I am in the market for an air hammer/chisel, a cut off wheel and maybe
an air nibbler. I've concluded that the best ones on the market are
those by either Ingersoll-Rand or Chicago Pneumatic. What are your
experiences and opinions on each brand?
Also, does it make sense for the DIY home mechanic to invest in the
better built heavy duty version of these tools or is the low end,
economy line sufficient for light automotive work and other misc jobs
around the house?
On Mon, 04 Aug 2003 14:30:19 GMT, email@example.com (Tim) wrote:
There've been a few threads around here that discussed the benefits
of "professional" air tools like a quality impact wrench vs. a cheapo.
Bottom line was that the pro tool generated a lot more force compared
to the cheapo when hooked to the same compressor.
For an air chisel, I can comment. I bought a cheapo. The unit is fine.
The chisels are poorly hardened and don't hold an edge. I have an
inexpensive die grinder that I can put a cut off wheel in. Works
fine, it's a low load tool. I find my Dremel reinforced cut off disks
of more use than the larger wheels you'd normally use. The smaller
diameter makes it easier to cut what needs cutting and not something
else. The arbor fits in the cut off tool with the supplied adaptor.
IMO, C/P and I/R are equally good. Flip a coin.
My air chisel is a no name brand that I got for $12 a long time ago.
It still works well after many hours of use. Not much to an air chisel.
You might want to get a good wheel and nibbler though.
The better units tend to use air more efficently.
I agree, both IR and CP are excellent. I also
agree on buying a cheap air hammer. Before buying the cut off tool, see if
you can borrow one to verify your compressor can run it. Spinning the wheel
is one thing, cutting stock is another.
When in doubt, buy a cheapo, when it breaks, replace with good quality.
If you contemplating heavy use, skip the cheapo. I seldom use air tools,
the ones I have are cheapos, and they run fine.
I would choose IR anyday. Now FYI to save you a few bucks, Craftsman has
air tools manufactured by BOTH. Take a look at the specs and the prices
there and see which one is the better value for YOU.
But another plug...all of the IR tools that I have used have had far more
power than any other that I have held. Like driving a 454 over a 350.
The issue of buying best tools or "make do" comes up all the time. Old
timers almost always suggest buying the best. They often learned that
by NOT buying the best. Not buying the best seems not to have stopped
most old timers though. They became good crafters anyway.
One way you can make your own decision is to write down a list of what
NOT buying the best would mean, in dollars. Compare it with what you
are planning to spend now.
For instance, buying a table saw. If the difference between what you
want to pay today and what it would cost to buy "the best" for your
circumstance is, say, $500 -- how many kitchen cabinets is that? In
the case of air tools, do the better ones work better RIGHT NOW? Is it
functionality at stake, not just longevity?
Not all jobs have to be done with equal finesse. If you are building a
utility cabinet for the garage, you don't necessarily have to make it
as finely as you make the dovetailed drawers in a showpiece for the
living room. Do the jobs you are planning to do with these air tools
Affordability is also a matter of age, IMHO. If you're 85, is there a
reason to think you need a saw that goes 20 years? Risk assessment
changes by age in another way: someone 22 years old has plenty of time
to get value out
a super expensive widget -- he will go another 50 years in the
workshop. Might as well buy a tool that's likely to see him through
most of his life.
Don't forget salvage value. Many people buy cheap - and then have
nothing to sell when they want to upgrade, the old tool's a piece of
Anyway, make up a list of issues and try to look at them objectively.
Most folks do not regret "overbuying" quality so the risks are not
equal on both sides but in the end, it's YOUR money and your decision.
There are air tools made to go 20 years and air tools made to operate
for 40 hours. How many times will you need to use these tools over
their lifetime? How about over YOUR lifetime?
firstname.lastname@example.org (Tim) wrote in message
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