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Old 02-21-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
Ford12508
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Default Battery Vs Air

First off let us know if you are talking about working at home or at a shop.

Do you prefer to use air tools or battery powered tools? I still live in my parents house, and while we only have a tiny compressor, I like my impact a lot more than my friends electric impact. Whenever I want to use my drill, I pick it up only to realize the battery is dead and so is the back up. Since it is the winter, I only go out to work in the garage when it is warmer out or if something needs to be done. It seems like I have not used my cordless drill in a long time, and I was thinking about getting rid of it because I can just plug my other one in and have a lot more power.

So besides being cordless, are there any advantages to a battery powered tool? it always seems to me like they are weaker and they need to be recharged before the job is done. School me GJ
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
crewchief888
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

at work,
in the shop i mainly use air, out in my sevice truck, my main tool is a cordless 3/8' dr impact, i do have a compressor on the truck, and i keep a cordless drill on board.

at home in the garage,
i mainly use electric corded tools, occasionally use a cordless drill,
i hate listening to the compressor running, unless i need it for an impact.


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Old 02-21-2011, 11:32 AM   #3
Cardboard Man
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

In the shop I use both but for different reasons. For under the hood or interior I much prefer my cordless impact. Much lighter weight and no hoses to drag around, plus it has plenty of power for the smaller fasteners. For heavy suspension work where rust is involved, air is the only way to go. Around the house I use a cordless drill/driver almost exclusively for it's weight savings and portability. The only time I used a corded drill is when I need to use a hammer drill for concrete.

Keep in mind that batteries do have a finite useful life. You might have to purchase/rebuild a battery every few years to keep your tools running. Just keep a spare on the charger at all times and rotate between the newer and older batteries and you'll never be without juice.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:34 AM   #4
LWW
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

Heavy duty work in the garage get's the pneumatic tools. Heavy duty work "too far" from the garage get's the corded tools. Light or "remote" work always get's the cordless tools. It's like cars. Each has design parameters that make it suitable for a particular function.

If you want to quiet your compressor, you can add a muffler to the intake. I'm planning the same, but I also built an insulated "out house" for my 60gal IR 2-stage oiled compressor that runs at about 1700 rpm so it's pretty tolerable to begin with. The intake muffler will make it downright quiet so even the neighbors won't notice when it's running.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
Gary S
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

At home in my garage, I use both. For some things, air works better for me. (Impact wrench, painting). For other things, I use electric. (drill, saw). All my electric tools are 120vac corded because I hate dead batteries too much to own them.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
GMCAMARO
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

I use mainly air, I find battery good not great, dead batteries, missing batteries, batteries have a life span, so it becomes another consumable.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
Kev442
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

1)hand tools
2)corded
3)air
4) battery powered in the garage.

Like others have said, my battery tools are mainly for around the house. I'm not interested in getting them all greasy and being cheapies, the battery life is minimal. Living in a northern climate, it's often easier to change the tire by hand than monkey around with anything else. Just did 2 that way last weekend. I always grab my corded 4" grinder before the 3" air cutoff wheel too.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
A1an
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

I don't have an air compressor yet but I don't see myself using air tools all that often when I do get one. Granted there are some situations where airtools are a must (i.e. removing 20 year old rusted strut nuts) but for the most part everything on my car can be done with handtools I already have. Call me crazy, but I actually like spending the time wrenching on my car with my hands. Gives me a more satisfied feeling at the end of the day. Bear in mind this is coming from someone who wrences on cars as a hobby, not for a living.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:04 PM   #9
zmotorsports
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

Mostly air powered tools here, at work and at home. Occassionally I will grab the battery powered drill over the air powered but rarely. Mike.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:02 PM   #10
trbomax
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

Ive always had air tools exclusivly,I have a cabinet with 1 or 2 of every air tool I could find. When we moved here and started building from scratch,my big compressors were back in ohio,and I had to make the switch to cordless/corded.It took me 6 yrs to get one of the compressors up here and on line,and although there are now 4 of them from 5 to 7.5 hp in my new shop,only one is hooked up. I seem to have gotten used to cordless,so air is low on my list of prioritys anymore. That being said ,I dont do the body work anymore that was a continuse thing at the old shop.The sanders and air files were in daily use there,they sit on a shelf here.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:02 PM   #11
Matt M, PA
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

I have friends in the auto business that use both. For me, it's not so simple.

I use my cordless drills/drivers all the time. On the car, I don;t even think of getting out my cordless impact for pulling wheels...and I probably should. Problem is, if I'm pulling wheels I usually want air anyhow to check pressures...so I'm saving dragging the hose across the floor.

If I'm doing heavy suspension work and the like...it's air all the way.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:11 PM   #12
jake00
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

tore down a small engine this weekend, Cordless impact worked great!
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:42 PM   #13
GeorgiaHybrid
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

When I can use air, I do. The only exception to that in the garage is my drill where I use corded for drilling and cordless as a driver. On the road or in the yard, cordless impact all the way (it doesn't have the power of the airtools but is quicker than hand tools).
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:59 PM   #14
ket-tek
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

I use both air and cordless at home.

For light duty Impact use like body/motor/interior, I have two 18v impacts and I'm loving them more and more everytime I use them. For suspensions and big stuff like that I use air..

For Drilling I've started liking air more recently for some jobs because if the bit hangs the air just blows off instead of twisting your wrist around..

Sanding I use all air, Polishing I use electric, and Grinding I use both air or electric depending on the wheel/arbor/stone sizes I need for the particular project..
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:16 PM   #15
Hurricane_Whisperer
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Default Re: Battery Vs Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by ket-tek View Post
I use both air and cordless at home.

For light duty Impact use like body/motor/interior, I have two 18v impacts and I'm loving them more and more everytime I use them. For suspensions and big stuff like that I use air..

For Drilling I've started liking air more recently for some jobs because if the bit hangs the air just blows off instead of twisting your wrist around..

Sanding I use all air, Polishing I use electric, and Grinding I use both air or electric depending on the wheel/arbor/stone sizes I need for the particular project..
Everyone knows the greatness of an air impact.

Most overlook how great an air drill and/or driver is.

An air drill is super compact. It produces a lot of horsepower for drilling, and plenty of speed which is the opposite of an electric corded or battery.

Most electric drills spin too slow with high torque.

An air drill will sink a hole with awesome precision and will fit nearly anywhere.

Much rather drill with an air drill and drive screws with an air driver and not twist my arm off.

You can buy top of the line, American made, Sioux air drills and drivers from Browntool.com
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