Reviews

The Best Air Hose Fittings (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Stop monkeying around with leaky connections

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BY Hank O'Hop / LAST UPDATED ON December 27, 2020

The opportunity to use power tools instead of your hands is something you never want to take for granted, but a power tool is only useful if you have the means to run it. Otherwise, it’s nothing but an overengineered paperweight. In this case, we are focusing on the fittings that allow you to run pneumatic tools. If you have any intention of running air-powered equipment, you are going to need them. The good news is that these fittings are relatively simple, and there’s not a lot to go over when trying to select what will work best for you.

 

However, it still pays to have all the information you could need to make a sound decision. With that said, we’re going to look at some of the things you want to consider when searching for fittings, as well as highlight some of our favorite options on the market.

Best Overall
Milton ColorFit HighFlowPRO Plugs
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Summary
Summary

Professional-level fittings offering enhanced rates of flow. The inclusion of 20 fittings makes this the perfect choice for professionals or hobbyists with extensive collections.

Pros
Pros
  • Enhanced flow rate for optimal performance
  • High-quality construction
  • Reasonable price
Cons
Cons
  • Does not include couplers
Best Overall
Milton ColorFit HighFlowPRO Plugs
Best Value
Sungator 1/4" NPT Male Industrial Swivel Plug
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Summary
Summary

Industrial-style connectors with swiveling joint perfect for hobbyists and professionals. Steel construction and zinc plating help promote the life of this fitting.

Pros
Pros
  • Robust construction
  • Swiveling joint for flexibility
  • Great price point
Cons
Cons
  • Can leak at swivel when at the end of its reach
Best Value
Sungator 1/4" NPT Male Industrial Swivel Plug
Honorable Mention
ColorFit by Milton Coupler & Plug Kit + Flexzilla Air Hose
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Summary
Summary

Collection of plugs, couplers, and air lines for updating old equipment. The use of premium-grade materials ensures the enhanced performance of existing tools and accessories.

Pros
Pros
  • High-quality construction
  • Can update an entire collection
Cons
Cons
  • Aluminum male plugs have low durability
Honorable Mention
ColorFit by Milton Coupler & Plug Kit + Flexzilla Air Hose
Purple Air Hose Fittings
Amazon

Why Trust Us


All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Air Hose Fittings

  • Put that air compressor to work. The most obvious benefit of air fittings is that they allow you to put an air compressor to work. Compressors are a significant investment, so it’s nice to put it to work.
  • Use more tools. An air compressor is useless without the right tools. Air fittings are the link between specialty tools and their primary power source. Without them or the hose, your money is being spent in vain.
  • Take on more. It may be a redundant bit of information, but the ability to run new tools allows you to take on new projects. Whether it’s simply filling up a tire, or painting your car, air compressors and the proper tools make it possible.

Types of Air Hose Fittings

Plugs and Couplers

There are two primary types of air fittings: plugs and couplers. To keep things simple, plugs are the male end, and couplers the female. In most cases, plugs attach to the power tool and slide into the air line's coupler. Plugs may also exist on air lines to allow you to connect multiple lengths of air line together.

Variations of either exist. Automotive, industrial, and ARO fittings are different styles of fittings that mate together in specific ways. You must make sure to use fittings of the same style to achieve proper performance. 

Top Brands

WYNNsky

WYNNsky came into existence with the sole purpose of promoting e-commerce business. With a parent company with existing success in producing air fittings, it’s only natural that they would do the same. The brand is known for providing affordable, high-quality offerings such as the WYNNsky Air Tool and Compressor Accessory Kit.

Milton

Since 1943, Milton has had a laser focus on producing the best possible product for their customers. After years of success, It has a firm handle on air fittings and pneumatic accessories. Prices are higher than the competition, but so is quality, which is why it takes our top pick with the ColorFit by Milton Coupler & Plug Kit.

Air Hose Fitting Pricing

  • $10-$20: Most air fittings list between $10-$20. Price isn’t always reflective of quality, as many offerings near $20 include more pieces or accessories.
  • $20 and up: Professional-grade fittings, unique designs, and more exclusive kits generally warrant a price tag above $20. Some offerings can go much higher, but that depends on what is included.

Key Features

Quality Construction

The first thing to consider is the construction of the fittings. Quality materials and craftsmanship are of the utmost importance. Slight deviations in the design can create leaks that hinder the performance of the tool you are using. The same issue can occur if surfaces become damaged. You want to make sure the tool is made with proper materials to promote long life.

Proper Application

You always want to match the air fittings to the tool you are using. Again, you want to make sure that the coupler and plug will fit together. Not only that, you should be sure that the fitting can flow enough air to power the tool you are using. You must refer to the letter designation of the design and the rate of flow to ensure compatibility.  

Piece Count

How many fittings come in a set can be a determining factor in the decision-making process. It's best to stick with the same manufacturer for multiple fittings to ensure the best possible fit and performance. Therefore, when you purchase air fittings, you should consider buying an extensive kit to connect an air compressor to multiple tools.

Other Considerations

  • Color-Coding. When selecting fittings, you might want to consider selecting fittings with color-coding. This simple addition to the design can make it very easy for you to determine which plugs and couplers will work together. Color coding is especially desirable in a professional shop where multiple compressors or air lines are in use, as it can reduce time spent test fitting plugs.

Best Air Hose Fitting Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Milton ColorFit HighFlowPRO Plugs

This offering by Milton takes our top pick for several reasons. The fact that it has a 70 percent higher flow rate is the first factor that stands out. In comparison to the average plug-style fitting, these are going to have significant advantages for powering tools. On impacts, cutting wheels, and similar pneumatic tools, this performance advantage is an absolute must. Another thing to love is the purple color. The finish gives it major style points. But in truth, it is there to help you quickly identify what type of fitting it is and what couplers it is compatible with. Despite being a professional level fitting, it has an amazingly reasonable price point — and that price is for a total of 20 fittings. Count and quality add up to this being a product with a fantastic value.


Unfortunately, this kit only includes one type of fitting. That means you have to make a separate purchase if you need the couplers to match.

Best Value
Sungator 1/4

If you’re looking for the best deal on air fittings, this is it. This is a set of three industrial fittings that are constructed from hardened steel. Not only that, the steel is plated with corrosion-resistant zinc. Being able to resist damage and weathering ensures you will have these fittings for a decent amount of time. But what catches the attention of most is the swiveling mechanism. This feature makes it extremely easy to maneuver without binding or twisting up your air line. And Sungator sweetens the pot by including pre-coated sealant on the threads. In theory, you can throw these fittings on without the need to apply Teflon or another thread sealer. Another attractive feature is the low price. This set costs nearly half of what many of our other entries do.


The swiveling mechanism is a distinct feature that also happens to be the weak point of this offering. While it doesn’t leak air regularly, it does tend to let air pass when at the end of its travel.

Best Premium
ColorFit by Milton Coupler & Plug Kit + Flexzilla Air Hose

A point comes where you just need to start over and replace all the beat up and leaky fittings in your system. At that point, you might as well spend a few extra dollars and invest in a good set of couplers you know you can count on for many years. This set is ideal because it offers a collection of plugs and couplers to get you back up and running. Each fitting is constructed from high-quality materials and each features a quality finish to resist corrosion. As a bonus, this kit comes with a 25-foot air hose by Flexzilla. Even if it’s more expensive than any of the other offerings on our list, it’s worth the money because you’re setting yourself up with a premium collection.


The drawback to this set is the fact that the male plugs are aluminum. Unfortunately, this lowers durability and that’s something to be aware of.

Best Selection
WYNNsky Air Tool and Compressor Accessory Kit

Folks who are just starting to collect air tools are going to want to check out this set. It has pretty much everything you’ll need to start using air power but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The set includes plugs and a coupling, along with a range of accessories for filling tires and inflatables or for dusting with pressurized air. The set even includes a pencil tire gauge to help you recover from flats. Everything in this kit stores neatly into an organized case that you can keep in pretty much any location. As far as the price goes, it’s within range of many other kits that only include a few of the same couplers. That’s something folks that are recovering from the purchase of an expensive air compressor will appreciate.


Unfortunately, the materials aren’t going to stand up to hard use, and they will need replacement sooner than other options.

Honorable Mention
Milton 1/4

You want Milton fittings, you want something traditional, and it needs to include male and female fittings. Well, this is it. This collection of M-Style fittings is perfect for folks that are after a traditional and dependable design. The set includes a total of 12 fittings. Eight are plugs with male threads, two are plugs with female threads, and the remaining two are couplers. It may be a simple collection, but it’s far more than enough to hook up the average supply of air tools. Each coupler also features robust construction and relies on high-quality materials to resist wear. The steel components also use a corrosion-resistant plating to help prevent rust.  But what most reviewers rave about isn’t just the quality. It’s the fact that these are made in the USA.


However, it’s worth noting that this is a basic flow kit, and it might not be the best choice for many standard pneumatic tools.

Honorable Mention
Tanya Hardware Coupler and Plug Kit

Here we have another great kit for beginners to consider. It does not include any accessories, but the range of couplers and plugs makes it possible to make a wide variety of connections. Among the 14 fittings are two female couplers, two male couplers, four female thread plugs, and six male thread plugs. What’s nice about this set is that every fitting is constructed from high-strength brass. The use of this material offers a few benefits. First, when using the fittings together, there’s no risk of damage. Second, brass is highly resistant to corrosion. And because it’s high-strength brass, it’s going to last much longer than many alternatives. We must also mention that these are quick-connect fittings, which many folks demand fittings these days.


Seeing as these are brass fittings, they are prone to leaking. This is a turn-off for many consumers, but some Teflon tape and patience will get you past this issue.

Honorable Mention
Primefit 3-Way Round Air Manifold

It may be late in the list, but we’re finally getting around to a unique entry. Unlike all of our other picks, this is a single fitting. But like all of our other picks, it allows you to make multiple connections. This three-way air manifold allows you to link three air lines to a single air supply. That makes it possible to run three separate tools without having to waste time making and breaking connections. That might not seem like a major advantage for short-term projects, but it will make a major difference for extensive jobs or professional settings. The three industrial-style outputs make it perfect for most folks with air compressors because of the popularity of this style of fitting.


Reviews indicate that this is not the premier manifold on the market, and some complain about leaks and poor quality. However, this is a very small portion of what’s out there, indicating it’s a solid buy.

Honorable Mention
Fixsmith Air Hose Connector

As we know, being able to run multiple hoses to a single hose has its advantages. That’s precisely what this splitter works to achieve—only, there’s the added benefit of swiveling couplers. This splitter is an ideal upgrade for folks that need to leave multiple tools hooked up at different parts of the shop. Because this splitter can swivel, there’s more flexibility and less chance of the lines binding up and pinching each other. Both of these factors can help you to avoid some significant headaches while you’re trying to work. Another thing to love is that the couplers on this splitter use a push style connection to make hooking up as smooth and straightforward as possible.


The only bad thing about this connector is how heavy it is. Weight can be a significant issue for the main connector, especially if you move it around a lot. The additional stress can wear out the connector on the mainline fairly quickly.

Honorable Mention
WYNNsky Universal Coupler and Plug Kit

Yes, WYNNsky takes another spot on our list. But the universal couplers make it worthy of mentioning. Most couplers are designed to work with specific fittings, which means you cannot make switches between fitting styles on the fly. These fittings are compatible with a wide range of plug types, and that can significantly speed things up when life throws a wrench in the spokes. And these are push-style couplers that make setting up even more effortless. But aside from the couplers, this kit comes with a total of ten male couplers. That means it's perfect for replacing fittings or adding a collection of new tools to your arsenal. And each fitting features a corrosion-resistant coating to promote long life.


The universal connection does work well. However, it can seize up under high pressure, meaning if you regularly use high pressure, you may want to consider an alternative.

Honorable Mention
Campbell Hausfeld 17-piece Compressor Inflation Kit

We’re going to wrap things up with yet another starter kit. It may be cheating because this kit doesn’t only include fittings, but we figure newcomers will appreciate having options to choose from. This set is pretty standard and contains everything you should expect. It comes with enough couplers to run a primary collection of tools along with some goodies. The blowgun included is useful for inflating balls, rafts, and so on. There’s also a dual foot chuck and pencil tire pressure gauge for inflating tires. These accessories make it a perfect set to keep in the vehicle or at the campsite when a portable compressor is present. And while it may be a separate offering, a version of this kit includes an air hose and Teflon tape.  


Quality is questionable, but that is to be expected. However, it is still an excellent kit for hobbyists and beginners considering the price and all it comes with

Tips

  • Invest in good fittings. An air system is only as strong as its weakest link. Air fittings especially are prone to leaking and hindering the entire system, and you should always use the best ones that you can afford. You should also consider what air compressor hoses you use to reduce the number of fittings you must purchase.
  • Use Teflon sealer. Air fittings aren’t going to get a perfect seal without the aid of Teflon tape or some other form of sealer. Therefore, you must apply a sealer every time you join mating threads.
  • Get a good compressor. Without a good compressor, it doesn’t matter how good your fittings or seals are. Consider reading our RV Air Compressor, Portable Air Compressor, and RV Air Compressor buying guides for suggestions on air compressors.

FAQs

Q: What are the different types of fittings?

Plugs and couplers are the two primary types of fittings. However, sizing and compatibility with a tool and other fittings are determined by flow rates and their letter designation. 

Q: What are the best air hose fittings?

Milton Industries produces top-quality filters suitable for professional use. Despite this, many offerings are very affordable, which is why it takes our pick for Best Overall. 

Q: How do you fix an air hose fitting?

If you have a damaged air hose fitting, the best course of action is to replace it. They are relatively affordable, but without the proper equipment, it may be impossible to repair. 

Final Thoughts

Again, the ColorFit by Milton Coupler & Plug Kit takes our pick because it is an affordable professional-level entry. But the Sungator 1/4" NPT Male Industrial Swivel Plug is the best choice if you're in a real bind.