An impact driver (sometimes referred to as a wrench) is a tool that delivers a high level of torque output, meaning the user has to put in very little effort. Most impact drivers use air and are often referred to as pneumatic impact drivers in which the pressure is stored and released suddenly, resulting in a high energy output. With all that energy, a lot can go wrong. One of the biggest things you can do to remain safe is maintain your impact driver. Read on below to get a better grasp of maintenance and extend the life of your driver.
1. Correct Setup
Most impact drivers and other air-powered tools are connected to an air compressor. These require certain PSI settings and more to take full advantage of the pneumatic system. Because of how compressed the air is, it is important to configure things correctly. You’ll need to check the output of air first, making sure to note if the flow is too restricted (though you don’t want it to be too open, either). Sometimes compressors go bad, so getting it checked up once in a while isn’t a bad idea.
Oiling something correctly and sufficiently means maximum power and performance. If your driver or wrench isn’t oiled right, it will begin to grind down important components, lag in torque output and drastically reduce its lifespan. Think of it like a car: if the car isn’t receiving enough oil, parts begin to grind each other into oblivion. Make sure to have some lubricant set aside and check for this before each start-up. In fact, it may better to just oil it from the beginning instead of waiting, reducing the chance of malfunction later on.
3. Recommended Cleaners Only
Just because something says it works for one thing doesn’t mean it will work for the other. Whatever you use to clean your driver needs to be compatible with it and non-corrosive to the important components. The best way to do this is by using only the recommended oil and cleaners designate by the manufacturer. If you don’t, you risk burning things out or permanently ruining integral parts of your impact driver. Buying the correct grease and cleaners is far cheaper than using the incorrect one and destroying your power tool. Typically this is found in the user’s manual or even on the tool itself.
4. Air Filtration
Air filtration is important as well. If the air being supplied through the pipes and hoses is contaminated, it could gunk up the rotating parts of your impact driver. Over time, this will collect and ultimately jam the inner-workings of your pneumatic wrench. The cost of fixing this can be particularly expensive and worse, you may just need to buy a new drill completely. Some drivers have filters built-in that can be changed out or clean. Make sure to do this if your model is one of these, otherwise you risk burning out moving parts.
5. Cleaning, Leaks And Check-Ups
Obviously, you need to keep your tools clean. Use recommended cleaners to restore your impact driver’s state. If you leave it dirty, you run the same risks as using the wrong cleaners and oils. Impact drivers are not cheap to replace, so it’s best to clean out any metal filings or hunks of dirt and corrosion as quickly as possible.
While doing this, it’s a good idea to check for leaks. Leaks mean not getting the torque and pressure you need, resulting in a less-than-perfect pneumatic tool experience. Leaks can be found in the hosing leading to the driver and in the areas connecting (such as the air compressor or wrench). If you have a leak, try to identify where it’s coming from. If it’s in the hose, get a new one.
You can have things checked by a professional, too. There are repair shops around the nation that specialize in tool repair, restoration and cleaning. You can get a check-up from these guys usually without a problem, unless you want to do it yourself (you can find checklists on what to look for during an inspection).