buy an cheap impact wrench?

tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)May 29, 2010

I have two mowers that have torqued blades - a Gravely Pro 50 and a very recently acquired used large ZTR. I am tired of using my 1/2 breaker bar to loosen the nuts for the blades, and especially jamming boards into the underside of the mower to keep the spindles from turning.

What is a reasonably priced impact wrench, + 2 or three sockets?

I don't need premium stuff. I'm not running a Tire store here.



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canguy(British Columbia)

Are you looking for pneumatic or electric? I bought a low end Craftsman 1/2" air impact that was absolutely useless. Heavy, bulky and no power. I read the fine print later Made in China. I lost the receipt so it is still taking up space in the tool cabinet. Spent a few more bucks and got a CP that has performed well. IMHO, cheap tools are at best a waste of money and at worst downright dangerous.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:23PM
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Stick to the breaker bar. Why buy a $400 compressor and a cheap $50 impact wrench when you can do it with a breaker bar.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:35AM
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There are numerous Electric Impacts that have 200 ft pounds of torgue that will be more than sufficient for your use. They are normally priced around $100.00 but often go on sale for much less. I have purchased two on sale for the price of one at their regular price. Routinely use them for removal of lug nuts on my F-250 Diesel. Much easier on the back than the Breaker Bar Route lol .

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 9:07AM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

OK, good points. Maybe I am putting the cart before the horse. I thought I was looking for an air power wrench, but if electric is better, great.

On my Gravely walk behind, I have to jam boards underneath the deck to keep the blades from spinning, while I wrestle with the breaker bar. I am looking for an easier way, fewer skinned knuckles.

I already own a small craftsman compressor, 1 1/4 hp, 3 gal, the dial goes up to 200, but redlines @ 125 psi.

So, my Gravely spindle nuts are torqued @ 100 ft/pounds. My new (3 year old) ZTR is probably about the same (bolts are same size, 15/16").

1) will my compressor be able to loosen/tighten these bolts?

2) I see Craftsman does make a cheap air impact wrench. OK, it is probably junk. The Lowes nearby also has a cheapo 1/2" drive - $35. Brand name is Kobalt

I figure if I can find a decent air impact wrench (less than $75 ?) I really only need 2 sockets, 15/16" and 19 mm.

Thanks ewalk for the info on electrics. I just assumed that if you have a large enough compressor, the air wrench would have to be cheaper all around? but what do I know.

thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:49AM
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canguy(British Columbia)

Your compressor will handle an air wrench for short bursts, pressure is not the issue here but volume is. I can pop the blade bolt on my mower quickly using my little portable but if I need to remove the eight stud wheel on the pickup, I need to stop and wait for the tank to refill after two nuts.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 12:28PM
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I use my Dewalt electric a lot. There are about 2 bolts a year it can't break and I don't deal with the ridged air hose being in the way. I have a B$D Professional that is the same tool basically -which came off the Sears dump table like a decade ago. In my world, a decent air wrench will use more PSI than 125 when they have to work. I'm not sure about Kobalt impacts- but a customer gave me his Kobalt air ratchet which has to be the least powerful air ratchet created. My old air ratchet has 2ce the torque.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Last year I bought a 36" commercial walk behind and had the same issue. Like you, didn't want to spend $$$ for something I was going to use 2x year. I bought a 12 volt impact wrench from Harbor Freight Tools that plugs into a cigarette lighter jack for $18...worked like a charm!

Here's the link:


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 6:11PM
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nwnj: As Cg and Tomplum have advised either Elect. or a good Air Impact will suffice you will require a certain scfm (volume) of air at a specific pressure to use air powered tools properly. If not your impact will be greatly affected. Check your Compressor specs and price impacts accordingly. You may well opt for the Elect version since you may or may not routinely use the compressor enough to justify the expense of quality air tools . Cheap units can be dangerous , especially cheap grade impact sockets etc.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:32AM
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