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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Air Tools -vs- Electric Tools

    I recently purchased an air compressor. I bought because I needed the use of an impact wrench to work on my tractor. So I have started looking at some oother air tools and am surprised at the low prices. Especially compared to their electrical counterparts. I know I will always have electric tools, but now I will have more air tools as well. Has anyone out there had more experience with air tools. It might also make a nice show segment to compare air and electric tools.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Needham, MA

    Default Re: Air Tools -vs- Electric Tools

    i have several air tools as well as too many electric tools. the air tools are great to have and inexpensive to buy (mainly because of the simplicity of manufacturing them, fewer parts to make and break) but the downside is the inconvenience and bulk of what you need to use an air tool. about the only time i end up using them is when we already have the compressor on site and set up. other than that, it's easier to just plug in an electric tool.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: Air Tools -vs- Electric Tools

    As MLBSF said, air tools are less expensive than their electric equivalents because they are simpler to make. If you purchase high-quality air tools, they will last almost forever and even become heirlooms if they're taken care of. Most well-known manufacturers (don't know about Campbell-Hausfeld) sell repair kits to replace the internal wear parts.

    There are a few disadvantages to air tools:
    1. Must be tethered to an air compressor, but electric outlets are almost everywhere
    2. Some air tools are noisier than their electric counterparts (though some are quieter)
    3. Air compressors are noisy.
    4. Permanently installed air lines add expense where you already have electric lines.
    5. Air compressors require regular maintenance, including draining condensate out of the pressure tank.

    You can reduce the air compressor noise by building a "doghouse" outside your shop to house the compressor, and pipe the air into the shop, with several outlets in convenient locations. Most of the noise comes from the air inlet; if it's not feasible to install the compressor outside, pipe the inlet to the outside (and mount the air intake filter where it's protected from rain). Be considerate of your neighbors: they won't want to hear your compressor fire up at 3 am.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Fayette County, Ohio

    Default Re: Air Tools -vs- Electric Tools

    In my experience, another disadvantage of air tools is in wood working in that they tend to spew oil.

    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    nova scotia, canada

    Default Re: Air Tools -vs- Electric Tools

    jack is correct. there are a select few oil less tools which teflon o rings and other parts however these wear out, when they do it can be cheaper to replace teh tool instead of replacing the part
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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