It seems as though every pneumatic tool maker these days is offering a compact version within their impact wrench lineup. Another welcome entry in this increasingly popular market is Chicago Pneumatic’s CP7732. This model features a 1/2-inch drive, while its cousin, CP7731, features a 3/8-inch drive. Here we’ll review the 1/2-inch drive model.
When a new tool is introduced by a maker with the reputation of Chicago Pneumatic, you naturally expect high quality and superb design. The CP7732 is certainly no exception. In short, it does not disappoint.
The first aspect that pops out is the size: The main body measures a scant 4.4 inches in length, which provides the obvious benefit of being able to work in tight confines. The other feature that you’ll immediately notice is the color. While color has nothing to do with function, the reddish/orange body is distinctive and instantly draws your eyes to this little beast. For any shop that stocks multiple air tools (and in many cases, the shop’s arsenal of air tools may be jumbled in a heap on a common shelf), the color stands out in a crowd and screams for your attention. As a result, this little workhorse may become one of your “go-to” tools.
In accordance with its compact profile, the weight is a mere 2.9 lbs. While size and weight alone seem attractive, the design of the grip, trigger and forward/reverse control is as ergonomically sweet as you’d like. The grip is comfy, the trigger is nice and broad, with no sharp edges to dig into your fingers, and the forward/reverse lever is conveniently located immediately behind the trigger for easy one-hand operation. The speed dial is incorporated behind the trigger as well, with clearly marked white-on-black 1, 2 and 3 markings, with a nice, big white arrow on the directional lever. The reason to pick a compact small-profile gun in the first place is to use it in confined spaces. The intuitive one-hand operational features complement the size, with no need to use a second hand or to re-orient your working hand to change wrench direction.
Construction features include a steel front and a lightweight aluminum body. Operational features worthy of note is the mind-numbing 450 ft.-lbs. maximum torque capability in reverse, a free speed of 9,000 rpm and a working torque in forward of 102 to 310 ft.-lbs.
Average air consumption is 5 cfm, rated for use with a minimum 3/8-inch air hose. Noise level is a very tolerable 95 db.
The socket wrench retainer is a heavy-duty friction ring. While I’ve had issues with bargain-basement air tools in the past that use a friction ring (loose fit and/or brittle material resulting in too-tight socket fitment and difficulty in removing sockets; or rings snapping and breaking loose, leaving you with no socket retention), the friction ring on the CP7732 fits well, making socket installation and removal easy while providing a very secure retention, and it seems robust enough to eliminate any worries of long-term ring fracture.
Our in-shop experience
We played with the CP7732 on a number of vehicles, with applications ranging from removal of old, rusted and extremely stubborn bolts to servicing fasteners in ridiculously tight, cramped spaces.
The wrench is small enough to go where no power tool has gone before, and the relatively light weight and ergonomically designed grip didn’t play havoc on our arm and shoulder muscles.
When switched to the reverse mode (I call it the “happy switch”), it made short work of even the most argumentative bolts. Aside from placing the compact monster into place, it did all of the work for us without a whimper, and seemed to beg for more. I’m not certain of the makeup of the red body finish, but the aluminum body appears to be powder coated. After our tryouts, greasy/grimy fingerprints wiped off easily to return it to a like-new appearance.
As we expected in the beginning, it did not disappoint. ●
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