Maintaining air tools is a critical task to ensure your tools run for years to come.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Daily maintenance goes a long way to safeguard the longevity of your air tools. The best way to guarantee your tools are taken care of is to create a list of items to check daily, weekly, and after coming back from rental.
What to check and how often depends on the types of tools you're using, but there are 4 steps that are universal to all tools.
- At the start of use and throughout the day, always oil your tools.
- Before connecting your tool to air, blow out moisture from your air line.
- Confirm you are running the recommended air pressure for your tool.
- Always use chisel against work surface, do not dry fire the tool. Dry Firing is engaging throttle lever without chisel in contact with work surface.
Oiling your tools is one of the most important aspects of maintenance. Without oil, your tools will not run at full power, will breakdown faster, and cost you more money.
Without oil, your tools will look like this - Rusted together full of dirt and debris.
Items to Examine on Your Air Tools
Tools like Paving Breakers, Clay Diggers, and Rock Drills have common items that break or need attention. These include bolts, nuts, handles, side rods, retainers, oil plugs and more. The constant hammering action will vibrate nuts and bolts loose.
Not catching these items in time means broken and missing parts, and downtime while the tool is being fixed. Dropping tools on the ground is commonplace which breaks nuts and bolts, as well as air inlets and swivels.
Chipping hammers and rivet busters have springs to hold the retainer on. This retainer holds the chisel into the tool. These retainer springs wear out so be sure to have extras!
Rivet busters are a much higher maintenance tool, so be sure to check out our other post to read up on them!
Checking Tool Steel
Points and chisels will become prematurely damaged or worn out if misused. The shank end of steel will mushroom if dry-fired over an extended period of time. This can cause the steel to get stuck inside the tool bushing.
Dry firing steel causes other parts to wear and deform as well.
Notice the rolled edges and the wear on the tapered end below. This steel should have been replaced long ago. Deformed or damaged steel should be replaced as it wears out.
Storage and Repair
When repairing tools from a job or rental, always disconnect airline from your air tool before performing any service. After disconnecting air, you can do any tear down and repair as needed. With repairs completed, flush your too with air tool oil and cycle several times to lubricate all internal parts. Store tools in a dry location.
Keep an eye out for these things, and your tools will perform for a long time.
Be sure to see our post on Air Tools here.