Pneumatic vs Electric Jackhammer

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Both Pneumatic (Air Powered) vs Electric Jack Hammers, are operated with same method, yet both significantly differ in place of application, as Pneumatic Jackhammer’s are best for hammering through thick asphalt or cement in industrial work, while the Electric Jackhammer is more used on low to medium DIY Renovation projects.

Jackhammers are useful construction tools.

You’ve made your point, thus now this moment is “no duh” for you, but it was an insightful learning experience for me.

I’m mostly self-taught in the construction and home repair trades. I learned the majority of what I know via a variety of smaller, less complicated, and hand-held equipment such as cordless drills, socket wrenches, impact drivers, and a long list of power tools.

Essentially, whenever I am able to get my hands on even a rotary or hammer drill, it’s not something I use on a regular basis, and as a result, it requires me to adapt to it a little.

Remember, however, the first step is to not be intimidated, to persevere, and after time you will get a better understanding of how it works.

Just like pneumatic and electric jackhammers, pneumatic and electric versions of jackhammers are widely employed in the construction industry. Their technology has been continuously enhanced over time to the point where they are very common even for nonprofessionals. Previously, demolition hammers were mainly used in construction or tool supply businesses, but today they are available to everyone and may be purchased for relatively little cost.

The two most popular and often used jackhammers on the market today are electric and pneumatic.

To choose which of these tools is ideal for you, you need grasp the distinctions between them.

Know the distinctions between these electric and air ground-pounders so that you can pick the correct one!

Pneumatic Jackhammer Guide

The pneumatic jackhammer is capable of performing the job of breaking down because it uses high-pressure air from an air compressor near the work location.

Typically, a diesel engine powers the air compressor, giving it the required amount of force for the demolition tool.

The pneumatic jackhammer is comprised of the following setup:

  • A compressor drive
  • A centrifugal clutch
  • A diesel engine

In order for a pneumatic demo hammer such as this to function effectively and efficiently, it will be necessary to have the appropriate materials and accessories ready.

When compressed gas is used to operate the jackhammer, it results in a solid, robust action that is cost-effective as well as forceful.

These pneumatic devices have been prominent in the business for decades. When you walk out on the town, have you ever seen an air impact wrench or an air-powered electric sledgehammer making the din of things? Millions, without a doubt.

The Pneumatic setup has two speeds:

  • Idling
  • Maximum

When the clutch is released, the air jack hammer is idling; when the clutch is engaged, the compressor is operating, and the air jack hammer is at its maximum. It’s a lot like driving a Lamborghini Aventador. It’s damn fast for sure!

The pneumatic jackhammer has its origins in 1849, when these kinds of equipment were first starting to be introduced.

The early pneumatic tools used a kind of reciprocating compressor that had a crankshaft and which was driven by a pistonspring. Modern ones, however, use air that is fueled by a running fluid.

When to use a Pneumatic Jackhammer

It’s ideal for digging in difficult materials like asphalt or concrete, such as a foundation for a new building, when you utilize an air jack hammer. In addition, they are widely used in mining, excavation, quarrying, and tunneling.

In everyday usage, pneumatic has many applications including as road construction, pavement making, highway maintenance, and use in both the business and personal sectors.

That said, we have our comprehensive review article about the best demolition hammer for tile removal.

Pneumatic Jackhammer Safety

In addition to being adequately protected from injury, you should also wear shatter-resistant safety eyewear, steel-toed boots, and other suitable protective gear.

  • It is important to use excellent hearing protection, since not wearing proper hearing protection may lead to hearing loss. If you use everyday earplugs, it is advised to use noise-canceling earplugs.
  • Jack hammers should not be used for a prolonged amount of time, so be sure to take frequent pauses or work with someone else periodically.
  • Make careful to verify your tool’s functionality before resuming its usage if anything seems to be amiss or broken.
  • Even if it has just been used, check that all of the components are properly attached and in good functioning order before turning it on.
  • Don’t pound the material after it has been cut; remember to treat it with care. Dangerous physical harm and property damage may result if this is done.
  • Every time you work, always barricade the area you’re in and keep your eyes and ears open so you can find out if any youngsters or animals have snuck in on their own. Before embarking on a project, it is important to have an idea of what is required and what might go wrong.

Pneumatic Jackhammer Noise Level

I am quite honest when I say that the first thing that comes to mind when I hear about a pneumatic jackhammer is the Grinch.

Keep in mind the line from How the Grinch Stole Christmas: “Nothing would make him happier than to see all the NOISE?”

Air tools make a lot of it, as do hammers. Pneumatics that use the latest technology do not create as much noise as their predecessors, but they generate sound in the range of 100 dB.

You should certainly take into consideration whether or not you should be utilizing a pneumatic when you determine whether it’s a good fit for your projects.

Electric Jackhammer Guide

Indeed, electric jackhammers are designed for much the same purpose as pneumatic jackhammers. Unlike the pneumatic machines, the electric machines do not need a local air compressor in order to operate.

This machine has an electric motor which has a crank that turns, which is then converted into rotational motion. The mechanism is air-cushioned, and a piston pushes a tiny air cushion back and forth inside it.

One of the most noticeable characteristics of this kind of tool is the lack of a separate compartment for air. Obviously, this kind of tool doesn’t require any additional space for air. For this implementation of controlled destruction, all of the necessary force comes straight from inside the weapon itself, like with Bruce Lee (if ever there was a person of controlled devastation, it was him). When ever there has been such a thing as “beast mode”, this is it.

However, the minor disadvantage of this is that the electric is somewhat heavier. This tool does not allow you to apply pressure that is too great, since the tool itself is optimized for that.

When to use an Electric Jackhammer

Although the electric JH is strong, it cannot compete with the pneumatic action of an air compressor.

This is why you will see electric jackhammers used less often on construction sites, because they are not well-suited for stationary activities such as home renovations, do-it-yourself projects, driveways, and yards.

In contrast to the pneumatic, an electric air tool is easily transportable and simple to use even for those new to the craft. There are a number of other tools you may want to use in addition to the chisel head or implement. For example, the appropriate socket may need a deep well adapter. Plug the tool into an electrical socket, put it on the desired area to be “cosmetically modified,” and GO.

Another advantage of using this item inside of the house is that it’s both simpler to use and provides extra safety.

Electric Jackhammer Safety

As is true for the pneumatic, the same safety measures also apply to the electric. Still, there are a few more precautions to take into consideration:

  • Periodically inspect the cable for rips or breaks and before usage.
  • To avoid being electrocuted, never use a wet electric tool.
  • Ensure that the hammer is connected into a suitable safety outlet with breaker before to undertaking this project.
  • Quickly do a visual inspection of the plugs and outlets to see whether they’re operational and free of any faults.

Electric Jackhammer Noise Level

Pneumatic jackhammers are more noisier than electric ones. As a result, the majority of construction firms have moved to electric work.

How to Choose Between Pneumatic or Electric Jackhammer?

These kinds are both useful and flexible, so there’s no way to determine whether you prefer one or the other without understanding your specific application. Conversely, however, here are some things to keep in mind before you go out to really walk the streets.


How will the tool be used? Is it going to take a huge quantity of energy? Are you planning on utilizing the tool on many long-term projects or simply for a brief, relatively insignificant job?

When it comes to the work, choosing pneumatic may be beneficial if your job involves a lot of power or usage over a long period of time.

In order to complete any commercial excavation service such as digging through asphalt or concrete, digging for resources, mining, quarrying, or tunneling and boring, you need use an air jackhammer. A pneumatic is better for both the user and your company, as well as helping the customer feel good about how fast you completed the work.

A good electric car has a lot of power; yet, it operates on electricity and does not have the added pressure of air for enhanced driving performance.

If you’re planning on performing short-term home improvement or any job that doesn’t need significant power or extensive usage for months or years to come, then an electric power tool will serve you better. In addition, since the cost of the electric will be significantly lower when you start checking them out and comparing, the price point of the electric will be markedly lower.


If you plan on buying or renting a jackhammer and want to avoid having to cart around heavy equipment, then the electric jackhammer is your best option. Obviously, if you don’t require the extra power the air tool can provide, then this will apply.

Unlike a power supply, which just supplies power to an electric, all of the mechanics needed for it to work are contained inside the tool itself, save for the electric power source. The separate air compressor and hose are required for a pneumatic. While an electric is usually heavier, you’ll need much less components since it doesn’t require pneumatic supplies.


If you’re working in a place where noise restrictions apply, it’s also conceivable that you’ll be using the hammer in a work zone, such as an apartment building or other residential zone. Using an electric will be ideal if the task is just very simple or doesn’t need a lot of physical effort. Because of its very low decibel level, the electric system is considerably quieter than the pneumatic system could possibly be.

If you need the additional power, noise limitations aren’t a problem, and you’re okay with the extra equipment, the air hammer is an excellent choice.


It is far and away more efficient and professional to utilize a pneumatic if you will be working on a building site or for a business purpose. These are widely utilized at building sites, and they serve a useful purpose, so if you have a solid reason to do so, don’t attempt to recreate the wheel.

In the world of concrete construction, electric jackhammers are quite popular. They are handy, simple to operate, cheap, and portable, and you can purchase them at both online and brick-and-mortar retail locations.


Additionally, safety gear and common sense safety knowledge are required for both. However, although pneumatic tools are safer, electricity-based equipment may damage your hearing.

When it comes to the specifics of this situation, both kinds of warnings carry the same weight.

This ends our Pneumatic vs Electric Jackhammer Discussion.

We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice. 

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