How to Use a Needle Scaler

What You'll Need
Clean Rag
Cleaning solvents
Safety gear

Although a needle scaler seems to be an insignificant tool that is used in an auto shop, it is actually one of the most important tools. A needle scaler is one of the few tools that can be used to clean out parts where ordinarily your hand would not reach. In any modern workshop, a needle scaler is crucial. Repairs can seldom be carried out when the auto parts are unclean. You can use solvents and other cleaning chemicals to clean, but the most difficult part is to reach the area that has to be cleaned up. If you are not able to remove the dirt and the grime that is collected in the area, you are actually compromising the repairs.

Needle scalers are air tools that are extensively used in modern mechanics. There is a piston that is inside the needle scaler that moves due to a jet of compressed air that is passed inside the needle gun. When the piston moves in this manner, the fine needle like chisels that are attached to the mouth of the gun begin to move and chip away at the debris. The needles, though thin, move at such a great speed that it becomes easy to clean out the debris. Once the needle is finished with its work, the bare, clean metal is exposed and the entire work is finished, without allowing it to get messy. Here’s how you can use a needle scaler.

Step 1 – Preparing the Surface

First, in order to clean the surface on which you are going to work, clean it by removing the grease, oil, grime and dirt. You can use water to clean off any water soluble contaminants and cleaning solvents for removing grime and other stubborn stains. Use a soft cloth or a clean rag to clean. You can also use fresh water and detergents for this kind of cleaning.

Step 2 – Firing the Needle Scaler

Once the surface is clean, the needle scaler can be used to remove paint, loose mill scale and rust. The needle scaler has to be plugged into a power source and fired. The needles work at very high speeds and you may have to use both hands to steady the gun. Always wear appropriate eye protection when working with a needle scaler as debris may fly around and get into your eyes. Hold the gun at a 90-degree angle to the surface, and never press it down very hard or it will damage the surface of the metal you are working on. For best results, never use the needle scaler to clean more than 6 to 8 inches of surface area at one time. Usually, passing the needles over a single area two or three times is sufficient.

Step 3 – Finishing

Once you have chipped off paint and rust, look for any final chippings at the edges. During the chipping process, many a times, oil tends to get deposited on the surface. Be sure to remove this immediately with cleaning solvents because it could cause flash rusting. You may also need to do further sanding and cleaning after you have chipped the paint.