Air Hoses: The Lifeline of Your Pneumatic Tools
The right one should fit your tools, your budget, your work, and even the weather outside.
Synopsis: An air hose might not be the most glamorous component of a tool kit, but for many builders, it’s a vital player in any construction job. After researching the market and talking to builders across the country, FHB editor Justin Fink learned that there is no all-around perfect air hose. The optimal choice depends on the tool being used with the hose, the budget, the builder’s work habits, and the working environment. Air hoses are made either of rubber, PVC, nylon, or polyurethane; each material has assets and liabilities depending on where it is used. This article includes sidebars on job-site air-hose repair, hose diameter, and metal fittings for air hoses.
Magazine extra: Watch Justin Fink explain the differences between air-hose materials and demonstrate three easy fixes that can make a damaged hose as good as new.
Of all the tools I use, I can’t think of any more finicky than my air hose. My tablesaw has been rained on, my nail guns are dented, and I’ve dropped my chalkline more times than I can count. Still, every one of those tools continues to perform without trouble. But the slightest change in temperature, the subtlest twist of my wrist, or the smallest of obstacles in its path, and my air hose becomes a problem.
To me, air hoses are the perfect illustration of the saying that there are no solutions, only compromises. I’ve worked with every hose style that’s on the market — rubber, PVC, nylon, and polyurethane. I’ve researched the materials, and studied the pros and cons. I’ve talked to builders in different parts of the country and to a number of experts from several of the major toolmakers, all to find out which hose is the ideal choice. I’ll save you the suspense:…