Air power tools

Don't know much about them, but have seen them in action on the home improvement channels. In regard to the small ones like nailers and drllls, do they need an air compressor? Just how does it get its 'power" if not from an compressor?
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novel8 wrote the following:

Paslode http://www.paslode.com /
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Air tools are not for everybody, in particular weekend DIYers. Air and electric have vastly different characteristics and are not totally interchangeable. For example, No one makes an air powered circular saw that I am aware of. Air powered drills are sometimes frustrating because they lack the slow speed torque of the electric models. An electric impact gun is OK in an emergency, but no pro on flat rate would waste time with one. OTOH, air powered nailers are really great workshop additions. But even there, on some framing jobs they can be surpassed by an electric impact driver and construction screws. Bottom line, carefully consider what you need or want to do and buy a well known type of tool to do it. If you plan to use a tool for many years, buy quality. If not, or use is limited, many Chinese types are good for starters. Never forget, there is eBay, Craigslist and the want ads to get good prices.
Joe
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Joe wrote:

Apparently the Army and Amish use them:
http://forums.finehomebuilding.com/breaktime/tools-home-building/air-powered-circular-saw
Long ago, I saw an Amish workshop with an air-powered radial arm saw.
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They all require a compressor and air tank. Even the cheapest hot dog unit will power the smaller nailers for home DIY use.
I use a little $50 hot dog model to power everything up to a 15 gauge Senco finish nailer for one user. Even my contractor grade pancake runs out of air in a minute or so if I am using an air chisel. I suspect a drill would use a lot of air. Paint sprayers can use more than you would think. An air brush will run with minimal air supply.
One needs to read the CFM requirements of the tool one wants to use and match the compressor unit to the demand.
The Paslode and some of the newer electrics may be a good choice where an air supply is not easy. The gas and nails to feed them are more expensive than regular stick nails for an air gun. I own one so I speak from experience.
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Colbyt
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
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They are good for what they are good for, and one size does not fit all.
Compressors are commonly a "pancake" compressor, an electric unit with a corpuscle shaped storage tank. Not much volume, but not needed with a nailer.
Available in gas engine drives for construction sites where electricity is not available.
If you have ever used an air nailer versus the regular means of fastening, you will know there is worlds of difference. Say, in the amount of framing one man can do in one day with a nailer versus a hammer. AND, the man isn't worn to a nub at the end of the day.
For baseboards, it is infinitely easier, not having the bent nails common to nailing in a contortionist position common to baseboard applications.
For small nailing applications, such as brads, staples, and small nailing, they are the cats meow because if you can aim it where you want it, that's where it goes, and in most of those situations, you are doing things three handed. If you've ever hung on a ladder, and tried to get a wall to line up and be plumb and square and just get a nail in there just to tack it and hold it, you know what I'm talking about. With a nailer, when it's right, BANG. Six milliseconds. No moving between the first and second hammer impact.
If you've ever gone over the work of a framer at the end of the day, and see how close they come to right, the nailer wins out, so long as the framer was sober and know half ass what he's doing.
There is a limit that one will hit, and that comes to air volume. Tools are all rated at volume of air they consume. An air ratchet will consume a lot more air than a 15 ga. brad nailer. Those big inline sanders used in auto body work require a lot of air. So, it will all depend on the tool you want to run. In some cases, you can't do the work faster than the compressor can put out, and in others, you have to do a little work, and wait ten minutes for the compressor to fill up, then do another five minutes of work, and wait another ten minutes.
It all has to do with the tool, and what it is that you are wanting to do.
All in all, they will improve the quality of work a man can do, and increase sometimes greatly the amount of work a man can do in eight hours.
HTH
Steve
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If there is any advice I could give any home diyer, it would be go spend the money and buy one of those stand up compressors that have like a 75 gallon tank, and a two stage compressor. Plumb your garage/shop for it. You will never look back, because when you need air, you got all the air you want.
That sounds like overkill, but a lot of tires now take 60 psi to inflate properly, particularly trucks, and some trucks take more than that, and you will have problems finding a home sized compressor that has that capability. And if you ever grow into an inline sander, or impact tools, you'll be glad to be spending your time working, and not waiting for the compressor to catch up so you can have two or three minutes more of work and then wait for the thing to kick on again. And then wait a half an hour until the thermal kickout cools out enough to let the motor come on again.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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wrote

Well said.
OP: Wanna buy a used pancake compressor? :-)
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wrote

Hey, for running a small nailer, those light pancakes are the cat's meow. For anything else, though, they're not worth a lot.
Steve
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wrote:

If all you want is a finish nailer, they work fine on a CO2 tank. I have even used my framing nailers on the tank but I wasn't shooting many nails. Once you getting to like air tools it is addictive tho so when you buy your compressor, don't cheap out. Then you can use all sorts of things.
One thing air tools are unexcelled at is working around the water. You have totally eliminated the dangers of electricity.
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novel8 wrote:

It doesn't, and you're right it needs a compressor. Also there are battery-powered nailers.
Pick the air tools before picking the compressor so you'll have a compressor with adequate air delivery (CFM) and pressure. Compressors vary a lot in CFM capacity, but maximum pressure is almost always around 90-100PSI. Tools that operate continuously, like paint sprayers and sanders, work poorly without adequate CFM, but intermittent tools, like nailers, are usually OK with undersized compressors. CFM is usually specified at 40 PSI and 90 PSI, so if a tool's specs are at a different pressure, interpolate those two CFM ratings.
Tools also vary in CFM and PSI requirements, and it seems Campbell- Hausfeld tools tend to have among the lowest. However, their impact wrenches aren't that great for really high torque.
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wrote:

Well, when i watch these home improvement shows, most of the time they show someone with an air nailer tool, and its looks completely portable to me..no wire shown connected to the tool. ..which is odd, cause most of these shows explain things, but not once did I ever hear one of them say as they show using the tool, anything about a compressor or whatever. Do they think that the watcher Knows? Well I don't.
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wrote:

When you watch those shows, and by going to the web site you will often see sponsors listed and tools from the companies.
What you describe is a Paslode Nailer, mentioned here earlier.
http://www.paslode.com /
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On 10/11/2010 1:39 PM, Oren wrote:

it might make sense. So how do the things work? Butane-fed piston with the trigger firing off a glorified stove igniter? The whole concept doesn't seem real 'green'.
--
aem sends...



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wrote:

They are pricey. Basically yes. A fuel cell that charges the tool and then fires the nail / stapler. They won't fire unless it is pressed against the material being fastened. Just like a compressor nailer.
I've used the Paslode stapler when installing new construction windows (securing the window flanges). When standing on a ladder all day, they are the tool of choice -- imho.
Inside a residence, just a air compressor and finish nailer it better.
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Now, if we gets into gadgets, I WANT ONE OF THESE!
http://www.propanehammer.com/products.php
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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On 10/11/2010 1:03 PM, novel8 wrote:

Captain Kirk didn't explain how his phaser worked, either. But seriously- I have seen the hoses on some of the air tools they use, and others (like the brad nailer) are probably electric. The camera shot is usually so tight, and/or from the other side, that you probably simply don't notice the hose behind the guy. These are usually pretty skinny hoses, not like the fat ones you see at the gas station. I'm sure they are running them off a portable air pig or a super-long hose, so you don't hear the compressor running in the background. Or maybe just waiting till the compressor cycles- you never see more than 2-3 nails go in in one camera shot.
--
aem sends....

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Learn about CFM/SCFM ratings. Compressors have output ratings and EACH air tool has a requirement rating. Higher rated tools generally cannot be used on lower rated compressors without some type of drawback from tool barely running and/or compressor running too much (duty cycle) and damaging it.
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I have found the ratings to be somewhat ................... false. You can not go wrong by having a compressor that is rated for more than your tool. When they are rated right on the line of the tool's requirements, it will either not keep up, or run constantly, and with those new obnoxious oilless compressors, your fillings will loosen up before the end of the day.
Steve
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Absolutely true but do need to know the concept if you're green to compressors. A pancake compressor is not gonna run an Ingersoll Rand mini air reciprocating saw that requires 7cfm very well.
It will get you a new compressor though from running it at 100% duty cycle :-)
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