Video: Air Tool Basics

Air powered tools offer a lot of power for their size and often can be smaller and lighter than a similar electrical tool. This can reduce operat
 

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Air Tool Basics

See All Air Tools: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/1/CompressorsAirTools.jsp

With just one compressor, you can operate a wide variety of air tools. Most electrically powered tools have an air powered twin.

Mechanics and professional woodworkers know about the benefits of using pneumatic or air tools as they are commonly known.

Air powered tools offer a lot of power for their size, and often can be smaller and lighter than a similar electrical tool. This can reduce operator fatigue.

Many of the same features of battery and corded tools are available, like variable speed and torque control.

Air powered tools run cooler and  have few moving parts so they last longer.

Air tools attach to the compressor with a quick-connect fitting, usually in the handle. Some tools have a swivel fitting to give more maneuverability.

The air travels into the tool and is released by the trigger to spin a rotor in a sander or push a piston in an impact wrench.

Once used, the air leaves the tool through an exhaust port.

Air tools use the air from the compressor in one of two ways.

Continuous use air tools use air from the compressor in a constant stream. Sanders and grinders need continuous air supplied by a heavy duty compressor.

All air tools have a SCFM or Standardized Cubic Feet per Minute rating. This number tells you how much air is required to run the tool.

For example, this nailer requires 2.7 SCFM at 90 PSI. Multiply this rating by 1.5 to get the SCFM rating that the compressor must have to easily handle the tool.

Choose a compressor based on the SCFM rating of your most powerful air tool. That way you'll have the power you need.

Another item to consider is the hose that the air tool is connected to. The hose can be as much as 50 feet long. This lets you keep the compressor in a handy central area.

Air tool hoses come in two common diameter sizes –  1/4 inch and 3/8 inch.  

A larger hose will quickly fill an air tool like a nailer, allowing you to work  faster.

There are straight hoses, coiled hoses,  and hoses that are wheel mounted available in manual as well as self-retracting models.

Hose materials also vary including Polyurethane , PVC, rubber and composite materials.  Rubber and composite hoses are the most versatile and remain more flexible in cold weather. They'll last longer with proper care.

You can add quick-connect couplers like this universal coupler. It's easy to switch tools when needed.

Compressing air causes moisture to form which can find its way into the air tool. Rust could build up and cause the tool to seize, destroying it.

A good accessory to have is an in-line water filter that removes this moisture before it gets to the air tool.

Air tools require lubrication to keep them operating at their best.

Adding a few drops of recommended oil into the air inlet before use will prevent rust from forming inside the tool.

Oil should be added if the tool will be stored for a long period of time.

You can find a wide assortment of air tools and accessories for every carpentry and automotive job...at Canadian Tire

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