- Feb 13, 2020
- Chandler, AZ
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I keep both 3/8" and 1/2" drives in my carry on tool bag. I try to use shorter handles and keep a short section of pipe for leverage.Picking up an impact driver for my suspension install this week. I was thinking 1/2 but would a 3/8 work and be a bit more compact to take in my offraod carry-on? @r2m , any thoughts?
I appreciate all the insight. Sounds like 1/2” is the way to go. My bigger issue is space. With 5 warm bodies in the cab and no trailer, I can’t afford two sets. I’m going to go with a lithium battery based driver. I don’t have a tank yet and even if I did, my little onboard compressor isn’t big enough and totally sucks over 9K feet which we hit a lot.I keep both 3/8" and 1/2" drives in my carry on tool bag. I try to use shorter handles and keep a short section of pipe for leverage.
I use Harbor Freight tools because they're cheap and so I can keep my good tools at home, not worrying about losing them on the trail in the dirt, mud, snow, etc.
Because HF tools are cheap I keep a set of 1/2" drive set along with the 3/8" set. If I have to really torque on something there's a good chance a cheap 3/8" drive socket may break, but a 1/2" drive socket under the same stress, even a cheap socket, should be fine.
If everything on your rig is properly tightened and torqued, then there should never be an issue loosening a bolt. (I think there may be a joke in there somewhere...)
But, after re-reading your question, I was off point with my comment above, but thought I'd leave it anyways.
To your point: I would definitely go with 1/2" if you're just doing something cheap. More power, more torque. The biggest thing to consider if you're going with an air impact driver for the trail is to make sure you match your air consumption (CFM) and pressure (PSI) with what your on-board compressor puts out. If your on board air can't keep up with the impact wrench, then you'll be hard pressed to loosen anything.
And I don't care what people say, cheap tools from HF are fine for the trail. I consider them semi-disposable. If it breaks, but still gets me going again, great! If I can put it back in my bag undamaged, even better!!
I have a 3,000 watt pure sine inverter. I'd prefer to use electric. No rarefied air issues, just need to keep the engine running when I'm using it. But I'd have to do the same with the compressor.I appreciate all the insight. Sounds like 1/2” is the way to go. My bigger issue is space. With 5 warm bodies in the cab and no trailer, I can’t afford two sets. I’m going to go with a lithium battery based driver. I don’t have a tank yet and even if I did, my little onboard compressor isn’t big enough and totally sucks over 9K feet which we hit a lot.
Does your ARB double work efficiently enough to run tools at high altitude?
I might just wait then. My suspension install probably only has 20 bolts anyway? Half probably aren’t accessible with the impact anyway so I’ll probably survive. Thx.I would advise against a HF impact. I have the Bauer 1/2" impact and it struggles to remove an 80 ft-lb lug nut, despite being rated at 450 ft/lbs. I've had it < 1 year and use the big 5 amp-hr batteries. At first it was fine, since then the performance has significantly degraded. I now have to manually break my lug nuts loose with a breaker bar, zip them off with the impact, set them with the impact, then torque them back down. Or deal with using my HF Earthquake air impact (which is decent but I only have an 8 gal compressor so it's slow). It's a shame as I have at least 5-6 other Bauer tools from HF and they are all pretty good - I air up my tires with a $25 Bauer compressor which has been flawless and is powerful. But, my HF impact is now a $120 paperweight.
IMO - if you are getting an electric impact - pony up and get a DeWalt, Milwaukee, etc. Buy once, cry once. My $120 on the HF impact is 1/3 of the way to a Milwaukee impact that is rated at 1,400 ft/lbs.
Regarding my setup - I carry a 25 inch long, 1/2" breaker bar with me, plus a 3/8" socket set and a 1/2" to 3/8" drive adapter. This is really easy to store and should take care of anything you really need. An electric impact would be nice to have for a quick tire change on the trail, but it not really a necessity (IMO) with a breaker bar. My breaker bar is from HF, however, it has been great .
One last thing that I forgot about and have not seen yet is if you use an impact wrench on pretty torqued down bolts, you should use impact sockets also.I might just wait then. My suspension install probably only has 20 bolts anyway? Half probably aren’t accessible with the impact anyway so I’ll probably survive. Thx.
Grabbed my father in laws 19 and 21 deep impact sockets over the weekend. Figured those would be the tough ones.One last thing that I forgot about and have not seen yet is if you use an impact wrench on pretty torqued down bolts, you should use impact sockets also.
Using an impact wrench on regular sockets, especially cheap ones, you'll wind up blowing them out.
You don't really need a huge variety of sockets like normal 1/2" and 3/8", but just some of the larger sized ones for wheels, suspension, etc. Probably wouldn't go smaller than a 13mm socket. But I'm not the one that did the suspension on my rig either.
That's pretty common for thick walled sockets not to fit the aftermarket wheel's. I'd get a couple of the 21 mm sockets to keep in your gear. They're small and cheap insurance.I have a set of these and they have been really good:
1/2 in. Drive Metric Impact Deep Socket Set, 13 PieceAmazing deals on this 13Pc 1/2In Dr Metric Deep Wall Impact Socket at Harbor Freight. Quality tools & low prices.www.harborfreight.com
However the 21 mm socket is too wide to fit in the lug nut well of my wheels. I use a normal non-impact 21 mm socket for that and I'm sure it will crack eventually. I use non-impact sockets fairly often on impacts and did end up cracking one of my ~20-year old 19mm sockets with my air impact.
Not sure, but I think I know how you roll, so this is probably redundant to say that be sure you check all the reviews on the Ryobi before purchase.Yeah, Ive got a set of cheap ones in the trail bag now. Probably geta set if impacts for the garage. My wheels are a spline nut so the adapter makes clearance easy. This makes me realize I should have a second spline lug nut adapter in the truck. Id be pretty well f***ed if that broke during a tire change.
I think Im going to go middle road on the impact gun. I have a bunch of ryobi 18v stuff and it looks like they have a 1/2” drive gun at home depot. I think Id have a slightly better shot at it lasting than a HF but we’ll see. At least I already have batteries for that.
Obsession is my profession : )Not sure, but I think I know how you roll, so this is probably redundant to say that be sure you check all the reviews on the Ryobi before purchase.
Make sure it'll do what you need it to do.
Obsession is my profession : )
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Obsession is my profession : )
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Get both but get a good brand. I have both Milwaukee 12V ⅜" and 18V ½" and use them all the time. I've been a general contractor for years and have had a lot of tools, all abused. My Milwaukee power tools have lasted FOREVER. Ryobi is trash, but slightly better than Harbor Freight.
My ½" "mid torque" M18 Milwaukee is f'n great. It fits onto crank pulley with the radiator in place and is strong enough to break the bolt loose in like 2 seconds.
Check out this video from Donut testing different impacts; Milwaukee beats the $800 snap on, and the harbor freight job which is more comparable to Ryobi. It even runs underwater.
Wholly s***, that's a nice drill. Still not spending $400 on something I'll use 5 times. Sticking with the trash on this one since it's got a 3 year warranty & I don't even change my own oil. I'll report back on durability after I do a water crossing with it on the floorboard.