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Tech Tip: Air tool maintenance and safety tips

May 7, 2020
Reading the owner’s manual is vital to understanding the safety and maintenance of air tools.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind for maintaining and using your air tools. 

  • Always wear eye protection and hearing protection.
  • Ensure you oil your tools with a petroleum-based non-detergent air tool oil with a rust inhibitor. Re-lubrication is also required prior to putting the tool away and periodically throughout the day if the tool is receiving heavy usage.
  • Regularly drain your compressor, as water is the number one result of air tool failures.
  • Make sure your compressor SCFM rating meets the tool recommended air requirements. An undersized compressor will not produce the required SCFM to operate the tool properly and will cause the tool to underperform.
  • Tools need to operate at 90 psi. Reduce air pressure and the tool will underperform. Increase air pressure and you will have premature wear of parts which will result in maintenance issues.
  • The minimum hose size for general maintenance air tools is 3/8” ID. Heavy duty tools, such as large grinders, 3/4” and 1” impact wrenches, require a 1/2” ID hose. Undersized air hoses will not deliver the required SCFM of air to the tools and will cause the tool to underperform.
  • High flow fittings are recommended and reducers are not recommended. Reducers limit the airflow and will cause the tool to underperform.
  • Check all hose fittings to ensure they are tight. Pipe thread tape is required to avoid leaks. Air leaks reduce the performance of the tool and cause additional stress on the compressor.
  • Ensure that your accessories meet all the tool specifications. Impact sockets are required on all ratchet and impact wrenches. All grinder and cutting attachments need to meet or exceed the speed rating of the tools.

If you follow these few simple tips, your pneumatic tools will provide years of safe, maintenance-free service.

Information provided by AIRCAT by Florida Pneumatic.

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