Hello to all:
I dont understand something.
I am looking to buy a cordless compact impact wrench.
I have narrowed my choice down to to. The dewalt dw051k, which is a 3/8
inch 12 volt, and the dewalt 053k, which is a 1/2 inch 12 volt.
The only differences that I can see, is that the 1/2 is a few ounces
heavier, and its maximum torque is about 20 percent more.
Plus the 1/2 inch uses a detent pin retention, the 3/8 uses a hog ring
The question I have is, it seems that there is a huge greater range
of accessories for the 1/2 inch, which in my opinion makes it a logical
choice, especially with the bit added torque, but in a lot of place the 1/2
inch, is priced less then the 3/8 inch, and this surprises me, and thats
why I am questioning this.
Is there something I dont understand?
I am leaning towards the 1/2 inch, but is one retention method better
and thats why they are of equal cost, or even the 3/8 is more expensive.?
It doesnt seem logical.
Much regards Jerry
Both of those impact cordless wrenches are toys as far as automotive
work is concerned. Neither one gets close to the torque you need to
spin off a rusty lug nut. Compare them to the 600 ft. lbs. or more of
a typical Ingersol-Rand, CP, SnapOn, or Matco air impact that a pro
mechanic will have in his toolbox. The old adage is always true: there
ain't no substitute for torque and cubic inches. Air power rules in
As for the kiddie toy DeWalts, it's a toss-up. If you buy the 3/8" you
can use a 3/8 - 1/2" adapter to use your 1/2" socket set. And if you
buy the 1/2", the reverse is true. If compact size is important get
the 3/8". in any case, buy a 1/2 " Craftsman breaker bar in the
longest size they have to start the tough nuts turning before you
abuse the baby cordless.
If you really need to get some work done, get the best air compressor
you can afford and an Ingersol-Rand 1/2" 231 or 3/8" 212 series. IR
has hairier ones than these. but this is a good place to start. HTH
Retired ASE Certified Master Mechanic
Thanks for the two replies so far.
The problem is, that I just got out of the military after being in for
nine years, and serverly injured my back during my second stint in Iraq, a
week before I was due to rotate back to the states.
Basically, I am just looking for something to make it easier for me
in case I need to change a flat tire on my vehicles, and to use for when I
want to rotate tires on my vehicles, as well as for some household use, or
occassionally if I need it to work on a motor. (Light stuff only).
I have to adapt to my present capabilities and need to prepare for
how to best handle a situation.
I will only use the wrench to take off the lugs, and use a manual
torque wrench to properly put on the lugz.
Sorry to hear of the bad back. These cheap impact wrenches are not a
solution to lug nuts. As mm suggests, get a breaker bar and the correct
socket, stand on the breaker bar, and bounce up and down. I'm pretty light
and this always works. Once you've moved the lugs use a ratchet to get them
off. The danger to your back will be in putting the tire in the trunk.
Well, being in a similar situation as you I perhaps shouldn't make this
discourse public but too late now... I will be blunt and it's not a
reflection upon you so please take it that way.
You WILL have to get used to not being able to do MANY things that you
did before. I didn't and only hurt myself more! Don't do it to
yourself. It's a sad day when it hits you but you must move forward.
My solution to your problem: AAA and cell phone. Changing tires is a
past activity. Have your tires rotated at inspection time or just go to
a tire dealer that does it cheap. Say $10 -$20 a year is cheaper than an
impact wrench that you KNOW in your heart will NOT be charged when you
Thank you for your service to our country, there is NO way I could
express my gratitude. Please take advantage of any and all help
available to you.
Another thing I have done, once when it was raining, but I was
supposed to be at an important meeting representing my employer, a
congressional candidate in a primary, looking well-dressed, in a
make-or-break situation, was to drive 3 blocks on the flat tire to a
gas station. Yes, it ruined the tire. They changed the tire in 5
And another time, when the tire hadn't been in the snow at all, I
couldn't get it off even by jumping on the wrench, and I tried over
and over for a long time, again I drove it about 5 blocks, and again I
ruined the tire.
I don't buy expensive tires, and they weren't new either, so that made
Of course I have no idea how badly you were hurt.
And I know on two occasions when my back hurt, once for so many months
that I went to an orthopedist, it was never hurt badly.
But despite that, in one case it took 4 years for it to be back to
normal, and in the second case it's been a little over two years now
and it's pretty good.
So don't give up home on your back improving, maybe even getting
better, although maybe that can't happen in your situation.
Harbor Freight has a 1/2" drive 12V impact driver that plugs into the
cigarette lighter outlet,240 ft-lbs,but a low striking rate. Sells for
around $20 USD.It's intended for wheel lug nuts.
Then you don't have the battery problems of seldom-used cordless tools.
I have a 1/2 inch 110V impact wrench that I use around the shop. I find it
just great for removing lug nuts and such. I use it quite a lot to remove
the Crank nuts, upper and lower, on lawn tractors and mowers. If a supply of
110V power is readily available and you don't have a fairly large volume air
supply compressor then I would go with the 110V electric over the battery
operated one. As another poster has said, there are battery operated ones
that will do the job for you, however they are a bit pricey. You can get a
fairly good 110V, 1/2 in. drive for under $100.
Even better than a breaker bar is a piece of iron pipe that you can slip
over the end of the lug nut wrench. Get the longest piece that will fit
in the trunk of your car - perhaps 3-4 feet. You won't have to stand on
it to move the nuts.
Thanks to all that have responded.
Standing on a lug wrench and jumping on it, or waiting hours for help
and not being self reliant, is not my best solutions.
I purchased the tool at a place that seems to have great prices on
line, and appears to be very reputable.
They said if it doesnt work out, keep the packing material , send it
back, and they will refund with no problem, less my return shipping.
It seems I have nothing to lose by trying.
Much thanks for the various public and private sentiments also. Much
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