My two whips are only 2 feet long but I had the same concern, thoughts about oiling. Steve uses his stuff way more than I ever will so it is good to hear his comment.
I recently took the whip off my 3/8 inch impact. I would avoid using it because I didn't like the whip. Think it was too stiff. Anyway I tend to grab it more now without the whip on it...
I had been thinking about drilling a cross hole in one of the hose fittings close to the tool. I was just going to thread it, maybe 8/32. Then plug it with knurl-head bolt with maybe an O-ring as a washer. Just spin it out, add the drip or two of oil and turn it back in (shrug).
I've seen some of those oilers you were thinking of using with missing balls. Not sure how well they would hold up with 90 psi constantly trying to get by them...
Long ago, I found why whips are used on air tools. I couldn't keep a cleco 1/2" air quick connect together because the vibration from the 90 gun sheared off the lugs (gets exciting when that happens). The 5' whip to a steel hose nipple eliminated that problem. I was chipping the acid tile lining out of a salvaged 3' dia. column on its side. We re-used several sections as vessels in a pilot plant. Nasty job.
You definitely had a unique problem/solution with that job. Kind of in a different league to what most of us think of as air tools we commonly use around the house :)
I was hoping to get more maneuverability in tight areas. An industrial style air coupler makes for a stiff, bulky spot right below the pistol grip on my 3/8 impact. A longer hose like the others mentioned would help in some ways but not so good for putting it away. I already have a lot of clutter. Adding 5 ft of hose wouldn't be helpful keeping stuff untangled in its hidy-hole...
I've got one of the HF Swivel Whips like this but much shorter on my
3/8 inch air ratchet:
It looks like they don't sell the short version anymore. I don't use it much. So I don't know how well it will hold up. Suspect it will leak at the swivel if it gets much use.
On a side note/question. How do people use the air ratchets? Like this:
Best I can figure out is to use it like a regular ratchet and then hit the air once you get something broken loose (shrug).
I thought it would be handy at times but I rarely go dig it out...
The cheap ones with low torque are handy as bolt/nut runners when you are dealing with multiple fasteners per job.
I have two micro sized 3/8" impact units (70 lb.ft.)that get used a LOT. Very handy as a day to day tool. Also great when you are in a tight engine bay and have very little room to swing a ratchet.
As for whips. The primary reason is because the primary wear area on an air line is the fitting at the tool. I've used a variety of swivels, couplers and such to increase mobility. So far the one that actually seems to actually work well is this style
Just put it on the bolt , pull the trigger , and watch the nut/bolt spin . The whole idea here is to spin that nut where you haven't got room to swing a ratchet handle . I love mine particularly for disassembly , reassembly not always .
I used them daily when I wrenched for a living. Since then, I've used the impactor far more often for both screws and bolts. And both on and off the job. I'll use the air ratchet the next time I need to take the plate off the front underside of my Tundra, though. Those 5 bolts are long and fine, so a regular ratchet took some time.
I have always squirted a couple drops in the end of the air tool as I first used it, then every other day thereafter if they were constantly in use. I've thought it a waste to use an oiler, and none of my FRLs have ever seen oil.
Yah but... that means you had to break it loose with something else first. Unless you planned ahead, then go dig out the air ratchet, maybe find a socket, plug in the compressor, reel out the air hose... or just keep at it with whatever you broke it loose with.
And that's why I don't use it very much. Any time I plan ahead it isn't needed and when it would be handy it isn't worth the time to dig it out ;-)
See my other reply to Terry about digging it out. Suspect you have the air ratchet out already because you do more of that type of work.
Thanks for that recommendation. I've considered getting one of those. I have the little HF Screwdriver:
Other than the power control knob, with isn't really marked (hard to preset), I like it okay. Really nice for spinning a bunch of small screws out of small appliances or electronics chassis. But it really needs some sort of swivel on it and a flexible hose to be comfortable to use. May pick one of those up someday and see if it helps.
Umm , I use the air ratchet to break them loose too , just hold the trigger down and pull . It's a rare bolt that I can't break loose that way . The ratchet lives in the tool box with the sockets and extensions , the air hose is always handy and the compressor is always on . Nothing more irritating to me than using a hand ratchet to unscrew something one click at a time .
I think that once you become accustomed to using one it'll be one of your favorite tools - of course this depends on how much and what kind of wrenchin' you actually do . For instance I don't break it out to pull the drain plug when doing an oil change , but do if I'm doing a water pump swap on a SB Chevy motor . It's all about having the right tool for the job and using it ...