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View Full Version : Thinking about a new impact gun.. what size to get??



d1giPhux
12-28-2011, 08:22 AM
I'm thinking about picking up a new HF Earthquake Impact gun as they have super reviews online everywhere. They just came out with their new line, which are a bit more streamlined than the old ones.

I already have an Electric 1/2" impact gun, and all my impact sockets are 1/2". I love the electric impact, and it rips nearly anything off. However, I figured it might be a good idea to get an air impact as well since they are a bit smaller and can probably get into tighter spaces than the electric one can. Here is the electric:

https://sl-i.net/FORUM/images/imported/2011/12/41I3YFo43mL_SL500_AA300_-1.jpg

So now my real question. Which gun should I get? 1/2", or 3/8" impact? Both are around the same size according to these pics of the new ones:

https://sl-i.net/FORUM/images/imported/2011/12/picturephpalbumid1246pictureid10767-1.jpg

Also, I may pick up an impacting ratchet wrench as well. Would it be best to get 3/8" or 1/2"?:

https://sl-i.net/FORUM/images/imported/2011/12/picturephpalbumid1246pictureid10768-1.jpg

Which would be more useful all around? 1/2" or 3/8"? Which do you use the most? Keep in mind I already have an electric 1/2" impact, but its pretty damn big. All my sockets are 1/2" however, so I would either need to buy new 3/8" impact sockets, or get an adapter.. which may make the whole setup larger anyways and take away any advantage the 3/8" impact may have.

Any info on what you use, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated! If you own one of these guns, or one of the ratchets, please tell me your review / input on it!! :smt023

Reason
12-28-2011, 09:34 AM
I have a 1/4 battery craftsman and it's awesome so far. I plan on getting a 3/8 electric and 1/2 air. So I'm covered in all sizes, getting into tight places wouldn't be a concern of mine.

d1giPhux
12-28-2011, 11:44 AM
Nice, yeah I was thinking about going with the 3/8".. but the only reason I was thinking to get the 1/2" air was because.. they are close in size, and because the specs of the 3/8" one actually require more air. Not sure why.. but here are the specs from both:

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-profess ... 68424.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/12-professional-air-impact-wrench-68424.html)

http://www.harborfreight.com/38-profess ... 68425.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/38-professional-air-impact-wrench-68425.html)
----------------------------------------------------
1/2" SPECS:

Max torque:700 ft. lbs.
Torque range:50-550 ft. lbs.
Free speed: 7000 RPM
Working pressure: 90 PSI
Average air consumption:4.4 CFM @ 90 PSI
Air inlet: 1/4" NPT
Recommended hose size: 3/8"
Sound output (dBA): 84
Overall length: 6-1/4"
Tool weight: 6 lbs.
Shipping Weight: 6.45 lbs.
----------------------------------------------------
3/8" Specs:

Max torque:300 ft. lbs.
Torque range:25-250 ft. lbs.
Free speed: 11,000 RPM
Working pressure: 90 PSI
Average air consumption:5 CFM @ 90 PSI
Air inlet: 1/4" NPT
Recommended hose size: 3/8"
Sound output (dBA): 92
Overall length: 6-1/4" L
Tool weight: 3.5 lbs.
Shipping Weight: 3.95 lbs.
----------------------------------------------------

All of my impact sockets are also 1/2". Not sure if there would be any real difference / advantage to the 3/8". That was the one I was leaning towards initially.. but I'm not sure which to get now!

I'll upload a picture of the difference between the 1/2 and 3/8" guns later.. but you can see them at the beginning of this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3rtqxH_Brg

As you can see, not too much of a size diff between the 1/2" and the 3/8"

Reason
12-28-2011, 11:56 AM
No there isn't but it's always good to have different sizes. Really read my last post, I switch the numbers. And that extra torque the 1/2 has will be very hand. I have the battery 1/4 because I don't want to much power that the bolt will snap. The 3/8 electric cord could be used the most, for general things. Easier to whip out than the air 1/2 and more torque than the 1/2. And with the 1/2 would be used more with taking lugs off bumper beams etc and any other type of work you may come across. Having the right tool for the job makes things easier and faster.

Dead91silvia
12-28-2011, 12:48 PM
Go big or go home! haha

no really, I regret not getting a bigger one when I got the one I have now. I have a Blue Point and its been a beast of an impact, but sometimes not enough TQ to get bolts off.

My next one with be an Ingersoll Rand thunder gun. My old boss still has it and its still going and its been through hell. We have broke lug nuts off with it when needed. It's also adjustable, to you dont over tighten everything.
http://www.amazon.com/Ingersoll-Rand-23 ... B000E21CZ6 (http://www.amazon.com/Ingersoll-Rand-232TGSL-2-Inch-Super-Duty-Thunder/dp/B000E21CZ6)
I only say get this one since I know its good and I regretted not getting it. It's big and heavy, but well worth it.

Now if your looking for something smaller, go get a Milwaukee Cordless impact. I have had one since April and it's now my favorite tool of all. You can interchange the heads from 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, Phillips, and more. Does not have a tone of TQ, but I use it on body, motor, and interior all day. Works on some suspension every now and then. Love this tool!
http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2650-21 ... 779&sr=8-7 (http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2650-21-18-Volt-Compact-Impact/dp/B001F7BIL2/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1325093779&sr=8-7)

3/8's impacts are nice to have, but air is almost not even worth it anymore. I had a Craftsman 3/8s impact and I hated it. Never had enough balls and the cordless one I can take any where and they have almost the same TQ. I have extended battery's for mine and they last a long time. You can also use normal 3/8's sockets with all 3/8's impacts. At least I do. Never broke any, well, any of my snap-on ones. I did kill a few Craftsman ones... haha...

Just a mechanics 2 cents...

d1giPhux
12-28-2011, 01:17 PM
Nice, thanks for the info.

Those IR guns I've heard are good, but actually if you check out reviews about the HF Earthquakes, people say they are more powerful, and last just as long. As far as I've heard from all the reviews online. You should check one out.

I would love to get an electric 3/8" impact. Reason, you said you are getting or have a 3/8" corded? Where did you get it from?

The only reason I'm contemplating getting these guns from HF is that I have a $100 gift card to HF that is burning a hole in my pocket.

If i don't pick up one of the guns, I may get one of the impacting air ratchets. Those looks cool and useful as well.

My electric 1/2" gun can get most heavy stuff off. Suspension bolts, bumper beam bolts, etc. Best $40 ive ever spent.

Honestly.. if HF sold more electric impacts, maybe a smaller one that worked as well.. I would buy it. I dont even OWN a compressor, however I would be using my air tools at a friends who has a compressor.

Anyone else have info about electric impacts in possibly smaller sizes? Maybe I'll just keep my gift card and get some other stuff from HF that could be useful and just buy an electric impact down the road. The only reason I even NEED a smaller impact is because my electric 1/2" is pretty huge and cant get into places like the wheel well too easily, and some of the under car stuff seems a bit tough. But everything I have thrown at it otherwise its broken off with ease.


Dead91silvia: that milwaukee impact you have.. don't you need a special 1/4" hex to whatever adapter? I had contemplated getting something like that, a smaller 1/4" version, but the only problem i see with that is.. isn't it basically an over-glorified impacting screw driver? The adapters don't ever snap?

If anyone else knows of any other corded impacts.. feel free to post em up!

Reason
12-28-2011, 01:44 PM
No I have a fielded 1/4 craftsman I just got for Christmas. I don't know If you ever taken fuel rails apart by hand, but it's a bitch. I used the impact and came off with ease. I'll buy an electric 3/8 first only because I don't have a compressor. I slacked too long not having what I should to get the job down. I bought a few things and got some stuff for Christmas, next is an engine hoist and 3/8 electric impact. I haven't researched yet so I can't give you any opinions on what is good.

d1giPhux
12-28-2011, 01:52 PM
Yeah, I haven't seen too many 3/8" corded electric impacts. Only batteries. I dunno.. i wish i could buy a 3/8" corded. Battery operated stuff seems okay, but doesn't really appeal to me too much. They cost too much, and are too unreliable, as is most battery stuff in my opinion.

You should check out 1/2" HF electric impacts. I bought one of the orange ones a couple years ago.. best $40 i ever spent. Seriously.

Reason
12-28-2011, 02:54 PM
I'm at HF pretty much every weekend, love the that store. I haven't looked at the power tools too much but I'll give it a look next time I'm there.

Dead91silvia
12-28-2011, 04:34 PM
Nice, thanks for the info.

Those IR guns I've heard are good, but actually if you check out reviews about the HF Earthquakes, people say they are more powerful, and last just as long. As far as I've heard from all the reviews online. You should check one out.

I would love to get an electric 3/8" impact. Reason, you said you are getting or have a 3/8" corded? Where did you get it from?

The only reason I'm contemplating getting these guns from HF is that I have a $100 gift card to HF that is burning a hole in my pocket.

If i don't pick up one of the guns, I may get one of the impacting air ratchets. Those looks cool and useful as well.

My electric 1/2" gun can get most heavy stuff off. Suspension bolts, bumper beam bolts, etc. Best $40 ive ever spent.

Honestly.. if HF sold more electric impacts, maybe a smaller one that worked as well.. I would buy it. I dont even OWN a compressor, however I would be using my air tools at a friends who has a compressor.

Anyone else have info about electric impacts in possibly smaller sizes? Maybe I'll just keep my gift card and get some other stuff from HF that could be useful and just buy an electric impact down the road. The only reason I even NEED a smaller impact is because my electric 1/2" is pretty huge and cant get into places like the wheel well too easily, and some of the under car stuff seems a bit tough. But everything I have thrown at it otherwise its broken off with ease.


Dead91silvia: that milwaukee impact you have.. don't you need a special 1/4" hex to whatever adapter? I had contemplated getting something like that, a smaller 1/4" version, but the only problem i see with that is.. isn't it basically an over-glorified impacting screw driver? The adapters don't ever snap?

If anyone else knows of any other corded impacts.. feel free to post em up!

1. get a compressor if you dont have one. That right there is more useful then anything else...

2. my cordless is a beast and no, it's not a glorified screwdriver. It really is set up like a normal impact. They have a quick release setup that is nice! I have broke one 1/4 adapter, but I did have it cocked sideways. At $3 a pop, what ever... haha... I have also some bits, but in the defense of the tool, it's not intended for that. In truth, I use this over my air ratchet, air impact when I can, and even my drill. It's somewhat low profile and you can get it in a lot of places. Best money I have ever spent.

3. HF does have a lot of useful stuff, but if you want things that will last a long time and not randomly fail, not the best place. I only say this because of my experience with their stuff. I did just buy a 20 ton press and love it! Also have one of their HVPL spray guns that I use for primer. They do have some good stuff. Next on my list from there is a parts washer...

4. I like the Thunder Gun, its just right for what I need. Just cant justify the funds for one right now.

02_Legacy
12-28-2011, 08:05 PM
I'm a little late to this thread but here is my opinions in the discussion:

My dad owns one of the HF electric impacts that you posted up, its OK but like you stated it's huge and I have found several things that it would not take off. OK for the price but impractical.

As far as cordless impacts I have very little experience. A place where I worked had a snap on 1/2 impact, 14v I think, and it was good for lugs and such. But again it was huge and in an auto shop where there are air hoses everywhere it didn't get used much except in the parking lot for misc. stuff. Cordless stuff, at least the good stuff, is pricey though, and you pay more for less power.

I think air tools are best. They are much smaller than electric and have more power to boot. I have an Ingersoll Rand 2135TiMAX 1/2 inch impact and I have only found a handful of things that it has not been able to take off. Again though I am a mechanic and put probably 2 or 3 hours of use on it some days. For someone who just wants it for odd jobs the HF one may be just fine. I would go 1/2 though. The only reason I would ever buy a 3/8 impact is because it is smaller. The one that you are looking at has a very small difference in size between 1/2 and 3/8. And have you ever looked at butterfly impacts? They have less power but are super small. They can break away tougher bolts too because of the ability to rapidly switch from forward to reverse.


My next one with be an Ingersoll Rand thunder gun. My old boss still has it and its still going and its been through hell. We have broke lug nuts off with it when needed. It's also adjustable, to you dont over tighten everything.
http://www.amazon.com/Ingersoll-Rand-232TGSL-2-Inch-Super-Duty-Thunder/dp/B000E21CZ6
I only say get this one since I know its good and I regretted not getting it. It's big and heavy, but well worth it.

Have you ever looked at the 2135TiMAX its only $50 more on amazon, but it has more power and it is smaller weighing 2lbs less than the thunder gun. It still has the same IR reliability too. A guy I worked with had one that was 3ish years old if I remember right and it had the same power as my brand new one. check it out: Ingersoll-Rand-2135TiMAX-2-Inch-Impact-Wrench (http://www.amazon.com/Ingersoll-Rand-2135TiMAX-2-Inch-Impact-Wrench/dp/B000WMN2GU/ref=pd_cp_hi_1)

d1giPhux
12-28-2011, 09:18 PM
Yeah, I was actually looking at butterfly impacts as well. What is the advantage to them? They do look super small for tight spaces.

That IR air impact you mentioned is actually the one the HF earthquake is based on I'm pretty sure. Most peoples reviews said the HF was just as good, if not better for a fraction of the cost. I'm not a PRO wrench turner or anything, so something cheap for a DIY'er would be good enough for me.

Electric would be cool, but I don't want anything based on batteries. Too unreliable, and everything I've owned with batteries in the past has died. I would LOVE to get one if I had $400 to drop on one, but I cant afford that budget.

02_Legacy
12-28-2011, 10:54 PM
Yeah, I was actually looking at butterfly impacts as well. What is the advantage to them? They do look super small for tight spaces.


The biggest advantages are small size and speed. The biggest disadvantage is they do not have power comparable to a normal impact, usually only around 100 ft-lbs. But with the butterfly style trigger it allows you to rapidly switch from forward to reverse. The back and forth motion can break alot of bolts free, especially if they are stuck because of rust. I have seen these take out bolts that would just snap off if a normal impact was put on it.



That IR air impact you mentioned is actually the one the HF earthquake is based on I'm pretty sure. Most peoples reviews said the HF was just as good, if not better for a fraction of the cost.

:Facepalm: People say alot of things and that does not make them true. Just remember you get what you pay for ALWAYS! But as you stated, for your uses the HF one is probably all you will need.

d1giPhux
12-28-2011, 10:58 PM
Before you laugh about the HF earthquake.. look for reviews online. There are TONS of people who actually prefer these over the IR.

IR is also made in china (as far as I know of), while HF is made in taiwan. Choose your poison! LOL. I have never heard anyone say anything bad about the HF earthquakes though. If i purchase one.. I will definitely have to review it.

I might have to grab a butterfly impact.. they sound pretty useful and small size.

2000gtb
12-30-2011, 11:14 PM
Ive been using the battery powered impact by Craftsman, pretty happy with it

1-3-2-4
12-31-2011, 12:00 PM
I have a question how good are impact air ratchets? I might just use the breaker bar for the time being but I need to remove the sway bar links off a friend's caravan the top one is easy to get to but the lower one the metal of the car is in the way.

1-3-2-4
12-31-2011, 12:10 PM
Before you laugh about the HF earthquake.. look for reviews online. There are TONS of people who actually prefer these over the IR.

IR is also made in china (as far as I know of), while HF is made in taiwan. Choose your poison! LOL. I have never heard anyone say anything bad about the HF earthquakes though. If i purchase one.. I will definitely have to review it.

I might have to grab a butterfly impact.. they sound pretty useful and small size.


I have the older HF earthquake impact before they changed to the current design mine is about 2 years old. I love it

subarunut
10-15-2012, 12:42 PM
if you have mostly 1/2" sockets get the half" gun but if the sockets are not impacts (most are usually Black, Chromes are not usually impact sockets atleast not for snap on) dont run high psi in your compressor so they dont shatter on a tough nut so most cases 1/2" are better if you have a impact set if not 3/8" will work fin for some stuff if they are not impacts