Pneumatic tools

Pneumatic tools are increasingly gaining popularity – not only among professionals, but also DIY enthusiasts. However, to use them correctly, you need to know the principle of their operation. How does a standard pneumatic system work?

pneumatic toolsPneumatic systems – where will we find them?

Pneumatic devices can of course be used in home garages and minor repairs at home, but most often professional workshops and production plants reach for them. What industries use this solution?

– construction – drills and impact hammers are used, as well as systems for handling heavy materials;

– mining – uses hammers and pneumatic chisels;

– energy industry – for supplying ventilation and cooling systems;

– woodworking and furniture production – the pneumatic systems are based on most of the devices used for this – nailers, paint guns, drills and upholstery staplers;

– agriculture and forestry – is used primarily in spray equipment for spraying plant protection products and fertilizers.

The principle of operation of pneumatic toolsHow do pneumatic tools work?

Pneumatic systems need compressed air for proper functioning – that’s why they have integrated compressors or compressors that supply them. It is this that puts the engine mechanism in motion. The air produced by the compressor is pressed by means of a pipe inside the cylinder, which is divided into two parts due to the rotor in the middle. In this situation, between the parties creates a pressure difference, which must be compensated – the air is rolled over to the other side, encountering the rotor on the way and setting it in motion. The kinetic energy created in this way is passed on to the drive shaft and on further elements of the device.

The movement of the air masses from one side to the other very quickly feeds the mechanism of the device, enabling its proper operation.


The speed of rolling the air masses inside the mechanism translates into the power of the pneumatic device.

Pneumatic drill for compressorConditions for the proper functioning of pneumatic accessories

Proper operation of engines based on pneumatic systems requires meeting certain criteria:

– proper working pressure – if we provide the device with too low pressure, its power will decrease. Too high operating pressure can, in turn, accelerate the wear of individual engine components and lead to its failure;

– clean air – the air used in them must be free of any dirt and moisture that could cause the engine to rust or leak. To protect the system against them, special filters are used;

– correct oil level – oil prevents engine seizure during operation. However, it is necessary to use a preparation specifically designed for pneumatic tools, because other oils can lead to gluing of the rotor blades and, as a consequence, immobilization of the accessory;

– proper connection of the compressor , as well as all cables, plugs and quick couplers.

The correct implementation of the safety function of specific actuators in the field of pneumatics and hydraulics often requires taking into account the machine control algorithm as well as understanding the operation of the electrical system subassemblies used on the machine. Correct implementation of such circuits will be the leitmotif of the next article in the field of machine safety.