Top Air Tools Needed For Auto Body Work
Air tools have made our lives easier and can make a lot of jobs go quicker. Auto Body work can be a slow process and definitely takes time and patience. We decided to put together our must-have list of air tools you should have in your tool box when working on body work on a vehicle.
- Air Sander– Whether you need to fine tune and edge or sand down an entire panel having an air sander will save you a LOT of work and labor when doing body work on your own car. We suggest at the least getting a good DA sander that you can apply your preferred grit of sandpaper to. If needed most DA sanders can be locked to only spin. We prefer palm sanders for most jobs as they can be used one handed, but a larger DA can make it easier to cover larger areas more quickly.
- Body Saw– A pneumatic body saw uses small fine-tooth body blades that are flexible and allow you to quickly cut through sheet metal. These blades taper in size which allows you to make curved cuts as well as straight. Body saws can make quick work of removing old panels before repair or to trim a panel down before installation. If you’re doing rust repair you NEED one of these.
- Panel Flange Tool– An air operated flange tool will allow you to put offset flanges in sheet metal that allow you to lap weld a replacement panel in place. These flange tools use pneumatic pressure to squeeze the jaws together that create an offset flange in the edge of a panel. For many DIY repair jobs this is the preferred method for panel repair or replacement.
- Extended Reach Cut Off Tool– If you’re doing body work you can almost guarantee that you will have to cut out some old or damaged metal during a repair. Having a thin cut off disc on a cut off grinder can allow you to make intricate cuts in metal thick and thin. An extended reach cut off tool allows you to get into hard to reach areas and is reversible so you can assure the wheel is turning in the optimal direction for the area you’re in. When making heavier cuts that are mostly straight we reach for this over a body saw for its durability.
- Straight Line Sander- Block sanding is probably one of the most tedious parts of body work and it can make even the strongest arms feel like jello after a few hours. A pneumatic straight line sander takes a lot of the work out of block sanding and is a quick way to “rough in” body filler or high build primer before final block sanding. You can apply course grit sandpaper and quickly knock the hard top layer of body filler off before final hand sanding as well. This is a go-to item for a production body shop where time is of the essence, so you can imagine the time it will save a home hobbyist!