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How much air do I need?

Air Tool Consumption Guide

It is always best to check the specifications with your tool manufacturer, but if this information is not available, our air tool consumption guide will provide a rough guideline.

A common question we get revolves around how much air a particular tool uses. Whether it’s an impact gun, grinder or breaker, there are various ranges of air consumption each of these tools use. We have put together an Air Tool Consumption Guide that includes common air tools in various sizes.

Please note this is only a guide. The tool manufacturer will have exact specifications for each model.

Sample Preview

Types of Pneumatic ToolsMAX ACFM @ 90psi Pavement-BreakerCFM Requirement
at 100% Duty Cycle
1″ Impact Wrench 45 – 65Sullair
3/4″ Impact Wrench30 – 4030 lb.37
1/2″ Impact Wrench 25 – 40 45 lb.48
1/4″ Impact Wrench10 – 2060 lb.49
#5 Spline Impact Wrench40 – 9590 lb.62
1/2” Ratchet15 – 20Chicago Pneumatic
1/4” Ratchet10 – 2025 lb.48
3/8” Ratchet10 – 2045 lb.56
1 1/4” Drill60 – 10060 lb.68 – 75
1/2” Drill25 – 3590 lb.85
Angle Grinders (4”)17 – 37American Pneumatic
Angle Grinders (5”)17 – 6830 lb.34 – 38
Angle Grinders (6”)24 – 7745 lb48
Angle Grinders (7”)24 – 9060 lb60 – 65
Angle Grinders (9”)80 – 9390 lb.75 – 80
1/4” Die Grinder8 – 32Atlas Copco
Vertical Grinder63 – 9330 lb.53
Screw Driver1845 lb.55
Rotary Sander17 – 3660 lb.64 – 68
Belt Sander25 – 4090 lb.74 – 83
Polishing Repair Sander20Ingersoll Rand
Polishing Sander28 – 3345 lb.49 – 58
Scalers5 – 1690 lb.85
Chipper5 – 10Airex
Needle Scaler5 – 1030 lb.38
Caulking Gun1745 lb.48 – 56
Hammer10 – 2560 lb.65
Chipping Hammer20 – 3090 lb.85
25 lb. Pavement Breaker49
35 lb. Pavement Breaker56
60 lb. Pavement Breaker70
90 lb. Pavement Breaker62 – 85
Spike Driver70 – 90
Clay Digger36 – 47
Pumps85 – 108
Shears15
Rivet Buster45
CoreDrill85
Concrete Vibrator65
Riveter5-10
Tire Buffer13
Saw85
Chop Saw85
Belly Saw55
Walk Behind Saw85
Chain Saw85
Gasket Scraper43
Rotary Drill19 – 47
Sinker Drill46 – 129
Scabbler24 – 28

Download our full Air Tool Consumption Guide to view our legend and the complete list of common air tools!

Additional CFM resources: