Top critical review
I REALLY wanted to love this tool...
on February 26, 2017
I REALLY wanted to love this tool, but unfortunately I couldn't even like it.
It LOOKS like an impact wrench, and it feels like one, and I like the rear mounted controls as they are logical and protected, though in practice I preferred my old design of the push plunger above the trigger, though I never used the torque setting knob at the bottom, regulating the torque with the trigger instead.
Unfortunately the illusion was totally shattered as soon as I squeezed the trigger. It felt strangled and weak when tested free hand "in the air," even before putting a socket on and trying it. I tried to tell myself it was the sound deadening (the ceramic balls that rattle in the handle), but "dry firing" in the air I could feel no "torque" recoil in my wrist, and the rpm ramp up was slow and lifeless.
The final insult was that despiyte being rated at 400 ft-lbs, it couldn't even remove a lug bolt on a lowly VW Jetta with 115 psi at the compressor through 25ft of 3/8" hose.
I went back to the drawing board and looked at models costing $75-115 and promising 600-800 pound feet of torque (I admit that comparing these to this Craftsman is unfair in cost and specs, but I am simply looking for the cheapest tool that would do the job). This opened my search to the more capable Craftsman (580 ft-lbs), and the Orange Box store entry at $109 (800 ft-lbs), and the Blue Box store ($79) at 700 ft-lbs.
After reading hundreds of reviews, I opted for the Blue Box 700 ft-lbs model, and it's an animal (dry-firing it twists the wrist impressively). But bottom line I didn't NEED an animal, and I think this Craftsman's 400 ft-lbs SHOULD have had the power for my needs. I cannot believe that Craftsman set out to market a pneumatic wrench that couldn't take a VW lug bolt off? What would the point be? Heck, I have a no-name 110v corded impact wrench 20 years old that will zip the lug nuts off my 1-Ton Dually pickup, and even my Ryobi 18v impact wrench rated at only 300 ft-lbs will do it
I prefer to think maybe I got a "bad one" from the factory, and should probably have given Sears a chance to replace my unit (I am returning it for a refund instead), but I guess I lost confidence in it after reading the many reviews I should have read before buying it.
Admittedly, it's cheap enough, but if it doesn't do the job that most people use these for, why bother (unless it was bought to just be seen hanging on the wall).
Sorry, Sears. :(