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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I looking to buy an impact wrench and I wanted to know what all you home mechanics use to work on your cars.

Edit: I have an electric one from Harbor Freight to remove lug nuts but I want a smaller cordless one to do all the other jobs for small-medium size nuts and bolts.
 

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I have a Campbell-Hausfeld 450 ft-lb 1/2" drive air impact that I bought years ago at Wal-mart. Had enough oomph to get the crankshaft pulley bolt off, though I did have to turn up the air pressure. Mostly I just use it for getting lug nuts off. I guess the question is whether you're looking for air, electric, or cordless.
 

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I keep a Ryobi in that storage space under the floor in the back for removing lug nuts in the event I get a flat. The Honda tire iron doesn't provide enough clearance for the lug sockets on my rims.
 

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I looking to buy an impact wrench and I wanted to know what all you home mechanics use to work on your cars.
Got the M12 & M18 but depending on you’re projects and plans check out the other brands which are equally competitive from Dewalt, Ridgid, Ryobi. Just pick a platform that meets your needs. The M18 Gen 2 impact wrench is my favorite along with the stubby M12. The old big 2767 monster is rarely used. Black Orange Trigger Revolver Red
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a Campbell-Hausfeld 450 ft-lb 1/2" drive air impact that I bought years ago at Wal-mart. Had enough oomph to get the crankshaft pulley bolt off, though I did have to turn up the air pressure. Mostly I just use it for getting lug nuts off. I guess the question is whether you're looking for air, electric, or cordless.
I'm looking for cordless. thanks.
 

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I have an old Craftsman that I despise. Have a Dewalt that I like. Looking forward to getting the Milwaukee M12.
 

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I looking to buy an impact wrench and I wanted to know what all you home mechanics use to work on your cars.

Edit: I have an electric one from Harbor Freight to remove lug nuts but I want a smaller cordless one to do all the other jobs for small-medium size nuts and bolts.
1/2" Ryobi for lug nuts and bolts that are stuck (and can take the abuse with a low likelihood of stripping/breaking). I have a Ryobi 18V and a Milwaukee M12 1/4" impact, but I really don't use them on cars. I'm not a big fan of using impacts on any bolts seated in aluminum (which is prevalent on these vehicles) and I feel like I have more control and feel over what's happening doing it by hand.

I keep a Ryobi in that storage space under the floor in the back for removing lug nuts in the event I get a flat. The Honda tire iron doesn't provide enough clearance for the lug sockets on my rims.
This is my travelling setup - I did invest in the "Titan" lug nut sockets that are thinner wall and have a non-marring sleeve as well.

Got the M12 & M18 but depending on you’re projects and plans check out the other brands which are equally competitive from Dewalt, Ridgid, Ryobi. Just pick a platform that meets your needs. The M18 Gen 2 impact wrench is my favorite along with the stubby M12. The old big 2767 monster is rarely used. View attachment 159554
They make awesome stuff, the M12 stuff is hands down the best ergonomic tools I've ever used.
 
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I watch some of the YouTube videos for car projects and cringe at the way people seem to use impact tools for everything. It's almost like the ratchet has disappeared from tool drawers. My philosophy on using power tools, especially impact guns, is similar to what Cintocrunch shares. For almost everything on the Pilot they are at best handy as nut-runners. On some larger suspension bolts and nuts they may get used to break something loose as well. But anything that includes "into aluminum" is treated with extra tender loving care, especially where there's a chance of corrosion interfering with the way things should come apart or go together. The rest get just regular tender loving care. For sure the torque wrenches and drivers are well used here, since any fastener that a factory bothered to share a torque spec for is treated to that same spec torque on assembly.

[Soap Box Mode]
TL;DR --
I've had the pleasure of working on more than a few interesting cars over the decades, and way too many have incurred damage when somebody ham-fisted a disassembly or assembly process sometime in the car's prior life. A long-ago neighbor shared that he had a friend with a very nice Jaguar coming available, and it was a pretty desirable model and trim. I was definitely interested. Owner brought it by, and proudly shared how much he'd saved over the life of the car by having it maintained and serviced regularly at a local gas station garage. Rolled the bonnet open, and what was typically a pretty impressive V12 was a patchwork of damaged and jury-rigged fasteners and parts, pretty obviously the result of using power tools and other poor work habits along the way. Dropped the bonnet back into position and fastened the latches, smiled and sent the car and a crestfallen owner on their way. I've promised myself that I'll never be that Previous Owner from Hell, the one who figures out a way to put a Delco alternator into a Bentley with a few washers and a few crimp connectors, or the one who used a power tool to weaken the threads in an expensive Porsche aluminum block or gearbox case, and fitted an imperial Heli-Coil and bolt to "repair" the damage.

Using the right tools takes too long... but fixing the inevitable damage that happens with incorrect power tool usage takes a whole lot longer, in my personal experience.

-------

I sometimes use a Makita 18V impact driver as a lug-nut runner. It's a great power screwdriver for deck and drywall screws, great for loosening grade-8 snowplow bolts that can be and are easily replaced every year. In the tool cabinet are various air impact guns and ratchets accumulated over the years, from 1/4" to 3/4" sizes and shapes, and virtually all of them are there for only very limited uses. I used the very vintage IR 231 air impact to remove a stubborn-by-LockTite impeller shaft nut on my snowblower last fall along with some heat, for instance. Two German V8 timing belt projects plus a full drive-package-out timing chains service on a $$$ red car in the past six months, all completed without power tools. No damaged fasteners or bolt holes, thank you.

[/soap box mode]
 

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Milwaukee. Check out Project Farm for tool reviews. Were you looking to go lithium or compressed air powered? I bought a set from HD what had a drill, impact, and cordless wrench. I think I paid a $189 for the set. Home Depot has coupons from time to time for 10% off or an 0% finance option. I would rather spend a little extra money up front and finance it so it lasts than get a Walmart special on it not having enough torque to get the job done and returning it.
 

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Various M12 Fuel tools, especially using the ratchet for running things in/out in tight places. I don't like higher torque impacts for older cars, unless absolutely needed.
I borrow a friends M18 high torque impact with my Lisle socket for crank pulley bolt when that is needed (not often), so I am not going to invest in that to be used once every 6 years. I'd buy a Harbor Freight corded high impact for that job if I wanted to own one.
 
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If you've got a compressor, I like my Harbor Freight "Earthquake" 1/2". It does well on most stuff; well except for the crank pulley bolt. I got a 1" long anvil one off ebay used for like $90 awhile back that does well on that.
 

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I use a 1/2 air impact for disassembly only. Ratchets and torque wrenches for reassembly. That being said, I will be purchasing a battery portable for use on the road, both for autos and camping trailer. Will still use a torque wrench for reassembly though.
 

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I looking to buy an impact wrench and I wanted to know what all you home mechanics use to work on your cars.

Edit: I have an electric one from Harbor Freight to remove lug nuts but I want a smaller cordless one to do all the other jobs for small-medium size nuts and bolts.
M12's 1/2" stubby impact driver and 3/8" rachet
Extended reach.
Bottle Tool Font Bicycle part Handheld power drill

Handheld power drill Tool Handgun holster Screw gun Bicycle part
 
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