How Does An Air Hammer Work?

How Does An Air Hammer Work

An air hammer is a pneumatic device mostly used in construction sites. It uses compressed air for carving metals and stones, among other materials.

Generally, this tool is useful for making holes, shaping metals, and smoothening surface areas of various materials like wood, cardboard, grills, and concrete. Therefore, it is crucial for beginners who want to know how an air hammer works to read through this article for their perfect start.

Compressed air is very critical for the performance of this hammer in the workplace. It enables users to work on the surface of a material, twist, or bolt hammer faster than conventional models.

This is possible because these devices come in different sizes and shapes depending on the nature of work that needs an operation.

Tools Used In The Air Hammer

An air hammer is a handy device that is valuable for its speed but may lack some precision in the outcome. The compact design of this model is necessary to withstand not only the quantity of work but also any scope of operation.

There are various tools used in this tool to strengthen its drilling ability:

  • Ball joints
  • Shock absorber chisel
  • Exhaust paper cutter
  • Tapered punch
  • Rubber pushing splitter
  • Parts of an air hammer

Parts Of An Air Hammer 

The construction of the air hammer constitutes a chisel, accessories, and bits that are useful for cutting and scoring different types of workpieces. Knowing about the parts of this tool is imperative for a better understanding of its proper functioning.


Air hammers come with a piston that moves forth and back for better circulation of the compressed air within the cylinder.

Air circulation continues for a long time, making the device relatively faster and perfect, unlike old tools and procedures. It is necessary to note that the air compressed is the major component and source of energy supply in the air hammer.

Air inlet

The Air inlet is a shaft in the hammer connected to the pressurized air tube. You can correctly fit the compressed air tube into the inlet with the air connector.


The air hammer comes with a small button on its inner rear section handle and is useful for turning off the tool. Placing this button is simply for comfort and to prevent the use of bodily harm.


A regulator is a small switch at the air hammer’s rear handle that regulates air pressure. The button on the regulator is essential for increasing and decreasing the quantity of pressure according to the type of work.


The attachment of the spring in the air hammer to its cylinder helps keep the chisel in shape, an aspect known as a retainer spring. Accordingly, the spring opens in the direction anticlockwise for better locking and unlocking when fitting into the chisel.


Generally, the cylinder nose of this critical device is useful for bits and chisel attachment. It is also the next place individuals can hold firmly when using the air hammer.

 Steps On How To Use An Air Hammer 

Air hammers may range from compact to larger commercial sizes depending on the work available. Knowing about an air hammer, I can now take you through various steps on how to use your air hammer correctly and safely.

Work surface

You must ensure that the working surface is devoid of debris, clean, and lit properly. Layout the compressed air tube properly to prevent it from tripping.

Please do not use this tool close to highly flammable materials since it is potent. Accordingly, it is necessary to wear safety gear such as hearing and eye protection before starting the operation.

Ascertain the number of bits required for the job.

The tip selection for the job depends on the amount of work at hand. Additionally, you need to ensure that the bit selected is immaculate and sharp for performance enhancement.

When the machine is new, you must determine whether the box contains the essential tip. Similarly, you must purchase the correct bit if missing from the box.

Inspecting the bit for sharpness is another thing in case you have utilized an air hammer previously. Avoid using blunt tips as they can make the machine clump up and give uneven outcomes.

It can also lead to time-consuming and air wastage. Therefore, sharpening and cleaning your bit in advance is vital for perfect performance.

Insert and lubricate the bit into the cylinder.

Lubricating the air hammer before the drilling process is vital since it helps to improve the operation. Use 2-3 drops of oil for a news chisel to minimize friction during the procedure.

Similarly, it is essential to use a thin oil film when assembling the air hammer to prevent faster wear and tear and friction.

Adding some drops of oil per hour is essential if you are using the device for an extended period. Besides, you need to check the recommended type of oil required in the manual for better lubrication.

Unscrew the spring 

The next step is unscrewing the retainer spring and inserting the bit into the nose of a cylinder. Then, screw the retainer spring back for stable attachment of the bit.

It is crucial to confirm the appropriate way of inserting the bit from your manual to avoid inconvenience. However, there are subtle differences from one tool to the next, even though their workings are the same fundamentally.

Connect the Air Hammer to the compressed Air Tank.

Choose the appropriate connector to avoid leakages when the air hammer is used. This involves purchasing the model that contains the air connectors.

However, many cheaper brands available in the market do not come while air connectors are included. Do not use compressed air that is more than 200 psi to prevent the tool from exploding.

Power up an Air Hammer

Powering up the air hammer is the next step after attaching it properly to a compressed air tank. This occurs after ensuring the working area is clear and properly clamping any materials needing stability.

Place one hand around the handle and the next on the cylinder to ensure simple adjustment of the air hammer, strength, and comfortable operation.


Final Verdict

An air hammer is a tool that every household must own. With this tool, DIY enthusiasts can perform demolition activities efficiently and quickly. Do not forget to wear protective gear to protect your eyes against solid particles and hearing impairment.

If you are still confused, our top selection of air hammer content will help you eliminate how an air hammer works.


What is an air hammer used for?

An air hammer is a pneumatic hand tool used for chiselling, shaping, and removing material. Common uses are scaling rust, cutting bolts, shearing metal, and automotive bodywork.

How does an air hammer work?

It uses compressed air to repeatedly drive a chisel or cutting bit in an impact motion to chip away material. The hammering action comes from an internal piston driven by air pressure.

What PSI do I need to operate an air hammer?

Most air hammers require 70-100 PSI of air pressure at 3-6 CFM to generate enough striking force. Make sure your compressor can supply sufficient pressure and airflow.

What are the main parts of an air hammer?

The main components are the striking hammer piston, front retaining chuck, throttle lever, handle, air inlet, and chisel bits/adapters to hold accessories.

What accessories can I use with an air hammer?

Common accessories include chisels, cutters, needles, rivet busters, scaling picks, and abrasive flaps. Get a set with assorted bits for versatility.

How do I reduce vibration when using an air hammer?

Use a short, rigid air supply hose without quick disconnects, which can vibrate. Hold the hammer loosely to isolate hands from vibration. Use vibration-reducing glove inserts.

What safety gear should I use with an air hammer?

Wear ANSI-approved eye protection, heavy work gloves, hearing protection, closed-toe shoes, and avoid baggy clothing. Help reduce dust inhalation.

What kind of lubrication or maintenance does it need?

Add a few drops of air tool oil before each use into the air inlet. Inspect retaining rings, o-rings, and chisel retainers periodically. Replace worn parts as required.

Can I control the force of an air hammer?

Yes, most feature an airflow throttle lever or trigger to control air pressure to the piston. Less pressure results in lighter hammer impacts.

What are some top air hammer brands?

Chicago Pneumatic, Ingersoll Rand, Campbell Hausfeld, Astro, and Snap-On make quality air hammers in various sizes and power levels for auto work and metal fabrication.