Best Air Hammer Reviews: Our Top 6 Expert Picks

Having spent 30 hours with my team, researchers, and consulting from experts testing over 20 air hammers, we concluded that the Chicago Pneumatic CP714 is the best air hammer for heavy-duty projects. 

It packs lots of power to hit harder, and it comes with a control trigger making it useful for diverse projects. Its best fit is in the hands of a professional looking to perform quick work in a body shop or industrial setting.

It is also a very durable air hammer with superior precision. 

Our Top 3 Quick Picks

SUNEX SX243

BEST RATED CHOICE

PRICE: $$$

Works hard and smart for a variety of jobs

CP714

BEST VALUE CHOICE

PRICE: $$

Long barrel, rust-resistant and can anything you throw at it

INGERSOLL 114GQC

BEST BUDGET CHOICE

PRICE: $$

Ergonomic & Comfortable to use for extended periods of time

Comparison Table & Runner Ups

Here’s a short comparison of the products that made it to our list. If you want to know the specific features of these handy tools, you can have a pretty good idea about the one you want just by looking at their comparison here.

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Product Name

Features

Price

Availability

Chicago Pneumatic CP714

Blow/Min: 2000

Weight: 3.33lbs

$$

Sunex SX243

Blow/Min: 2200

Weight: 5.7lbs

$$$

Ingersoll Rand 114GQC

Blows/min: 3500

Weight: 4.1lbs

$$

Astro Pneumatic 4980

Blows/min: 1800

Weight: 4.9lbs

$$$

Kobalt Air Hammer with 4 chisels

Blows/min: 4500

Weight: 4.3lbs

$$$

Ingersoll Rand 121Q

Blows/min: 3000

Weight: 3.5lbs

$$

Top 6: Best Air Hammer Reviews

Coming up with the products to include in our list is always a tricky process. This is because these air hammers have distinct features that make them better in a specific category.

Here, you will find versatile and heavy duty air hammers that can work on just about anything to light duty tools that you will want to use in your DIY workshop for small tasks like shearing small bolts and rivets. 

We looked at the power of these tools alongside their ergonomics and durability. Some air hammers can give you a vibrating white finger that’s why it was important that their handling is also comfortable. 

1. Chicago Pneumatic CP714 - Best Heavy Duty Air Hammer

This is a powerful air hammer designed for professional jobs. It is capable of the most demanding applications, but it is lightweight to allow use for a long time without fatigue to the hand. 

It works with aluminum and iron rivets up to 3/8 inches and bolts of up to ¼ inches. We even tried it on steel rivets, and we got lucky with a ¼ -inch rivet. But that’s because we were using some very good steel bits.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Extra Sensitive Throttle
  • 2 CFM Air Inlet
  • Superior Control Over the Speed Range
  • Uses Standard .401 Shanks

Chicago Pneumatic has been around for over a century. Their tools prove to last the longest, and that is one of the reasons we chose their air hammer as a top pick. It is a well-rounded tool that will do bolt shearing, front end, riveting, exhaust, and kingpin bushing removal.

REVIEW & TEST RESULTS

  • RELIABILITY
  • ERGONOMICS
  • DURABILITY

The air hammer is true to its power with 2000 blows per minute. We used it on aluminum and iron rivets, and the tool is a beast as we found it exceptionally powerful with rivets up to 3/8 inches. 

We used it on other different size rivets to try and find out which size it is most efficient. This air hammer worked great with ¼, 3/16, and 5/16 size rivets but it struggled with 3/8 inch rivets. 

You will want to use quality bits if you wish you to get through thick 3/8-inch rivets. 

We tried performing some suspension repair on a van. And when it was time to remove the ball joint, we used our removal driver which went into the air hammer fast and smooth. It took only a few seconds to have the ball joint in our hands and conduct repairs on the van. 


WHAT I LIKED

  • Ergonomic Grip
  • Lightweight
  • Not as loud as other Air Hammers
  • Works on many Materials

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Struggles with Steel Rivets
  • It works with Specific Chisels

2. Sunex SX243 - Best Long Barrel Air Hammer

Sunex SX243 is a robust tool designed to be sturdy and durable. It is useful for many jobs including chipping, cutting, hammering, drilling, and many others.

It's long barrel allows it to take centre stage when dealing with heavy-duty applications like body shearing work. 

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Simple Adjustment via Inbuilt Regulator 
  • Aluminum Alloy Housing
  • Ideal Air Consumption (4CFM)
  • Hardened Steel Barrel for Durability

This air hammer is a professional duty tool for everyday body shop and DIY tasks at home. I could easily pick this air hammer for my car’s disk rotors any day.

It’s one of those you know you can’t leave out of your arsenal as it comes in handy in so many jobs. 

REVIEW & TEST RESULTS

  • RELIABILITY
  • ERGONOMICS
  • DURABLITY

Sunex SX243 felt powerful the first time I used it. We had been trying to remove a triple tree bearing by using a chisel and a regular hammer.

It can be so tiring, but once I grabbed the Sunex my work was a breeze as the triple tree bearing came off in a like three seconds. It was actually too powerful that the bearing was in pieces.  

This tool worked on many different parts like the suspension parts, wheel studs, and even replacing a hub assembly. It did get tough when replacing the hub assembly, but overall the power will get you through. 

We did not get any chisels with this air hammer. It was pretty easy to find the ideal ones as it uses regular 0.401 shanks. It has a 3/8-inch hose which is responsible for the high airflow that we experienced. 


EXPERT TIP

When removing a triple tree bearing, cover the surface with duct tape to protect the finish of the part. This way the air hammer will not scratch and destroy the finish. And remember to wear eye protection. 


Staff | Pro Tool Guide

WHAT I LIKED

  • Comfortable Rubber Grip
  • Long Barrel
  • Uses Standard Size Shanks
  • Excellent for Mechanics Bodywork
  • Value for Money

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Bit Heavy
  • Doesn't come with Chisels

3. Ingersoll Rand 114GQC - Best Ingersoll Air Hammer

If you work in the automotive and construction industry, this air hammer is an easy choice. It has perhaps the highest power on our list which makes it good for exhaust systems and cutting metals as well as scraping and chipping. 

QUICK SUMMARY

  • 3500 BPM Paired with two 5/8" Strokes
  • Quick Disconnect Retainer
  • Rugged Construction for Longevity
  • Excellent Torque Accuracy
  • 3-Piece Chisel Set

Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 114QC is a high-rated model. Mainly because it is cheap and also because of its power to tackle anything from moderate to heavy jobs. It is also rugged to last in excellent condition. Being part of the Ingersoll Rand Edge Series, we were pretty eager to see what this air hammer is all about. 

REVIEW & TEST RESULTS

  • Reliability
  • ERGONOMICS
  • DUrability

This air hammer met our expectations as we worked with it on a variety of jobs. First, it was working on suspension works and removing axle shafts from hubs. 

Its 3500 blows per minute made it much easier to remove axle shafts than with the Sunex. We also used it to remove supercharger drive snouts, and it was effortless. 

Our next assignment was to remove porcelain and tiles which was fast and easy. But the hammer struggled with thinset even with a proper scraper chisel. We did like that the power is controllable using a knob that is located at the bottom of the handle. 

We also liked that we could dial in the exact speeds for different types of jobs. For us, it meant using low power to chip the tiles while we went full blast on the axles as they were pretty tough to push through. 


WHAT I LIKED

  • Comfortable Handle
  • Speed Control
  • Long Lifespan for the Price
  • Can Cut Metals
  • Diffused Exhaust

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • The quality of chips is not excellent
  • The handle did little to absorb most of the vibrations

4. Astro 4980 - Best Pneumatic Air Hammer

Astro Pneumatic Tool 4980 is a commercial duty air hammer. Although it has a lower power level than other air hammers, it is capable of handling heavy-duty jobs like truck springs. It also showcases exceptional performance when chipping, hammering, drilling, and cutting. 

This is a durable tool that will hit as hard as its competitors. It comes at a high-end price which means it has more to give in terms of longevity and handling. 

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Long-lasting Alloyed Steel Barrel
  • Two 11/16 Stroke
  • 1800 RPM
  • Uses Heavy-Duty 0.498 Shanks
  • Spring Retainer for Easy Change of Bits

If you work in a commercial Setting where you have to deal with trucks and fifth wheels, this air hammer might be what you are looking for. It uses 0.498 shank and lots of air volume but then there’s no material it cannot get through. 

REVIEW & TEST RESULTS

  • Reliability
  • ERGONOMICS
  • DUrability

The first thing we noticed and liked was the alloyed steel barrel. It is a sure sign of durability as this air hammer was able to withstand grit, dust, water, and working around rusty stuff. 

We used it every day for two weeks around the heftiest jobs, servicing truck bushings, and it did not show any signs of losing some of its initial power. 

I can vouch for it on the longevity. 


WHAT I LIKED

  • It’s best for heavy duty work
  • It is built for the toughest truck servicing jobs
  • Offers smooth suspension bolts removal
  • Durable design; constant maximum power

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Lots of vibrations
  • It does not include a case

5. Kobalt - Best Air Hammer with Chisels

Kobalt Air Hammer is a midrange model that is best for light and medium duty jobs. It is sturdy, easy to control, and it comes with an ergonomic handle.

The package includes four chisels so work will start without looking for the right size bits. It also has a 3-year warranty which is two years longer than the other air hammers we tested. 

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Built-in Power Regulator
  • 5CFM at 90PSI
  • Built-in Trigger Control
  • Replaceable Quick Change Spring

Kobalt is not new to the world of handheld tools. From saws to pliers, you will always find a well-designed tool by Kobalt. This particular air hammer falls in the middle range when it comes to performance and applications.

REVIEW & TEST RESULTS

  • Reliability
  • ERGONOMICS
  • DUrability

We were happy not to search our toolbox for the ideal chisel to go with this air hammer. Our first job was to remove a steering wheel shaft on a Chevy GMC truck. Since it has a shorter hand and 4500 blows per minute, it took me under a minute to loosen the nut. 

We also used it to sheer off rivets which we had tried using different methods like using a grinder and drill which is a bit of a process. But Kobalt made it look so easy as it only involves using a sharp rivet against the rivets head and a few seconds later the head was off. 

This air hammer worked with hefty rivets and chipping stone. We also used it to cut thick metal, but it was not as efficient as the Astro Pneumatic.


EXPERT TIP

If you are removing a spinning rivet, use a flathead screwdriver to hold it in place while you work your way on the rivet. You can also use a painter’s tape to keep it in place. This will prevent it from swiveling, and you can use both hands for the job instead of splitting your attention. 


Staff | Pro Tool Guide

WHAT I LIKED

  • Its air power tanks are readily available
  • Minimal vibrations
  • Comes with four quality chisels 
  • Coil spring retainer

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • 1-inch long stroke
  • The handle is built for small hands

6. Ingersoll Rand 121Q - Best Super Duty Air Hammer

The Ingersoll Rand 121Q is one of the top performers for heavy-duty front-end work. It has a one-piece alloy barrel which means it does not have any weak points. You can drop it and subject it to hefty tasks, and it will still perform as good as new.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Inbuilt Power Regulator
  • Durable Alloyed Steel Barrel
  • Simple Throttle Valve Assembly
  • 1-year Limited Warranty

This air hammer is a low-priced super-duty option. It makes quick work of removing ball joints, pressing, hammering, chipping, and cutting metal. It has average air volume consumption, so you don’t need to bring your oversized air compressor. 

REVIEW & TEST RESULTS

  • Reliability
  • ERGONOMICS
  • DUrability

It’s easy to see why professionals love the Ingersoll Rand 121Q. It managed to pull 3000 reps per minutes with 3CFM. It has a lightweight body that made use doubt if it could do any real jobs. But we found it quite useful for crimping the sharp edge of a metallic sink that we had just cut the edges off. 

We used this air hammer to get out stuck fittings from a very tricky position in a bus. We used a long chisel to spin the nut counter clockwise. 

Being able to control the power during the starts made it easy to turn the nut. We nipped it a little bit, but it was easier than using a nut remover rod. 


WHAT I LIKED

  • Standard shank size
  • Durable barrel 
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to maintain

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Quality of the retainer is dismal
  • Lacks the power for super heavy jobs

OUR VERDICT

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!

Chicago Pneumatic CP14

The Chicago Pneumatic CP14 is the best overall in the hands of a professional and DIY enthusiast.


It packs the power, length, and longevity to make it worth the extra dime.  


Air Hammer Buying Guide 

An air hammer is perhaps the most versatile tool for automotive, industrial, and DIY projects. But you need to get the best there is if you wish to blandish metals, service trucks, crimp body panels, and make quick work on repair jobs in your garage or body shop.

We’ve provided this short guide to start you on the process of finding the best air hammer. 

What is an Air Hammer?

An air hammer is a pneumatic (air-powered) hand tool used for a variety of tasks. 

This includes breaking and cutting with the help of chisels. That’s why it is also referred to as an air chisel. Air hammers have their best use in carving stone, removing bricks, breaking masonry stone, chipping paint and tiles, breaking nuts and joints, etc. 

This tool is set apart from the regular hammer because it connects to an air compressor and it can accomplish more than with a standard hammer. 

In the automotive industry, an air hammer takes lots of bits and accessories for use in different tasks like cutting and shaping metal. It can even be used to straighten out dents with a smoothing chisel. 

Air Hammer Essential Features

1.Power 

Your hammer will be used in a multitude of tasks, but ultimately it must have the power to match your most demanding task. An air hammer with a high power rating is considered to perform much faster than entry-level air hammers with lower power ratings. 

A medium to heavy-duty air hammer with power from 2000-3000 blows per minute will handle a wide array of tasks. They are suitable for jobs involving bolt cutting and driving pins. 

2. Short vs. Long Barrel 

Short barrels are best for light-duty tasks. They are lightweight and have minimal vibrations so you can work longer with them. They can cut thin sheets of metal, remove studs from wheels, but cannot deal with heavy-duty truck springs and rivets. 

Short barrels have a faster bit rate so you can perform jobs that need precision and make your job look more professional.

Long barrels do not suffer the limitations of short barrels except for being heavy. A long barrel has a low stroke rate and can have lower vibrations but not all the time. These features make them ideal for tough and rigorous jobs. 

3. Trigger 

A progressive trigger is a nice feature to have in your air hammer. This is because it is safer to use and control. Air hammers are powerful tools that pose lots of danger when in use. With a gradually progressive trigger, it becomes much easier to stay in control from the very start. 

4. Size of Air Compressor 

An air hammer works hand-in-hand with an air compressor. Your air hammer will have specifications for the air volume and psi requirements while the air compressor will have specs for air volume output (CFM), air pressure in psi, and horsepower. 

To properly operate you air hammer, you will be required to match or exceed its air volume requirements. 

For example, if your air hammer requires 4CFM at 90 psi, the air compressor should have a higher capacity than that of the air hammer. 

Types of Air Hammers 

Air hammers can be classified into different categories according to their power and their barrel length. 

  • Standard Air Hammers 

These are light and medium-duty air hammers that are used for most DIY projects around the house. They are the kind you pick when you want to replace tiles or cutting thin sheets of metal. These air hammers usually come with short barrels.

  • Heavy-duty Air Hammers 

These air hammers are designed to tackle industrial jobs that involve dealing with fifth wheelers and trucks whose parts are the toughest to handle. You will find that they do not use standard shanks and they mostly come with long barrels. 

Air Hammer Safety Tips

It is crucial to follow safety measures when using an air hammer. 

1.Read the Manufacturer’s Manual

Using your air hammer according to the manufacturer’s instructions will save you lots of headache. This is by using the recommended air volume and not over exceeding with the idea of working faster. 

2. Wear Protection Glasses

Safety glasses will save you from flying fragments from the piece you are working on. For example, when chipping stone, cement, and tiles, lots of chips will be flying all over the place.

3. Wear Gloves 

Preferably use anti-vibration gloves as they reduce the risks brought about by a vibrating tool. Although they do not minimize risk by 100%, they ultimately provide sufficient protection when used on a regular basis. 

4. Use Clean Compressed Air 

Dust and moisture from your air compressor will affect the life of your air hammer in a bad way. These elements are corrosive and will damage your tool within no time. Always use an air filter to reduce exposure to corrosive elements. 

5. Set up Screens 

In areas where there are lots of flying objects, be sure to protect others by setting up a screen around the area you are working. Warning signs can also serve to help others be aware of your job, so they are not accidentally exposed to flying fragments. 

Final Words

It is without a doubt that an air hammer is an indispensable tool. We have looked at the Best Air hammers the market has to offer. We tested each of these air hammers in a bid to see if they matched up to our expectations. And they did, that’s why they made our list. 

Although you can always find a tool to substitute an air hammer, it proves to work harder and faster which will save you tons of energy and time. 

Go on and have an easy time with one of these air hammers!