With all the types of tools which power off of compressors we figured it would be a great time to talk about getting clean dry air to your air tools. Just like the frame of your vehicle, the inside of an air tool can corrode or rust when exposed to dirty moist air. With there being a couple different levels of protection we figured why not point them out in an article.
The first three options are the easiest to attach to your air tool along with being the least expensive. Generally these get used only with paint and powder coating as these two items require very dry, very clean air. Figure 1 is of a disposable in line air filter which is perfect to connect to your paint or powder gun right at the inlet. These are very inexpensive and easy to keep a couple spares around the shop . Figure 2 is a new to the market design we’re very excited about. The Fish Eye In line air filter has a replaceable cartridge meaning you can keep the same housing saving money down the road. Figure 3 consists of a step almost into what should be a larger wall mount unit. The Devilbiss Desiccant Snake is the largest version of these three which can trap water and contaminants. It is also disposable so once your paint job is finished you can easily pitch the unit.
Our next four examples cover units which mount directly to a wall. These larger unit feature benefits such as larger capacity and tighter filters for cleaner air. Figure one and two both cover a stand along air filter, offered in either 3/8″ NPT fitting size or 1/2″ NPT fitting size. These will have the ability to filter the large majority of moisture and contaminants down to 5 microns. These are best used after the compressor but before any ports in which you would hook up an air tool. This clean dry air will greatly prolong the life of any air tool used after one of these filters. The clear viewing windows ensure you’ll know when it’s time to drain the excess moisture. Figures 3 and 4 are offered in the same 3/8″ NPT fitting size or 1/2″ NPT fitting size options to plumb into your air system. These next two are what the industry considers a two stage filter. The first filters the same as the first two examples with an additional section which is filled with desiccant. The desiccant is a product designed to absorb moisture from the air even if it is vapor, think of the small packets you get in shoes, beef jerky etc. By combining a filter and a desiccant we now can guarantee the cleanest driest air to any air tool. We recommend plumbing one of these into your system after the areas for conventional air tools but before any paint or powder equipment. With one of our 2 stage systems you can assure your paint job will come out as clean as humanly possible. We hope this article helps you pick the next compressed air cleaning system.