Both air ratchet and impact wrench are important tools for repairing things in the workshop. A great number of people often thought how they are different from each other. Whether you are a DIY user or a professional mechanic, these tools are efficient for tightening & loosening bolts for various tasks. There are plenty of similarities between both these tools, but they still have distinctness that everyone doesn’t succeed in finding.
We know that you are looking to understand what keeps them unique from each other. Our team has thought about dedicating a post entirely to differences between impact and ratchet wrench in detail. Let’s read out the entire article and get your answers now!
An impact wrench is an efficient tool that we often see in the tool chests of almost every mechanic. The main motive of this tool is loosening nuts in vehicles, but it can work in nearly all types of high-torque circumstances. Most people often confuse it with an impact driver, but the reality is greatly different. Impact wrenches are commonly seen in auto races as a pneumatically powered tool. This unit is based on the hammering mechanism that helps in providing immense torque for loosening the nuts quickly.
It is strongly suggested to stay cautious while tightening nuts using an impact wrench as over-torque can harm the threads. These tools are usually heavier but have a great power that can be very used in high-power jobs.
Advantages of Impact Wrenches
- An impact wrench can remove the machined tightened nuts and bolts quite quickly, making the process easier for the users.
- It is a multi-functional tool that can work brilliantly for a variety of things ranging from vehicles to lawnmowers and small engines.
- They usually come with adjustable torque settings making sure you can apply the adequate force required for a certain project.
- There is a pretty amazing level of torque provided by an impact wrench that assists in boosting the efficiency of users.
Limitations of Impact Wrench
- An impact wrench has a pretty heavier construction making it difficult to carry from one place to another.
- A great number of quality impact wrenches are very expensive to shop for.
Also check: How does an impact wrench work?
A ratchet is a very convenient tool that is commonly found in every workshop. It comes with a fastener component using which the fastening or loosening job is completed. It is almost similar to a socket wrench having ratcheting pawls inside to make it spin in one direction while the bolts turn to the other direction. The ratchet wrench is fully simple to use, and even a first-timer can use it adequately.
Compared with other tools, it has a pretty thin profile that makes things convenient for the users. The ratcheting action provided by this unit is pretty terrific and helps in making the job super easy.
Advantages of Ratchet Wrench
- It is an inexpensive tool that one can shop in many different price ranges for easier selection.
- A ratchet wrench is an efficient tool that always causes precision at its best.
- The availability of a ratchet wrench will minimize the chances of damage to fasteners.
- It fits in the thinner profile where sockets face any difficulty to reach.
Limitations of Ratchet Wrench
- Slipping of bolts is quite a common problem when a newbie uses a ratchet wrench.
- It demands tons of manual effort from the users.
What are the major differences between impact and ratchet wrench?
Let’s allow us to give you a very clear idea of how impact and ratchet wrenches are different from each other. Check out this section very carefully to ensure nothing gets missed from your mind.
The most notable difference between these two is how they operate. An impact wrench is a power tool that means it doesn’t need much effort and make sure you don’t have to deal with a sore wrist.
However, a ratchet wrench asks for lots of physical exertion from the users. It means you have to make lots of effort when compared with an impact wrench.
There is no doubt that technology has made our lives easier, but it comes with certain restrictions. The users have better control over precision level while using a ratchet wrench when compared to an impact ratchet.
It is true you have to put extra effort into the work, but the level of control will also be better for sure.
Another major thing that differentiates these two types of wrenches is their price range. You need a pretty low budget for buying a torque wrench than shopping for an impact wrench.
However, it doesn’t mean all the impact wrenches are costly as their prices vary from one model to another. It is just the extra benefits that come at a little bit extra price that you will surely acknowledge.
If you love the environment and want to make sure it gets the least affected with your operation, then choosing a torque wrench better makes sense. There is lots of noise created by impact wrenches that might hurt a few people’s hearing powers.
That’s why it is strongly suggested to wear ear protection while working with an impact wrench. It will make sure you don’t have to deal with any issues later on.
When to use an impact wrench or a ratchet wrench?
Well, choosing between an impact wrench and a ratchet wrench depends on the situation. A ratchet wrench can work comfortably for most homeowners and DIY users as it is enough for dealing with normal house jobs and light work like loosening lug nuts or oil pan bolts. Furthermore, a ratchet wrench is a very cheap investment that doesn’t cost too high, allowing it to fit most homeowners’ budgets.
Also check: How to use an impact wrench to change tires?
On the other hand, using an impact wrench is a great choice for those who have to regularly perform jobs like loosening or tightening nuts. We suggest using the impact wrenches in the following conditions:
There are many cases where we have to loosen or tighten bolts in heavy machinery like locomotives and cranes. It is a tough job that should be completed using an impact wrench for attaining quick results.
If we talk about the technical world, there are lots of equipment where precision is the most important thing. Even the slightest under-tightening of a nut or bolt can make things safe for the users. In that case, it is ideal to use an impact driver for getting fully précised results.
There can be uneven distribution caused if fasteners remain uneven in a holding component. It can result in damaging the axis of the component that should be avoided at any cost. Such situations are very common in the automotive world that can be avoided by using impact wrenches.
We believe you understand that an impact wrench is a perfect choice to make while performing professional jobs. On the other hand, having a ratchet wrench is enough for satisfying the needs of daily households & DIY works.
Which one to choose- Impact wrench or ratchet wrench?
We have explained both impact and ratchet wrenches with proper details to make things fully apparent. The most significant difference between the two is the level of output torque and application type that our team has tried to explain in this post. It means you can enjoy greater torque while using an impact wrench, while a ratchet wrench can ensure better precision that you should have to acknowledge while making the selection.
That’s not all, these tools can also be used in conjunction with each other if you want. For e.g., you can unfasten wheel lug nuts using an impact wrench while uses a ratchet for removing them completely. Also, it can be used for putting the nuts back to avoid over-torque which is common with an impact wrench.