What's your favourite/best brand of air tools?
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    4,075
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    717
    Likes (Received)
    778

    Post

    I've been using air tools for ages, and have found the best to be Dotco air tools. I like Ingersoll-Rands stuff OK, and have a few of those also. What do you guys think of other brands? I've heard of DynaBrade, Sioux, Snap-On, etc. Which brands beside Dotco are still U.S.-made? How about which ones are most easily rebuilt? Last the longest?

  2. Likes greggv liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Benton, IL USA
    Posts
    4,567
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    47

    Post

    I agree on Dotco, well made.

    IR has both elcheapo & high quality tools. Stay away from the low dollar tools. Made in the USA and all over the world.

    Dyna is high quality. Parts are pricey & harder to get than IR.

    Snap-On has everyone make tools for them. Nice quality. Rebuildable if you can figure out where to buy the parts (or who made the tool).

    Sioux tools are owned by Snap-on. Also a seller of both cheapo & quality tools.

    CP is widely distributed. Like IR, good availabilty of parts & tech support.

    Henry & TC Service (Top Cat) are the best in 3HP and 4HP vertical shaft grinders. Tougher than nails, easy to rebuild, good parts & tech support. 100% USA.

    Jet builds good, heavy duty weld chippers, scalers & hammers.

    Patco makes superb industrial tools, equal to the top IR & CP offerings. They make no impacts, but most everything else. 100% USA. Good parts & tech support. Sometimes found cheap at auctions or eBay as few people recognize the name. http://www.patcoairtools.com/index.htm

    -------------------------------------------------

    If you go with a higher priced IR or CP, you'll start with a good tool that can easily be rebuilt to new condition.

    Whenever there's a choice of a tool with a 90* head versus a straight tool, go with the straight tool if possible. The bevel gears are a PITA, really expensive to replace (just paid $360 for a matched set for an IR angle grinder!!!) and often unnecessary - many designs eliminate the the gears by using a vertical motor.

    Watch some of the newer IR impacts, like the popular 2135Ti or the 2141. The cylinders are cast with the end plate integral. A hone can be run most of the way into the cylinder, but there's no way resurface the end plate as it wears - just throw away the worn cylinder & give IR $150 for a new one ......
    -------------------------
    Barry Milton

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    321
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    11
    Likes (Received)
    28

    Post

    I like CP DA's & Drills, IR sanders & sander polishers & Snap-On drills, impact wrenches and air hammers, older stuff seems to have been better quality than recent in most cases.
    For air saws you just can't beat Cengar (Halifax, UK) contra-acting pistons give great ballance, you can cut through bodywork one handed & without having to ram the saw hard against the work to get a good cut, last forever too if oiled as recommended!
    Regards,
    Nick

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    4,026
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    13
    Likes (Received)
    49

    Post

    One you dont hear alot about with very high quality is ATSCO. Air grinders mostly I think. Always a few on Ebay.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,706
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    136

    Post

    I love my Cleco 1/2" VS Drill, I think Cleco and Dotco are the same company and make very good tools. IR has some great stuff and some crap and it's hard to tell the good from the bad. For sanders I like Hutchins they make great stuff http://www.hutchinsmfg.com/content/alstory.html.
    Andy

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Walla Walla Wine and Wild Turkey
    Posts
    4,592
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    304

    Post

    I use Cleco for carbide burrs and Dotco for abrasives.
    Cleco has power at lower rpms and Dotco has smooth running at high rpms.
    Cleco.
    http://www.clubchopper.com/photopost...00&ppuser=1763

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    552
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Post

    I have some of everything, about 50 air tools in all, so my observations may be of interest.

    Dotco makes some of the best RA grinders you can buy, but the IR Cyclone line will definitely give them a run for the money. The Cyclones are more versatile since you can configure the exhaust port for front or rear-very handy. Dotco has to be ordered one way or the other. All in all these two are a toss-up for best RA grinders. IR was first with a composite housing; Dotco had to play cath-up on that one. But they caught up

    On RA close-quarter 1/4-28 spindle drills, Dotco or Desoutter. Lightest, smallest, quietest, smoothest.

    Best 'palm' drill goes to IR (3AL1, 3AN1), with a special mention for Sioux which is damn near as good for 1/2 the money.

    Best air torque setting screwdriver goes to Cleco.

    Best geared DA (epicycloid orbit) goes to Dynabrade with special mention for the Detroit 900, again nearly as good for 1/3 less money.

    Best random orbit sander goes to Dynabrade. There are several 'look alke' sanders out there, but I've owned every one of them and NOT EVEN ONE is still working, while all three Dynas still work fine despite more hours at hard labor. Even the Dotco is not as good and I have the latest model too. But I always reach for a Dynabrade.

    Best DA sander again goes to Dynabrade. A DA differs from a pure random orbit sander in that it can also be configured as a grinder.

    Best air file goes to Hutchins for both inline (Hustler) and their unique orbital air file.

    Best 'jitterbug' sander goes to Hutchins also. You'd think the Dynabrade would win out here having the motor from their excellent random orbit but no, the Hutchins is definitely better.

    Just my opinions based on daily use.

    I have many other tools like impact drivers and the like but I dont use them enough to find their limits and bugs, so I won't comment on them.

    Jimbo

  9. Likes Winterfalke liked this post
  10. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Benton, IL USA
    Posts
    4,567
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    47

    Post

    One you dont hear alot about with very high quality is ATSCO
    Their products & quality level are much like Patco. ATSCO does have a much broader range of grinders. Made in the USA. http://www.atsco.com/

    A superb small grinder (for 1/8" burrs) with low vibration is made by Air Turbine Tools. 50,000RPM, tiny, like a super-Dremel. http://www.airturbinetools.com/html/straight/200SV.html

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    552
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Post

    Cleco has power at lower rpms and Dotco has smooth running at high rpms.
    This may not be an 'apples to apples' comparison since both brands can be configured for either 12,00 or 20,00 RPM. You might have one of each type in different brands. I mostly prefer the 12,000 RPM RA grinders. My Dotco is a 12,000 RPM.

    Jimbo

  12. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Walla Walla Wine and Wild Turkey
    Posts
    4,592
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    304

    Post

    Cleco has more balls at low rpm no doubt about it.
    I have ten of each.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    MA, USA
    Posts
    2,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    12

    Post

    One brand you don't hear about too much is the Husky at Home Depot. They good ones are made by Fuji in Japan, who also makes many of IR's nice models. Lifetime warranty from HD. Granted they don't have any specialty models like chippers, scalers, big impacts, etc. But for the small stuff they're great.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    382
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Post

    Now for the really dumb question...what exactly is an air tool? (And should I have included a category like that on my Tools page?)

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Benton, IL USA
    Posts
    4,567
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    47

    Post

    what exactly is an air tool
    A more correct name would be air powered tool, but no one uses that, too wordy.

    Includes impact wrenches, ratchets, grinders, sanders, chippers & scalers, die grinders, drills, polishers, hammers (pavement breakers), and more.

    Some good sites are:

    http://www.irtools.com/productsandsolutions/index.asp

    http://www.chicagopneumatic.com/

    http://www.henrytools.com/

    http://www.tcservice.com/

    http://www.dynabrade.com/

    http://www.coopertools.com/brands/dotco/index.cfm

    -------------------------
    Barry Milton

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    382
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Post

    So, if I understand this, the difference is not the tool per se, but that it is powered by compressed air...the advantage over gasoline-powered is obviously no fumes (assuming the compressor is outdoors). What is the advantage of air/pneumatic-powered over electric-powered tools?

    By the way, if this is just too basic, ignore me. However, I found a site that said Pneumatics are everywhere in important inventions, however, they are relatively unknown to the general public, so now I don't feel so bad [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Clueless in Virginia

  17. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    4,075
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    717
    Likes (Received)
    778

    Post

    To add to that Stephanie...air tools are tools that are powered by compressed air. So you need to run a hose from an air compressor to the air tool to use it. Thus, instead of an electric cord to power the tools, you have a hose that transmits the compressed air to the tool. Guys, great responses so far, I'm busily checking out all the links of the companies that I hadn't already heard of. Thanks! And if you've got any more, keep 'em coming! [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Also, stuff like Jimbo offerd up is useful to me, I like to hear about practical long-term experience of what is good, better, and best from people that are using the tools more than I am!

  18. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    382
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Post

    Apologies to wyzkydd, I think my question would be considered "thread highjack" [img]tongue.gif[/img] What I'm really grappling with is whether many of the tools you are discussing on PM are just too far from my "consumer product" mandate and maybe I should just steer clear.

    So, I'll just read and be quiet.

  19. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Benton, IL USA
    Posts
    4,567
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    47

    Post

    Steph -

    IMO, you'll find some air powered tools in many noncommercial shops. Air die grinders are really common, impacts too if automotive work is done.

    What is the advantage of air/pneumatic-powered over electric-powered tools?
    Smaller, lighter, greater power-to-weight, cool running, no electric shock potential, no sparks to ignite flammable vapors, etc.

  20. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    168
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Post

    For Impact guns IR stuff is awesome, I have used a bunch and they run circles around snap on performance wise, especially for the price.
    I have recently found a brand of USA made rortary air tools, Viking. The same people who makes the sanders. I have a straight, and angle grinders, as well as a drill. They cost less than IR (on sale) and they are very well built. Highly recommended if you can find them!

    Jim

  21. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Springfield Mo
    Posts
    411
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    52

    Post

    For aircraft/missile assembly/repair only air powered or pneumatic (if you want to pick nits)are allowed on most aerospace production floors.

    The tools run cooler and are usually more powerfull than a comparable electric tool and can be used in a unsafe enviroment(explosive gasses or fumes)without the danger of sparks from the electric motors brushes.

  22. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Not to sound like a shameless plug, but I've been manufacturing pneumatic tools for 30 years now. The last 11 years I've been Vice President of product development for ATSCO mentioned above. ATSCO doesn't have a consumer line of tools so isn't nearly as well known as IR, CP, etc. Most of our products go to the heavy industries, ie; foundries, shipyards, railroad, etc. It's all very high quality, all US made. A large percentage of our sales are not catalogued items, but specialty, niche type tools for industrial users. My shop in Tennessee makes a lot of the special stuff.
    Guess you never know who you'll run into on this board!

    Greg

  23. Likes gking86 liked this post

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •