When Not to Use an Impact Wrench – To Save Your Project | 2022 ( A to Z)

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The impact wrench is one of the most useful items you need in your toolbox. Its powerful performance and unmatched efficiency allow you to finish most jobs in minutes. This helps you save a lot of time and energy to complete more important handiwork. Before knowing when not to use an impact wrench we will try to know about some impact wrench basics.

With that said, it’s undeniable that an impact wrench is essential in every mechanic’s assortment of tools. However, beginners are highly prone to committing mistakes when it comes to using this tool – especially for the first time.

Since impact wrenches come in different shapes and sizes, beginners often believe that it’s an all-around tool that you can use in almost any job. Of course, that is not the case.

In this article, we will teach you when not to use an impact wrench. We hope to guide you to make fewer mistakes as you improve your craft and techniques in the long run

What is an Impact Wrench?

Before we proceed with this article, we want to give you a deeper understanding of what an impact wrench is, along with a brief discussion on what it can be used for.

An impact wrench is a power tool that delivers high torque output even with minimal effort from the user. It uses high amounts of stored energy to deliver a rotating impact that helps tighten or loosen bolts and nuts.

As a result, impact wrenches play an important role in most of today’s heavy-duty industries such as automotive construction and repair, equipment maintenance, and other similar industries.

When Not to Use an Impact Wrench?

Now that you know what an impact wrench is and what it’s used for, we can begin discussing what it cannot be used for. Here are some of the activities that you should bear in mind.

1.Mechanical work that requires the utmost precision. You should remember that an impact wrench uses stored up energy and swiftly uses that to perform its job. There is very little control on the part of the user since even the smallest effort will already produce impressive output.

With that said, using an impact wrench for a job that requires more precise or calculated moves may result in drastic results. In these instances, it is recommended to use a tool that does not produce as much power as the impact wrench.

In doing so, you’re not just being more efficient at the job, but you’re also preventing serious damage to your project.

2.When the job requires pure masonry. Another situation when not to use an impact wrench is if you’re working on a project that requires pure masonry.

In masonry, you build your project with the use of blocks and mortar. You do so by stacking layers of bricks or other identical blocks which are held together by a sturdy binder called the mortar.

Masonry does not require bolts, nuts, or screws that would require tools other than hammers and trowels. As such, you do not have to use an impact wrench in masonry.

We understand that some beginners may be confused about why a 3/8 air impact wrench has hammer features. But trust us when we say that masonry is not what it’s used for.

3.If you’re working with stripped screws and other attachments that require other tools. One of the most common mistakes when it comes to the use of impact wrenches is having them work on stripped-head screws.

When the head of the bolt or screw is so damaged that the wrench can no longer get a good grip on it, it’s probably best to use another tool to work on it.

No matter how hard you try, the wrench will never have a good grip on the head, so you won’t be able to get it off. You’ll just end up spending a lot of time and effort on a task that will lead to futile results.

Also, impact wrenches do not work well with flat-head screws. It will be hard to get a grip on its head, so an impact driver would be the best choice – instead of an impact wrench. Thus, make sure to choose the right attachments for the right power tool.

4.When the attachments are not impact-rated. Speaking of attachments, the very first thing you have to consider before using an impact wrench is to determine if the attachments are impact-rated.

Impact-rated attachments are specially produced to withstand the high output produced by these power tools without falling apart. When you’re using ordinary attachments, you not only ruin the attachment itself, but you could also damage the property even further. And you certainly don’t want that to happen.

5.When you’re working with lug nuts on wheels unless you’re a professional. We previously mentioned that impact wrenches are used in automotive construction and repair, but there are certain aspects of this industry that do not need impact wrenches.

For example, re-torquing wheels require adjusting their lug nuts according to specifications. In doing so, the lug nuts mustn’t be too loose or too tight. If it’s too loose, it can cause the wheels to fall off. And if it’s too tight, you can cause internal damage to the wheel that will affect its overall performance.

Thus, you have to make the right adjustments to properly re-torque wheels. If you’ve never done this before, we highly suggest dropping the impact wrench. But if you’re already an experienced mechanic with years of doing this without fail, then you can probably use an impact wrench for this.


All things considered, We do not doubt that an impact wrench is a useful tool for every mechanic. However, you should always exercise caution whenever you use it. Before using one, it is advisable to be familiar with what you will be working on. This will help you determine the appropriate size and shape of the wrench that you need to get the job done properly.
Doing so will not only improve your efficiency, but it will also reduce the instances of power tool-related injuries. Also, we strongly suggest using the appropriate safety gear to make sure that you’re thoroughly protected. Aside from keeping you safe, this will also help you become more focused – and thus, more productive.

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