Author Topic: Air hose diameter?  (Read 742 times)

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Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
Air hose diameter?
« on: July 30, 2019, 03:48 PM »
Hi All,

Maybe already asked, but couldn't find anything :-\

I want to order a new air hose, but not sure if I would go for 8, 9 or 10mm diameter?  I do think in the future I might buy a air socket wrench (for car work) so I'm leading to 10mm (for a 10 meter hose).  Is there any risk to use a this larger diameter (vs. the 8mm)? I have a max. 8 BAR compressor (which will be replaced in the near future).

Any thoughts are welcome, thanks!

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2834
Re: Air hose diameter?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 10:16 PM »
I personally like lightweight, no kink hoses.  If your work is predominantly nail guns and only occasional car use, I'd go smaller and lighter.  An air ratchet will work fine with a 1/4 or 3/8" hose.  An impact in 1/2" probably a 3/8" unless you are doing a lot of impact driving.

Pretty good article here -

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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1965
Re: Air hose diameter?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 11:25 PM »
I would reconsider the air ratchet (or did you mean impact wrench?).  Battery powered ratchets and wrenches have come a long way.  I typically use the cordless tools or hand tools and skip the compressor out of convenience. But there are times a compact and powerful air powered impact can make life easier.  If I was starting from scratch, I would skip those two air tools.  But since they are there, I also have no desire to get rid of them (and there are other air tools to keep them company).

That said, a 3/8” hose is fine.  I use that in the garage with a small 20 gal compressor (max air delivery of 5.7cfm) and 600 ft lb impact wrench and it gets the job done (just cars, no trucks here).  At the end of the day, I have 1/4” restrictions at the tank outlet and regulator as well as the tool inlet, so a larger hose won’t do much for me.  And I keep a short coiled 1/4” polyurethane hose handy which I connect to the 3/8” hose in case I want to use a nail gun.  As Neil pointed out, much easier to use 1/4” with the nailers.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6624
Re: Air hose diameter?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2019, 01:34 AM »
Just go for the 9, best of both worlds. As long as you're not a pro relying on those hoses 24/7 it really is not that critical which one you use.

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 536
Re: Air hose diameter?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2019, 03:17 AM »
Thanks all!

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1681
Re: Air hose diameter?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2019, 05:58 AM »
You need to consider the length of hose you will be using also. It's not unlike the voltage drop you will get in an extension cord.
As your hose length gets longer the larger diameter hose will offer less restriction and pressure drop. You can use a smaller, more flexible whip hose at the tool end to reduce the stress and weight of the larger heavier hose.

For intermittent tools like brad nailers or pinners it's not an issue, there is time to recover between firing. Extended or constant use tools will need higher volume and a larger diameter hose or pipe to provide the needed flow and pressure.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 06:05 AM by Bob D. »
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