How to Install a Chisel in an Air Hammer {User Guide}

Having an best air hammer handy can dramatically change the way you approach DIY projects.

An air hammer is so flexible in the scope of work it does from carving to breaking, cutting, shaping, and smoothing.

Additionally, one air hammer can accept upwards of 20 different tips for different jobs. Wherefore, there is no downside to investing in a good air hammer.

Speaking of different jobs, one of the most important things you must learn to do is to properly change the tip. Changing a bit can be as easy as 123 but if you don’t do it correctly the results may be dire.

But first things first.

Before you can learn how to install a chisel, you must understand the workings of an air hammer.


The spring keeps the bit in place. It is usually called the retainer spring and it attaches to the cylinder.

The retainer spring opens anticlockwise and closes in the opposite direction. When closing the retainer spring ensure you run it up the threads until it rests on the cylinder.


The cylinder and all the other moving parts are housed in the body of the air hammer. The cylinder is basically the “nose” of the air hammer where you attach any bit you like.

Moreover, the cylinder is where you place your second hand to help steady the air hammer as you work.


The trigger rests on the inner part of the handle. It is the official on and off switch. The trigger is conveniently placed so that when you hold your air hammer, it is easy to turn it on and off without much ado.


The regulator is a small button at the bottom of the handle. It is used for controlling the air pressure settings. You use this button to either increase or reduce the level of power emitted by your air hammer.

Air Inlet

The air inlet is the opening where you connect your pressurized air tube. You require an air connector to properly fit the tube into the air inlet.

Every time you connect the air tube to your air hammer, check for leakage by listening out for a hissing sound typically from the air inlet.

Now that we are all appraised on the major parts of an air hammer, it is that much simpler to explain how to install a chisel.

How to Install a Chisel in an Air Hammer


Step 1 -  Safely Remove the Existing Tip

We want to assume that you have been using your air hammer and now you need to install a new chisel bit. It is important to first learn how to remove the existing bit.

Before doing a single thing, cut the power off your air hammer. Switch it off at the trigger and ensure it comes to a complete stop before setting it down.

Next, detach the pressurized air tube from the air hammer. This is extremely important because it is very easy to accidentally turn on the air hammer as you change the bit. Eliminate any chance of bodily harm by ensuring your air hammer has no source of power.


Step 2 -  Remove the Retainer Spring

If you remember, the retainer spring fastens in a clockwise manner. Unfasten it counter clockwise until it comes off.

Next, tag on the existing tip to remove it. Some brands of air hammers have a button that you have to press as you remove the existing tip.

This opens up a lock that allows you to remove or insert a new chisel bit.

If your air hammer has this button, do not forget to press it otherwise your bit will not come off.


Step 3 -  Insert a New Chisel Tip

Pick up your desired tip and insert it into the cylinder nose. Depending on the type of air hammer you have, you can tell when the bit is secure.

As aforementioned, some air hammers have a lock button, others don’t. Tag on the tip strongly to ensure it is securely locked into position.


Step 4 -  Re-Attach the Retainer Spring

Now its time to re-attach your retainer spring. Ensure you run it up all the threads until it rests on the cylinder.

Again, tag on the new chisel bit strongly to ensure it is strongly attached.

Once you are sure that everything is in place, re-attach your pressurized air tube and resume using your air hammer.

Again, pull on the tip forcefully to ensure it is safely secure. It should move back and forth but it should not come off the cylinder head.

Handy Tip

For every part that you attach to the air hammer, apply a thin coat of oil. This will reduce friction and afford your air hammer a long shelf life.

Final Words

An air hammer is not only one of the most useful tools to have but also one of the easiest to use and maintain. Ranging from extremely cheap to expensive, there is no excuse not to have one of these bad boys in your tool shed.

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