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Power equipment.


Utility vacuums consist of drum, hose and motor and pick up dirt, sawdust, wood chips, metal shavings and other materials not suitable for regular vacuum cleaners.

* An industrial-type utility vacuum cleans where ordinary ones cannot. Backpack versions increase mobility and reach. Dirt bypasses the motor and empties directly into the drum to avoid clogging. Wet models are designed to suck up water as well as dirt.

* Combination wet/dry vacuums are popular with consumers. Designed for use anywhere in the home or garage, these models range in size from 1 gal. to 50 gals., with motors between 1 hp and 5 hp. Most models include an automatic shut-off feature to prevent water overflow. Conveniently located tank drains make emptying the wet/dry vacuums easier and reduce the need to lift the water-filled unit. Some models feature a pump for emptying the tank. Accessories include hoses, filters and extension nozzles.


Generators are available with engines that run on gasoline, diesel fuel, liquified propane (LP) gas or natural gas. Gasoline is the most common choice. These engines produce electricity to provide a portable power source, particularly for emergency use.

Generators usually include two or three different outlets or receptacles to operate 12-volt DC and 115-volt AC current as well as 24g-volt AC current. Wattage output ranges from 1,850 watts to 8,000 watts. To select the right generator for your customers' needs, have them total the wattage of the items to be run at the same time. This will determine the minimum wattage needed in a generator.

Generators with OHV (Overhead Valve) engines tend to start easier, run quieter, last longer and produce lower emissions than non-OHV engines. They also are more costly than non-OHV engines. Engines with a cast-iron sleeve will also last longer. In addition, look for generators in which the alternator uses ball bearings instead of needle bearings--it will be more durable.


Recently, manufacturers have responded to a consumer demand for d-i-y welding equipment by developing several models of consumer welding rigs. Make sure consumers fully understand the welding process before taking on any sort of welding job.

There are primarily two types of welders: arc end wire feed. Arc welders are used to weld iron to thin metals up to 1/4". Wire feed welders, also known as Mig welders, ere used for hobby, workshop, home and farm repairs. They weld steel and aluminum by feeding a length of wire and argon gas to clean the metal's surface.


Air compressors are used to power pneumatic tools such as drills, paint sprayers and pressure washers. They come in tank and tankless models.

Compressors are rated depending on their cubic feet per minute of air volume output (cfm); their pounds per square inch of air pressure input (psi); and their horsepower (hp).

Usually, the higher the rating in any of these categories, the more versatile the use of the compressor.

The most important rating is cfm because it indicates the amount of air volume needed to operate various tools. Tools have cfm ratings, and these must be considered when matching the tool to the compressor. Larger jobs require higher cfm ratings. Keep in mind that cfm varies with temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure.

* The smaller compressors, usually termed compact or portable compressors, generally utilize a diaphragm-type compression pump powered by an electric motor. These compact compressors are primarily used for inflation or hobby and light spray painting since their capacity is more limited than piston-type compressors that have a storage tank. However, the compact compressors will also run caulking and glue guns and inflate sports equipment and low-pressure tires.

* Piston-type compressors are designed like the cylinder/piston mechanism of an automobile. An electric or gasoline motor is used to drive the pump unit, which can have either one or two cylinders, depending upon the compressor's size.

Piston compressors usually offer greater durability and more work capacity. In the past, piston-types required lubrication for the piston and cylinder, but some oil-free piston compressors with self-lubricating parts perform as well as or better than conventional lubricated compressors.

* Oil-less compressors may require more frequent maintenance than oil-bath compressors, but they can run at any angle, making them handy for roofing jobs.

* Gasoline-powered compressors are desirable for use on farms, where tools might have to be used away from sources of electricity.


Once confined to commercial use, air tools are now being used for home applications. With pneumatic tools, air is used to power many different types of tools. Pneumatic equipment also offers long, relatively maintenance-free life.

There are a large variety of air tools available for woodworking projects end automotive applications including: drills, hammers, caulking guns, sanders, staplers, nailers, tackers, impact wrenches, tire chucks, grease guns and blow guns. Spray gun kits can also be used with compressors.

* Pneumatic nailers come in different types according to application such as roofing, drywall, concrete, finish and framing. Manufacturers of pneumatic nailers have been working to reduce the size and weight of the tools to make them more user friendly. Magazines are now angled to enable the user to operate in tight spaces. Another essential feature is a comfort or padded grip that dampens the tool's vibration and lessens the effects of recoil.

Guns designed for shop use come in models that fire nails, staples, brads or pins. Specific fasteners are available for different equipment and applications. A staple's wire gauge and crown width are related to the desired application. Make sure the customer uses the fasteners that are recommended by the equipment manufacturer.

* Framing nailers can use stick nails or coil nails. Stick nail guns fire either clipped-head (which have the largest capacity) or round-head nails. Nail sizes range from 1-1/2"-3-1/2".

* Roofing nailers can be used to fasten asphalt and fiberglass shingles, siding or insulation board.

* Finish nailers can be used to install moulding, trim, paneling, door and window casings and cabinets. They are typically 15-gauge or 16-gauge and accommodate nail sizes from 1-1/4"-2-1/2".

* Brad nailers are designed for firing brads, a tapered nail with a small head or a slight side projection instead of a head. Brads range in size from 5/8"-2". Some brad nailers can fire brads and crown staples.

* A palm nailer is designed for work in tight spaces. It doesn't fire nails, but rather operates like a pneumatic hammer to drive conventional nails with a repetitive series of blows.

When selling air tools, always recommend that the user wear safety glasses, ear protection and gloves
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Title Annotation:Power Tools
Publication:Hardware Retailing
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2006
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Next Article:Power tool accessories.

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