gift for BF: AIR TOOLS?


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Old 01-26-06, 09:29 AM
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Question gift for BF: AIR TOOLS?

My boyfriend is really into cars and is always working on his Mitsubishi Evolution. I've often heard him say that he wished he had a set of air tools and thought it would be a good Vday gift.

But, being the tool-illiterate girl I am, I have no idea where to even begin looking for a good set. I searched a little online, but there are so many different kinds and I don't want to buy the wrong thing.

Could anyone give me a recommendation for a good set of air tools that would be good for working on cars? Do air tools come in sets? or do they need to be purchased piece by piece? What pieces would I need? What brands are good?

I don't really know how much these run, but I'm prepared to spend $300-400 - this is a reasonable amount right?

Any information would be sooo helpful. Thanks a lot
 
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Old 01-26-06, 09:39 AM
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he'd probably use a 3/8 drive air ratchet and a 3/8 drive pistol grip more than any other tools. stay away from the cheap import stuff. maybe a local auto parts store (for service later on) or if you really want to get his attention find a snap-on truck. snap-on tools are expensive. craftsman may also be a good choice. my girlfriend, now wife, gave me a set of snap-on wrenches 20 years ago. damn near cost her a week's pay.. i still think of her everytime i open the drawer and see them. could be because she took them to a jewler and had them engraved.
 
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Old 01-26-06, 10:10 AM
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The "go-to" air tools for working on cars:

3/8" ratchet
1/2" impact wrench

These will handle most of what he'd like to do

Quality is hard to tell, so I'd suggest going with Craftsman
Not the cheapest one, but somewhere in the middle
The Snap-On are all good, but harder to find and more money
A very good choice though


Other good first tools would be a blower tool and a quality tire inflator with gauge

The next stage of air tools would depend on what he wants to do, body or engine work...or both

But you can't go wrong with the four I mentioned

* A good first impact with some features and the power he'll want, but not to fancy or expensive:
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...tive+Air+Tools

* Ratchet suggestion also:
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...tive+Air+Tools

Both are Heavy Duty, comfortable, and good enough quality that he won't need to replace/upgrade them
They'll be keepers no matter how many he eventually gets
 
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Old 01-26-06, 10:11 AM
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Snap-On sounds like the way to go. His eyes light up everytime he's see a Snap-On truck. Stupid question #1, do you literally buy the tools from a truck? How do I find a truck? and when I do, do I flag it down or what?

I checked out the website and still am baffled as to which products are the right ones. There are a handful of different 3/8 air ratchets and piston drives. Which one is the best one? Do they need attachments or bits or something? Stupid question #2, Do these tools need an accompanying air compressor?

I'm sorry to be so ignorant, but I'm really starting from scratch here. In my ideal forum dream, someone would list each item number i need to create this air tool gift set.

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-26-06, 10:17 AM
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I just saw that I can order Snap-On from their site and see that this ratchet:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

and this impact wrench:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

are both around the same price as the craftsman pieces that you recommended. Are they differnet in ability/quality? Just for "wow" factor, I'd like to go with Snap-On if I can.
 
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Old 01-26-06, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sashax415
I just saw that I can order Snap-On from their site and see that this ratchet:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

and this impact wrench:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

are both around the same price as the craftsman pieces that you recommended. Are they differnet in ability/quality? Just for "wow" factor, I'd like to go with Snap-On if I can.
I thought you said you were tool illiterate
lol

Those are similar (price and specs) and great choices

I have flagged down the Snap-On guy before

Yes, these tools need an air compressor to run
 
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Old 01-26-06, 11:14 AM
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I AM VERY tool illiterate -- but I do know how to shop online

I think those will be my best options then. Now for stupid question #3, How do I shop for an air compressor? certain specs? brands?

Thanks so much for your help!!
 
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Old 01-26-06, 11:32 AM
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I was just about to order those pieces from the Snap-On site and noticed, theyre NOT Snap-On brand?! Those pieces were BluePoint. Is that a part of Snap-On? or something completely different that they just sell?
 
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Old 01-26-06, 11:41 AM
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Ahhhh... it's a shopping thing lol

I just looked at the specs and prices
I was suprised they were in line with Sears CM, as SO is usually a fair bit higher
It may be that Blue Point is SO's "budget" or "home mechanic" line (like Sears has "Craftsman" tools, their good ones, and then "Companion" tools, the budget line)
But that's just a guess, maybe someone more familier with the SO lines will pop in
 
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Old 01-26-06, 11:54 AM
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Ahh.. okay. I just did some research and found that Snap-On does market Bluepoint as its "value" line. I am not clear on whether or not they actually manufacture them -- some people say they just put the BP name on pieces they buy off other companies(KD?) and some say SO actually makes them.

Maybe I will buy one Snap-On and one Bluepoint to stay within my budget? Between the ratchet and the impact wrench, which one would you rather have as a Snap-On? It's okay to have mismatched tools right? Or is that like wearing Gucci and Prada together?
 
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Old 01-26-06, 01:40 PM
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snap-on ratchet ,blue point impact. he'll use the ratchet more often. not like gucci and prada, more like winchester and colt. and that's perfectly fine.
 
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Old 01-26-06, 01:55 PM
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quality air tools

if you really want a good quality air tools buy ingersoll-rand brand they wrote the book on pneumatic power...usually sold at lowe's stores check it out at
www.lowes.com ..your b/f has an air compressor already right ?
 
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Old 01-26-06, 02:36 PM
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no he doesn't have a compressor already, so I'll have to buy that too. Upon further investigation, Snap-On is starting to look REALLY expensive and a bit excessive for his needs. Sears is offering a Craftsman Air Tool Kit (ratchet,point impact, accessories) free with the purchase of the air compressor. Is this crap?:
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=00916732000

Or should I just fork it out for Snap-On?

I'm about to look into the Ingersoll-rand...

this gift is turning out to be more complicated than I thought.. maybe I'll just buy a sweater and be done with it.lol
 
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Old 01-26-06, 03:08 PM
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feedback

buying an air compressor too changes the picture a little my advice would be buy a nice air compressor... no big tank needed just good quality motor and pump for fast recovery and let your b/f get the tools he may need because if you buy the impact wrench you will need the impact sockets etc.
not to mention the hose etc.
if i were him i'd like something like this
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...151&lpage=none
 
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Old 01-26-06, 04:00 PM
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sashax, if your bf doesn't own a compressor there's no point buying air tools. the unit lou posted is a quality unit, basic emglo product in a yellow jacket, but not going to make an air ratchet fart. i use one just like it and mor often than not it just aggrivates me enough to grab another , larger unit. the shop compressor we use makes 30 cfm @ 160 psi. so you can see the problem. most air tools require anywhere from 8 to 16 cfm . going back to square one, why did he say he wanted air tools ? what type of work does he do on the car ? the 1/2" impact wrench can be had in an electric version that's almost as powerfull as air. good for pulling tires, head bolts, etc. the compressor lou posted would run a 1/4" air ratchet and pull 4 or 5 fasteners before stopping to wait for air. tools are something you never have enough of so there are plenty of options out there for gifts. as generous as you plan to be i'm sure we can come up with a winner.
 
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Old 01-26-06, 04:45 PM
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thanks for the input guys..

Well as i mentioned before, he drives an Evo which he did some minor upgrades to -- suspension, intake, BOV, air/fuel controller, boost controller... maybe some others--as it turned out the car was a bit of a lemon. The transmission had to be replaced after 2 months, and after that, the transfer case had to be replaced FOUR times over the course of 8 months.

Each time something went wrong, he would have to bring the car back to stock in order to return it to the dealer for repairs and thats when he mentioned the air tools. He doesnt do any major work and for the most part it would be a toy. He's gadgety more than anything else and rather than having a immediate need for it now, he would find uses for it once he got it.

So... I guess we're back to square one. Any new suggestions?
 
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Old 01-26-06, 04:54 PM
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does he have a floor jack ? creeper, jack stands , fender covers, diagnostic tools, code reader. if you can find out where he buys his aftermarket parts the clerk there may know exaclty what he is in need of or wishes he had. that's how i got my first AR15 rifle. my wife is a great detective.
 
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Old 01-26-06, 05:51 PM
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Ingersol-rand is just as good as the other guys, in fact it makes alot of the tools for the other guy to put their name on like Matco,Craftsman. Very good tools for the money. I have several, I also have a 400$ Snap-On 1/2 drive that isnt as good as my 1/2 in drive Ingrosol-Rand impact. so there you go , price isn`t always better.
 
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Old 01-26-06, 06:00 PM
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How about buying him an electric impact wrench?I bought one for use at home because my compressor died.The new ones work quite well and at least he can pull wheels and other things that can be done with a 1/2 inch drive impact.
 
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Old 01-26-06, 06:13 PM
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judjing by the number of responses to your post you can conclude that there are alot of considerations or that we just like talking to an unmarried woman who appreciates tools and cars. hope it helped
 
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Old 01-27-06, 02:06 AM
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my 2 cents

Snap-ON makes some great hand tools IMO but air tools are so so.There are better ones out there for a better price.
But I do concuor an 3/8 drive air ratchet is nice to have around.You will need a air compressor and depending if you plan on getting more air tools the size of compressor is important.
If you want to spend a lot of money but get a good compressor you will need a two stage (very nice) Bigger is better in compressors but for home it is not needed unless you plan on painting cars.
 
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Old 01-27-06, 10:11 AM
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thanks guys for all your insightful feedback. I really appreciate all the great alternative ideas, but I really think he would want the air tools, whether or not theyre what he needs most.

Since it turns out this is a more expensive gift than I originally planned, I think I'm going to make this a multi-tiered gift. His Bday is in March and our anniversary in April, so I'll probably get him an good air compressor now and add on tools later.

I'd like to get a compressor that is good enough to last a long time and be multifunctional in case he wants to use it for other purposes later on. I'm pretty sure if I give it to him, he'll want to paint something with it eventually.

LouBazooka recommended this one from lowes earlier:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?acti...5151&lpage=none

is this a good enough? or should I get something better? Are there minimum specs that I should be shopping for?

I know I've probably worn out my welcome on this board by now with all these questions, but I'm hoping you'll stick it out a little longer.

thanks!
 
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Old 01-27-06, 11:16 AM
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My wife would really love that KitchenAid mixer

Anyway...your boyfriend is quite lucky if you're gonna hook him up with some tools. Just be warned...once you buy him a nice set, you'll create a monster. If he has an air compressor, he's gonna look at other things he can buy to use with it. Grinder, paint sprayer, etc... to use on his car. He may even decide he needs a finish nailer for the interior . No...not really, but it's a good attempt at buying cool tools. You've been warned.
 
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Old 01-27-06, 11:50 AM
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if you're buying a compressor, I'd seriously consider Sears for one major reason - parts! You can almost always get a part for something that says 'Sears' on it. The ones at the box stores may look like brand names, but they are often custom configurations that could be fun to repair. Sears is also famous for their sales and often offer "bundles" that include a starter set of basic tools and fittings. Not SO and he may very well replace some of them later, but it can be a good start and let him get more of a feel for the air tools so he knows better how to shop for the nicer ones he can really use. I think I paid $300 for my Craftsman upright about 2 yrs ago.
 
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Old 01-27-06, 02:08 PM
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Yea Sears

Yea Sears air compressors are great and good on getting parts for them later. Keep in mind some of the big two stage compressors run on 220 volts and are pretty big.(also stand up compressors need bolted to the ground) however I have seen them mounted on a large wooden pallet with no problems.
 
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Old 01-27-06, 04:32 PM
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Yup, I'd stick with the Craftsman
 
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Old 01-27-06, 06:59 PM
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actually, my Craftsman standup has 2 wheels in back and bumpers in front - just tilt it back and go. Very portable and doesn't take up much space. Plus controls and gauges are basically eye-level. Runs on 110 - 5 or 6 hp as I recall and 150 psi. Can't imagine a DIYer needing much more.
 
 

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