Pictured left is a traditional, steel, quarter-inch air fitting. Right, is the Milton 760 high-flow “V” style fitting.
Like most folks, I didn’t know that there was a whole world of air fittings. Instead, I just assumed brass was brass, steel was steel and they all flowed enough air to feed the impact wrench I was using. That’s kind of true — the standard “M” style air fittings supply air, just not as much as the more modern high-flow counterparts.
As an example, the orifice of the Milton 760 (pictured above right) is much larger than the generic, big-box store air fitting. With air tools, you’re limited by how much air you can feed the air tool’s motor. More air obviously equals more power, in most situations. Available in brass, steel and under Milton’s ColorFit banner, Milton has just about any high-flow fitting you’d need. Essentially, these fittings offer the common 1/4-inch NPT fittings except they have a much larger orifice size.
While Milton manufactures a lot of products in the United States, the box of Milton 760 fittings I picked up was manufactured in Taiwan. Still, the fittings seal well and deliver on the goods. Oh yeah, and they’re cheaper online than you’ll find in a big-box store.
The downside: You’ll need a quick disconnect coupler designed specifically for these “V”-style fittings. That adds some cost, but you won’t have to take out too big of a loan to snag one.
The Prevost E07 series air couplers are designed for 3/8ths-inch hose and 1/4-inch NPT high-flow fittings.
Speaking of quick disconnects, or air couplers as they’re technically called, the cheap ones are somehow always awful. They leak, they don’t easily attach to the tool, and they don’t care about your ears when you release the tool from the air hose. Milton has its fair share of high-quality air couplers and air couplers with safety features, but the pick of the crop might be the Prevost E07 series. These safety air couplers feature a button release that frees the tool in two stages, which allows you to keep your line pressure up to where you like it, without destroying your ears when you free the tool from the hose.
The rub is that this single Prevost air coupler is north of $20, which isn’t a problem for a single hose in a home garage but might be prohibitive if you’re trying to replace every air coupler in a huge shop. This series of air couplers is designed to accept the “V” series of air fittings mentioned above and provide a leak-free connection and a high-flow rate.
If you want your impact to hit as hard as it says it can on the box, here’s a step in the right direction.
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