Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Compressed air hoses are versatile and, with their pressure resistance, ideal for use with pressure-operated tools. Whether high-pressure cleaning, tyre filling, painting, braking or dental technology, there is a suitable version, specially tailored to your respective requirements.

The application possibilities, just like the range of different air pressure hoses, are diverse and versatile. The aim of this guide is to find the right compressed air hose with the right properties for your individual area of application, so that the compressed air hose also meets the necessary requirements.

In our product comparison, we introduce you to the most common application options for product solutions and highlight the key differences.




Summary

  • Important purchase criteria are length, inner diameter, working pressure and temperature range.
  • For hoses with connections, make sure they are compatible with your compressor and tools.
  • Compressed air hoses are used to connect air tools and compressors.

The Best Compressed Air Hose:

Buying and evaluation criteria for compressed air hoses

In order to find the compressed air hose that meets the requirements in the field of application, we have worked out the most important decision criteria that you should consider when buying. These criteria should make your selection easier and enable you to make an informed and objective choice.

The criteria that help you compare compressed air hoses with each other are:

In the following, we will specifically go into the individual purchase and evaluation criteria and explain what you need to consider here in detail so that you can find the optimal compressed air hose for you.

Length & diameter

Depending on the type of use, different lengths and diameters of compressed air hose should be selected. It is advantageous to choose the length of hose that is needed at the maximum, as the pressure drops with a longer hose.

The opposite applies to the diameter of the hose. The smaller the diameter of the hose, the more pressure drop you have. Therefore, a short, thick hose makes the best use of the compressor's power.

In principle, we recommend an inner diameter of 6 mm for painting and blow guns. For sandblasting 9 mm inside diameter and for impact wrenches a minimum inside diameter of 9 to 12 mm.

Compressed air coupling

There are also various differences that need to be taken into account when coupling compressed air hoses to compressors, compressed air tools or other compressed air hoses. This concerns not only the design but also the diameter.

The most common coupling has a nominal value of 7.2 mm, but especially with higher-quality connections, such as safety couplings or quick couplings, you have to look more closely. Common high-quality standards are quick couplings with 7.6 mm or ¼ inch internal dimension.

However, there are many other common coupling systems for plug-in, screw-in or pawl-type couplings. Therefore, before buying ready-made hoses or compressed air couplings, always check their compatibility with the rest of the connection equipment.

Maximum working pressure

The pressure that a compressed air hose and its fittings can withstand varies greatly and depends on a number of factors. Although manufacturers are very conservative in their pressure ratings, for safety reasons the bar rating should not be exceeded. You should therefore always consider for which applications you want to use a compressed air hose.

General statements cannot be made here either. The pressure required for impact wrenches is between 6 and 10 bar. The pressure for painting work is between 2 and 3 bar and a sandblaster needs about 7 bar. In addition, the possible compressor power should also be taken into account when making a choice.

Temperature range

The temperature range of a compressed air hose indicates the temperature range in which the hose retains its usual properties. For safety reasons, this range must always be adhered to. A decisive factor for the temperature resistance of a hose is its material.

Compressed air hoses made of PVC and PUR (polyurethane rubber) are often designed for a temperature range between +60 and -10 degrees. NR (natural rubber) and SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) for lower temperatures of up to -40 degrees. EPDM (ethylene propylene rubber) has the widest temperature range of +120 to -50 degrees.

The manufacturer's specifications should always be followed to avoid damaging the hose. Furthermore, it can make a decisive difference whether the hose is operated with dry air, hot oil or water.

Kink protection

If kinks get into the hose, this disturbs its function and can make the hose porous and susceptible to cracks in the long run. There are two ways to prevent this.

The first option is an external spiral that supports the hose. Usually these spirals are made of metal. The second and more elegant solution is to choose a hose that has a sufficient wall thickness.

In order to determine the optimal thickness of a hose wall, it must be put in relation to the diameter of the hose. The larger the hose diameter, the greater the wall thickness must be to prevent the hose from kinking.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about compressed air hoses

In order to give you a more differentiated insight into the subject, we would like to clarify the most important questions about compressed air hoses below.

What is a compressed air hose?

A compressed air hose is a hose that is specially designed to withstand high pressure in the form of air. To ensure this, it is made of one or more different layers of particularly high-performance plastic.

Compressed air hoses are often used to connect tools powered by compressors. These tools include impact wrenches, Kärcher, pressure guns, tyre inflators and many more.

What are the different types of compressed air hoses?

There are three main categories that can be distinguished from each other. The spiral compressed air hose is shaped like a spiral and contracts to save space when not in use. This saves space and prevents the hose from kinking or knotting. It is often used to inflate car and bicycle tyres.

Druckluftschlauch

Compressed air hoses are available in every type. In some cases, it is worth choosing hoses made of transparent material, as residues can be detected quickly that way. (Image source: Philip Veater/ Unsplash)

The compressed air hose with automatic reel retracts itself after work. It is usually much longer than the spiral hose. This is particularly practical when you need a larger working radius.

And then there is the simple compressed air hose, which has to be rolled up manually. It can be used very flexibly and is suitable not only for compressed air applications but also for oil or fuel applications. Here you also have the largest selection of lengths, diameters, hose wall dimensions and materials.

What does a compressed air hose cost?

The price is mainly determined by the diameter, the wall thickness of the hose, its length and material. In addition, the choice of coupling has a significant influence on the price. If the hose is combined with an automatic reel, you also have to reckon with a surcharge.

The prices can range from cheap to more expensive compressed air hoses. The following table should give you an overview.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (15 - 35 €) Mostly simple hoses with limited range of application
Medium-priced (35 - 50 €) High-quality tubes with longer lengths
High-priced (from 50 €) Safety hoses and hoses with automatic reel

Compressed air hoses are available from a very low entry price. In the case of very low-priced offers, it is essential to pay attention to product evaluations. Especially the compressed air couplings are a weak point, which sometimes do not withstand the working pressure stated by the supplier in very low-priced versions. If you want to work with higher working pressure, you should not save in the wrong place.

What different materials are compressed air hoses made of?

There is a wide range of materials for compressed air hoses. Rarely is only one plastic used, but usually a combination in order to exploit the various advantages of the materials. Common materials are PVC, PUR (polyurethane rubber), NR (natural rubber), SBR (styrene butadiene rubber), EPDM (ethylene propylene rubber).

How can the volume flow of a compressed air hose be calculated?

Calculating the volume flow of a compressed air hose is relevant to determine what internal diameter a hose should have for a particular application. Often this can be roughly estimated. In some cases, however, an exact calculation is necessary.

The simplest way to calculate the volume flow is to multiply the flow velocity (in m/s) by the flow cross-section (in m^2), i.e. the inner surface of the hose. Alternatively, you can divide the volume of the hose (in m^3) by the time interval (in s).

Conclusion

Compressed air hoses are ideal for extending the working radius of air-powered tools. There is a wide variety of different types of hoses so that the most diverse application possibilities can be met. To find the right hose for your application, it is necessary to clarify the requirements for a hose as precisely as possible.

Here it is especially about the length, the inner diameter, the wall thickness of the hose, the possible working pressure and the temperature resistance. Hoses are often prefabricated. If this is the case, the compatibility with the compressor and the air tool must be checked. When using the hoses, always follow the manufacturer's instructions so as not to endanger yourself or others.

Picture source: Bru-nO / pixabay

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