A pneumatic tool, also called air tool, air-powered tool or pneumatic-powered tool, is a type of tool that is driven or powered by compressed air. Pneumatic tools are alternatives to electric powered tools, but they are less heavy and they are less prone to breaking down. There are different types of pneumatic tools under two major categories:
- General Grade Pneumatic Tools:
These are the cheap pneumatic tools having short life span.
- Industrial Grade Pneumatic Tools:
These are the expensive pneumatic tools having long life span.
Some examples of pneumatic tools under the categories above are chisels, drills, saws, grinders, paint guns, impact wrenches, nailer and stapler, sandblasters, blow gun, jack-hammer, air brush, air ratchet, needle scaler, pneumatic jack, and pneumatic wood borer.
Below are factors to consider or a simple guide to choosing the right pneumatic tool:
1. The Task You Have In Mind
There are different type of pneumatic tools and each of them can only be used for specific purposes. A pneumatic saw will not be appropriate for doing the kind of work that can only be effectively done with a pneumatic drill.
Therefore, it is important to shop for a pneumatic tool that will do exactly what you want.
2. The Tool Manufacturer
A manufacturer’s reputation for quality is one of the top things you should consider when buying your pneumatic tools.
There are a lot of pneumatic tools manufacturer out there and you may end up buying a low quality pneumatic tool if you are not careful to buy a pneumatic tool made by a reputable manufacturer.
In addition to supplying you pneumatic tools of top quality, a reputable pneumatic tool manufacturer supplies adequate information on their tools; they provide customer service; they provide warranty; and they provide help in servicing your pneumatic tools.
If you be using the pneumatic tool for long hours, it is important you choose a well-balanced pneumatic tool that is very comfortable to grip and lightweight enough to be used for many hours.
Many manufacturers are now making pneumatic tools with rubberised grip; surfaces resistant to chemicals and solvents; ultra-lightweight metals, such as titanium, and ballistic-strength nylon-impregnated plastics; and tools that can be easily used one-handed in confined spaces and when you need to often change direction.
4. Torque and Pressure
It is advisable to look past the torque numbers advertised by the manufacturer and calculate what works for you. Most air tools like to run at a pressure of 90 psi and most impact ratchets run optimally at 100 psi, any more pressure will not increase performance. The performance of some tools drop when their pressure exceeds 120 psi.
You need to know the volume requirement of the tool you want to choose and the volume of your compressor. High energy users like the rotary tools are high volume tools, while low-energy users like the oscillatory tools are low volume tools.