What’s an Air Hose Fitting?

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An air hose coupler easily attaches air tools and accessories to an air hose. It has a cam type coupler with a spring loaded sliding collar that holds the female coupler to the male coupler component. The coupler allows for quick tool changes without losing air pressure. Different styles and sizes are available, but it’s important to use the same size and style for seamless attachment.

An air hose coupler is a device used to easily attach extra air hose, air tools, and other accessories to an air hose. Consisting of a cam type coupler, the air hose coupler uses a spring loaded sliding collar to hold the female coupler to a male coupler component by pressing the ball bearings into a groove machined into the coupling half male. The air hose coupler is easily disengaged by sliding the locking collar down, thus releasing the ball bearings and male coupling, allowing it to slide out of the coupler.

One of the many benefits of using an air compressor and air tools is the ability to quickly and easily change out of many different air tools. This is made possible by the use of an air hose fitting. By installing the coupler at the end of the air hose, accessories can be changed over and over again in seconds without losing air pressure in the compressor tank. The coupler is designed with a diaphragm or check valve inside that prevents air from escaping when no coupling is connected to the coupler. This valve is held open by inserting the male coupler fitting into the air hose coupler, thus supplying air for the tool or accessory.

Before the air hose coupler, it was necessary to attach a pneumatic tool or accessory directly to the air hose using a threaded connector. This made connecting an air tool or accessory awkward as the air pressure required bleeding and the compressor had to be shut down to replace the air tool or accessory from the air hose. Some mechanics, in an effort to eliminate the time- and air-consuming action of changing air tools, have used a manifold on the compressor from which several air hoses exit. Each of the air hoses had a different type of pneumatic tool or attachment on the end to eliminate the need to change tools. This system often led to a tangle of air hoses and loss of air power if more than one air line was used at the same time.

Different styles and sizes of air hose fittings are available to meet most needs. Large couplings promote more airflow and should be used on large capacity air compressors so as not to blow off the air supply from a smaller compressor. It is imperative that all couplers and male counterparts are the same size and style to allow the components to attach seamlessly to each other.

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