How-to-Guide / Screwdriving and Riveting Assembly

How To Select the Right Power Tool for a Fastening Application

March 5, 2014
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In today’s assembly environment, there are a wide variety of joints and fasteners that require the proper tool to secure. While quality continues to be priority number one in meeting customer’s expectations, the selection of an assembly tool to process an operation should consider several other factors such as tool configuration, torque range required, ergonomics, processing speed, sockets and accessories, and available air supply. Throughout industry, incorrectly fastened joints can lead to rework, scrap, warranty, or at a minimum, a lower quality perception of your product. Selecting the right assembly tool is essential to product quality and manufacturing throughput.

At Cleco®, we have developed an extensive offering of assembly tools to provide our customers with the most comprehensive options to suit your assembly applications.  Cleco®’s long-standing tradition of service to the customer has led us to develop thousands of solutions to choose from in finding the best product for your application.


In selection of an assembly tool, the configuration is often the best place to start. Most assembly tools are available in three configurations: Pistol, Right Angle, or Inline. Pistol configuration tools are best suited for operations where the fastener is oriented horizontally, facing the operator. Right Angle tools are used in applications where the fastener is oriented vertically. Inline Tools are also used in vertical applications with lower torque requirements and faster processing times. The Cleco® product family includes tools in all three configurations. From our 19 Series screwdriver line up to our 64 Series Selectork nutrunner, Cleco® tools can offer the right tool for the application.


Next, identify the correct torque and speed requirements to secure the fastener. Cleco®’s 19 Series screwdrivers offer torque ranges from 5 in-lbs (0.6Nm) up through 100 in-lbs (11.3Nm). For higher torque operations, the 24 Series and 34 Series Angle Nutrunners can be used in applications up to 55 ft-lbs (75 Nm). For the highest torque applications, the Cleco® 75 Series nutrunner can achieve over 350 ft-lbs (475 Nm) while still providing user ergonomics. Within all of these product families, as well as others offered by Cleco®, there are multiple options for tool speeds. Finding the right speed of tool for the fastener is important to joint quality. For the fastest operations, our 19 Series inline screwdriver provides speeds up to 2,800 rpm!

With the right tool for the application, an array of accessories and output bits and sockets are available to implement the final assembly operation. Some of the most commonly used accessories are tool balancers, torque reaction bars, and mounting brackets for fixtured applications. All Cleco® products can be matched with many of these accessories and many others in our offering. 


Selecting the right bit or socket is the final step in setting up a new assembly operation. The Apex® line of bits and sockets meet the highest quality standards to improve process quality. These include our proprietary heat-treating process, the tightest tolerances for straightness and concentricity, and a variety of options such as our µ-Guard® protective covers.


Finally, tool performance can be affected by air supply. Plant airline pressure to the tool will vary widely due to several factors: distance of tool from compressor, size of transmission vlines, air drops, manifolds, hose length and diameter, and fittings. Each tool is performance-rated based on the tool receiving air at 90 p.s.i.g or 6.2 bar with adequate airflow volume (CFM, Cubic Feet per Minute or l/min, Liters per Minute ) while the tool is in operation. Cleco® offers products that can operate in an environment with as little as 6 CFM or 170 l/min.

At Cleco® and Apex®, we bring over 100 years of precision manufacturing experience to our products. Our assembly solutions can be, and are used in the most demanding applications and environments in the world. 


Apex Tool Group

670 Industrial Dr.

Lexington, SC 29072

(800) 845-5629

(803) 951-7544 

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