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18 Different Types of Air Tools

Air Tools collage

Quicklist: Different Types of Air Tools

  1. Air-Powered Drill
  2. Pneumatic Sander
  3. Pneumatic Socket Wrench
  4. Pneumatic Grease Gun
  5. Pneumatic Staple Gun
  6. Air-Powered Hammer
  7. Brad Nailer
  8. Framing Nailer
  9. Pneumatic Speed Saw
  10. Hydraulic Riveter
  11. Impact Wrench
  12. Needle Scaler
  13. Tire Inflation Tool
  14. Pneumatic Shears
  15. Die Grinder
  16. Pneumatic Blower
  17. Paint Sprayer
  18. Pneumatic Screwdriver

What are Pneumatic Tools Powered By?

Air tools, also known as pneumatic tools, are powered by compressed air. The jackhammer used in asphalt or concrete road maintenance is probably one of the most well-known examples of an air tool.

While factory workers and professional contractors are the main users of air tools, more and more homeowners and do-it-yourself enthusiasts have been seeking them out for home improvement or vehicle repair.

Air tools are lightweight, portable, easy-to-use and can speed up work related to drilling, sanding, painting or spray painting. They’re also of great use in remote locations that have little or no access to power.

Types of Pneumatic Tools List

Below you find various types of pneumatic tools examples, names, uses, and pictures.

1. Air-Powered Drill

Neiko 30083A 1/2" Reversible Pneumatic Air Drill, 500 RPM |

The biggest reason why people seek out air tools is that they allow jobs to be completed more quickly. You can get things done much more easily when you have access to pneumatic tools. The air drill that is being shown here is no exception. 

The ergonomic design of the handle will ensure that you stay comfortable even when you have been working for a long time. This is a well-balanced drill due to the durable ball-bearing construction.

It was designed to reduce the amount of vibration, making it easier to use and helping it to last you for a long time. This tool that will prove useful in a bunch of different situations.

2. Pneumatic Sander

A worker is using a pneumatic sander to give the wall a smooth finish.

Trying to sand something in a manual fashion is a tedious process. This is not going to be the case when you have access to a pneumatic sander

Pneumatic sanders have become far more common than traditional manual sanders in the modern era. These are very useful for many at home projects so you will certainly be able to get your money’s worth. 

3. Pneumatic Socket Wrench

A silver pneumatic socket wrench.Owning a good socket wrench set is something that everyone should aspire to. These are handy tools that are going to be necessary when working on various things.

Manual socket wrenches or ratchet tools are quite useful but pneumatic ones are even better. Owning a pneumatic socket wrench set will make your work go by in the blink of an eye.

These pneumatic socket wrenches being shown off here are very useful. This set contains several different precision ratchets. You can make good use of these to take care of jobs around your home. This would make for a useful socket wrench kit for a professional as well so it comes highly recommended.

4. Pneumatic Grease Gun

Pneumatic grease gunSource: Home Depot

Owning a pneumatic grease gun is going to come in handy. The powerful design of these air grease guns allows you to control the flow of grease very easily. It also features a good pump that can keep the flow of grease going continuously, allowing you to get your job done faster. 

An air grease gun such as this isn’t the most inexpensive tool but it will be worth the price. When you take into consideration how well this tool works and how much easier it is going to make things, you will want to own one.

You should be able to find these tools at large hardware retailers without any problems. Some smaller hardware stores may not keep pneumatic grease guns in stock but you should be able to track one down without any issues.

5. Pneumatic Staple Gun

The pneumatic staple gun is being used to join board panels.

When you need to use staples for upholstery purposes, it is a great idea to buy a pneumatic staple gun. This tool is going to allow you to work much more quickly and everything is going to turn out nicely.

People use these types of staple guns for upholstery, trim molding and other craft projects that require staples. You’ll love how easy this staple gun feels to use as it doesn’t take much getting used to before you are able to primary it.

This staple gun is very safe as well. It has several safety features that will keep you from accidentally firing staples. The trigger lock-out mechanism is an excellent feature and it will keep you from hurting yourself while you’re doing the job.

The exhaust cover is multi-directional as well, ensuring that the exhaust will rotate away from the user. You’ll be able to feel safe throughout the entire time you are using this and it is definitely a recommended buy.

6. Air-Powered Hammer

Air-powered hammerSource: Home Depot

Air-powered hammers are used to make both demolition and detail work much more simple. These hammers are very powerful and you will be able to break down various things with ease.

The hammer being shown here is quite powerful, being capable of delivering up to 2,280 BPM. It can make quick work of many demolition projects for you and it feels really nice to use.

The variable speed throttle that is equipped in this hammer makes it simple to control as well. You will feel as though you are in full control of your hammer throughout your time using it.

Ease of use is great when you’re working with powerful tools such as this. These hammers are used by professionals and amateur carpenters both but the price tag may be a bit much for most novices.

7. Brad Nailer

A worker is using a brad nailer to fix the door frame.

Owning a brad nailer is going to make a big difference when you need to use smaller nails. A normal hammer simply isn’t going to work effectively on these thinner nails so having a brad nailer around is going to make your job seem a lot easier.

You can effectively drive all of the nails that you need to when using this powerful air tool. Despite its power, it’s actually easy to handle as it only weighs a smidgen over two pounds.

This tool is also very durable despite being so lightweight. It comes in a very rugged aluminum casing, ensuring that you will be able to make use of this tool for many years. This is very handy to have in your tool collection and it will be a necessity when dealing with thinner nails. 

8. Framing Nailer

A framing nailer is being used to join wooden boards.

As you might expect, framing nailers are used for more heavy-duty jobs than brad nailers are. These framing nailers are capable of driving nails exactly where you need them to go.

People use them for framing work and they can make getting the job completed a much quicker experience overall. The industrial design of this tool is going to make driving nails a streamlined process, allowing you to do your job at a high speed with great proficiency.

These nailers are something that is used by professionals more than they are by amateurs. You won’t find framing nailers in the toolboxes of too many people who don’t work in carpentry or construction of some sort. Regardless, this is a very useful tool that will make certain tasks a lot easier. 

9. Pneumatic Speed Saw

Chicago Pneumatic 10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit

Having a pneumatic speed saw is going to save your arm a lot of unnecessary trauma. Air compression completely changed the game when it comes to sawing things.

What once used to be an arduous process is now a quick task that can be performed with great precision. This pneumatic speed saw is going to help you to cut things very quickly and you will be happy to save yourself time and energy.

One of the best reasons to use a speed saw over a traditional saw is that it is much simpler to cut straight. You won’t be tiring yourself out and maintaining a straight cut is going to be a lot easier because of this.

If you need to cut a lot of lumber, then it makes sense to have a speed saw. Purchasing one of these is going to be useful if you do construction projects on a regular basis.

10. Hydraulic Riveter

Hydraulic riveterRiveting is something that requires a bit of skill and you want to make things as simple as possible for yourself. Having access to a high-quality riveter is going to make everything much more manageable so it is a good idea to seek out a hydraulic riveter. 

The model that is shown here is a tool that has proven to be popular with both professionals and novices. This air rivet gun is capable of doing a great job while operating much more quietly than many of its contemporaries. This rivet gun is going to be able to last you for a long time due to its durable design and high-quality build. 

11. Impact Wrench

Impact wrench set

Making use of this impact wrench is going to make your job easier. This tool features a handy three-speed power regulator that allows you to get the proper tension on whatever you are wrenching. 

12. Needle Scaler

Needle scalerIf you need to get rid of rust, barnacles or even soot, then you should get yourself a needle scaler. A good needle scaler is going to be able to help you with this job, making quick work of all of removing all of these materials from the surface of the metal.

You will find needle scalers that have different design styles. This one is a needle scaler pistol gun. The pistol design is very easy to use and has proven to be the most popular. This model is very precise and it will remove paint just as well as it can remove rust. .

If you need to clean up a rusty old metal bed frame or a car, then this needle scaler is going to prove to be very useful. It’s just good to understand that this is a specialty tool that not everyone is going to use in their lifetimes.

13. Tire Inflation Tools

Air tube is being used to inflate a car tire.

It is a good idea to have some sort of a tire inflation tool available to use. You need to be able to fill up your tires when you need to and it might not always be possible to limp your car to the gas station where they have an air compressor

The model being shown here is portable and can be taken with you on the go to help in the event that you need to air up your tires.

14. Pneumatic Shears

Firefighters are at work as they try to open a car using pneumatic shears.

These pneumatic shears are made to cut through sheet metal. It is impressive how powerful pneumatic shears really are. They can cut through sheet metal similarly to how a pair of scissors can cut through a sheet of paper. 

15. Die Grinder

This is a die grinder set that can be used to widen metal holes if necessary.

A die grinder is a necessary tool when you need to widen holes in metal. You may also use a die grinder when you have to fill in edges on a piece of metal. You can polish metal edges and define curves on pieces of metal using this fantastic tool. When you buy a quality die grinder, you can expect it to be user-friendly.

This die grinder is compact and has an angled design. This makes working on metal a lot simpler and allows you to stay in a comfortable position throughout your time working. This also features a lock-off throttle so that you don’t start it up by accident. You’ll feel very safe and confident while using this die grinder.

This is not a tool that is commonly purchased by novices or DIY enthusiasts. It is mostly a tool that is popular with professionals who need to work on metal.

If you have a use for a die grinder, then you are going to enjoy having access to a high-quality tool that will do its job well. It isn’t an everyday tool but it is absolutely necessary for certain situations.

16. Pneumatic Blower

High Volume Powerful Industrial Air Blow Gun with 14-21 Inch Extensible Stainless Steel Air Flow Nozzle,Pneumatic Air Compressor Accessories Tool Dust Air Blower Gun-Extended to 26 Inch Total Size

This pneumatic blower is commonly used to remove debris such as dust. When you need to clean something that is inside of a machine or a vehicle, then this is going to prove especially useful. 

These blowers are used to restore machines. The model being shown off here is an industrial blower that is perfect for cleaning things expediently. 

17. Paint Sprayer

A silver paint sprayer with an ergonomic handle.

Paint sprayers are very important when you want to be able to paint something as quickly as possible. Professionals often use these paint sprayers to make painting houses much quicker than it would otherwise be.

These paint sprayers are actually capable of being very accurate so you won’t have to worry about it not being well suited for a large scale painting job. These may not be ideal for small detail painting but they are superb for painting large surface areas.

18. Pneumatic Screwdriver

A pneumatic screwdriver with pistol grip.

This screwdriver comes with a pistol grip design. The pistol grip design makes a lot of sense for a pneumatic device and this will seem very natural to use. You will be able to screw things into place very swiftly and being able to make short work of jobs is the primary reason why people purchase these.

Screwdrivers such as this are definitely purchased more commonly by professionals. People who need to make sure that things are done as efficiently as possible will appreciate a pneumatic screwdriver.

The price of this screwdriver really isn’t all that high so it would be practical for an average person to own one as well. Just decide whether you need the extra power of a tool such as this and consider your budget before moving forward.

Top Brands for Air Tools

Now that we’ve learned about the top types of air tools, it’s time to look at the best brands on the market. Here are our top picks:

1. Neiko

NEIKO 30088A 3/8" Drive Butterfly Impact Wrench | 75 Foot/Pound Torque |High Speed 10,000 RPM |1/4” Air Inlet | 3/8” Air Hose Size | Pneumatic Tool for Mechanics

Neiko is a company dedicated to providing high-quality tools at an affordable price. Their air tools are no exception, and they offer a wide variety of options to choose from.

Some of the best air tools they offer are:

  • Wrenches
  • Reversible Air Drills
  • 12 Piece Air Tool Kits

2. Husky

Husky 4-Piece Air Tool Kit for Air Compressor

Husky, the exclusive house brand of Home Depot, is known for its quality and durability. They make a wide range of air tools, from impact wrenches to ratchets and everything in between. Husky air tools are a great choice for the professional or home mechanic who wants a tool that will last.

The following tools are among their best:

  • Air Impact Wrenches
  • Reversible Drills
  • Angled Die Grinders

3. PrimeFit

Primefit ATK1002 50-Piece Ultimate Air Tool Kit w/Bonus Inflation Tool

PrimeFit is one of the top brands in the industry, and they make high-quality products. Their tools are perfect for professionals and DIYers alike, and they offer a wide range of products to choose from. Whether you need an air ratchet, an air drill, or anything else, PrimeFit is a great option.

Some of the best tools they offer include:

  • Air ratchets
  • Air drills
  • Impact wrenches
  • Air compressors

4. AirCat

AIRCAT 5100-A .401 Shank Composite Medium Stroke Air Hammer Kit - 3,000 BPM

AirCat is another top air tool brand, and its products are known for being durable and high-quality. Their air ratchets are some of the best in the business, and they offer a wide variety of other air tools, as well. 

AirCat’s lineup of air tools includes:

  • Ratchets
  • Wrenches
  • Hammers
  • Grinders
  • Specialty Tools
  • Tire Buffers

5. Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand 2317G Edge Series Kit with 231G Air Impact Wrench, 170G Air Ratchet Wrench, 5 Piece Socket Set and Storage Carry Case, Ergonomic Grips, Black

Ingersoll Rand is a top air tool brand that offers a wide variety of air tools, including impact wrenches, ratchets and more. Their products are known for being durable and high-quality, and they offer a wide variety of options to choose from. If you need an air tool for your home or business, Ingersoll Rand is a great option.

Some of the tools they offer include:

  • Impact wrenches
  • Ratchets
  • Air hammers
  • Drill drivers
  • Grinders
  • Sanders

6. Powermate

Powermate Air Tools P024-0252SP Px Composite Air Impact Wrench, 1/2"

Powermate is a leading manufacturer of air tools and accessories. Their products are designed for professional use and are built to last. They offer a wide range of products, from traditional air tools to more specialized tools like pneumatic wrenches. 

Some of their top air tools include:

  • Pneumatic impact wrenches
  • Pneumatic ratchets
  • Pneumatic drills
  • Pneumatic hammers


DEWALT Die Grinder, Right Angle, Air Powered (DWMT70782L)

DEWALT is a well-known name in the world of power tools, and their air tools are just as good as the rest of their products. They offer both pneumatic and cordless tools, so you can choose the right one for your needs. 

Some of their best air tools are:

  • Hammer Drills
  • Impact Drivers
  • Oscillating Multi-Tools


21° 3-1/2 in. Round-Head Framing Nailer

Finally, we come to RIDGID tools. RIDGID’s air tools are known for being both durable and powerful, and they offer a wide variety of air tools to choose from. If you’re looking for an air tool that will last, Ridgid is a great brand to consider.

Their top air tools include:

  • Cordless Brad Nailers
  • Cordless Impact Wrenches
  • Air Compressors

Overall, the above 8 brands are some of the top air tool brands on the market. Each one offers a wide variety of high-quality tools, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Whether you need an impact wrench, a ratchet, or anything else, these brands have you covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size air compressor do I need to run air tools?

In general, you need an air compressor that can deliver at least 6 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at 90 PSI (pound per square inch). This will ensure adequate power to run most air tools.

For high-demand tools like a pneumatic jackhammer, you’ll need a compressor with a higher CFM rating. You can check your tool’s instructions to find out the exact specifications for running that tool. 

Why use air tools over electric?

Air tools offer a number of advantages over electric-powered tools. They’re often more powerful, lighter in weight, and easier to use in difficult or dangerous situations. Air tools also don’t require a power source, so they can be used essentially anywhere.

Why do mechanics use air tools?

Air tools are commonly used by mechanics because they offer a number of advantages over traditional hand tools. They’re more powerful, so they can complete tasks more quickly. They’re also often lighter and easier to use in tight spaces.

How much oil do you put in air tools?

You should only put a few drops of oil in air tools. Too much oil can damage the tool and reduce its lifespan.

How much psi do you need to run air tools?

Most air tools require at least 90 PSI to operate properly. Some high-demand tools, like a pneumatic jackhammer, may require a higher PSI rating.

Why do air tools need oil?

Oil lubricates the moving parts in an air tool, reducing wear and tear. It also helps to keep the tool cool, which extends its lifespan.