Save Money on DIY with Air Tools

Air ToolLast month….okay, I’ll admit it last March, I talked about the potential to save money by using certain rechargeable batteries. Today, I’d like to follow up that post with another way to save money. Well, more specifically, for my husband to save our money.

Like most men, my husband has something of a soft spot/obsession with DIY. And as a result of this, he has a nasty habit of driving my frugal mind mad with various power tool purchases, repairs, and never ending upgrades.

After having a number of less than productive discussions on the matter, we finally came to an agreement. Before he went on his annual power tool shopping extravaganza, he would at least consider the possibility of switching to air tools.

I suggested this idea primarily for financial reasons. There is some evidence to suggest that they can be more eco-friendly but it seems to be shaky at best. What’s not up for debate however, is that like for like, air tools are approximately half the price of power tools.

Oh, and in case, you’re wondering, the switch was based on the agreement that he would save the extra money, not buy twice the number of tools. It was a sticking point for a while but we eventually got there.

If you have a penchant for a DIY yourself, or you have a husband like mine, here are a few tips for making the switch from electricity to air.

Buy an Air Compressor

The biggest downside of switching to air tools is that you’ll first need an appliance to power them i.e. an air compressor. Decent models start at around a hundred dollars so depending on how much you spend on power tools each year, you mightn’t immediately see savings.

I’m not sure if it’s good or bad news when I say that I still managed to save money this year. To learn more about what compressor to buy, I recommend the following buying guide.

Do Your Research

Air tools need two things to get the job done, air pressure (measured in PSI) and air volume (measured in CFM). Don’t buy an air compressor, or an air tool for that matter, until you understand both the difference between these terms and your specific requirements given the projects that you plan on tackling.

Emphasize the Other Perks

If you’ll be the person making the switch, you can pretty much disregard this fact. For me personally, however, the biggest obstacle was convincing my husband that there was more to compressed air than financial savings. Here are a few key points/arguments:

  • Air tools are smaller. This means that if space is at a premium, you can stock up without tripping over things.
  • Air tools are lighter. The absence of a heavy battery means less hand cramping.
  • Air tools are sometimes more powerful. If you feel like being less than truthful, you can leave the sometimes part out. But for many applications, air tools are actually more powerful and therefore get the job done quicker.

One More Thing

If DIY is a permanent fixture in your home, air tools will save you money. There is however one catch. Some air compressors, not all of them, but some are very loud. And this means that if you have a baby in the home or live in very close proximity to your neighbors, they mightn’t be the wisest of investments.