Pneumatic versus Hydraulic

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Pneumatic versus Hydraulic

If you are in the market for a high-capacity torque wrench, one of the most important aspects you need to consider is whether you reach for the Pneumatic or Hydraulic power tool. Both have their pros, and both certainly have their cons; therefor, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of both before you spend your hard-earned cash. Like most things in life, the question of which is better ultimately comes down to the use-case scenario.


While both tools require a basic understanding to operate, Pneumatic wrenches are typically much easier to use. Firstly, the Pneumatic wrench can be efficiently used by one person, unlike its hydraulic counterpart, which sometimes requires two people to operate safely. This need for only one person is because pneumatic wrenches are powered by a general-use airline, meaning there is no need for specialised equipment, resources, or maintenance regarding oil management. On the other hand, the Hydraulic wrench uses a specialised oil that can become a real headache when misused.

Winner: Pneumatic


When purchasing a high-powered torque wrench, safety should be of primary concern, and while both Pneumatic and Hydraulic tools have their risks, they differ in what to watch out for regarding safety precautions. Both tools provide general risks through pinch points close to your hands and chords that pose a tripping hazard. However, due to the large size and previously mentioned complexity of the Hydraulic Wrench, it is much more dangerous due to its dependence on electricity and hydraulic fluid, which poses a severe fire risk when mismanaged.

Winner: Pneumatic

Pneumatic versus Hydraulic


Now it’s time for what we have been all waiting for; the power, or output, of both machines. Both tools have their use here; however, if you use them for high-capacity torque application, you would be remiss in reaching for the pneumatic wrench as the hydraulic variation is up to six times more powerful. Due to its large size and fasteners, a hydraulic wrench can reach a maximum torque capacity of up to thirty-five thousand pounds.

Winner: Hydraulic

So, who wins the battle betweeen Pneumatic versus Hydraulic? The answer is; it depends. If you want a general-use tool that does everything well and doesn’t pose any serious risk to you or your employees, the Pneumatic wrench is the one for you. However, suppose you need the capabilities of a high-capacity torque wrench and have an advanced understanding of health and safety. In that case, the hydraulic wrench will provide you with the most satisfaction. At the end of the day, the real winner is the consumer, as we are lucky enough to have the option of choosing which tool is best.

Winner: Consumer


Featured Product:

SPX Bolting® RWP55-BS Classic Series Air Hydraulic Pump Product Type: AIR DRIVEN 10,000 psi (700 bar) Torque Wrench Pump The RWP55-BS has been the market leading pump for over 30 years & is therefore tried & tested. A simple, light-weight design with a recent upgrade that has created a cost-effective workhorse. 

Pneumatic versus Hydraulic

Quality means Lower Life-Cycle Costs:

  • Over 100,000 cycles
  • Continuous duty up to 122°F (50°C) ambient
  • Proven design = Proven reliability

Enhanced Usability:

  • Powerful 3 hp motor starts under load
  • Retract side internal relief valve protects tool
  • Use with single or double acting tools. Not for lifting applications
  • 4″ calibration capable gauge

The Air Hydraulic Torque Pump has been designed with Safety & Productivity in Mind:

  • Easily adjusted pressure regulator (relief) valve
  • Has a retract port pressure selector 10,000 psi (1,500)

CAUTION: This system should not be used for lifting applications.

Maximum Oil Capacity: (vented reservoir)
1.8 Gallons (6.8 L) [to fill line]
1.4 Gallons (5.3 L) [usable]

Operating Environment:
-13°F to +122°F
(-25°C to +50°C)

(When operating near temperature extremes, it is recommended to use hydraulic oils that are rated for those temperatures. Refer to service manuals and cooling options)

Sound Level:
85-92 dBA (maximum)

0 – 10,000 psi
(0 – 700 bar)

Typical Flow:
465 in3/min – 55 in3/min
(7.6 L/min – 0.9 L/min

50 cfm @ 80 psi (1.4 m3/min @ 5.5 bar)
58 cfm @ 90 psi (1.65 m3/min @ 6.2 bar)
67 cfm @ 100 psi (1.89 m3/min @ 6.9 bar)

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TJI Solutions supply national coverage on a vast range of Controlled Bolting & Flange working equipment for Hire & Sale. This includes but is not limited to:

TJI Solutions – Torquing Your Language!!

Scotland: 01224 063 680

England & Wales: 0191 917 0576

Pneumatic versus Hydraulic

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Pneumatic versus Hydraulic

Pneumatic versus Hydraulic



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