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Air tools VS. Electric tools

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Old 08-29-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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Air tools VS. Electric tools

anybody notice that it seems like EVERY power tool you can buy is also available as an air tool? My question is whats the difference? Why are all these tools available as air tools? is air more efficiant/powerfull or vice versa?

the reason i am asking this is because you'd think if air tools were better then power tools, or vice versa, the weaker tools would eventually phase out...

I'm just looking to expand again, and was wondering what you guys think and why...
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #2
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In my experience air tools offer more power and are better quality.
But power tools are cheaper and you dont need a compressor to run them.
I have an electric impact gun and a few other things, they work alright for smaller jobs.

But you really get what you pay for in tools. Im gonna be expanding to all air tools once money allows.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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Yep air tool have more power i have 1/2" impact that crank out 1000ft lb of torque wish my 4runner have that much
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 85gijunk4x4 View Post
the reason i am asking this is because you'd think if air tools were better then power tools, or vice versa, the weaker tools would eventually phase out...
You have a good point there, but air tools aren't exactly the best for everyone and vice versa. After all, if I was building a house, I'd rather carry around an electric set and not deal with the hose getting tangled everywhere. If I was just going to be working in the garage, I'd rather have air tools.



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Old 08-29-2011, 11:34 PM   #5
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agreed. I wasn't actually looking at it from that point.

In the shop its easy enough for me to bring the air hose to my rig and then set the air tools on the ground. If you have multiple cord tools, you have the extension cord (most likely) and then the additional 2 foot or so of cord attached to the actual tool, and thats when things get messy.

i do prefer air tools, just less cord to deal with. But i was wondering if i was sacrificing power/reliability etc. for convenience.

but on the other hand, if your working outside of the shop, air tools wouldnt be convenient so to speak. So i guess its not a matter of wich tool is better, but wich tool fits your application
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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Pretty much comes down to if you have air or not!!

I am not talking about cordless tools but the plug in the outlet kind

Another thing no one mentioned the safety factor . I for one would rather be using an air impact changing a tire on my knees in a water puddle than a electric impact . Now these concerns are from way before GFI outlets where developed still a little scary to me.

I pretty much have both as far as grinders drills etc.

There again grinders sanders use pretty much cfm so if you don`t have enough air it is better to go electric at least to me.

Air hose , extension cord I most always have both because more than not I need a light. add in a Mig gun or stinger cable and till I am done it looks like they were braided .

I would guess it comes down to what you like better!!

Although in the past I have turned the air pressure up a little from the normal 90 PSI
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:21 AM   #7
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again, i wasnt looking from other people's point of views...

i have a drop light right above my rig so whenever i need light i just pull it down, that way its up and out of way and opens my workspace up alittle bit more.

i pretty much base my desicion on where i will most likely be using the tools. If its something i plan to use on my workbench i got with electric. theres a plug right there, and when i need it i just pull it out of the cabinet.

something i'm going to be using on my rig, and not near the workbench i go with air
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:28 AM   #8
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The only drawback to air tools is the cost of a compressor Big enough to run them properly. Takes a lot of Air to run a Grinder,Sander,Cut off tool. You can get away with a smaller compressor for Impact wrench's and Air ratchets. High Quality air tools use less air (CFM) than Cheap ones. Air tools are more powerful and Generally alot smaller than their Electric comparison and you can buy Snap-on air tools for the price of these cordless electrics. Air Tools will last a non-proffesional mechanic nearly a lifetime.

Last edited by SoCal; 08-30-2011 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:50 AM   #9
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It's hard no to have an opinion on one vs. the other.

Really, like it's been stated, it depends on the application. I use primarly electric tools. My big impact will get everything off I need it too. I also have a little cordless impact and an electric grinder.

If I had a huge stand up air tank, I'd probably use air tools more...then again I don't have a huge shop to facilitate such a setup...
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:59 AM   #10
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Pretty much impossible to run air tools at the junk yard, so cordless tools aren't going anywhere, Corded tools I don't think will go anywhere either as most won't have air compressors. I do but it's small and corded tools are generally cheaper. At the same time not necessarily better or cheaper then air tools either. You can actually have higher end corded, even cordless, tools that are stronger then lower line air tools. The point around water is a good point too. I see more and more NASCAR and other pit crews using cordless impacts as well. Most likely due to the ease of movement and cordless impacts are getting stronger and stronger. So the speed factor is not as much of an issues as one would think especially when considering you don't have to lug around an air hose with you.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:38 AM   #11
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To Answer your question There is a market for both Electric And Air tools from High end to throw away junk.

You are right if it didn`t sell it would just go away
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 85gijunk4x4 View Post
anybody notice that it seems like EVERY power tool you can buy is also available as an air tool? My question is whats the difference? Why are all these tools available as air tools? is air more efficiant/powerfull or vice versa?

the reason i am asking this is because you'd think if air tools were better then power tools, or bright blue headlights versa, the weaker tools would eventually phase out...

I'm just looking to expand again, and was wondering what you guys think and why...
Air tools have much more quality. I do believe the air tools are bit more expensive then power tool aswell.
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:35 PM   #13
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Comes down to personal preference and what resources you have to work with as far as tools go. Its like asking what mod is the best for your truck you'll get a thousand different opinoins
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:48 PM   #14
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Comes down to cash and situation. If you got the cash you buy them all. Air tools for at the house and work. plug in grinder, saws and drills for projects. Battery powered, one of all for junk yards, in the truck, work, projects and back up. that would be the life..........Why are there no good battery powered ratchets?
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:47 PM   #15
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I use my cordless tools to cut crap out of cars every once in awhile at the junkyard.

Both kinds of tools have their pros & cons. I used to have air tools. Right now I don't even have a compressor....
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:30 PM   #16
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as of now, i have both kinds of tools. Later on down the road, i'll buy more tools, but 90% of them will be air tools. reason being i do 90% of my work in the shop, and any air tools i buy, I will most likely be using on my rig...any electric tools i buy, i will use them outside of my shop/in the house, on the go etc.

For example, i dont use an air powered metal shears in my house, and i also dont use an electric can opener in my shop
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:04 PM   #17
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I do find a air line in the kitchen a big help.

A good die grinder works wonders with a wire wheel to clean those drip pans with the baked on crud.
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