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What if you were asked to choose between a torque wrench and an impact wrench? Naturally, you would run all the dos and don’ts of either tool in the back of your mind.
Let us tell you that both have one purpose — tightening of the fasteners. Nevertheless, the question remains about torque wrench vs impact wrench.
It could depend on the circumstances or availability of any of the certain gear.
We will help you understand the concept of relative facts in this article. Further examination would aid you in determining what to use and when.
There is one significant dissimilarity one must always remember before we disclose the matter elaborately. An impact wrench is a power tool, whereas a torque wrench, a hand tool.
A torque wrench is a hand tool. That means manual force applied to a specific level. It is set in rotational force, known as torque, to tighten bolts and nuts.
It helps incredibly in tightening the fasteners with the proper measure. There is a scale engraved on the wrench surface.
You will see that all torque wrenches have ft.-lbs. (foot-pounds) of force that can range from 10 to 100ft.lbs.
These numbers are the torque properties you need to calibrate accurately. In short, whatever fastener you need to tighten, simply set your torque wrench to certain foot-pounds to reach that precise rotational force.
For example, say, you wish to tighten a certain bolt that calls for a 20-25 ft.-lbs. of torque. Take the wrench and calibrate it to about 25-ft.lbs.
You can do it by twisting the device at the handle to ensure the collar moves up the tube until you reach the intended force.
All in all, it will take up your energy at times, but the result will be worth the load because the manually calibrated torque means no harm done to the fasteners.
Recommended Torque Wrench to Buy
Below are some popular torque wrenches you can consider purchasing. Each offers variations of qualities and features you do not want to miss out on. Let us have a look!
EPAuto 1/2-inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
A torque wrench is an important tool to keep around in the garage. You never know when you might need it. Honestly, it is like a lifesaver in terms of DIY maintenance.
So if that wrench does not offer high-end construction with accurate calibration, it will be a burdensome device left in the corner of your toolshed.
That is why EPAuto is one brand we highly recommend to avoid such disappointing products.
It is affordable and so far makes the top chart for being one of the best. Our favorite feature is the materials used to build this thing.
The hardened Chrome and Vanadium alloy create a very powerful wrench to behold.
Another impressively made aspect is the knurled handle. You can play with it as long as you want.
The non-slip handle surface makes the gripping pretty simple, especially when the palms get sweaty after continuous hold.
It is very easy to read the dual scales etched on the satin-finished wrench. Do you know how to calibrate the tool?
Do not worry! It is pre-calibrated to +/-4% so that you do not have to go through the hassle of fixing up the device.
All you have to do is preset the targeted value on the wrench, apply the force to the designated fastener, and stop right when you hear the click sound.
It tells the limit you have set- has been reached. Going further than the preset torque could lead to damaged fasteners.
A ½-inch torque wrench, as impressive as this one, is a must-have to all the automotive DIY-ers out there, whether it is your car, bicycle, or motorbike.
Related Article: Torque Wrench vs Socket Wrench
TEKTON 3/8 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench
TEKTON is a name almost every individual who deals with automotive tools has familiarity with.The size is a different one than the previous product.
This 3/8-inch drive is a perfect solution for all the equipment-based repairs you might have been putting off for months. Well, not anymore because this wrench can tackle the fasteners effectively.
The scale range is up to 10-80ft.lbs that is also given in Newton Meters. These metric numbers are arranged brightly onto the device so that you can see them clearly, even when working in shallow lights.
Therefore, the user merely has to preset the value to the desired level. It is possible by the knob situated below the scale. There will be a click sound that tells you when the value has been reached.
You might not be able to hear the sound if the surrounding is a bit crowded. Aside from that, the ratchet head comes in a reversible state.
Thus, build up your strength and apply the force whichever way you like; it will get the work done.
Keep in mind, though, measuring the torque is a one-way direction, which is clockwise.
Now, if we talk about the wrenching quality, we might have to go on for hours.
So, instead, we will just say it is one heck of a rock-solid and toughly built wrench.
The whole thing is resistant to wearing and rust with no amount of plastic presence.
This means no sudden movement or maneuver is capable of break the wrench apart. It is pretty amazing, right?
Let us get to the one drawback that has pulled us back from getting it permanently.
The pre-calibrated Tekton wrench does not deliver proper calibration even as it says +/-4% of precision.
It might not show at first, but after several usages of the item, things might get a little hindering.
Most importantly, it will work well for the first 5000 uses, maybe more, then the recalibration must take place, preferably by a professional.
Precision Instruments PREC3FR250F Silver 1/2″ Drive Split Beam Torque Wrench
Our final torque wrench falls on the expensive side, but the overall superiority it possesses deserves such a notion.
If you do not care about small savings and go straight for the ultimate premium quality that promises all, then here is the option.
The Precision Instruments is the kind of torque wrench that will not disappoint you in any way.
We are not just saying it; it has been proven numerous times as the consumers worked with the device for many years.
The ½-inch drive is large enough to accommodate garden equipment to automotive applications.
So, it is a perfect choice for both DIY users and professionals at work. Would it not be a hassle-free task to leave it in the back of your vehicle and take it out wherever you need to apply it?
This wrench is such an example of possession at your fingertips. The overall body has a nickel and chrome finish, which offers extensive durability.
Thus, you can apply it for years and will still feel as if newly purchased!
It comes with a non-slipping ergonomic grip, so holding it in sweaty palms will no longer pose an issue.
This wrench is somewhat like a digital tool. Hence, whatever value you set will show accurate measurements.
This is the best advantage of an adjustment knob. There is no risk of spring tension to mislead the measurement level. It makes the setup fast, easy, and more convenient.
There is no room for mistakes when it comes to Precision Instruments ½-inch drive torque wrench. If you are still in doubt, do not worry, this unit will not make you regret it.
In fact, you will be wondering why you had been hesitant all this time.
Suggested Topic: Impact Driver vs. Impact Wrench
We use an impact wrench not just to tighten but also to loosen the fasteners. It is a power tool, meaning it could run by compressed air, electric or hydraulic. The power source choice depends on your convenience.
Impact wrenches hardly require much exertion since it produces very high torque.
It works as the motor powers quick and powerful bursts of rotational motion to the, let us say, for instance, lug nuts.
The wrench would yield this motor power at about five to six seconds. This momentary interval, along with continuous force/impact of motion, at one point, loosens/tightens the fasteners.
An impact wrench can be pneumatic, cordless, or corded. This is also available in many sizes, starting from ¼-inch to 1-inch. It will not cause excessive fatigue even after long operations.
This type of wrench does not cost as much, but the user will require noise dampening ear muffs because it is loud.
Recommended Impact Wrench to Buy
It is now time for some remarkable impact wrenches to fill up the page. The shortlisted selection would benefit the user to make up the mind without feeling overwhelmed.
Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2 in. Impact Wrench
Are you looking for a powerful impact wrench that speaks your mind? This here is the best answer to your searching soul.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel is one of the most demanded heavy hitters in terms of impact wrenches.
It is huge, hefty, and super torqued- about 1,400ft.lbs! When we say huge and hefty, we do not mean too weighty to handle on the job.
You can see that the ½-inch anvil will ensure abundant equipment fasteners to loosen and tighten in no time.
Plus, that substantial amount of torque is going to need a lot of power. That is where the two 5Ah batteries come. They are big enough to tackle the unit for quite a long time.
For instance, if you consider changing tires in continuous mode, these batteries will last for the whole day without a flinch.
This cordless impact wrench can remove any lug nut of the vehicles in a matter of seconds. Just imagine how much time and effort you can save.
As a result, it is already an incredible power tool used in the majority of the heavy-equipment restoration and repair industries. It provides four modes with three-speed levels.
So setting the torque/speed gets far simpler and stress-free when busting those stubborn and rusty bolts/nuts.
Moreover, the Bolt Removal mode ensures to slow down the rapidity as soon as a fastener comes loose.
This enables the fasteners to no go off flying about once removed. We honestly think this is an impressive impact wrench amongst many that generate awesome power output while the exterior still stays cool.
It is the kind wrench that will stay with you for years to come — professional or personal use.
Ingersoll Rand 2235QTiMAX 1/2″ Quiet Titanium Air Impact Wrench
Here is another incredible and outstanding impact wrench we could not ignore but add it to our most recommended list.
It delivers up to 1,300-ft.lbs of fastener removal that is highly ideal for any heavy-duty application.
Ingersoll Rand is another renowned name that designs very durable tools, this air impact tool, for example. The name itself is the source of reliability for many years.
The rugged but compact structure weighs less compared to other similar products.
It has an ergonomic handle that allows you to hold it firmly as you operate the machine with ease.
This unit is considered one of the best for having the capability of handling the toughest of the bolts.
You will have to power it with pressurized air. Thus, the user will not need to hold it along with battery weights.
One can, as an outcome, prevent sore wrists from uninterrupted tightening/removing fasteners.
It has a one-handed button for forward and reverse-operation alongside a power regulator with four positions.
The better the control, the greater the performance! This is why, when applying these adjustable settings to calibrate the torque, the 2235QTiMAX impact wrench will work exactly how you direct.
However, it seems the button does cause a bit of an inconvenience when in reverse.
It tends to dig into the thumb base for the most part whenever the trigger is pulled.
Aside from that issue, we have not found any disadvantage that could proclaim the aversion to the model. As a matter of fact, we suggest you get this one with a noise muffling feature.
Not only can you work from home but also ensure the surrounding neighborhood does not come to you with sound pollution complaints.
Torque Wrench vs Impact Wrench Comparison
This is where the battle of two different kinds of wrenches will take place. So what makes them similar but apart from each other?
The user has to manually operate a torque wrench, meaning a lot of physical exertion.
An impact wrench needs no excessive labor; thus, hardly any chance of a sore wrist.
Precision of Control
From the worker’s point of view, a torque wrench offers better control than an impact wrench.
It is because while the user is capable of setting the torque amount to the hand tool, it is impossible to do so in a power tool.
Impact wrenches have motors that are often powered by compression air, electricity, or battery.
Torque wrenches, on the other hand, cannot work without the assistance of hand and wrist movements.
Ease of Use
You can already guess by now that any power tool like an impact wrench trumps over hand tools at any day when it comes to ease of utilization.
The long operational hours might not seem an overlong process with an impact wrench.
However, these extensive hours can be felt through fatigue and exhaustion as you work with a torque wrench.
An impact wrench is maneuvered with a motor. This alone gives an idea of the amount of noise the device generates.
It could harm, even damage the hearing abilities if not wearing ear protection.
Such noise pollution can be averted when you choose a torque wrench.
Impact wrenches vary in prices, but air compressed ones are rather affordable than the cordless version.
The hand tool is very reasonably priced, no matter what model or size you choose.
So there is the full disclosure of everything you need to know about torque wrench vs impact wrench in the briefest way possible. You ought to decide on the relation of the task you are going to utilize it for.
Of course, there is your personal preference too. Now, what do you plan to select?