I am thinking of buying a mini induction heater aka “bolt buster” OR an impact wrench for husband’s birthday. I can only pick one wondering if anyone had any thoughts about getting one vs the other?
Neither one, Gift card and you will not have to return something he does not want or will not use.
Edit: I do woodworking and used to do it as a way to make a few extra dollars. Nothing irritates me more than someone giving me a tool that I will not use and then I have to return it .
What kind of repairs does he typically do? An impact wrench will have more uses.
Of the two, I’d get the wrench. I have never in over 25 years of wrenching on my cars used a “bolt buster.” If I need to un-freeze a fastener that an impact gun won’t budge, I grab the propane torch, which does the same thing, only better, and you can use it for other stuff too.
But get a good impact wrench, because the lousy/weak ones aren’t very useful. Avoid Harbor Freight for this.
That said, @VOLVO_V70’s advice is the best. If you don’t know about tools AND how they’re going to be used, it’s hard to get the right ones.
My wife bought me an Impact Wrench for Christmas one year. But I told her the exact brand and model, and even the link on Amazon. Not all Impact wrenches are the same.
I’ll join the others and say impact wrench.
Don’t get the cheap model, but get - say - in the mid range of a well known brand.
I have the predecessor to this one:
I still have to find a bolt or nut it won’t remove and it is actually not noisy in use.
I will say that, You have to get a set of appropriate sockets also. When a socket cracks, metal fragments starts flying through the air.
I don’t know the price in USA, but here it’s quite expensive. They have cheaper models though.
Also, I don’t really care for the batteri models, but then you have to have an air compressor.
Definitely the Impact Wrench… Not sure which style you had in mind…pneumatic or electric. I have both and I can tell you that I never thought I would ever use or need an electric (battery powered) impact wrench and boy was I ever wrong. It has become a very well used item and in all sorts of places.
As mentioned here, not all are created equal and the price difference is quite vast. IMHO it is not worth it to buy an inexpensive non professional model. The one I have is a 1/2 in drive and cost over 300 dollars…and that is NOT the most expensive by any means. If you spend around 200 and this is not for professional use, you will be able to find a wrench that should fulfill any needs placed upon it. Something Lithium rechargeable is nice.
The most expensive tool you will ever own is the one you buy cheaply…and most often.
I love my battery Impact guns (3/8", 1/2" Dewalt.) Now, they aren’t as powerful as my air impact guns, but for the majority of what I use them for- they work great. I just have to remember that they are lower torque, and use them accordingly. The portability around my shop is amazing.
Milwaukee makes one that I use. Maybe it’s not the most powerful or most durable, but for me as a hobby user it’s darn near perfect.
But, does your husbands air compressor have a high enough CFM rating for an impact wrench?
You don’t need a compressor. Good electric wrenches work great.
Agreed, but OP did not specify.
So we don’t have an air compressor. That is the other factor. Also, someone asked what he’d be doing. Mostly working on his truck replacing parts like his ball joints, control arms, exhaust components. Fixing the gasket on his rear diff. Stuff like that.
I vote for a battery powered 1/2" impact wrench also. But beware that there are impact wrenches made for woodworking and they will not do him any good. It needs the be a 1/2" model.
As for brand, it would be best to stick with a brand he is already using. I.e. if he has a Dewalt 20v drill, then get the Dewalt 1/2" impact. If he has a Ryobi, then likewise stick to Ryobi. This will mean that he wont have to keep a different charger and different batteries as Dewalt, Ryobi, B&D, Milwaukee, and Rigid batteries are interchangeable within their brands, but not between the brands.
This is just an example of what to look for, but find something in the same brand line that your husband is already using.
FYI the above model looks like it is being discontinued to be replaced by a more powerful brushless model. Brushless battery powered tools are the latest and are more powerful, lighter and longer lasting than brushed tools.
Edit: here is an example of a newer model by Makita. This one can match the power of many pneumatic models, but as with all Makita tools, it is pricy, but worth it if he is a professional or uses it a lot.
I use a cheap Harbor freight corded impact wrench that I have been using for 20 years. I use it mostly tor lug nuts and lawnmower blade bolts. I have an air compressor and pneumatic impact gun but I seldom use it because the electric is quicker. Mine was about $36, to get the same power in a battery one you are talking over $200. The battery ones are handier to use but I never worry about if my batteries are charged or need replacing.
I have a corded impact wrench also, a Kobalt from Lowes, but it was no where near as expensive as the cordless models, as my corded drills cost way less than my battery drills.
But dragging out, uncoiling and recoiling the extension cord is what drove me to the cordless tools once they became a viable alternative to corded.
I have a Ryobi battery impact wrench that I use for repairs on my car. I used it to change brake pads and also replace my rear calipers.