How to Connect an Air Hose

Written by steve smith
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How to Connect an Air Hose
Connecting an air hose requires a little dexterity. (people at work, air compressor image by Greg Pickens from

An air hose provides a supply of compressed air to a power tool such as a ratchet gun or sand blaster. The hose is usually made of rubber and is similar to a garden hose, but the connector is different. Since the air hose must seal shut when disconnected, the end of the air hose is fitted with a valve that is always closed until the tool is connected to it. This means there is a special way to connect an air hose to a tool.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Turn off the air pump by flipping the switch to the off position. Turn the safety on your air tool to the on position, if your air tool has a safety mechanism. Otherwise, switch the tool to the off position.

  2. 2

    Grasp the end of the air hose right near the connector. Using your thumb and forefinger, while still grasping the air hose, slide the outer connector ring down about a half inch (a quarter inch on smaller hoses).

  3. 3

    Pick up the tool in your other hand and insert the male end of the connection on the air tool into the air hose connector. Usually the male end of the connection is located on the bottom of the tool handle. Most pneumatic air guns and ratchets have a connector right on the butt of the handle.

  4. 4

    Press the air hose connector and tool connectors together with your hands while pushing the outer valve ring back. This unlocks the connector and allows the two ends to be joined together.

  5. 5

    Release the connection when you hear the two ends lock together. There will be a snap sound. The valve ring will slide forward when released, because it is spring-loaded. To remove the connection, you must pull the valve ring back again and pull the connections apart.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply a small amount of lubricant such as WD-40 to the slide ring to keep it free of rust.

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