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scrot 10-11-2012 06:20 PM

Air VS Electric Drill
Does an air drill have any advantages over an electric drill, other than using the air line which might be easily available?
Air drills certainly are inexpensive.

DanielC 10-11-2012 07:22 PM

An air drill needs compressor, obvious.
An air drill can be used to stir flammable paint, with out worrying about a sparking commutator.
My air drill had a smaller diameter body than any of my electric drills.
With continued use, an air drill gets cooler.

S10 Racer 10-11-2012 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by scrot (Post 1598316)
Air drills certainly are inexpensive.

I have a 1/2" Snap On air drill that was over $300.00 back in the early 90's. Not sure what they cost today but for being air, it will break your wrist with the torque.

jsaw 10-12-2012 06:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Air drill is more compact, More power and at the same time smaller in size. you cant overload an air drill, where with an electric if you overload it too much, you will eventually burn it up. An air drill will stand up better to hard use and abuse. Air drill is safer in in explosive environment because it doesn't have any sparks like an electric drill.

The compact size is what I like best about the air drill.

scrot 10-12-2012 07:57 PM

That is a compact drill for sure. I'll probably get a 90* air drill from HF for $35.

sedanbob 10-15-2012 10:06 PM

I bought one of the harbor freight right angle air drills last year - it was on sale for $16. I bought it because of the compact size. I used a step-bit which is very short, to get into a couple of very tight places. For that price I figured even if it didn't last long, I'd get my money's worth. Since then I have drilled hundreds of holes and it still works perfectly. Even at $35, I'd call it a bargain.

gow589 10-16-2012 08:27 AM

Hard to beat a modern electric drill. Here are my con's:

1. Requires a large air hose to follow you around; one of the greatest inventions is battery operated drills where even moderately priced drills anymore work well.

If I have an air tool and an electric tool which do the same job I almost always chose electric because:

2. Air tools require more compressor usage which is one more thing to tax the compressor for usage and maintenance.

3. More you use your compressor, the more you begin to need a line drier. If I briefly use an air tool I don't turn on the air drier. If I start using air tools a lot the line drier goes on and is a big help to keep moisture down.

4. Air tools require oil. Often I don't add oil because I am working on things which will be painted and are in primer. I don't want the oil blowing out causing paint issues latter which often means I am not properly mainlining the air tool.

For me, I have an air drill and I use it maybe once a year. It comes no where near replacing my battery operated drill.

rockable 10-21-2012 05:27 PM

The real advantage is that the air drill is 90 degrees and will fit into places where an inline electric drill will not. For places where you can get your electric drill, use it. Where you can't, use your air drill. Two different tools for two different applications, IMO.

jsaw 10-21-2012 06:43 PM

I use my air drill for more than drilling holes, I run wire brushes with it. , being more compact than an electric drill allows it to fit into tighter places.

tech69 10-22-2012 11:12 AM

I like quality air drills with torque and a feathered trigger. the cheap ones spin fast,have no torque at all and also no rpm control, which isn't inviting to good cobalt bits. I have a good chuckless one from IR and it has some torque AND a feathered trigger, which works great when trying to make my spot weld bits last. If I were to go cheap on either air or power I would go cheap with the power drill but not an air drill.

sedanbob 10-22-2012 01:00 PM

My cheapo HF right angle air drill has a feather trigger. I agree - just off and on doesn't cut it - must have a feather trigger.

tech69 10-22-2012 07:08 PM

my boss has one of those, I'll check it out.

I once said the same thing about their die grinders and a while later I got one just as a spare for my house and low and behold it had a feather trigger.

66GMC 10-22-2012 07:46 PM

I have all 3, and use them all ... they all have advantages and disadvantages.
Absolutely LOVE my Craftsman 19.2V drill / impact driver set

You can get all sorts of other C3 tools as well. I have the hedge-trimmer and a couple of different lights. Despite having any written confirmation anywhere that I could find, you can also use the 19.2V lithium-ion batteries interchangably with the Ni-Cad ones. The intelligent charger that comes with the Li-Ion set can be used to charge both types of batteries.

Wait for Sears to have a tool sale.

I paid about $150.00 CDN for both drivers, 1 Li-Ion battery, and a charger. I ordered the flashlights at the same time because they were offering a 20% discount if you ordered 3 or more items. It worked out that I got the flashlights for free!

302 Z28 10-23-2012 08:20 AM

Truth is neither has an advantage over the other, they both have their place and any mechanic should have both in the tool box.


Trucknut 10-23-2012 11:42 AM

I like a variable speed electric drill (I suppose they make a variable speed air drill). Using a drill bit at high speed creates heat. Heat is the main reason drill bits get dull. Drilling at a slower speed, and maybe using some oil on the head of the bit will allow your drill bit to stay sharper longer because you're not getting it so hot.

Jus' sayin'


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