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Do not use adapter drives with impacts


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I've been disappointed with the performance of various tools over the past few weeks: first my Ryobi 18V impact, then my milwaukee m12 ratchet. I couldn't figure it out, I was getting much less power out of both than I should have been, and the tool would just uselessy rattle the sockets/bits around, not moving the fasteners.

 

Researching online, I began to see a reason why: I was using an adapter drive bit! My guess is that the links absorb too much of the impact energy and render it pretty much useless.

 

I'd like to do a video about this to warn other people who might be disappointed with their power tool performance: do not use adapter drives.

 

I would actually say that the more of your bit/socket that is solid, the more impact energy will be delivered to the fastener!

 

 

 

 

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I recall someone did a video on torque loss using adapters a while back.  Something like 10% torque loss with adapters but there was something like 5% difference between control tests that made the results questionable.

From my experience it's not a big deal in most cases.  The problem is sometimes you get weird harmonics where the adapter springing back effectively cancels out the impact.

 

I'm not sure why you're having problems with the M12 ratchet though because that doesn't impact so there should be no torque loss with adapters.

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I think it's going to depend a lot on the adapters being used...but yeah, don't use an adapter if you can avoid it.

 

I wish they made 3/8" to 1/2" 3" extensions so I can use my flip sockets with my 3/8 impact wrench.

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3 hours ago, jeffmcmillan said:

I recall someone did a video on torque loss using adapters a while back.  Something like 10% torque loss with adapters but there was something like 5% difference between control tests that made the results questionable.

From my experience it's not a big deal in most cases.  The problem is sometimes you get weird harmonics where the adapter springing back effectively cancels out the impact.

 

I'm not sure why you're having problems with the M12 ratchet though because that doesn't impact so there should be no torque loss with adapters.

 

There seems to be some similarity between impacts and how the M12 works. I need to take mine apart to see the mechanism.

 

Anyway I tried it using a single socket and using and adapter + socket and there was some power loss.

 

I found it hard to remove a moderately torqued bolt with the thing, when I took the adapter off and used just a single solid socket, I was able to drive a small lag bolt into a block of wood. I feel like when you use an adapter, the "looseness" of it absorbs some of the impact energy somehow. Hard to explain.

 

I could be full of it of course. :)

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3 hours ago, Nordraw said:

Hard to believe it would make that much of a difference but who knows.

 

It really does. My compact impact wrench takes a couple seconds to break a lug nut with the flip sockets(requires extension). With just a socket, it loosens instantly.

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It is definitely a real phenomenon with real physics to back it up. It also happens to me just like anyone else. Usually it happens with cheap long extensions more so than any adapters. I've never had a problem with it because when I have to use an extension I just have to use an extension. It's only had an effect of not actually loosening a fastener maybe a dozen times.

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You'll lose some torque through an adapter, no doubt about it. The more play there is in the adapter the more power you'll lose through your impact because the impact relies on the energy of the hammer impacting on the anvil to transmit to the fastener. That peak torque is momentary instead of sustained so it's possible your adapter sort of absorbs the energy and does nothing instead of passing it along to the fastener.

 

That said I have a 1/2" square to 7/16" hex for my 2763 and a 1/4" hex to 3/8" square for my 2753 and use them without problem. 

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