Best Air Hammer & Air Chisel 2021/2022: Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Are you a regular homeowner looking to chip or remove some loose masonry?

Or what about a professional who works in a fabrication workshop with metal, or a car workshop/garage performing front end work, bodywork, suspension work and separating joints?

Either way, a good air hammer or air chisel will help you perform these tasks with minimum effort.

In the top rated list, we identify the best air chisels and best air hammers in each category – such as for body and front end work, masonry, concrete and more..

We’ve also discussed some of the best air hammer brands such as DEWALT, Ingersoll Rand and Chicago Pneumatic.

Although you can use some air hammers to break concrete and similar very hard surfaces, we think a demolition hammer is a better tool long term to do that (if that’s your main priority). You can read about demolition hammers in Best Demolition Hammer and Jackhammer: Buyer’s Guide and Reviews.

If you’re running a little short on time, you can check out the top rated air hammer and chisel list immediately below.

Otherwise, you can read the guide in full.

 

Top Rated Air Hammer & Air Chisel List

 

Air Hammer ModelCommentsView Price
Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 114GQCBest Cheap Air HammerCheck IR 114GQC Price On Amazon
Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK Short Barrel Air Hammer KitBest Air Hammer (Short Barrel) For Casual Users Check IR 122MAXK Price On Amazon
Ingersoll Rand 118MAXK Long Barrel Air Hammer KitBest Air Hammer (Long Barrel) For Casual UsersCheck IR 118MAXK Price On Amazon
Chicago Pneumatic T012735 CP714 Heavy-Duty Air HammerBest Mid-Priced Air Hammer For Heavier UsersCheck Chicago T012735 Price On Amazon
Chicago Pneumatic CP717 Super Duty Air HammerBest Air Hammer For Professionals & Heavier UsersCheck Chicago CP717 Price On Amazon

 

Best Air Hammer & Air Chisel Reviews

 

DEWALT DWMT70785 Air Chisel Hammer

View On Amazon

The DEWALT DWMT70785 is a short barrel air chisel hammer.

 

Who Is This Air Hammer For?

  • Casual users who want a cheap air hammer to get light chipping/demolition masonry jobs done every now and then

 

Who Is This Air Hammer Not For?

  • Professional users
  • Those wanting a powerful air hammer for moderate to heavy jobs
  • Those wanting an air hammer of top quality with additional features

 

What’s Good About It?

  • Cheap – good for a casual tool
  • Aluminium and plastic Body Design
  • Handle made to absorb vibrations
  • Accepts standard .401″ chisel shanks
  • 1/4″ Air inlet size
  • 2600 BPM (blows per minute)
  • 4.5 CFM (average air consumption)
  • Only 3.4 pounds – very lightweight
  • Comes with bit attaching spring and 3 chisels (one pointed, one V shaped for cutting, and one flat), and oil.

 

What’s Not So Great?

  • Lacks top end power
  • Lack of additional features
  • Not metal tubing/metal construction (not built for longevity or frequent use)

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Air Hammer?

  • Any other bits or attachments you need to perform the tasks you want to
  • You’ll eventually need to buy new lubricating oil
  • A case is you want one (it only come in a box)
  • Air compressor with hose

 

Where Can I Check Out This Air Hammer?

View the DEWALT DWMT70785 Air Chisel Hammer on Amazon

 

Are There Any Other Super Cheap Air Hammer Options Like the DEWALT?

Yes.

Price wise, another super cheap air hammer option is the PowRyte Basic 100374 Medium Stroke Air Hammer. This tool comes with 4 chisels.

View the PowRyte Basic 100374 Medium Stroke Air Hammer with 4-Chisels on Amazon

 

 

Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 114GQC

The Ingersoll Rand 114GQC is a standard to long barrel air hammer. We rated this one as the best cheap air hammer for casual users.

 

Who Is This Air Hammer For?

  • Casual users looking for a good quality air hammer for a still cheap/reasonable price
  • Users looking for an air hammer to do light to moderate tasks – masonry, metal and automotive/car related work

 

Who Is This Air Hammer Not For?

  • Although the air hammer is high quality in terms of construction for casual use and non-heavy duty tasks, professionals can find air hammers with more features out there that are designed for a heavy duty environment such as a work site or work shop where the tool is used frequently and more is demanded of it

 

What’s Good About It?

  • Decent amount of power
  • Will do most jobs and last a casual user a few years if you take good care of it
  • Alloyed steel barrel and body and heat-treated piston – good for longevity
  • Quick change chisel retainer – change chisels quickly
  • Includes 3-piece chisel set
  • 3500 BPM and Offers a 2-5/8-inch stroke
  • Weighs only 4.1 pounds
  • 4 cfm

 

What’s Not So Great?

  • The owner’s manual is a bit lacking
  • The quick change retainer can get loose sometimes

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Air Hammer?

  • Other tool pieces you might want
  • Case if you want one
  • Air compressor
  • Lubricating oil

 

Where Can I Check Out This Air Hammer?

View the Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 114GQC on Amazon

 

 

Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK Short Barrel Air Hammer Kit

The best short barrel air hammer for casual users, and it also comes in a kit!

 

Who Is This Air Hammer For?

  • The casual user who wants a standard short barrel air hammer that does a bit of everything for light to moderate tasks

 

Who Is This Air Hammer Not For?

  • Those looking for a true heavy duty air hammer for professionals

 

What’s Good About It?

  • Anti vibration feature reduces vibration by up to 30%
  • 15% increase in impact force over standard air hammers in the market
  • Quick-change retainer allows for faster chisel changeovers
  • Kit also comes with 5 chisels and a carrying case – value for money
  • 3500 BPM rate (very fast)

 

What’s Not So Great?

  • The air hammer is good quality and has good performance – but for a professional, there are heavier options out there
  • The chisel bits are good for standard use, but if you use them regularly or on heavy tasks, they will wear out quicker

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Air Hammer?

  • Air compressor
  • Other bits you may want to use apart from the 5 chisels – e.g. a smoothing hammer bit

 

Where Can I Check Out This Air Hammer?

View the Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK Short Barrel Air Hammer Kit on Amazon

 

Ingersoll Rand 118MAXK Long Barrel Air Hammer Kit

And, this is the best long barrel air hammer for casual users (also in a kit with case and 5 chisels).

In all, both the Ingersoll Rand 118MAXK Long Barrel Air Hammer and the Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK Short Barrel Air Hammer have similar main features which we listed above for the short barrel review, so which one should you choose?

 

Well, here are the main differences between the two:

 

Ingersoll Rand 118MAXK Long Barrel Air Hammer – 

2500 Blows Per Minute

3.5 Inch Stroke length

4.6 pounds

10.5 inches tool length

5.7 m/s² vibration

 

Ingersoll Rand 122MAXK Short Barrel Air Hammer –

3500 Blows Per Minute (faster bit rate)

2.63 Inch Stroke length (bit doesn’t penetrate as far)

4 pounds (lighter)

8.6 inches tool length (shorter barrel length)

7.5 m/s² vibration (more vibration)

 

They have the same gallons/litres of air per minute requirements when in operation which is 11.6 cfm.

 

Generally, if you are performing more precision tasks, the short barrel might be better suited for you.

If you are performing more power tasks or tasks that require a longer/deeper bit penetration, the long barrel is better suited to you.

 

Where Can I Check Out The Long Barrel Air Hammer?

View the Ingersoll Rand 118MAXK Long Barrel Air Hammer Kit on Amazon

 

 

Chicago Pneumatic CP7150K Air Hammer Kit

The Chicago Pneumatic CP7150K Air Hammer Kit is the Best Air Hammer alternative to Ingersoll Rand kits above for casual users.

If we had to choose between the two though, we’d probably slightly lean towards the Ingersoll long barrel, although that tool requires more air per minute to operate. So, if you have a smaller air compressor, the Chicago might be a better option.

 

Who Is This Air Hammer For?

  • The casual user who wants to perform a range of moderately demanding tasks

 

Who Is This Air Hammer Not For?

  • Not a tool for professionals

 

What’s Good About It?

  • Easy Change Retainer – to change bits quickly
  • Takes Standard 0.401 Round Shanks
  • Kit includes 5 chisels and a carrying case
  • 4.5 cfm air requirements
  • 3 1/2-Inch stroke depth
  • 2100 blows per minute

 

What’s Not So Great?

  • The bits aren’t great – won’t last you long if you’re chipping concrete regularly

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Air Hammer?

  • Air compressor
  • Lubricating oil
  • Spare bits

 

Where Can I Check Out This Air Hammer?

View the Chicago Pneumatic CP7150K Air Hammer Kit on Amazon 

 

 

Chicago Pneumatic T012735 CP714 Heavy-Duty Air Hammer

Best Mid Priced Air Hammer For Professionals – Front End Work, Bodywork, All Automotive Applications, Metal.

 

Who Is This Air Hammer For?

  • Professionals and regular users who want a heavy duty air hammer

 

Who Is This Air Hammer Not For?

  • Casual users who want a basic air hammer

 

What’s Good About It?

  • Weighs only 3.3 pounds
  • Average air consumption: 2.13 cfm
  • 2000 blows per minute rate
  • 3.13-inch stroke length
  • Spool valve gives you a sensitive trigger – good for controlling the level of air pressure and bit power
  • Specifically it will do front end, exhaust, riveting, king pin bushing removal and bolt shearing + more

 

What’s Not So Great?

  • Because of the higher quality compared to standard air hammers – it is a little higher priced

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Air Hammer?

  • Air Compressor
  • Lubricating Oil
  • Retainer quick change piece (optional)
  • Air hammer bits

 

Where Can I Check Out This Air Hammer?

View the Chicago Pneumatic T012735 CP714 Heavy-Duty Air Hammer on Amazon

 

 

Chicago Pneumatic CP717 Super Duty Air Hammer

Best Air Hammer For Professionals – Front End Work, Bodywork, All Automotive Applications, Metal, and Masonry.

It even accepts the thicker .498 air hammer bits (whereas most air hammers only accept the standard .401 bits which aren’t as heavy duty).

 

Who Is This Air Hammer For?

  • Professionals and regular users who want a SUPER heavy duty air hammer that will exceed all expectations
  • Built specifically for automotive, truck and off road equipment work

 

Who Is This Air Hammer Not For?

  • Casual users who want a basic air hammer

 

What’s Good About It?

  • Most powerful Chicago Pneumatic air hammer for heavy duty use
  • Spool valve gives you a sensitive trigger – good for controlling the level of air pressure and bit power
  • .498-Inch diameter chisel shank to handle the extra power – thicker than the standard .401 shanks
  • Longer stroke heavy duty piston
  • 1,800 blows per minute – low vibration
  • Average air consumption: 3.13 cfm
  • Weighs 4.75 pounds

 

What’s Not So Great?

  • Because of the higher quality compared to standard air hammers – it is a little higher priced

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Air Hammer?

  • Air Compressor
  • Lubricating Oil
  • Retainer quick change piece (optional)
  • Air hammer bits

 

Where Can I Check Out This Air Hammer?

View the Chicago Pneumatic CP717 Super Duty Air Hammer on Amazon

 

 

Best Air Hammer & Air Chisel Buyer’s Guide & FAQ

Other Names For An Air Hammer

  • Air Chisel
  • Air Chisel Hammer
  • Pneumatic Hammer
  • Pneumatic Chisel

 

What Is An Air Hammer?

Air hammers are an air powered tool (referred to as pneumatic) that use different bits and attachments to chip, hammer/shape, break and cut.

Commonly they are used with a chisel bit to chip and break masonry, stone and concrete. The chisel can also be used cut metal.

The air hammer can take a number of other bits and accessories though to perform an array of other functions like cutting, breaking and shaping metal and joints of different kinds – particularly in the automotive industry.

The smoothing hammer is another common bit used to pound out dents and shape metal.

 

What Is An Air Hammer Used For, And What Does An Air Hammer Do?

Air hammers are used for two main purposes:

  • To break or carve hard surfaces like concrete, stone, masonry, tiles etc.
  • To break, cut, disconnect, fit and shape sheet metal, metal objects (like exhaust pipes) and joints of different kinds

Air hammers are commonly used by construction and demolition tradesmen, metal workers and automotive workers.

 

Specifically, air hammers can be used for some of the following tasks (and many more):

  • Breaking masonry and concrete
  • Removing tiles
  • Chipping away welding slag and joints
  • Breaking joints and nuts
  • Shaping and cutting metal
  • Separating joints and connections
  • Knocking out dents and flattening metal (with a flat smoothing hammer piece)

 

Types Of Air Hammers

  • Standard Air Hammer
  • Short Barrel Air Hammer
  • Long Barrel Air Hammer

 

Short Barrel vs. Long Barrel Air Hammer – What’s The Difference?

In general (not all the time), long barrel air hammers are more based around a longer stroke length (how deep the blow is/how deep it penetrates the material you are working on), slower stroke rate, and less vibration (because the bit isn’t moving as fast). They can be used more for power tasks.

Short barrel air hammers are generally quicker (have a quicker BPM – blows per minute) and are more for fine or precision tasks like knocking out small dents for example.

It’s best to check the performance specifications/owner’s manual to get the details of the air hammer to check these things when comparing long vs. short barrel air hammers.

 

Air Hammer Bits and Accessories

The main bit/tool an air hammer is used with is the chisel – which is used for chipping, breaking and carving hard surfaces. This is why an air hammer is also referred to as an air chisel.

Flat chisels will be better for chipping, pointed chisels are best for breaking and demolition, whilst V shaped chisels are better for cutting.

However, there are other tools/bits that can be used with the air hammer to achieve other tasks:

  • Smoothing Hammer (for knocking out dents and flattening surfaces)
  • Universal joint and tie-rod tool
  • Ball joint separator
  • Shock absorber chisel
  • Exhaust pipe cutter
  • Tapered punch
  • Rubber bushing splitter

 

Difference In Air Hammer Bits

It’s important to be aware of the difference of air hammer bits.

The regular air hammer for casual users generally accepts a standard 0.401 round shank, which is made of a standard metal material.

If you are a professional or want something heavy duty, look for thicker bits that are in the vicinity of .498-Inch diameter chisel shanks.

 

How To Choose An Air Hammer

There’s probably three main considerations in choosing an air hammer that is best for you:

 

1. Are you a casual user, or a professional?

If you are a casual user – go for one of the air hammers we have identified above for casual users, and likewise for professionals.

If you choose another air hammer apart from one that’s on this list – a good indicator that the air hammer is for professionals is that it is identified as that by the manufacturer, it has more power, and it takes thicker bits than the standard 0.401 thick ones.

 

2. Do you need an air hammer with a faster bit rate, or one with a longer penetration on the bit?

If you need a faster bit rate, go for a short barrel air hammer.

If you need a longer penetration on the bit stroke, go for a long barrel air hammer.

 

3. What size air compressor will you need to run the air hammer?

The cfm of the air hammer will determine the size of the air tank you need for your air hammer.

 

Features To Look For In An Air Hammer, and What To Look Out For?

  • Does it have vibration control?
  • How deep is the bit penetration?
  • How fast does the bit strike (bpm rate)?
  • What sized bits does the air hammer take- standard, or thicker heavy duty bits?
  • What types of bits does the air hammer take – just chisel bits, or a range of others?
  • Does the air hammer have a quick change or traditional snap on bit changer?
  • Is the air hammer body a solid metal construction, or a weaker plastic construction – metal is better long term and for heavy duty tasks?
  • What is the cfm (how many gallons or litres of air does the Air Hammer require per minute when in operation) of the air hammer?
  • Based on the cfm of the air hammer, what sized air compressor will you require?
  • Does the air hammer come with bits? Which additional bits do you need to purchase?
  • Does the air hammer come with a case?
  • Do you need to purchase your own air hammer lubricating oil? (applied through the air hose attachment)

 

Safety Tips For Using An Air Hammer

The following pieces of equipment are absolutely critical for safety when using an air hammer:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Ear protection – earmuffs or earplugs
  • If you are working on a freestanding piece of material like a piece of metal – always secure it down with a vice or securing tool on a flat surface like a work bench

 

Best Air Hammer For…

Some common queries when it comes to picking the best air hammer are as follows:

  • Best Air Hammer For Masonry
  • Best Air Hammer For Front End Work
  • Best Air Hammer For Bodywork
  • Best Air Hammer For Suspension Work
  • Best Air Hammer For Ball Joints
  • Best Air Hammer For Concrete

 

When picking the best air hammer, there isn’t a specific air hammer for each of these categories because there is both light and heavy automotive work, and light and heavy construction and demolition work. Instead you can take into account the following guidelines:

 

1. For hard surfaces and demanding work – if you are regularly working on concrete or on tough metal and joints, pick a heavy duty air hammer that can take thicker bits than the standard .401.

 

2. For casual work and softer materials – if you are working on soft sheet metal and joints for example, or just need to chip some tiles, a cheaper air hammer that takes standard bits will generally be ok for you.

 

3. Consider the requirements for the specific work – do you need an air hammer with power? do you need a fast BPM? do you need a longer bit stroke? what sort of bit do you need…make sure the air hammer you buy takes that bit.

 

How To Use An Air Hammer

  1. Unscrew the air intake cap
  2. Attach the air hose attachment
  3. Apply the air tool lubricating oil through the air intake
  4. Attach your air hose (attached to an appropriate air compressor – the user’s manual for the air hammer should tell you the required air rate of the compressor)
  5. Attach your air hammer bit (e.g. chisel bit or smoothing hammer bit)
  6. Press the trigger to make sure its working properly (the air runs through the tool and isn’t leaking, and the bit isn’t loose)
  7. Begin work (whilst wearing glasses and appropriate PPE)

 

What Size Air Compressor For Air Hammer?

The owner’s manual of the manufacturer website (refer to product details) will tell you the air consumption per minute (cfm) of the air hammer you purchase, and the maximum PSI.

You want to purchase an air compressor that can meet both of these requirements.

It is better to have a bigger compressor that exceeds these requirements, so you aren’t left waiting for the compressor tank to refill if you are using the tool for longer periods when in use.

 

 

Best Air Hammer & Air Chisel Resources

1. http://www.dewalt.com/

2. http://www.ingersollrandproducts.com/

3. http://www.cp.com/usen/

 

 

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