionality. While in impact wrenches make more noise, ensure that you have your earbuds on to avoid damaging your ears.
At this particular moment, the choice is yours, based on your requirement, if you frequently encounter tight bolts or wheel nuts go for an impact wrench, but for daily usage and for your workshop an air ratchet would be the best pick. Impact wrenches are would be best for heavy-duty tasks or removing nuts and bolts while air ratchets are suitable for working long hours and small spaces.
Best Air Ratchet
Ingersoll Rand 170G Edge Series 3/8” Drive Air Ratchet Wrench
Need an air ratchet for general maintenance, projects at the home, or automotive maintenance? The Ingersoll Rand 170G Edge series is the best one. Bought and trusted by thousands of customers, this air ratchet is all that you need for fastening your nuts and bolts. Having premium matchless features, this is the gadget I will be reviewing here for you as I purchased this for my general maintenance requirements.
Talking about its construction, this air ratchet has been made durable and reliable by heat-treating its head. So it is a sturdier air ratchet that would be delivering maximum output in no time. Moreover, the makers assure that each and every component, and functionality has been rigorously tested so that you get the best product delivered.
Interestingly, while repairing my bike I found the grip of this air ratchet amazingly ergonomic. The beautiful grooves in the handle didn’t make me feel that I had been working with it for two hours. I felt like it fits in my hand just like a puzzle fits the right piece.
Since the place I was working in was confined and narrow, and my bike required some replacement of nuts, this air ratchet made things seamless for me for it was lightweight and compact and reached the target bolts. I noted that this was not a heavy-duty task, the torque of 55 ft-lbs at a speed of 170 rpm generated was enough for me to fix the bolts.
This is best for fastening or losing nuts and bolts in tight spaces. I tested its reliability in various places in my home and workshop and it never failed, rather it just completed the task in minutes. So, I am sure this compact little air ratchet would be a one-point solution for all your requirements of fixing and fastening.
Best Impact Wrenches
AVID POWER Cordless Impact Wrench
Shouldn’t I introduce you to the impact wrench with a performance that perfectly meets your needs? Well, get to know the AVID Power Cordless, Impact Wrench. Boastful performance, and robust construction, and I am stunned looking at this stellar tool. A tighter, long, or heavy-duty bolt used in heavy machinery is just a matter of seconds for this particular impact wrench.
I had a chance to use this impact wrench during the assembly of an automotive, and it did not disappoint me for a second even while fastening the bolts. I also brought it home to my garage and did some repair work by removing old rusty bolts. The nuts I was once scared of were a piece of cake for this machine.
As compared to the air ratchet, the amount of torque produced by this impact wrench is 3983 in-lbs while tightening and loosening torque is 4465 in-lbs. Wondering how is this possible and the answer is the power motor fixed in it. The weight of the machine made it evident that the motor dominates the components fixed in it. Because as I started to work with it, the vibration produced by it was notable.
Another feature I liked the most about it is the bright LED light. This LED light works as an indicator set the rpm speed between 0-2000. Also, when I was using the wrench in dark, this LED made it possible that everything is visible to me, so it’s a huge plus point for me, as I didn’t have to arrange another flashlight alongside.
Since it is cordless, I loved how effortless I could maneuver it from one place to another, and I only had to take care of the charging. I recorded the time it took to get fully charged and in one to two hours the wrench was good to go.
The AVID Power Cordless Impact Wrench has a broad range of applications. I have found it extremely useful in automotive repair, including trucks, trailers, and motorbikes. With cordless maneuverability and fast charging, I am sure this can be your next best purchase.
Air Ratchets Vs Cordless Ratchets
Air ratchets outweigh cordless ratchets in terms that they are more powerful, more robust yet compact, and lightweight. The air ratchets are powered by an external source that is the air compressor, however, it limits its portability. However, having an external power source serves the advantage that the internal components are not overloaded and the tool does not get bulkier so you can work for hours without getting tired.
Cordless rachets on other hand have their power source assembled inside, which makes them heavier than air ratchets. Alongside, you don’t have to worry about the limited portability, yet they will not deliver efficacious performance as air ratchets do.
Air Impact Wrenches vs Cordless Impact Wrenches
Like air ratchets, the air impact wrenches also are connected to an external source like an air compressor. They are also lightweight, and compact because of fewer internal components and produce tremendous torque. However, confined portability might not favor you. The cordless impact wrenches can be charged, and the cables can’t be the limiting factor here.
So what to buy now, and honestly I love both the air ratchet and the impact wrenches. What matters is your requirements. At this stage when you have come to know about useability, size ranges, weight, power, and compactness, you have to define what perfectly matches your needs. If you are working as a technician in small-scale technician, and have to go for low maintenance or general maintenance task, an air ratchet would be the best option for you, or else mega factories or industries including automotive, and construction, widely employ impact wrenches to play with nuts and bolts.