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Thread: Pneumatic or electric?

  1. #1
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    Pneumatic or electric?

    A recent post about the face frames and the mentioning of an air drill got me to thinking? which is better? air powered tools or electric motor powered? i assume they both have their pros and cons. my inexperienced mind would assume that air tools would last much much longer than electric powered tools, but would require a bigger investment because of the size compressor needed to run the tool.

    I plan on purchasing a kreg foreman pocket hole machine soon. and I have been considering whether to get the pneumatic or electric version. they are the same price. a friend recently sed the air version and it gave his compressor a good run for it's money.

    so what are some of the pros/cons of each as you see it?


    thanks
    chris

  2. #2
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    chris, the decision to go air shouldn`t be entered into untill you know what you`re getting into.....the initial outlay for a "good" compressor, moisture filtration and piping isn`t cheap........neither are good air tools!
    but.......if you KNOW for a fact that you`re going to be woodbutchering
    for years to come then it`s the only way to go....i went this route quite a few years ago `cause even with a good friend owning the local power tool service center and having doubles of most tools i was down at least 1-2 days a month.....either running back-n-forth getting repair parts or having tools replaced under warranty...plus the electric tools where much heavier and unbalanced when compared to pneumatics...if you opt for air start your system with at least a 5hp 80 gal american made compressor "ir" or "quincy", either buy or build a moisture seperation system and pipe it according to the old timers.....then buy well made industrial grade tools and oil them regularly and in a small shop it`s very likely that you`ll never have to replace them.....ever! i can go on and on if you want?........tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Steve Clardy Guest
    I use a air drill for the screw holes for pockets

  4. #4
    I have a 5 hp IR compressor and my shop is piped with 5 quick-connect outlets. Personally, I have never given any thought to air tools with the exception of an IR die-grinder, and an CP impact wrench for the garage. Thinking about it, I see it as a matter of overall efficiency. Why use electricity to compress air for and deliver to the tool. I like to stay close to the source, the wall plug or battery pack.

    Thus, my recommendation is if you already have a good size compressor in place, then a air tools are a viable option. If you need to 'compressor up' then stay with the electron flow.

  5. #5
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    sorry chris, i forgot the most logical arguement for air ever........all of industry can`t be wrong......tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    thanks

    okay tod, i'll bite. what are some brands i can look for that are considered industrial grade? i have only seen some of the cheaper more available brands in the borgs. i am sure there are better and pricier versions.

    i am also assuming black pipe would be the way to go here with running air lines. i have heard copper is good too, but with the price of that stuff lately, that is out. my father in law is a pipe fitter by trade so if i had to go with the black pipe that wouldn't be a problem.

    any recommendations on where to look for the moisture filtration equipment or a book or site that tells you how to make your own.

    i would just like to get some sort of idea of what type money i would be looking at here.

    thanks for all the help.
    chris

  7. #7
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    chris, you`ve asked a few questions........
    brands, drills-n-drivers= dotco,cleco,buckeye,masterpower,rockwell,sioux.... .
    sanders=dynabrade,dotco,masterpower,sioux, ingersoll-rand usa stuff, stuhr......
    die grinders= dotco,cleco,masterpower.....that`s a start...
    piping.....i like black pipe, it`s what the ol` timers recomend.
    moisture....a refridgerated drier if you`ve got the bucks? loops of black pipe with drains at the bottom if you don`t.
    here`s a link... http://www.tptools.com/statictext/ai...ng-diagram.pdf
    tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    thanks tod

    that's a great start

    i'm sure i'll be back with more questions

    chris

  9. #9
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    chris, the compressor companys have been listening to the small shop owners and ir,quincy and kaeser have brought smaller screw type units to market. if you opt for an air powered shop these are definately worth looking into.....i`m saving my pennies right now hoping to upgrade in the next few years.....
    http://www.quincycompressor.com/prod...=15&subsub=106
    http://air.irco.com/IS/product.asp-en-12827
    http://www.kaeser.com/Products_and_S.../default.asp#0
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    As cool as air power is...

    I can't say as I've ever seen the point in a small shop running a 2+ hp motor to run the equivalent of a 1/4 hp electric tool like a hand drill. It makes good sense in a shop with a lot of guys all using air tools, as they tend to last longer. It can also be worth doing if you have a lot of uses for compressed air, and the compressor runs a lot anyway, but as far as direct comparison for drills and sanders, its pretty hard to be more cost effective than electric.

    John

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