Best Air Tools Buyers Guide

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Best Air Tools Buyers Guide

Air powered tools have been around for years, being used by mechanics and professional contractors – but what about those DIY’ers that want the satisfaction of completing the job themselves, with the power offered by an air tool? In recent years, air (or pneumatic) tools have become cheaper, smaller and more accessible whilst still offering the same power and reliability of their commercial cousins!

Once you experience the power and precision offered by an air tool, we can guarantee that you are going to want more, so we created this article of our top 5 air tools for you to get out and purchase! You can thank us later!

Why Choose an Air Tool?

Many people will be stuck in their ways using electric tools, and struggle to believe the difference that air tools can make to their projects and DIY jobs! Air tools will provide more power than electric models, so you will have much more flexibility in the jobs that you can complete and the materials that you can work with. This means that you will get much better value for money than with an electric tool. Not only this but air tools actually tend to be cheaper to start with for the equivalent style of tool, so you can be sure you are getting more for your money!

Air tools will also tend to offer more speed than their electric counterpart – this will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes you to complete a job, particularly if you have repetitive motions to complete. You will also find that air tools are lighter than electric models by quite a way – so you will be able to work for longer without suffering from fatigue! Reduced fatigue and increased speed means that those DIY jobs you have been putting off will be complete in no time!

The only slight downside to air tools is that they do require more maintenance than electric models – but you can easily counteract this with the fact that most are rebuildable – this means that if something goes wrong you know that you are only having to replace the part instead of the whole tool!

You do also need to consider that your tool is going to need air hooked up to it at all times to be able to work. This can impact on the mobility that you have when working with your tools and the places that you can work in. But don’t panic – there are ways to make this work for you, and we have given more information about air compressors further in the article.

Top 5 Air Tools

Here are the 5 air tools that we would suggest any serious DIY lover should not be without! We’ve provided details on why we think they are the tools to buy, so that all you have to do is make the purchase!

Air Wrench

Air wrenches come in two main forms – impact wrenches and ratchet wrenches. Air impact wrenches reduce your workload in comparison to manual models but they will also be lighter and more compact than electric models so perfect for if you are working in confined spaces. A ratchet wrench is perfect for fitting into even tighter spaces due to the shape of the tool. We’ve all been in that situation where we can JUST about get the tool at the angle we need in a tighter space, but then we can’t get our own angle right to exert enough force on the tool! An air wrench will save you this hassle by sending most of its torque to a rotating bit inside the tool and straight into the bolt that you are working on!

Offering between 450 ft-lbs and 1400ft-lbs of loosening torque, you will be able to find a tool that’s right for you and able to loosen or tighten any bolts that you may be working with! You will also find that (as we mentioned above) they are considerably lighter than electric models, ranging from 3lbs to 8lbs for most DIY friendly models!

Best Air Wrench – Facom NS.1600F

Facom NS.1600F Micro Composite Air Impact Wrench, 861Nm, 1/2' Drive
81 Reviews
Facom NS.1600F Micro Composite Air Impact Wrench, 861Nm, 1/2" Drive
  • Lightweight Only weighs 1.3Kg
  • Control – 3 speed, variable speed trigger, Easy 1 hand change of direction
  • User Friendly – Supplied with hanger, Reduces user fatigue
  • Rugged – One piece body design improves durability, Built in bumpers help protect the tool from wear
  • Comfort Grip – Rubber injected overlay over composite. Resistant to oil and acids, Allows for better grip. Reduces user fatigue

Last update on 2022-06-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Air Drill

Air drills will be able to work on all the jobs that an electric drill would, plus many more, making them fantastic value for money and a tool that will be there for you whenever you need it! They are lighter and smaller so are able to access more hard to reach places and are much safer for explosive environments and around flammables as you don’t have to worry about sparks!

Not only this but air drills will actually get cooler instead of hotter the more you run them, which saves damage to the parts and avoids burn outs if you are working on larger jobs. This feature, coupled with them being lighter to reduce fatigue, means that you will be able to work on jobs for much longer than you would with an electric model. Models range between 700RPM all the way up to 2000RPM so make sure to check the product description so that you can find the top air drill on the market!

Best Air Drill – Silverline 793759 Air Drill 

Silverline 793759 Air Drill Reversible 10 mm
308 Reviews
Silverline 793759 Air Drill Reversible 10 mm
  • Compact and ergonomic body
  • Side-mounted forward/reverse lever for single-handed operation
  • 10 mm keyless chuck and muffled handle exhaust
  • Includes both UK and European 1/4" quick connectors
  • Air consumption 140L/min (5cfm)

Last update on 2022-06-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Air Nailers and Air Staplers

We know that we are cheating a bit here by counting two types of tools in with one – but there are just so many air tools that we like it had to be done! Air nailers and air staplers are very similar in what they are used for. The main difference is that a nailer will drive in nails (amongst other fastenings) whereas a stapler drives in…! There are many types of air nailers and air staplers on the market, so it really depends on the types of jobs that you are planning on completing as to which will be right for you. If the tool is going to be used for general DIY then there are many standard air nailers that will be right for you, but there are specialist nailers for very thin, almost invisible nails (brad nailers) and other nailers made for heavy duty nails (roofing nailers). Equally, for any job that requires you to force in a number of tacks or staples then an air stapler is the one for you!

Air nailers can work with nails ranging from half an inch up to just over 2 inches, allowing you great flexibility in the jobs you are completing. You will find similar in air staplers with many working with staples from ¼ inch to 1 ½ inches long!

Best Air Nailer – Tacwise 50mm Brad Nailer

Tacwise DGN50V Type 180 Brad Air Nail Gun
541 Reviews
Tacwise DGN50V Type 180 Brad Air Nail Gun
  • SEMI-PROFESSIONAL NAIL GUN – Air operated brad nailer supplied in a durable carry case, designed to bring speed and precision to a wide range of woodworking and second fix nailing tasks
  • CONVENIENT COMPATABILITY - Efficient quick-release, bottom-loading magazine capable of firing 100 x type 180 (18G) / 20 - 50 mm brad nails without reloading; we strongly recommend using Tacwise nails for a smooth, uninterrupted performance
  • MAXIMISED PERFORMANCE – Offers a contact trip (bump firing) firing mode and comes equipped with a high durability driver blade and a unique depth control adjustor for precise nail countersinking, while the 360° adjustable exhaust port offers a 2.0m/s² vibration emission level for peak performance
  • 1.2KG ERGONOMIC DESIGN – Robust, super lightweight design incorporating an anti-jam, quick-release nose gate, safety contact tip, non-marking nose and soft rubber grip for enhanced safety and ease of use
  • VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS – Semi-professional pneumatic brad nailer for a range of second fix applications including furniture/woodwork assembly, cabinetry, skirting boards, sub-flooring, door frames, fencing, panelling as well as sauna, shed, cabin and caravan manufacturing

Last update on 2022-06-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Air Sander

An air sander had to be on our list of the top 5 air tools that we would recommend for completing DIY jobs around the job. Largely for the same reasons as we have mentioned with the drill, nailer and wrench – an air sander will be lighter (so easier to work with) but offer considerably more power than an electric sander. They also offer the benefit of being safer and won’t overheat so they can keep working for as long as you can – perfect for if you have a large job to complete and a small timeframe to get it done in!

Not only this, but there are countless different heads available for air sanders, meaning that you will be able to work on not just a wide variety of materials but also various different sizes and shapes of jobs! A dual action (DA) air sander will not only be able to work with different material but also allow you to change the speed easily – a must for if you are wanting a professional finish on the jobs you are completing!

Some offer upwards of 1400RPM (rotations per minute) – just imagine how quickly you will be able to get the job done with that kind of speed!

Best Air Sander – SPTA Mini Air Angle Sander

Mini Air Sander, SPTA 25mm/50mm/80mm mini air Grinder sets, Random Air Orbital Sander Car Polisher Sets , With 36 Mixed Grit Sanding Disc Pads 3 Backing Plate For Sanding and Polishing--ASOSS3SET
812 Reviews
Mini Air Sander, SPTA 25mm/50mm/80mm mini air Grinder sets, Random Air Orbital Sander Car Polisher Sets , With 36 Mixed Grit Sanding Disc Pads 3 Backing Plate For Sanding and Polishing--ASOSS3SET
  • ▲ High quality: Professional air eccentric grinder with 3-inch sanding paper. Compact design and 90 ° angle head for narrow working areas
  • ▲ Characteristic: Robust, lightweight aluminum housing, small size, low weight, low vibration, easy one-hand operation.
  • ▲ Suitable for: Ideal for spot grinding of focus areas, bodies, furniture, wood and more.
  • ▲ Comfortable paddle switch: For more control, high stability, low vibration rate and low energy consumption, high strength, wear resistance and long life
  • ▲ Package included: 3 '' New Random Air Sander, 12-piece grinding wheels and our best service.

Last update on 2022-06-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Air Hammer

There is a wide range of jobs that an air hammer will be able to help you complete – which is why it came up on our top 5 air tools that you should be purchasing! Whether you are demolishing, stripping, carving, breaking or chiseling an air hammer will be up to the task! This pneumatic tool makes the most of the extra power that air tools can offer, and uses it to exert extreme amounts of force on whatever material you are working with – some can even tackle metals!

There are various different attachments that you can purchase for working with air hammers, which allow them to work on almost any DIY jobs that you might need! Added flexibility in their working conditions is offered by the different stroke lengths (BPM – beats per minute) that are offered with these air tools. This means if you are in demolition mode your air hammer will be right there with you, but if you are undertaking a more delicate woodwork job, you can still achieve a high quality finish.

Best Air Hammer – Silverline 394970 Air Hammer Set

Silverline 394970 Air Ha mmer Set 5pce 5pce
425 Reviews
Silverline 394970 Air Ha mmer Set 5pce 5pce
  • For general body shop work and removal of rust
  • Quick-change spring and built-in power regulator and trigger control
  • Hardened steel barrel and piston for less wear and longer life
  • Durable and lightweight die cast aluminium body
  • Includes 4pce, 120 mm chisel set, UK and European quick connectors

Last update on 2022-06-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Other Air Tools

Now that you know our top 5 air tools, we thought we would give you a list of some of the other air tools that are available on the market ready for when you have caught the “air tool bug”!

  • Angle grinder
  • Blow gun
  • Grinder
  • Grease gun
  • Impact driver
  • Spray gun
  • Ratchet
  • Speed saw

Air Compressor

By now we have hopefully persuaded you to drop all of your manual and electric tools, and go out purchasing a range of amazing air tools so that you can experience the ease and power that is offered with these machines! If this is the case then you are going to need to find an air compressor that is going to be right for you as well! We admit that one of the downsides to air tools is the initial outlay of purchasing an air compressor as well as the tools – but once you have one they will last for years (providing they are looked after) and if you buy right they will be compatible with all the tools that you are working with.

Just like different pneumatic tools have different power abilities, the same goes for the air compressors that you see on the market and it is important to find one that is going to be able to work at the level that you need. All air tools will advertise on the product description the PSI and CFM requirements that they need to work properly (sometimes it may say SCFM instead of CFM), and you need an air compressor that can at least offer this – if not more! We would always recommend going for a bigger, more powerful air compressor than what you think you need – as this means you can guarantee it is going to be able to power the tools you already have, and those you are yet to buy! Most will have an average CFM requirement of between 3 and 8 (but there are tools that require more than this!).

TOP TIP: Don’t become distracted by the Horsepower offered by an air compressor. Although this is important, it will only tell you how powerful the air compressor’s motor is, not how much power the compressor can send to the tools!

If you are wanting more information on air compressors then check out this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are air tools Intrinsically Safe?
Describing a tool as Intrinsically Safe (I.S.) means that it is explosion-proof so much better for working in hazardous areas or on flammable jobs. Most air tools either are or can be made Intrinsically Safe due to the fact that they are powered by air rather than electric so there are no sparks!

What are CFM and PSI?
Cubic feet per minute (CFM) and Pounds per square inch (PSI) are important measurements when looking at air tools. The CFM reading that comes with your air tool is the amount of air pressure that your tool will need to operate effectively, so this will need to be compatible with the air compressor that you purchase. Equally, the PSI is how to judge how many pounds of force or pressure are placed upon a square inch of space – so basically how powerful your tool is.

About Mike Jones 193 Articles
I have been a keen DIY enthusiast for over 15 years, I’m constantly tinkering in my garage, taking things apart and building things. Along the way, I seem to have acquired a bit of a tool collection, as you do. The issue I found was that the information online when it comes to finding out what you need to know when buying new tools was somewhat limited. I didn’t necessarily need to know which tool to buy, but more what was important when making that buying decision. Also, a bit like a child in a sweet shop when I see new tools and things I can do with them I find it hard to resist. I started this blog back in 2017 to try and put together some buying guides, not really reviews but more what you may want to know before going and deciding on a new tool. I’m also a keen gardener and if there is a tool or gadget that helps me in the garden I’m going to let you know. I hope these musings and buyers guides are of use to you in some way. All the best, Mike.

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