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Old 01-21-2010, 04:31 AM
Registered Hack
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,626
Favorite air tools // best 3/8 ratchet

I'm looking at used Craftsman and Chicago for price... but others outperform by a landslide... I am mostly a weekend mechanic.

list your favorites and justify, please.


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Old 01-21-2010, 08:42 AM
KarTek's Avatar
<- Ryuko of Kill La Kill
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bahama/Eno Twp, NC
Posts: 3,258
As a weekender myself, every cheapo Harbor Freight air tool has performed perfectly for years with regular oiling and nothing else. Now, I did snap off the end of the sheet metal nibbler but it's because I was too aggressive with it trying to cut material that was too thick... My "Central Pneumatic" 3/8 ratchet is about 20 years old now and has also performed fairly well.

One thing that I'm constantly fighting is my impact driver being unable to remove the lugs on my truck. In a pinch, I can generate about 300+ lb/ft by hand with my X-bar lug wrench but it gets old when you have to remove 8x4 lugs.

If you're in the market for more than just a 3/8 ratchet, get a wrench that goes at least that high.

Benz Fleet:
1968 UNIMOG 404.114
1998 E300
2008 E63

Non-Benz Fleet:
1992 Aerostar
1993 MR2
2000 F250
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:54 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: jersey
Posts: 188
we bought some Home Depot husky air tools and in a real shop they have held up very well - Air Saw , Die Grinder , 3/8 butterfly impact gun for trans Work ,all have done the job the best one is the air saw we cut up hack saw blades in different sizes and shapes for Modding stuff - jz
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:33 PM
Registered Hack
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,626
I can get a new craftsman 3/8 for $25, the HF 3/8 is $30.... wadya think?

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Old 01-21-2010, 04:46 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 527
Originally Posted by jt20 View Post
I can get a new craftsman 3/8 for $25, the HF 3/8 is $30.... wadya think?
They may be a little more pricey, but really I don't think you can go wrong with Ingersoll-Rand. The two impacts I've got have been abused by various people for the last 20 years and neither have ever missed a beat. They also produce loads more torque than your average Chinese impact.

1993 190E 2.6 Sportline
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