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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m using a torque wrench to change the blades on my Cub Cadet 2146 but it’s still quite difficult. I also have a breaker bar but I’m looking for a cheap (?) impact wrench to help. (it’s a 1-1/8” nut and requires 100 ft lbs)

Can I use my small 100 PSI compressor with a small impact wrench?

Can anybody give me any recommendations?

I’m also thinking about a Makita impact wrench but they are a bit expensive for how often I would use it.
 

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Yes, you can use an impact wrench with your air tank/compressor. A small tank just limits it's duty cycle (the compressor has to run more often to get it to full pressure than with a bigger tank), which shouldn't be a problem just doing 2 or 3 spindle bolts.

I would suggest a 1/2" harbor freight one. Don't forget to also get and use air tool lubricant for it, it's important to use regularly for it to work right.
 

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Harbor Freight has an electric impact wrench for $60. I've used it for years.

As far as a pneumatic impact wrench, 100 psi is not the spec you need, what you need is how much cfm or cubic feet per minute your compressor puts out. Even so, a small compressor may work for you.

 

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I just used a 1/2" impact to loosen the nuts on my blades last week, just be careful on using a impact to put the nuts/bolts back on some impacts have alot more tightening torque then others.
 

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I just used a 1/2" impact to loosen the nuts on my blades last week, just be careful on using a impact to put the nuts/bolts back on some impacts have alot more tightening torque then others.
I was just looking at HF pneumatic impact wrenches. Found 15 ft lbs, 45 ft lbs, and 250 ft lbs.
The electric one above 230 ft lbs.
 
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Go with a battery operated impact. I use a DeWalt 1/2" drive model that's an 18 volt. It was a little on the high $$ side, but look around for a sale. You should be able to find something very affordable at Harbor Freight.
Duane
By the way, I forgot to mention that the battery models give you more flexibility over the air powered models. I take mine out in the yard and also down to my camp when I have "BIG" tractor repairs to do.
 

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Go with a battery operated impact. I use a DeWalt 1/2" drive model that's an 18 volt. It was a little on the high $$ side, but look around for a sale. You should be able to find something very affordable at Harbor Freight.
Duane
By the way, I forgot to mention that the battery models give you more flexibility over the air powered models. I take mine out in the yard and also down to my camp when I have "BIG" tractor repairs to do.
There still a Lot less Money then Milwaukee I Buy Dewalt for My corded power tools and Milwaukee for My Battery Operated power tools sometime I think I should have done the Opposite:)

To the OP because You want to spend the least amount the HF electric Impact should be fine for your Needs (y)
 
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A block of 2x4 to jam the blade so it can't turn, a box end wrench for the nut (bolt), and a 40 ounce ball pein hammer.

Turn the blade so that it is jammed by the wood, install the wrench so that it points away from you, place a foot on the wrench to keep it secure, and whack it with the hammer one, or maybe two times.

I have the pneumatic impact. I just can't be bothered stringing out 60' of air hose and lugging an impact out from the shop when a hammer and wrench are so much lighter and do the job with so much less effort. You never notice how many tools you bring out to the job until it's time to put them all away.
 

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that it's probably not a good idea to use a torque wrench to break the bolts free. The torque required to remove them may be substantially more than what is required to install, and possibly beyond your torque wrench's capacity. This could lead to ruining the torque wrench.

Agree with the suggestions above. I take mine often enough that I'm usually able to grunt 'em off with a wrench or paired wrenches. Install should be done with a single wrench or torque wrench to the proper torque specifications, no more.
 

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I’m also thinking about a Makita impact wrench but they are a bit expensive for how often I would use it.
Are you already invested in the Makita battery ecosystem (i.e. no need to buy a charger/more batteries)? Do you do general mechanic work on your machines aside from the aforementioned blade change?

If the answer to both of those questions is "yes," then treat yourself to that wrench. Battery powered impacts are very impressive, and after the first job you do with one, you'll realize how much time during a repair is spent (aka "wasted") turning a ratchet/wrench by hand.

You'll also find a lot more uses for one than you think. Think of every time you have to use a ratchet and have to exert some force. An electric impact will do that for you in a flash.
 

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A block of 2x4 to jam the blade so it can't turn, a box end wrench for the nut (bolt), and a 40 ounce ball pein hammer.

Turn the blade so that it is jammed by the wood, install the wrench so that it points away from you, place a foot on the wrench to keep it secure, and whack it with the hammer one, or maybe two times.

I have the pneumatic impact. I just can't be bothered stringing out 60' of air hose and lugging an impact out from the shop when a hammer and wrench are so much lighter and do the job with so much less effort. You never notice how many tools you bring out to the job until it's time to put them all away.
That the way I Use to do it all the time But sometime they Just won't Budge so I invested in this https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200685183_200685183 1400lbs Of Nuts Busting torque So I don't need to drag out the air Hoses either. It's Been well worth the Money (y)
 
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Unless I was a commercial shop constantly removing and installing blades for a living, I wouldn't bring an impact wrench anywhere near my deck blades. My 18mm box wrench snugs up the mounting bolts just fine. There is a cupped washer that should provide some locking pressure when tightened by hand. Been cutting with decks for 45 years, and haven't had one come loose yet.
Just my opinion here, since it works for me.
 

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That the way I Use to do it all the time But sometime they Just won't Budge so I invested in this https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200685183_200685183 1400lbs Of Nuts Busting torque So I don't need to drag out the air Hoses either. It's Been well worth the Money (y)
LOL! At work, we went the other way. If a 1" impact couldn't loosen a nut, we broke out the sledge hammer and wrench. In the unlikely event that that didn't work, well, the red wrench was the final option.

"If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer." - Millwright's motto.

For my personal use, I have a 6 lb sledge with the handle cut down for one handed work. If the ball pein hammer doesn't work, the six pounder will, or break the wrench in the attempt if the operator gets too enthusiastic.
 

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that it's probably not a good idea to use a torque wrench to break the bolts free. The torque required to remove them may be substantially more than what is required to install, and possibly beyond your torque wrench's capacity. This could lead to ruining the torque wrench.

Agree with the suggestions above. I take mine often enough that I'm usually able to grunt 'em off with a wrench or paired wrenches. Install should be done with a single wrench or torque wrench to the proper torque specifications, no more.
Yeah, good point, I kind of glossed past that. But don't use a torque wrench to loosen things, if at all possible. That's really not what they're for, there's no benefit to be had, only possible damage to the torque wrench. Use a ratchet handle, breaker bar, or (preferably) impact tools, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks a bunch for the information everybody. Also, I'm using a breaker bar and not the torque wrench to remove the bolts.

How is this CENTRAL PNEUMATIC 1/2 In. Air Impact Wrench at Harbor Freight for only $27.97? It's listed as being on clearance and has 250 ft lbs of max torque. I'm not sure what the 5/8" bolt capacity means though ... (the cub cadet uses a 1-1/8" nut)

Here's another cheap one at Amazon for $25.35. It's listed a 230 ft libs.

I know these tools are most likely junk and I typically always invest in quality things that will last a while, but for this situation I really don't see myself using it outside of helping with the mower blades.
 

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Unless I was a commercial shop constantly removing and installing blades for a living, I wouldn't bring an impact wrench anywhere near my deck blades. My 18mm box wrench snugs up the mounting bolts just fine. There is a cupped washer that should provide some locking pressure when tightened by hand. Been cutting with decks for 45 years, and haven't had one come loose yet.
Just my opinion here, since it works for me.
I wouldn't use an impact to tighten things either. But you wouldn't even use one to loosen the fasteners? They seem perfect for that, to me, since you don't even need to block the blades to keep them from turning.
 

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I have a bunch of air tools from my truck mechanic days but I pick up my Ryobi 1/4" cordless impact every time I can over dragging a hose out. I'll eventually buy a 1/2" but gotta wait on a deal. Not a terrible price at $139 with a battery pack and charger right now.


Those battery impact mfgs claiming "1400ft/lbs torque" are crazy. When I used to torque Cummins 855 head bolts we'd hammer them with a 1/2" impact till they stopped moving, bump them with a 3/4" impact, then click them with a 4ft long 3/4" drive torque wrench set to 305ft/lbs. We called that "torquing in sequence" (1/2" impact to 3/4" impact :D)

Below is what it really takes to hit 1400ft/lbs. 35lb CP797 tire gun. Rattled one for thousands of lug nuts with 160psi running it in truck shops. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NOX2T4?tag=paramatandalin-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Thanks a bunch for the information everybody. Also, I'm using a breaker bar and not the torque wrench to remove the bolts.

How is this CENTRAL PNEUMATIC 1/2 In. Air Impact Wrench at Harbor Freight for only $27.97? It's listed as being on clearance and has 250 ft lbs of max torque. I'm not sure what the 5/8" bolt capacity means though ... (the cub cadet uses a 1-1/8" nut)

Here's another cheap one at Amazon for $25.35. It's listed a 230 ft libs.

I know these tools are most likely junk and I typically always invest in quality things that will last a while, but for this situation I really don't see myself using it outside of helping with the mower blades.
They'll probably take off the nuts if you have enough air volume and use a 3/8" hose--1/4" curly hose won't get it. . How big is your compressor? Tank size, HP, and CFM?
 

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I use a breaker bar with a 6 point socket and use the blade removal tool to keep the blades from moving. It takes more time and getting the blade removal tool on the center blade is a pain, but no more than I change or remove them, it's not that big of deal. However, removing the blades the first time, I would have loved to have had an impact wrench nearby. Those bolts are WAY over-tightened at the factory.
 
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