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?
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.
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
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
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
Available in gas engine drives for construction sites where electricity is
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
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.
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.
Heart surgery pending?
Read up and prepare.
Learn how to care for a friend.
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
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
One thing air tools are unexcelled at is working around the water. You
have totally eliminated the dangers of electricity.
It doesn't, and you're right it needs a compressor. Also there are
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Now, if we gets into gadgets, I WANT ONE OF THESE!
Heart surgery pending?
Read up and prepare.
Learn how to care for a friend.
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.
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.
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.
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
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