What are the best air tools for the money?

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  #1  
Old 11-28-05, 08:59 AM
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What are the best air tools for the money?

did some searching here and didn't really find what I was looking for. I don't really have the budget for IR and the like, but don't want crap. I just got my compressor. It is a 60 gal oil lubricated 10.3 cfm @ 90psi.

Any suggestions on air tools and best place to buy them.

Thanks,
Josh
 
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  #2  
Old 11-28-05, 11:57 AM
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Unfortunately your question can't really be answered
Oh, people will have opinions, but you'll have to decide what's worth it to you
Quite frankly, the IRs are not the most expensive or best air tools
They are probably what you are looking for, which I'm assuming is "a good value"

If you could describe what tools you need/want and what type of usage they'll be getting, perhaps someone could offer some suggestions

For example, if you are looking for an impact wrench for DIY auto work, or a finish nailer for full-time use

The best place to buy any tools is your local tool store
You should always try them out and see if you like the weight and balance, hand grip, etc...
 
  #3  
Old 11-28-05, 03:56 PM
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You might try starting out with cheaper air tools like those sold by Harbor Freight. They are not pro quality but well worth the price, especially when used occasionally. If and when you wear them out you will be better able to judge what you need in an air tool and what you are willing to pay.
 
  #4  
Old 11-29-05, 08:39 AM
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right know, I'm looking for air tools for automotive use. I'm a hobbyist, so they will get occasional use. I'm working on a custom truck presently. I think I want to start out with a ratchet, impact, angle die grinder, and a drill.

Does anybody have experience with TSC's (Tractor Supply Company) air tools they carry under the name Farmhand? I believe they are made by Campbell Hausfield. The Farmhand specs are quite good in comparison to other brands and they look well built. In other words, the torque specs are comparable to other much higher prices brands.

Is this a fair comparison or should I be looking at other factors?

Thanks,
Josh
 
  #5  
Old 11-29-05, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jlaird
the torque specs are comparable to other much higher prices brands.

Is this a fair comparison or should I be looking at other factors?
Mmmmm...not reeaally...
The "Box numbers" (specs on the box or placard or ad) are usually max #s
They are not the "recommended operating range" ot what have you
You can get an impact wrench that says "800 ft lbs" on the box, open it up and it'll say the operating range @ 90psi is 450-650 ft lbs
That's it'll take 800 before exploding lol

The other factors are quality and longevity, need for (or lack of) service, etc...
 
  #6  
Old 11-29-05, 10:05 AM
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I've not used any of tractor supplys air tools. It seems to me the biggest difference between the cheaper tools and the good ones is the air consumption. The cheaper air tools don't seem to make as much use of the air they use. I have a cheap impact that I bought from harbor freight 20 yr ago. Supposedly it has 250 lb of torque but there have been times that I've had to use a breaker bar first. I believe that the better tools have closer tolerances which makes them work more efficently.

Besides comparing torque, compare cfm useage.
 
  #7  
Old 11-29-05, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jlaird
...I'm looking for air tools for automotive use. I'm a hobbyist, so they will get occasional use. I'm working on a custom truck presently. I think I want to start out with a ratchet, impact, angle die grinder, and a drill.
Get a good 3/8 ratchet and 1/2 impact
Those will be your go-to air tools
You might want to look at IR or Craftsman for those
I do have a CH angle die grinder that has served me well
The CH doesn't seem on par with the CM/IR quality, but I really have no complaints about it at all
 
  #8  
Old 11-29-05, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
...compare cfm useage.
I forgot that one
That's a biggie
Sometimes you really have to look for that info
 
  #9  
Old 11-29-05, 11:09 AM
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so, just to make sure, the better tools use more or less air @90psi?

What is a good torque spec for an impact wrench and a ratchet?
 
  #10  
Old 11-30-05, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jlaird
so, just to make sure, the better tools use more or less air @90psi?

What is a good torque spec for an impact wrench and a ratchet?

Less Your better quality tool air motors will have polished, spring loaded vanes (rotor blades) that will spin efficiently with less air volume than cheap, out of tolerance vanes. That said, in the long run you'll find out that it does not make a world of difference to you or your compressor, because as a DIYer, you will use the tools very intemittently; a 60-gallon will keep up either way.

For your needs - 425 ft# impact, 50 ft# ratchet will more than suffice. You probably don't even need a 1/2 impact, you'd be better off with a quality 3/8.
 
  #11  
Old 11-30-05, 11:22 AM
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jlaird,
Don't dump the Ingersoll Rand as too expensive. I bought one of their air impact guns at Harbor Freight for $75 less than I could find a repaired and unclaimed one at a tool repair shop. Didn't say "rebuilt" either so I assume it was new. 425 lb torque. Even bought a cheap set of impact sockets (Pittsburg brand) there and have yet to break them. I used them as an Industrial Maintenance person so I was not easy on them. Good luck.
 
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