Hybrid Hose – The hybrid blend of polyurethane, PVC and rubber allows hybrid hose to be extremely flexible and durable, even in frigid temperatures. If you’ve ever been frustrated by air hose that kinks and is generally difficult to unravel, this is the choice for you.
Polyurethane Hose – Sometimes referred to as Pu Air Hose, polyurethane air hose is considered an “all-around” option. It weighs less than comparable hybrid and PVC options, which is a factor you’ll appreciate after you’ve dragged it around a job site all day. It also stays flexible in most conceivable working temperatures.
PVC Hose – PVC hose is very durable and abrasion resistent. It’s considered to be the economical option. While not as flexible as the above varieties, it’s great when working in warm weather. It’s also easy to maneuver around corners and obstacles without getting hung up.
Typically, air hoses will be either 50- or 100-feet long, with a few exceptions. Most people will go for the 100-foot option because it allows them to maximize their distance from the air compressor. This is especially beneficial if it eliminates the need for an extension cord, which can be tough on electric motors if not sized properly.
There are some specific situations in which a 50-foot hose might be a better option. The obvious scenario would be when working in tight quarters. A not-so-obvious scenario would be when the CFM requirement of the tool being used is close to the output of the air compressor. When that’s the case, every little bit of air counts and a shorter air hose will help minimize frictional loss, thereby decreasing the chances of stair-stepped nails.
The most common inside diameters are 1/4- and 3/8-inch. Many people choose 1/4-inch hose because it’s lighter than the 3/8-inch variety. It’s easier to roll up, carry around and store. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the price tag for 1/4-inch hose is lower than its 3/8-inch counterpart.
A wider inside diameter, however, can also have benefits. Like shorter lengths of hose, a wider inside diameter will help limit frictional loss.
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