Whether you're Tim the Tool Man Taylor, or an ordinary Joe (or Jane) getting ready for a project around the house, air tools were invented to make your life easier. Choose the right power air tool for the job, and save a lot of time - and energy - in the process. Some of the most frequently used air tools include pneumatic hammers, air paint sprayers, tire inflators, and pneumatic drills.
Pneumatic tools are convenient, but they also provide more power and greater torque than standard power tools. Since there are fewer moving parts, air tools are also usually more durable as well, and they aren't at all difficult to use. Get better performance from pneumatic wrenches, pneumatic ratchets, or air nail guns than from their standard power counterparts.
Power is provided to air tools by an air compressor. The air compressor must be able to deliver the PSI, or pressure per square inch, required by the pneumatic tool. Otherwise, the tools will not be able to operate at their full power. Don't use hoses with connections that are not made especially for connecting with the air compressor used, either. Otherwise power loss and air leakage will result.
Which air compressor is best? This depends largely on the size and required power of the air tool that is being powered by it. Usually, the highest levels of PSI are delivered by air compressors with the most powerful motors and biggest tanks. Choose an air compressor that can meet the needs of the most powerful air tool in your inventory. Some of the most popular manufacturers of air tools include Craftsman, Husky, and Coleman.
Air compressors are classified as either piston-type or compact. A piston-type compressor contains a pump that fills a tank with compressed air. This air is stored in the tank until the compressor is used. When the pressure in the tank drops below a certain point, the pump refills the tank with pressurized air. A single-stage compressor includes one compressor and is useful for lighter jobs, while a two-stage compressor contains two compressors and is best for heavy-duty work with large pneumatic tools.
In comparison, a compact compressor does not include a tank for air storage. The compressor runs throughout the tools use to maintain continuous air pressure. These models are relatively lightweight and smaller than piston-type compressors, but they are not useful for heavier jobs requiring large tools. These are sometimes used to power air guns used for painting, lubrication, or glue jobs.
Downsize an oversized job with an air nail gun. Choose between stick and coil pneumatic nail guns. A coil-style nail gun stores nails in drums or canisters. Nails typically are linked together with a long, flexible piece of wire. More than 300 nail guns can be stored for use in the drum of coil-style nail guns.
In comparison, stick-type nail guns can contain between 20 and 40 nails. These nails are linked by a thin piece of wire, plastic, or paper in a long, thin length referred to as a "stick." Common brands of nail guns include DeWalt, Bostitch, and Craftsman. Many of these allow the user to control the depth of the nail placement, or feature extra-large triggers that can be easily used while a worker is wearing gloves.
Different types of nail guns are available for different nailing projects. Use a framing nail gun for long-term, high-intensity jobs. Opt for finishing nail guns for trim or interior fine carpentry projects. For exterior roofing projects, use a specially designed roofing nail gun to secure shingles.
A two-step nail gun is a semi-automatic device that is best for a beginner with air tools. The user must pull the trigger as well as tap the gun's barrel on the target's surface. In comparison, a professional grade, or automatic gun, should be used by someone experienced in managing air tools. These devices fire as soon as the trigger is pulled.
Remember, you don't have to be a home improvement professional to use an air tool, but take time to learn how to use equipment properly and follow the safety instructions. Someone's life or health may depend on it.