How to select an air motor?

Air motors are widely used by original equipment manufacturers and manufacturers of other machines because of their simplicity and reliability. Despite their small size, they’re tough, adaptable, and entirely safe for use in potentially dangerous situations. Though there are more than a hundred different types of air motors, it isn’t always easy to tell which one will work best for your needs. 

Manually calculating the power needed, plotting the power curve, and determining the working point can be tedious steps in choosing the best air motor. As a general rule of thumb, plan on spending up to an hour on this.  

Also, it may take an additional hour or two to have the air motor set up and running smoothly. Where do you begin looking for a suitable air motor, and what criteria should you use to make a quick decision? Check out the advice we’ve provided. 

Choosing the suitable air motor 

Finding the correct air motor for your application is crucial to its success. This can be a problem because there are so many air motors on the market now, and only one will work for your application. To help you select the best engine for your needs, we’ve broken down the criteria to look for in an air motor:

Check for safety features in products 

When working with motors, safety must always come first. It would help if you always tried to find air motors that have a few key safety features to increase the security of your building or project. A ‘Safety Air Treatment’ box is strongly suggested. SAT boxes are safety devices that offer several protections to the people inside. The motor cutoff is one of these features.  

If there is any residual pneumatic energy after a motor is turned off using an SAT box, it is dissipated. In addition, the supply line and its connections must be inspected frequently. A line that isn’t securely attached to the motor can come loose when exposed to compressed air. As a result, it may become dangerously out of hand.

Make sure the network is at the correct pressure 

A pneumatic motor transfers the energy of compressed air into mechanical motion. If you want the engine to run at full speed, you need to provide enough input power for it to do so. Ensure your compressor can handle the required air pressure and volume (CFM or l/s) before buying an air motor. The motor will still turn without the proper pressure and volume, but it will not perform as well.

The upkeep of airline facilities and air quality is of paramount importance 

There is the F/R (Filter, Regulator) for lube-free engines and the FRL (Filter, Regulator, and Lubricator) for filtered and oiled air. Using the shortest hose length, you shouldn’t put the FRL unit more than 15 feet from the motor or further than five meters away. This can fine-tune the pressure in front of the engine to the ideal level. This avoids load losses when supply lines are too far apart. You should also check that the airflow rate (in CFM or l/s) equals or exceeds the air flow rate required for maximum output.

Check the exhaust’s cleanliness 

When operating a lubricated standard air motor, the emitted air contains both air and lubricant particles. This could be a problem for businesses that have strict environmental cleanliness requirements. Three methods are available for limiting the number of particles entering a sterile zone. Use a motor that doesn’t require any lubrication and releases air that isn’t contaminated by the fuel it consumes. Move the collection and disposal of the engine’s spent gases to a location with fewer restrictions. Clean up the exhaust air as much as you like. Lubrication-free air motors are especially useful in the industrial, pharmaceutical/fine chemical, and nuclear industries.

Inquire about the size and weight restrictions 

Although air motors outperform electric motors in power density, you should still be aware of any size and weight constraints associated with your project or facility. Air motors are versatile due to their high power-to-size ratio. Handheld equipment and original equipment manufacturer machinery are both included. 

Due to its lightweight design, a single-air motor can serve many purposes. Compared to gas or electric motors, this flexibility can significantly boost output at your facility. The ergonomics of the machine are improved as a result. 


Over the past two centuries, air motors have become indispensable in the handheld and fixtured tool industries. Their combination of security, adaptability, durability, and dependability makes them ideal for various applications. 

Learn more about air and electric motors.