Terms of the Trade: What is a Pneumatic Tool?

hands using air powered tool to adjust bolts on a car tire

Pneumatic tools used compressed air or other gasses to power movement. They can perform a wide range of actions, from driving in fasteners, to buffing rought surfaces, to screwing or unscrewing powerful bolts. The gas or air used for these effects can be stored in a canister attached to the tool, or run through a tube from a containment tank.

Pneumatic systems can be simple or complex, and sometimes use solenoid valves to facilitate advanced functions in machines like motors and actuators. The word comes from the Greek term pneuma, which means "wind" or "breath."

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