If you want to do some off-roading, it’s recommended that you air down your tires. And if you air down your tires, you’re going to end up standing around shooting the shit while you air them back up before heading back out on the highway. During one such recent session, Swench-owner Zach walked up to me, handed me a wrench and said something like, “Hey, I thought you might appreciate this. It’s a manual impact.” To which, I replied, “What?”
Not wanting to do too much work, I asked Zach to send me the info he had on the little guy so I could show it to my dear friends, the readers of Gizmodo.
“Not sure how much backstory you’re looking to have on the SWENCH manual impact tool, but I had heard of them back when I lived in Florida during one of my engineering internships. We had a defence contractor as a customer and I had seen them using one on the job. They were used specifically in tank and aerospace maintenance especially in remote locations. I knew from that point on that I had to get my hands on one, but they regularly sell for $1,000+ and it certainly wasn’t a necessity.
Fast forward two or three years and I was browsing the Royal Oak flea market when I came across their smallest one, the Model 500. This is the 1/2″ drive version and outputs [339Nm] of torque with only 30 degrees of rotation and about [34Nm] of torque input. Best of all, it was only $US15 ($21).
That was 5 years ago and since then I’ve used it for hard to access low-clearance places where my electric impact won’t fit or in remote locations where I can’t rely on having access to battery chargers. It has been used to fix everything from my 1974 John Deere tractor to my 2005 350z.
I just did some light research again and see that a company called “Power Hawk Technologies” still manufactures/sells the SWENCH to this day but it’s unclear if they have any relation to Curtiss-Wright or if they just purchased the rights to it. You’ll see most of the information about the tool in the pictures of the included original product information. The impact sockets I’ve included in the kit are not original, but all of the other accessories pictured are.”
Not only did Zach write most of my post about these wonderful little tools, but he provided some nice photos (above) and a video of the thing in action (below). Check it out, but be warned, if you find yourself wanting a Swench to call your own, you’re gonna pay for it — unless you happen to get lucky.