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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

School Me On Impact Wrenches

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Lanse

12-25-2012 16:03:58




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Goodevening, everyone!!

Hope its been a good christmas all around the internets, I've really enjoyed mine. I got a few bucks from relatives and decided I want to put that towards a new Impact wrench for my shop.

When I got my first air compressor in 2007 or 2008 or so, it came with one of those cheapie impacts you can get anywhere... It was kinda useless (remember having to jump on a 1/2" Craftsman ratchet in order to break most things loose) but I thought it was the coolest thing ever and had a blast with it.

Anyway, I've had a few instances where I really wished I had a good impact, its not something I'd use everyday, but one of those things where when you need it, you need it...

And I've decided to go get a nice one.

I'm looking for something with some power, more than my cheapie one of years gone by, and somethings thats pretty durable.

I don't know a lot about air tools, mostly just use my compressor to power the plasmas, so I figured I'd ask on here...

From what I gather, Ingersoll Rand makes some fine units, and the 231 series is a pretty nice wrench. Any feedback? What other nice impacts could I find in the $100-$200 range?

Lowe's sells a kit, with a 231G and an air ratchet for $150 that I'm leaning towards now, I've heard good things about the 231, but I guess I'm just wondering what else is out there.

I'm not really looking for anything "composite", I want the least amount of plastic possible on a tool... I won't be using it 8 hours a day so the weight-savings wouldn't be a huge deal for me... Same with bright yellow/ridiculous graphics lol

Anyway, any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated... Enjoy the last few hours of christmas, everyone :)

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LJKCK

12-29-2012 22:58:21




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
For professional use I have a Sanp-On, and no one will ever talk me out of it. Ever. They make their own. Had a Matco which at that time was an Ingersol painted red. I have nothing against Ingersol but the Snappy has a few little features and a tish more power that I like. If you want something cheap and reasonable and reliable for at home go to www.airtoolsforless.com and get yourself an ingersol. Best deal anywhere bar none.

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Tech 7

12-27-2012 15:41:48




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
Lanse...I have used air impacts and electrics (cordless) for some time. I have a 15 yr old Snap-On 3/8 cordless 18V that has done a lot of work for me. It has at times twisted off 3/3 bolts. I like it in tight areas where there is not a lot of room for air hose. I also run a Snap-On 1/2 air impact. It is about 15 yrs old (can't remember the model #)One of the guys at the shop bought a new (unknown brand) impact from our local autoparts store. It would out twist my old unrebuilt blister at first but then gave up and died after 3 months use! Value???? What ever you get make sure to let the air type wrench "breathe". It wont matter if your compressor will supply .5 or105cfm. If you use a 1/4 air line your results will be a lot less than if you run 3/8 line to the tool. Bob

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Traditional Farmer

12-27-2012 05:54:44




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have several Snapon 18V Impacts,air impacts and a couple electric impacts.The air are the most powerful but use the 18V the most because they're more handy and most of the time they're good enough.The electric impacts are about as strong as the air.Buy a good one the cheapies ain't hitting on much in my opinion.



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scotc

12-26-2012 22:46:11




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
Never thought much of electric impacts til I used a good one. We have an old Black and Decker, and a DeWalt 110V 1/2 drives. Also a Makita inch drive, that will turn some bolts.

A good air impact will give you more torque, but an electric is a lot more handy, you don"t need to lug around a compressor to use it, for one.



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thebigyellowtruck

12-26-2012 21:47:46




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have a craftsman and an earthquake from harbor freight. The earthquake was affordable and much more torque than the craftsman. If you feel that you need to spend money for qualitythan try the IR Thunder gun. They're hard to beat.



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BTW-Id

12-26-2012 15:54:24




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
Lance,
I have an IR gun that I always thought worked pretty good until I got a Bluepoint. My understanding is that Bluepoint is Snap-On's kid brother. My experience has been that the Bluepoint works circles around the IR busting loose lug bolts that the IR wouldn't touch. All the while using my nearly 40-year-old craftsman compressor. Can't give you model numbers or torque specs right now, they're out the shop, I'm not.
I also have half inch drive 12V impact wrenchs that I carry around in my work trucks for busting out lug bolts on flat tires. I wanted to laugh the first time an old friend of mine handed me one in a parking lot when I had a flat tire on my 1966 3/4T Ford pickup. But once I used it I was sold and went to Harbor freight and bought two of them for about $20 each. I don't really like to admit that I buy things at Harbor freight but they were cheap and they really do the job.

Good luck on your search.

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Determined

12-26-2012 17:36:48




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to BTW-Id, 12-26-2012 15:54:24  
Have owned countless impacts over the years in a shop setting.

Snap-on titanium/composite had two sent both back for warranty twice now expensive dust collector.

Older Bluepoint and CP do all the work around her and are worth rebuilding, try looking in pawnshops.



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johndeere720diesel

12-26-2012 15:05:48




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have a 231C ir gun at work love it but have to watch how much pressure you feed them because yes they need pressure but too much will cause them to free wheel now at home I have a cp gun not sure of model but is suppose to be 625ftlb so far it's a great gun bought one for my father couple years ago because all he had was the Co guns that only have 250 ish either one would last in my opinion Mac matco and snap on are made for the most part by those 1st 2 manufactures just look at the guns and you can tell so IMO they are a waste of money but I know like people like aying for the name

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fixerupper

12-26-2012 12:03:42




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
CP or Ingersoll seem to be the old standbys. I've used a CP 734 for years. It isn't the most powerful 1/2" made but it's lighter weight and I like the push button direction change. HP makes a bigger 1/2" than the 734 if you want more torque. Ingersol makes a darned good one too. I forget the model number, but the one I used on the harvest was about the same physical size as the CP 734 but had more power and speed. It also was heavier. The direction change button, or dial depending on model of IR, is a little unhandy but maybe it's because I'm not accustomed to it.

Both brands have quite a wide selection to choose from so you do have some choices. When I was looking for a 3/8" air wrench I requested the fastest RPM air wrench CP made for zipping the nuts off of bolts with a slotted screw driver head. The one I ended up with is wicked fast. The nut unscrews crom the bolt so fast it propels the air wrench up away from the bolt and the nut goes spinning across teh floor. Just an example of the choices you have. Jim

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Reaver

12-26-2012 06:47:55




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have an electric Ingersoll Rand and love it...I have an air compressor, but electric gives u so many more options...honestly use it more changing tires than anything...have helped out friends numerous times and all u need is a 110 plug in.
Reaver



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GordoSD

12-26-2012 06:32:24




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have a Farmhand from TSC, a 1/2 drive. It is all steel, green and chrome. Looks nice, feels nice, has the ring clip socket retainer which seems to work easier than some of the ball bearing retainer drives. For a 3/4 which I ned about one day a year, I bought one off the back of a truck at one of those parking lot tool sales for 19.99. It has worked flawlessly everytime i have used it (all five) LOL The impact that is indispensible for every job is the smaller, 1/2 inch drive Dewalt 18v lion. I'ts the first toll out of the box and the last one back in.

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haley

12-26-2012 06:12:35




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I bought a I/R 244 1/2" drive back in 1995 and its the best money I ever spent.With the right air pressure it has always been GORILLA strong.I have worn the anvil out in it twice and have yet to have a problem with the air motor part.For the first five years of its life all it did everyday was off and on lugnuts for rotate and balance and brake work at the dealership I worked at.I have used this wrench to remove bolts that my fathers 3/4 Chicago pneumatic would not move.I have also used a 231 and for the money if you can still get a 244 you would be crazy not to.Just my opinion.

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ASEguy

12-26-2012 03:16:19




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have an IR 231 and it's durable(grease the back periodically. I also have their 3/8 drive for tranny's. Good quality, very dependable. Lube them often.



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Dick2

12-26-2012 03:08:36




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
My nephew has 3-4 different makes of air impact tools in his farm shop, but he also bought the "Earthquake" model from Harbor Freight that is now his favorite air impact wrench. It has more torque than any of his other impacts; he needs that to remove & replace shovels on his chisel plows as well as work on other farm equipment.

Personally, I have a Black & Decker Industrial electric impact that I bought about 20 years ago. I don't use it a lot, but it packs a good punch (don't know the actual torque numbers).

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ken combs

12-25-2012 20:53:31




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
Don't rule out the composite I/R guns. I have the 2135TI and it's little brother, the 3/8" drive 2115TI. Composite main body and titanium impact mechanism housing.

Light, powerful, rugged. I've had them for 4+ years. Trouble free and I am rough on tools. Not abusive, just heavy use. I wouldn't go back to a heavy, all metal impact.



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Dick

12-25-2012 19:44:51




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
Hi Lance,
I've got a cheap HF air impact that I seldom use, but it's there if I need it. The handiest tool I have is a Snap On 12 volt impact. If you don't have one in your shop you should get a 3/8" drive 12, 18 or whatever volt impact driver. Yes, they make 1/2" drive also but they are heavier to handle. For assembly or disassembly they are handier than a pocket in a shirt. True they are short on power for loosening lug nuts, but once they are broke loose a battery powered impact will spin lug nuts right off. I have one I carry in my pickup tool box as well as another in the shop. If you get one, you will use it all the time. Just keep a set of 3/8" sockets handy and you will fall in love with this tool. Check them out on Ebay and find a cheap one to give a try. Something to think about..
Dick

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glennster

12-25-2012 19:13:02




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
lanse, my three guns i use the most at the shop are my snap on mg725 1/2 gun, snap on mg 325 3/8 gun, and i have an older blue point at321. also have an i/r 1 inch drive long barrel for big truck tires. the 725 will set you back about 460 dollars. the 325 about 400, and the 321 about 230 dollars. the 725 has about 1100 lbs break out force, and about 850 pounds torque typical. its gonna either loosen the bolt or break it off. the i/r would be a decent gun for general work in your price range. also, check some tool trucks to see if they have any trade in/rebuilt guns for sale. use a good quality air tool oil, and put a few drops in the gun each time you use it. you can also set up a hose whip with a line oiler on it.

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RodInNS

12-25-2012 18:47:11




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
As a general rule... the guns that offer the most torque for their class are better then the lower torque models. I/R, Bluepoint, Jet and CP all make good guns. Specifically I'd stay clear of Sanborn, Campbell Hausfeld and Craftsman. They may have some that are good... but on balance they will be on the lower end.

Rod



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Justin SE IOWA

12-25-2012 18:23:52




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have a bluepoint thats probably 15 years or so old. I have had it rebuilt once but its a nice gun!



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Whizkidkyus

12-25-2012 18:14:41




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
Lanse ,

In my opinion every good shop need at least a 60 gallon 220vac air compressor or bigger and a good 3/8 , 1/2 ,3/4 and and 1" drive air impact wrenches as well as an assortment of other air tools . I have two 1/2 inch drive air wrenches - a Deviblis(?) and a Campbell Hausfield as well as a 3/4 drive by Farmhand ( TSC ) . Don't have a 1" yet or a 1/4 drive , but will someday . I also have a small assortment of other air tools. When running a shop of anykind , especially on a farm , you'll eventually find a need or use for them and more .

Whizkid

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bill mart

12-25-2012 17:14:15




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
Lanse,dont rule out the electric version of Ingersoll Rand. Been using a model 8049 for years.Only has around 300 ftps of torque but its strong enough for what I need it for. Bill



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GarrettFields

12-25-2012 17:10:22




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
IR 2135TI. I dont recall how much but there pretty spendy, and worth every penny. Got one in the shop, and one in the service truck.



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s.crum

12-25-2012 17:03:20




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
If I were in the market for a good impact, I would check e-bay and see if I could find a decent old IR gun. Even if you had to put 15 or 20 bucks into rebuilding it. The new IR guns are just China junk assembled in the U.S. And some of them not. IR also made MAC and a few others. Assembled in the U.S. doesn't mean Made in the U.S. but then they can still us the Made in USA sticker. IR or any of the others are no better than a $30 Walmart Campbell Hausfield these days. I've killed a few.

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redtom

12-25-2012 16:49:27




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I turn wrenches for a living and for years relied on my IR 231, an expensive one, CP used to be "THE" name in air tools but I feel they've gone cheap china now. I have a Snap on 1/2 inch now that was the best one they had about ten yrs ago at work now. I just got an IR titanium 3/8 drive cuz the ole wrists get sore. It was expensive too. Quality in air tools is directly proportional to price-cheap equals junk.

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Bob Huntress

12-25-2012 16:48:28




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
What size of compressor do you have? Do you know the CFM rating on it? What impact wrenches use is compressed air volume, and lots of it. If you have a small tank or compressor, you will not have the volume of compressed air to loosen anything. They should be fine with a 7hp 80 gallon tank, but that is about as small as you should think to run an impact on. You may get some limited use with a 60 gallon tank, but if you get any smaller, you will only loosen the bolts that weren"t that tight to start with. That may be the issue with your current impact. I can loosen some very tight nuts with my IR, but even the cheapies will get most nuts with sufficent volume of compressed air. If you can not get any appreciable use from a brand new, allbeit cheapie, impact, I"ld start looking at your air compressor capacity.

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Russ from MN

12-25-2012 19:58:10




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Bob Huntress, 12-25-2012 16:48:28  
I use an IR 231 on my shop built compressor and it works just fine. It's only 10 gal tank with a V2 Chrysler air conditioner compressor, 1hp motor.
I use it to rotate my truck tires and if I start when its just about ready to shut off I can easily remove all six nuts without running out of air!



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OHReader

12-25-2012 18:22:06




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Bob Huntress, 12-25-2012 16:48:28  
+1 on those thoughts. Also +1 on the thoughts about an electric impact.



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JD Seller

12-25-2012 16:48:23




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
That Ingersoll Rand 231G is a pretty good common impact wrench. They are advertised at 500 ft.-lbs. of reverse torque. I would say that the deal you found at Lowes is a pretty good deal on a fairly good impact.

Here is another Ingersoll Rand Impact Wrench Model# 231HA it has Max. Reverse Torque of 600 ft. lbs. It is on sale at Northern Tool for $139.99.

The best High torque I have, bang for the buck, is a Ingersoll Rand Titanium Air Impact Wrench Model# 2135TiMAX. These are advertised at 780 ft. lbs. of torque. I like them because they are lighter. I have wrist troubles them being lighter makes a real difference by days end. You can usually find them for around $300. Have several MAC high torque impacts but they start at $500 and go up.


Some thing to remember Lanse is that these are rated at 175 PSI air supply and will use 20-25 CFMs while working. So if your air supply is at a lower PSI the torque will be lower than the rated torque. They will still out perform the one you had/have but will be less than what you may have used at a school shop or etc.

Also if your shop is unheated and you are going to be using them in real cold weather. Take them in the house and let them warm up an they will work better. When they are real cold they will freeze up when the cold air gets going through them.

Have fun the one you have listed would still be a big jump up for you and would make things fun to get apart. Just a little heat from your torch and hit it with your impact.

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Jonak

12-25-2012 16:45:09




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
My son gave me a Craftsman 9.2 volt battery powered impact. I have not yet used it, but did put it on a nut and pulled the trigger. Has lots
more torque than I would have thought. So we will see,looks to be very handy!!



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Formerly PaMIke

12-25-2012 16:31:16




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
I have an older(10 year) IR gun. It was in that price range when I got it. Its a good gun BUT they like PRESSURE to run well. My compressor kicks on at 80 psi and off at 100. You really ought to have over 100 psi to really get that tough bolt out.



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XRogerX

12-25-2012 16:12:49




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 Re: School Me On Impact Wrenches in reply to Lanse, 12-25-2012 16:03:58  
IR, or CP tools. Hard to go wrong. Most air compressor company branded tools like Comp-Air or Atlas Copco are also pretty good quality. Snap-On, Blue Point, Mac, ARO, all good stuff. I'd be leery of any 1/2" gun that claims 1000lb/ft though. Never had a whole lot of use for an air ratchet, except putting con rod big ends onto compressors before torquing them to final spec. Knuckle busters most of the time. I'd rather have a decent 3/8" impact or a butterfly impact instead. 1/2" gun gets tiring if there's lots to do and you don't need all the torque.

Most Campbell Hausfeld stuff isn't that good, but their bigger 1/2" impact worked ok for me. It's a decent budget tool.

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