Editor's Review: Plug-and-Play Pneumatic Hoses
review date: September 1, 2006
Traditional pneumatic connections rely on complementary male and female fittings that join together to make an airtight link. The High Tech Air Connection system is different because it requires no fittings on the hose itself. Instead, one metal fitting is threaded onto the tool, and another fitting goes on the compressor; then the flexible polyurethane air hose stabs directly into both of the fittings to make a secure, leakproof fit.
Short hoses are easy to create from long lengths because there's no fussing with barbed fittings, hose clamps, or additional couplings. The fittings stay on, so I can choose a short length of hose for trimwork or longer lengths for framing.
Even though the fittings are twice the price of their conventional counterparts, I save money because I save time. I need to make fewer repairs with High Tech hoses; they just seem tougher than average. But if a leak forms near one end or the other, I cut off the bad portion with my utility knife and reinsert the freshly cut end into the tool or compressor fitting. If I damage the middle of a long length, I cut out the bad section of the hose, insert a press-on Splicer Fitting, and reconnect the two halves. In either case, I'm up and running again in mere seconds.
One drawback is that the small inside diameter of these hoses won't supply the air volume needed to run three or four framing nailers off a compressor 200 ft. away. I run a conventional 1/2-in. pneumatic hose up to a standard T-fitting, then branch off to shorter lengths of hose. Also, when swapping guns, I kink the hose or disconnect from the compressor end to prevent air loss.
If you choose to buy the parts separately, here's what you'll need to get started: a Straight Fitting ($3.75), which mounts directly to the tool; a Check Valve Fitting ($10.50) designed to fit into the compressor outlet; and a Splicer Fitting ($7.25) for doing field repairs and joining hoses together for added length. Regular 3/8-in. hose costs 94¢ per ft., and high-temperature hose sells for $1.02 per ft.
Editor Test Results:
||High Tech Air Connection
|Manufacturer's Web Site
|Manufacturer's Phone Number
||3/8-in. dia. by 30 ft. long
||Hose and fittings