In some cases, there are good reasons to choose pneumatic over electric tools. If that’s the conclusion you reached, and you found yourself here, then you are looking at which brand of air tools you should go with. While there are not as many of them as there are electric power tool brands, there is still a decent number to choose from.
In this article, we will look at the seven best air tool brands.
7 Best Air Tool Brands
Let’s jump right in.
1. Ingersoll Rand
When it comes to air tools, most people will agree that there is no better brand than Ingersoll Rand. The company was founded in 1859 as Gardner Denver Inc. by Robert Gardner. This is a fairly large company based out of Milwaukee, USA, it serves the worldwide market, and in 2017, had equity valued at nearly $5 billion, with nearly 7,000 employees.
Ingersoll Rand is one of the world’s leading manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of pneumatic air tools, featuring one of the biggest selections out there. This brand produces a variety of air tools including hammers, saws, diggers, jackhammers, chipping hammers, sand rammers, pavement breakers, rivet busters, and virtually any other kind of tool that can be pneumatically powered.
To power all of these air tools, Ingersoll Rand also produces a variety of air compressors including centrifugal, oil-flooded, oil-free, reciprocating, PET compressed, and process gas compressors. Ingersoll Rand products and services may not be cheap, but they are considered to be one of the best, if not the number one air tool brand in the world at this time, particularly for large-scale and heavy-duty applications. This is the brand that professionals use.
2. Astro Pneumatic
Astro Pneumatic is another very popular brand of air tools, mainly in North America. This company has been around for a little over 40 years, with experience in the importing, rebranding, and retailing of various automotive components, as well as air tools.
What is important to note is that Astro Pneumatic does not make its own tools, but rather specializes in importing some of the best air tools from around the world, and then rebrands them under its own name. This is quite a common practice, so nothing to worry about. Although Astro Pneumatic does not make its own air tools, their rebranded products are known for being high in quality, plus the selection is nice too.
Moreover, the Astro website does also sells some tools from other brands. Some of the most common and popular air tools that you can find on the Astro Pneumatic site include spray guns, ratchets, cut-off tools, riveters, sanders, polishers, and other such tools. Many of these air tools are suited for both home and professional use, with many being designed with mechanics in mind.
3. Campbell Hausfeld
James Campbell, William Campbell, and Joseph Hausfeld were the original founders of the Campbell Hausfeld brand, which was established back in 1836. The company started out by making farm equipment, and in 1940, when it acquired Joseph Hausfeld’s company, along with his Pressure King air compressor, it was renamed to Campbell Hausfeld. The company was then purchased by the Marmon Group in 2015, which still owns it to this day.
What is worth noting about this brand is that the selection of air tools is out of this world, particularly when it comes to highly portable tools that are ideal for home use and on the jobsite. That said, Campbell Hausfeld does also produce many commercial air tools.
Just some of the air tools sold by Campbell Hausfeld include cut-off tools, drills, grease guns, grinders, hammers, impact wrenches, ratchets, sanders, nail guns, staple guns, sand blasters, spray guns, and more. Moreover, if you need air compressors, no matter what industry or tool you need them for, this is where to buy them. In terms of tool and compressor selection, it doesn’t get much better than Campbell Hausfeld.
This brand was started in 1943 by Milton Price and Milton Goldish. It really is interesting that the name of the company is based off the given names of two separate people, instead of their family names. It’s a pretty big coincidence that two men, both named Milton, founded this company.
Now, beware that most of what Milton does and makes is focused on the automotive industry, or to be accurate, it all is, but that said, if you need any sort of air tool, compressor, or air tool/compressor accessory that is related to the automotive industry, then Milton is the way to go.
At this time, Milton sells over 1,400 different products, all for the automotive industry, whether pneumatic or otherwise.
If you have not heard of any of those other brands before, it’s probably because they are quite high-end and super-specialized, but one brand that everyone has heard of is DeWalt. Now, you might not think of DeWalt being a leading producer and retailer of air tools, but they have made quite some advancements in this field over the past few years.
The company itself was founded in 1923 by Raymond DeWalt, it is currently headquartered in Maryland, USA, it has nearly 15,000 employees, and produces thousands of products. At this time, DeWalt is owned by Stanley Black & Decker.
Admittedly, when it comes to selection, DeWalt is not great. DeWalt does make some air tools, and yes, they are regarded as being high quality, mainly ratchets, grinders, impact wrenches, sanders, and sprayers. These tools are priced well, they work well, and they are ideal for basic use. That said, as you can tell, DeWalt is a very diverse brand with dozens of product categories, but when it comes to air tools, the selection is not huge and definitely not oriented towards commercial applications. If you need affordable air tools to use at home or in the shop, then DeWalt is a fine option to consider.
6. Chicago Pneumatic
Going back in the other direction, if you are looking for a brand that produces air tools, compressors, and accessories designed for large-scale professional use, then Chicago Pneumatic is an excellent one to consider. The company was founded in 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, by John Duntley. At this time, Chicago Pneumatic is owned by Atlas Corp AB, and sells its products in well over 150 countries worldwide.
This brand produces a wide variety of products, including a variety of air-powered and hydraulic products, well over 500, all related to various industries including automotive, metalworking, and oil, gas, and petrochemical.
If you are looking for a great selection of super high-quality impact wrenches, ratchets, drills, grinders, sanders, polishers, hammers, scalers, riveters, jacks, and tons of other pneumatic air-powered and hydraulic equipment, then Chicago Pneumatic is the way to go. Beware that by no means are these products cheap, but you do get what you pay for, and what you get with this brand is quality, functionality, and longevity.
7. Florida Pneumatic Manufacturing Corporation
When it comes to the best brands out there that make the best industrial air tools, the Florida Pneumatic Manufacturing Corporation is one of the world’s leaders. As you can tell by the name of it, the company was founded in Florida, USA, which is where it is still based. Now, this is a relatively small company with just a handful of employees and a few million dollars in yearly revenues.
Although the company may not be massive, and although the selection is not quite as large as with some of the other major air tools brands we have covered today, the quality of Florida Pneumatic products is outstanding. This brand is known for making some of the highest-end industrial-grade air tools that you can purchase. To be specific, the focus of this brand is the automotive industry, with the tools consisting of impact wrenches, drills, grinders, sanders, polishers, scalers, hammers, ratchets, and some specialty tools.
Which Air Tool Brand Is the Best?
When it comes down to it, it’s nearly impossible to come to a conclusion here, because which brand of air tools is best really depends on what your needs are. As you can tell, each of these brands does something slightly different.
For instance, if you just want some basic air tools for home use or for light use on the jobsite, brands like DeWalt and other well-known tool brands are fine. If you are looking for air tools related to the automotive industry, then Chicago Pneumatic and Florida Pneumatic are both fantastic brands.
All of that said, what most people out there agree on is one simple fact, that if you need the best air tools around, and you want the best selection of them, you can’t ever go wrong with Ingersoll Rand, which is perhaps the most respected brand of air tools in the world today.
Is It Better to Stick to One Air Tool Brand?
Yes, and this is the case with all tools, not just air tools. One reason for this is because if all of your tools are from the same brand, you will have a much easier time getting them serviced. If something breaks, you can always go to the same people to have it fixed. Moreover, if everything you have is from the same brand, then you are much likelier to become more intimately familiar with all of the ins and outs of each of the tools.
In other words, many brands have unique features that are brand-specific, so if you constantly switch from one brand to another, you will never master the tools of one brand. As long as the brand you choose is a good one, it’s best if everything comes from the same place. It just makes life a bit easier.
There you have it folks, everything you need to know about the best air tool brands out there.
Now that you know what they are, the rest is up to you!