Last updated: August 11, 2021
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Whether you are a handyman or a do-it-yourselfer, an air sander is an essential product that we should all have as part of our toolbox. The air sander is a compressed air powered sanding tool that can be used with different approaches.

You can use your air sander for finer sanding as well as, with some accessories, on larger surfaces. With our big air sander test 2020 we want to help you find the best air sander for you. We have compared sanders with and without suction hose and analysed their advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible!




Summary

  • The air sander has interchangeable inserts and is therefore almost universally applicable and usable.
  • There is a wide range of accessories that you can buy with your air sander. So it can be used in many situations and your work will be easier and more precise.
  • Air grinders are not only easy to use, but also to buy. It depends on what kind of tool you are looking for, but it is possible to find your perfect tool online, in a DIY store or even in a discount store.

The best Air Grinder Test: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an air sander

What is an air sander?

The pneumatic sander is an air-powered sander that can be operated with different inserts. The device has interchangeable inserts and can therefore be used almost universally.

With an air sander, the spindle rotates at a high speed, so you have sufficient speed even for smaller sanding jobs. The applied air pressure regulates the speed. The air sander is an effective alternative to electric tools. Compared to these, air grinders are characterised by their minimal power-to-weight ratio. Furthermore, the air grinder is operated without current, which makes it suitable for working in potentially explosive areas.

cutting

The air grinder can be used on different materials and surfaces. (Image source: unsplash.com/ Karan Bhatia)

How much does an air grinder cost?

Due to the many different suppliers of air grinders, there is a relatively large price range. The prices differ based on the accessories of the product. Above all, the price differs if the tool is angled. The range can be from about 25 to 110 euros.

Since the price depends on the equipment of the device, it is often important to note whether required accessories can be purchased in addition. Manufacturers often offer a complete set for air grinders.
The most common accessories are probably sanding discs, cutting discs and collets. Nevertheless, the inexpensive saws lack the number of sanding discs you get with your purchase. Of course, the air grinder is also available in a large version. Compressed air angle grinders are preferably used in construction. These are accordingly also higher in price because of their professional use possibilities.

Grinding angle Presisspanne
Straight 25 - 130 €
Angled 48 - 106 €
With suction hose 49 - 73 €

What accessories are available for air grinders?

You can buy sanding discs, cutting discs and collets to go with your air sander. Most air grinder models come with sanding discs, but the number of discs is often too small, so you have to order more. The replaceable sanding discs not only allow you to use your tool longer, but also in other ways. For example, there are discs for polishing. Furthermore, you can also screw on harder or softer sanding discs. If you want to remain flexible (and not only sand large areas), you should pay attention to this when buying.

The cutting disc is a circular flat disc made of special material. It works as part of an angle grinder. The thinner cut-off wheel allows for material removal along a line, preferably for cutting off sections of material. These accessories are available for various materials, such as metal, natural stone, asphalt and concrete.

Finally, you can also buy collets. Collets clamp bright or machined parts quickly, firmly and precisely centrically. They are suitable for the highest speeds.

man smiling

Because it is so easy to use, the air grinder is suitable for every handyman and do-it-yourselfer (Image source:unsplash.com/ David Siglin)

What are the alternatives to air sanders?

Instead of buying an air sander, you can also look at electric tools as an alternative. While the purchase price of an electric tool is attractive, air tools offer a lower total cost of ownership and higher productivity in the long run. With electric tools, the work process takes more time and the risk of subsequent work-related injuries and sick leave is very high.

This is due to the increased weight, in contrast to air grinders. In addition, air grinders offer a better power-to-weight ratio than electric grinders. It is often the case that only 50 to 60 % of the rated power of the electric version reaches the abrasive.
This is different with air grinders - here 100 % of the nominal power reaches the abrasive. When using an electric tool, the user must be careful not to overload the tool, as this will cause motor damage, resulting in expensive repairs or even the purchase of a new tool. In addition, the use of the power tool is often dangerous when working in environments where the tool could come into contact with moisture.

Finally, it can also be said that air grinders are advantageous when it comes to their useful life. They can be renewed and maintained for many years. In contrast, electric tools only last for an average maintenance time of 60 to 120 hours.

Decision: What types of air grinders are there and which is the right one for you?

What distinguishes an air sander without suction and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The air sander without suction, or a conventional air sander, has a large number of advantages and disadvantages. For the do-it-yourselfer, this tool is more than sufficient to successfully complete all tasks. With your air grinder you can deburr, varnish, polish and also separate castings and risers in a foundry.

With the air grinder, these goals are achieved quickly and easily. Furthermore, this tool provides a sense of safety that allows you to enjoy your work. While the initial cost of an air grinder may be higher when compared to electronic alternatives, it is the total cost of ownership that matters. Air tools are a good investment that can significantly increase productivity on the shop floor.
Advantages
  • Long life
  • Light weight
  • Easy to repair
  • Ergonomic
  • Good for DIY
  • Safety
Disadvantages
  • Increased energy costs
  • Increased purchase costs
  • Accessories often have to be bought

What distinguishes an air sander with suction and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The air sander with suction comes with advantages and disadvantages. It can be said that they do not necessarily need this type for home work. However, it serves a great advantage for crafts that work in a dusty environment.

The connection of an external extraction system ensures a dust-free working environment. This increases your precision at work as well as your safety. Furthermore, the device is easy to handle and can be used in different areas.
Advantages
  • Increased precision
  • Increased safety
  • Simple operation
  • Dust-free workspace
  • Suitable for professional craftsmen
Disadvantages
  • Increased price
  • Increased weight

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate air grinders

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible air grinders. The criteria you can use to compare electronic spirit levels include;

The following sections explain what is important in each of these criteria.

Air consumption

Air grinders generally require a lot of compressed air, so you need a large compressor for proper operation. The air consumption is often 150 to 400 l/min. In most cases, you should buy a compressor that has at least 600 l suction air capacity, otherwise the pressure will be too low during longer operation.

You can find out the exact air consumption of your tool on the type plate of your grinder. This is something you should pay attention to before you buy. If you do not have a large compressor at your disposal, it is worthwhile to pay closer attention to the air consumption when buying in order to ensure that the air grinder functions properly.

Weight

One of the main advantages of an air grinder is the low weight of the tool. This makes it a handy tool that is easy to use. Mostly the weight of the tool, without the hose, is 0.08 KG. Although there is little difference in the weight of air grinders, it can happen that cheaper tools have a higher weight.

This is something that may be more important for professional craftsmen who use the air grinder frequently. For the occasional use of your air sander in the hobby area, you do not have to pay so much attention to the weight when buying, as the differences are usually only a few hundred grams.

Tool room

The air grinder is an essential tool for hand and do-it-yourselfers. (Image source:unsplash.com/ Maxim Seyluk)

Speed

Air grinder speeds are up to 100,000 rpm. This is necessary in order to achieve high removal rates during work. The higher the speed, the more suitable the grinder is for larger surfaces, although this is at the expense of the surface quality.

Therefore, when buying an air grinder, make sure that it does not rotate much slower, as the processing of certain materials can otherwise become tedious. The speed is controlled continuously by a special valve that regulates the air supply. More compressed air therefore also leads to higher speeds. So you can also control this easily.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of air grinders

How do you operate an air grinder?

An air grinder is a hand-held tool that is not powered by electricity and an electric motor, but instead by compressed air. The compressed air required for the tools does not come from a small cartridge, but instead from a corresponding air compressor. The compressed air generated by the air compressor must be fed directly to a small turbine in the tool.

This turbine is then driven extremely fast by the compressed air, so that speeds in the region of 100,000 revolutions per minute can always be achieved. Because of the high speed of the air grinder, high removal rates can be achieved even with small tools. The more compressed air that can reach the turbine inside the device, the higher the achievable rotational speed and the higher the removal rate of the respective grinding tool.

How do you deburr with an air grinder?

With the help of this air grinder, you can also deburr easily. Deburring refers to the process of removing burrs. Burrs are sharp edges that often occur during a machining operation. Burrs usually refer to a metal workpiece. Burrs are important to remove as they can interfere with the functions of the machine element or increase the risk of injury to the end product.

It depends on the size of your tool when deburring. With the air grinder, depending on the size, you have the possibility to deburr small workpieces with the so-called vibratory grinding method, or larger sheets.

How do you polish with an air grinder?

In principle, you can polish with any air grinder. But before you start polishing your car, you must first clean the machine thoroughly. After all, you don't want the fine wood dust to be polished into the paintwork. It is relatively easy to polish with your air sander, so this is also a beginner-friendly method. The disc of the air sander rotates eccentrically.

This allows for hologram-free polishing. However, it is important to note that some attachments are necessary to prevent damage to your car's paintwork. These are, among others; the polishing felt, the polishing sponge, as well as the lambswool bonnet. With these accessories, the polishing process is not a cheap one. Here is a brief explanation of the polishing process;

  1. After spreading the polish (fine grinding paste), you should set the desired speed of the disc.
  2. A low speed is usually suitable for applying the polish. It is important not to switch on the machine before the plate with the polish is resting on the car's sheet metal, so that no splashing occurs.
  3. At low speeds, it is advisable to spread the polish very gently and without pressure.
  4. The car's sheet metal should be polished in a criss-cross pattern to achieve the best result. The pad, which is attached to the plate, should overlap the previously polished sheet by about 50 percent.
  5. As the polish is worked further into the sheet metal, the speed and the pressure applied should be increased further. Be careful not to jam the plate. If the plate is tilted, there may be streaks, marks or holograms on the sheet metal.
  6. In addition, you should always press the machine as straight as possible onto the sheet metal to ensure that the polish is distributed and worked in as evenly as possible.
  7. Please wait until the plate has come to a complete stop before removing the polisher from the sheet.

Image source: Olena Kachmar/ 123rf.com

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