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Good brand of air tools

This is a discussion on Good brand of air tools within the Tools forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Ok, so I am finally going to take my first step in air tools. I have been trying to figure ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Good brand of air tools

    Ok, so I am finally going to take my first step in air tools.

    I have been trying to figure out what is a good brand that won't hurt my wallet. I'm sure there are brands that will last forever and take hours upon hours of use. I doubt I will use my air tools that often, but would like to finally have some on hand.

    I wouldn't mind the Craftsman brand
    From what I hear the Husky brand is made by Campbell Hausfeld. I'm not so sure I am really thrilled about Campbell Hausfeld.
    Are Northern Industrial any good?
    Snap-on may be out of my price range.
    I don't think I want to go near the OEM brand down at the auto parts store.

    I did a web search for best air tool brands. I read through a forum post and every brand mentioned i never heard of.

    It would be nice to get a set of tools, like you do with wrenches and power tools. Sears has a small set for 99 bucks.

    thanks

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    That guy thearborbarber's Avatar
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    I have an Ingersoll Rand 231 impact gun. It's been a good tool for me for the past 10 years.

    I have a Husky 3/8 drive air ratchet. It doesn't a good enough job for as little as I use it.

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thearborbarber View Post
    I have an Ingersoll Rand 231 impact gun. It's been a good tool for me for the past 10 years.

    I have a Husky 3/8 drive air ratchet. It doesn't a good enough job for as little as I use it.
    Did you mean, "it does a good enough job?"

    Yeah, I just came across Ingersoll Rand. Might be a little out of my price range.

    I know you get what you pay for....but maybe I can find a balance some where. Like maybe Craftsman or something comparable wouldn't be so bad.

    Later when I make the big bucks I can step up to something better, .

    I don't want to rush out and buy Campbell Hausfeld. Just because it is sold in almost every store I would like to spend my dollars as best I can.

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    Cant vouch for any other impact gun besides IR.

    I have the 1/2" 2131 and the 3/4" 2141. They are both the best impacts I've ever tried. They have gone down in price since I purchased mine. You cant go wrong with IR tools.

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    where is a good place to buy them? Any good on-line stores?

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    maybe this would be a good question. What do you think would be the most used air tool?

    I was thinking ratchet or grinder. I was thinking an impact gun won't fit in a lot of places, and with that kind of torque could break a lot of things. Maybe I should focus on what I think I may use the most, like maybe a ratchet?

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    If i can't afford the Ingersoll Rand. Do you think Sears would be a good second?

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    I used to like Craftsman air tools but over the past few years they've overly cheapened their products to the point I won't buy their air tools and I'm getting away from their hand tools too.. I had a Craftsman impact gun that had been around about 30 years before it gave up and I had to buy a new one. I bought a new Craftman impact gun and it lasted maybe 10 uses before taking a sh&t but my brother has one baught about the same time and has no trouble with his. My compressors for running air tools are equipt with a tool oilers too.. It just fell apart and had a touchy regulator knob that when bumped would cause the tool to just hiss.. It seems to have become hit or miss with crapsman lately.
    Last edited by Smittro; 03-15-2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: spelling
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    That guy thearborbarber's Avatar
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    I got my I-R off ebay. Northern Tool carries them for a reasonable price. Some places are cheaper but Northern has a huge selection.

    As far as my Husky Air Ratch. It does a good job for $50. It lacks some speed control in the trigger. The speed control is made of plastic and can be bumped easy. I use it maybe 12 times a year but it works good enough for me not to want to replace it.

    My advise is don't buy cheap. Save for the tool you want. I spent my late teen years and early 20 years with cheap tools and it sucked trying to make do.

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    Junior Member Shane2390's Avatar
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    Is this for at home or working at a shop? My first 1/2" was a cheaper husky, still works today, but at least one car a day I couldnt get the lugs off, just not enough power. Then I purchased the 150 dollar husky, and had it for about a year before the nose cone cracked in half... could be my fault from not sitting it down lightly...

    I have the good lightweight IR 3/8 ratchet that is awesome, you really need one that has some power behind it...

    I also got the good IR 3/8 impact gun, bought both of these for 40 each at a pawn shop. this thing is small, compact and has some balls... Ive gotten lug nuts off with it.

    And I just recently purchased the snap on MG725 1/2" impact, it costs more then the IR 2135TImax, weighs more, and the 2135 has more torque then you need but the snap on one has 1,190 ft. lbs of breakaway torque. It also has a 2 yr warranty and after that I could send it in for repair, but the quality just seemed better and I can give my tool guy 20 bucks a week for it.

    Basically, if its at home, you can go the cheaper route, but if you use them everyday, your going to eventually get nice ones, so get them first and save time and money.

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    +1 on the Ingersoll-Rand air tools -- they are nice. Over the years I have had Craftsman, Campbell-Hausfield, and a plethora of other no name air tools. My Craftsman impact has been losing power so I recently replaced it with a China made impact from Grizzly (I had a gift certificate). So far, I have been quite impressed with the performace and feel of the Grizzly unit -- for $100 I do not think you can beat it.

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    Junior Member Contagious74's Avatar
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    A good source for buying air tools is a Snap-On truck if you should happen to see one stopped at the local garage, have a talk with the driver/salesman about setting up an account. They offer good brands as well as their own, with lifetime warranties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contagious74 View Post
    A good source for buying air tools is a Snap-On truck if you should happen to see one stopped at the local garage, have a talk with the driver/salesman about setting up an account. They offer good brands as well as their own, with lifetime warranties.

    I know they make good tools, but I simply can not justify a second mortgage on the house to buy an impact gun. To me, Snap On, MAC and such are for the pros, the guys using these tools every day to make a living. For the hobbyist, such as myself, the lesser brands work just fine at far less cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I know they make good tools, but I simply can not justify a second mortgage on the house to buy an impact gun. To me, Snap On, MAC and such are for the pros, the guys using these tools every day to make a living. For the hobbyist, such as myself, the lesser brands work just fine at far less cost.
    I agree somewhat. I started over the years moving into the Stanley brands of hand tools. I believe they where baught out by Mac or Crap-on. But anywhy, Their hand tools have been the best so far for me it seems, good quality, ressonably priced and life timers too. I still buy crapsman hand tools in bulk for the shop/business.. Worst set I've ever had from them was a large set "laser printed" sockets. The chrome was peeling off of them before they even got used just from rolling around in my tool chests.. I think they've gotten rid of the laser printed sets now. Funny now there's Crapsman "professional" they look like standard Stanley hand tools. I was thinking about trying out a full set of Kobolt tools but I don't know much about them yet. I think I have a set around here somewhere that I've never used.. But on a different note over the years I have'nt found ANY tool from various Co's that I have'nt broken. Trust me every tool can be broken. For powered (electric) for me it's Porter Cable or go home. Delt makes good machine equiptment imho.. For welding (Arc) I use 220 ac/dc lincoln.
    Last edited by Smittro; 03-15-2010 at 09:28 AM.

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    I have all DeWalt and Porter Cable power stuff, but for a Bosch hammer drill that I picked up after I killed my DeWalt. Most of my hand tools are Craftsman that I bought years ago. Maybe replace 2-3 a year that I break or modify on my grinder for special use. My welder is a Hobart Handler 185 -- damn thing makes it look like I know how to weld. Some of my rarely used tools I pick up at shows -- O2 socket set, seal pullers, etc... The life saver of the bunch is a hose clamp set with the remote pliers, I love that thing.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I have all DeWalt and Porter Cable power stuff, but for a Bosch hammer drill that I picked up after I killed my DeWalt. Most of my hand tools are Craftsman that I bought years ago. Maybe replace 2-3 a year that I break or modify on my grinder for special use. My welder is a Hobart Handler 185 -- damn thing makes it look like I know how to weld. Some of my rarely used tools I pick up at shows -- O2 socket set, seal pullers, etc... The life saver of the bunch is a hose clamp set with the remote pliers, I love that thing.
    I have some "Z" wrenches I made with the vise and torches..haha

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    I hear what everyone is saying. I have been pretty picky with my hand tools, but it is not like buying air tools. I can buy just one socket or wrench i need for a job and spend a little money on something good. Since I am just starting out on air tools. It is a deep dive in cash before i can start buying one thing at a time.

    What tool do you think is a good starting point? I have been thinking about what I would use it for the "most." I was thinking either a ratchet or grinder. I know I have used the crap out of my dremel tool.

    I just can't see using an impact gun on more than just my lugs right now. I know I will need one some day. I'm just trying to think of what I might run into first.

    I already have the must have tire inflation, lol....

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    I have noticed you can find IR at Sears. I don't think I will ever be able to afford the likes of Porter Cable, DeWalt or Bosch. They are great tools, but man...they hurt just thinking about them.

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    I use the crap out of my small angle grinder with both drylocs and sanding discs. It is an incredibly handy tool. A 3/8 air ratchet is also a nice thing to have. One tool that I want to add this year is a small air drill. Whatever you go with, make sure you pick up some air tool oil and be sure to use it. I oil each tool daily before I use it and they have all held up well.

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    If your worried about not being able to fit a 1/2" impact into certain places, the 3/8" IR Impact is also simply amazing. I don't own one, but have used many of them at work. They are incredibly small and light.

    I know the tools are expensive, I have a good 2000 dollars (give or take) in air tools alone. But I worked as a Tech for 4 years, so I needed them to make my living. I never thought IR was outrageously priced, but I was also used to the tool trucks prices

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