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Sealey Cordless Impact Wrench CP2600 review | Around £240 | www.sealey.co.uk 01284 757500 | Reviewed by John Milbank

 

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This is one of those tools I’ve wanted for a long time, but never quite been able to justify. Now of course, I wonder how I ever managed without it.

I got a compressor for Christmas, and figured I’d buy an air-powered impact wrench. However, the volume of air required to drive one is too great for all but the biggest compressors and besides, most of my garage work is done when our little girl’s gone to bed, so I can’t run it at night.

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There are cheaper impact wrenches available using NiCd batteries, so is it really worth the extra money for the new-fangled Lithium-Ion pack? Most definitely, yes! A couple of years ago I upgraded my cordless drill to Li-Ion, and I’d never go back. There are two major advantages – the first is that lithium cells have a very low self-discharge rate, so they’re always ready to be used. The second is that you don’t have to wait until the battery is flat to recharge it – top it up any time, and you won’t damage the cells.

There’s only one pack supplied, but like my drill-driver (which gets used a lot), this isn’t a problem. The 26V, 3Ah battery and powerful motor / gearbox produce over 335lb-ft (450Nm) of torque, which worked great on the seized rear-wheel nut of my Ducati Monster (the wheel just spun when I tried with a breaker-bar), and the timing inspection cap on the old CBR600.

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It’s important that Li-Ion cells don’t drop below a minimum Voltage, so the Sealey stops if the power gets too low (lithium cells deliver very linear power before dropping suddenly, whereas NiCd and NiMh have a more gradual discharge). In use, this can simply mean bursts of several seconds of continuous work before the current drawn gets too much for the remaining Voltage. If it stops, pull the trigger, and it’ll spin up again. It’s only something you’ll notice on the most stubborn of nuts, and is far better than the way other batteries will gradually slow down, leaving you with nothing. This way, you have plenty of notice that a top-up’s needed, but a tool that still works at fits full potential.

The CP2600 will run in forward or reverse, though it would generally be unwise to tighten bolts with this – the trigger is very much all or nothing, so it’d be easy to over-torque a fixing.

A full charge takes two hours, but I just top it up between jobs. No waiting for a compressor to fill, no trailing power leads, and a battery that doesn’t flatten itself. The list price is £478.80, but you’ll have no problems finding it for half that, and combined with Sealey’s superb after-sales service, it’s an investment well worth making.

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Tony Carter

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