Tool Reviews

Tool review: Snap-on CT8810A cordless impact wrench

The new Snap-On CT8810A impact gun features a 3/8-inch-drive and provides a rated 325 ft.-lbs. loosening torque.
<p>The new Snap-On CT8810A impact gun features a 3/8-inch-drive and provides a rated 325 ft.-lbs. loosening torque.</p>

Yes, we’re reviewing yet another cordless impact wrench. While I prefer to “mix it up” in terms of tool species, there has been a notable increase in cordless tool offerings, so when something new pops up, we want to make our readers aware.

In this review, we take a look at Snap-on’s new 18-volt CT8810A. This newly introduced cordless impact gun features a 3/8-inch drive, with a reported tightening torque of 230 ft.-lbs. and an impressive bolt-breaking torque of 325 ft.-lbs. The torque offerings of today’s cordless wrenches just keeps increasing, making them more attractive, especially for loosening undercar and underhood fasteners when you prefer not to drag an air hose around.

According to the spec sheet, this model features a free speed of 2,400 rpm at a rate of 3,480 impacts per minute. The noise level is rated at 97.3 to 108.9 decibels.

The kit includes the 3/8-inch drive wrench, two lithium ion rechargeable batteries, an intelligent battery charger and a nifty red and black zippered storage bag.

As soon as I began working with the CT8810A, the first feature to grab my attention is the ultra-comfy grip that features a non-slip surface. It drops into your hand like an old friend with a firm handshake. As soon as I squeezed the trigger, this little torque monster clocked my wrist as if to tell me that it was ready and eager to get to work. At the same moment, a surprisingly powerful work light illuminated forward (the light automatically turns on whenever you pull the trigger). NOTE: Even when not triggering torque action, a slight squeeze of the trigger turns on the light, which is really handy for increasing visibility at the work space even prior to loosening or tightening.

NOTE: While we toyed with the 3/8-inch-drive model, be aware that this line of cordless wrenches is also available in 1/4-inch-drive (model CT8810AQC) and 1/2-inch-drive (model CT8815A).

The incredibly handy built-in light activates immediately whenever the trigger is depressed, offering a brightly lit work area.
<p>The incredibly handy built-in light activates immediately whenever the trigger is depressed, offering a brightly lit work area.</p>

All charged up

Standard battery charge time is rated at 25 minutes. Batteries are rated with a 1,000-cycle period per battery charge.

The wrench is designed with an automatic shut-off safety feature if the battery or switch becomes overheated, which prevents tool damage.

The intelligent charger is easy to monitor. As soon as a battery is installed onto the charger, a green LED light will start flashing, indicating that the battery is being charged. The fuel gauge on the battery will display the charge percentage status. When the battery reaches 25% of full charge, the green light will glow steady. When charging is complete, all four lights on the battery pack will turn solid green. If the LED on the right side of the battery flashes yellow, this indicates that the battery is either too hot or too cold. If the red LED light flashes, this indicates that the battery pack is faulty, and the charger will not attempt to charge the battery.

NOTE: The charger also features a USB port (current output of 0.5A and output voltage of 5 VDC), handy for charging items such as cell phones, etc.

The broad and radiused trigger is fully shrouded, with no gaps to trap debris.
<p>The broad and radiused trigger is fully shrouded, with no gaps to trap debris.</p>

A unique battery feature is a charge cycle counter. By pressing and holding the button on the battery for 10 seconds, it’ll tell you how many times that particular battery has been charged. Viewing the four LED lights on the battery (lights L1, L2, L3 and L4), the lights will indicate up to a four-digit code. For example, if LT1 flashes one time, and LT2 flashes three times, and LT 3 flashes four times, and LT4 flashes 5 times, this means that this battery has been charged 1,345 times. That’s pretty cool, providing an idea of the battery history, since you don’t need to guess at how many times a battery has been charged.

The “fuel gauge” on the battery itself proves useful, with LED lights indicating state of charge while the battery is in use. Four lights indicates, in order, 100% charge, 75% charge, 50% charge and 25% charge, so you don’t need to guess when the gun will die. When she hits 25%, and you need to keep working, you’ll have a clear indication that it’s a good time to slap on a fresh battery.

The well-engineered tactile rubber grip provides a non-slip and very comfy surface.
<p>The well-engineered tactile rubber grip provides a non-slip and very comfy surface.</p>

Shop tryout

OK, enough about the features. It’s time to put this little guy to the test. When I first opened the box, I hit the trigger and found that the battery had a charge, but when I tried to loosen a series of engine main cap bolts (that were previously torqued to 70 ft.-lbs.), the bolt’s wouldn’t budge. Then I noticed that the fuel gauge on the battery was showing well under 25%. After charging the battery (which took about 20 minutes), this puppy whipped off those main cap bolts in a heartbeat, without nary a whimper. I continued to play with the gun, walking around my shop loosening a range of chassis bolts from 8 mm and 5/16-inch all the way up to 1/2-inch rusty, nasty bolts. The gun hammered away through about 40 bolts in all, and never showed any sign of wimping out. By the way, I’m referring to bolt shank diameter, not the size of the bolt heads. In all, I toyed with the gun for about an hour, and battery power never fell below 50%.

Wrench balance was excellent. Even once my hands became a bit greasy and slimy, grip was secure. One aspect that I really appreciated was the fully shrouded trigger design, with no openings at the base of the trigger to become contaminated with debris. There is an increasing number of cordless guns on today’s market, and this one is a definite top choice. By the way, the supplied storage bag is healthy enough in size to handle the gun, battery charger and spare battery, with enough room left over to store a king-size lunch.

The intelligent battery charger provides immediate and easily viewed charge status.
<p>The intelligent battery charger provides immediate and easily viewed charge status.</p>

TOOL SOURCE

SNAP-ON INC.

PO Box 1410

Kenosha, WI 53141-1410

(262) 656-5200

www.snapon.com   ●

Each battery features its own charge level indicator LED lights, so there’s no guesswork involved with determining state of charge.
<p>Each battery features its own charge level indicator LED lights, so there&rsquo;s no guesswork involved with determining state of charge.</p>

The kit includes the gun, charger, two batteries and a very healthy-sized zippered storage bag.
<p>The kit includes the gun, charger, two batteries and a very healthy-sized zippered storage bag.</p>

For a 3/8-inch-drive impact, the torque output was surprisingly strong, with enough oomph to crack stubborn bolts loose in a heartbeat.
<p>For a 3/8-inch-drive impact, the torque output was surprisingly strong, with enough oomph to crack stubborn bolts loose in a heartbeat.</p>

The handling ease and built-in light made underhood and undercar work a pleasure.
<p>The handling ease and built-in light made underhood and undercar work a pleasure.</p>

Want to read more tool reviews? See:

Innova 4400 coil and module tester

Mac Tools' digital torque wrench model TWM265IDA

CP7732 impact wrench: An ultra-compact workhorse

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