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Best Air Tools for Automotive Repair

Best Air Tools for Automotive Repair

Automotive repair and restoration are tough work. When you need extra power to tackle a job efficiently, without breaking your back, you need auto body air tools. Whether you are removing entire systems from under the hood or pounding out some body work, investing in automotive air tools is a must. Air-powered tools lighten the load and minimize labor. From loosening stubborn suspension bolts, lug nuts, wheel studs and hard-to-reach exhaust bolts to removing an oil drain plug that has become cross threaded, an air compressor tool is critical for any productive shop. NAPAonline sells a wide range of quality Tools & Equipment designed for long-lasting use and reliability.

What Are Pneumatic Tools?

Auto body air tools, often called pneumatic tools, are driven by compressed air supplied through an air compressor. To determine which air tools are the right fit for your home garage or tool shop, you should first determine how much power you need. Pneumatic hand tools tend to produce more torque than electric tools plugged into a socket. Where an electric tool is limited to less than 10,000 RPM, pneumatic tools can reach 12,000+ RPM, which means less bounce and faster cutting or grinding. Pneumatic air tools are also lighter and more compact than electric tools that have a large battery pack or motor.

No matter which air tool you choose, make sure you are well stocked in Air Tool Oil. And, for complete air tool safety, ensure you have safety glasses, earplugs, gloves and dust masks in your home garage or professional shop. NAPA knows there is no such thing as “too safe,” so we stock all the protective and emergency supplies you need.

Air Compressors & Accessories

While air tools are generally less expensive than other power tool options, they also require an investment in a dependable air compressor (powered by either an electric motor or gas engine), as well as the hose line and accessories. When working with air tools, it is important to remember that you are tethered to an air hose. However, you can tuck the air compressor itself under a bench, secured to a rafter above or even stored outside. From understanding pressure ratings to determining the tank volume needed, check out the NAPA Air Compressor Buyer’s Guide

Air Buffers & Polishers

Some automotive air tools perform very specific functions and operations, such as air buffers and air polishers. For less than $200, you can add an air-operated, compact, precision-engineered Tire Repair Buffer from NAPA to your tool collection. Or check out the Chicago Pneumatic Mini Pistol Disc Polisher, which offers 2,500 RPM, comes with a three-inch disc and weighs less than two pounds.

Pneumatic Grease Guns

Air-operated grease guns are designed to quickly and effectively lubricate shop equipment, heavy machinery and automotive parts. The Lincoln Industrial Pneumatic Grease Gun offers a fully automatic and continuous operation with a 16-ounce lube capacity. Take advantage of the variable speed trigger and 30-inch high-pressure hose. Additionally, you could upgrade to the 20-Volt Max Air Grease Gun by DeWALT. This top-of-the-line air power tool can push out up to 5 ounces per minute for a high-flow application. It is equipped with a variable speed trigger and a 42-inch flexible hose plus incorporates a pump filter screen and LED light.

Pneumatic Blow Guns

Instead of solely functioning as specialized hand tools, there are standard air tools that are adaptable and versatile. A Standard Air Blow Gun is primarily used for cleaning off debris (like metal shavings or grime) or for contact-free drying using short bursts of directed air. Check out the Star-Tipped Air Blow Gun with a lever trigger and a four-inch nozzle or the pocket-sized Adjustable Air Blow Gun with a one-inch nozzle. 

Air Drills

Now that you are feeling comfortable with an air compressor setup, and have selected some of the finer air power tools used for detailed work, it’s time to move on to the big guys. NAPAonline is your one-stop-shop to complete your extensive air tool set with top brands like Craftsman, Carlyle Tools, DeWALT, Evercraft, Milwaukee Tool, Ingersoll Rand and Porter-Cable. This includes a vast selection of high-quality air drills, also called pneumatic drills, which cost anywhere from less than $40 to nearly $400. 

Air Grinders

An air grinder, or pneumatic die grinder, provides a great introduction to auto air tools. This easy-to-operate mechanic’s tool can remove material from steel, aluminum, cast iron and even plastic. Struggling with a hard-to-reach area? Choose a mini angle pneumatic die grinder designed for a 90-degree or 45-degree approach. You can upgrade the usefulness of a die grinder by adding accessories, like wheels, discs and stones, for cutting, sanding, grinding and weld finishing.

Air Impact Wrenches & RatchetsCarlyle 1/2 High Pref Impact Wrench

Air impact wrenches are massive enough and tough enough to handle giant nuts and bolts with just a few rotations, while air screwdrivers are smaller for tackling screws. A great air impact wrench doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money. Take a look at the Heavy Duty Impact Wrench by Evercraft with 230 ft lbs of maximum torque and a top speed of 6,000 RPM. If that’s not enough torque, go with the even more powerful Heavy Duty Impact Wrench by DeWalt, which offers a maximum torque of 650 ft lbs and 7,5000 RPM. Or, for real turbo power, the Carlyle High Performance Impact Wrench can deliver up to 1,450 ft lbs of breakaway torque!

For some mechanics, air ratchets are the preferred tightening tool in their pneumatic tool set because it is a real time saver. The JAT-323 Industrial Ratchet Wrench by Jet is engineered for extreme projects. This long-lasting air tool utilizes advanced technology to reduce recoil and produce more torque with less twisting. Its heavy-duty grip absorbs vibrations and reduces hand fatigue. Additionally, for those mechanics who are loyal to Carlyle Tools by NAPA, our experts recommend this Variable Speed Air Ratchet, which features a rotating center handle exhaust and full-cage gearing system.

Air Saws & Sheers

As we wrap up this NAPA Shopping Guide for the best air tools, let’s just cut to the chase. If you need to slice through an 18-gauge piece of metal without any distorted edges, then you need the NAPA Professional Air Sheers by Carlyle Tools, which is available for approximately $100. If you need to get creative with your cuts, and must maneuver tight spots to complete straight cuts or curved slits, our experts recommend the Compact 90 PSI Air Saw. This budget-friendly pneumatic power saw incorporates an adjustable guard for complete control over the cutting depth.

Save on Auto Body Air Tools With NAPA

Don’t forget, NAPA offers even more savings with NAPA Rewards when you purchase auto body air tools, as well as all other tools, equipment and parts. You can earn 1 Point for every $1 you spend—collect 100 points, and you automatically get $5 off your next order. Additionally, participating NAPA Auto Parts stores offer a convenient Buy Online, Pick Up in Store option or you can get Free One-Day Shipping on more than 160,000 items!

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More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.

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