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Sure, your gagillion-volt cordless uber-hammer-driver can make a lot of torque, but this “old school” method of freeing stuck fasteners really works

When you strike the top of the driver with a hammer, you not only drive the bit into the fastener, but also turn it as the wrench converts some of that downward force into rotational force — giving you the best possible chance of freeing the fastener without camming it out.

You don’t see a lot of these around anymore, but we’ve got one around the shop, and it’s saved our asses a few times.  Ours doesn’t have the nice hand shield around it, so you’ve gotta be careful with your fingers.  This looks way nicer.

Street pricing starts at $16.

1/2″ Impact Driver [OTC Tools]
Street Pricing [Froogle]


One Response to Finds: A Hammer-Powered 1/2″ Impact Wrench

  1. Adam says:

    At the shop, we use the snap-on version of this tool, and it’s on my short list of tools to buy personally. The major drawback to this type of unit, however, is that if you screw up somehow, or if the screw decides not to rotate… you’ve probably just completely stripped the head from the screw.

    What we do (first) is use a driver bit in the correct size with a 1/4″ or 3/8″ socket and a t-handle wrench. You first tap the top of the screw with a ball-peen or brass mallet, to smooth out the grooves and push them back in if the screw is partially stripped. Then you tap the bit into the screw, put the t-handle on, and tap while you try to twist the screw. Done correctly, this will remove 80% of stubborn small and medium-sized screws.

    The snap-on part (only about $60, iirc) is the BEST manual impact driver out there (i’ve tried several)… yeah, it’s for the 20% of those stubborn screws that Just Won’t Come Out. It’s quite the keeper. After removing literally hundreds of screws from 30+ year old motorcycles, it is absolutely the single most useful specialty tool i’ve used.

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