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  1. #1
    Panza is offline Cast Iron
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    The one-year-old Würth impact wrench in our shop laid off and was sent in for repair. It returned and now it pulls about 50Nm forward and probably 75Nm backwards. Pretty dissapointing for a $450 tool.
    So I want a new one. Good one this time.
    What's the best 1/2 impact wrench you can get ?
    Best as in longest lasting.

  2. #2
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    I'm sure there's a Chevy vs. Ford vs. Dodge feeling out there, but a lot of the Ingersoll Rand 231 and 2131 variants have been sold.

    Not sure if you can get those brands easily where you are.

    Best to keep the air line oiled for those tools.

    -Matt

  3. #3
    wes43 is offline Aluminum
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    We used impact wrenches for marine engine mount assembly, 8-9 hr/day/5-6 days /wk. Rather demanding application. We used the top of the line Ingersall Rand products. They worked out well, they would have to be rebuilt about 2 or 3 months. I would suggest you try to do the rebuilding yourself, it’s not that hard. The most important thing is to get everything clean, install new blades and resurface the rotor housing. Also make sure you have a good FRL. Good luck.

  4. #4
    J. Elliott is offline Hot Rolled
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    I got really lucky one day and found a brand new Snap-On IM5100 at a pawn shop for $50. Lemme tell you - this wrench can pack it on. My favorite so far.

    The top-line Ingersall these guys mention was a sweet wrench too. I needed to sell one of 'em and let the Ingersall go, but I'd gladly jump on another one at the right price. Hard to go wrong with either.

  5. #5
    Jon Bohlander's Avatar
    Jon Bohlander is offline Stainless
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    Another vote for the IR 2131. Powerful, relativly light and quiet. I used to use the hell out of them working on plastic molds. I just looked at the IR website and they don't have the 2131 anymore but have a 2130.

    http://www.irtools.com/IS/category.a...015,261,862,31

    My first impact was a IR 231. Good basic impact but heavy, loud and not the torque of the premium impacts.

    My last one was a 2135TI. Unbelievable torque, but a little heavier and bigger which made it hard to use in tight quarters.

    I've used a ThunderGun. Very heavy. You can get the same or more torque in a lighter package.

    The 3/8" IR impact in that line is great also. The torque of a standard 1/2" impact in a very small, light package.

  6. #6
    JRIowa's Avatar
    JRIowa is offline Diamond
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    From 1/2" square up to #5 spline drive, all of our air impacts are Ingersol Rand. If we need anything over 1,500 ft lbs, we go to hydraulic.
    JR

  7. #7
    JRouche's Avatar
    JRouche is offline Stainless
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    I have use a IR 231 for years and loved it. Powerful and compact. About two or three years ago I bought a IR 2135Ti. It has some Ti in the body making it light. Very light. When I first got it I thought it would be too weak due to the weight. But it has plenty of power, much more than the 231 and a whole lot lighter. JRouche

  8. #8
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    I rebuild impacts for customers and the IR brand is the best-made of any. That said, you need to be aware that not all IR impacts are created equally.

    Stay away from the impacts that must be disassembled & reassembled from the front end. This includes the popular IR231. They sometimes come apart easily for maintenance - other times you have to beat them apart. IR Tech Service confirms that this is not unusual (all the Tech Staff have done time in assembly & repair).

    Another series to avoid is the IR2315Ti. It's a powerful, lightweight impact BUT the cylinder and end plate are a one-piece casting. That means you can never resurface or replace the end plate when it eventually wears or becomes scored.

    What's the best 1/2 impact wrench you can get? Best as in longest lasting.
    FWIW, the absolute best, top of the line, 1/2" drive impact is the IR2906P1 Super Duty Impactool. About the only negative is the price, roughly twice that of the other IR impacts.

    This tool disassembles from both the front (for hammer or anvil replacement) and the back. The cylinder and end plates are three seperate parts, so you can easily hone the cylinder & resurface the end plates as needed.

    Normal torque range is 54Nm to 475Nm, with maximum torque of 677Nm.

    It's availabe in a Euro version (2906P1-EU) which complies with the provisions of 98/37/EC Directives. Although this model is higher in initial price than some others, you'll have lower cost over time, especially for the long term.
    _______________________________
    Barry Milton

  9. #9
    PortPirate is offline Senior Member
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    One more vote here for Ingersoll Rand, I have a 3/8" and two different 1/2" models, the black composite ones. They are wonderfull

  10. #10
    JL Sargent is offline Titanium
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    The 2906P1 is quite the impact gun. Finding one that an individual can afford might be quite the challenge too.

    http://tylertool.store.yahoo.com/2906a1in12im.html

    http://www.irtools.com/IS/product.as...61,863,864,318

  11. #11
    wilbilt is offline Hot Rolled
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    Another vote for the IR 231 series. They handle abuse and neglect very well. They can be difficult to disassemble if the housing is beat up (dragged across the floor by the hose, etc.).

    The split regulator is a nice feature.

    I haven't used the newer ones, such as the Ti series, so I can't comment on those.

  12. #12
    Panza is offline Cast Iron
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    What Barry Milston describes about the pieces that can not be resurfaced sounds exactly like what could be wrong with the Würth one we have.
    I will seriously consider the 2906P1 as I like thing that are built for life and are serviceable.
    I found it for $505 here: http://robertstool.com:8091/index.pl/irt?itemnum=2906P1


  13. #13
    JL Sargent is offline Titanium
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    Another one not mentioned so far but my experience has been a positive one and thats with CP Chicago Pneumatic.
    Here is their latest and greatest.

    http://www.cp.com/content.aspx?pageid=761

  14. #14
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    ...the pieces that can not be resurfaced sounds exactly like what could be wrong with the Würth one we have.
    It certainly could be. Not many things to go wrong inside an air impact, here's the short list:

    Bearings, usually one on the front of the rotor, one on the rear. Replace at every overhaul.

    Blades, usually 5 or 6, depending on brand. Replace at every overhaul.

    Cylinder. IF the tool is used on clean, dry air, with adequate lubrication, the cylinder needs only a light honing to restore a perfect contact surface for the blades. A badly abused tool may have a cylinder that resembles ski bumps (moguls) - replacement is needed if these will not hone out.

    Rotor. Inspect the ends for scoring and stone if necessary.

    End plates. Inspect for scoring. If lightly scored, lap on 320 grit paper on a surface plate. Surface grind if heavily scored.

    Anvil & hammers. Inspect for cracking.

    That covers most of it. Gets easier each time it's done.

    Terrific price you found! That's the lowest I've seen.

  15. #15
    Zoom is offline Aluminum
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    IR is certianly a good tool, the industrial CP line is good as well. The one I would look at is Souix, don't have a Souix impact but my Souix air drill and air hammer are great tools. I do wonder if the quality may have slipped since Snap-On bought them, both my tools were bought before that and are still going strong. Zoom

  16. #16
    Rob
    Rob is offline Member
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    I have to say Ingersoll Rand 231 and 2131 variants. I have an Uncle that is a mechanic, he works on Cars, trucks and Tractor Trailers. He likes them alot too. I have a friend that works on heavy equipment, dozers,scrapers and such. I can't remember the model number is, but he said when he got the Ingersoll Rand he uses now he "put all the Snap-ons he had in a big box under the cabinet".

  17. #17
    CatHead's Avatar
    CatHead is offline Hot Rolled
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    one more vote for the IR...ive seen the snap on stuff go sharply downhill in the last few years...its crap

  18. #18
    olddude is offline Stainless
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    I have a 25 year old IR and Chicago Pneumatic, no problems, check the oil every week.

  19. #19
    John Garner is offline Stainless
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    Panza --

    Haven't heard the name in years, but a couple of decades ago the top-of-the-heap pneumatic impact wrenches were made by Cleco, which I recall being a division of Dresser Industries.

    In 1979 I called Cleco to find out who carried their tools in the San Francisco area, and the factory's sales engineer told me that unless I valued downtime at over US$ 10,000 hour the Cleco tools weren't worth their prices -- the 1/2 inch impact wrench was then going for over US$ 600 -- and that Cleco recommended IR's high-end pneumatic tools to their own customers whenever the application didn't warrant using Cleco tools. At that point, he laughed and said that Cleco employees were some of IR's most loyal customers.

    John

  20. #20
    jimbo1490 is offline Hot Rolled
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    Cleco was bought from Dresser by the ubiquitous Cooper Tools, who now also own Dotco and Master Power (was B & D Pneumatic) among others.

    Don't forget to look at impact drivers from Cleco and Master Power as these are true industrial tools made for use in a factory where they see anywhere from 8-24 hr/day service for years on end- and still hold up. The only drawback is of course, price. Most of the I-R's mentioned so far are maintenance duty tools rather than factory duty tools.

    But hey, maybe that's all you need.

    Jimbo

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