Choosing the right air fittings for your compressed air system is important to the overall efficiency of your system. There are several options to consider and making it difficult to decide which is right for you.
The ideal air fitting setup consists of steel compressed air plugs and couplers utilizing a PEX A type tube fitting. This will ensure the most efficient airtight seal possible for your compressed air system. Steel air plugs and couplers will offer durability and seal effectiveness while the PEX A tube fitting offers a flexible way to transport the air from your tank to your tools and hardware.
This guide will focus on the different fitting types and their advantages so that you can determine which fittings styles are best for your particular situation. Having the right fitting components can help your compressed air system work more efficiently and also add to the overall longevity of your system.
Air Compressor Fitting Types
The two main types of air compressor fittings are compressed air plugs and couplers. They both serve similar functions but have some key differences in the way that they work with your air compressor.
The most common air compressor fitting is the compressed air plug. They are commonly used in most home air compressor setups as well as large industrial plants. Compressed air plugs pair up with a matching coupler to create an airtight connection that will allow your air compressor to build up enough pressure to function properly.
Compressed air couplers are typically fitted female components that are attached directly to the airline of an air compressor. The coupler connects to the air hose of your air compressor while the compressed air plug is attached to the tools you are using with your compressed air system.
Most compressed air systems will utilize both types of fittings to ensure an airtight seal. Both air compressor fitting types are designed to be used together to transport the compressed air from your tank to your tools and hardware.
Both types of air compressor fittings are relatively cheap. You can purchase compressed air plugs kits for around $25 online. These compressed air kits will contain a variety of sizes so you do not have to worry about choosing the wrong size.
Compressed air coupler kits can be purchased for around $20 and will also contain a variety of sizes.
WYNNsky Shop Air Line Kit, 3/8 Inch (9.5MM) OD × 60 Feet Nylon Compressed Air Pipe, 200PSI, Cutter, Tees, Mounting clips, Connectors, 49PCS Garage Air Compressor Accessories Master Kit
These kits are often the most efficient way to purchase air compressor fittings. The table below contains some of the most popular online vendors and their prices for both types of air compressor fitting types. You can use this information to ensure you are getting the best deal possible on your compressed air fittings.
|Vendor||Avg. Compressed Air Plug Kit Cost||Avg. Compressed Air Coupler Kit Cost|
PEX A Vs PEX B Fittings
The best PEX fittings to use with your compressed air system is PEX A. PEX A is more flexible than PEX B and is much easier to uncoil. PEX B is less expensive but is stiffer, making it harder to handle and less viable for busy work areas.
Both of these PEX fitting types will be discussed in detail in the section below. This information will help you choose which type is best for your compressed air system. PEX-type tube fittings are always a better option to consider over typical rubber and plastic hoses as the PEX material is much more durable.
PEX A Vs PEX B Price
PEX B is the least expensive of the two fitting types. PEX B fittings can be purchased for around $10 for 25 feet of tubing. PEX A on the other hand can be purchased for around $25 for the same length of tubing.
30pcs 3/4" Brass PEX Fittings, 10 Each Elbow TEE Coupler Reducer Lead Free Crimp Cinch, Pex Brass Crimp Fitting Combo with 3/4" Tees"T" (10 PCS), 3/4" Elbows (10 PCS), 3/4" Couplings (10 PCS)
If price is the main factor in your decision, you will likely be better suited to purchase PEX B tubing for your compressed air system. In spite of the price difference, PEX B will still perform quite well in your compressed air system. It is still the better option to consider over typical rubber or plastic tubing.
You can save money by purchasing your PEX fittings online. The table below contains some of the most popular online vendors and their prices for both PEX fitting types. You can use this information to ensure that you are getting the best deal on your PEX tube fittings.
|Vendor||Avg. PEX A Fitting Cost (per 25ft)||Avg. PEX B Fitting Cost (per 25ft)|
PEX A Vs PEX B Performance
PEX A is the most versatile of the type fitting types as far as performance is concerned. PEX A fittings are the most flexible of any PEX type. They are also much easier to uncoil and can be easily unkinked using a heat gun.
This makes it a more practical choice for most situations. That being said, there are some circumstances where PEX B will outperform PEX A. The bursting pressure threshold for PEX B fittings is much higher than PEX A. PEX B fittings also have a much higher chlorine and oxidation resistance which extends their lifespan beyond that of what you can typically expect with PEX A.
That being said, both PEX-type fittings are suited well for use in a compressed air system. Since it is only air that is intended to be passed through your air tube fittings, it will ultimately come down to personal preference regarding which one is best for you.
PEX A Vs PEX B Joining Methods
PEX B fittings are much easier to set up with your compressed air system than PEX A. PEX A uses an expansion style fitting to connect to your compressed air system. This fitting style is larger in diameter than PEX B fitting and will require the use of an expansion tool to install.
PEX B fittings use insert-style fittings and do not require the use of an expansion tool to install. This makes them much easier and faster to install in your compressed air system. If ease of installation is a major factor in your fitting decision, then PEX B is the best choice for you.
Brass Vs Steel Air Fittings
Steel has the advantage over brass when it comes to air fittings. Because brass is much softer than steel, it will seal onto your compressed air tubing much less effectively. This could result in air leaks in your system.
That being said, brass is much more durable and resistant to corrosion and rust. This can make it the better choice if longevity is your main concern. Both fitting types are viable options for a compressed air system.
You should keep in mind that you should not mix brass and steel fittings, as this could accelerate the corrosion process and lead to the degradation of your compressed air system over time. As previously mentioned, both fitting materials are suited well for compressed air systems. The main difference comes down to the price, as both fittings come in a variety of the same styles and sizes.
Brass air fittings are generally much cheaper than steel air fittings. You can purchase a set of brass air fittings online for around $25. This will include a variety of sizes and coupling components that you can use to properly fit the component to your air compressor or tools.
Steel air fittings sets can be purchased online for around $35. They also include all the sizes and components that you need to properly set up your compressed air system. You can use the table below to see the prices of both fitting types offered by several popular online vendors. This can help ensure that you are getting the best deal on your air fittings.
|Vendor||Avg. Brass Air Fittings Cost||Avg. Steel Air Fittings Cost|
This guide has provided you with all of the information that you need to determine the best air fittings for your compressed air system. This guide includes information on the proper fitting types, tube fittings, and fitting materials for use in your system.
Choosing the proper fitting types for your compressed air system is important to the overall efficiency of your setup. The information in this guide can ensure that you have the proper fittings for your compressed air system.
If you are looking for the ideal setup for your compressed air system, you should consider using steel compressed air plugs and couplers in tandem with a PAX A tube fitting. This will give you the most efficient setup for your compressed air system. That being said, if you choose to use brass components or PEX B tube fittings, they will still be quite adequate and enable your compressed air system to run properly for many years.