The Ingersoll Rand 231C impact wrench is a bit different from its predecessor, the IR model 231. The 231C model features the latest refinements, including an exclusive impact mechanism, and an adjustable power regulator. 

The tool is essentially designed to offer sheet power and enhanced performance that accomplishes the toughest of tasks with ease.

It features pressure-feed lubrication and a two-piece design that allows for easier servicing and maintenance. 

The contoured handle design if the model makes it comfortable and easy to control, regardless of the application. Similar to other Ingersoll Rand tools, the 231C is renowned for its durability and economy.

Throughout this Ingersoll Rand Review, you will learn what makes this tool so exceptional. 

Ingersoll Rand Model 231C 1/2" Heavy-Duty Air Impact Wrench
  • Classic, reliable design offers proven power, performance, and durability
  • Twin-hammer mechanism delivers a maximum torque of 600 foot-pounds
  • Adjustable power regulator provides easy control of torque output

Ingersoll Rand 231C Benefits 

  • Features a classic, yet reliable design for enhanced power, durability, and superior performance 
  • Equipped with an adjustable power regulator that allows for easy torque output control 
  • Uses a twin-hammer mechanism for optimal torque output, rated 600 foot-pounds
  • Comes fully lubricated and ready to use right out of the box
  • Features an ergonomic 2-piece design that is relatively easy to operate and maintain
  • Fitted with a contoured handle for enhanced comfort and control 

Possible Drawbacks 

The trigger on this air impact tool tends to get stuck over time, even with regular lubrication. 

Top Features

For more than 25 years now, the Ingersoll Rand 231 series has been a popular impact wrench among professionals across the globe. Over the years, the product has received numerous improvements with the 231C model being the latest in the series. 

Just like the other Ingersoll Rand products, the 231C Air Impact Wrench is the industry standard for reliability, durability, and power.

It reflects the Brand’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge tool designs that work as hard as you do and provide maximum comfort, safety, efficiency, and serviceability.

Discussed below are some of the things that make the IR231C one of the best air impact wrench tools in the industry:

Spark Proof Housing 

This model is designed for use even in the more hazardous heavy-duty applications. In this regard, it features a Spark-Proof Housing, hammer case, and anvil mechanism.

The housing is made of a special spark resistant alloy and features low static spark composite technology.

The result is a lightweight impact tool that has been proven to meet different safety standards, including the new European Directives 94/9/EC and 1999/92/EC-commonly referred to as the A TEX Directives.

This makes it suited for specialized applications in the morning and petroleum industries. 

The IR231C impact wrench is also safe for use in any production or processing application where hazardous atmospheres can occur, thanks to the Spark-Proof design. 

Performance 

Classified as a Super-Duty ImpactTool by the manufacturer, the 231C is a top-quality model that exceeds the requirements of the more demanding applications and environments.

It is equipped with all the necessary features for top power, speed control, accuracy, and comfort performance. Delivering 600 ft.-lb. of torque, this wrench is specifically designed for frequent, and rigorous applications.

It will make the removal of stubborn lugnuts seem like a walk in the park. Applications best suited for the 231C tool involve intermittent use such as basic maintenance and light production.

Air Impact Mechanism

Air Impact MechanismThe unit is equipped with a twin-hammer design that is meant to deliver more power per pound. The winch is also less sensitive to air pressure fluctuations, as compared to other tools in its category.

This makes it best suited for either hard or soft-draw applications.

It features a simple, yet highly effective design that holds each of the reversible hammers in full engagement or disengagement with centrifugal force.

Such a design has been proven to deliver smooth and balanced blows, and a higher power-to-weight ratio. 

Quality Construction and Parts 

All Ingersoll Rand Impact tools are designed with durability in mind. Right from the vanes turning the motor to the hammer frames and anvils, the unit is fitted with only parts of the best quality.

The manufacturer uses proprietary hardening and treatment processes as well as an innovative ergonomic design on this product. 

This has resulted in the longest-lasting, and hardest hitting impact tools in the industry. The high quality also allows for extended maintenance intervals. This, in turn, results in reduced downtimes and optimized productivity. 

The IR231C is equipped with premium components, including a titanium hammer case and bronze end plates for extended tool life. Other high-quality components you will find in this tool include:

Vanes

The vanes on this model are made of state of the art, fiber-reinforced, engineered polymers. This ensures top performance from critical parts. IR is constantly looking for ways to increase the power and durability of this impact tool.

Endplates

Easily serviceable parts, simplified endplate components, and unique features give the longest tool life available, and the shortest downtime. Meaning increased productivity in whichever application.

Hammer Frame and Anvil 

The manufacturer uses proprietary hardening and treatment processes on the hammer frame and anvil of the 231C impact wrench.

This is meant to reduce wear and increase tool life drastically. The manufacturer also has tight production tolerances, robust designs, and optimized performance.

Such measures have been offering IR231C users the best performance and reliability in the class. The design of the impact hammer mechanism on this tool allows for consistent power and reduced tool vibration. 

The manufacturer has been using unique metallurgy and chemical treatment processes on impact tool parts, including the hammers and cylinder. Such processes are known to reduce the susceptibility of the said parts and components to wear. 

Torque Control Impact Tool

The Torque Control Impact Tool on the IR231C converts the torque of the air motor into powerful rotary impacts whenever a certain turning resistance is met.

In its functioning, the torque control impact tool compressed a study hammer spring and releases it suddenly to strike a powerful rotary blow. 

This mechanism makes it possible for the tool to run faster and more efficiently. The Torque Control Impact Tool also features a torsion bar as well as an automatic shut-off valve.

Torque control on this tool is achieved by preloading the torsion bar to the required torque. The added advantage is this mechanism kicks in when the resistance of the fastener being driven is equal to the preload torque on the torsion bar.

At this point,  the additional clearance in the locking collar flutes allows the bar to flex a few degrees beyond the initial setting. 

Unique Fastener Driving Mechanism 

The torsion bar snaps back into place, just like a conventional spring would, offering additional impetus to the hammer. This causes the hammer to rebound higher, tripping the automatic shut-off valve and stopping the tool instantly.

You may achieve different torques by using different tool sizes or a different torsion bar in a precise and reliable manner. 

Enhanced Safety 

Professionals in different industries, especially automotive repair and maintenance use this tool to get the toughest jobs done. The Ingersoll Rand 231C is specifically designed to meet safety regulations for working in dangerous atmospheres.

Unique Fastener Driving Mechanism Right from petrochemical refineries to plastic manufacturers, this tool offers safe and productive solutions to meet varying user demands.

The impact tool is designed to reduce the risk of arcs or sparks in the work environment.

As a result, it has been proven to comply with the European safety directives (ATEX) for use in explosive atmospheres. This has helped expedite the work permit process for many professionals in the past. 

Ergonomic Design 

The IR231C model features a feather-touch trigger that allows for precise delivery of speed and pressure in all applications. The unique pistol-grip design of the tool makes it rather easy to hold and control.

You will also like the fact that the tool offers easy access to grease fittings for faster maintenance and reduced downtimes.

The tool has a chemically resistant composite housing reduces weight and enhances productivity.

Additionally, it features a pressure-fed lubrication mechanism that is designed to ensure complete coverage throughout the tool. The patent quiet tool technology of the tool reduces sound level without compromising on its best-in-class power delivery. 

Reduced Downtimes 

The IR231 air impact wrench has a simple design that includes fewer parts, which reduced maintenance costs, and allows for faster service.

The air tool may also be rebuilt multiple times during its lifespan, extending the life of the tool. All these are meant to increase the productivity of this tool. 

Reduced Cost of Ownership 

Ingersoll Rand 231C is designed to last for decades, especially when the tool services correctly. Electric impact tools only last for a fraction of that time. This makes the tool an excellent investment that results in less downtime.

Reduced Operator Fatigue 

The simple design of an air motor significantly decreases the weight of the tool compared to tools that contain heavy electric motors. A lower weight tool results in less operator fatigue and more operator control. 

The IR231C has an ergonomically-focused design, allowing the operator to keep a secure grip on the tool and easily move from application to application. 

Superior Power to Weight Ratio

Ingersoll Rand air tools consistently deliver more torque and a higher speed (revolutions per minute). This makes them considerably more powerful than cordless tools, and a popular choice for heavy equipment manufacturing, auto repair, and other industrial applications.

Such a design allows repair and maintenance technicians to finish every job quickly and effectively, saving time and money.

Power Regulator 

Model 231C is one of the few Ingersoll Rand Impact tools that feature a power regulator. The tool incorporates a power regulator into its reverse mechanism.

This allows the operator to have full power output in one direction and reduced power output in the other direction or full power output in both directions. With this impact wrench model, the power may be adjusted as follows: 

Full Power in Both Directions 

Rotate the reverse valve until the notch on each end of the reverse valve aligns with the number 5 on each side of the tool housing.

Note that the numbers 0 thru 5 on the housing are only for reference, and do not specifically denote power output. In this regard, zero (0) denotes the lowest power output setting, while five (5) denotes the highest power setting. 

Reduced Power in Reverse and Full Power in forwarding Direction 

Push the reverse valve inward on the left side of the tool and rotate the reverse valve until the notch on the left side aligns with the desired number on the left side.

This setting delivers full power the forward, but reduced power in the reverse direction when the reverse valve is pushed in the opposite direction. 

Reduced Power in the Forward and Full Power in the Reverse Direction 

To achieve this, push the reverse valve inward on the right side of the tool and rotate the reverse valve until the notch on the right side aligns with the desired number on the right side.

By so doing you will have reduced power in forward, but full power in reverse when the reverse valve is pushed in the opposite direction.

The Alternatives 

Ingersoll Rand Impact Wrench ModelPerformance RatingAverage Free SpeedMax Torque
IR 231C Super Duty 8,000 RPM 600 ft.-lb.
IR2125QTiTitanium Duty 14,500 RPM260 ft.-lb.
IR225 Heavy Duty7,500 RPM325 ft.-lb.

Final Verdict 

Ingersoll Rand 231C ½-Inch Super-Duty Impact WrenchDo not settle for less with a substandard air impact tool; get the best value for your money with the Ingersoll Rand 231C impact wrench.

Despite its comparatively low price tag, the IR231C tool is designed to withstand tough use in rugged industrial environments.

The tool is packed with an array of safety and performance features to ensure that you get nothing, short of the best reliability and durability.

It features a robust metal housing that protects inner parts and components from corrosion and damage. 

The tool is offered in a compact profile and an innovative ergonomic design that helps reduce user fatigue, even in the more demanding applications. Such aspects make the Ingersoll Rand 231C tool one of the best air impacts wrenches in the industry. 

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API