How to choose and connect pipe, blow gun, compressor and pneumatic tools

Spiral pneumatic hose
air compressor DIY-and-tools

Inflation handle, nebulizer or sprayer, fittings, hose and oil are essential to your compressor, both for its operation and maintenance. Flow and pressure are the main selection criteria and for small jobs: kits for pneumatic compressors do not lack air!

Kit for pneumatic compressor

Now that you are equipped with a compressor , for you to use and exploit it at best you will need a number of small accessories because of the blower to the pneumatic sandblaster , you need flexible and connections!

For most common tasks such as tire inflation , cleaning or paint retouching , they are essential.

To equip you, we find today on the market at very attractive prices kits of tools for compressors , composed of everything you need to start serenely.

Spiral pneumatic hose

Spiral pneumatic hose

Obviously, this is the most important! Without pneumatic hose , you can not use any tools.

Generally made of polyethylene , for all your small jobs its ideal length will be about 5 meters . It is quite long without being too much!

Side diameter , to not have excessive pressure losses , choose a diameter in line with the output of your pressure regulator . The majority of occasional-use compressors have an output of 6-8 mm (inside diameter). For a professional compressor, it is between 10 and 12 mm .

For fittings , a male end on one side to connect to the compressor and a quick connector on the other to fit any tool is the top. The size of the tips is standardized and universal ( ISO 6150B ).

To be able to comfortably carry out all your work, direct your choice towards a pneumatic pipe accepting a pressure of at least 8 bars minimum .


The blower is the essential tool for cleaning , dusting , or drying anything that goes into your hands!

Depending on what you want to do, some blowguns have the possibility of having a removable and interchangeable nozzle , or a stent tube to reach hard to reach places. Note that bent nozzles with a length of 5 to 10 cm are ideal for most cleaning jobs and especially if you do a lot of mechanics!

Inflator handle

Inflator handle

To have a compressor is to be able to inflate any tire easily and at any time.

With the blower, the inflator is therefore an indispensable tool!

Orient your choice first to an inflation handle with a CE approved pressure gauge . Thus, it will tell you the pressure of your tires as just as possible (in general, the adjustment screw is sealed so that it can not be manipulated which would indicate a false pressure value). Your inflator handle will allow pressure up to 10 bar . With that, you’ll be ready to inflate any type of tire!

As a general rule, inflator handles are sold with an automotive-grade mouthpiece. But you will also find handles with multiple interchangeable tips adapting to any tire, tube and football!


Nebulizer or sprayer

Very useful if you do a lot of mechanics, the sprayer is ideal to clean , grease / degrease , or even to disengage by projecting all kind of solvents and assimilated.

Operating as a suction paint spray gun , the spray tank is located under the body of the tool. When you trigger the trigger, the air passes through the body dragging the product in the tank, and depending on the nozzle that is mounted, the project on a more or less large surface.

The criteria of choice for a foam sprayer  are similar to those of any pneumatic tool : working pressure (to be sized with the compressor); capacity of the tank (impacting autonomy); the control equipment (pressure gauge, indicator etc.); accessories (lance with nozzle, hose, fittings etc.).

Spray gun

Coupled with the compressor, the spray gun can use all kinds of different paints, and apply them on any type of surface.

There are however different guns: gravity guns (which have the paint tank on top) and suction guns (which have the tank on the bottom). In the first case, the paint descends into the body of the gun by its own weight, in the other it is sucked by a Venturi effect created by the gun body. The nozzle is also an important element because it is she who will create the shape of the projection cone of the painting .

Side flow and pressure, they go together. For small jobs and therefore small areas, prefer a low pressure gun by suction(because small capacity of the tank). On the other hand, for big jobs, direct your choice towards a high-pressure gravity gun (more delicate to handle correctly and to adjust).

Compressor: how to choose the pipe, the ends and the pneumatic connections?

Pneumatic compressor hoses

For a portable installation, and for occasional use, the ideal hose is the spiral polyethylene pipe .

For a more intensive use the hose you need will be a flexible PVC pipe and ideally with external shielding.

For a spiral pipe its internal diameter must be in adequacy with the output diameter of the pressure regulator of the compressor (from 6 to 8 mm), and its ideal length of 3 to 5 m (shorter is annoying because the compressor is too much closer, longer you risk losing pressure and / or flow).

PVC pipes are reserved for more professional use, and therefore fit on large compressor output diameter between 10 and 12 mm. Given the capacity of the compressor (which is supposed to be consistent) there is no really ideal length (but a minimum of 3 m is imperative).

In all cases, direct your choice to a flexible able to cash the output pressure of your compressor . As a rule, polyethylene pipes accept up to 8 bar and PVC pipes up to 20 bar or more.

Pneumatic hose reel

A good way to avoid getting caught in the air hose is to equip an automatic winder . Obviously this no longer allows significant movement (unless you have a long pipe length).

Often rotating and self-locking , the reels are equipped with a male connector connected to the compressor, and a female quick connector at the end of the hose that is unwound, to connect the tools.

As for a single pipe, there are flexible polyurethane (polyethylene is often reserved for spiral pipes) or PVC .

The available length varies from one reel to another. Pay attention to where your compressor is installed and the work you want to do because the hose will need to be long enough! (10 m remains a maximum for a small compressor).

Pneumatic fitting and nozzle: diameter and connection

Pneumatic fitting and nozzle
The vast majority of compressors on the market, hoses, and pneumatic tools meet a CE standard and are said to be “standardized” or “universal” (ISO 6159B). This standard translates among other things the size of the output of the pressure regulators which is 1/4 inch (noted ”), and the size of the male and female tips (fast or not) which is of 6.35 mm .

The connections may be: to screw in which case it is necessary to adjust the threading; With a fluted tip , the diameter is to be chosen according to the pipe – ear-rings or screws are used to crimp the pipe to the tip; to grip – quick coupling . The profile of the coupling is to be dimensioned according to the flow rate and the tool used .

As long as you have CE fittings and tips , all your tools can be plugged in and work perfectly.

Choose your pneumatic connection according to your tool



Type of quick connector

Recommended pipe diameter  

Pneumatic tool type

5.5 mm inner end (hardened steel) Ø 8 mm Drill, screwdriver, inflator handle, blow gun, small chipping hammers etc.
7.2 mm thick inner end (hardened steel) Ø 10 mm Impact wrench 1/2 ” (half inch), mini hammers, angle grinder (125 mm) etc.
Extremely large tip of 10 mm inside (hardened steel) Ø 13 mm Angle grinder (230 mm), cement projector, impact wrench 1 ” and 3/4 ” etc.


Bayonet connection, pneumatic collar and swivel

The screw connections are available in male / female and the size of the threads is represented by:

  • 1/4 ” is 8 x 13 mm  ;
  • 3/8 ” is 12 x 17 mm  ;
  • 1/2 ” is 15 x 21 mm .
The nut / bayonet connections have a threaded (1/4 “to 1/2”) male (M) or female (F) thread or a splined tip (for Ø 8, 10, 13 mm pipe) and the bayonet part itself which consists of a kind of valve. The bayonet connection is collected by a nut fitting said countersunk nut .

The clamps are ear for more pressure – minimizing the risk of leakage.

The swivels allow to articulate the tool ultimately flexible minimizing the risk of folds or pinch the pipe.
The junctions fittings are reductions (from a thread size to another) of ties etc.

Compressor tips and fittings: how to connect

Tip / fitting type Use / role Type of network / use
Single outlet 1/4 ” quick coupling Connect a pneumatic hose to the compressor Any type of network / any purpose
Double outlet 1/4 ” quick coupling Connects 2 pneumatic hoses to the compressor Any type of network / any purpose
Quick insertion 6.35 mm male Allows you to connect a pneumatic hose and then connect to a quick connector (choose according to the inside diameter of the hose) Any type of network / any purpose
Quick connector 6.35 mm female Allows connection of a pneumatic tool (to be chosen according to the inside diameter of the hose) Any type of network / any purpose
Male / male coupler Connects 2 pneumatic hoses to each other to be extended Any type of network / frequent use (medium to large compressor)
Female / female coupler Connects 2 pneumatic hoses to each other to be extended Any type of network / frequent use (medium to large compressor)
Rotary coupler Connects 2 pneumatic hoses to each other to be longer and more freedom of movement Any type of network / frequent use (medium to large compressor)
1/4 ” pneumatic valve Opens or interrupts the pressure in a part of the network Fixed network / intensive use
Check valve Avoids pressure feedback in part of the network Fixed network / intensive use

What is a pneumatic sprayer?

Like a pneumatic gun, the sprayer projects any liquid product with compressed air.

Generally, it is used mechanically to spray solvent , degreaser or releasing agent . It can also be used to lubricate and lubricate (provided the oil is light and liquid).

As we have seen above, it functions as a suction pneumatic gun. The liquid in the reservoir below the body of the tool is sucked by the Venturi effect and projected through a nozzle when the trigger is pulled. It connects to the compressor using a universal male nozzle.


All sprayers have the same operating principle. However, they differ in:
  • the type of nozzle  ;
  • the volume of the tank  ;
  • the pressure that the tool accepts (to adapt to the pressure of your compressor).

For any type of work, a 500 ml tank is enough. For a more regular use, and not having to fill the sprayer too often, rather orient your choice towards a tank of 900 to 1000 ml .

On the pressure side, the vast majority of sprayers accept 8 bars . Be careful about this parameter because if your compressor delivers a pressure higher than that which your sprayer accepts , you will damage it!

How to choose a pneumatic jack?

To lift and maintain heavy, intensively, the pneumatic jack is ideal. Its lifting capacity reaches nearly 30 tons for larger models. It is a tool for car mechanics, and heavy load handling.
The pneumatic jack comes under two different technologies:
  • the pneumatic jack with air cushions;
  • the hydropneumatic or oleopneumatic jack.

Pneumatic jack with air cushions

It usually consists of two or three cushions that inflate under the action of the pressure delivered by the compressor. The load capacity is acceptable and is between 2 and 3 tonnes depending on the model . The pneumatic jack with air cushions can be fixed chassis (with a base) or on wheels.

Small footprint, it is easy to handle, is very practical and allows a significant lifting amplitude of the order of 300 to 500 mm .

The hydropneumatic or oleopneumatic jack

For professionals or amateurs, the hydropneumatic jack is the most powerful and the most powerful. Its operating principle is very close to a conventional hydraulic jack except that this specific case is the compressed air that acts on the hydraulic fluid and actuates the cylinder . Its load capacity can reach 30 tons for the biggest models!

It comes in two forms: bottle-type fixed chassis , and rolling. Only downside, completely folded it is still quite high, which can sometimes be a problem if you have little ground clearance on the object to lift. However, its amplitude is correct, and on some models you can additionally add lifting extensions.

Given the large load capacity, this type of jack is often equipped with safety like the anti-fall in case of compressed air cut , a descent brake , etc.

What is a pneumatic proof pump?


To detect a leak on a network (water network, hydraulic, heating, etc.) or to test the tightness of this network, the appropriate tool is the test pump.

This pump will put the network in question under pressure, and thus allow on the one hand to detect a leakage (in this case, the pressure can not be stable and constant) and on the other hand to identify a or leaks (visually). All test pumps are equipped with a pressure gauge to monitor the pressure in the network in real time.

The principle of operation is relatively simple: a fluid (oil, water) is contained in a tank (about ten liters) and injected by pressure (manual, pneumatic) in a network (at the using a connection to screw in most often in 1/2 ”). The manometer is used to control the pressure of the network. If once in pressure, the latter descends alone, then there is leakage or leakage. The safety is ensured by a valve , and the purge is done by tap or push button.


The different test pumps differ in:

  • the volume of the tank – of the order of ten liters;
  • pressurizing technology – manual, pneumatic;
  • the ability to use different fluids – water, oil, glycol;
  • the type of safety – threaded valve, non-return valve, purge etc. ;
  • manometer – single or multiple graduation;
  • the pressure that can be generated – from 30 to over 1000 bar for larger models.

How to maintain your compressor, accessories and pneumatic tools?

To prolong the life of your accessories and your compressor, regular maintenance is imperative! For your fittings and tips , there is no proper maintenance, the only thing is to be careful not to crush, twist or distort (leaving them dragging on the ground for example, or rolling on it with your car).

For the hose , it’s a bit the same, the compressed air does not contain a lot of solids (especially if you have a filter on your compressor), so it’s useless to clean it. However, depending on its material, it should not be pinched, crushed, or bent excessively.

For your sprayer or spray gun it’s different. Depending on the product you sprayed, or the type of paint you used, clean your tools after each use with a suitable solvent. The ideal besides cleaning the tank is also to disassemble the nozzles, brush them and put them to soak.

Maintenance and compressor oil

Whatever the type is the capacity of your compressor, it requires regular maintenance and special attention.

The first thing to know is that you need to clean the air filter regularly. In fact, the surrounding air under pressure is loaded with dust, which can clog or even damage your accessories. If you have a compressor that also has an exhaust air filter , clean both simultaneously.

Purge after each use your air tank. Compressing moist air creates condensation that eventually attacks and corrodes the metal of the tank. All compressors have a bleed screw (often below the tank). If you plan not to use your compressor for a long time, leave the drain open.

Finally, once a year (more if you have intensive use) drain the engine oil . As with any type of engine, a good quality oil guarantees good lubrication of all moving bodies. Refer to your compressor manufacturer’s manual for the viscosity and type of oil recommended by the manufacturer . Many times in the year, do not forget to check the level , and to complete it if necessary.

Be aware that many accidents happen because of faulty compressors. Depending on the model you have, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and any periodic checks to be carried out on your tool to ensure optimal operation in complete safety.

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