When it comes to selecting the right air hose for an air-operated system, there are several factors to consider. The size of the inner diameter, the material it is made of, and its overall length are all important considerations. Additionally, you'll need to decide between a standard straight hose or a recoil hose. To help you make the best choice for your system, here's a guide to choosing the perfect air hose.
The larger the inner diameter of the air hose, the greater the airflow. To determine the correct inner diameter, you'll need to know how much air is needed (SCFM) to optimally feed your pneumatic tool or equipment. The size of the hose is measured by its internal diameter. However, this does not mean that the same inner diameter of the air hose will have the same outer diameter.
The outer diameter of the air hose depends on the thickness of the hose wall and whether there is a reinforcing layer. It's important to note that air hoses with a smaller diameter are lighter. To measure the size of an air hose, you'll need to use a ruler, a vernier, or a measuring tape, and then you can simply measure the inside diameter of the hose. The safest approach is to select a compressed air hose based on the fact that the flexible air hose will receive its supply of air at the pressure of the compressed air system. The material with which an air hose is made will be influenced by the environment in which it will be used. Modern air hoses come in a wide variety of synthetic materials, which have largely replaced older styles of rubber hoses.
Most standard air hoses come complete with male NPT connections at both ends of the hose. It is usually the most expensive hose that has a larger outer diameter due to the greater mass in the thickness of the wall or the integration of reinforcement in the wall of the hose for greater resistance to breakage. A shorter hose can always be extended with additional hoses and couplers, although small pressure drops are expected to occur when couplers are used. Standard air hoses from SGS are sold with couplers and connectors installed on them, meaning that you can connect one hose to another. Getting a quality air compressor hose is essential to ensure stable air pressure, tight sealing and consistent power output. Choosing between a standard straight hose or a curly one with a recoil also plays an important role when selecting an air hose. For more information on flexible air hoses and their minimum inner diameters, download our reference table of flexible hoses by type of pneumatic tool and air consumption (PDF).