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Air Tools Beginnerís Guide
Buying air power tools for the first time can be a daunting taskóas can finding the right tool anytime. In an effort to make your eventual purchase more enjoyable and rewarding, Iím presenting you with this air power tools buying guide. Iíd recommend printing it out or bookmarking this article as a guide.
The first thing you need to know is that thereís an air power tool for virtually any job out thereóand I mean any job. And the second crucial point to remember is that all air power tools require a separate air compressor. Many first-time tool buyers donít realize this or forget. Keep that in the back of your mind always.
Letís talk about air compressors for a moment. They are not all the same. When you buy an air power tool, it will have a PSI (pressure per square inch) rating. You need a air compressor with the same PSI capability. It should go without saying that your air hoses and connections must match perfectly. You want a tight fit.
Two main types of air compressors are: compact and piston-type.
Compact compressors donít use a tank to store compressed air. As such, the compact compressor runs while giving your tool the air it requires. The benefit of compact compressors are the ability to take them anywhere with ease, because they are small and light. However, this is a tradeoff. While being small and light, they lack power. If youíre going to doing any power painting, for instance, a compact compressor will most likely be inadequate.
Piston-type compressors, on the other hand, are more powerful. They have a tank that stores the compressed air. The compressor doesnít need to run constantly like the compact compressors do. Instead, it only runs when the air needs to be adjusted back to a certain pressure. The piston-type compressors have two stage modelsósingle and double. If youíre doing a heady-duty job, itís best to get a double-stage compressor.
Perhaps one of the most common air power tool bought is a nail gun, so letís go over some quick basics about them.
Nail guns come in two main varieties: coil and stick. A coil-based nail gun holds the nails in a drum-like container. Typically, these guns will hold a few hundred nails. The stick-based nail guns are for your smaller, general jobs. They usually hold a couple dozen or so nails. Unless youíre doing some construction or a very large project, a stick-based gun will do the job.
When buying an air-powered nail gun, think about what you intend to use it for. Many nail guns are built with a specific task in mind. Some examples of task-based nail guns are: framing nail guns, finishing nail guns, roofing nail guns, etc.
Finishing nail guns are more for your light work, while framing nail guns are for heavy-duty work.
Just like anything great in life, air power tools come in a variety of sizes and loaded features. As to brands, thatís really a personal question. Some people become loyal to specific brands. If youíre not sure what to look for, try Bostitch, Craftsman, DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Porter-Cable first.
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