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Old 02-26-2011, 11:31 AM
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Is it worth bying a 1/2 inch impact?

Hey guys-

I'd like to pick up an impact for my shop, and HF has their 1/2 inch on sale this week. I was thinking about picking one up, but I have a concern:

They also stock a 3/4 inch earthquake impact which seems to be about the most torque I would ever need. That said it costs 3 times as much as the 1/2. I really don't think I need both of them, and if the 1/2 isn't going to cut it for all my work then I'll eventually end up with the 3/4 anyway. I don't work on big rigs or anything, but I need something that will cut down my time stripping off crank bolts, lugs, axle nuts, suspension bolts etc. All the crap that costs you time in a small garage.

Is it worth my time to pick up the 1/2 inch gun?

K

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Old 02-26-2011, 11:39 AM
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they have a couple of impacts so get the good one..I have one and I do not use it all that much but i do seem to use my 3/8 drive air ratchet more than anything..Hope you have a good comprressor as those things are air suckers if you are busy..They are useful tools to have tho if you get in the habit of using them..

Sam
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:40 AM
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If you go for the 1/2 gun, get a high torque one. Ingersol Rand 231 ... 600 ft.lbs. it's a classic legendary almost.

We don't have HF here in Canada, but as a general rule ...
Name brands only for something you expect to last, and to get readily-available service parts for.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:44 AM
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I also agree with OMT.

1/4 and 3/8 air ratchets are extremely handy.
I love my 1/4" because it can get into tight spots and snug bolts like no hand ratchet ever could. After they're snug, THEN hit them with the 1/2 ratchet to get them tight.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:59 PM
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I have 3/8 ratchet, 3/8 butterfly Impact, a couple of 1/2 inch Impacts, a 1/2 ratchet and a recent acquired 3/4 Impact. I have a small dozer so the 3/4 comes in very handy, but have not had a need for it on any automotive/light truck work. May add a 1/4 ratchet or butterfly but normally do not need one for the light stuff. Now if there were an air driven Gear Wrench type tool available, I would go for that because of speed in tight places.

Think getting a 3/4 air wrench for automotive work vice a 1/2 would be a mistake. Besides being twice as heavy, it is too cumbersome in size to get in many places you can get the 1/2.

Trees
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:26 PM
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A decent 1/2" drive should do you well, IMO.

Pneumatic tools are one area where the good tools can be found under less-than-good names. Like as an example, The Ingersoll Rand #231 and the Chicago Pneumatic #731-2 (in the MAC cover) are the same tool. They are both decent tools.

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Old 02-26-2011, 03:34 PM
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I use to use air impacts but now I use a Black and Decker 1/2 industrial and would not trade it for any air type.3/4 would be over kill unless you are working on big rigs.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:34 PM
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Which HF impact wrench are you considering? The really cheap 1/2" version at around 10 or 15 bucks is not likely to be worth the effort but they do have some that are better but at a higher price, maybe someone can comment on these as to quality. Now if you really need the torque of a really good impact and decent reliability then they also have the "Earthquake" line which is a rip-off of the Ingersoll "Thunder Gun" but at a fraction of the cost. My 1/2" "thunder Gun" puts out some serious torque, in short the darn thing is a brute! It has as much torque as lot of 3/4" drive impact wrenches but is a lot more compact and so far mine has held up well, at $79.99 it is not cheap for a HF tool but then the real IR costs about three times that much. For a home shop that 1/2" "Earthquake" is going to be hard to beat because it will out-perform most 1/2" drive tools that cost a heck of a lot more, this is one of those rare bargains that HF has.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:16 PM
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You say its for your shop, is this a home shop or an actuall business? If its just for home use the you cant go wrong with the IR 231. But, if you are going to use this gun quite a bit I would step up to the 2135 series. You can use it all day long without the grip getting icy. I use my 2135 all day for 3 years now and haven't had a problem yet. Also, its nice to get one with a muffler. The thunder gun is a great gun but that thing is extremely loud. It may become unbearable to some people.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:55 PM
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I agree with Oldred. The Earthquake 1/2' gun
is the best bang for your Harbor Freight buck. It's on sale right now for $80, or you might be able to catch one on E bay for good price. I bought a brand new 3/8' gun on E bay for `$40. HF' price is $90!
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:09 PM
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Like most everybody else has said, if you get a good 1/2" impact then you should be ok. I have a 30 year old Blue Point 1/2" impact and it's got some pretty good muscle. I'd go so far as to put it up against some of the 3/4" impacts we have at work.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:28 PM
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Hard to beat a good 1/2" impact for lug nuts and suspension work.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:08 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys, I picked up the 1/2 inch earthquake yesterday from HF. I guess it usually goes for 90 or 100 bucks, I walked out the door with it on sale with a 20% coupon for 60 dollars! Can't even get one used and shipped for that, pretty sweet deal...

K
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