Aircat 1993 Vxl 5e8f5e296419b

Tool Review: AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools VIBROTHERM DRIVE 1” Impact Wrench

April 20, 2020
A combination of high torque and low weight has made this heavy duty impact a popular tool at the reviewer’s shop.

Heavy duty vehicles tend to have heavy duty parts and components, so heavy duty tools are required for service. Removing the lug nuts to access the wheels, for example, requires a lot of torque. That process typically involves a heavy, bulky pneumatic impact wrench that can be difficult for a technician to manage, especially for an extended period of time.

Eric Moore, fleet manager at Griffin Pavement Striping in Columbus, Ohio, says the AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools VIBROTHERM DRIVE 1” Impact Wrench, No. 1993-VXL, is smaller, lighter, more ergonomic, and offers more torque than any of the other 1” impacts they use.

“This one was a hit right off the rip; it just gets the job done,” he says. “It definitely saves some time over the impacts that we've been using because it just has substantially more torque. It's also a lot more ergonomic than the older models that we have, as well as lighter.”

In addition to its powerful, low-wight design, Moore says he and the other technicians at Griffin appreciate the fact that it has a 6” anvil, which helps them work around the hubs on dual wheels to access the lug nuts. They also like the adjustable handle which makes the tool customizable to any technician’s needs.

“The handle is rotatable, so you can make it left-handed or right-handed,” Moore says. “The support handle is a D ring, it's not a lever that sticks out. You can move it around and rotate it however you need to make it comfortable for how you would hold it.”

When the 1993-VXL arrived at Moore’s shop, he says it was securely packaged in a heavy cardboard box. Included was an instruction sheet and a parts diagram. The only setup involved was to install the proper size connector for the shop’s air system, and the tool was ready to use.

While the 1993-VXL has three torque settings, Moore notes that he and his technicians have only used it on 1 so far.

“I can imagine that 2 and 3 are really going to be impressive if you'd have to use those settings,” he says.

Moore and the other technicians at Griffin have been pleased with their experience so far using the VIBROTHERM DRIVE 1” Impact Wrench. In the time they’ve had it, it’s become a popular tool around the shop.

“I can tell you right now it is going to get used,” he says.

About the Author

David Brierley | Editor | Fleet Maintenance

David Brierley is a former editor of Fleet Maintenance magazine.

Brierley’s education and career have been based in the publishing industry. He is an award-winning writer and comes from a background in automotive, trucking, and heavy equipment. Brierley joined the Endeavor Business Media vehicle repair group in 2017 as managing editor for Fleet Maintenance, PTEN, and Professional Distributor magazines, as well as In his current role, he writes for and oversees production of Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has worked in the publishing industry since 2011.

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