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Old 07-08-2007, 01:24 PM   #1
kythri
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Default Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Kinda in the market for a weekend-warrior impact wrench, as the well-used no-name that I have at the moment is starting to give up the ghost (hey, it was $15 at a hawk-shop, and it's lasted me about 3 years, so I don't consider it bad at all).

I've read all kinds of things about the AirCat/NitroCat and IR guns here, and was consulting my father about his opinion.

Dad's the purchasing manager for the service department of a large multi-site farm here in Oregon (about 1500+ employees across the state), and as such, buys a bunch of tools.

Obviously, he's caught in the middle, between the service monkeys who want the best product possible, and the owners, who want him to spend the least money possible.

Fortunately, Dad's not a big fan of buying cheap crap - he understands the importance of buying a quality product that he doesn't have to replace all the time.

I asked him what the mechanics were using out at the farm, and he mentioned that they picked up some of the Earthquake impact wrenches from Harbor Freight a while (about 6-8 months ago) to give them a try, and everyone out there absolutely loves these things.

They've had a variety of cheap crap, they've had IR stuff, and they think these things are just sweet as can be.

Was wondering if anyone here had any opinion of them.
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Old 07-08-2007, 02:16 PM   #2
eschoendorff
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

If I was going to buy a 1/2" impact under $100, the Earthquake would be the one. Most impacts (even IR) are made in China nowadays....

If it were an impact over $100, I would look at a Nitrocat.

For the weekend warrior type, you'll probably be just fine with an Earthquake. I am still using a Campbell Hausfeld Ironforce wrench that I picked up at Lowes and even it has some balls.
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Why bother? Natural selection will take care of them. If it doesn't, a 12-gauge can take care of the unnatural selection...
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Old 07-08-2007, 02:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Ok, not gonna lie here either; man its like admit you bought "cheap" stuff weekend for me.

I've had one for a bit over a year and have used it quite a bit. I have yet to come across something that I was unable to get off with it (not saying its God-Like or anything...). It is pretty ballsy, that being said, it weighs a metric ton. All I remember is replacing a clutch for my buddy and I don't have a lift or anything, so I had been sitting in that weird half-situp position for some time while holding the gun over my head with one hand and thinking I was going to blow an o-ring or something.

But I think its a good 1/2 gun for a weekender, no problem. I will being buying a "good" 3/8 gun, as I could see using one much more often...
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

I bought one a couple of years ago and couldn't be happier with it. Incredible power and comfortable grip, all for $79. It's been used and abused and just keeps on going. I'm sure keeping it lubed properly helps too. With an adapter and a Budd socket it even removed nuts from a truck that someone had swaged on with a cold chisel to make sure they NEVER came off. This thing had enough power to take them off right through the bunged up threads. I like it so much I'm thinking of buying their 3/8" Earthquake.

I'd like to have the 3/4" drive Earthquake, but I haven't found anything the 1/2" can't do yet. It may be HF junk, but I'm very impressed with it.
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

I have a HF Earthquake 1/2" impact wrench and am very satisfied with it. It has met my expectations. Located at the end of the square drive is a round, spring clip-like device which holds the socket in place. It is slightly larger than the square drive shaft and it took me a while to become familiar with how it works. At first I thought the female ends of my sockets were too small for the shaft. Of course that doesn't make sense, we all know 1/2" sockets are supposed to fit on a 1/2" impact wrench. I finally realized it just takes a little force to compress the spring clip to mount the socket.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Like the others in this thread, I've got one as well. I bought it based on the numbers about a year ago (I know...can't put too much faith in the numbers), and am more than pleased with it. I haven't found something it couldn't loosen down in the garage. Fairly heavy for the size, but still feels pretty good. For the price, it's hard to beat.
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Sheeeeeeiiiiit! Now you guys are making me want one of those...
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Why bother? Natural selection will take care of them. If it doesn't, a 12-gauge can take care of the unnatural selection...
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

I got the 1/2" one too. I use it every once in a while to remove some rusty hardware on my 20 year old sports car (read: bolts that have not been touched in a long time) and the Earthquake does it without any trouble. Its a great purchase even if it was double the price. But since its not...stop typing and go buy one! lol
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

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Sheeeeeeiiiiit! Now you guys are making me want one of those...
Well git-er-dun then. What are you waiting for? They regularly run it on sale for $79.00. It's saved me far more than that in time, frustration, and busted knuckles.

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Old 07-09-2007, 08:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

We have a 20 plus year old Central Pneumatic 1/2 in. impact that has seen a lot of rough service and keeps on putting out. It is heavy, not glamorous but all it asks for is a little regular oiling and a steady supply of air. The only thing wrong with it is the little snap ring deal on the drive end has worn so much it won't hold a socket well. (figured I had to come clean on this since everyone else is). If they have improved them at all with this Earthquake model, it should be an okay tool. Does look like a knock off of the IR Thundergun doesn't it?
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Last edited by mulepackin; 07-09-2007 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Welp, I bought it...



Had to drive over to the coast today, so I stopped by on my way there and snagged it.

They're "on sale" right now for $79.99 - website shows $99.99.

Haven't had much of a chance to dink with it, but I think I'm gonna like it. Gotta get home and pop a quick-disconnect nipple on there, and fool around!
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Mine seems to need more air then other impacts that I have used. My air compressor can't power it, but I can run snapons, sioux, IR, etc just fine. With the Earthquake, it just can't keep up for some reason and I only get about 100lbs or so. My compressor has some jacked up air regulator in it that causes this, the other brands just don't get affected by it.
Other then that, the gun can knock off anything that I have tried it on.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Hrmm - my compressor is an el-cheapo "Alltrades" 5 gallon job, and it works just fine.

I rotated my tires tonight, and the thing worked like a charm.

Of course, I also screwed up - somehow, when I was hand-threading all the lugnuts before running them tight with the gun, I missed one.

Apparently, it was just hanging there, and when I put the gun on it, I cross-threaded the bugger, and ended up busting the lug trying to get it off.

ARGH.

Fortunately, I got my other set of wheels back today, so transportation for work isn't an issue, but my Explorer doesn't drive anywhere near as smooth or fast as my Crown Victoria...
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

I bought one several months ago. Mainly for quick removal, and replacement of mower blades at the time. Works fine. When I went in, I had a coupon that had it for $79, it listed for $99. When I got to the checkout, it rang up for $69, so I sheepishly put the coupon away.

Sometimes you can find some has coupons you can print out that have prices not shown at the store.
http://printable-coupons.blogspot.co...t-coupons.html
If you join HF's email list, you will get a couple of emails a week with deals, too.

Last edited by TxDoc; 07-17-2007 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

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If you join HF's email list, you will get a couple of emails a week with deals, too.
I got so tired of wading through the "deals" on huge sacks of zip ties and weird home decor items that I finally gave up on it (the email list), though. HF is kinda like Taco Bell. You know it's cheap shit and that it's probably bad for you (definitely bad for you in quantity), and you stand a good shot of feeling a little bad about it later, but occasionally it hits the spot. I've bought some junk there over the years.

For my uses (mower blades, tire rotation, taking suspension pieces apart on old cars, ___________/???), I am actually considering the CP Earthquake- thanks in no small part to the number of "well, it's not completely awful" reviews here. It's either that or save a little more and actually go ahead and buy a "nicer" IR or other impact gun. Don't know if I'd see the benefit of a tool that costs twice as much for my light use, though.

Last edited by wrigh003; 07-17-2007 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

The Earthquake series is nothing but the truth from Harbor Freight, however being honest, I didn't feel that way at first and was a bit reluctant to buy any air tools from HF. But after reading the good postings I decided to go out and purchase an impact wrench and air ratchet for my 72' C10 restore project (what the hell I didn't have anything to loose because of the 30 day return policy). Well what else can I say, I've found faith in Harbor Freight. In the the past month I've bought Husky, IR and Campbell Hausfeld impacts and they were all returned because they couldn't remove the rust welded bolts (all rated at at least 450lb tq). But with this $80 earthquake no bolt was impossible to remove. A strain was never put on the tool, it just snapped off rusty bolts with supernatural power.. I love it. Ohh! let's not forget the very powerful $70 100lb tq ratchet (it's easily one the most powerful and fastest air ratchets out there) that aggressively and quickly remove bolts as well. Both are amazing and surprisingly high quality tools that are well priced (both combined cost lest than one of it's competitors tool) and are true bargains. If Harbor Freights can make all tools this well crafted, cheap and powerful, other air tool makers would be in big trouble hands down.

Last edited by cyrax59; 07-11-2009 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Yesterday decided to buy Harbor Freights 1/2" earthquake 625 ftlbs. Didn't really get to put it to any real tests yet, but the db noise isn't that bad. For that price ($79) I was expecting something much louder.

Now I don't use this tool for a living and it is a little heavy, but if it performs as some of these posts imply I will be very happy, just if it saves me a few busted and skinned nuckles.

I would like to mention that the quality of many tools at Harbor Freight is getting much better. In my younger years I would only buy drill bits and most of my tools at Sears because of their replacement policy. The world is changing.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

Shop around and for $20 more you can get the IR231C which should last a backyard mechanic forever. Many professional mechanics still rely on this model for daily use to make their living.
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Central Pneumatic Earthquake Impact Wrenches?

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Shop around and for $20 more you can get the IR231C which should last a backyard mechanic forever. Many professional mechanics still rely on this model for daily use to make their living.
Why pay the extra $20 for a brand name chinese impact gun?
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Agreed that makes about as much sense as a pimp with a health plan.
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:36 PM   #20
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Why pay the extra $20 for a brand name chinese impact gun?
Because it is made by Ingersoll Rand in a Ingersoll Rand factory using the same drawings and material specifications that they've used since developing the 231 in the early 70s.
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