In the world of power tools and industrial machinery, the use of air tools has been common for many years. While they are not particularly common for the home DIY enthusiast, they are quite widely used by professional trades people and in industrial settings.
Essentially, these types of tools are powered by the use of gas, most commonly compressed air or carbon dioxide. Compressed air is generally supplied through a compressor unit that is separate to the actual tool. Use of compressed CO2 is less common, but it does allow for tools to be powered by small gas cartridges, which can be very handy when used in spaces where a compressor would be unsuitable.
While these type of tools are not always economical for hobby and DIY, they are very common on building sites. The reason for this is that a lot of air tools will require a generator to provide the compressed air, and both the acquisition and maintenance of such a generator can be quite expensive when only used occasionally.
One of the biggest advantages with air tools is the power to weight ratio that they provide. As the tools themselves do not include an electric motor and possibly a heavy battery, the tools become a lot lighter and easier to handle.
The power of the compressed air is then regulated and set by the external compressor, so the power is dependent on the compressor, not the tool itself.
Another benefit is that air tools are a lot cheaper to run and maintain, as they do not have electric motors and batteries that can break down or wear out. Batteries in particular can be expensive to replace and require regular charging. This also means that you can run out of batteries, whereas with compressed air, you are only restricted by how long the compressor can run.
Safety is also a great advantage, and a reason why air tools are often employed in industrial settings. Especially when it comes to cutting tools, there is always a risk that the user of the tool accidentally cuts the power cord supplying the electricity to the motor. This can be a very dangerous situation leading to injury and possibly worse.
With an air powered cutting tool this risk is alleviated, because if the air pipe is accidentally severed there will only be a sudden release of air. While this is not entirely without dangers, it is far less dangerous than electricity.
Some very common pneumatic tools include air powered nail guns, impact wrenches, drills, sanders, jackhammers and angle grinders. These types lend themselves to being powered by compressed air especially when they are being used for very long periods of time. Electric motors can quickly overheat when used for long periods of time, but this problem does not persist with compressed air tools.
As you can see from the list above, there really is a very wide variety of tools that can be powered through air compression. Between running costs, maintenance and user safety there really are plenty of reasons to use air tools.
Midland Air Tools Ltd specialise in the sales, service and repair of quality industrial air tools from all major brands. They are distributors of some of the world's biggest air tool manufacturers such as Chicago Pneumatic, Georges Renault, CP Desoutter, Dynabrade, Rock Air, Ingersoll Rand and more.
Why Air Tools Are The Smart Choice In Industry