How Does An Air Impact Wrench Work?

Hey there! Ever wondered how does an air impact wrench work? Erm, I’m not sure, maybe you did. However, it is important to know how your tool works. Why do you ask? Because, when you know the working mechanism of your thing, you enjoy a better journey with it. It could be your day to day use or maintenance chores – whatever the case is, you get added values. Let’s get to the core part now.


How does an air impact wrench work? Interesting things to know:

Basically, a pneumatic impact wrench works through the following simple steps:

  • Stores energy in a weighty rotational mass.
  • Releases the energy altogether in small impacts.

When you pull the trigger, the motor inside your wrench starts to spin a heavy block. There is a tension spring which compresses as the block rotates to a certain degree. Until that point, the energy gets stored. And, soon as it rotates further than the specified limit point, the spring releases the tension pressure all at once. This happens as small impacts in every cycle against your wrench’s output shaft.

So, an impact wrench does not only rotate in a circular motion, but it also delivers a hammering action to the nuts or bolts twice in every rotating cycle. Talking of air impact wrenches, the power source is definitely compressed air. Interestingly, air impact wrenches offer excellent punch and power for DIY projects. They are capable to provide the most torque and are professional grade, lightweight and easier on users.

impact wrench



Come on, let’s check out the components of a pneumatic impact wrench!

Inside the housing and rear cover, you get the output shaft or anvil, a pin, hammer and hammer cage, rotor and rotor blade in rotor cylinder. Other than these, you have a forward or reverse control system to instruct the tool where to rotate. When you attach the hose to its adapter(located under the handle) and pass the compressed air flow, it is forced through a hole. For your information, there are actually two holes inside the base.

The controller that decides which holes to pass the air into. It depends on your choice of reverse or forward position to go. However, the pressured air passes through one of the two holes into the system to its rear plate. This plate simply canals all the air into the cylinder. As the rotor blades sit loosely inside the cylinder, the air flow pushes them to move the rotator in a circular motion.

Then again, the rotor connects to a hammer and the anvil slot with the help of few other components. So, when you put air pressure into the impact wrench, finally, the anvil begins to turn. The hammer cage surrounds the hammer in such a position and system using a pin, it revolves and stones into the slot machine.

The anvil entails a groove, and whenever the hammer reaches it, a slam blows concerning the anvil. All of these happen in association with the hammer, hammer cage and rotor. When the anvil denies shifting with these components, the hammer slides off from the grove. The whole process keeps repeating on a continuous stretch.

Wrap It Up

In the end, technical stuff is never entertaining – I can tell. Lol. Maybe you are already bored but guess what? I haven’t even gone through with the process. Again, people get bored to death. The truth is, you don’t need to entitle a doctorate on how does an air impact wrench work.

Especially, when your business is to merely use the thing, and you know how to use an air impact wrench already. So, that should be enough for the basic know-how. For any further queries, the comment section is open.

You may read this: The Top 5 Best Air Impact Wrench Reviews 2018

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