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I have finally gotten utterly sick of hand wrenching. Ive started to look into an impact wrench, but i am at a bit of a crossroads as to whether to go electric or pneumatic.

I have access to a compressor. Its a 125psi model with a 5 gallon reserve that usually gets used for nail guns. Will that be enough to get significant use out of an impact wrench? im looking at something like this http://www.toolbarn.com/product/portercable/PT501/ that runs off of 90 psi, but i am worried that it will eat through that 5 gallon tank so quickly that it wont be worth while.

The other option is obviously electric, which i guess i am willing to do, but its just so much more expensive.

Thanks,

SM
 

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You will only be able to use it in short burst and then wait for the compresior to build PSI back up. But you need to match the cfm rate at a given psi....compresior v/s impact gun.
 

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If you have a crappy compressor you (at least) need a good impact...one that has some balls. Otherwise you will be hammering away at a lug nut and blow though that 5 gal tank before you can break the nut loose. My 30gal tank sucks with an "advertised 400 ft lb" impact.

Speaking of impacts, anybody try one of these:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=2623
 

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search, you #$%@! noob
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i think you are going to be very frustrated trying to use a compressor that is designed for use with a nail gun. it just doesn't have the balls.

i use this 10 gallon, 3HP one from HF: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90234

it's not bad for the price, but it barely gets the job done. it will take off 5 lug nuts, but then i have to wait. i think you'd be much better off investing in a heavy duty compressor. just my .02
 

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I agree that the compressor you have is way too small. I used to have a 30 gal single stage Campbell Hausfeld that couldn't keep up with the impact and air ratchet when tearing down engines. You need a pretty good sized tank to make it worthwhile.
 

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I have a 16 gal 4-5 HP (says it is "5 HP rated" but not sure I believe that) Campbell Hausfeld and it does everything I want it to but I also don't use it for every little thing. I only fire it up if I need the impact gun or if I will be tearing down enough bolts (that I know aren't seized since the air ratchet will break/strip those) to make it worth using. It was $120 or something like that and I figure it will do me fine until I buy a house and can justify installing a large unit that I won't plan on moving. I'd agree that a little nail gun compressor isn't going to cut it but don't feel like you need to go huge right away. Also keep in mind there is something to be said for portability. If you get a unit that is at least small enough to wheel around you can take it to where you need it rather than having to bring every single piece of work to it. I would love an enormous beast of a compressor but midsized compressors have their place as well.
 

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i cant speak too much for compressors... im currently running a craftsman compressor... there junk for impact needs... ill be upgrading to a larger two stage setup eventually and ditching the craftsman

for impact i would def recommend buying something better... spend $270 on a mac gun or the nice IR gun.. capable of 600ish lbs... btw most guns create more torque in reverse... that 400 is reverse probably... i was given a craftsman impact gun(the cheepy ones) that said capable of 300ft and it wouldnt put more than 75ft in forward...

spend some decent money on one and i would highly recommend a better compressor than what you have

dc
 

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Discussion Starter #8
looks like ill be going electric then.
 

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I went through the same thing a while back. I got some good input here.

http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90903

For the time being I went with a Harbor Freight $40 special 1/2" drive. Picked up a set of metric and standard sockets as well and got out of there for less than $100. I've used the crap out of it and it has been a life saver. Haven't been dissapointed yet.
 

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Alright I know I going to hammered for this but I have a Goodyear Pep Boys Cordless impact that I love. You just got to keep it charged. I got it for like $50 on sale. I know its cheap and but I do not expect to out live me or my truck, but who knows.
 

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that harbor frieght impact earthquake is great. It is just like the IR thundergun, worth everypenny for someone who just is not a professional mechanic.
I have the HF earthquake also, it is very nice for what I use it for, But then again I have a 60 gal 17 CFM compressor..:brownbag So I can't really help.
 

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I have a Harbor Freight electric (probably at least 8 years old or so) that absolutely wails. Way better than my air impact off my 20 gal compressor.
 

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yea that compressor is small for extended use of an impact. expecially a good one. I use the IR 2134TiMax at work but and it is great but at home on a 30 gal compressor at 130psi I can remove 2 tires before it slows down. if you have the compresor for it air is the way to go but the cordless snap-on ones that my boss has are very nice if you have the money and want the portability of it.
 

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I like the idea of a electric one. If you wanted to use it on the trail, I suppose you could get a good power inverter so to be able to use it on trail repairs. I like the idea of one, cuz right now, I live in an apartment. SO that means no compressor for me. I don't know what kind of wattage the electric impact gun uses, but Im sure you could get a inverter that would keep up with it.
 

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:stupid

I've heard really good things about modern cordless impact guns. I think there's one in my future.

That said, get a good gun, it'll make a big difference.
 

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Sad thing is. This http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=92651 has LESS torque than that tiny lil' bastard above. But it is much much cheaper.

If I did my math right P=IV P=8.5 A X 110 V
p= 935 W !!! <--Thats a pretty serious inverter for just that tool alone! But still, even having an inverter would still be nice.
I hate stuff like that, huge 12.5 lb hunk of junk with no power, has a 3/4" drive so you have to use an adaptor or have huge sockets and dont even think about running that off an inverter
 
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