thinking about buying some air tools....


85_Ranger4x4

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My 2cents... I use DeWalt impact guns and Hammer drills on almost everything. While I was cleaning up my frame with a wire cup, I desperately wished I had AIR ( got tired of swapping batteries out and waiting for them to charge). So I got a compressor for the jobs that may take longer, because I didn't want to burn up my batteries and/or drills. So glad I did. Back in '04, when I worked at the brake shop, all we used was pneumatic tools and I thought that the Electric stuff was weak, BUT all the companies have gotten better at having more torque and longer lasting batteries. So a combination of both air and battery powered and maybe even corded tools will stay in my toolbox.
I am still 110v for most everything.

Not that hard to drag it within extension cord range and then I can rattle/wheel/grind as long as I need to without ever needing to swap a battery
 


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alwaysFlOoReD

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I should clarify what I do. My main job is residential exterior renovations. Lots of corded and air tools, and a cordless impact is essential IMO. I'm a hobbiest mechanic and have no garage. Dragging out air lines is a drag (hardy-har-har). Having the cordless impact makes things so much quicker when there is access. I have a HD corded impact that does the heavy stuff and if that don't work I break out the 3/4" drive and snipe. If I was starting new I would probably get a small compressor, say about 3.5 to 5 cfm, to fill tires and do minor jobs. I would invest in a cordless tool set as money lets me. I got into Ryobi when they were the only one that sold the tool seperate from the battery charger. I would probably go with another make, but Ryobi has kept the same battery style since the beginning and that is a good thing for saving money. I see lots of used dewalt on the 2nd hand market because they went with a different battery a few years ago. Switching to a new battery system would be very expensive for me as I have around a dozen different types of cordless tools. I've been very impressed with the new dewalt tools tho, they have lots of torque. I could go on but I'm boring myself now.
 

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I should clarify what I do. My main job is residential exterior renovations. Lots of corded and air tools, and a cordless impact is essential IMO. I'm a hobbiest mechanic and have no garage. Dragging out air lines is a drag (hardy-har-har). Having the cordless impact makes things so much quicker when there is access. I have a HD corded impact that does the heavy stuff and if that don't work I break out the 3/4" drive and snipe. If I was starting new I would probably get a small compressor, say about 3.5 to 5 cfm, to fill tires and do minor jobs. I would invest in a cordless tool set as money lets me. I got into Ryobi when they were the only one that sold the tool seperate from the battery charger. I would probably go with another make, but Ryobi has kept the same battery style since the beginning and that is a good thing for saving money. I see lots of used dewalt on the 2nd hand market because they went with a different battery a few years ago. Switching to a new battery system would be very expensive for me as I have around a dozen different types of cordless tools. I've been very impressed with the new dewalt tools tho, they have lots of torque. I could go on but I'm boring myself now.
FYI DeWalt has an adapter for about $95, that converts the old style ( slide into handle) into the new style ( clip onto bottom of handle )
NOT ME IN THE PIC!!!
32396
 

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I've got 18v dewalt cordless impact, hammer drill, cut off tool, circular saw and the batteries last long in the drills but not the cut off tool or circular saw. I use my dewalt impact for damn near everything I can. It's even a hand me down from my father in law when their company got new tools he gave me some of the old ones that still worked. That was 6-8 years ago lol and still use the same drills and batteries. Other than the earthquake 1/2" impact I don't know what other brand I would trust. Milwaukee is good but you pay for it, big time. I'd like to find a name brand with a good deal AND 2 batteries! I hate how everything is sold separate. Now the other question no one has mentioned is oil or oil-less compressors?? I have both and both have their ups and downs. My ol' faithful oil-less is a worker with good CFM BUT it is loud as hell! My oil-less is a lot quieter but doesn't make the CFM like the oil-less I have. Both about the same size tank and psi.
 

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Now the other question no one has mentioned is oil or oil-less compressors?? I have both and both have their ups and downs. My ol' faithful oil-less is a worker with good CFM BUT it is loud as hell! My oil-less is a lot quieter but doesn't make the CFM like the oil-less I have. Both about the same size tank and psi.
You need to edit; which is oiled and which is oil-less.
 

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I'd recommend against buying cheap air tools unless you deal with disappointment better than I do. I bought a set of Rodac air tools from one of the jobber reps when I first started in 1972, 1/2" impact, 3/8"air ratchet, air drill, and an air chisel that were all junk. They cost $39 each( about 1/2 a weeks pay at the time) and were a waste of money. Within a year I bought a CP734 1/2" impact for $120 that I'm still using and a couple years later I bought my current Bluepoint air ratchet. I would buy a better quality version of whichever tool you want most, it'll last longer and be much more enjoyable to use, then add others as you can. By the way, a 300 ft/lb 1/2 impact is gutless and you won't be happy with it at all.
 

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I will echo the sentiment posted earlier that you will be disappointed with that air tool set, particularly the impact. I've had half a dozen cheap impacts that were OK for small fasteners but met their match with lug nuts and anything rusty.

Right now I have a 60 gallon Rolair compressor and a bunch of air tools of various brands including all of the tool truck brands and Harbor Freight. My three most used, by far, are the 1/2 and 3/8 HF Earthquake impacts (the red ones) and a HF right angle die grinder. I also use my Cornwell long barrel air chisel quite a bit.

I really, REALLY like the Earthquake tools, the exception being the Earthquake XT and composite ones suck ass. If it's red, it's good. I've personally put them up against Snap-on, IR, etc and have found them to have as much or more power and every bit as durable. They are a bit heavy and kind of have a hair trigger to get used to. I would call myself a semi-professional user... I do a lot of light repair type side jobs at home.

Nice thing about these too is they have the HF reputation so you can pick them up cheap at pawn shops and stuff... think I paid maybe 1/4 of new price for mine and they were like new.

Keep air line and fitting size in mind too - I started out with 3/8 air line and 1/4 fittings. I upgraded to 3/8 fittings which are quite a bit more expensive but I could really tell a difference.
 

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Im hoping this spring to get the polebarn cleaned out at the old house so i can actually have a clean, dry, warm shop to do things in.

Most the tools ive had are scattered all over hell out there. I spent 20 minutes looking for a damn 3/8 wrench this afternoon im sick of it.

I want to begin working/building my old 77 LTD II next year. My plan is to get a engine hoist, stand, some high quality pittsburgh tools (sarcasm) and some decent air tools.

Im getting sick of taking everything to my mechanic just cause i dont want the hassle of trying to find shit out there. I had them change the lower radiator hose yesterday....a new low.
 

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I will echo the sentiment posted earlier that you will be disappointed with that air tool set, particularly the impact. I've had half a dozen cheap impacts that were OK for small fasteners but met their match with lug nuts and anything rusty.

Right now I have a 60 gallon Rolair compressor and a bunch of air tools of various brands including all of the tool truck brands and Harbor Freight. My three most used, by far, are the 1/2 and 3/8 HF Earthquake impacts (the red ones) and a HF right angle die grinder. I also use my Cornwell long barrel air chisel quite a bit.

I really, REALLY like the Earthquake tools, the exception being the Earthquake XT and composite ones suck ass. If it's red, it's good. I've personally put them up against Snap-on, IR, etc and have found them to have as much or more power and every bit as durable. They are a bit heavy and kind of have a hair trigger to get used to. I would call myself a semi-professional user... I do a lot of light repair type side jobs at home.

Nice thing about these too is they have the HF reputation so you can pick them up cheap at pawn shops and stuff... think I paid maybe 1/4 of new price for mine and they were like new.

Keep air line and fitting size in mind too - I started out with 3/8 air line and 1/4 fittings. I upgraded to 3/8 fittings which are quite a bit more expensive but I could really tell a difference.
We had a guy that bragged about his Earthquake impact gun until he was blue in the face. I had the machine shop make us an adapter 1/2" to 1/2". We hooked his Earthquake up to my Matco composite... I spun that Habor Freight POS backwards like he forgot to pull the trigger.
 

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We had a guy that bragged about his Earthquake impact gun until he was blue in the face. I had the machine shop make us an adapter 1/2" to 1/2". We hooked his Earthquake up to my Matco composite... I spun that Habor Freight POS backwards like he forgot to pull the trigger.
I would never make the claim that they are the best tool out there because they're certainly not, they have certain quirks that are quite irritating. But, for the price, they are one of the best options out there IMO.
 

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I wish I could buy another MAC Tools IR 231 impact. I whooped my original for about 30 years. I now have one of the composite IR's. It probably has a little more guts then the 231... but I would rather have a good 231.
 

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For what I do would I would rather have an ok impact and a good torch set than a super duper impact.

My 350lb-ft powers out before it brakes solid decent sized hardware. When dealing with stuff that has been sitting out side and haven't been apart since it was assembled in the 40's I rather prefer that. Then I put heat to it, walk it back and forth with more lube and heat with the impact... and usually I can save the period heavy duty hardware.

Probably 75% of the time my impact will get it though. And it rattles apart most anything apart I point it at on my trucks too.
 

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I wish I could buy another MAC Tools IR 231 impact. I whooped my original for about 30 years. I now have one of the composite IR's. It probably has a little more guts then the 231... but I would rather have a good 231.

I'll have to check... I may have a few 231s left that need to be rebuilt if you're interested. They were "cleaning up" a few years ago and we kept all the rebuildable air tools that were about to get thrown out.
 

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When I started to pull the transmission in the 93 Ranger in 2006 I didn't have an impact or compressor, and soon as i put some real twist into the first exhaust manifold bolt felt it begin to twist. I knew then if it didn't get an impact that I'd quickly have a broken stud in the exhaust manifold, so went looking for one.
Wound up with a Craftsman single hammer 350ftlb impact and a Craftsman 125psi 3gal 1.5hp/oil type motor 3.5scfm portable compressor. It broke those exhaust bolts with no problem, and I was sure glad it hadn't left one broken off.

over the next 12 years it saw light to medium duty at best, almost entirely aimed at lug bolts some shop had hammered in with a 700-1100ft lb hammer, usually forcing me to use a heavy 4way and 5ft cheater along with some choice terms for the tire "tech" who'd done it. I learned to tighten my own lugs when they'd change a tire.

More recently I had to once again tackle the transmission, and danged if I hadn't used never-sieze(although I knew to) due to needing to wrap it up in preparing for a major move, and i had also likely hammered them in good as well. After 12 years hammering on stuck lugs the ol hammer didn't come close, altho it's still good for a lot of things, simply doesn't have the gusto it once had.
I got a new stronger hammer at wmart that also failed, swapped it up to their strongest 1/2in 550ft lb (about $80) which again failed to break them. Figured it needed more cfm so got a larger compressor(also at wmart, HD was too absent when I'd go there looking for help) 8gal 150psi 4.0cfm also 1.5hp oil-less motor. Still no go on the bolts.

Went to HD looking for another impact and found a 650ft lb (almost $90) and it still didn't back em out!
I was having to lift the truck into a transmission pulling state, and put it back together and on the ground each time I had to go retool!
Put a 1/2in ratchet on there with a 4ft cheater pipe and said I'm gonna back ya out, or break ya off! Put both hands and eventually added a foot to the equation. It broke, the entire chain of pipes, ratchets, and extensions exploded into pieces falling on the ground in front of me. I saw the bolt head beside the socket, started to look at it but hesitated picking it up because I'd been using a heat gun to get it warmed up much as possible, touched it to check but it was cold. Pulled it from under the tools that were on top and it was a whole bolt, not even the one from the exhaust.

Shined a light up there and the bolt was still in, put the string of extensions together and "broke" it again, this time it popped twice. That thing was popping sometimes a dozen pops each bite, but it finally got backed out intact.
I had wound up with 2 compressors(one oil and one oil-less) and 3, 1/2in impacts. I had only tried the wmart impact once but after swapping fittings onto the Husky had used it in a dozen other attempts, so kept it and returned the Wmart one(even tho I liked it better than the Husky due to much smoother operation). Wound up with a new Wmart B&S oil-less compressor and Husky 1/2in impact. I'll give the old Craftsman compressor and impact to a nearby nephew.

I truly don't believe the oil-less compressors are any real improvement, but are only a selling point to attempt concealing the manufacturers cheaper construction. Whenever they say "new and improved" look for cheaper construction and a higher price tag ;)

One major point about the newer ones, all had 3 forward settings but only one for reverse (which they wrote off to "you don't really need it anyway" but the Craftsman I got in 2006 had three both ways, low-med-hi.
 
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PetroleumJunkie412

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My current "big" air impact is the HF 1 inch rated to 1500 ft/lbs. It's "ok." the Dewalt 20v 1/2" does most of the heavy lifting, and I rarely hit a bolt it won't touch.

I'd buy a snap on, Mac, Cornwell, etc. But um... my kidneys aren't worth a whole lot as trade bait.
 

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I'll have to check... I may have a few 231s left that need to be rebuilt if you're interested. They were "cleaning up" a few years ago and we kept all the rebuildable air tools that were about to get thrown out.
If you have one that can be salvaged... I would be interested. I spent so many years working with one of those... even after owning my current IR for probably 8 or 9 years... I miss the feel of the 231. I even miss the sound they made.
 


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