4 Tips for Sizing an Impact Wrench

When sizing an impact wrench, there are several tips that can be useful. Impact wrenches are useful tools that can help break loose stubborn bolts or nuts or tighten bolts and nuts. Beginning users may have a hard time determining what size wrench to use for what type of project. These few tips on selecting the appropriate sized wrench can help ensure a successful and easier job. 

Tip 1 – Use the Correct Size

Using a wrench of a larger size in order to gain more torque than what is required is not beneficial, but actually detrimental to your tools and task. When using a larger wrench that offers more torque than you need, you can over tighten a nut or bolt that can lead to cross-threading, cracking or breaking. Stick with the correct size of wrench and socket for your task to ensure you are not doing more harm that good. Also, using a socket in your wrench that is not the correct size for the wrench can be detrimental as well. Even though a socket may seem that it fits the impact wrench, it may not be properly fitted or aligned into the wrench. Using an incorrect socket can be unsafe and can wear or break internal parts of the impact wrench.  

Tip 2 – Size Determines Design

It is helpful to know that the size of an impact wrench also determines its design, handle location and features. The smaller wrenches, such as the ½ inch size, are going to have a pistol grip handle that resembles a drill grip. The larger impact wrenches, such as the ¾ inch wrench, will have a D or T handle, which allow the user to get a firmer grip to power against the increased torque of the wrench.

Tip 3 – When to Use ½ Inch Wrenches

Impact wrenches that are ½ inch in size are a standard tool found in auto shops. This size wrench is the correct size for auto repairs, such as suspension and tire jobs. For construction sites, the ½ inch impact wrench is the perfect size for small to medium assemblies and disassemblies. The average torque for a ½ inch impact wrench is 300 ft/lbs which is more than enough for theses types of tasks. Using a larger wrench with more torque can strip or damage nuts or bolts of tires, auto suspensions and construction projects.

Tip 4 – When to Use ¾ Inch Wrenches

Impact wrenches that are 3/4 inch in size are suitable for heavier equipment. Most commonly, this size wrench is found in shops that work on large equipment and work trucks. For construction sites, the 3/4 inch impact wrench is the preferred size for large or major assemblies and disassemblies. The average torque for a 3/4 inch impact wrench is 1200 ft/lbs, which is more than enough for theses larger of tasks. The great amount of increase in torque between the ½ inch and ¾ inch impact wrench is the main reason why selecting the proper sized wrench is vital to ensure you do not over tighten your nuts or bolts.