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1999frontier
05-29-2010, 08:51 AM
I'm going to start changing my own blades on my mower and I need to buy either one. I was wondering if you all think I should get a torque wrench or cordless impact wrench. Will I torque the bolt too much if I use an impact wrench. Also, I will have to use impact sockets, right? I don't have an air compressor either so thats why I was thinking cordless. I just learned they made cordless this morning searching around.

jvanvliet
05-29-2010, 09:39 AM
Cordless; Get a good one; I prefer RIGID; "FREE" life time parts, service & batteries (be sure to register) Have the 24V hammer drill; Sawzaw; &circular saw too. It really puts out the power.

Check the torgue specs before hammering home the bolts.

httpp://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100593254

You should really look into a compressor & an air tank & plug kit for you tires. I keep 25 glns air tank in my truck. Good for the trailer, ZTR & I can fill it with NitrusOxide the cheer up my crew after a long day :)

You can also try Harbor Freight for low cost tools

JB1
05-29-2010, 10:22 AM
an impact gun, forget the torque wrench.

rcslawncare
05-29-2010, 02:14 PM
Impact, I have a Corded Dewalt impact and it works great. No air needed.

Glenn Lawn Care
05-29-2010, 03:24 PM
i have an 18 volt DeWalt impact gun. and it works really good for changing blades. it wont over torque them on. either this or and air impact. forget the torque wrench and doing it by hand!

dgw
05-29-2010, 03:35 PM
i use torque wrench for walkers

impact gun (air) for gravely and walk behind

i never used a cordless impact gun , are they strong?

Glenn Lawn Care
05-29-2010, 03:36 PM
are they strong?

yes they are strong enough to take off and put on blades.

Richard Martin
05-29-2010, 03:40 PM
A torque wrench is how it's supposed to be done. If you use an impact use it on the weakest setting it has and then check the torque with a borrowed torque wrench.

Exact Rototilling
05-29-2010, 03:42 PM
i have an 18 volt DeWalt impact gun. and it works really good for changing blades. it wont over torque them on. either this or and air impact. forget the torque wrench and doing it by hand!

+4 for a cordless impact - hand tools are painfully slow. I also use a dewalt 18v. Torque wrench is good to have anyhow but not for this.

Glenn Lawn Care
05-29-2010, 03:44 PM
+4 for a cordless impact - hand tools are painfully slow. I also use a dewalt 18v. Torque wrench is good to have anyhow but not for this.

200 points for saying that!

Mowbizz
05-29-2010, 06:01 PM
Impact wrench...been using one for years and there's nothing like that "zip...zip" sound for removing and installing blades...use common sense and you won't over torque them...ugh....can't even imagine using manual tools for this task ever again!

nepatsfan
05-29-2010, 06:04 PM
my vote is for an air impact. so versatile

yardguy28
05-29-2010, 09:13 PM
i don't really find using the manual tools all that bad. i have an impact wrench and gun but i currently use a breaker bar and socket. doesn't take no time to loosen or tighten those bolts.

i worry about over tightening with the impact wrench or gun.

BINKY1902
05-29-2010, 09:39 PM
I use two end wrenches, and take them off every evening to sharpen. I have an impact but by the time I can drag it out I'm done anyway. I have a little box on my walk behind that I keep the wrenches in.

streetscrapin16
05-29-2010, 10:08 PM
I use my 18v Znex cordless impact. It has a max of 400 ft. lbs. of torque..

Columbia Care
05-29-2010, 10:39 PM
I use a jack to raise the mower, a jack stand to make sure the mower does not fall. I use a air rachet to take the blades on and off. I have impact wrenches for those bolts that require a little more power to remove. The system I have works great and is very cost effective. My air compressor is a 2 HP motor with a 20 gallon tank that I got at Lowe's.

nepatsfan
05-29-2010, 10:52 PM
I use a jack to raise the mower, a jack stand to make sure the mower does not fall. I use a air rachet to take the blades on and off. I have impact wrenches for those bolts that require a little more power to remove. The system I have works great and is very cost effective. My air compressor is a 2 HP motor with a 20 gallon tank that I got at Lowe's.

You use an air ratchet to take off blades? I cant imagine an air ratchet having the torque to take blades off. what kind is it?

siclmn
05-29-2010, 11:37 PM
Dewalt is the brand to get. Zip Zip and it's off and on again. Never another slipping off the bolt and having a cut hand all day.

Nosmo
05-30-2010, 05:16 AM
If I had to choose between hand tools, air impact or electric impact - it would be the electric. Dewalt and other name brand electric impact are powerful enough to zip those blade nuts right off. The good point is there is no dragging out the air line , starting the compressor and then bleeding the tank afterwards.

Nosmo

Roger
05-30-2010, 06:09 AM
I'm with the "hand tool" crowd here. Of all the time spent in maintenance of my mowers, removing blades and remounting with a breaker bar, ratchet and end wrench is about the last place where I spend time. By the time I would get an impact tool out, I would have the blades off and ready to mount sharp ones, perhaps even have them mounted.

In the case of the w/b, I have through bolts. The nut is on the top, and care must be taken not to drop the nut down below the deck belt safety cover. With my hand tools, I continue to have control of the nut and washers, so they don't escape. Taking the cover off to retrieve takes a few minutes. Any time saved in quick removal and loosing the nut and/or washers would be lost in retrieval.

I've seen these same threads for many years. I have a hard time reading the posts and understanding why hand wrenching takes so much time. I spend far more time scraping the deck, greasing, etc. than making blade changes. I have no other need of an impact wrench, so, for me, just one more item to manage. KISS for me.

dgw
05-30-2010, 07:23 AM
i see the point of not dragging out air hose, but i have it out anyway to blow off mowers and filters while i change blades

1999frontier
05-30-2010, 08:18 PM
If I were to buy the cordless impact wrench, I need to buy the sockets for an impact, right. I can't use a regular set. Also, should I buy a 3/8" drive or 1/2" drive impact?

yardguy28
05-30-2010, 09:31 PM
If I were to buy the cordless impact wrench, I need to buy the sockets for an impact, right. I can't use a regular set. Also, should I buy a 3/8" drive or 1/2" drive impact?

i would highly recommend using impact sockets for an impact gun. you could break the regular sockets.

as for the 3/8" or 1/2" i can't help you there. i don't think it would matter because thats the size of sockets and if you buy a 1/2" impact you'll have 1/2" sockets. if you buy 3/8" impact you'll have 3/8" sockets.

nepatsfan
05-30-2010, 09:31 PM
If I were to buy the cordless impact wrench, I need to buy the sockets for an impact, right. I can't use a regular set. Also, should I buy a 3/8" drive or 1/2" drive impact?

Buy 1/2 " for impact.

Lawn Pawn
05-30-2010, 10:09 PM
Bought this guy couple years ago.... because I already had the matching drill.

Has just enough power for blades and some wheel lugs on mowers. Would NEVER have enough power to trash a nut or blade bolt on anything commercial. Use it every day for many jobs.

Would not do blades with hand wrenches again.... very unproductive and injury prone, at least for me!

Just use your head and learn the feel your cordless. It's not rocket science.

Lawn Pawn
05-30-2010, 10:17 PM
As for good sockets......

Check these out.. http://www.gpsocket.com/index.cfm?event=pageview&contentPieceID=805

OK.... I do some work for this company, but they do have great tools!!

The Captain
05-30-2010, 11:46 PM
You have a join date of July 06 and you are just now going to start changing you own blades? Not wanting to be a smart a$$, but how have you been getting this done before? :confused:

I use an electric 1/2" drive impact wrench from Harbor Freight. When I bought it, starting out, I couldn't afford a cordless one. I change the blades out daily before leavng the shop so the electric wrench is not a problem. I bought the correct sized, 6 point sockets (individualy, not a comlete set) from Sears. I didn't get the higher priced impact sockets because Craftsman sockets are guaranted for life and I haven't broken one in five years.

Lbilawncare
05-31-2010, 12:25 AM
Regardless of what you use to remove blades, an air compressor is vital in this business. btw- I have never heard of anyone draining the tank after every use.

bradsd
05-31-2010, 01:29 AM
I use a breaker bar and socket, its easy and fast. On my air compressor I just leave the valve on bottom slightly cracked open to drain out any moisture and of course to bleed the air pressure off.

IMAGE
05-31-2010, 01:59 AM
I keep a Snap-on 18V 1/2" Cordless Impact in my truck. Yes I use it to change blades, along with many many other uses. It will remove rusted on lug nuts also, or anything else you need. $500 tool, but it's value is priceless. I'll be adding a Snap-on 3/8" Cordless Impact to my tool box soon also. It's a little smaller and will reach better into tight spots.

Oh and to the OP... dont waste your time with a torque wrench. A quality TQ wrench is a must have for anyone that works on their own equipment, I've got a nice 3/8" Snap-on Digital TQ wrench that I use for important thing like internal engine parts, but I'd never waste my time using it on a blade bolt.

nepatsfan
05-31-2010, 06:27 AM
Regardless of what you use to remove blades, an air compressor is vital in this business. btw- I have never heard of anyone draining the tank after every use.

You should always drain the tank on a compressor when you are done using it. Its easy there is a petcock on the bottom of the tank you just open it up. I can't imagine getting by without a compressor. I see a lot of people on this thread talk about all the work to get a compressor ready. Its as simple as turning it on and plugging the gun into the air line. You have to plug an electric one into the wall. Whats the difference? The switch to turn the compressor on. When I am working in the shop I go over and flip the radio on and then comes the grueling task of bending down a flipping the switch on the compressor to on. It takes a minute to fill up its a 30 gallon tank but by the time you have the front of the first mower jacked up its ready to go. No waiting and I guarantee I can zip blades on and off way faster even with the grueling task of turning the switch of the compressor on. What do you guys do when you need air in your tires? Go to the gas station or use a bicycle pump? Talk about a waste of time.

1999frontier
05-31-2010, 06:39 AM
I've always changed the blades on my dad's Craftsman mower and everything else except my JD 727A. I've always got the dealer to change them, but would like to start changing them now.

Robert Pruitt
05-31-2010, 07:03 AM
you should make sure you have enough clearance to use an impact wrench. i use a ratchet and box end wrench, the frame blocks the access of the nut,so the impact would not work.also drain compressor but only about every month or so.

johnwon
05-31-2010, 07:05 AM
I use a torque wrench. It maybe unfounded, but the use of an impact wrench has me concerned as to the possible ill effect to the spindle bearings. This concern is not just, the not knowing the torque the impact is tightening to, but also the hammering characteristic of the impact tool. I realize that some of you have been doing this practice for many years without any known correlation to premature spindle bearing failure.

nepatsfan
05-31-2010, 07:07 AM
you should make sure you have enough clearance to use an impact wrench. i use a ratchet and box end wrench, the frame blocks the access of the nut,so the impact would not work.also drain compressor but only about every month or so.

Not what I was taught. I will continue to drain it after every use. Its so easy and takes a half a second.

Robert Pruitt
05-31-2010, 07:11 AM
Not what I was taught. I will continue to drain it after every use. Its so easy and takes a half a second.

better make sure you don't ring that petcock off going that fast. LOL

mattw107
05-31-2010, 10:19 AM
Just started using a Harbor Freight (Chicago Electric) electric impact wrench...but then noticed the manual calls for 70 ftlbs on the blade bolt. Since the wrench can develop 240 ftlbs, I'm starting to rethink this. Hmmm...

flatlander42
05-31-2010, 10:35 AM
When you put the blades back on, do not over tighten them. On my Walkers and Navigator *not sure about yours* there are two little bolts that are supposed to break in the event that you hit something. If you over tighten the blade bolt I don't think it will allow the blade to "break free" like it should. I am not sure I want my gearbox to go kabooom because I used an impact gun.

Robert Pruitt
05-31-2010, 10:58 AM
When you put the blades back on, do not over tighten them. On my Walkers and Navigator *not sure about yours* there are two little bolts that are supposed to break in the event that you hit something. If you over tighten the blade bolt I don't think it will allow the blade to "break free" like it should. I am not sure I want my gearbox to go kabooom because I used an impact gun.

and that is exactly why i use a socket and wrench.

dgw
05-31-2010, 12:05 PM
Just started using a Harbor Freight (Chicago Electric) electric impact wrench...but then noticed the manual calls for 70 ftlbs on the blade bolt. Since the wrench can develop 240 ftlbs, I'm starting to rethink this. Hmmm...

no pressure setting on your tank?

nepatsfan
05-31-2010, 12:07 PM
no pressure setting on your tank?
Foot pounds of torque and psi on the tank are not the same thing.

dgw
05-31-2010, 01:06 PM
my bad

then if your blade needs to be torqued torque it

my walkers do

gravelys have been fine with air impact for years at 90 psi

mattw107
05-31-2010, 01:37 PM
no pressure setting on your tank?

And my wrench is electric, so no way to regulate the torque...hence my concern. However, it sure is A LOT easier than using the breaker bar!

yardguy28
05-31-2010, 05:18 PM
Regardless of what you use to remove blades, an air compressor is vital in this business. btw- I have never heard of anyone draining the tank after every use.

i've never heard of anyone NOT draining the tank after using it. i've been taught that from day one i started using air compressors.

i wouldn't say air compressors are vital in this business. i don't own one. sure i have access to one. my dads that i do use. but i could get by without it. all i use it for right now is to clean the air filters and fill any low tires.

i could fill low tires at a gas station and use a blower or air in a can to clean the filters..............

yardguy28
05-31-2010, 05:23 PM
ok so even after reading the posts in this thread i need some education.......

currently i use a breaker bar with a socket to remove the blade bolts on my 52" grandstand.

since someone started this thread it's got me thinking about switching what i use.

i have a 2 piece air tool set, air rachet and impact gun. which one would i want to use? seems like the air rachet because i can't see using that big impact gun under a deck of a mower.

also i looked at lowes today at the cordless units. i found impact guns and impact drivers? which would be the one i need to use if i went that route? the cordless impact gun i saw was just as big as my air powered impact gun so again i can't see using that under a deck of a mower. but the impact drivers where smaller in size.

i read on here get either 1/2" or 3/8" drive and these impact drivers were on 1/4".

i'm just trying to do some looking and see if maybe i couldn't switch over to either using my air tools or buying an electric cordless model.

rcpeoples
05-31-2010, 07:26 PM
Impact driver wont deliver enough torque go with impact gun. 1/2 drive best since you will probably need about a 15/16 socket to remove bolts

yardguy28
05-31-2010, 07:52 PM
Impact driver wont deliver enough torque go with impact gun. 1/2 drive best since you will probably need about a 15/16 socket to remove bolts

thanks and thats exactly the socket size i use with the breaker bar.

one more questions will my air rachet work ok or should i use the impact gun? i have a set of air tools. and based on your recommendation of using the cordless impact gun and the size of the cordless impact guns i've seen (there just as big as my air impact gun) i'm gonna start with using my air tools.

i'm hoping you'll tell me i can use the air rachet as it would be much easer to use under the deck of a mower than the impact gun.

nepatsfan
05-31-2010, 08:40 PM
thanks and thats exactly the socket size i use with the breaker bar.

one more questions will my air rachet work ok or should i use the impact gun? i have a set of air tools. and based on your recommendation of using the cordless impact gun and the size of the cordless impact guns i've seen (there just as big as my air impact gun) i'm gonna start with using my air tools.

i'm hoping you'll tell me i can use the air rachet as it would be much easer to use under the deck of a mower than the impact gun.
I have an air ratchet but I very rarely use it. I doubt an air ratchet has the torque to take off blades. It certainly would take less space but i always jack up my mowers so we have enough room to work under them.

JB1
05-31-2010, 08:45 PM
thanks and thats exactly the socket size i use with the breaker bar.

one more questions will my air rachet work ok or should i use the impact gun? i have a set of air tools. and based on your recommendation of using the cordless impact gun and the size of the cordless impact guns i've seen (there just as big as my air impact gun) i'm gonna start with using my air tools.

i'm hoping you'll tell me i can use the air rachet as it would be much easer to use under the deck of a mower than the impact gun.


impact gun , ratchet just doesn't have enough power to break it, at least my air ratchet don't, when I was changing blades on my grasshopper it had smaller bolt heads an I would use a butterfly impact and it worked great was smaller and fit a lot better, but with the hustler's we are back to the 1/2" air impact.

rcpeoples
05-31-2010, 09:11 PM
Wouldn't use air ratchet in such a confined area may "lock up" because of not enough torque and throw hand into blade or deck

Richard Martin
06-01-2010, 05:40 AM
Wouldn't use air ratchet in such a confined area may "lock up" because of not enough torque and throw hand into blade or deck

Don't you just hate that!

A 3/8" air impact would be a whole lot better for most of those that haven't yet developed the "touch" with an impact. The strongest 3/8" is only capable of 200 ft. lbs. of torque. And although that is about twice as much as any blade bolt needs it's a whole lot closer than my 1/2" Earthquake impact at 600 ft. lbs.

rcpeoples
06-01-2010, 06:49 AM
Yea 3/8" would be better for those just starting to work with air. My only question is will he be able to find that large of a socket in 3/8" or have to use a reducer. Also please get impact sockets never use regular sockets with impact guns, but you can use them with impact wrenches not as much torque.

Richard Martin
06-01-2010, 06:53 AM
Yea 3/8" would be better for those just starting to work with air. My only question is will he be able to find that large of a socket in 3/8" or have to use a reducer. Also please get impact sockets never use regular sockets with impact guns, but you can use them with impact wrenches not as much torque.

He can just use the reducer. I thought of that and it's no big deal.

johnwon
06-01-2010, 07:54 AM
For those who jack up the mower anyway......check out these Snap on torque control sticks.
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?item_ID=81388&group_ID=1649
I'm not sure if anyone makes them so that you can use any socket you want??

1999frontier
06-01-2010, 10:18 AM
I found a 9pc. 3/8" socket set at sears for $27.99 standard. Should I get the deep sockets or the standard size? The deep ones are $39.99. Still have to decide on a impact wrench though.

Richard Martin
06-01-2010, 12:33 PM
Get the deep sockets. There is nothing more irritating than not having a deep well when you need one.

1999frontier
06-01-2010, 09:32 PM
I was at Lowes tonight and I saw a corded impact wrench and it was huge. I thought they were the size of a regular drill. It was a 1/2" drive. I just looked at my manual and it says tighten to 90 lb/ft. I saw a Craftsman cordless impact online and it was 1/2" and I think 200 lb/ft.