Drill/Driver Vs. Impact Driver

Hercules answers the cordless conundrum

The cordless compact drill/driver is one of the most popular portable power tools of all time. The versatility of drilling and driving screws is indispensable for tackling countless projects. So what’s the difference between a drill/driver and impact driver—and why would you need one over the other?

A drill driver has a keyless chuck that accommodates a wide range of round and hex-shank drill and screw-driving bits—in addition to hole saws, rotary sanders, wire-wheel brushes and other accessories. Cordless drill/drivers also feature a slip clutch which enables the user to adjust the torque level for precise and consistent driving.

An impact driver looks similar to a drill/driver but instead of a keyless chuck, it features a collet that accepts hex-shanked driver bits. By utilizing bit rotation and concussive force, the impact driver is designed for one job—driving screws, which it does more efficiently than any other tool. An impact driver can generate two to three times the torque of a drill/driver. For example: an impact driver can drive long, large fasteners like fat lag screws that would stall the very best drill/driver.

If your focus is on tasks or projects that involve driving numerous screws or a lot of long or large screws—like building decks, installing tile backer board or laying down plywood subfloors—you should consider an impact driver. Otherwise, you’ll probably do great with a reliable drill/driver.

Professional-grade Hercules offers a drill/driver and impact driver:

20V Lithium Cordless 1/2 In. Compact Drill/Driver Kit
The Hercules drill/driver’s pro-grade design features all-metal gear construction for extreme durability and a 4-pole motor for optimal performance—550 in. lbs. of torque and 0–2000 RPM for effortless drilling and fastening. The drill/driver also features the Jacobs® ½-inch ratcheting chuck providing ultimate bit retention and a built-in LED light with a trigger-release delay to illuminate your work area. The Hercules Lithium battery system—charger and battery—delivers fast charging and long run times.

 

20V Lithium Cordless 1/4 in. Hex Compact Impact Driver Kit
The Hercules impact driver provides up to 1500 in. lbs. of torque and 0-3200 IPM for demanding applications like decking, fencing and drywall. Like its drill/driver counterpart, this impact driver features durable all-metal construction and 4-pole motor delivering maximum performance in a compact size. Change out bits quickly with the ¼-inch hex chuck and illuminate your work area with the integrated LED light. The impact driver also features the Hercules battery system for fast charging and long run times.

 

Hercules professional-grade cordless power tools are guaranteed to deliver legendary performance! Check out the complete line of Hercules tools and accessories at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

 

 

 

 

Source material:
Popular Mechanics

EarthQuake XT Cordless Impact Wrench Delivers the Power of Air …

EarthQuake XT air impact wrenches have been shaking up the industry for a while now. Videos like this one from Real Tools Reviews shows how EarthQuake XT stacks up against Snap-On on power, functionality and price. EarthQuake is clearly the better value!

Sometimes, more portability is needed and that’s when you’ll want to turn to a cordless impact wrench. The main concern when you go portable is power. But no need to worry about that because the EarthQuake 20V Max Lithium 3/8 In. Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench delivers big— 370 ft. lbs. of bolt breakaway torque for lightning-fast removal and 0–2000 RPM. It’s powerful enough to use in the field with no need for an air supply!

This cordless impact wrench has a super rugged design featuring a metal nose piece and all-metal drivetrain for extreme durability.

Additional features included an ergonomic overmold grip to reduce fatigue, variable speed trigger, electronic brake for precise control (helps avoid overtightening) and a built-in LED light to illuminate your work area, like dark wheel wells.


The EarthquakeXT Lithium battery system provides extended run times. The long-life, high-capacity 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery has a “fuel gauge” that lets you know when it’s time to swap out batteries. Also, the battery has no memory so it can be used with a partial charge.

 

When you want to go cordless, visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store and check out the EarthQuake 20V Max Lithium Three-eighths In. Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench Kit complete with impact wrench, charger, battery and sturdy carrying case. If you need even more power, you can move up to the 20V Max Lithium 1/2 in. Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench Kit which delivers up to 1200 ft. lbs. of breakaway torque and 0-1700 RPM.

 

Turn Your Car into a Star!

Reupholster your door panel quickly and easily with a little help from Harbor Freight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t always take a lot of work to increase the value of your vehicle, improve its look and make it more enjoyable to drive! Here’s a simple project that will do just that and save you a ton of money compared to getting it done professionally—reupholstering your car door panels.

First, you’ll have to remove the door panel. A lot of do-it-yourselfers try to use tools they have like screwdrivers to pop the clips and that’s a mistake because you can end up doing more damage!

Harbor Freight has a great set of tools designed specifically for this project—the Upholstery and Trim Tool Set 5 Pc. And the price? Hey, it’s Harbor Freight!

The set contains everything you need to remove door panels and more from your vehicle. Made with heat-treated, polished stainless steel blades, the tool set features wide blades to reduce marring or damage to your vehicle during panel removal. With rubber handles and knurled grips for control and leverage, this upholstery tool set is ideal for the car enthusiast and auto body specialist alike—and perfect to use for this project!

Here are the other materials you’ll need:

Once the panel is off, remove the old skin, which may require cleaning off glue and/or staples as best you can using sandpaper and needle nose pliers respectively.

 


Trace your door panel onto the foam with the marker and cut it out with your scissors. Test fit it on your panel to make sure it lines up.

 


Lay your foam down on a flat area such as a workbench. Take the interior side of the door panel and lay it face down on the foam.

Spray the panel side of the foam with adhesive. Also spray the panel with adhesive. Let the two surfaces sit until the adhesive gets tacky. Once tacky, apply the foam to the panel and let dry.

After the foam has dried to the panel, cut out the openings.

 


Lay the vinyl or duck cotton down on the table face down. Note: take care not to get any adhesive on the material at this point.

Loosely trace around the panel leaving a 2–3 inch gap around the entire panel and cut out the material.

Apply adhesive to the back of the material and let it get tacky. Also apply adhesive to the foam on the panel and let it get tacky as well. Once both surfaces are tacky, apply the material to the panel. Pull the material taught and cut where needed to ensure a proper fit.

If you’re happy with the fit, slice your openings—always start small and increase your cuts.

Reapply any clips and/or weather-stripping to the panel.

 


Put the panel back on.

Reattach handle trim, window controls, etc.

Do a little victory dance and treat yourself to an ice-cold beverage for a job well done!

 


Note: you can get quite creative with the material you select. Your local fabric/upholstery store will have tons of options!

Check out Harbor Freight’s complete line of automotive tools including floor jacks, diagnostics equipment and much more at your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

 

 

Source material:
popularmechanics.com
instructables.com
buildersforeternity blog

Portable Power Packs and Jump Starters

Power when you need it—where you need it!

 

It’s normal to take power for granted … until the car battery dies, the cell phone runs out of juice or you’re in the middle of a camping trip when you remember you promised your boss you’d finish making changes to the spread sheet and email it back before Monday. When you need power—you need it here and you need it now!

That’s where Harbor Freight comes in with several different options of combination power pack/jump starters.


3-in-1 Portable Power Pack with Jump Starter
You’ll never have to ask for a jump start again and wrestle with unruly jumper cables. Protected in a sturdy high-impact case, this Cen-Tech 12-volt power supply  and jump starter can jump start a weak or drained 12 volt car battery quickly and easily. The 6 AWG industrial booster cables and heavy-duty alligator clips with copper-coated steel clamps attach to any car’s battery. The built-in 3 LED light illuminates your work area so no need to be afraid of the dark! The power pack also features two 12 VDC outlets and USB charging port for smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices.


4-in-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor
With this Cen-Tech power pack, also housed in a durable high-impact case, you can jump start a 12-volt car battery, illuminate your work area with the built-in 3 LED light, and charge smartphones and other electronics with  two VDC outlets and USB port. Additionally, it features an integrated 250 PSI air compressor with gauge—perfect to fill a flat tire or use to fill sporting equipment, inflatable pool toys, etc.

 


5-in-1 Portable Power Pack with Jump Start

Housed in a heavy-duty rubberized case, this Cen-tech power pack features a jump starter with 6 AWG booster cables and copper-coated steel clamps, super bright 4-way LED work lights, dual 12 VDC outlets and USB port for charging electronics, 300 PSI air compressor with gauge—and 200 watt power inverter with dual AC outlets.


Lithium Ion Jump Starter and Power Pack
This Viking power pack delvers BIG but can still fit in your glove box! The special battery is designed to maintain its charge for extended periods—up to 70% after 2 years. This compact power pack features a jump starter, USB/12V power bank for charging smartphones and other electronic devices, flashlight and auto power-off to preserve battery life. Comes in a convenient carrying case.

 

Harbor Freight is the place to go for all your power needs! In addition to the combination power packs/jump starters featured above, you’ll find a complete range of generators, solar supplies, batteries and more—just visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

Torquing It to the Limit with Breaker Bars

Real Tool Reviews compares four leading brands

 

Real Tool Reviews takes breaker bars to their limit, comparing four top pro-grade brands with ½ inch drives – Pittsburgh Pro (available at Harbor Freight Tools) along with Snap-On, Matco and Mac Tools. For those of you unfamiliar with what a breaker bar is:

A breaker bar is a long non-ratcheting bar that is used with socket wrench style sockets. Breaker bars are used to break loose very tight fasteners because their additional length allows the same amount of force to generate significantly more torque than a standard length socket wrench. The use of a breaker bar also prevents damage to the ratcheting mechanism of a socket wrench. Often, after the first half turn of a fastener, the fastener is then loose enough to be turned with a socket wrench.1

Common applications include freeing lug nuts on vehicle wheels, freeing a variety of bolts in car repair and maintenance where rust is a common problem, manufacturing applications, home renovating projects and any other instance in which a bolt has become frozen in place.2

Now that we’re all up to speed on breaker bars, let’s dive into the review.

First off, length. Length is a key component of breaker bars since it’s the leverage provided that enables the user to generate significantly more torque compared to a standard wrench. Note that the Pittsburgh Pro brand is advertised as a 25-inch breaker bar and the other three as 24-inch breaker bars. The actual measurements are as follows:


Pictured top to bottom: Matco, Pittsburgh Pro, Snap-On and Mac

Length
Snap-On: 23-3/4 in.
Matco: 25-1/2 in.
Mac Tools: 24-5/8 in.
Pittsburgh Pro: 25 in.

The weight of each breaker bar was also measured.

Weight
Snap-On: 2 lbs., 3 oz.
Matco: 2 lbs., 4.5 oz.
Mac Tools: 2 lbs., 3-1/2 oz.
Pittsburgh Pro: 2 lbs., 7 oz.

Next, the drives were shown side-by-side.


Drive ends of the four brands

The Matco and Mac breaker bars have black ends while the Snap-On and Pittsburgh Pro versions have chrome ends. This really seems to be an area of preference with no discernable difference in terms of performance.

The handles, however, have the potential of making a significant difference.


Breaker bar handles

Each breaker bar handle has a two-piece design to secure a good hold—the colored portion is comprised of hard plastic with the black portion made of a softer rubber overmold, though the Pittsburgh Pro’s black material is respectively firmer than the other three. The handle lengths vary as well.

Handle length
Snap-On: 5-1/8 in.
Matco: 6-3/4 in.
Mac Tools: 4-5/8 in.
Pittsburgh Pro: 5-3/8 in.


Handle center positions marked

Leverage is a significant factor to consider and that’s why the length of a breaker bar is so important—applying the same amount of pressure or weight on the end can generate more torque respectively. Bar length alone though does not provide the working “length” in terms of leverage—Real Tool Reviews marked the center position of each handle which is where the user’s hand would naturally rest (see picture above). Taking the handle center points into consideration, the Mac breaker bar actually had the most length from the pivot point which suggests it would provide the most torque. But the real proof comes next.


Deflection and torque testing

The review moved on to testing the deflection of each breaker bar (how much the tool bends when applying force) and the resulting torque generated. The results may surprise you …

Torque
Snap-On: 281 ft. lbs.
Matco: 266 ft. lbs.
Mac Tools: 276 ft. lbs.
Pittsburgh Pro: 298 ft. lbs.

With the performance testing completed, the final comparison was on price. That’s where the results varied the most …

Price
Snap-On: $148.47 (with tax and free shipping)
Matco: $146.67 (with tax and shipping)
Mac Tools: $121.08 (with tax and shipping)
Pittsburgh Pro: $16.84 (using 20% coupon and no shipping cost – picked up at store)

Snap-On, Matco and Mac breaker bars are between seven and nine times higher in price compared to the Pittsburgh Pro brand, yet, as the torque testing revealed, Pittsburgh Pro generated the greatest amount of torque.

In conclusion, the performance of all four was similar with the Pittsburgh Pro coming in with the highest torque generated, 32 ft. lbs. higher than the Matco breaker bar. The handles differed from brand to brand but the biggest difference was on price. The review noted that all the breaker bars tested come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. Pittsburgh Pro is clearly the best value.

Click here to see the Real Tools Review breaker bar video and see for yourself how the Pittsburgh Pro breaker bar provides unyielding performance while breaking down the competition on price.

1/2 in. Drive 25 in. Professional Breaker Bar
item#62729

 

Source material:
1Wikipedia
2wiseGeek

Rotating Magnetic LED Work Light

magnetic light

This Rotating Magnet LED Work Light stays put on metal surfaces via a powerful magnetic base and provides 180 lumens, making it ideal for automotive repairs, shop work and hobbies. It’s also a great emergency back-up light.

Other features include an easy on/off switch and a 360-degree swivel head that enables you to direct the beam exactly where you want it. The work light is powered by three AA batteries providing between 3 to 6 hours of run time—batteries are included.

Customers really love this work light:

Handy light to have around. Bright and easy to use in tight and difficult places. – COS Mac, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Great little light with magnet bottom and rotating head puts the light just where you need it. – Don, Bewood, NC

I use the magnetic rotating light to work on farm machinery in tight places, within the engine area, under the vehicle, and in buildings that have no lighting. This light puts out a lot of light. – Rocking Double B Ranch, Russellville, MO

I got this to help provide a small spotlight when working under the hood. It is great for that. It also helps when checking the air pressure in the dark … – Dave, Antioch, CA

Great value for this product, lots of light and the magnet holds good when I clean our pellet stove. Very good quality, will purchase more. – Lil SKI, Plattsburgh New York

Pick up one or more of the Rotating Magnetic LED Work Light at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

Rotating Magnetic LED Work Light
item#62955

1 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane

1 Ton Capacity Shop Crane

This shop crane is a must-have for automotive work and other jobs in and around the shop or garage. With a 2000-lb. capacity, the shop crane features double bearing swivel casters that provide smooth and easy maneuvering around your work space and comes with ram, chain and hook. The boom extends from 36-1/4 in. to 50-1/4 in. and the crane adjusts from 69-5/8 in. to 82 in.

When you’re done with it, the shop crane folds away for convenient storage.

Customer’s give the 1 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane great reviews:

I’m going to use it to move things around in my home wood working shop. The thing I like the most is the storage footprint is extremely small & fits in corner. It was very easy to assemble w/o assistance! – JO, Chesapeake, VA

Does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Lifted a 200 hp outboard off the transom of my boat. – Bob the Builder, West Chester, PA

I purchased this for carrying heavy stuff like garden tools, generator, etc. in and out of my SUV. I have limited space in my garage. This crane is a very important item in my garage. It takes very little space when folded. It is very sturdy and is more than enough for my needs. – Sean, Wayland, MA

I used this lift to remove a motor out of a 67 GM convertible. Light weight and easy to handle. Meets my needs. Would recommend to a friend. – Nukeypo, Sulphur, LA

You can pick up the 1 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

1 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane
item#61858

4-in-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor

4-in-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor

Never get stuck on the road with the Cen-Tech 4-in-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor available at Harbor Freight Tools. This amazing tool is a powerful jump-starter, rechargeable 12 volt power supply and 250 PSI air compressor in one handy unit!

The unit provides up to 20 hours of 12 volt power on a single charge making it perfect for power outages, emergencies or your next camping trip. Features include a built-in emergency work light, battery condition and charge level indicators and heavy duty all-copper booster cables, all in a high-impact case.

Customers have made this unit a must-have piece of emergency equipment:

Very nice jump-box for the price. I just bought a second one for my business because I added a second vehicle. The first one has bailed us/our employees out a few times in the last year or so, so I decided to get another unit to keep in a vehicle we just added to our huge fleet of two. For us, the air compressor has been just as important as the jump start functionality … Scott, Phoenix, AZ

This product provides 12v starting power for jump starting, accessory 12v access (2), air compressor, 5 v for phones and such devices, lights to illuminate your work area. Excellent for backup in the home or the car. – Larry, Leavenworth, KS

This is one heavy duty jump starter with an air compressor. It features a work light, as well as the air compressor, and power outputs for charging your phone, and even a 12 volt outlet for you to use for whatever you need to use it for. The internal battery is more then sufficient for all your needs. The jumper cables are heavy duty, and will last for a long time. Bottom line is that I couldn’t be more satisfied. – Ralph, Bullhead City, AZ

I have used this product for my vehicles and for my four wheelers  – it works, amazing, keeps great charge. Also, I have used this to pump up my children’s footballs and basketballs. Def a must have product. – Rick the tool guy, Chazy

You can pick up the 4-in-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

4-in-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor
item#62374

56 in., 11 Drawer Glossy Red Industrial Roller Cabinet

56-in-11-drawer-glossy-red-industrial-roller-cabinet

The US General Pro 56 in., 11 Drawer Glossy Red Industrial Roller Cabinet provides an ideal storage solution for your garage or shop. The cabinet features double-wall steel construction, 28,200 cubic inches of storage and can hold over 3,450 pounds of tools.

Additional features include six extra-wide drawers, five narrow drawers and a glossy red powder coat finish. Two locking and two fixed heavy duty 6 in. steel casters provide superior mobility.

Customer reviews reveal why this cabinet has become a favorite:

Have a smaller industrial/professional roller cabinet and had tools piled on top of each other. Checked out the US General cabinet at the store and was impressed, particularly with the self-securing drawers that can be accessed with one hand. The beefy construction
(500 lbs +) makes this durable, stable and a great value at this price point. Tons of storage and still easy to maneuver around the garage even fully loaded.
– Greg, Louisville, KY

I own 3 of these now. Really a good toolbox for the money. I have one in the garage for shop tools, one in the laundry room for household tools and one in my office for reloading supplies. – C. Collins, Minneapolis, MN

I have two 56″ boxes with end cabinets—been working professionally for years out of these, no issues at all. No way would I buy a Snap-on overpriced box again … – Rob, Yuba City

You can pick up the 56 in., 11 Drawer Glossy Red Industrial Roller Cabinet at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

Also, consider maximizing your storage space by adding the 56 In. Top Chest to go along with the cabinet.

56 in., 11 Drawer Glossy Red Industrial Roller Cabinet
item#67681

3 ton Low Profile Steel Heavy Duty Floor Jack with Rapid Pump®

3-ton-jack

This heavy duty jack with its Rapid Pump technology lifts most workloads in just 3-1/2 pumps and can lift your vehicle almost two feet off the ground. Features include a two-piece knurled steel handle for a sure grip, foam bumper to prevent damage to your vehicle’s finish and universal joint release that provides precise control in any handle position.

With its low-profile design and extra-wide steel casters for stability, this jack is a must-have for the amateur and professional automotive mechanic alike.

I like the long reach, the lift speed and lift height. – Nuke, Albany, OR

My shop used this jack every day for 3 years, it hasn’t failed yet. – Randy the Mechanic, Sonora, CA

I bought this jack about 4 years ago—it’s been a really good tool since the very first day I bought it. The low profile is really helpful with my Toyota Celica. I used this jack to lift diesel trucks with no problem. – Allende03, Chico, CA

Great price. Sturdy. Pumps up fast. Rolls easily. Had no issues lifting my Durango for a tire rotation. No regrets on the purchase. – Tim, St. Louis

You can pick up the 3 ton Low Profile Steel Heavy Duty Floor Jack with Rapid Pump® at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

3 ton Low Profile Steel Heavy Duty Floor Jack with Rapid Pump®
item #: 61282