We often speak with professionals who would like to buy a pneumatic screwdriver, but do not know wether they would use it at its best. That's why we decided to write this little guide on air screwdrivers, to help you understand if it's the right tool for your needs.
Air impact screwdrivers are essentially tools for screwing and unscrewing screws and bolts. They are called this way because they are powered by compressed air: to work they must be connected to an air compressor. Thanks to this feature, which therefore excludes the use of electric current, the pneumatic screwdriver can be used in complete safety even in environments that are not perfectly dry.
Structurally it resembles a drill, even if, despite being able to perform some drilling operations, it differs from the latter by some peculiar functions. The screwdriver, in fact, is normally provided with a speed reducer, called an insert, which allows to decrease the number of tool rotations. Usually, as in USAG impact wrenches, it is possible to have two or more speeds: the lowest one to screw, the highest one to unscrew. You can also select the direction of rotation, clockwise or counterclockwise depending on whether you need to perform screwing or unscrewing.
Pneumatic wrenches can be linear or pulsed. In the first case they are small, narrow and long, and work through an impeller which produces a nearly constant rotary motion. In the second case, instead, they do not rotate linearly, but they create impulses which, by beating, put the insert in rotation. They are also equipped with a square drive for socket wrenches. These screwdrivers are used to speed up screwing and unscrewing operations and for heavier machining operations because, thanks to their structure, they are able to unscrew the most stubborn bolts. In the case of resistances or other obstacles of various kinds, specific mechanisms will activate. For example, the impact wrenches are called this way because of their ability to rotate and strike at the same time, creating impulses. This way, when the bolt has more resistance, the strikers continue to operate, shaking the anvil inside the gun until the bolt loosens. This is possible because the strikers are hooked to the anvil which, by turning, forces the bolts. If the anvil is not able to turn, the strikers come into operation and dislocate themselves to perform another rotation and begin to hit the anvil. To better clarify, we will show you how the inside of a pneumatic impact wrench looks.
Thanks to these characteristics, impulse pneumatic screwdrivers are more useful for those who need to perform series screwing or other heavy work, such as tire shops, mechanics, or repairers, who must perform these operations frequently, but less if used occasionally. In fact, impulse screwdrivers are usually used to screw and unscrew the wheel hubs, remove the clutch, the steering lock, the pins of the engine and other operations of this kind. It is important, however, to pay close attention to the set force, because excessive intensity risks to irreparable damage the thread, thus ruining the work.
In cases where a lot of precision is required, I recommend using a torque wrench, able to tighten to a preset force with enormous accuracy, thus obtaining a better tightening. Even with the screwdriver it is possible to adjust the clamping force, but with an approximate result.
When we chose which pneumatic screwdrivers to be included in the catalog, we also thought of those who would not only be interested in the tool, but also in the accessories: in fact, each model can be sold either individually or in the special assorted case with extension, sockets and lubricator for the screwdriver maintenance, making it a very attractive deal for those approaching the screwdriver for the first time. For the maintenance operation, in any case, I recommend to strictly follow the use and maintenance manual, since an incorrect use of the lubricator risks to irreparable damage the screwdriver. On Mister Worker you can even find a lot of FACOM air impact wrenches, high quality tools for professionals.
The pneumatic screwdriver therefore has a lot of potential, exponential to the frequency of its use. The more you use it, the greater the time and effort you save! However, in the event of very sporadic use, I recommend that you perform these operations manually with a good key, or rely on your trusted tire shop or mechanic.