Air tools have a lot of benefits. They produce high speeds with lower torque and inertia than electric tools. They are also smaller and more compact. There are lots of reasons to use air tools, and Blain’s Farm & Fleet has put together a list of air tools you should have in your toolbox.
Must-Have Air Tools
There is an air-powered version of just about any power tool out there. Here are some of the ones you should consider adding to your toolbox if you do automotive service, woodworking, construction work, or metalwork.
Air wrenches are some of the most crucial air tools for the DIY auto mechanic. They save so much time when you’re removing a wheel that you can service two or three wheels in the time it would take you to do one with a traditional lug wrench.
An air impact wrench beats out a hand model because it’s powered, but for auto work, it beats out an electric because it’s more compact. You’re often working in a confined space when you’re under a vehicle or its hood, so you need the most compact tools possible. The air impact wrench gives you just that.
An air ratchet wrench lets you fit into even tighter spots than an air impact wrench does. Among air tools, this is definitely a must for auto mechanics.
An air drill has a few distinct advantages over an electric drill. First, it’s smaller and allows you to fit it into tight spaces.Second, it gets cooler the more you run it, not hotter. Third, an air drill won’t burn out if you overload it. In fact, you can’t overload an air drill. So, for heavy duty drilling work like machining, an air drill is the only way to go. As an added benefit, an air drill is safer for explosive environments or around flammables, making it a good choice for automotive work.
You can use an air hammer for carving, chiseling, or breaking through metal. Air hammers are able to take a beating, and are great for the same reasons and type of work that air drills are.
Air nailers are key for situations where you have to drive a lot of fasteners. They speed the work up considerably, and change the way you work. But there are different types of nailers for different types of work.
If you plan on installing trim in your home, you’ll want to invest in a brad nailer. Brads are very thin nails that are almost invisible once they’re driven home. You usually won’t even need carpenter’s putty to cover them. Brads are also very difficult to drive in manually, so a brad nailer is a must for any job that you want to use brads for.
For shingles, a roofing nailer is ideal. Roofing nailers fire large-headed nails that are meant to grab and hold down shingles. If you have to re-shingle one of your buildings in the near future, consider investing in a roofing nailer.
Framing nailers fire framing nails to use for building wall frames and floor systems. If you do any kind of construction work that will require nailing common building stock like 2x4s, a framing nailer will become your best friend.
If you do any polishing, sanding, honing, or machining wood, metal, or plastic, you might find an air die grinder to be a handy tool. You can get different heads and attachments to make this a versatile tool
An air cutoff tool is vital for any metalwork, and is especially handy for automotive exhaust work and machining. With tons of different disc-shaped heads designed to cut through different materials, air cut-off tools are versatile and powerful. They’ll get you out of a a lot of jams.
An air stapler works like a nail gun, but shoots staples instead of nails. It will save your hand over the course of a job, especially if you planned on using a manual stapler. If you’re planning on doing a project that will require a lot of tacks or staples, invest in one of these. You won’t regret it.
For the same reasons and jobs an air drill beats out an electric drill, an air sander beats out an electric sander. Smaller, doesn’t over heat, and safer in flammable and combustible surroundings, the air sander is a must for heavy duty sanding work. There are tons of different heads available for virtually any sanding job.
With the right air tools, you can do a professional-looking job in a much shorter amount of time. Air tools are more compact and deliver higher speeds than their electric counterparts.