Opinions Wanted-Good Air Impact Tools?

I'm in the market for a good yet reasonably priced 3/8" Drive Air Impact Ratchet and 3/8" Impact Gun, in lieu of the gun maybe a butterfly impact.

Who makes a ratchet that you don't have to use to break loose the bolt first before hitting the air?

Is any of the new Porter Cable Air Tools any good? Any "sleepers" out there or really good old tools to look for that might be worth rebuilding?

Thanks guys. Marty

Reply to
Marty Escarcega
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Carefull here - the sword cuts both ways. Have you ever had an air ratchet pin your hand against something?

Look for St.Louis Pneumatic, they are out of business but lots of stock around. Good Stuff!

Reply to
Tom Gardner

I recently bought a 3/8 drive butterfly impact from Home Desperate, on an impulse buy.

I never succumb to impulse buying, and if so, never at home despot.

Anyway that thing was about thirty bucks (store brand) and I've used it more in the past few months than I would have imagined. Really handy.

Next stop, air operated cutoff tool.


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Reply to
jim rozen

Probably the best U.S. made air tools are the ARO brand. I don't think I've ever seen what was in their entire product line. The ARO tools were used in major manufacturing facilities such as aircraft, rail, and trucking.

Hutchins was another very good name, but I think most of their products were sanders.

Chicago Pneumatic CP was another of the best, but they've gotten competitively cheaper, and the same has taken place with Ingersol Rand. In older air tools, these brands were very well built with high grade materials.

Florida Pneumatic were good also, but I think these were made in Japan, which isn't bad, as we've seen that Japanese products are good quality too. These might be considered commercial duty, rather than industrial duty rated. They were popular in body shops and small commercial operations.

The butterfly impacts are really handy, and some companies such as CP produced a right angle adapter for them.

Some brands like Rodac were the early versions of generic copies of everone else's tools and thay were decent, but not close to industrial duty tools.

WB ...........

Reply to
Wild Bill

Ingersol Rand used to make a ratchet they called the Knuckle-Saver. Had a clutch on it so your hand wouldn't get smashed. It was a brilliant idea and worked well, I wouldn't trade mine for anything. One reason you're using one of these things is close quarters work, so the clutch helps a lot. Doesn't do much for ordinary assembly work, but doesn't hurt either.


Reply to
Paul Amaranth

snipped-for-privacy@auroragrp.com (Paul Amaranth) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com:

Thanks Paul, recall the model number on it?

Reply to
Marty Escarcega

I bought an I-R 3/8" drive air ratchet about 15 years ago, around $100, whatever that translates to today.

I don't really understand your question about an impact ratchet, maybe I'm just ignorant but this one does not have a free-running impact. In other words if you put it on a stuck bolt, grip it tight and pull the trigger it will just sit there and hiss, no impact.

The way it seems to work well as an impact wrench is to pull the trigger and then slowly sweep the tool in the opposite direction of the fastener you want to turn. Each time it passes one of the ratchet 'click's the impact will cycle and give a good kick to the spindle.

Somtimes I'll have to repeat this a bunch of times - let go of trigger, reposition tool, pull trigger and start another sweep.

Usually it's easier to just use a wrench or use it as wrench. Whole bit is relevant only to tight access situations.

Its torque is pretty good and indeed many times it has pinned my hand with the trigger stuck on...

I like the 3/8" air ratchet for driving Greenlee KO punches, with a 1" socket, takes the work out of punching 2" holes in 14 gage steel wireway. Earplugs mandatory.

Also have the 1/4" I-R. Nice tools.

If there's such a thing as an impact air ratchet please educate me.


Reply to

Good old tools:

Snap-On used to sell a chrome-plated version of the generic air ratchet under the Blue Point label. It was much better than the Cheapistan knock offs. I used mine for years and then had it rebuilt (by Snap-On) right before deciding to get out of the business. I'm sort of sorry I sold it.

The regular Snap-On air ratchets vary in quality over the years- in this case bigger is better.

Snap-On's factory service was outstanding- one low flat fee covered an entire rebuild, whatever it took to make the tool like new.


Reply to
Carl Byrns

Hi Marty,

I went and looked, it's a Model 110. It was Patent Pending when I got it maybe 10 years ago.


Reply to
Paul Amaranth

Amen to that! I borrowed a honking big Snap-On from a friend. It would loosen lug nuts on a pickup. It would easily twist off 1/4" bolts.

Reply to
Andy Asberry

K&E Tools makes an impact air ratchet they call the Ratchepact: . I have no idea how well it works; I came across the web page while searching for something else.

Reply to
Steve Dunbar

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