Question about Air Tools & Compressors
If you plan on using it frequently and for extended amounts of time, you'll want a large one. If it's just for occasional use, a smaller pancake one will probably do, just make sure it has the pressure capability required for the impact wrench.
Posted on Dec 11, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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Jul 24, 2017 | Craftsman Air Tools & Compressors
Apr 23, 2011 | Craftsman 1/2" Impact Wrench
Air Tool consumptions are based on 15 seconds per minute (25%) of tool use.
Usage rates refer to the total time that air is flowing through the tool. If your applications result in more extensive usage, calculate air tool requirements as
(25%) 15 seconds = rated scfm x 1
(50%) 30 seconds = rated scfm x 2
(75%) 45 seconds = rated scfm x 3
(100%) 60 seconds = rated scfm x 4
Your impact wrench is rated a 8 CFM Cubic Feet Per Minute Usage
SCFM is Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (pre-compressed air volume)
I would be more concerned that the plumbing from the compressor tank could support the 8 CFM required by the 1/2" Impact. Remember the Air compressor will recover the pressure loss regardless of size. The only problem your going to have for "small jobs" is if you use too small of an air line to supply the impact wrench you are not going to get the full torque that it will produce to the drive head. In other words... a 1/4" supply line or 1/4 fittings anywhere in the system just isn't going to cut it even at 120 PSI. If you have the patience... a 5 gallon tank compressor that has the output volume required should be all that you need. I have been a mechanic over 4 decades and rarely have to use a 1/2 in impact for very long. Examples of 1/2" vs 3/8" useage. Wheel nuts, crankshaft pulley center bolt, some starters, steering, suspension and rear end parts. Other than that a 3/8" Impact works great.
One other thing you can do if you have an Air-Peen portable tank (with added fittings) is to add that in line with your output hose when your using the impact wrench so that you have longer use times.
I know this does not answer your what SCFM compressor is required question but it will resolve your needs. I just can't see telling someone that is a "small jobs" user to buy a larger compressor when really all they need is more volume for a brief period of time. The re-plumbed 1/2 inch output / in-line Air-Peen tank is a much cheaper and reasonable work around and you can disconnect that tank when your not using the impact wrench.
Lastly... if your inpact wrench has a SMALL male air fitting everything above will be a waste of time. You have to get that volume into the tool without restriction so that the rool will work properly for you.
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