How to use an air hammer? (Guide for 2021)

According to Wikipedia, an air hammer is a pneumatic hand tool but what is a pneumatic hand tool? Well, any tool that uses inert air or inert gasses is called a pneumatic tool. Therefore, an air hammer uses compressed air or gasses to hammer objects to either break them or change their shape. With this article, you can know How to use an air hammer properly.

This can be done for various reasons such as carving in stones, breaking or cutting a metal object. Air Hammer makes the process of cutting, breaking, or carving very easy as compared to manually doing so. Imagine the strength and precision it would require to manually beat a simple hammer on a stone or metal to make something out of it. In most cases, it would even become impossible.

The applications of an air hammer are endless, but some applications might require specifically sized and shaped air hammers. These hammers could strike as much as a hundred times a minute, something very useful in stone carving, auto bodywork, riveting aluminum sheets and has other numerous applications.

How to use an air hammer

You can also read our Article on Best Air Hammer Reviews

how does an air hammer work or How to use an air hammer?

Well, the air hammer is connected to a relatively large air tang through a hose or a pipe, from where it sucks the air to make the pistons move to and fro. This piston is located inside a cylinder which itself is located in the air hammer. The flow of compressed air into the cylinder first forces the piston to move up and then down by pushing it from above, on and on this goes.

The piston is then connected to the drill bit directly at the end of the cylinder. The drill bit is the part of the air hammer that is supposed to strike the surface you’re trying to smoothen, cut, or break. When the piston is moving to and fro, it’s striking the drill bit and with each collision transfers the momentum the drill bit which then strikes your desired surface. Both the drill bit and the pistons are metal made to withstand the pressure of this process.

Drill bits come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for a specific purpose or surface. For example, if you are trying to push a nut into a washer, a screw in a wall, or even straighten a metal surface, you can use the hammer bit. In other instances where you might want to cut into a surface, you should do that with a chisel tip.

There are other kinds of drill bits as well but for now, we are interested in the chisel tip and that’s what we are going to talk about next.

how to install chisel in the air hammer

To know How to use an air hammer, you need to know the installation process while installing a chisel is one of the easiest things to do, for first-timers who want to be extra cautious we will leave a list of steps that you can follow to install a chisel on your hammer. Following these steps properly will also prevent injuries or accidents that although are rare but do happen once in a while.

Before we go any further, we would like to explain some parts of an air hammer that we haven’t touched on before.

The retainer spring

Or usually just called the spring is a just a normal spring but is responsible for making the bit fit well with the cylinder. The retainer spring rests on a series of threads that are on the inside of the cylinder. To remove a bit, you will have to rotate the spring anti-clockwise until it removes. Similarly, to close it back, you will have to rotate it clockwise until it fits well.


The trigger is simply the on and off switch for the air hammer. It’s placed right where your index finger will be so that its convenient to turn in off and on again when you want to.


The regulator is usually a wheel or knob at the bottom of the handle that regulates the flow of air. The more the air you let into the hammer, the more power it will exert, and it will exert less power when you reduce the flow of air using the regulator. This is very important because not all surfaces and activities require the same amount of pressure. Therefore, the provision of regulator facilitates the balance of power that you require with what the hammer exerts.

Air inlet

As the name suggests, the air inlet is from where the pressurized air is allowed into the cylinder of the air hammer. An air tube or pipe connects an air tank with the air hammer. The part where the tube or pipe is supposed to fit in the air inlet. Sometimes, we turn the air hammer on while the tube is not perfectly fitted into the air inlet. This creates a hissing sound and reduces the efficiency of the air hammer. Try unplugging and plugging it again, carefully this time to make sure the problem has been removed.

Now that we have defined every part of an air hammer and also described its purpose, let’s talk about how to install a chisel on it. 

1.   Remove the existing drill bit from the air hammer

Before you even try to install a chisel on an air hammer, make sure that the previous drill bit is removed. In case if it’s not removed, remove it but even before that make sure the power to the air hammer is off. If you want to be extra cautious you can remove the air tube as well.

2. Remove the retainer spring from the air hammer

The next thing to do is to remove the retainer spring by rotating it anti-clockwise until it comes off. There might be a button on your air hammer that is required to be pressed to allow the retainer spring to come off. This is a recent addition to the technology and is a good safety measure because it makes sure that the user is wanting to take the spring off. This prevents the spring to come off accidentally.

3. Mount the chisel on the cylinder’s nose

This step is too simple to be explained but so often we find ourselves mounting a bit on the cylinder carelessly and end up plugging the chisel in the wrong manner.

4. Attach the retainer spring back

This is also very simple unless you’re carelessly attaching it because that can put the spring on the wrong threads. Otherwise, the process is clear and easy.

what is an air hammer used for?

Although we’ve mentioned some of the uses above, we believe we should put them in one place to answer all your queries.

  • Removing fan clutches
  • Removing rivets from rivet ball joints
  • Removing loose tie rod ends
  • Pulling out bolts whose heads have broken off
  • Cutting panels
  • Straightening metal sheets
  • Driving valves
  • Chipping concrete

Although these are all the uses, we could currently think of, there might be some that might be missing. Do let us know so that we could include them as well.

We hope we’ve answered all your queries but if we have some left let us know in the comment box down below and we would love to answer them for you.

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