Tool maintenance is an important step that will keep your tool working at its rated specifications and maintain warranty coverage. Take the time to read users manual to ensure you understand the maintenance that your tool requires.
Preventative Air tool Maintenance
Setup: Working Environment
Make sure that setup for your tool meets the requirements specified in the user manuals.
PSI: Pressure per square inch
Most automotive pneumatic tools are rated to operate normally at 90 PSI.
Pulling the trigger of most ½” impacts drops the pressure by 20 PSI. The pressure set on your compressor tank is not going to the pressure at each one of your air outlets. Length of your lines, other tools running, small leaks, the regeneration point you set one your compressor all play factors in maintaining a optimal PSI for your tool. You can create a simple PSI tester with a few simple pieces of pipe, gauge, and some connects from most hardware stores.
CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute
Check to make sure the CFM rating on your compressor exceeds the CFM requirement for your tool. This affects large tools (1” impacts) and high volume tools (sanders and grinders). 1” impacts need to have ½” air lines and ½” fittings to get the air flow that they need.
Application: Right tool for the Right Job
Tools are designed and tested under the particular loads and work environments. They should be used what they are engineered for. Warranty does not cover tools that are used for applications other than their design intentions.
Example: Many 3/8 impacts have enough torque to remove car lug nuts. Used for this application, will snap 3/8” impact anvils frequently. Warranty does not cover this type of misuse.
3/8” ratchets being used as a breaker bar. Using ratchets as a breaker bar will snap ratchet drives, break internal parts, or spread ratchet towers. All of these conditions will cause the tool not to work or reduce its working life.
Make sure that you are using the proper accessories with the tool. A sanding pad that is coming apart will cause bad vibration and will wear out bearing prematurely. Some manufacturers have pads weighted specifically for their tools. Chrome sockets will prematurely wear out impact anvils.
Oiling a tool. Oiling any pneumatic tool is the most important preventative maintenance step. Tools should be oiled according to their use. Oil should be applied directly into the air inlet.
If you use your tool only once in a while - You should apply a large amount of oil into the inlet and apply a short burst to the trigger mechanism. This allows the oil to enter and sit in the motor.
In-line oilers do not provide enough oil to properly lubricate a tool on their own.
Greasing working mechanism parts. Read the manufacture guidelines for time and amounts for greasing (simple schedule - small amount, once a month). Over greasing can cause excess friction and hinder the operation of your tool.
Make sure there is an in-line water drain for shops with long lengths of hard piped air line. Also, make sure to drain your compressor tank daily.