Assembly Tools and Torque (A Selection Guide)

(12 minute read)

Understanding the basics of torque theory, how it relates to tools, and the methods for applying torque in manufacturing, helps industrial buyers to make informed tool purchases. The following guide will walk you through everything you need to know about torque and the importance it plays in the world of industrial assembly tools.

 Torque Basics

In the most basic sense, torque is a form of measurement. Torque measures rotational or turning force – which is the amount of force it takes to cause an object to rotate around an axis. To measure this, both length and force must be calculated.

When you open a door, you apply force to the side of the door farthest from the door hinges. Trying to open a door by pressing against the part closest to the hinge, accomplishes little because torque is next to zero. 

The door handle’s placement allows for the least amount of force to be applied so the door pivots on its hinge. Measuring from one side of the door to the other (hinge to handle), reveals the length that needs to be multiplied by the force in order to successfully open the door.

                                                                                            The following standardized formula can be used:Length x Force = Torque (L x F = T)

When it comes to tools, you can think of this formula in a practical way. The length of a torque wrench’s handle would be multiplied by the amount of force at the centerline of the tool’s output shaft. For example, a 3-foot-long wrench that offers 30 pounds of force would equate to 90 foot-pounds of torque.

 Torque and Assembly Tools

Torque is utilized every day in common applications, from opening doors to starting car engines.

In the world of tools, torque is most used to create what is known as clamping force. Clamping force is created when torque is applied to a nut, bolt, or other threaded fastener. The result is that the torque draws two pieces of material together and secures them at a predetermined value.

The more torque applied to a bolt or fastener, the tighter the compression between the two materials. This is known as clamp load.

Total clamp load is determined by:

The amount of torque applied to the jointThe grade of the fastener (grade 8, grade 5, etc.)The friction between the two surfaces being adjoined.Atmospheric, work, and environmental conditionsTorque is critical to a variety of industrial applications such as:Installing components on an automobile assembly lineTightening bolts during building construction, erecting windmills, and solar panel and street light installationApplying clamp load to fasteners on heavy equipment, leaf springs, or farm machinery

 The Right Torque, The Right Way

While it might seem that more torque is always better, the reality is that torque must be applied in the right way and in the right amount. A proper run down must consider: run down speed, driving torque, and the final resting torque value. Accurate torque is a universal quality control metric for assembly applications worldwide.

 Over Torqueing

Stripping can occur if too much torque is applied.Stripped threads will lead to loose fasteners or even complete fastener failure.Over torqueing the work can result in:An increase in defect rates, rework, and scrapDangerous operating conditions for assembly workers and consumers alikeIncreased manufacturer liability                                                

Uniform torque values need to be applied consistently to ensure that engineering specifications are met always

 How Do You Ensure the Correct Application of Torque?Correct application of torque is dependent on the following factors:The quality and condition of the components being assembled (ideally, use new fasteners every time)The accuracy of the torque tools used to apply torqueHow close the applied torque values fall within the tools range (target torque should not fall within 20% of the tools upper or lower limits)The hardness or softness of the joint being assembled (i.e. – metal on metal, metal on plastic, etc.)

 Calibration Certifications

In some cases, power tools require careful calibration to operate properly. The calibration process ensures that a tool will offer the desired output of torque. After being calibrated, a certificate is provided. At International Air Tool Company, we offer ISO/IEC 17025 Calibration Certificates. This certificate provides detailed information about the calibration, including the date range for which the calibration certification is effective.

The calibration process involves careful measurement of the tools torque output using specialized equipment such as a digital torque tester or transducer. This reading will indicate whether adjustments need to be made to ensure repeatable accuracy from the tool.

The requirements for torque calibration vary and are based on the following:
The manufacturer’s engineering guidelinesANSI/ASME standardsFederal specificationsCustomer use requirements

When the calibration process is complete, a calibration certificate offers information about the test, methodology and any adjustments made to the tool being calibrated. In addition, the calibration certificate lists the expected tolerance range (+/-) for the tool as well as the date when calibration will be required again.

 Your Torque Toolbox

Knowing the Methods for Applying Torque

Applying torque to a fastener can be performed with many different type tools. The following are all common tools for the application of torque:

click wrench is the most widely used torque tool that allows for the manual torqueing of bolts. These are ideal for hard-to-reach spaces and any job where over-torqueing is a concern. These wrenches physically “give” and provide an audible click once a torque value has been met. Operators must be trained not to apply additional force once the threshold is reached. Click torque wrenches are available in a wide variety of drive sizes and torque ranges.

In the automotive world, a beam torque wrench is a popular tool. These torque wrenches allow for precise fastening of bolts to predetermined specifications. This capability allows OEM torque requirements to be met in an automotive repair setting. A beam torque wrench utilizes a pivoting handle, which acts as a lever to apply torque pressure to the fastener. The readout is manual and utilizes a needle that slides over a plot of torque values.

While not highly accurate, when greater amounts of torque are required; nothing beats a traditional impact wrench. Impact wrenches generate torque using pneumatic or electric motors. A clutch is driven by the motor that then spins the tool’s impact hammers. The hammers deliver powerful blows to the anvil, which in turn drives a socket. The socket then torques or loosens the fastener, allowing for rapid bolting or disassembly operations. Sockets are offered in a variety of drives and sizes, making the impact wrench one of the most universal of all bolting tools. However, due to their output variability, impact wrenches are not appropriate for torqueing critical or precision joints.

stall drive screwdriver is a simple tool that utilizes air pressure to regulate torque. The tool’s spindle is mated directly to the air motor. Stall type screwdrivers do not have a torque limiting clutch. Torque and RPM output are controlled by the amount of air pressure supplied to the tool. Stall screwdrivers are typically equipped with a ¼” quick change chuck and are designed for use with hex shank power bits. These tools are popular in woodworking and furniture making applications. We are big fans of the Sioux brand of American made screwdrivers. Sioux tools manufacturers a variety of Stall Drive Pistol Grip Screwdrivers for production work.

Positive clutch screwdrivers rely on forward operator force to engage the tool’s torque mechanism. As the operator pushes the tool against a work surface, opposing clutch jaws engage and spin in unison rotating the tool’s bit. As the torque of the fastener begins to overcome the maximum output of the air motor, the clutch jaws “cam” apart, stopping the bit from rotating. Savvy operators can re-engage the clutch jaws by again pushing forward on the bit to squeeze additional torque out of the rundown. Experienced operators can use this style of tool to achieve semi repeatable results in applications where driving force exceeds final seated torque. Ingersoll Rand offers highly durable Positive Clutch Screwdrivers designed for high cycle assembly work.

For jobs that require an accurate general purpose assembly tool, the adjustable clutch screwdriver is the tool of choice. Steel balls rolling between indented plates provide smooth disengaging at preset torque levels while minimizing vibration to the operator. Very good all-around torque limiting clutch. The clutch on these screwdrivers is like those found on commercial grade electric power tools widely available at home improvement stores. Once the pre-set torque is achieved, the tool’s clutch disengages from the spindle and begins to make the familiar ratcheting sound we hear on construction sites. At this point, the operator cannot apply additional torque to the fastener. The clutch will only reset once the bit is removed from the fastener. We have had good luck with the Ingersoll Rand 41 series screwdrivers in production assembly line work involving the assembly of sheet metal parts.

The applications for electric torque-controlled screwdrivers are endless. From electronics assembly to medical equipment, electric screwdrivers are used in production lines across the globe. The main benefit of electric screwdrivers is that they apply a repeatable amount of pre-set torque to a fastener during a rundown. A mechanical clutch engages and shuts the tool off automatically once the pre-calibrated torque setting has been reached.

Electric screwdrivers either plug directly into an AC 110V power outlet or may require a separate DC24V controller to operate them. Direct plug-in models offer space savings while models with a controller come equipped with variable speed operation and a soft start feature to guard against cross threading.

Electric screwdrivers accept standard ¼” bits and are offered in either inline, pistol grip or a right-angle orientation. They are offered with either push to start or lever start activation. These lightweight and compact tools come in torque ranges less than 1-inch lbs. (inch ounces) all the way up to 60-inch lbs. The tools free speed RPM typically runs inverse to the torque output of the tool. The more torque produced by the screwdriver, the slower the tools spins. Conversely, lower torque tools typically spin faster, sometimes as high as 2,000 RPM.

For a high quality, mid torque, brushless screwdriver, we like the Ingersoll Rand ELB2612N. With a torque range of 3.5-to-14-inch lbs. and no controller required, the ELB261N makes for a great light industrial assembly tool.

Pulse tools are used in applications requiring large amounts (ft. lbs.) of precise torque. The main benefit of a pulse tool is its ability to apply high amounts of torque without generating a torque reaction, resulting in superior worker ergonomics. A pulse tool utilizes hydraulic pressure to apply torque through its output spindle which is either a 3/8” or ½” square drive (pulse tools are primarily used with sockets). The level of torque is controlled by adjusting the pressure of the hydraulic fluid located inside the tool’s pulse unit. These tools are excellent for all day assembly line jobs that require: high torque, great ergonomics, and minimal vibration to the operator.

Like an impact wrench, a pulse tool delivers torque to a fastener in fast, intermittent bursts. Unlike an impact wrench, a pulse tool is highly accurate and shuts off or ratchets once torque is reached. There is no way to consistently control the torque output from an impact wrench. Nonetheless, even the highest-powered pulse tools max out at 300 to 400 ft. lbs. and have distinctly different uses than a traditional impact wrench.

torque multiplier is a tool used to apply a mechanical advantage when running down nuts and bolts. Using either a DC or pneumatic power motor, torque multipliers can generate torque ranging from as low as 40 ft. lbs. up to as high as 40,000 ft. lbs. A torque multiplier in its simplest form is a power motor coupled to a large (epicyclic) gear train which terminates in an output spindle. Originally developed to eliminate the use of cheater bars and to apply higher torque values in restricted spaces, the modern-day torque multiplier is highly regarded for precisely delivering large amounts of torque in industrial bolting applications. When used in conjunction with a torque reaction bar, powered torque multipliers offer a safe and accurate way to apply high levels of torque to large fasteners. Torque multipliers are commonly found in the agriculture, heavy equipment, truck and trailer, infrastructure, rail, petroleum, and wind power industries.

International Air Tool Company offers Ingersoll Rand Cordless Torque Multipliers capable of reaching up to 1475 ft. lbs. and Sioux-Norbar Pneumatic Torque Multipliers that will produce up to 6000 ft. lbs. of torque.


While the basic principle of torque itself is in itself not complicated, its proper application can be. Every job deserves a thorough analysis and sound final recommendation.

International Air Tool Company has decades of experience helping manufacturers select the right torque tools for their industrial assembly applications.

We are always happy to talk to you through your application. For help selecting the right torque tool for your production assembly work or to schedule an in person visit in the Southern California area, please call (800) 608-5210 or leave your contact info by following the following link – No spam will be sent.


Dotco Die Grinder Guide Part #2 | Inline Die Grinder Selection by Application and Usage

Dotco Die Grinder Guide Part #2 | Inline Die Grinder Selection by Application and Usage

Posted by Mark Schieber on 29th Sep 2020

After 15 years in the pneumatic tool business, we get asked a lot about the best brands of pneumatic grinders. While we represent many world class air tool manufacturers, the grinders that seem to hang on the longest are made by Dotco. In fact, we call on a foundry in San Diego that still has Dotco and Cleco grinders on their floor that were made in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s hard to distinguish the exact year they were produced because the engraved serial numbers have worn off the housings from so many years of intensive use. This is due to the fact that this particular customer grinds highly abrasive aluminum castings, two shifts a day, 6 days a week. We attribute the longevity of Dotco tools to their advanced engineering, tight manufacturing tolerance, and use of premium materials throughout. Furthermore, Dotco Air Tools are still made in the USA.

In this guide to Dotco die grinders, we help you choose the best tool for the job at hand… The die grinders are organized by their horsepower rating and suggested use. Please note that due to the recent re-branding of the Dotco and Cleco brands of air tools, we use these names interchangeably throughout the guide. All the tools in this guide are of the rotary vane variety and each is designed for intensive production or heavy maintenance use. The Dotco grinders that follow are designed to be rebuilt over and over again, as opposed to tossed in the landfill at the first sign of trouble. They are expensive, but worth every penny if you depend on these tools to make a living.

The grinders below are shown with 200 series or 300 series collets. Many of them can be ordered with either style. For a refresher on the difference between the two series of collets, please visit the first blog in this series titled: Dotco Die Grinders Part #1 | Pencil and Precision Grinders. All of the grinders shown below need to be ran at 90 PSI and supplied with adequate air flow as measured in CFM. Many of the tools are offered with front, rear, or side exhaust. Check the specific model number for details. Tools that begin with the number “12” feature the ergonomic composite housing, while those that start with “10” come with a rugged aluminum body.


Low Horsepower Dotco Die Grinders for Tool, Die, and Mold Work – Series 12-05, 12-10, and 10-10 – The tools in this section are compact, lightweight, high RPM, and low horsepower. They are designed primarily for finishing work in tight spaces. These tools are built with high quality bearings which makes them rotate concentrically and with very little spindle run out. Most users of these precision style die grinders opt for the higher RPM models in order to obtain the cleanest possible finish on machined surfaces.

0.2 HP Inline Die Grinder for Tool, Die, and Mold Work – 12-05 Series – with Collet Guard 40,000 RPM 0.2 hp (0.15 kW) – 1/4″ collet, composite body, 0.7 Lbs. weight, 5.9″ length, variable speed throttle, 1/8″ NPT air inlet, ergonomic hand rest.

The Dotco 12R0500-36 is the original die and mold grinder which has been continuously refined over the past 60 years. The ergonomic egg shape housing offers great speed control, fits nicely is the palm of the hand, and is comfortable to use over extended periods of time. At less than 6″ in length and weighing under half a pound, users will appreciate the tools small footprint. The spindle speed is controlled by a variable RPM dial throttle appropriately located at the rear of the tool and away from the work.

0.3 HP Die Grinders for Detail and Finishing Work – 10-10 Series aluminum body and 12-10 Series composite body – 1/4″ collet, RPM’s ranging from 12,000 to 34,000, weighs under 1 lb. The aluminum body measures 4.7″ in length while the composite tool with its collet guard measures 6 inches. Both series have lever start activation with the safety “kickstand” style throttle.

More of a traditional style die grinder than the 12-05 series above, the 10-10 and 12-10 series are still very light, compact, and well suited to detail work in small spaces. The major difference is that these 0.3 HP tools utilize lever start as opposed to the dial throttle mentioned above. Some operators prefer the lever style throttle because it’s easier to stop the motor by just releasing the lever instead of fussing with the dial. Also, with .10 more horsepower, the ai motor and housing are a tad larger than the 12-05 series. Our best seller in this category is the Dotco 10L1080-36 which spins at 30,000 RPM and is great for leaving a clean finish when deburring parts in a machine shop.


Mid Horsepower Inline Die Grinders for General Purpose Grinding – 10-20, 12-20, 216, and 236 Series – This is the heart of the Dotco Die Grinder line up! These proven work horses have enough horsepower to take off stock but can double as finishing tools as well.

0.6 HP General Purpose Industrial Inline Die Grinders – 10-20 series aluminum body, 12-20 composite body, 1/4″ collet, RPM’s ranging from 12,000 to 25,000 RPM, weight equal to 1.4 lbs. or less. Collet style and housing material dictates the overall length, but no model in this series exceeds 6.9″ in length. Check specific model numbers for details.

The 0.6 HP Dotco die grinders are the bread and better of fab shops, aerospace plants, sheet metal shops, and general manufacturing facilities worldwide. These tools are great for material removal, maintenance, or pre-finish work. The advantage of the aluminum housing is durability, but perhaps at the expense of comfort. While aluminum die grinder housings hold up to drops better than their composite counterparts, they also transfer cold to the arm of the operator. Composite tools feature an insulated coating over the tools housing which creates a barrier between the air motor and the operators hands. Use these 0.6 HP Dotco die grinders with your favorite 1/4″ shank carbide burr. As with all Dotco die grinders, the throttle features a safety lever to prevent activation in the event the tool is accidentally dropped. Our best seller in this series is model 12L2080-01. At 25,000 RPM and 0.6 HP, it is well suited to handle a variety of general purpose applications. It also doesn’t exceed the speed ratings of most commonly used accessories.

0.6 and 0.7 HP Heavy Duty “Shipyard Style” Die Grinders for Fast Material Removal and Maximum Durability – 1/4″ collet, 18,000 to 25,000 RPM, 3/4″ abrasive capacity,  weight =  1.3 lbs., length =  6.3″, 1/4″ air inlet. Heavy duty cast aluminum housing.

The extra thick advanced alloy housing on these rugged body die grinder make them ideal for use in harsh environments such as steel mills, foundries, and shipyards. These tools are built to take a beating. Both the Cleco 236 Series and The 216 series offer an excellent power to weight ratio and keep operator comfort foremost with available rear, side or front exhaust. This “shipyard style” grinder utilizes a robust 200 series 1/4″ collet to hold mounted points or carbide burrs firmly in place. An internal speed controller regulates air flow for added torque, which makes them well suited to rapid metal removal when used in the industries mentioned above.


High Power to Weight Ratio Grinders for Fast Stock Removal – Series 10-25 and 12-25. These tools are designed to take down welds fast but without crossing the threshold from “die grinder” to two handed horizontal grinder. At nearly 2 lbs., these tools are heavier in the hands of operators, but are designed to take off as much material as possible while still being held in one hand.

0.9 horsepower inline die grinders for fast weld take down in fabrication shops, aerospace, truck and trailer, structural steel and manufacturing plants – 1/4″ shank burr capacity, 200 series collet, weight under 2 lbs.,  6.3″ to 8″ length depending on configuration, 12,000 to 25,000 RPM. Aluminum and composite housings available, front or rear exhaust.

The 10-25 and 12-25 series are the big dogs of the Dotco die grinder line up. Consistent with the rest of the series, the models that start with “10” are equipped with the aluminum housing while those that start with “12” have the more ergonomic composite housing. The safety lever with the “kickstand” is standard on both types of tools as is the robust 200 series collet. While not clearly stated on the Dotco Website, higher horsepower tools require a large amount air air flow to run at their peak performance. A 1 horsepower air tool needs to be used with a minimum 3/8″ diameter air hose and paired with air compressor capable of producing at least 20 CFM per tool. If you plan on really digging into the material you are grinding, opt for a “torquier” model such as the 18,000 RPM 10L2582-01.


Light Industrial Die Grinders for General Purpose and Maintenance Use – The MP series grinders were formerly blue in color and known as Master Power. These are Dotco’s import-value line and are commonly used for deburring parts and taking down sharp edges on sheet metal.

0.3 HP and 0.5 HP general purpose, medium duty die grinders – A $600 die grinder is not suitable to every crowd and sometimes you just need a tool for intermittent or occasional use. Cleco’s answer to this call are models MP4430 (0.3 HP) and MP4458 (0.5 HP). The MP series offers decent entry level tools that are made in Taiwan. The major difference between the industrial grade tools and the MP Series is that the internal components of the MP series are made from cast components that are later machined. In contrast, the industrial grade tools start with purer metals from solid stock, which are precision machined, heat treated, and oftentimes coated. The MP series uses general purpose bearings as opposed to precision beaings. Nevertheless, for the shop who’s tools have a tendency to grow legs, or for occasional use only, the MP series is a fine choice.


Extended Length Inline Die Grinders – Single and Multiple Extensions – Ideal for Reaching into Deep Recesses – Used in Casting Houses and Foundries –  Series 10-11, 12-11, and 12-26 – Offered standard with 3″ or 5″ extensions. Some models can be customized to obtain up to a 36″ reach.

0.3 and 0.9 HP extended length die grinders – 1/4″ Collet for carbide burrs or 3/8″-24 threaded spindle for use with mounted points (select models), 18,000 to 28,000 RPM, composite or aluminum body, accessory capacity up to 1/2″, extension range from 3″ to 36″ in length, weights and lengths vary by extension selected.

Dotco extended die grinders are commonly used to reach the bottom of molds, castings, various aerospace parts, and wherever a long reach tool is required. They are often used in foundries to deburr and remove parting lines or remove gating along the bottom of a cylindrical part. The standard extension lengths are either 3″ or 5″ long, but series 12-26 can be ordered with up to 36″ of reach. Dotco extended length die grinders with a 1/4″ part are sometimes used first with a carbide burr, then later with a flap wheel as a secondary process.

At 0.3 HP, the series 10-11 and 12-11 are lighter duty tools designed for finishing projects. In contrast, the 12-26 series jumps up to 0.9 HP and is better suited for bigger jobs requiring a larger diameter accessory.

In conclusion, Dotco makes a die grinder for nearly every application. From repairing molds to grinding a gusset turbine engine work or metal fabrication, Dotco tools have withstood the test of time in nearly every manufacturing environment. More importantly, when you invest in a Dotco, you invest for the long haul by purchasing a sustainably engineered tool which can be rebuilt again and again.

In the next and final installment of this series, we cover the complete line of Dotco right angle die grinders, their salient characteristics, and how to select the right tool for the job. Until then.

Guide to Dynabrade Pneumatic Belt Sanders | Features, Benefits, and Uses of The Dynafile and More

Guide to Dynabrade Pneumatic Belt Sanders | Features, Benefits, and Uses of The Dynafile and More

Posted by Mark Schieber on 18th Jun 2020

Dynabrade belt sanders are the most recognized shape in portable abrasive belt tools. Based in Clarence, New York and founded in 1969, Dynabrade is a top tier manufacturer of American made abrasive air tools. As an industry leader, their promise is to ensure that your sanding and finishing needs are met with consistency. Great attention to detail can be found in every Dynabrade product and the company prides itself on performance, quality control, and durability. Best of all, every Dynabrade industrial air tool is made in the USA. Their air-powered sanders and pneumatic files are used in a variety of heavy industries across the globe. Given the extended service life over the long term, pneumatic belt sanders often prove a more cost-effective solution than buying a comparable electric tool.

Before we get started, It should be noted that air tools do require an adequately powered air compressor to provide stable air flow, power, and speed. Also, keep in mind that although slightly louder than electric tools, air tools don’t generate as much heat and with proper lubrication, can run around the clock, 24-7. Lastly, remember that although generally more expensive, air powered tools are a long term, sustainable investment that leads to a safer workplace and less environmental waste.

Why Use a Pneumatic Belt Sander?

Some of the advantages of using Dynabrade belt sanders include:

  • Versatility –  Use one handy tool for multiple surface preparation and material removal applications
  • Throughput – Increased productivity as result of less manual, hand sanding
  • Agility – Compact size and extended reach for maneuverability in otherwise inaccessible areas
  • Ergonomics – Lightweight design for greater operator comfort over extended periods of use
  • Adaptability – Compatible with many different sanding belts when used with the right contact arm
  • Durability – A properly maintained air tool last much longer than a similar electric tool

Below is a discussion of some of the most popular Dynabrade Belt Sanders on offer and the various applications they can be used for:

The Original Dynafile 

Dynabrade’s founder, Walter Welsch, designed the original Dynafile to replace tedious hand filing and sanding. It remains the best tracking handheld abrasive belt tool on the market today. The Dynafile can be used to grind on the contact wheel (tip) or the platen pads (sides). There are a several different versions available. Here is an overview of the three series of Dynafiles on offer:

Dynafile I

● Dynafile 14000 (“The Original”), for 1/8, 1/4″, or 1/2″ wide x 24″ long belts – Includes the 11218 Contact Arm – Use this tool for turbine blade rework, cleaning off rust (using Scotch Brite style belts), grinding down welds, or sanding the inside of slatted surfaces. A heavy duty shroud protects the motor pulley and keeps debris from accumulating on and around the belts drive wheel. A spring loaded contact arm allows for quick bet changes.

Dynafile II

Dynafile II is the evolved and more ergonomic version of the original Dynafile. Also, notice how the shroud doesn’t cover the air motor of the tool allowing for better access into tight spaces. Several models are available, most come with a 1/2 HP, 20,000 RPM air motor with the exception of the slow speed 40381.

  • Dynafile II Model 40320 uses 1/8″ through 3/4″ wide x 18″ long coated abrasive sanding belts
  • Dynafile II Model 40326 uses 1/8″ through 3/4″ wide x 20-1/2″ long coated abrasive sanding belts
  • Dynafile II Model 40335 uses 1/8″ through 3/4″ wide x 18″ long non woven (Scotch Brite style) belts
  • Dynafile II Model 40381 (5,000 RPM slow speed version for use on exotic alloys) uses 1/8″ through 3/4″ wide x 18″ long coated abrasive sanding belts

● Low Profile Dynafile II: This is the compact version of the Dynafile II for work in low clearance spaces. Model 40352 accepts 1/2″ x 18″ coated abrasives belts. Model 40353 is similar to 40352, but is designed for use with non woven Scotch Brite style belts. The major difference is that the 40352 has a rubber drive wheel to prevent non woven belt slippage instead of the standard knurled metal wheel. The non-woven version is great for graining and applying decorative satin finishes to stainless steel.

● Vacuum Dynafile II Model 40330 –  3/4″ x 18″ long contact arm plus dust collection for reduced mess and improved industrial hygiene. The tool’s shroud has an exhaust port and it comes with a hose and dust collection bag. You can even hook it up to your shop-vac or central vacuum system with the right couplers.

● Mini-Dynafile II: Two different models on offer for 12″ belts (model 15003) and 13″ belts (model 15013). This is a smaller tool, ideal for working in narrow openings and performing strap style polishing. This little tool is good for taking down welds on two adjoining plates placed at a 90 degree angle. It is also handy for de-burring round cut outs or getting inside channel.

Dynafile III

● Dynafile III: Model 15300 is the highest horse power tool in the Dynafile line up. The Dynafile III features a larger 0.7 HP motor for more aggressive material removal jobs as well as a side handle so you can apply extra force to the work. Use it to blend scratch patterns, take down welds, or strap sand. The contact arms for the Dynafile II models also work with this tool.


The Dynabelter is a popular option for even heavier material removal requirements. Use it for heavy blending, weld grinding, and finishing on metal and other surfaces. The Dynabelter is similar to the Dynafile but for bigger jobs. There are three different models:

There is also the unique, but slightly odd Accu-Grinder Model 11486 which features an adjustable depth wheel to prevent undercutting and scrapping parts. The adjustable guide tires help you “stay within the lines” when applying uniform patterns and taking even passes. The Dynabelter is great for pipe and tank work and comes equipped standard with a hard durometer 2″ X 1″ contact wheel. Pro Tip: For best results the accu-grinder should be used at a 45 degree angle and pulled toward the operator (not pushed) when making your passes.

Features of the Dynabelter:

● Great for stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, wood, and composites

● Higher horsepower for faster material removal rates

● Safety-lock lever prevents accidental activation if the tool is dropped.

● Use it to de-burr castings, grind cylinders, and take down welds fast

● A variety of accessories are available to expand its use including contact arm extenders that allow the tool to accept belts up to 60″ long.

Dynangle I

Yet another Dynabrade original, the Dynangle I is Dynabrade’s answer to the traditional belt sander. What makes it special is that you can either slack sand tubes by removing the platen pad, or use it with the platen pad in place to grind on flat surfaces. Another money saving feature is the use of a gearless, direct drive, 0.7 HP air motor which helps keep maintenance costs down. At under five pounds the tool is light and nimble and as with all Dynabrade belts sanders, there are a variety of application specific contact arms available. Out of the box, model 14200 accepts 1″ x 18″ belts and the belt advances at 6,5450 Surface Feet Per Minute (SFM)

Features and Benefits of Dynangle I:

  • Compact (only 11″ long x 5″ tall), ideal for work in tight spots. Great for blending radiuses and graining stainless steel.
  • Fast and easy belt changes, plus the tool works great with either coated or Scotchbrite style belts
  • Multiple application specific contact arms available
  • Standard equiopoed with contact arm 14266 which is a 1″ x 18″ arm with a serrated 2″ X 1″ medium hardness rubber contact wheel.

Dynangle II

The Dynangle II is a two handed belt sander that can be used in either parallel or perpendicular to the work. Use it with the platen pad in place to surface grind, or remove the platen pad for strap polishing applications on cylindrical parts. There are three models available with either single or dual air motors depending on your horsepower requirements. The dual motor models accept two belts, allowing you to get larger jobs done in shorter amounts of time. Work slats, polish, and grind contours using this tool. Also beneficial for weld take down, surface preparation prior to welding, and blending and finishing weld seams.

Dynangle II Model 14300 – Single Motor, 1.2 HP, 13,000 RPM, 8,500 SFPM – Uses 2″ x 34″ belts and has a span of 11-1/2″ which allows you to sand cylindrical parts up to 3 feet in diameter. Dynabrade sells a conversion kit that allows you to upgrade to the dual motor version when the time is right.

Dynangle II Model 14303 – Heavy Duty, Dual Motor, 2.4 HP, 13,000 RPM, 8,500 SFPM – Uses 2″ x 34″ belts and is the same in form function as the single motor model, but with more power for bigger jobs. Note: this tool has a large CFM requirement of 106 CFM and if you want to get the most out if it you will need at least a 30 HP compressor.

Dynangle II Model 14306 – Heavy Duty, Dual Motor, 2.4 HP, 13,000 RPM, 8,500 SFPM – Super heavy duty and also just plain heavy, this is the largest Dynangle on offer. It uses 2″ x 45″ belts and the tools overall length is almost 2 feet. With a belt span of 17″ you can grind pipes up to 48″ in diameter. Both dual motor Dynangles, come with a 2″ x 6″ removable platen pad.

Features of Dynangle:

● Quick and easy belt changes

● Accepts multiple types of belts, including non-woven and coated abrasives

● Interchangeable contact arms can be used for refinishing pump screws and drilling screws

● High horsepower motor increases production rates and throughput

Take-About Sander

The Dynabrade “Take-About Sander” Model 52900, is an air powered abrasive belt tool that can be used for finishing, graining, and surface leveling. The opposing grips placed at 45 degree angles are reminiscent of an old Skil 100 planer. It is a heavy-duty (and heavy weight sander) equipped with a a robust a 1.3 hp air motor. It uses a 3″ x 24″ belt which allows for aggressive remove material on metal and wood. Perfect for use with high performance ceramic sanding belts.

Features of the Take-About Sander

● On/Off toggle switch for effortless belt tensioning

● Pistol-grip handle and top control knob for superb operator control

● Works well with your favorite brand of non-woven nylon or regular coated abrasive belts

● Safety-lock throttle lever prevents accidental activation if the tool is dropped

Kits and Accessories

Once you choose your belt sander, you might want to consider some accessories to accompany it:

Versatility Kits

Many of the tools discussed above are sold in versatility kits which, in addition to the bare tool include: abrasive belts, wrenches, replacement platen pads and a handy carrying case. The 40321 Dynafile II versatility kit is our best seller.

Contact Arms

Dynabrade offers a ton of application specific contact arms to choose from. We have most of them loaded on our website and organized by the tool that they go with. View Dynabrade Contact Arms Here You might also want to Download the Dynabrade Catalog for specifics.

Air Tool Oil

All of the air tools mentioned in this article require air tool oil. Dynabrade has there own variety as does Ingersoll Rand and Chicago Pneumatic. In a pinch, you use use any non detergent 10 weight motor oil, but actual air tool oil contains special conditioners to maximize motor vane , bearing, and o-ring life. Nevertheless, heat is the enemy and  when it come to lubrication, something is always better than nothing. Oil your rotary vane air tools frequently. We stock Ingersoll Rand 10P Air Tool in pint size bottles here at our shop.

Air Line Swivels

Air line swivels not only extend the life of your air hoses, but they extend the life of your operator’s elbow too! By installing air line swivels, workers will experience less “hose fight” and  work more comfortably which ultimately results in better productivity.There are many generic air line swivels on the market that look like this:

However, for a modern take on the airline swivel, we like the Chicago Pneumatic CP Air Flex which is made from machined 6061 aluminum. Not only does the CP Airflex rotate smoother, but it allows for better airflow to your tools, in turn maximizing air tool performance.

Filter-Regulator-Lubricator Units

Last, but not least remember that clean, dry, and lubricated air is the key to getting the most life out of your pneumatic tools. Dirty, dry air is a recipe for disaster and if you plan on paying the high price for an industrial grade air tool, you need to protect your investment. For more on FRL units, check out this blog we did a few years back: How To Maximize Air Tool Performance.

In conclusion, Dynabrade has thought of a pneumatic belt sander for nearly every application. They produce high quality, rebuildable air tools designed to help you get parts out the door faster. If you need help choosing or configuring a Dynafile, Dynabelter , or any of the other models mentioned in this article, give us a call, we are here to help.

International Air Tool Company – (619) 795-7955

San Diego, California USA

Dotco Die Grinders – The Definitive Guide | Part #1 | Background, Glossary of Terms, and Precision Die Grinders


Anyone familiar with industrial metalworking can attest to the quality and durability of the Dotco brand of pneumatic die grinders. Nevertheless, due to recent re-branding efforts by parent company Apex Tool Group (ATG), and the now seemingly interchangeable use of the Cleco and Dotco names; its hard to know what’s what or even why so many variations of a simple tool need to exist. In fact, the latest Cleco Production Tools catalog contains no less than 17 pages dedicated to collet die grinders alone.

In this two part guide, we aim to demystify the branding and clearly explain the characteristics of each tool, so you can make an informed decision when buying your next Dotco (or Cleco) die grinder.

In part #1 we discuss a brief history of the Dotco brand, a glossary of useful terms and characteristics, and finally provide an overview of the Dotco precision grinders currently in production. Part #2 of the guide will be dedicated to covering the complete line of Dotco 1/4″ collet die grinders, so stay tuned.

Dotco – What’s in a Name?

For those of you who been using industrial grade air tools for a decade or more, you may remember when the Dotco Cleco, Buckeye, Gardener Denver, and Master Power brands belonged to Cooper Power Tools out of Lexington, South Carolina. This is no longer the case. The current parent company, Apex Tool Group (ATG), was formed in 2010 through a joint venture between Danaher Corporation and Cooper Industries. The company was later sold to private equity firm Bain Capital for $1.6 Billion USD, who remains the sole owner of these brands today. All in all, Apex Tool Group (ATG) operates 20 different brands of hand and power tools and bases its headquarters in Sparks, Maryland USA.

New ownership in any organization inevitably brings change, and the re-branding of the Dotco line of grinders is no exception. The short of it is that Dotco, Cleco, and Master Power are now treated as sub-brands of what is now known as Cleco Production Tools. The original Cleco brand is still just Cleco, but the other brands have been sub-categorized as Dotco by Cleco or the Cleco MP Series (formerly Master Power). Gardner Denver and Buckeye have been discontinued entirely. Whereas in the past, the Cleco brand was associated primarily with assembly tools (and a hand full of grinders), the Cleco Production Tools moniker now covers all assembly and material removals tool in the line up.

Here is a Summary:

Cleco Production Tools Brands = Cleco, Dotco by Cleco, and Cleco MP Series

Cleco =  DC assembly tools, torque controlled pneumatic assembly tools, and some USA made material removal tools

Dotco =  USA made material removal tools

MP Series (formerly Master Power) = general purpose (import) material removal tools

Confused yet? Us too!

Die Grinder Glossary of Terms and Characteristics:

In order to fully understand what you’re getting when you buy a grinder, it’s a good idea to understand the characteristics that define them. While some of the following may seem familiar and obvious, other points are more subtle, but can prove equally as important in selecting the right tool.

  • Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) –  Good old RPM’s! If you don’t know what these are, you may need more help than this guide. Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that the RPM’s listed in Dotco’s catalogs are for tools that are set to 90 PSI air pressure. The RPM ratings also assume the use of a sufficiently large diameter (minimum 3/8″) air hose that will allow for adequate air flow as measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM). It should be pointed out that the RPM’s listed are free speed RPM’s (aka no load RPM’s) which means at test time, the factory basically spins the tool in the air, then measures the spindle speed with a tachometer. Air tools will not spin at the rated free speed RPM when operating under load. You should select the RPM’s of your grinder based on the abrasive that will be used with it. For obvious safety reasons, you should never the exceed the Max RPM ratings of your abrasives. Also, more is not necessarily better as different RPM tools should be selected for different applications. Horsepower also plays a major role in a tools ability to cut or grind away material. More on this later…
  • The Governor or Speed Controller – Unlike drill motors, die grinders don’t use planetary gears to regulate the speed at which the tool’s spindle turns. A governor (aka speed controller) is a small valve like device found within a tools housing which increases air flow during times of heavy load in order to maintain RPM’s constant. On right angle grinders, the speed controller in conjunction with the bevel gears determines the final RPM’s delivered to the spindle. Speed controllers are located just after an air tool’s valving, but behind the air motor itself.
  • Horse Power – An air tools horsepower is determined by the diameter of the tool’s air motor residing in the housing. The air motor assembly is comprised of a cylinder, rotor, vanes, end plates, and bearings. Compressed air introduced into the the cylinder spins the phenolic motor vanes, which then generate horsepower. The larger the diameter of the cylinder, the more horsepower that is generated. Larger air motors require larger components all around, and thus, as horsepower increases, the overall size and weight of the tool increases as well. It should be noted that higher horsepower tools also require greater air flow (CFM), so make sure your air compressor is large enough to power them. Since higher horsepower tools have a larger footprint, they are heavier in the hands of the operators. In the interest of operator comfort, only choose as much horsepower as the job at hand dictates.
  • Exhaust Direction – Most Dotco and Cleco grinders are offered with either front or rear exhaust.This choice mainly comes down to operator preference and comfort. In our experience, we have found that most end users prefer the exhaust to be routed out the rear of the tool, and 80% of the tools we sell are rear exhaust models. Nevertheless, operators using inline grinders with rear exhaust in a vertical orientation tend to get blasted with air while working a part with deep recesses (long cylindrical castings for example). In this case, a front exhaust tool might be a better choice. Additionally, some operators like the way that front exhaust tools blow away chips from the work area, making it easier to judge their work in progress. Nonetheless, OSHA has fire hazard restrictions on blowing aluminum and titanium chips around the shop floor, and it would be wise to check with your local authorities before making your tool selection.
  • Collet Series and Sizes – Both Dotco and Cleco Die Grinders are offered with HG, 200, or 300 series collets that accept accessories with shanks ranging from 1/16″ to 1/4″ in diameter. Pencil grinders typically use 1/8″ collets while traditional die grinders almost always come with 1/4″ collets.

Series HG Collets are prominent on Dotco precision and pencil grinders of both the rotary vane and turbine varieties. The HG series collets thread on to the chuck body of the tool itself.

Here is an example of a model 10R9000-03 turbine grinder with the collet removed. Note the threads on the end of the collet that faces the tool:

The 300 series collets consist of a collet cap and a nose-piece that the collet nests in. The whole three piece assembly then threads onto the tools chuck body. The 300 series system is long and slender which may offer better accessibility into recessed work areas. I have included images below for clarity:

Dotco 10LF281-36 Die Grinder with 1/4″ 300 Series Collet:

300 Series Collet System Exploded View from a Right Angle Die Grinder:

200 Series collets don’t utilize the nose piece seen above, and the collet itself nests directly into the spindle (chuck body) of the tool. Example #1 below depicts a 200 series collet system found on inline (straight) die grinder. Example #2 tool shows you what it looks like on a right angle die grinder:

Example #1 – 200 Series Collet System on an Inline Die Grinder:

Inline Die Grinder with 200 Series Collet:

Example #2 – 200 Series Collet System Found on a Right Angle Die Grinder:

The bottom line is that the the 300 series, with its slender nose piece for its accessibility into restricted work areas, features a taller, 3 piece design. The 300 series is shorter, more rugged and offers a simpler design.

The Relationship between RPM and Torque:

Dotco grinders use their motor, governor and/or bevel gears to get RPM’s to the tool’s spindle. The higher the RPM’s, the lower the stall torque of the tool. Conversely, tools with lower RPM’s are going to put out more torque and be harder to stall. Faster is not always better and you want to choose a tool based on whether you are roughing or finishing. Higher RPM tools are better for final detail work, while slower RPM tools offer faster material removal rates. Operators should let the tools RPMs and torque do the work for them. “Leaning into” a tool doesn’t yield more grinding productivity and stalling out the spindle of an air tool just to demonstrate machismo is downright dumb.

Gears or No Gears:

Most Dotco grinders are governed or geared in order to obtain the torque to speed ratios described above. However, there are gearless models available where the air motor is connected directly to the output spindle of the tool. In a right angle gearless grinder, the motor is placed vertically in the head of the tool to eliminate the need for bevel gears. Gearless models put off less vibration, but also have less torque than their geared counterparts. The main advantage of gearless grinders is that they are less expensive to maintain.

Gearless Dotco Die Grinder Model 12L302-36

The Different Series of Dotco Die Grinders:

This series of articles covers Dotco die grinders that use a collet system to mount sanding and grinding accessories. We will not cover threaded spindle tools (i.e. 5/8″-11 angle grinders) in this guide. We begin below with pencil and precision grinders, and in part #2 move on to 1/4″ inline and right angle die grinders.

Turbine and Rotary Vane Precision Pencil Grinders – These compact, high RPM grinders are ideal for light deburring, de-flashing, surface preparation, cleaning and finishing. Use these tools with carbide burrs, abrasive stones, mounted wheels, points, and molded abrasives. They are typically used for intricate detail work in mold, casting, and turbine engine applications. Precision grinders are offered with rotary vane or turbine air motors. A discussion of the various series follows:

Turbine Precision Grinders

10-90 Series Turbine Die Grinder – 100,000 RPM – .06 HP – High Speed, Low Torque Turbine Precision Grinder for Detail Work – Super Lightweight and Compact –  Weighs Less Than 0.5 Lbs and Measures Only 5.4″ Long –  1/8″ Collet – Front Exhaust – Roll Style, Variable Speed Throttle

These high quality, American made precision grinders feature a high speed turbine motor, lubrication free operation, and high precision ball bearings for extended life. A variable speed roll throttle allows you to control the RPM’s which when combined with the low runout spindle leaves a superb finish on parts. The tool is lightweight, quiet, and puts out super low vibrations which amounts to greater operator ergonomics and less fatigue. A rugged aluminium housing holds it all together.

10-95 Series Turbine Die Grinder – 80,000 RPM – .10 HP – Mid Speed, Mid Torque, Turbine Grinder for Precision Deburring Work – Traditional Die Grinder Style Body with Lever Activation – Weighs 2 Lbs – 5.8″ Long – 1/8″ Collet – Front Exhaust -Thumb Throttle Lever Start – Aluminum Housing

Less of a pencil grinder, but definitely still a precision grinder, this tool incorporates the body of a traditional inline die grinder with a high performance turbine motor for fast material removal rates. While not as compact as the 10-90 series, the 10-95 series is more rugged and better suited to operators who have been accustomed to using a standard size die grinder. Good precision grinder for guys with big hands and no lubrication required!

12R91 Series – Precision Grinder – Governed Air Motor – Turbine – 65,000 RPM – .10 HP – Weighs 0.441 Lbs. – Measures 5.8″ Long – 1/8″ Collet – Rear Exhaust – Twist throttle

The 12R91 series turbine grinders feature a governor that adjusts air intake to the motor based on the amount of load placed on the spindle. This feature is designed to prevent stalling when you are really trying to hog off material (relatively speaking, this is only a .10 HP tool). The 12R9 series is also the slowest speed Dotco Turbine Grinder and at 65,000 RPM, will produce a bit more torque than its counterparts above. Just to re-emphasize turbine air motor utilize precision ceramic bearings and do not require lubrication.

Non Turbine, Rotary Vane Precision Grinders

12-03 Series Right Angle Gearless Precision Grinder – 90 Degree Head – .10 HP – 80,000 RPM – Weighs 0.3 Lbs – Measures 5.8″ Long – 1/8″ Air Inlet – Roll Throttle – Various Over Hose Lengths Available – 1/8″ Collet

The 12-03 series is unique in that it features a gearless design. The tool uses a traditional rotary vane air motor which has been mounted vertically in the head. The output shaft of the tool connects directly to the air motor eliminating the need for a gear train. The composite body essentially contains just the valving and not much else. This is a great tool for work that requires a ninety degree approach, and the lack of gears in the head allows for decreased maintenance. At 80,000 RPM the tool falls in the middle of the pencil grinder speed range. A variable speeds roll throttle controls the fun.

10-04 Series Precision Inline Grinder – 60,000 RPM – .10 HP – Weighs 0.2 Lbs – Measures 5.8″ Long – Aluminum Housing – 1/8″ Air Inlet with Over Hoses Offered in Varying Lengths – 1/8″ Collet – Roll Throttle

The 10-04 series is a rugged, 60,000 RPM precision grinder that utilizes industrial grade ball bearings in its construction. The tool’s most notable characteristic is its durable design. With an aluminum housing and collet guard protecting moving parts from debris and impacts, the 10-04 will be part of your finishing operation for many years to come. The only disadvantage of an all metal housing tool, is that some operator’s complain that the tool gets cold during continuous use. A high quality pair of work gloves solves the problem. Exhaust air gets piped away from the workstation through the use of the supplied over hose.

12-04 Series Precision Inline Grinder – 60,000 RPM – .010 HP – Weighs 0.2 Lbs – Measures 5.8″ Long – Composite Housing – 1/8″ Air Inlet with Over Hoses Offered in Varying Lengths – 1/8″ Collet – Roll Throttle

The 12-04 series features all the functionality of the 10-04 series, with the addition of a more ergonomic composite housing to prevent cold transfer to the operator’s hands. The composite housing makes the tool slightly larger in diameter than the 10-04 series and adds a nominal amount of weight (.10 Lbs.).

Cleco MP Series (Formerly Master Power) – MP4200 & MP4201 – Weighs .43 Lbs Each – General Purpose, Rotary Vane Pencil Grinders in Right Angle and Straight Orientations – 70,000 RPM 0.10 hp (0.044 kW)

The MP Series is Cleco’s re-branded version of the old Master Power tools which were formally blue. In form and function they are the exact same and the only thing that has changed is the color of the housing. The MP Series are imports and are best suited for the value minded consumer who will give them occasional use. Nevertheless, they are slim, comfortable, and able to fit into to tight spots. The MP4200 model features double ball bearings to ensure smooth running and a longer service life. Just keep in mind, that the internal parts of these tools are not made from the purest metals, nor are they machined to the same tolerances as their industrial counterparts. For maintenance work these are a fine choice, but for production work you should choose and industrial model.

220G Series – Push-Pull Start Activation 60,000 RPM Pencil Grinder – Weighs .40 Lbs. Measures 4.6″ Long, 1/8″ Collet, Aluminum Body

The 220G is an interesting take on the industrial grade pencil grinder and is definitely designed for intensive production use. The most stand out characteristic is the tools pull style rear throttle. Internal components are machined and heat treated and the tool uses premium quality bearings to ensure low run out, high concentricity, and a long service life. This grinder is American made. Standard equipment includes an exhaust over-hose, a built in air filter, and an integrated speed controller. The 220G is offered stand alone or in a pencil grinder kit which includes an assortment of carbide burrs, mounted points, and a blow molded carrying case. Cleco even offers a model without the rear pull throttle which activates once connected to an air supply and is designed to be used in an automated / fixtured environment.

14/18 Series – Steel Body 50,000 RPM 0.1 hp (0.074 kW) Roll / Dial Throttle Precision Grinder– Weighs .50 Lbs. – Measures 3.9 Inches Long (Roll Throttle) or 5.9 Inches Long Dial Throttle – 1/8″ Collet

By far and away the most industrial Dotco precision grinder on offer. At 40,000 and 50,000 RPM respectively, the 14/18 series is where the line between precision grinder and traditional die grinder starts to blur. With its steel housing and all industrial ball bearings, If you are looking for a super duty precision grinder, you’ve just found it. At only 3.8″ long in the roll throttle version and 5.9″ long with a dial (shown above), the Dotco 14/18 is as compact as it is tough. This tool is offered standard with either 1/8″ or 1/4″ collets, but has a separate part number for each, so be sure to order the right one.

15Z Series – Air Marking Pen 20,000 RPM 0.06 hp (0.044 kW) – 1/8″ Marking Stylus – Weighs 0.3 Lbs., Measures 5.5″ Long – 1/4″ Air Inlet – Aluminum Housing

While less of a grinder and more of an engraver, this Dotco air marking pen is handy for marking tools and parts around the shop. There are certainly less expensive options out there, but by going American made, it will probably be the last pneumatic engraver you ever buy. The tool features a pull style throttle and an 1.8″ carbide tipped replaceable stylus. Buy the kit and get a durable carrying case and a 5′ air hose included. Demand Dotco quality for your industrial engraving needs.

Part #1 Wrap Up:

This concludes our first part of the this two part series. Hopefully we have provided you enough ammunition to allow you to make an informed decision when choosing your next Dotco Precision Grinder. In part two of the series, we will breakdown all the Dotco 1/4″ die grinders, which comprise the meat of their line up. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy grinding…

Mark Schieber


International Air Tool Co.

What Kind of Abrasive is Best for Your Application?

What are abrasives?Abrasives, commonly known as “sandpaper,” are used to polish or clean a hard surface by rubbing or grinding. While not made of sand – or paper – these smoothing tools can be created out a variety of different materials, all which range from fine finishing applications to heavy-duty cutting.

Is Sandpaper the Only Kind of Abrasive?

No – it’s just the most common kind. In industrial applications, abrasives like  Cutting or Cut-Off Wheels and Grinding Wheels can be paired with Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders, and  Abrasive Belt Tools to increase your plant’s or shop’s efficiency.

The two main groups of abrasives are coated and bonded.

Coated abrasives usually attach to belts, sheets, discs, and rolls. The term “coated” refers to the layered grits and grains over a surface. The classic sandpaper from everyone’s toolbox is considered a coated abrasive!


Bonded abrasives are designed for use with a grinding wheel and feature grains that have been bonded together with a binding agent or resin.


The type of material that bonded abrasives can cut depend on the grain type, bond material, and spacing – all of which we’ll cover in the next section.

What Are the Different Abrasive Grain Types & What Are They Used For? 


The classic sandpaper abrasive; While its cutting ability and durability are limited, flint is the most popular type of abrasive simply because it’s the cheapest. The grit on this natural sandpaper is created out of a natural grayish mineral.


Another type of common sandpaper, this natural abrasive is the next step up from flint. While it costs a little more, it also cuts better. Experts recommend using this reddish grit to sand bare soft wood (but not much else). Garnet has a medium hardness that makes it perfect for finishing applications.
Aluminum Oxide

Beloved by DIY-ers and manufacturers working with metal and wood, this synthetic grit is much more durable than the first two types of abrasive. Durable in applications involving tough cutting edges on a variety of workpieces:aluminum oxide abrasives are used for carbon, alloy steel, wrought iron, and bronze . Typically brown or reddish in hue, aluminum oxide can also appear blue, green, or yellow if mixed with a grinding aid or lubricant and is praised for its longevity when compared to other grains.

Pferd Type 1
Aluminum Oxide Cut-Off Wheel 

United Abrasives SAIT Type 27
Aluminum Oxide Cut-Off Wheel

Zirconia Alumina

Rough and tough cutting applications have no fear: this durable abrasive uses a mixture of aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide to create a durable surface. Zirconia Alumina Cut-Off Wheels work best with steel and steel alloys. Usually green or blue in color, zirconia alumina abrasives work best under high pressure that forces the grain to fracture and expose new sharp edges.
Silicon Carbide

With synthetic grit, silicon carbide abrasives are the hardest type of abrasive there is. Silicon Carbide gets sharper, smoother cuts on non-ferrous materials (rubber, stone, plastic, fiberglass, and glass), and cast iron, soft bronze, and aluminum . For fine smoothing applications, these abrasives can be used with oil or water. These abrasives, along with aluminum oxide abrasives, have mostly displaced emery cloth (also called black sandpaper). Silicon Carbide is known for its fast stock removal rates and friable grains that fracture sharply to expose new cutting edges for maximum efficiency.

Pferd Type 27
Silicon Carbide Grinding Wheel


Ceramic Aluminum Oxide

The top of the line abrasive, ceramic aluminum oxide capitalizes on the consistent breakdown of grains that good abrasives are known to have. Breakdowns form sharp cutting surfaces and brand-new cutting points, which are perfect when working with the hardest metals on precision grinding projects. Ceramic Aluminum Oxide Abrasives control the breakdown fracture rate down to the sub-micron level. They also provide the longest life and the fastest cut rate on metal applications and can be red or orange in color.

Pferd Type 27
Ceramic Oxide Grinding Wheel 

United Abrasives SAIT Type 27
Ceramic Grinding Wheel

Shop Our Selection of Grinding Wheels Here.


If you’re still not sure what kind of abrasive is best for your need or if you’re looking for a specific kind of abrasive, International Air Tool has your back. Contact us for expert advice on abrasive grades and types, at 800-608-5210 or

Five Reasons Why Manufacturing Professionals are Making the Switch to Coffing Electric Hoists

We all know and love our traditional Manual Chain Hoists (AKA: Chain Falls). They have a low initial price point, are well suited to lighter lifting, and don’t require electricity or compressed air. While there are some definite advantages to using traditional manual hoists, Coffing’s EC Series Electric Hoists are engineered with both high performance and versatility in mind.

Coffing Electric Hoists are designed for use on a variety of applications and don’t always have to be used exclusively with the heaviest loads to be lifted – they can be used for smaller scale projects as well (despite the conversation in our last article, where we explored the larger-scale NASCAR racecar production of their parent brand, CM/Columbus Mckinnon).

Let’s take a look at five advantages of using a Coffing Electric Hoist:

Increased Productivity

The first advantage of using an Electric Chain Hoist is simple: electric hoists are more powerful, effortless, and faster than manual chain hoists. Electric Hoists take the stress of lifting away from the operator and allow heavy materials to be lifted vertically and then moved horizontally if used in conjunction with a trolley.

Available with a variety of suspension options, the Coffing EC Hoists work well with rigid or swivel top hooks, lugs, plain, geared, and motorized trolleys.

More Productivity Features:

  • Five-Pocket Load Sheave: Provides smoother lifting, reduces chain wear, and increases chain and sheave engagement 25% (over hoists with conventional four-pocket sheaves)
  • Panel Plate: Get easy access to controls and motor leads for changing voltage on dual-voltage motors or performing hoist maintenance. Connection wires are numbered to assist with maintenance.
  • Limit Switches: Adjustable to regulate upper and lower load travel. Brass nuts are standard for improved switch setting and repeatability. Stainless steel limit switch shaft standard.

Higher Capacity Loads

With rated loads from ¼ ton all the way up to 5 tons, Coffing EC Model Hoists make it possible to comfortably lift a variety of different weight loads. Their lifts vary, too – with 10, 15, and 20-foot standard lifts available and a standard push button drop that’s 4-feet less than the hoists lift.

More Features:

  • Gearing & Transmission: First stage helical gearing on EC small frame; first and third stage helical gearing on EC large frame. Transmission gears are precision machined of alloy steel and run in an oil bath for longer, quieter operation.

Shop Coffing 1/4 Ton EC Hoists here.

Shop Coffing 1 Ton EC Hoists here.

Shop Coffing EC Hoist Trolleys here.

Lower Cost Over the Long Run

Increased efficiency and less stress on the operator helps lower workplace expenses. Once installed, the high carrying capacity saves manpower. Coffing hoists also come with a lifetime warranty on defects in materials and workmanship.

Increased Safety

Coffing EC Hoists were designed for safety: they incorporate a mechanical load brake, motor brake, and overload clutch as standard. Coffing Hoists offer the option of a large frame design that’s stocked full of strength and load bearing housings of ductile iron construction. There’s also a lighter weight option with non-load bearing housings of cast aluminum alloy and a small frame design (for motors up to 1 HP). Call for details (800) 608-5210.

More Safety Features:

  • Mechanical Load Brake: Weston type brakes control load lowering and prevent load drift. Holds rated load independent of multiple disc motor brake.
  • Multiple Disc Motor Brake: Heavy duty, direct acting design for positive load spotting and holding.
  • Overload Clutch: Protects hoist, operator, and supporting structures from damaging overloads, chain jamming, and reverse phasing.
  • Chain End Stop Assembly: Fits below dead end link on lifting chain for added measure of safety.


When well-maintained, electric hoists can serve you for many years. These Coffing Hoists are specifically built in compliance with ASME/ANSI B30.16, and CSA standard. Keep your machine in good condition with an annual inspection and cleaning.

More Durability Features:

  • Solid State Starting Switch: Standard on single phase units. Provides greater reliability and starting consistency than centrifugal switches. Fewer components to wear out or fail.
  • Ergonomic Designed Push Button Station: Fits operator’s hand for thumb or two-handed operation. 24 Volt Control available upon request. NEMA 3R (weather resistant). Constructed of glass-filled nylon for severe impact and chemical/corrosive atmosphere resistance.

Check out a configured Coffing EC Hoist in action:

Speed up your production while decreasing your operating costs, for years to come.

Still interested in a manual chain hoist? No worries – we can get you one of those too. Reach out to our team at 800-608-5210 or

Already have a Coffing Hoist? What have you done with it? We’d love to see!

The Switch to Faster, Safer NASCARS: A Case Study on Stewart-Haas Racing

In 2007, NASCAR introduced the “Car of Tomorrow” (COT) Template to offer a solution to the concern of driver safety. These templates serve as a restriction to racing teams (and their assembly facilities) because they require each car to be built to the same NASCAR specifications and guidelines of bodywork and chassis design.

The only issue with these NASCAR Cars of Tomorrows is that they don’t have much flexibility – meaning that every shop that builds cars for NASCAR must use the same large aluminum template to make sure that the requirements are met.

For most shops and manufacturers, this switch meant that they had to find a way to maintain (or even increase) efficiency while handling these new templates. Stewart-Hass Racing, one of the NASCAR assembly manufacturers, they were looking to keep production up while repetitively lowering, raising, and positioning these car-sized templates over and onto the cars themselves, with enough precision to not damage the expensive template or the even more expensive car.

Who is Stewart-Hass Racing?

Stewart-Hass Racing is a title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Hass. They helped build the cars for their three entries from Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, and Tony Stewart in the elite Sprint Cup series out of their 140,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Kannapolis, North Carolina. They cover all parts of NASCAR building, from research and development, to assembly, and testing.

Their old shop set-up was a common electric wire rope winch that they mounted to a mobile A-frame gantry. While this method worked, it was a tedious and time-consuming challenge for their shop crews. Here’s a brief overview of the process that their team went through:

First, they raised the template, rolled the gantry with the template into the work area, positioned it over the car, then lowered it; After they checked the tolerances, they raised the template and rolled it away to continue working.

And all of that with the winch’s slow lifting speed, unreliable brake, and abruptness: all potentially dangerous to the template, brand new car, and operator.

How’d they fix it?

Tired of being slowed down, Stewart-Hass Racing decided to make a change: they installed an overhead crane system in their primary garage. In this system, they included six CM Chain Hoists (ShopStar Hoists, to be specific – with 250 lb. capacities and 20 ft. of lift). They also installed one 500 lb. capacity CM ShopStar in their Research and Development Area.

To position the NASCAR design template onto the under-construction cars, the shop paired the hoists over the three car assembly areas. With a more reliable brake than the wire rope winch, the Shopstar is equipped with a dual braking system that ensures the load will hold.

This switch to Columbus Mckinnon increased their productivity in all areas: not only did Stewart-Hass get the efficiency that they’d been craving, but they also got improved operator safety and confidence (as well as extra protection for the car and template). Repetitive raising and lowering ended up going by faster, with the ShopStar’s H4 duty cycle and 16 ft/minute lifting speed.

“[Lifting the templates off the car is] something that has to happen quickly, efficiently, and quite often. We converted over to the Shopstar because of speed, dependability, and the braking system; it made our process much more efficient by switching over,” says Greg Zippadelli, Competition Director at Stewart-Haas, “So, this makes our job a lot easier, has sped up our process significantly, and you know in racing that’s what matters.”

The CM ShopStar electric chain hoist was designed for commercial and industrial applications, featuring an H4 duty cycle (300 motor starts/hour) and capacities up to 1,000 lbs. The compact frame was constructed with a rugged cast aluminum alloy frame that’s both lightweight and durable. Safety features such as a dual braking system, 10 pocket lift wheel, and standard protector overload device ensure that heavy loads can get where they need to go.

But that’s not the only electric chain hoist offered by Columbus Mckinnon – the CM Lodestar is an economic powerhouse, available in both the Next Generation Series and Classic Series. Look up at the ceiling in any manufacturing plant and see it riddled with the classic orange hue from these industry standards. The CM Lodestar Hoist handles up to 3 Ton Capacities, making it ideal for heavy duty industrial applications. Made in the U.S.A., these H4 duty standard hoists are easy to install and maintain.

International Air Tool & Industrial Supply Company is proud to partner with Columbus McKinnon and offer these hoists worldwide. Browse all CM Hoists and their accessories here.

Have any questions about what kind hoist would best suit your needs? That’s what we’re here for! Give us a call at 800-608-5210 or shoot us an e-mail at and our well-informed team can help you out.

How Cleco’s New Line of 1.25 kW (1.7 Hp) High Performance Right Angle Grinders Re-Defines the Word “Powerful”

Designed to increase productivity, the new Cleco Production Tools Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders feature a strong 1.23 kW (1.7 Hp) motor.

The combination of a high-performance motor with a compact and lightweight body is ideal for grinding applications of any degree in foundries, shipyards, machine shops, and rolling stock in the rail transport industry. With high-impact dual-layer composite housing, this line of Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders is extremely durable and fits all Type 27, Type 27 threaded hub, and Type 1 abrasive discs.

Not only do the new Cleco pneumatic grinders have a long life of rigorous use ahead of them, but they also come with a spindle lock and a versatile 270˚ adjustable guard for increased productivity and better leverage in small spaces. Maximize material removal rates over, and over again, with the standard rear exhaust overhose and ergonomic, anti-vibration handle (which also enables quieter operation, less operator fatigue, and increased comfort).

When asked about what makes the Right Angle Grinders different, Cleco Production Tools’ Global Product Manager, Dave Bigg, says:

“Our industry is centered around making tools that increase productivity and workflow. Cleco’s new Right Angle Grinders have the power you need and the features you want, at an exceptional value.”

Here’s a Quick Overview of the Features of Cleco’s Right Angle Grinders:

  • Deliver maximum power with a high-performance 1.25 kW (1.7 Hp) motor
  • Make quick and easy abrasive changes with spindle lock
  • Access tight spaces easily with a versatile 270˚ adjustable guard
  • Withstand wear, pressure, and damage with dual-layer, high-impact composite housing
  • Increase comfort while decreasing operator fatigue with an ergonomic, anti-vibration handle
  • Enjoy quieter operation with the rear exhaust overhose standard
  • Fits all Type 27, Type 27 threaded hub and Type 1 abrasive discs
  • Use in a wide range of applications with the 4”, 4.5” and 5” disc size models

Get more information here:

See the Brochure for Cleco’s new Pneumatic Grinders here.

Read more information about these 1.7 Hp Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders on Cleco’s digital experience.

What’s your favorite feature from the new line of Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders by Cleco?

Interested in seeing if the Cleco Right Angle Grinders are right for your needs? Feel free to reach out to us at 800-608-5210 or with your comments, questions, or quote requests.

A Quick Checklist for Better Airtool Longevity and Productivity

If you’ve decided to make an air tool purchase, before you place that order, think about your current air compressor. Do you need a new one and if so, which one is right for you? Here are a couple of points to consider: will it be used for consumer DIY jobs, professional contractor applications or the more weighty commercial/industrial work? A second important factor is the frequency of use. Will it be used occasionally or every day? What are the spacing requirements – can it be moved? Consider the level of noise, your electrical requirements, accessories, ease of maintenance, parts and the availability of service. In addition, before purchasing accessories for your air tools, find out the inlet size, inlet type (NPT or BSP), air consumption (dynamic pressure) and hose diameter.

Now that you have the right air compressor, tools and accessories you need for the job (you can also take a look at what International Air Tool and Industrial Supply has to offer), don’t hesitate to ask us questions. It’s highly important that an air tool operator has a good understanding of the vocabulary and specifications of the air network before starting a project. This is also necessary to get the maximum production out of your tools.

There are two essential points to always keep in mind:

  • The dynamic air pressure of 90 psi/ 6.3 bars at the tool inlet
  • The air-flow recommendation of the tools’ manufacturers

Tool manufacturers use “torque”, “air consumption”, and “maintenance cycles” which are measured with a standard dynamic air pressure of 90 psi (pounds per square inch) /6.3 bars. This is a reference to the pressure required at the tool inlet. To ensure the best productivity and energy savings, the pressure drops that occur in the section between the pipe-end and the tool should be kept to a minimum.

Make sure to choose the right FRL (filter, regulator and lubricator). One FRL per tool is recommended and make sure the lubricator is topped up with oil. If you are unsure, the consultants at IATIS can help you. Remember, every airline accessory can create a pressure drop, so choosing the right one will improve safety and ergonomics as well as significantly reduce this occurrence.

In addition, when choosing the right hose think about its diameter, length and material. If you can, keep the hose diameter large. Choosing a shorter length will increase both its mobility and flexibility. Choose a material that is right for the work environment (e.g., exposure to heat, cold or friction). At IATIS, we recommend the use of hose whips to reduce hose bending and to protect against whiplash. The hose whip will also reduce the vibration transmission to the operator.

There are three diagnostic steps you can take to make sure that your air-compressor, accessories and tools are working as intended.

  1. 1)Read the FRL gauge regulator valve, measure dynamic pressure at the tool inlet and calculate the accessory air pressure drop.
  2. Check your tool manufacturers’ recommendations for tool inlet dimension, hose minimum size and tool air consumption.
  3. Make final measurements and any adjustments so the dynamic air pressure at the tool’s inlet reads 90/psi 6.3 bars.Remember, pressurized air can generate damages both material and physical. Make sure that all pipes, hoses and fittings have a rating of the maximum pressure of your compressor. Follow safety precautions and regularly inspect your airlines for defects. Repair or replace any defective equipment immediately. If you have any questions about your air tool network, get in touch with someone from the IATIS team and we’ll be happy to help you out. From air compressors to tools and accessories, we are your local pneumatic industry experts.

Interested in learning more about getting the most out of your pneumatic tools? Feel free to browse through our website, send us an e-mail at, or give us a call at 800-608-5210 for more information.

Introducing Cleco Industrial Air Impact Wrenches | Tough Tools. Easy Choice.

Trust Cleco air-powered impact wrenches for your toughest jobs

Whether you’re putting together a cargo ship, employed on an aviation project, working on an assembly line or automobile, Cleco’s new line of air-powered impact wrenches will deliver the performance you’re looking for. Unlike competitors such as Chicago Pneumatic (Japan) or Ingersoll Rand (China), Cleco® is a long-standing premium brand, made in America. Its expertise the result of over a century of designing, testing and manufacturing tools for a wide range of applications. The Cleco line of tough tools have long been the easy choice for increasing productivity while enhancing the users’ experience with simplicity of set-up, ease of use, as well as comfort and safety.

At International Air Tool and Industrial Supply Company, we know what important characteristics demanding technicians look for in an impact wrench: ratchet design and the maximum torque of the motor. Each of Cleco’s new line of pneumatic impact wrenches are built to deliver more controllable torque than ever before. Each model is also designed to maximize operator comfort and efficiency, increasing productivity and lessening fatigue.

The new Cleco line of impact wrenches are perfect for:


  • Lug (wheel) nuts
  • Driveshaft (CV) nuts
  • Subframe bolts
  • U-bolts/Pinch bolts
  • Construction fixings
  • Large fixings
  • Over-torqued fixings

The CWC Premium Composite Series offers users preferred features like quiet operation and lightweight design. Its one-hand push button forward and reverse action helps to maximize productivity. The CWC offers the ultimate balance of performance, ergonomics and durability.


The CWM, the “tough boy,” or Premium Metal of the new series, is the most powerful and rugged of the three. Engineered for heavy duty applications such as maritime vessels or under the wings of aviation projects, the CWM impact wrench combines a hard-hitting twin hammer mechanism and an armored metal body that can withstand years of rugged use and abuse. Easy to operate with work gloves on, the CWM also has a soft-touch grip that protects against slip, temperature and vibration. The impacting mechanism ensures trouble-free high performance in even the most challenging work environments.

High torque at an unbeatable value, the CV Series is lightweight, balanced and comfortable, an ideal tool for general industrial production. The CV is practical and rugged for quick repair jobs and maintenance work. It offers Cleco performance at a great value.

Air impact wrench users often say the tool has the best power to weight and power to volume ratio making the extra investment in an air compressor, air line, and fittings worthwhile. With regular maintenance Cleco impact wrenches generally last longer than the competition and each wrench has a one or two year warranty. Whatever industry you’re working in, International Air Tool and Industrial Supply can provide you with the tools, parts and components you need to get the job done, and if you’re looking for an impact wrench, we recommend you try the new Cleco brand.

Interested in learning more about Cleco pneumatic impact wrenches? Feel free to browse through our website, send us an e-mail at, or give us a call at 800-608-5210 for more information.