Air-Powered Tools: Benefits and Drawbacks

Air-powered tools such as pneumatic tools ease the physical labor involved in making home improvements while allowing you to work faster. These tools are easy to obtain, either through a municipality’s tool loan program, home improvement store or equipment rental company.

Benefits of Air-Powered Tools

The key benefit associated with air-powered tools is ease of use. A simple on/off switch powers the tool and allows you to experience the power of a professional. Attached to a dedicated power source like an air compressor, the tool delivers greater pounds per square inch (psi) than can be generated by hand. This makes most jobs easier to complete in less time.

An air-power nail gun can drive in far more nails a short space of time than can possibly be done with a hand tool. This is helpful in large jobs like installing a roof where speed and power lead to greater efficiency.

Air Tool Accessories

Accessories can be added to your air-powered tool to increase your productivity. These include chisels for air hammers, which make breaking up a concrete driveway easier and faster. Air-wrench sockets can simplify the task of changing a tire, changing your own oil or changing an alternator or carburetor as well as other auto repairs.

Sanding and polishing attachments can be uses with an air-tool, considerably reducing the labor involved in house painting jobs and other labor-intensive tasks. The time to paint a house can be reduced from days to hours with the addition of an air-compressed paint sprayer. These accessories can be found anywhere air tools are purchased and are available to all levels of users.

Powering Air-Powered Tools

Air-powered tools are powered by air compressor units that are designed to deliver a certain amount of low-to-moderate pressure. An air compressor comes in a variety of styles and sizes and many units that are designed for personal use are portable. The units provide the power necessary to run most every pneumatic tool that uses compressed air as a source of power.

Drawbacks and Disadvantages

A drawback may be the fact that the air-powered tool requires a dedicated source such as a compressor to work. This may make the tool less portable or even useless in some situations where the work area is confined or requires a smaller, more adaptable tool. For some the noise level produced from the compressor and the action of the tool can be annoying. As a rule, when using an air-powered tool you should wear earplugs and protective eyewear as a precaution.

The speed and precision in which these tools work may also cause you to overshoot your target. It is nearly impossible to pull out nails placed with a pneumatic nailer, for instance, since they are sealed into place once shot. These tools also leave finishing marks or dents that may require additional work to cover up.

Air-powered tools are appropriate and extremely efficient for many types of jobs. They do not eliminate the need to keep manual tools in your tool shed.