Impact Wrench vs Torque Wrench – ValesWood
No DIY project can be completed without using a wrench no matter which type of it you use. From putting together furniture, assembling a machine, securing a toilet seat, doing plumbing work, and making a play house to changing your car’s wheel, all of these tasks will need the use of a wrench.
You will need to grip and twist bolts and nuts, so your DIY project can be reliable and secure to use. Loose nuts can put users in danger, so when it comes to selecting the most appropriate one for your task, then you should be extra careful.
Although there are numerous types of wrenches, out of the two most basic categories, one is having a battery-powered or air-powered system while the second category is the wrench that depends on the manual strength provided by the users.
Impact wrench vs torque wrench is a very heavy discussion but what good would it be if it were not proven, right? So, to solve that issue I took it upon myself to use them both for my regular use and then give you an honest review. So, I ordered them both online and used each continuously for a week for my regular work. At the end of the second week, here’s what I concluded: An impact wrench is a very powerful tool that is best for tightening and loosening only the most stubborn fasteners, whereas a torque wrench is a very precise tool that can be used on a daily basis.
On the basis of these two categories, the most difficult decision DIYers and professionals have to make is to select any one among the torque wrench and impact wrench. I have gathered all the information that you will need to know in order to end the most debatable topic regarding tightening bolt nuts, that is, impact wrench vs torque wrench.
Impact Wrench vs Torque Wrench
Bolting and tightening of nuts do need the use of a wrench. You cannot secure any size or type of nuts with your hand. A wrench is simply a tool that provides the users a medium to have a secure grip on the nut while it is twisted.
Both the impact wrench and torque wrench can be used as the tightening or loosening tool for workers when it comes to bolts and nuts. But the thing is that if both perform the same job, then how are they different, what is the mechanism behind each, which is more useful, when to use them, and when it is not suitable to use each of them? Scroll down to find out.
What Is An Impact Wrench?
An impact wrench is not similar to the usual open-ended wrench that many homeowners have in their repair boxes. Even though both are responsible to perform and help users in doing almost similar tasks but the nature and structure of the open-ended ones and the impact wrench are poles apart. Impact wrenches have a power source that makes them more robust than manual ones.
These types of wrenches have a gun-like structure and on the tip of this gun-like structure, a tension socket and spinner are attached. The spinner and the socket can be changed depending on the nature and size of the bolts and nuts that you are trying to tighten or loosen. The socket that is attached to the wrench is provided a rotational force by the power source. This power source can be electric, battery, air, or hydraulic.
What Are The Perks Of Using An Impact Wrench?
As now you know what an impact wrench is and what its working mechanism is, you might be wondering about the benefits that this robust and convenient wrench provides to its users. Even though the working mechanism of this type of wrench is more suitable for professional use, you can use it even if you are more interested in DIY projects or home upgradation projects. Here are some perks that an efficient impact wrench will provide you.
- The impact wrench helps the users, whether they are professionals or hobbyists, to get the job done fastly. You don’t have to manually twist the bolts to either tighten or loosen them up. Rather you can just press a button and the impact wrench will do the job in seconds.
- Effortless grip and bolting are possible with the help of the impact wrench as the tension socket securely rotates the nuts and bolts until they become tight enough.
- Using the impact wrench will help you in saving your time as the impact wrench has a power source that not only makes the work possible in less time but also requires less effort to do it.
- No manual strength is needed as the hydraulic, electric, or air-powered system in the impact wrenches power to rotate the bolts as compared to the manual wrenches.
- You can have much more secure and tighter nuts or bolts with the help of the impact wrench as the batteries, electricity, hydraulic, or air system provides a very high rotational power to the bolts which need to be secured.
When To Use?
Heavy and powerful machines and cars will need the usage of an impact wrench as compared to a torque wrench. The bolts and nuts that are part of mechanical machines need much more torque to make them tight enough to bear the force that these machines exert on them. You cannot use manual wrenches to tighten large nuts. Especially those nuts which are a part of moving machines and objects are more likely to get loose easily with time.
If you are a professional such as a maintenance worker in an industry, an automobile mechanic, or a plumber, then you will need to use an impact wrench as it will help you get your demanding and tiring task in no time. Construction workers also can utilize the impact wrench as you can bolt nuts all day long without sweating a little. If you have a large off-road truck or SUV, then you will definitely need an impact wrench while changing your tires.
When Not To Use?
You can always rely on an impact wrench to do tough and tiresome tasks for you, but there are times when you should not use these robust and fast tools to fasten the nuts. An impact wrench has a power source that gives it high torque in order to rotate the nuts. Whereas the socket allows you to have a secure hold on the nut. So, all these features of the impact wrench make it not suitable for nuts and bolts that are small in size and doubt need such a high amount of rotational force. In such cases, it is best to go for less powerful and manual options in order to get the job done.
What Is A Torque Wrench?
Unlike the impact wrench, the torque wrench has no power-providing system. There is no hydraulic, electric, or air-powered system in it. It is similar to the simple open-ended wrench but it has its own features. The torque wrench is a manual wrench but is a closed one. The round head holds the bolts in it and then the bolt is twisted in any desired direction to either loosen or fasten the bolt. The torque wrench has a system inside, which is more mechanical.
There is a cylindrical scale at the tip of the wrench that needs to be rotated to select the exact amount of torque that you need. You will first have to make the screw loose and then rotate the scale in which direction you want and then tighten it. There is a spring that will move and make a sound of a click. This will indicate that the amount of torque that was selected by the user has been applied to the bolt. The workers will have to twist the bolt with the help of manual effort until they hear the click.
What Are The Perks Of Using A Torque Wrench?
As compared to the impact wrench the torque wrench might not be helpful with large and heavy bolting works, but it has its own advantages that make it also one of the top choices of many workers out there. You will have to use each of them parallel to each other as not all types of nuts can be bolted with either an impact wrench or a torque wrench. So, without further ado, let’s scroll down to find out the perks of the special torque wrench.
- Precision that the torque wrench provides to the workers is exceptional and unmatched as compared to the other types of wrench.
- You can set the amount of rotational force with the help of the built-in scale in the torque wrench. The scale shows the amount of torque in foot per pound.
- There is no power source, so there is less chance of snapping the small and delicate nuts with the help of the torque wrench.
- The working mechanism is simple, so there is not much hassle behind using this wrench.
- It is more suitable to use the torque wrench when you have few nuts to bolt as the impact wrench is not as convenient to use.
When To Use?
The torque wrench is used when the workers want to bolt the nuts accurately instead of bolting them fastly. An impact wrench is undoubtedly a powerful tool, but the power that spins the nuts is not fixed. The impact wrench will rotate with the force which is determined by its power source, but still, there is no means to measure it accurately. On the other hand, the torque wrench is used when you know the rotational force that the nut needs. You will be able to have more control over the force exerted on the nut.
You can use the torque wrench when dealing with wheels or smaller vehicles, plumbing equipment, motors, steering parts, wheels, small DIY projects, and suspension. The small nuts can snap when the impact wrench is used as the nut cannot bear the force applied to it. Whereas, in the case of the torque wrench this rotational force is calculated, fixed, and controlled.
When Not To Use?
Things are pretty different when it comes to cases when it is not suitable to use a torque wrench. You can use a torque wrench to bolt bug nuts that are used in machines, engines, and motors. But one thing that you need to know is that it will not be as quick and effortless as compared to the impact ones. The impact wrench has a power source, so the users don’t need to use their manual strength to tighten or loosen nuts. You will become tired and drained. Large projects and long tasks will take more time.
Difference Between The Impact Wrench And The Torque Wrench
The only thing common in both types of wrenches is that both are used in bolting nuts and lugs with the help of rotational force applied. Apart from it an impact wrench and torque wrench are different in the nature of work that they are involved in, their working mechanisms, control, power systems, and adjustability. Here I have brought to you all the differences that these two dominating wrenches have got. Keep on reading.
1. Working Mechanism
- The working mechanism of both wrenches is different. The impact wrench has a final tension socket attached to the nozzle of the gun-shaped wrench. This socket will get a hold of the bolt and will rotate at a very high speed. The power that helps the socket move is provided by the power source which usually has a battery, electrical connection, compressed air, or hydraulic system in it.
- Whereas the torque wrench has no power source in it. But the mechanism that is responsible for the accuracy of these wrenches is a simple spring system that is placed inside the handle of the log closed-ended wrench. The spring will act in such a way when the force you selected has reached. The click sound acts as an indicator for the user to stop applying the manual efforts.
2. Rotational Force
- The rotational force that is applied by the workers manually in the case of the torque wrench is more controlled and fixed. You will not have to rely on the power source as in the case of impact wrenches. The scale will help the worker set and control the level of rotational force needed.
- The rotational force in the case of impact wrenches is high and uncontrollable. There is no scale that can help you measure and keep a hold of the torque that the nut will be exposed to. The power source that is more dependent on energy supply as compared to manual strength will play a role in providing a higher force than is even needed.
3. User Friendly
- The impact wrenches are more user-friendly as it gives a sense of relief to the workers by reducing the effort, time, and energy that a task required prior to the use of the impact wrench. You don’t sweat by exerting a lot of force. You can work on large-scale projects without getting backache.
- Whereas the torque wrench comes in handy when the intensity of the work is less tiring. You can use these wrenches when you have bolt small nuts. The torque wrench is more nut friendly than user-friendly as it will help keep small nuts from getting damaged.
- The torque wrench is affordable as compared to the impact ones as they have a basic yet usable structure and working mechanism. The spring and click system in it is not as complex and high-tech as compared to the power system in the impact wrench.
- The impact wrench is slightly pricier than the torque wrench as the more material used, complex the structure, and the maintenance a tool has the more high price is.
5. Nature Of Tasks
- The impact wrenches are used for doing much more demanding and professional tasks. You will have to utilize the power of the impact wrench to bolt tough, large, and high quantities of bolts. These wrenches are used to tighten or loosen bolts that are a part of industrial machines, large mechanical equipment, furniture, weight-bearing supports, truck wheels, and much more.
- Whereas the torque wrench is more responsible for less intense tasks that need more accuracy. Few bolts are placed in such tools that they will need a precise amount of force in order to tighten them up. If the force is either increased or decreased then it can damage the function of the thing of which the nut is a part.
The Best Option For An Impact Wrench
DEWALT 20V Impact Wrench
The DEWALT 20V Impact Wrench is truly the best performance wrench similar to all of the other reliable products by DEWALT. When it comes to work tools DEWALT never fails to amaze users with its high-quality material, performance, durability, and efficiency. This Impact wrench provides everything a professional or hobbyist needs in a wrench. The power source of this impact wrench plays a role in making it more user-friendly and efficient.
The power source of the DEWALT 20V Impact Wrench is a 20 Volt Lithium-ion battery that supplies energy for the motor to work in order to help the workers with bolting and griping. The 3.2 kilograms weighing impact wrench is made up of aluminum metal which has an outer layer of the yellow-colored polymer coating. This coating plays a role in adding a protective layer that reduces the chance of scratches and rust.
The anvil has a size of about half an inch which will fit in the sockets. The battery will provide power to the brushless motor. This will reduce all the wastage of energy by lowering heat dissipation and resistance. This wrench is cordless as the battery will supply power to the motor even if there is no socket around it. The charger is provided by the manufacturers, so there is no need to worry about the charge life.
The DEWALT 20V Impact Wrench gives the user more level of torque and speed. You can adjust the speed with the help of the multi-speed control that is present at the lower end of the handle. The black-colored switch allows a range of speed from 400 to 1900 Rotations per minute. At the highest speed, the torque can go up to 1200 foot-pounds. Just in front of the switch, there is an LED light that helps you get going all day and night too.
The Best Option For A Torque Wrench
GEARWRENCH 1/2 Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench
The torque wrenches are known for the torque that they claim to provide and the accuracy of the controlling scale that is built into these wrenches. When it comes to the highest amount of torque and the precision of a torque wrench, the GEARWRENCH 1/2 Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench truly deserves to be listed as the best because it has the built, material, and performance that I have been looking for.
This torque wrench might look like a simple and regular open-ended wrench, but it has much more to it. The stainless steel alloy from which the head and handle of the wrench are made up is not only strong and durable but also helps the user in keeping it clean and rust-free. The overall length of this torque wrench is around 26.7 inches. At one end the head is present and on the other end, the handle is present.
The GEARWRENCH 1/2 Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench has a sealed design rather than the opened head design used in many other wrenches. There is a polymer coating at the handlebar which has small structures which increase the resistance and help you in having a firm grip. Just before the coated part of the handle starts, there is the torque scale located.
The torque scale has the lowest torque of 30 feet per pound and the highest torque of 250 feet per pound. The markings that are present on the bar are visible enough for the users. You just have to push in the bar, rotate the handle to set the scale, and pull back the handle to secure it in position. The GEARWRENCH 1/2 Drive Micrometer Torque Wrench has an accuracy level of -/+ 3 percent which makes it even more reliable.
Now that you know everything about the impact wrench and torque wrench, it will be easier for you to select the best one depending on the nature of the task that you have to perform while using a wrench. The impact wrench is more powerful, time-saving, requires less manual force, has less control, has a high price, and focuses on demanding tasks. Whereas the torque wrench is more affordable, efficient, precise, simpler, easy to use, and focuses on less demanding tasks. I hope that now the most debatable topic of impact wrench vs torque wrench will have come to an end.