If you’ve spent your DIY career relying on electrical tools, it’s time to give pneumatic a look. Air-powered tools are powerful, quiet and often more efficient than their electrical or battery-powered cousins. Plus, you can take them just about anywhere.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional craftsman, making the switch to air tools can give you a broader, more powerful set of tools to work with and save money in the long run. It’s why so many shops have elected to install a compressor system and never looked back. Here are a few of the wins that come with running a pneumatic tool set.
Better Power for Your Money
Looking at the amount of twist you get from a battery-powered tool, there’s no comparison to air. With compressed air, a smaller tool can generate more torque, and since air-powered tools connect to a power source such as an air compressor, it will hardly ever run out of juice in the middle of a job. That means no more spending money on expensive replacement batteries. Also, compared to a battery-powered tool that might struggle to deliver full power as battery charge wanes, air powered tools will always perform consistently.
Whereas with battery-powered tools, each piece requires its own specific hardware, pneumatic tools offset the cost of cords and batteries with your initial investment in a compressor. Selecting the right compressor is important because it will determine how much compressed air you have to drive any number of tools at a given time. However, whereas with a battery-powered or electrical system the power of each tool is independent and determined by its construction, every air tool in your set will have access to the full reservoir of compressed air.
All you need is one hose and the proper fittings to attach your tools. Later, if you want the ability to run multiple tools at once, you can expand to a system with multiple hoses. Standardized fittings make it easy to quickly swap from impact wrench to nail gun to a portable router. For woodworking, where you might want to move from making large cuts and holes to fine detailing work, this is a definite advantage over power tools which require you to purchase additional batteries and cords for a given size and power level to expand your toolset.
Long Lasting and Easy to Service
Compared to an electrical tool which can offer on average 60 to 100 hours of use before needing maintenance, air tools can deliver at least twice that amount of usable life and up to thousands of hours between service intervals. If you’re looking to scale your operation up, the argument for maintenance makes using air tools a clear choice.
Less Risk of Electrical Issues
An air tool has never short-circuited and started a fire, or electrocuted anyone. Don’t be mistaken, these powerful tools generate a great deal of force from the compressed air moving through them, but the lack of an electrical current lessens the risk to you and those near you when working with pneumatic tools.
If you don’t already have one, the power and versatility of a compressor and matching set of tools is an investment you’ll be happy you made. Enjoy a safer, more versatile set of powerful tools that use clean, sustainable compressed air!
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington