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Old 12-27-2000, 06:25 PM   #1
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Best brand or air tools?

Got a compressor for Christmas, what is the best brand of air tools? Some of them are real cheap, yet others are real expensive. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2000, 06:38 PM   #2
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snap-on, but everyone has their own ideas about what "best" is. i have a couple of CP
(chicago pneumatic) that have held up well as have some no name tools. the only thing i've noticed the no name, or bargine tools not working well is anything that turns, like a die grinder or cut off tool.

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Old 12-27-2000, 06:39 PM   #3
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another thing is to oil your tools everytime you use them. that will make them last much longer and stay running at full power longer.

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Old 12-27-2000, 06:43 PM   #4
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I have CP ,Craftsman, and Ingersoll-Rand
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Old 12-27-2000, 06:45 PM   #5
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Scott,

Just my opinion, so don't take it as Gospel:

For MOST air tools, get the lower-priced ones. Not the absolute cheapest, but the lower end of a good brand like Ingersoll-Rand, Chicago Pneumatic, or Dotco. And before everyone starts whining about Snack-On and MAC, their air tools (and most other tools) are made by one of the above companies for them to resell at a higher price. The absolute best tools are Ingersoll-Rand, but you'll pay a premium for their best examples.

I would advise trying to save cost on everything except the 1/2" and 3/4" impact wrenches. When it comes to impacts, you'll get exactly what you pay for. Saving a few dollars now will result in years of frustration with an inadequate tool. Things like drills, small impacts, ratchets, saws, blow guns, air brushes, band sanders, air files, and hammers/chisels, and sandblasters can be as cheap as you can find. There is no finesse and heavy-duty science to most air tools. Production paint sprayers, DA sanders, and die grinders should be of a better quality, or your results will be disappointing. Regardless of what you might save on ther things, don't skimp on the impacts - you'll get more torque and longer life with a good impact, and will have something that you can hand to you children when you've stopped turning wrenches. (Personally, I'll stop playing with cars and mechanical things when I have to be fed through a straw, but that's another issue.)

One more item you should have for your air tool arsenal is a filter/drier. It's amazing how much better things will run on clean, dry air. A bottle of air tool oil will pay off in the long run as well.

As I said, just my 2.

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Old 12-27-2000, 07:36 PM   #6
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If you want raw, unmatched torque, get Ingersol Rand. I think this is what MAC Tools uses, just throws there name on it.

It has been my experience that these brand of air tools have the most power.

However, my 3/8" Snap-On impact is small and fast, making it great for everyday use (except for high torque applications such as head bolts (removal only) and wheels and such)

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Old 12-27-2000, 08:03 PM   #7
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My 1/2 inch drive air gun is Ingersoll-Rand.

3/8 gun is Snap on.

3/8 ratchet is Snap on.

Using these things all day and every day really puts a test to them. These are what have held up to my abuse and these are the brands that I like.

Basically you need to figure out what you will really be using them for and how often.

It doesn't pay to spend 300+ dollars on a gun that you will use to rotate your tires once in a while.

Keep them oiled and they will usually last, no matter what brand you get.

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Old 12-27-2000, 10:21 PM   #8
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I agree. Ingersoll-Rand is tops. Ingersoll-Rand and CP also make craftman ratchets and impacts. Same quality for a bit cheeper.
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Old 12-27-2000, 10:36 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice. I dont plan on abusing them too much. I am not going to be using them that much, but when I want to use them, I want them to work good. I'll tkae your suggestions into account before buying anything expensive. Thanks again.

Scott
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Old 12-27-2000, 10:39 PM   #10
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My experience:

Snap-On 1/2" gun......worked well for 6 months and then went bad, bought a rebuild kit and it still never had the power it had when new, and even cheap import guns had more beans.....I continued to use it since I paid $250 for it back in 1987. I bought a MAC 1/2 gun last year, finally. Damn, that thing has so much power it rocks! made by Ingersol, so I'm told. You should see the exhaust port on that thing, looks like a air scoop for a F-16!

3/8" air ratchet: Ingersol-Rand. 10 years now, still works awesome.

1/2" air drill: Central Pneumatic, import but has just as much power at low speed as my 1/2" Snap On air drill had (sold it years ago during hard times)

3/8" air drill: Central Pneumatic, and it is the exact some model sold by Matco and Craftsman.

One thing to pay attention to when buying an air tool, is the SCFM rating and PSI required. If you buy a air ratchet, for example, that has a SCFM rating of 10, at 90PSI, you will drain your home compressor in a matter of a few seconds. Look instead for a SCFM rating of about 4 at 90PSI. Will do the same basic work, and not eat up all your air so quickly. If you need POWER in a tool, go for the higher SCFM but be ready to have you compressor running all the time to try and keep up. Those high SCFM tools are really meant to be used in commercial air systems, such as the type where I work. 440Volt, gazillion HP, 250+ gallon compressors and we use 2 of them! We use 1" drive Ingersol-Rand impact guns that take two hands and will snap a wrist in half if you're not payin attention. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-28-2000, 01:22 AM   #11
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I prefer the Ingersoll Rand tools myself. MAC, and I think now Craftsman are selling their won version of them. My MAC racing 1/2 inch impact has IR stamped on the internal parts. Also, the 2112 (I think) 3/8 impact is awesome! Pulls head bolts and lug nuts! Too bad the torque sticks won't fit without an adapeter! LOL

Summary, IR makes awesome tools. They are what I use, but I rely on them for a paycheck. For home use, I would probably buy the cheaper stuff!

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Old 12-28-2000, 06:17 AM   #12
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Between Vader, GM Tech, and Engineboy's reccomendations, you should be covered. For a 1/2" impact, the Ingersoll-Rand model #2131 has incredible power. Over 600 ft. lbs in reverse. Snap On's 1/2" gun works really well too. Hey GM Tech, I have the Snap On 3/8" impact also, and I love it. Just like you said, it's compact and fast. Take Vader's advice when it comes to impacts and die grinders. Don't buy the cheap ones. I learned this the hard way when I first started buying air tools. I trust Craftsman hand tools to a certain extent, but I'll never buy another one of their air tools. I have a Craftsman 3/8" air ratchet that probably can't even loosen a hose clamp without having to pre-loosen it with a wrench first! Look real close at some of their air tools, and you'll notice "made in Taiwan" stamped on them. Total junk. I also bought a no name die grinder from a pawn shop once. It lasted through maybe two or three projects and that was it. Even when you're buying tools just for home, you still get what you pay for. I'm not a mechanic as a profession anymore, but I'm damn glad I still have some of those nice tools to work on my own babies with!



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Old 12-28-2000, 07:04 AM   #13
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Just thought I would throw one out for those of us who don't use them everyday. My 1/2" drive impact is a HUSKY from Home Depot. I don't know who makes it but it was only $80 and is guaranteed for life. Home Depot will also replace your broken Snap-On or Craftsman tools with a HUSKY version for free and with no hassle. Probably because they don't see too many broken Snap-On or Craftsmans. Seems like the more money you spend the more efficient (use less air for the same power output) the air tools are.

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Old 04-11-2011, 01:52 PM   #14
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Re: Best brand or air tools?

I really like the Ingersoll Rand tools. They seem to last much longer. YOu get what you pay for.:
http://www.ingersollrandproducts.com....aspx-am_en-10

I am biased I work for Ingersoll Rand.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:37 PM   #15
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Re: Best brand or air tools?

I see tools like this: Spend $100 on a fancy brand name - it will last 10 years with no issue. Spend $10 on a Harbor Freight tool, it will last a year no issues. Regardless, in the end you spent the same money.

Now - I do agree that some things are better (and thus worth the extra expense) for certain applications. If I was a daily tech at a shop, I'd want tools to last - I can't afford to go out 2 times a week to replace a tool. Also, lets say that cheap open ended wrenches will sometimes spread under pressure more so than a Craftsman+ qulaity tool.

But - those are hand tools - different story. I've never seen any major difference in useability between a fancy Snap-On air tool and the same tool from Harbor Freight - With my experience the cash should be spent on the compressor and not the tool. Air tools rarely give out at all, since they have very few moving parts, no magnetism to collect dust, etc.

But that's me - if I had $500 to spend on air tools, I'd spend $400 on a compressor, and only $100 on cheap Harbor Freight tools, hoses, couplers, etc.

But - the question I guess was best brand, not best option. If you got it, spend it up brother! I'm just a tightwad that hates spending extra for "brands".
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:48 PM   #16
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Re: Best brand or air tools?

Ingersoll rand are the best
Mac air tools are rebranded ir tools
with a bigger price tag
Very powerful and durable
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:03 PM   #17
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Re: Best brand or air tools?

I agree on the Ingersoll, unless you can find a Cleco.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:08 PM   #18
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Re: Best brand or air tools?

I do work in a shop and I like IR best. But like said before, if your working from home the I would buy by air requirements not by brand. My 1/2 IR impact would kill most home air compressors in a matter of seconds(including my own) So I don't bring that bad boy home. But I do use craftsman air tools at home and have never had any problems with a 26gal air tank rated at 150 psi. So I would suggest you buy air tools based on the compressor you have not the brand. (but I'm not saying go buy some crappy no name for 20 bucks either)
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:13 PM   #19
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Re: Best brand or air tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunaticinaZ View Post
I do work in a shop and I like IR best. But like said before, if your working from home the I would buy by air requirements not by brand. My 1/2 IR impact would kill most home air compressors in a matter of seconds(including my own) So I don't bring that bad boy home. But I do use craftsman air tools at home and have never had any problems with a 26gal air tank rated at 150 psi. So I would suggest you buy air tools based on the compressor you have not the brand. (but I'm not saying go buy some crappy no name for 20 bucks either)
I brought my good Ingersoll grinders and impact home to work on the car, and they get bogged down REAL quick.....and ive got a big Porter Cable compressor.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:13 PM
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