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Old 11-27-2008, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Impact driver or impact wrench?

Is there a difference between an impact wrench and impact driver?

I want an impact wrench and im seeing drivers to. They look the same but i don't see a difference.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

If you are talking air impact wrench, then yes, big difference. an impact driver looks like a screwdriver that tourques stuff tight when ya hit the back of it with a hammer.
like this


An impact gun or wrench is connected to an air supply and delivers adjustable pressure for tightening or removing bolts and stuff.
like this


Sometimes people mistake the two and call one or the other the wrong name.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

Thanks Mike.

The home depot site had impact wrenches labeled as impact drivers... maybe they are just confused.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

Nah you want the driver..I have both. Wrench looks like a ratchet run on air(typically 3/8"). Not much torque, driver is as pictured (3/8" or 1/2".)
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

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Nah you want the driver..I have both. Wrench looks like a ratchet run on air(typically 3/8"). Not much torque, driver is as pictured (3/8" or 1/2".)
Thank you sir!
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

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Nah you want the driver..I have both. Wrench looks like a ratchet run on air(typically 3/8"). Not much torque, driver is as pictured (3/8" or 1/2".)
See now I've always known those to be Air ratchets, not Impact. HAAh How confusing.
Anyhoo I got to googling and from what I found I think I was correct, again these are known by many names.
Impact Driver

Impact Wrench

air ratchet
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

You need one of these:



1 1/2" drive, good for 10,000 ft/lbs, twin hammers weighs in at a 120lbs.

Your for about $12,000.00
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

Unfortunately people misuse terms/names all the time and soon they become common place vernacular. This is a prime example. Some folks also use the term "air gun". Not to be confused with an "air ratchet", or a manual "impact driver".

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Old 11-29-2008, 02:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

nevermind, dont know why i started to post again, sorry

Last edited by Savvyav; 12-01-2008 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Impact driver or impact wrench?

An air impact wrench uses a "hammer" and an "anvil" to create torque. A puff of compressed air throws the hammer forward and on the front of the hammer is a crown of slanted faces. The back of the anvil also has a crown of slanted faces and when the hammer hits them, it twists the anvil to the side. That's the "impact". Different units are rated for different maximal torque based on the angles on the hammer and anvil and on the force with which the hammer hits.

A manual impact wrench uses a hammer blow onto the back of the unit to accomplish the same torsional spike force by way of the same mechanism.

I've mostly heard people use the terms "impact wrench" and "impact driver" interchangeably, but that doesn't prove a thing. There could very well be a defined difference, but I haven't come across it.

An air ratchet uses a rotary mechanism powered by the compressed air and has much less torque, but it does a fantastic job of driving the many many full turns that it takes to put a connector like a bolt into it's place. Final torque specs are achieved using a torque wrench.
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