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January 30, 2018
Over the last few years the tire shop business has evolved quite a bit. More and more tires are changed outside of traditional tire shops, and we saw the arrival of new players offering roadside assistance and tire changing services at convenient places for customers, like their homes. In turn, these new services created specific needs in the market for new tools and equipment for operators.
Pneumatic tools have historically been the preferred choice in the tire changing industry due to their design and performance. However, cordless electric tools have now become more popular, especially in applications requiring a high level of mobility. So how do you know which type of tool to use? Check out the benefits of each below.
Often seen as the best solution for mobile tire changing specialists, electric cordless tools offer a lot of benefits favored by operators. Since tool manufacturers have developed high performance cordless electric impact wrenches to be able to work anywhere and at any time, the freedom of movement they allow has been well received by operators. Mobility is without a doubt the main benefit of this technology, and is even more valued by mobile technicians who are not able to park close to the job, or are working in difficult conditions. These situations require high running tool time which is now possible thanks to the new Lithium-ion batteries (up to 6 Ah / 9 Ah).
Even if cordless impact wrenches are a little bit heavier than similar air tools, they provide great comfort and ergonomics to operators. Newer tools are even coming out with helpful functionalities, such as overtightening prevention and no-impact screwing options.
It’s important to remember that cordless tools are powerful, and their technology is still (and will always be) dependent on the battery charge level. Dear cordless tools users: don’t forget to check your tool battery level!
On the other side, many impact wrenches users, including mobile “tire changers”, are still using pneumatic tools. One of the main advantages of using a pneumatic tool, besides its lower cost compared to cordless, is its power-to-weight ratio with an average weight of 4.4 lbs - 2kg (for an average high performance and durable composite impact wrench). At the end of a working day, this makes a real difference!
It is also important to consider the tool’s conditions of use. In some situations when bad weather conditions (extreme cold, rain…) could damage a cordless tool, pneumatic impact wrenches will last longer, as they are extremely resistant to those types of environments.
Pneumatic tools are also appreciated for their great compactness (enabling different application usage with the same tool) and their lower vibration transmission while in use.
“ Whatever you choose, don’t forget that a torque wrench is necessary to properly tighten any wheels. ”
For tire changing applications, the best choice between cordless electric and pneumatic impact wrenches will differ depending on if you are looking at a workshop or a mobile job. Even if both options are suitable, pneumatic versions are typically preferred by operators who like lightweight tools, whereas cordless impacts are the tool of choice for mechanics who are looking for higher freedom of movement. Pneumatic and cordless impact wrenches are your best partners for everyday tire changing, and depending on your specific needs, both versions can be complementary.