Air Tools Buying Guide
Air tools, like air nailers and staplers, differ from other power tools because they don’t run on electricity or batteries. Instead, they’re powered by compressed air. This technology requires fewer moving parts, so your tool lasts longer. Fewer moving parts also means less weight for greater comfort. Air tools are commonly used for automotive applications such as tightening lug nuts and for home renovation tasks like painting. Canadian Tire carries a selection of popular air tools including impact wrenches, air ratchets and air hammers.
Popular air tool applications
- Changing tires
- Light engine repair, tune-ups and radiator work
- Removing stubborn nuts and bolts
- Applying paint
Air tools have lots to offer
Comfort is one reason people prefer air-powered tools. Their high power to weight ratio reduces operator fatigue so you can work longer and more efficiently. And because air-powered tools run cooler, they do not generate heat and are, therefore, easy on your hands. Also, air-powered tools give you control with features like variable speed and adjustable torque.
Start your air tools collection with the right compressor
Choosing the right air compressor will help you get the most from your tools. Make sure you choose one with enough power. How much power? To be safe, we recommend 1.5 times the SCFM rating of your most powerful air tool. For example, if your impact wrench requires 3.0 SCFM, choose a compressor that generates 4.5 SCFM. If you use several tools simultaneously, add all of their SCFM ratings together and multiply by 1.5.
A guide to air tool terminology
- CFM - Cubic feet per minute. The volume of air (when pressurized) delivered by an air compressor. A term typically used when stating power requirements for air tools.
- PSI - Pounds per square inch. The measure of airflow generated by a compressor.
- RPM - Revolutions per minute. Example: an impact wrench described as 7500 rpm turns 7500 times every minute.
- SCFM - Standardized cubic feet per minute. The volume of compressed air (when not pressurized) delivered by an air compressor. Typically used to measure a compressor’s output.
- SCFM @ 40 PSI - The measure of air the compressor produces while its outlet gauge is set at 40 PSI. Spray guns are used at this pressure.
- SCFM @ 90 PSI - The measure of air the compressor produces while its outlet gauge is set at 90 PSI. Most air tools and nailers are used at this pressure.
- Torque - A force that causes objects to rotate, spin, or turn. Usually measured in lb/ft (pounds per foot)
Fittings and Accessories
From air filters to couplers to nozzles, Canadian Tire carries the fittings and accessories you need to get the most from your air tools. Using a quick coupler, for instance, is a faster way to connect your air tool. And attaching an in-line air tool oiler enables you to lubricate your tool as you use it.
An air tool for every task
- Impact Wrench - Ideal for removing lug nuts in order to change your tires. Also great for loosening stubborn nuts and bolts
- Impact Butterfly Wrench - Recommended for small fastener work in engine and body repairs.
- Die Grinder - Designed for grinding, edge-breaking, deburring, porting and polishing.
- Air Ratchet - Suitable for engine repair, tune-ups and radiator work.
- Spray Gun - Popular for painting
- Sander - The tool of choice for removing body filler, for rough shaping and for smoothing flat or contoured surfaces.
- Grease Gun - Ideal for lubricating parts in automobiles, recreational vehicles, machinery and farm equipment.
- Engine Cleaner - Suitable for cleaning dirt on and around car engines.
- Air Hammer - Capable of cutting rusted bolts, trimming metal panels and removing mortar when working with cement blocks. Also able to cut, chip and scrape most materials encountered during light-duty automotive work.
- Air Drill - Recommended for drilling, honing, reaming, hole sawing, wire brushing and other heavy duty uses.
- Impact Gun - A great choice for tightening and removing stubborn nuts and bolts.
- Cut-off Tool - Designed to cut through materials such as steel rods, fibreglass, copper/aluminium tubing and angle iron.