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Air vs electric impact gun

  1. #1
    Senior Member smokinjoe's Avatar
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    Air vs electric impact gun

    So I want to run air tools for van & bike maintinence. Til now I got by with a tiny 3gal pancake compressor but what do I need for an impact gun?

    Am I better off just buying and electric half inch gun? Craigslist is no help as everyone charges retail price. Any advice?

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  2. #2
    Lifer Ductard's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Why don't we have a impact gun shoot-off?

    I heard the best testing grounds would be a stubborn oil screen bolt on the side of a KTM case.

    You're in luck, I just happen to have one of those...

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    "Where are we going?...and why am I in this handbasket?"
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  3. #3
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    last year i bough a craftsman impact electric... took off my lug nuts no issue.. I was in love. had no issue with my wif's saab lug nuts which were always a giant pain to take off with just the lug nut wrench. Havent used it for anything else...

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    hmmmm......

  4. #4
    You dont know slow... PainfullySlow's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    I keep an electric for track use. It comes in very handy for those front sprocket nuts and the occasional galled up ducati SSSA rear wheel nut =).

    I have found air impacts seriously underperform unless you go top brand with lots of air behind it.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member smokinjoe's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Aw man, see, there is always some wacko out there talking about shoot offs. Besides, I figure you would be too blinded by the compression issues that are plaguing your pits to worry about the bolt. I figure you will sell the bike with the bolt intact.

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  6. #6
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    air impacts generally get you more torque but dealing with a compressor and lugging air lines everywhere can be a pain if you don't use it that often - plus you should have a decent amount of air if you use it continuously. Electric is super convenient but can lack the power needed. I have a pneumatic gun but rarely use it. I pretty much always use my Dewalt 1/4inch impact driver on just about everything (nuts, bolts, screws, you name it) then swear at it when it can't handle heavier items... not that it's designed for it. It's awesome at the track and the 1/4inch quick change bits allow me to use it on a variety of applications. It also has lights at the tip which are freakin awesome.

    I'm currently looking at getting this new Craftsman electric impact wrench: Craftsman C3 Heavy Duty Impact Wrench Kit Powered by 4Ah XCP - Tools - Cordless Handheld Power Tools - All Cordless Power Tools at 300ft-lbs I primarily want it because I have other C3 tools that I want the lithium battery for but feel this can almost entirely replace my pneumatic gun. I rarely deal with stuff over 200ft-lbs. I'll still keep the pneumatic for the times when I absolutely need it but portability is a luxury I can afford. Also, the lights at the tip are freakin awesome.

    I say figure out what you'll be using it for and go from there. If you don't have high torque needs and like portability, go electric. Just remember to charge the batteries.

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    Last edited by OneCheekRider; 10-13-14 at 02:43 PM.

  7. #7
    TWINS! xrocket21's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    I have ONE (1) Snap-On tool, and that is my cordless impact. To me, it is a tool that needs to take off difficult nuts, and if it doesn't have the power, it is useless. I use mine all the time and don't regret getting a good one. And I do have a large compressor and other air tools. A cordless impact is a really great tool to have around. Someday you'll be driving 10" lags to build a deck or something (something you wouldn't have thought of using it for) and say to yourself, "I love this thing"

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  8. #8
    Lifer Ductard's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    Aw man, see, there is always some wacko out there talking about shoot offs. Besides, I figure you would be too blinded by the compression issues that are plaguing your pits to worry about the bolt. I figure you will sell the bike with the bolt intact.
    Yes, the lack of compression coupled with a faulty clutch was too much for the little bolt to bear, I'm afraid.

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    "Where are we going?...and why am I in this handbasket?"
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  9. #9
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by PainfullySlow View Post
    I keep an electric for track use. It comes in very handy for those front sprocket nuts and the occasional galled up ducati SSSA rear wheel nut =).

    I have found air impacts seriously underperform unless you go top brand with lots of air behind it.
    I have had no issues removing anything with my pneumatic cheap craftsman...shrug.

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  10. #10

    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Go electric!

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  11. #11
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    I have had no issues removing anything with my pneumatic cheap craftsman...shrug.
    I have a cheap Craftsman 1/2" impact and it can barely get the jizz stains off my laptop.


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  12. #12
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    I have a cheap Craftsman 1/2" impact and it can barely get the jizz stains off my laptop.

    What compressor are you using?

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  13. #13
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    What compressor are you using?
    My little Porter Cable pancake jobbie. I haven't bothered to hook the big Craftsman 60gal up yet because I haven't run 220V into the basement..

    But even with a full tank at 120psi, the gun sucks.

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  14. #14
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    My little Porter Cable pancake jobbie. I haven't bothered to hook the big Craftsman 60gal up yet because I haven't run 220V into the basement..

    But even with a full tank at 120psi, the gun sucks.
    Idk. I work on a decent amount of shit and it has always worked with my 60gal IR 2 stage.

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  15. #15
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    go with a Nascar setup, ported & polished air gun driven by compressed nitrogen

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  16. #16
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    Idk. I work on a decent amount of shit and it has always worked with my 60gal IR 2 stage.
    Do you remember much yours was? I think mine was the $34.95 model or thereabouts. I feel like it has the same amount of torque as my 3/8" ratcheting air wrench

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  17. #17
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    If you need portability, electric. If you have an air line and good compressor, air.

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  18. #18
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    I've got a CH cheapie air gun from Tractor Supply. For $11 with the 2 year protection plan (it was on sale, and did I mention, cheap?) it's done all I've asked of it.

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  19. #19
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    Do you remember much yours was? I think mine was the $34.95 model or thereabouts. I feel like it has the same amount of torque as my 3/8" ratcheting air wrench
    This is the one I have. Got it from my cousin for free so no dice. He said it was a cheapie though.
    Craftsman 1 2" Impact Wrench New Model 875 199820 | eBay

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  20. #20
    Senior Member smokinjoe's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Kurlon, what's a CH cheapie? Sounds pretty seedy.

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  21. #21
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    Kurlon, what's a CH cheapie? Sounds pretty seedy.
    You can only buy them from Smutty at Halloween parties...

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  22. #22
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    I've got a Makita 3/4 drive electric, 450ftlbs of torque. If it won't loosen the bolt, it either breaks it or the socket. I would buy electric over air all day long, even if the cost is more. Sucks listening to those pancake compressors run...or most of the common homeowner grade electric compressors for that matter

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  23. #23
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Pneumatics offer much better performance for any given price point assuming you already own a compressor. The down side is you are tethered by an air hose. For me, I don't use my large impact enough to justify dropping the coin on a proper battery powered model. I do have an 18V Dewalt 1/4" hex drive impact wrench that has all but replaced my manual impact driver for small fasteners. The manual one only gets used for super stubborn bolts and screws since the added hammer blow along the axis of the fastener can help release corroded threads.

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  24. #24
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    I have a cheap Craftsman 1/2" impact and it can barely get the jizz stains off my laptop.

    I have an even cheaper CH from WalMart, it's a million years old and it still will break a bolt if it can't free it.

    Most of the time it's your hose limiting flow. Run a long 1/2" hose and you'll probably notice a huge performance gain. Makes a big difference for me.

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  25. #25
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: Air vs electric impact gun

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    Kurlon, what's a CH cheapie? Sounds pretty seedy.
    CH is Campbell Hausfeld which makes inexpensive pneumatics.

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    "...i would seriously bite somebody right in the balls..." -bump909

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