Hose Size and Air Flow for Sanders

How much do hose diameters and fittings affect air sander performance? March 3, 2009

What size air hose do you use directly going into you air sander? We've used 3/8 ID, 11/16 OD for years. Once I tried a smaller hose, but it seemed to restrict the air. The flexibility was nice however. Have there been improvements in the hoses? Can you get smaller ones that work?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Most hoses are 1/4" or 3/8. You can get Flex poly hoses that are 5/16". The fittings are often as much of the problem as the hoses. What are you using for fittings?

From contributor L:
We gave up the 3/8" rubber hoses (too much drag on the body) and went to shorter 1/4" urethane hoses that are much more flexible and easier on the body. No problem with air supply but I suspect shortening the hoses reduced the pressure drop. The hoses at the downdraft table are connected directly to the airline, no couplings, but we do have quick couples at the sander.

From the original questioner:
The fittings might be part of the problem. We use the standard 1/4" ones you can buy at Lowes. That is a restriction. We have one of the 10' curly 1/4 " to blow dust at the down draft table. When I try it, it is noticeably slower than the 3/8 hose we normally use. Going with a 5/16 might be the way to go.

From contributor A:
The fittings are more than half of your problem. Get some of HiFlow fittings. They are full flow no restriction. You will see a huge improvement. Look at your standard fittings. The actual hole through the fitting is tiny. Only so much air can go through that hole so fast. The sanders are real hogs. I switched in my spray room to HiFlow's and it made a huge difference with the gravity spray guns.

From contributor K:
I have two Dinabrades I use regularly with 1/4" hoses. The tools came with about a 6' length when I purchased them and I always run them with 1/4" hose to keep the weight down. I have never had any problems with air flow.