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Why air tools???

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  • Why air tools???

    I was browsing in the tool aisle the other day and came across a small air grinder and an air 3/8" drill. Why would one choose an air grinder over an electric one? Cheaper to run? More RPMs? More torque (depending on the tool)?

  • #2
    Ken, air tools are great if you have a compressor big enough to supply them, they run cool but noisey, and are usually cheaper and safer if you are in wet conditions. I have found they have less torque, so heavy grinding is hard to do without stalling the tool. Drills are also a problem as they tend to run so fast and burnup bits. For fine grinding the smaller air die grinders with 2 to 3 " discs are light and easy to control, an electric equivelent would be about $150 or more and 4 times the size. I use both but when on location, it is the electrics that get used because I have no portable compressor. Hopes this helps, Paul
    More Spark Today Pleasesigpic

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    • #3
      Paul pretty much covered it. My only addition is that I like the finer finish I can get with my air sander using 80-grit disks, but you can accomplish the same thing with an electric drill and a flap-disk, I suppose.

      Be well.

      hank
      ...from the Gadget Garage
      Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
      Handler 210 w/DP3035
      TA185TSW
      Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange

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      • #4
        Air is way more expensive to run,, however, they can be more compact and durable especially under severely dirty conditions. No shock hazard. For many rotary tools they are high RPM. You can also regulate the speed and power.

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        • #5
          I have a couple of air compressors and a tool box full of air tools. I like air tools because they are generally lighter than electrics. I especially like my air ratchets and impact guns. Air ratchets can get you into places where you have no room to swing a conventional ratchet and impact guns will get stuff off that you might have a real difficult time removing otherwise. I also have electric drills and angle grinders but I generally reach for the pneumatics first.

          Weld on,
          Alex
          Be cool,
          Alex

          FREEDOM ISN'T FREE
          SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

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          • #6
            Impact and ratchet I like air better, but for grinders I think electric is the way to go. I do have a couple of air die grinders that are great too.

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            • #7
              I find it is easier to use air for grinding when you are at a remote location and already have air there for another process, like plasma cutting, or nail gun, or stapler, etc. If there is no air there then use electric. I prefer air for ratchets, impact tools, buffers, die grinders. Air tools run way cooler than electric, so long periods of use, in hot weather, and air makes sense. There is also the use of tools in hazardous environments, gaseous atmospheres, electric tools won't cut it as they have the constant spark inside them when running, whereas air tools can be made intrinsically safe. Granted not all tools are, nor processes, like grinding.

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              • #8
                I bought a compact Metabo GE 700 electric die grinder and a set of carbide cutters and stones along with an arbor for cut off disks and wire wheels, it's a great tool for those kinds of jobs. I use the 90 degree head air die grinder for blending and grinding work.

                http://www.metabousa.com/metabo/us/u..._06303_42.html

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                • #9
                  I just got a roto-zip for my birthday, my arbor for my roloc disc's fits perfect. This seems to be a great setup for larger Aluminum cleanup since I only have a 30 gallon compressor my diegrinder consumes some serious cfm and the compressor can't keep up. I am a little curious how long it is going to live under my abuse but for now seems cool, quiet too.

                  Peace,

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                  • #10
                    Here is some, there are some more around here somewhere, but I hate changing wheels.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Sberry thanks for the picture, that's quite some collection of tools you have there, now I have something I can show the wife to prove how grossly under tooled I am.

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                      • #12
                        Looks like Tim the Toolman's bench, now where is that 440 volt grinder??????
                        More Spark Today Pleasesigpic

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                        • #13
                          Back in the seventies, when I worked for an aircraft company in California, I knew a guy who could play the "Star Spangeled Banner" on a pneumatic drill motor. How's that for versatility? Chicago Pneumatic, not JUST for drilling holes.

                          Alex
                          Be cool,
                          Alex

                          FREEDOM ISN'T FREE
                          SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

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                          • #14
                            I have tried similar, but it always tickles my hand and ends up sounding like 'Inagodadavida' by Iron Butterfly, at least that's a Weldable Band. Paul
                            More Spark Today Pleasesigpic

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                            • #15
                              Paul:
                              As Orville said to Wilbur your Wright, mine always sounded more like a fueler going to line, but thats music too I think!
                              Pneumatics are the way to go if you have enough air to feed them.

                              Peace,

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