Cool Tool: The Hand Impact Helps You Remove Stubborn Screws

Illustration for article titled Cool Tool: The Hand Impact Helps You Remove Stubborn Screws
Screenshot: backyardmech / YouTube

Over the past few weeks we’ve looked at an electric jack for roadside emergencies, a new take on adjustable wrenches and tools to deal with rounded bolt heads. This week’s tool, a hand impact driver, makes removing stuck and rusty screws a breeze.

Readers Taema and edv1000r suggested this tool. At first, I wondered why I would want a hand impact driver when I can zip off any bolt using my overpowered cordless impact wrench. Then I started doing some research, and it actually makes sense.

Don’t think of this tool as a replacement for a power impact wrench but as a complement to it. Use a hand impact to break loose rusty, stuck screws.

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One job they’re handy for is removing the screws that sometimes hold brake rotors on. In my experience, these screws are usually so stuck and rusted that I immediately strip the head in a futile effort to loosen them. I’ve more than once drilled out the screw just so I could finish a brake job. Little did I know there’s a perfect tool just for this kind of job.

Check out this YouTube video from backyardmech to see one of these tools in action:

The setup is easy. Slide in the desired bit, set the tool to loosen or tighten with a twist of the handle, then hit the impact with a hammer to drive the screw.

The best part is that these tools are inexpensive. The TEKTON model recommended by Taema is only $16 online and the Lisle model recommended by edvf1000r is only $50. Both come with a set of bits. Checking places like eBay and Amazon reveals a nice variety of the tools.

I’m soon adding a new element to this tool series. Instead of just showing you cool tools, I want to put different models of tools to the test, Jalopnik style!

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Do you know of a weird or unique but must-have tool you think every wrencher should have? Do you want to see us put a type of tool to the test and see how it performs? Shoot me an email or drop it down in the comments!

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Loves all vehicles! Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, AmTran School Bus, VW Passat W8, Jetta TDI (x2), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Suzuki Burgman, Yamaha U7E...

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DISCUSSION

Yay!
If you’ve ever cursed engineers after stripping out a few of these screws changing rotors, this tool is pure magic, for not much money. And most people have no idea they exist outside of people working on japanese motorcycles. So this post may really help a lot of people who face this problem on their own cars and their friends’ cars.