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I have had a Porter Cable 20V 330FP for around 5 years now, have never had a problem with it not doing a job I needed it to do. Sometimes I will have a little trouble getting a socket on but that is easily remedied by filling down the socket a bit.

Porter Cable Impact
 

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Not that you can't use the M18 1/2", it's just a bit overkill, liable to snap, and just a bit big for the small fasteners. There's a place for both the M18s and M12s.

Just go to the Milwaukeen website and you can see the tools in each family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Not that you can't use the M18 1/2", it's just a bit overkill, liable to snap, and just a bit big for the small fasteners. There's a place for both the M18s and M12s.

Just go to the Milwaukeen website and you can see the tools in each family.
Oh ok. I thought you meant m18 1/2 for 2015 camry. Why not a 1/2 for m12 not sure the difference between 3/8 and 1/2.
 

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Oh ok. I thought you meant m18 1/2 for 2015 camry. Why not a 1/2 for m12 not sure the difference between 3/8 and 1/2.
Socket drives. The M18 1/2" has a high power rating meant for removing big and tight fasteners. The M12 3/8" has a lower power rating that I underestimate it so I don't use it for lug nuts.

6, 8,10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21 22 mm sockets are your most common sizes.

However, given your apparent lack of knowledge on some tool basics I suggest holding off on on impact guns for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Socket drives. The M18 1/2" has a high power rating meant for removing big and tight fasteners. The M12 3/8" has a lower power rating that I underestimate it so I don't use it for lug nuts.

6, 8,10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21 22 mm sockets are your most common sizes.

However, given your apparent lack of knowledge on some tool basics I suggest holding off on on impact guns for now.
Ok thanks for your honest opinion.
 

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Ok thanks for your honest opinion.
Before you just take off. It’s important to note some things when you are looking for impact wrenches.

1) Buy an impact wrench in a bundle like impact wrench + battery + charger. Never buy just the impact wrench unless you know the market price for one that’s reasonably priced. Best prices come from bundles and “hack-able” deals.

2) Buy impact rated sockets sets.

3) When using a chrome socket on the impact, you will damage the socket and the socket can crack or explode. It can be done but with caution. Better sockets tend to last longer impacted versus cheap sockets.

Extra: 3/8 M12 electric ratchets are the jam! Time saver for small fasteners.

Consider a Breaker Bar I like the craftsmen ones. They don’t bend like the harbor freight. Some nuts and bolts are more meant to be handled with a breaker bar.


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My main tools are GearWrench, my secondary tools are HarbourFreight. Specifically the extendable 3/8" and 1/2" ratchets that I use as breaker bars. The 1/2" at least seems beefy to take some abuse.
 

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My main tools are GearWrench, my secondary tools are HarbourFreight. Specifically the extendable 3/8" and 1/2" ratchets that I use as breaker bars. The 1/2" at least seems beefy to take some abuse.
I’m looking for the 120xp extended swivel head ratchets but they are always sold out.... GearWrench! Do you guys hear me?!? Hook a brother up! Please!


I broke a Harbor Freight 3/8 breaker bar first use; the square sheared right off at the socket end.

The 1/2 hasn't breaker bar hasn't broken yet.
I don’t see the 3/8 one offered at my store. They are okay but the handle bends too much. From what I gather, deflection of the handle equates to loss of torque or you have to work harder to get higher leverage. I’ve used both and I choose to go craftsmen only on this item. They are thicker and the swivel is beefier. I also recommend the craftsman serpentine belt tool ($14) which has a 3/8 end on it for a 3/8 breaker. It’s long and thin. Most smaller fasteners maybe under 17mm it could handle very well. It comes with an extension too which swaps the 3/8 to a 1/2” drive. Just giving y’all some cheat sheets.


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  • 1/2" Harbor Freight Extendable Ratchet
    • Lug Nut Flip Socket (also HF)
  • Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/2" (maybe?) Drill Hammer
  • Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/2" High Torque Impact Gun
  • Milwaukee M18 FUEL Hackzall
  • Milwaukee M12 FUEL 3/8" Impact Gun
Red Gas Carmine Nail Electric blue
Motor vehicle Gas Machine Auto part Carmine
Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive design Bicycle part Hood
 

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Time, practice and experience and learning GOOD tips and tricks are the best way to lean what tool to use for a specific job. And from there what you need as a minimum to start. Breaker bars are great, but the term "breaker" should be observed. They make breaking a seized bolt real easy because of the brute force applied. Just like breaking an arm by sheer force.

The most valuable tip I was given was many many years ago by my ex brother in law. I've posted it more than once. It seems counter intuitive but it works. He was a diesel mechanic back in Montreal's rust belt. He said "Listen closely and I'll let you in a secret trick of the trade" Of course it was AFTER I had snapped two bolts that day trying to brute force them off. "If it seems seized and might break, try and tighten it just enough to turn and break the seal. Then try and loosen it. Back and forth as long as there is a possibility of it snapping."

My battery powered impact i got like in 2006. Still have it but batteries are dead now. Wasn't Lithium batteries back then. Came with 2 batteries. For a couple years I could swap 4 tires with one battery, then in time needed both then they got old and tired. Did stay good enough to go parts picking at the scrap yard till 2017. And do some work at home. I have air powered tools but don't have a compressor that can feed enough torque on the 1/2 inch and have a decent all around 1/2" 220 ft lb electric for 99.9% of the work requiring one and the "bad ass" MAXIMUM 350 ft lb monster that comes out when push comes to shove. It rarely comes out but when it's everyday little brother had trouble he came out to take care of business without breaking a sweat. The little guy was free as a bundle addon strapped to a Mastercraft Maximum (Canadian Tire's high end tools) 119 pcs impact socket set. for 119$ CAD on sale (something like 70% off). And when the big guy came on super sale I was at the store 1st thing in the morning since first come first serve was how it was back in 2015 when I got them.

The only thing better than getting an awesome tool is getting it on a super sale :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Before you just take off. It’s important to note some things when you are looking for impact wrenches.

1) Buy an impact wrench in a bundle like impact wrench + battery + charger. Never buy just the impact wrench unless you know the market price for one that’s reasonably priced. Best prices come from bundles and “hack-able” deals.

2) Buy impact rated sockets sets.

3) When using a chrome socket on the impact, you will damage the socket and the socket can crack or explode. It can be done but with caution. Better sockets tend to last longer impacted versus cheap sockets.

Extra: 3/8 M12 electric ratchets are the jam! Time saver for small fasteners.

Consider a Breaker Bar I like the craftsmen ones. They don’t bend like the harbor freight. Some nuts and bolts are more meant to be handled with a breaker bar.


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Thank you
 

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They will do the job but I've held enough cheap drills to know that I would prefer the efficieny of a impact gun.

I'll make it simple. Would you rather use a very long breaker bar or a impact gun to install a wheel stud?

I've helped on using the breaker bar, pretty sure it took over an hour to do one... out of eight or sixteen. Corded Milwaukee impact gun did it in less than a minute.
I have an electric 1/2" impact driver, but I almost never use it because of the very loud noise (mine is a very quiet neighborhood). I do occasionally need to use it for removing my mower's flywheel nut, my truck's crankshaft nut and perhaps, rarely, other things (like a half-shaft nut).

The "drill" I often use is just a 1/4" drive impact driver, especially useful for spinning out longer, stiff-turning bolts as used to secure an Expedition's gas tank straps for example (and to speed up the full-cross tire rotation that I'll do once in a set of tires' life, finishing the job using a torque wrench).
 

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I’m fine w/ my Ryobi One+ 1/2impact driver.
Plenty of break away torque for my needs. There are more powerful tools out there, but I don’t earn a living off my tools.

Also Ryobi has a great assortment of home yard tools: string trimmer, edger, blower, hedge trimmer.
This was the reason for me buying into the Ryobi line.

Ridgid has the best warranty: lifetime on batteries too, if you register w/in 90days of purchase. Warranty claims are a pain as you mail or go to the service center, not the local HomeDespot store.

If you can wait till ‘Black Friday” there are usu good sales for battery tools at that time.
 

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Harbor Freight plugin type for around 30 bucks. Rigid cordless, which came in a kit with lifetime warranty as long as you register it in time. Haven't had to use either one yet.
 

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I'll add a vote for the M12 3/8" impact. It works great. I usually use my 1/2" air impact for lug nuts, but the M12 will do them no problem in a pinch.

My favorite tool in the M12 line is the 1/4" extended ratchet. I use that more than anything else.

I also have the M12 hammer drill. It works great for small stuff and the compact size is really nice. I did have to drill 4 3/8" holes about 4" deep in concrete for some redheads and after two it overheated and I had to let it cool before continuing. It did finish the job but was obviously the wrong tool for that task.
 

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I’m looking for the 120xp extended swivel head ratchets but they are always sold out.... GearWrench! Do you guys hear me?!? Hook a brother up! Please!
Memorial day sale we picked up the Harbor Freight Icon FLEX HEAD rachets in 3/8 and 1/2. They took a beating last weekend and held up fine.
 

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Memorial day sale we picked up the Harbor Freight Icon FLEX HEAD rachets in 3/8 and 1/2. They took a beating last weekend and held up fine.
Yeah, I was waiting for them to bring those back since the recall. I have their Icon:
3/8 in/lb torque wrench
1/2 flex head 250ft/lb torque wrench
3/8 swivel impact sockets
1/2 swivel impact sockets
Snap ring pliers set

All fantastic tools and I wish they came out with a bundle of flex head ratchets. Hard for me to go Icon for these because Gear Wrench has 4 flex head ratchets for like 120ish. If I get Icon set it would probably cost me almost double... UNLESS! Icon reps causally reading the forums? Lol just kidding.


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