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BEST HEAVY DUTY AIR HAMMER ON THE MARKET

Christopher Clark by Christopher Clark

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.55 out of 5)
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Last Updated January 22, 2019

Ingersoll Rand 114GQC review (4)
Ingersoll Rand 114GQC

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • High quality
  • Compact and durable
  • Convenient quick-release
  • Includes a 3-piece chisel set
  • Ergonomic design
  • 1-yr. limited warranty

cons

Case not included

Ear protection recommended

Chicago Pneumatic CP717 small review
Chicago Pneumatic CP717

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Powerful
  • High quality
  • Durable
  • For professional use
  • Online owner’s manual
  • 1-yr. warranty on materials and workmanship

cons

Case not included

Limited attachment options

Chisel bits not included

Professional maintenance and repair only

Ear protection recommended

Best Value
Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK review (6)
Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK

Pros

  • High quality
  • Quiet
  • Anti-vibration mechanism
  • Compact and durable
  • Convenient quick-release
  • Includes a 5-piece chisel set
  • Protective carrying case included
  • Online user manual
  • 1-yr. limited warranty

cons

Somewhat expensive

No air regulator

Sunex SX243 review (4)
Sunex SX243

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Powerful
  • Sturdy; durable
  • Online user manual
  • 1-yr. limited warranty

cons

Case not included

Chisel bits not included

No variable speed

Ear protection recommended

Best Overall
Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980 review (3)
Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Sturdy; durable
  • Spring retainer included
  • 1-yr. limited warranty

cons

Major vibration

Case not included

Chisel bits not included

Ear protection recommended

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Buyer’s Guide

BEST HEAVY DUTY AIR HAMMER ON THE MARKET 1There are a variety of air hammer brands and models. For the most part, they all have the same characteristics and features. Some come as kits that include several chisel bits while others are super heavy-duty professional tools.

Price, durability, and reliability are important criteria. Prices vary on similar models and you may be tempted to purchase a lesser-quality air impact tool. A less expensive air impact tool may serve its purpose in the short-term, but will not be long-lasting or reliable with extended use.

There are brands that have been in business a half-century or longer. Chicago Pneumatic and Ingersoll Rand, for example, have been manufacturing and marketing automotive, professional, and industrial tools for more than 100 years!

Benefits/Drawbacks of an Air Hammer

Air powered tools are generally designed to make particular tasks easier. They are easy to use and provide significant power and torque when connected to an air hose reel or a compressor. They also increase overall productivity, safety and accuracy.

The cost to purchase an air hammer, or any air powered tool, has decreased over the years, making them a practical addition to your truck, automotive, or DYI tool box.

The primary drawback is the fact that a dedicated air source (compressor) is required. Some customers have also found that the chisel bits included with the air impact hammer kits are made of less durable metal, which can bend, wear, or break more quickly.

What to Look for When Buying an Air Hammer

All air hammers have similar features, however their quality, accessories, and price vary. Price may be determined on a cost to value comparison. Make sure to research a product’s basic specifications.

  • Power: A standard, medium-duty air impact hammer adequately accomplishes a variety of different tasks. Truck and automotive technicians need a medium- to heavy-duty air hammer for their pin driving and bolt-cutting, front-end, and body shearing work tasks. Short-barrel, light duty air hammers can cut sheet metal and light body panels, but they are not well-suited for more demanding tasks, such as removing rivets, truck springs, bushings, and other more heavy-duty tasks. An air impact hammer that produces between 2,000 and 3,000 BFM (blows a minute) works well in any automotive, truck, or industrial shop.
  • Barrel: Short-barreled air impact hammers are typically lightweight and compact. They are designed to deliver a solid punch with minimal vibration. Short-barrel air hammers capably cut, strip, drive, drill, and scrape. They are intended for light- and medium-duty and DIY work, such as removing wheel studs, front-end automotive jobs, pin driving, or cutting body panels, sheet metal and other thin materials. Short-barrel air hammers are helpful when more control and/or accuracy are needed. However, they may be difficult to control in tight and hard-to-get-to areas. Medium and long-barrel air impact hammers are suitable for heavy-duty tasks. They tend to be heavier, and are often more powerful, harder to control, and prone to more vibration and louder operation. They are staples in industrial and professional mechanic, fabrication, and body shops. Long-barrel air hammers are considered to be the most useful. Their function is only limited by the type of chisel bits available.
  • Grip and Trigger: Air hammers equipped with ergonomic, rubberized pistol grips tend to reduce fatigue. They minimize direct vibration impact, and provide a grip that allows more control. Air hammers having gradually progressive triggers also tend to be more controllable and safer to use. Gradually progressive triggers are not available on all pneumatic hammers. Those that have them are safer overall due to the user’s enhanced ability to control the operation of the tool.
  • Compressor/Tank Size: An air compressor and air hammer perform professional work, maintenance, and repair tasks easier and faster. Compressor tank size, motor horsepower (hp), air volume output (CFM), and air pressure (psi) must be sufficient to operate the air hammer. The volume of air the compressor can produce (CFM) and the air pressure contained in the tank (psi) are the most important considerations. These specifications are typically marked on the tank’s label. Each air impact hammer requires a minimal CFM (cubic feet per minute) at a prescribed psi (pounds per square inch) to properly operate at full efficiency. For optimum performance, your air hammer must have an air compressor capable of producing a consistent psi air flow comparable to that of the air hammer tool. The larger the air hammer is, the more powerful the compressor must be to capably run it. For example, an air hammer that requires a minimum 4 CFM at 90 psi will efficiently operate on any compressor having a rating that is greater than 4 CFM. The overall size of the compressor tank is only important if space is limited. Home-use air compressors state the specifications on the label. Rotary-vane, fast-recovery compressors for commercial shop use are generally compatible with most air tools and a variety of air impact hammers.
  • Warranty: Thirty-day, money-back, satisfaction guarantees typically accompany a product. Limited one-year parts and labor warranties on tools and equipment are also typical. Extended warranties may be purchased. The longer the manufacturer’s warranty is the better. Most quality air hammers offer three-year manufacturer’s warranties.

 

BEST HEAVY DUTY AIR HAMMER ON THE MARKET 2

Quality air impact hammers should have:

  • Enough power to obtain 2,100 – 3,500 BPM
  • A 2-⅝” – 3” stroke length
  • An average 3.2 CFM (low impact) to 13 CFM (high impact) compressor output
  • A continuous pressure of 90 psi
  • A minimum ⅜” diam. hose

Conclusion

It is prudent to understand the size of your project. The best air chisels can save time and make completing your biggest job easier. Although most air hammers offer similar features, do your research before buying one. Determine which brand, type, and model is the best one for your particular job. Some include chisel bits and a case, while others only sell you the air hammer tool.

The Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 114GQC is one of the most popular and generally highly-rated standard-duty air impact hammers on the market. Super-duty pneumatic air hammers such as

BEST HEAVY DUTY AIR HAMMER ON THE MARKET 5

the Chicago Pneumatic CP717super-duty and the Astro Pneumatic 4980 are more powerful and better suited for professional, industrial and other heavy-duty applications. Long barrel air hammers also tend to be more powerful than the more compact short barrel ones.

There are brands that have been in business a half-century or longer. Remember that the least expensive air hammer may not be as sturdy or durable, or have the best warranty. Conversely, the most expensive tool may be well-made, but heavy and difficult to control.

The best air hammer purchase is a heavy- or super-duty pneumatic hammer with a warranty that extends longer than one year. High-grade, high-quality carbon steel chisel bits are also the most versatile and long-lasting option. To get the best quality chisel bits, you may have to purchase them separately, rather than rely on those that are included in an all-in-one air hammer kit.

Reviews

01

The Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 114GQC model is a sturdy, compact, lightweight, standard-duty air impact tool. It offers more features than comparable air hammers. It is designed to efficiently cut metal and facilitate chipping and surface scraping.

It also makes cutting panels and exhaust system maintenance/repair faster and easier. This air hammer features a durable, long-lasting, medium-length, alloyed steel barrel. It is powered by a heat-treated piston which is attached to an air compressor. It has a built-in power regulator.

The 114GQC’s award-winning ergonomic design includes a contoured comfort-grip handle that enhances torque accuracy, efficiency, and safety. It has a professional- style touch trigger and the ability to safely diffuse exhaust from the handle’s bottom. The vibration factor is 7.5 m/s2 (ISO 8662-1).

Specifically, the 114GQC is a lightweight 4.1 pounds, measures 8½ inches long, and has a 0.401 in. tool shaft/shank. It offers a 2⅝” (2.63 in.) piston stroke and it delivers 3,500 blows per minute (BPM) at maximum 90 psi and average air consumption of 4 CFM. Blow strength (power)/speed are adjustable.

This Ingersoll Rand air hammer kit includes a 3-piece chisel set (tapered punch, panel cutter, and flat). The quick-disconnect retainer enables quick chisel exchange.

Specifications
Weight, lbs.
4.1
Stroke, in.
2.63
Blows per Minute
3,500 BPM
Dimensions
10.3 x 8.3 x 2.3 in
Air inlet nptf in.
1/4"
Overall length in.
8.5
Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • High quality
  • Compact and durable
  • Convenient quick-release
  • Includes a 3-piece chisel set
  • Ergonomic design
  • 1-yr. limited warranty
Cons
  • Case not included
  • Ear protection recommended
Ingersoll Rand 114GQC review (4)

Ingersoll Rand 114GQC

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02

The Chicago Pneumatic CP717 model is the most powerful, durable, super-duty Chicago Pneumatic air impact tool specifically designed for truck, automotive and off-road equipment maintenance and repair. It is recommended “for professional use only!”

The CP717 has a positive action trigger and spool valve which allow greater operator control. The vibration factor is 13.0 m/s2 (ISO 8662-1). The CP717 is designed for durability and comfort, and reduces fatigue.

The CP717 requires a ⅜” size hose that ensures maximum air flow/pressure. The minimum sized air compressor required is 7 CFM at 90 psi. The maximum allowable air compressor is 2hp, 40 gal. air tank. An air regulator is optional.

Specifically, the CP717 is a lightweight 4.75 pounds, and measures 9¾ inches long. It has a ¾” bore diameter and an extra-large ½ “ (0.498 in.) tool shaft/shank for heavy-duty applications, such as front end work, truck springs, king spring bushings, rusted bolts, heavy-duty spring bushings removal, and more.

It offers a longer 2-11/16” (2.69 in.) piston stroke and it delivers 1,800 blows per minute (BPM) at average air consumption. Its minimum noise level is 95 dBA.

The manufacturer recommends performing routine maintenance (disassemble and inspect) every three months when this air impact tool is being utilized daily.

Specifications
Weight, lbs.
4.0
Stroke, in.
2.69
Blows per Minute
1,800 BPM
Dimensions
10 x 8.1 x 3.2 in
DBA
105 db(A)
Min. hose size
3/8"
Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • Powerful
  • High quality
  • Durable
  • For professional use
  • Online owner’s manual
  • 1-yr. warranty on materials and workmanship
Cons
  • Case not included
  • Limited attachment options
  • Chisel bits not included
  • Professional maintenance and repair only
  • Ear protection recommended
Chicago Pneumatic CP717 small review

Chicago Pneumatic CP717

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03

The Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 122MAXK model is a sturdy, quiet, compact, lightweight, standard-duty, anti-vibration air impact tool. It is essentially designed for punching, hammering, chipping, cutting, and scraping, such as pin driving and bolt-cutting. It also makes front-end and body shearing work easier to complete.

The 122MAXK is durable and long-lasting with a short, alloyed steel barrel. It has a powerful heat-treated piston when attached to an air compressor. It provides 5 percent more impact force than competitive standard air hammer products.

The 122MAXK air hammer features anti-vibration technology that reduces vibration more than 30 percent over comparable air hammers. The vibration factor is 7.5 m/s2 (ISO 8662-1). The 122MAXK is designed for durability and comfort, and reduces fatigue.

The 122MAXK requires a ⅜” size hose that ensures maximum air flow/pressure. The minimum sized air compressor required is 6 CFM at 90 psi. The 122MAXK’s ergonomic design includes a pistol-grip handle that enhances torque accuracy, efficiency, and safety.

Specifically, the 122MAXK is a lightweight 4 pounds, measures 8½ inches long, and has a 0.401 in. tool shaft/shank. It offers a 2⅝” (2.63 in.) piston stroke and it delivers 3,500 blows per minute (BPM) at maximum 94.7 psi. The average noise level is 94.7 – 105.7 dBA.

This Ingersoll Rand air hammer kit includes a 5-piece chisel set, including a tapered punch, panel cutter, and flat chisel, and carry case. The quick-disconnect retainer enables quick chisel exchange.

Specifications
Weight, lbs.
4.0
Stroke, in.
2.63
Blows per Minute
3,500 BPM
Dimensions
10.4 x 2.2 x 6.9 in
Vibration M/S2
7
Power (DBA)
94.7/105.7
Pros
  • High quality
  • Quiet
  • Anti-vibration mechanism
  • Compact and durable
  • Convenient quick-release
  • Includes a 5-piece chisel set
  • Protective carrying case included
  • Online user manual
  • 1-yr. limited warranty
Cons
  • Somewhat expensive
  • No air regulator
Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK review (6)

Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK

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04

The Sunex SX243 Hd 250-Mm long barrel air-powered hammer is sturdy, durable, cost-effective, ergonomically designed and adjustable with minimal vibration. It is essentially designed for drilling, punching, hammering, chipping, cutting, sanding, and spraying.

It allows faster and easier completion of front-end, body shearing work, and other heavy-duty applications. The SX243 Hd is durable and long-lasting with a long hardened steel barrel. It has a built-in air regulator with knob for easy adjustment.

The SX243 Hd air hammer has aluminum alloy housing and ergonomic comfort pistol grip handle that enhances torque accuracy, efficiency, and safety. The SX243 Hd is harder-hitting than most of its competitors. It is heavy-duty, durable, and ergonomically-designed for comfort to reduce fatigue.

The SX243 Hd requires a ⅜” size hose that ensures maximum air flow/pressure. The average air consumption is 4 CFM at 90 psi.

Specifically, the SX243 Hd is 5.7 pounds, measures 10⅝ inches long, has a ¾” bore, and has a 0.401 in. tool shaft/shank. It offers a 3¾” (2.75 in.) piston stroke and it delivers 2,200 blows per minute (BPM) at maximum 90 psi. Its noise level is 110 dBA.

Specifications
Weight, lbs.
4.8
Stroke, in.
2-11/16
Blows per Minute
2,200 BPM
Min Hose Size
3/8
Sound Level (dBA)
110.00
Dimensions
7.4 x 10.7 x 2.5 in
Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • Powerful
  • Sturdy; durable
  • Online user manual
  • 1-yr. limited warranty
Cons
  • Case not included
  • Chisel bits not included
  • No variable speed
  • Ear protection recommended
Sunex SX243 review (4)

Sunex SX243

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05

The Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980 is a “big ‘n’ nasty” powerful, super-duty, durable air hammer and riveter combined.

It is designed for drilling, punching, hammering, chipping, and cutting as well as sanding and spraying. The 4980 can capably remove or install I-beam suspension rivets and heavy-duty equipment and truck springs, bushings, king pins and more faster and easier.

The Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980 has an alloyed-steel long barrel and feathered trigger control handle that enhances torque accuracy, efficiency, and safety.

The 4980 is harder-hitting than most of its competitors. Its heavy-duty, durable, dual purpose design aids production and comfort to reduce fatigue. It has a spring retainer for faster chisel bit changes.

The Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980’s ¼” air inlet and ⅜” size hose ensure maximum air flow/pressure. Specifically, the 4980 is 4.8 pounds, measures 12 inches long, has a ¾” bore, and an extra-large 0.498 in. tool shaft/shank for automotive, heavy-duty, off-road, or industrial applications. It offers a 2-11/16” (2.69 in.) piston stroke and it delivers 1,800 blows per minute (BPM).

Specifications
Weight, lbs.
4.1
Stroke, in.
2.63
Blows per Minute
1,800 BPM
Air Inlet
1/4"
Bore
3/4"
Dimensions
12 x 4.2 x 2.5 in
Pros
  • Powerful
  • Sturdy; durable
  • Spring retainer included
  • 1-yr. limited warranty
Cons
  • Major vibration
  • Case not included
  • Chisel bits not included
  • Ear protection recommended
Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980 review (3)

Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980

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06

The Kobalt air hammer is a sturdy, durable, cost-effective, ergonomically designed air impact tool. It is essentially designed for punching, hammering, chipping, cutting, and scraping tasks such as pin driving and bolt-cutting.

It also makes front-end and body shearing work easier to complete. This Kobalt air hammer is durable and long-lasting with a short, alloyed-steel barrel and it has a powerful heat-treated piston when attached to an air compressor. It also has a built-in power/speed regulator.

“This Kobalt air hammer has an ergonomic rubber comfort pistol trigger grip handle that enhances torque accuracy, efficiency, and safety. It is designed for comfort to reduce fatigue.”

This Kobalt air impact tool’s ¼” air inlet and ⅜” hose ensure maximum air flow/pressure. The minimum sized air compressor required is 4.5 CFM at 90 psi. Specifically, this air hammer is a lightweight 4.27 pounds and has a 0.401 in. tool shaft/shank. It offers a 1⅝” (1.63 in.) piston stroke and it delivers 4,500 blows per minute (BPM) at 90 psi and average 7.6 CFM air consumption.

This Kobalt air hammer kit includes a 4-piece chisel set, including a tapered punch, panel cutter, and flat chisel. It has a coil spring retainer that enables quick chisel bit changes.

Specifications
Weight, lbs.
4.27
Stroke, in.
1.6
Blows per Minute
4,500 BPM
Dimensions
11.1 x 9.1 x 2.5 in
Pros
  • Includes 4-piece chisel set
  • Coil spring retainer included
  • Online user manual
  • 3-yr. limited warranty
Cons
  • No air regulator
  • Case not included
  • Ear protection recommended
  • (Review) Light-duty
Kobalt Air Hammer With 4-Chisels review (1)

Kobalt Air Hammer With 4-Chisels

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FAQ

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