Friction Ring Vs. Pin Detent – What Should I Buy?

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Impact wrenches are made with new technology to assist the user in many ways. In order to maximize the user experience, many types of equipment have been introduced. In order to increase safety, the collet has been designed as a friction ring and pin detent. This is the bottleneck of socket usage. So let’s see all in detail about the friction ring vs. pin detent.

The friction ring impact wrench is easy and comfortable to insert into the collet, but less safety and pin detent is tight to insert, but it is safer. If you use many sockets in a day friction ring is good for you and 1-2 sockets per day you can use a pin detent impact wrench.

So this is a brief description of the comparison of friction ring and pin detent. So let’s keep reading in detail about both tools.

friction detent pin socket
Friction ring and pin detent impact wrench collets

What is an Impact Wrench?

An impact wrench is a high torque generation tool that is used for lug nut tightening or losing. According to that the power of the impact wrenches, there are 03 main types. Among them, we use electrical impact wrenches. Corded and cordless impact wrenches are mainly used impact wrenches. According to the motor, there are two types of impact wrenches used those are brushed and brushless. After considering all the facts, finally, there are two types of impact wrenches that vary from the collet type.

Collet is the outer end of the anvil. The anvil end is really designed as the socket adaptor. Impact wrench uses sockets for transferring the torque to the nut or bolt. Normally, the collet end is square, and it has different sizes. 1/2″ 1/4″ are frequently available sizes. According to the power of the impact wrench, anvil sizes are varied.

The collet/tool head is designed in two types. Friction ring and pin detent are them. Both are designed to provide the best user experience to the user. More than the user experience, there is safety. So let’s see in depth about friction ring and pin detent.

What is a Friction Ring Impact Wrench?

Friction ring impact wrench can be considered a regular or hog ring impact wrench. There is a lock ring end of the collet. Normally most of the tools consist of a friction ring rather than a pin detent. The friction ring is with a square collet, and it is fully designed to mount the socket.

This is the easiest impact wrench collet that we can use.

When I am using different types of sockets every time, I use the Dewalt impact wrench that I have mentioned below.

There is less safety in the friction ring impact wrench. Because it can be lost during the rotation. Normally, you can quickly use this impact wrench with many socket sizes.

All of the other electrical and mechanical operations are the same. There is no difference in both impact wrenches.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Friction Ring

These are the advantages and disadvantages of friction ring impact wrenches.

Advantages of Friction Ring

  1. The socket can adapt to an impact wrench quickly.
  2. Friction ring impact wrenches are easy to use
  3. Friction ring impact wrench can be used with many tools with less time

Disadvantages of Friction Ring

  1. The friction ring can wear out over time.
  2. Friction rings can produce heat, which can damage the system.
  3. They can create noise during operation
  4. Requires more maintenance to keep the friction ring in good condition.

What is a Pin Detent Impact Wrench?

Have you seen there is a ball bearing at the end of the collet? This mechanism is called the Pindetent impact wrench. This pin is really fit with the socket hole. It is really high safety. When the socket is adapted to the collet, it will not remove while rotating due to the well being tight with the socket and anvil.

In fact, mounting the socket to this type of impact wrench is really difficult. You have to mount the socket by shaking two sides. You can’t fix it directly to the anvil due to the bearing ball/pin. So, gradually fix the socket as the ball bearing is pressed inside the anvil using a nail/rod. Remember to match the hole side and bearing side together.

If you wish to use the 1-2 sockets per day, this is the real solution. But that is not a real solution for the regularly used impact wrenches.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pin Detent Impact Wrenches

These are the advantages and disadvantages of pin detent impact wrenches

Advantages of pin detent impact wrenches

  • Pindetent impact wrenches have a higher safety
  • Pin detent impact wrenches are durable
  • Pin detent impact wrenches are more efficient in energy transfer.

Disadvantage of pin detent impact wrenches

  • Pin detent impact wrench takes time for socket changing and mounting
  • The socket can be clogged due to the detent pin.
  • Need additional nail/rod to for socket adapting.

By considering both pin detent and friction ring we should know whether pin detent is better than friction ring.

Friction Ring or Pin Detent: What Should You Buy?

This is the most important thing that we should know when we buy this. In this topic, we can discuss it all in detail step by step.

  • Normally the most important case is safety when you select these tools. As I described, the above friction ring impact wrenches are really less safe than pin detent impact wrenches, So if you need high safety, you can buy the pin detent.
  • But not only safety but we must also consider the user experience. Actually, the pin detent will take much time to mount the socket with the pin detent collet. When you need to mount the socket to that collet, you have to press too much by shaking two sides as it removes the bearing’s effects. So it will take more time rather than standard socket adapting.
  • Also, when it removes, you have to pul it tightly with pushing using a nail/rod to push the bearing. Some tools can remove the socket quickly with the pull. But some Milwaukee tools are available and extremely safe. You will definitely need a nail or small rod.
  • So if you use one or two sockets per day permanently, you can use this impact wrench. It is really safe, and it will provide a high user experience.
  • The friction ring is the general collet, as I described above. It will not have an additional force to mount or remove the socket. Due to this, it is a bit unsafe. When the collet is rotating, it can throw away due to removing from the collet. So think about safety before you buy both.
  • If you have to use so many sizes of sockets per day, I recommend you to buy a friction ring impact wrench. It will reduce the tool changing time. You can mount the socket and collet easily.
  • Considering the price, there is no high price difference in the friction ring or pin detent. The price is affordable for the user.

Can You Use a Regular Socket in the Impact Wrench?

You can’t use a regular socket in the impact wrench. Because regular sockets are impossible to resist high vibration and torque. Hence regular socket can be broken easily. Regular sockets are made with vanadium steel and it is weak for vibration and high torque. In order to prevent this you should use an impact socket for the impact wrenches.

Can I Use a Pin Detent Socket in the Friction Ring Impact Wrench?

Yes, you can use a pin detent socket in a friction ring impact wrench. However, it may not hold as securely as it would in a pin-detent impact wrench. A pin detent socket is designed to lock onto the tool with a ball bearing, while a friction ring (also known as hog ring) socket is designed to hold onto the tool with friction from a steel ring. So while they are compatible, for best results and safety, it is recommended to use sockets that match your impact wrench’s design.


Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.


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