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shuttlepilot Reader
9/25/18 10:04 p.m.

In reply to SyntheticBlinkerFluid :

I have a dewalt DCF-899B and it has been able to bust loose any automotive bolt I have put in front of it. I pair it up with a Milwaukee 12V powered ratchet to speed off loosened fasteners and it have made life so much easier.

nutherjrfan SuperDork
9/25/18 10:58 p.m.

bought an XT Earthquake recently.  Standing on a universal lug wrench wasn't working for the project car with I dunno I'm somewhere between a buck 70/80.  Initially it didn't seem to work but then I remembered to tighten and then loosen again and then the lug came off.  All the others came off fairly easily after that.  That alone made me happy especially as the car was now up on four stands and I wasn't in the mood for putting it back down.  

Didn't seem to need charging straight out of the box too. smiley

dropstep UltraDork
9/25/18 11:10 p.m.

My first one was a snap on 1/2 inch drive 18v. It was a heap of E36 M3, and almost ruined electric impacts for me. My boss handed me a brand new 3/8 drive Milwaukee fuel 18v and it broke loose things the snap on wouldn't. I was sad to give it back when I quit that job. I love the Milwaukee stuff.

Trans_Maro PowerDork
9/25/18 11:25 p.m.

I have the Snap-On 7.2/14.4 lithium lineup in my toolbox at work.

The 3/8" impact will take off lugnuts. I don't mean Miata lug nuts, I mean the torqued-to-about-100lb/ft nuts on my wife's 3/4 ton Suburban.

I also have the 3/8" ratchet, 1/4" ratchet and right angle drill. I hardly ever drag an air line around these days.

aw614 Reader
9/26/18 7:49 a.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

Dad has a bosch. That thing flat freaking WORKS. As long as the battery is fully charged. 

I use the cheap corded harbor freight one. Very few bolts have been too stuck for it.

I just wish the corded HF one was a lot smaller, but general have had no problems using it other than the size. 

MINIzguy HalfDork
9/26/18 8:00 a.m.

I have a Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1/2" impact and it is a beast. Saw plenty of techs using Milwaukee stuff, so when it was time for me to make my first purchase, I followed suit.

I used a HF corded 1/2" impact for the longest time. The Milwaukee has way more loosening torque, but I keep the HF around as a backup.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/26/18 8:08 a.m.

Home Depot had a stack of these Ryobi One + kits for $99 earlier this year so I picked one up on impulse:

The battery ALONE usually sells for $99. It's only rated for 300 ft lbs, but it has done 99% of the jobs I've thrown at it so far, and I use the thing all the time. If you have the extra $$$, you can certainly do better, but for $99, this thing RULES! 

bobzilla MegaDork
9/26/18 8:34 a.m.

Wife bought me a Dewalt on black friday in 2016. I can count on one hand the number of times I've reached for my MAC air impact since. It's handy, powerful and no waiting for the compressor. 


I have this exact same one

Robbie GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/26/18 8:50 a.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

If i'd seen that deal I would've done the same. I have lots of the ryobi tools, and you are right about the cost of the battery.

My current impact is a craftsman c3 with the big lithium battery, and it kicks butt. I've taken it to the challenge 3 years in a row and I always bring the charger but haven't needed the charger yet... It is however starting to get a little beat up and the battery doesn't snap in as positively as it used to.

Only stuff it struggles with is stuff like axle nuts on these salt-belt junk cars I work on.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/26/18 8:59 a.m.

I have the big Milwaukee 1/2" Impact M18  and new M12 3/8" Impact.  The big one is a wrist breaker if you aren't careful with it but will either loosen the bolt or shear it off and the new 3/8" M12 is a snappy little thing that still throws down 250ft-lbs on the little batteries that fit in my jacket smiley

Milwaukee cordless plain and simple, you don't have to worry about your batteries not working with a new tool next year. They don't change the battery connection every 2 years like some of the others and they have no plans on doing so.

2002maniac Dork
9/26/18 9:33 a.m.

Last year I did a bunch of reselling of Milwaukee tools on ebay and ended up with a pretty good collection for myself.

M18 Fuel High Torque Impact -  Absolute BEAST.  1100 ft/lbs.  Totally overkill for every job I've done other than crank bolt, axle nut, etc. (I bet it would handle Keith's mini flywheel bolt no problem as well)

M18 Mid torque 1/2" drive - Much smaller and easer to wield.  Plenty of torque for stubborn suspension bolts, lug nuts are no sweat either. This is my Goldilocks gun

M18 compact 3/8" drive - Easy to fit in small areas, very handy under the hood and for suspension bolts that are not siezed. Can do most lug nuts with a few more rattles.

M12 3/8" ratchet - Awesome tool! This is a great time saver for smaller fasteners or just spinning a bolt that you broke loose with a socket or wrench.

The great thing about Milwaukee is all their M18 stuff can use the same batteries.  From impact, drill, and sawzall, to Shop vac, lights, leaf blower and string trimmer (seriously awesome!).  I love that I can run most of my tools with just a handful of batteries. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/26/18 10:16 a.m.
2002maniac said:

(I bet it would handle Keith's mini flywheel bolt no problem as well)

Don't say that until you try it. Why a car with a 1200cc engine needs to be so tightly attached I have no idea. My 1/2" air gun wouldn't do it, we had to go to a 3/4" IIRC.

volvoclearinghouse UberDork
9/26/18 10:36 a.m.

Milwaukee Fuel Impact.  If there was a 1/2" socket extension attached to the Earth I'm fairly sure it could cause it to reverse it's rotation.  

The only thing air gets used for in my shop anymore is inflating tires and running my plasma cutter.  

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/26/18 10:55 a.m.

I have the DeWalt 20v and it's amazing. They claim 1200 ft lbs of breakaway torques. It just removed the axle nuts that have been on my 911 for 31 years. They are factory torqued to 339 ft lbs.

CWR67 New Reader
9/26/18 11:01 a.m.

I have a Milwaukee M18 and a Milwaukee M12 as well a a few air powered ones.  Even though my shop is plumbed and I have air lines everywhere, I can't tell you the last time I used one of my airguns.  I go to the Milwaukee guns and they both perform great. On the rare occasion the compact and handy M12 won't loosen it, the M18 is always there to take care of it.  

02Pilot SuperDork
9/26/18 11:26 a.m.

Damn, that big Milwaukee is cheaper than I expected. It would be nice to consolidate my battery systems...anybody want to buy my lightly-used Earthquake XT?

APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/26/18 11:41 a.m.

I've got the Makita XWT08XVZ  18v 1/2" impact.  I love it at the track but because it's so darn heavy compared to my old faithful IR 231 I rarely use it in the shop. 

morello159 New Reader
9/26/18 12:10 p.m.

I have a cordless Craftsman 1/2" gun and it's alright. The NiMH battery it came with is completely toasted now so I'm contemplating whether to double down with a new Craftsman battery or just get something like the M18 combo they have at home depot home depot...

ColoradoBob New Reader
9/26/18 12:25 p.m.

Like many others, I have a 20v Dewalt.   Far more powerful than I expected.   Even used it to pull the axle bolt out of an Audi A4 rear hub at the the local pull and pay yard.

pirate Reader
9/26/18 1:32 p.m.

I have a Craftsman 19.2 Volt 1/2 Impact with lithium ion battery. I bought it primarily to remove lug nuts/change wheels on cars. So far has done everything I  wanted it to. It is not rated as high as foot/pounds as some of the other brands. Picked it up on sale with impact, battery and charger fo about $130. It made sense for me because I also have some other electric Craftsman tools that share the same batteries. 

rdcyclist Reader
9/26/18 2:44 p.m.

Dammit Jim. I've spent the last hour looking at Milwaukee Fuel impact tools on eBay. I've had the little 1/4" hex driver for years and never thought about hanging up the air hose so I've been dragging the line out for heavy work. That E36 M3 is going end but it looks like the price tag is going to be about 0.5 large.

Like I said, "Dammit Jim."

eastsideTim UltraDork
9/26/18 2:50 p.m.

I like my 24v Kobalt, but it seems there are a ton of good options nowadays.  It’s hard to go wrong with anything that’s been suggested in this thread so far.

therieldeal New Reader
9/26/18 3:10 p.m.

I bought the 3/8” compact 18v Milwaukee Fuel (2754) first, as a kit with batteries & charger.  LOVE it, bring it to every autocross for tire changes, suspension adjustments, etc. It has 3 torque settings.

3. This will break loose most any M12 and smaller bolt/nut with ease, including lug nuts, various suspension bolts, etc.

2. This is great for most general disassembly/reassembly work.  For lug nut installation, a second or so of hammering once the wheel is fully seated usually puts me ~1/8-1/4 turn away from my preferred lug nut torque.  NICE.

1. I don’t use this very often.


The variable trigger on this thing is fantastic.  If there’s no significant drag in the threads you can use it to gently screw something together as slowly or quickly as you like.


I liked the compact one so much I picked up the 1/2" “mid torque” version as a bare tool (2861).  I figured it’d be good to have for heavier duty work or any really stuck bolts I might encounter.  It passed my initial test of near-instantly loosening a very rusty new England axle nut that probably hadn’t budged since it was first assembled in 1990…. On the 2nd of 3 torque settings. 


I haven’t actually needed the mid torque for anything yet, but I did bring it to a friend’s house to use in conjunction with a hub puller (splined axles stuck in his fwd hubs).  We stripped out the hub puller tool… whoops.

_ Reader
9/26/18 3:15 p.m.

MIL bought me the 1/2” Milwacky M18 set. That thing is incredible. I use it on every project now. No more sore elbows or busted knucks! It was well worth the over 400 dollar price tag. 

P3PPY GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/27/18 12:11 a.m.

I bought a Rigid 18V about 4 years ago for $100. It's maybe 115 ft-lbs. It's saved me TONS of time over the years, I used it just tonight even. It's not strong enough to break loose even something like a starter or alternator bolt but once you get it loose it saves plenty of time. Especially useful is this Dewalt 90 degree tool for hard to reach places. I don't try anything crazy with it but for $20 it's been very handy


My MIL got me a wired Harbor Freight impact for Christmas. I think it's around $100ish. I agree it's bulky as all getout but it does most of what I need. Years ago I wrenched my back helping someone along the side of the road with a lug nut so I needed something that could break lugs loose at home at least.

For our wedding registry I registered for a $350 IR with 1,000 foot pounds. I always wondered if I'd gotten one if it would have snapped my arm.


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