Can an 18 Volt Cordless Impact *Driver* (not wrench) be used to remove Lug Nuts?


Old 04-11-10, 09:27 AM
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Can an 18 Volt Cordless Impact *Driver* (not wrench) be used to remove Lug Nuts?

Quick question, has anyone used their impact driver with a or 3/8th socket adapter (I own a few of that are “impact rated”) in conjunction with a deep well socket to remove their cars lug nuts? I would not be using it to torque them back on just to break them free which can sometimes be a pain on my car (2003 Audi A4). I have read mixed things online about this topic, some people say they have used theirs to break them free with no issues, some say they have to loosen them with a breaker bar first and others that you need an impact wrench and a driver is not powerful enough. I would buy an impact wrench but I feel that their usefulness would be limited to removing lug nuts and other large bolts as well as driving lag bolts, where as the impact driver is much for versatile and based on what I have read/heard about them I would be able to use it for many other tasks as well, it is also $35 less than the wrench.

Just as an FYI I already own this Milwaukee M18 4 tool set, the 2694-24 which comes with a Hammer Drill, Recip Saw, Circular Saw and Light. Milwaukee 2694-24 M18 18-Volt 4-Tool Cordless Combo Kit: Home Improvement

I also have the M18 Compact Drill kit, which I got this past Christmas and liked so much it prompted me to buy this 4 tool kit, it also gave me two chargers and 4 batteries total, 2 of the XC larger capacity ones as well as two of the smaller compact ones which works with the drills, light and would work in the impact driver as well if I bought it. So I can save quite a bit of money here as I do not need to buy the tool in a kit, I can just get the tool only for much less money, the two of them are listed below... Bare-Tool Milwaukee 2650-20 M18 18-Volt Impact Driver (Tool Only, No Battery): Home Improvement ($85) Bare-Tool Milwaukee 2652-20 M18 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Cordless Compact Impact Wrench with Ring (Tool Only, No Battery): Home Improvement ($120)

Let me know what you think, but even more useful would be the experiences of people who have actually tried or used their impact driver to remove lug nuts with or without success I would love to hear about it. If I comes down to it I will probably go with the impact driver over the wrench anyway because I can just see so many uses for it where as the wrench I see sitting un-used most of the time, then later down the line I may just go for a corded impact wrench.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:51 AM
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I know nothing about this. But just wanted to comment that for an 18 volt cordless - they must have that thing geared WAY down, to be able to have the neccesary inch or foot/lbs. torque to do any good, for something that can obviously be that stubborn to remove.

Manually you can put your leg into it(way more powerful than arms), or put a cheater pipe over your car's included lug nut wrench, to remove.

Another option for the guy who likes toys(tools) is to get a powerful DC/AC invertor, and then you can use standard electricity then to do many tasks while out on the road, with cord tools, grinders-polishers, Dremels, fans, vacs, heat lamps, pumps, etc., that operate at up to around a horsepower or so (or 1 1/2-2 HP surge).
Old 04-11-10, 10:07 AM
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Dave hit dead on. Drills are measured in inch pounds, and you will need foot pounds to do that task. Way more than the cordless impact will deliver. Especially if some gorilla put them on with 110 ft pound impact, like they do on my dually. You can't break them manually.
Old 04-11-10, 10:11 AM
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Well guys...check my answer in the other post....the impact wrench should do it...not the driver.

And who the heck is Dave? lol
Old 04-11-10, 11:39 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far, this is what I figured would be the case, I am sure in some instances people have been able to break lug nuts with their impact driver and a socket adapter but that was probably an ideal situation where the lugs were certainly not seized on and possibly not torqued down enough either. The other thing is the tool may be able to do it some of the time, but you may risk damaging the tool and I am sure you would break many of the socket adapter bits.

The Milwaukee Impact Driver is rated for 1,400 in lbs of torque so I am not sure what that works out to be in Ft Lbs but either way I have never relied to specs alone to try and calculate if something will be suitable. Too many variations in how manufacturers test and inflated numbers out there to rely on them, and that doesn't just apply to tools alone!

Like I mentioned I think that the impact driver will still be my next cordless tool purchase as I want to round out my M18 kit with one as well as the Jigsaw that is in the lineup. And then I will look to get a corded Impact Wrench later on, because honestly I do not need a cordless one, if I am changing my tires I will be doing it maybe 4 times a year for winter to summer tires and rotations and I will have access to an outlet so by going with an electric I will probably be able to get more power and spend less money as well.

Last edited by Matt_Smi; 04-11-10 at 12:10 PM.
Old 04-11-10, 01:48 PM
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One thing that might help is Permatex anti-seize lubricant. I have put that on the lug studs of most of the vehicles I have owned. It's meant for internal engine parts as well as starter and alternator mounting bolts. I have never had a problem of a rusted on lug stud or nut after doing this. Also a breaker bar might work better. You can normally stand on one of those if need be, just make sure you are on the bolt very well.
Old 04-17-10, 02:22 PM
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What's the difference between an impact driver and wrench??? Isn't it just two different terms for the same thing? I've got this Ingersoll Rand 19.2 volt Impactool (OK now three different terms): ToolWEB -- Your Online Source for Auto Tools

With 360 ft. lb. torque it the best at the junk yard but even at home where I have air tools I grab this first instead of dragging out and uncoiling the air hose.

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