Based in Grand Rapids, MI, Tekton is a family owned company specializing in affordable, quality, tools, designed with the DIY'er in mind. Their budget friendly line-up covers just about all bases and as anyone who's ever dealt with them will tell you, their customer service is world class. We've reviewed several Tekton products in the past, and all have been nice tools for the price. The composite ratchets I reviewed are holding up very well and are still one of the most frequently used ratchets in my box. Every company has some products that are better and worse than others, but the composite ratchets are really a jewel in the Tekton crown.
Awhile back, Tekton sent over one of their new High Performance Hybrid Air Hoses for us to check out. At the time I received it I had just sold my house a day or 2 before and as any of you who visit our forum know, getting into my new house was a 6 month affair during which time my entire life was packed up in 1 of 3 storage spaces. My apologies to everyone for the extended absence, but my new shop is all set up and ready to host some reviews.
So what is a Hybrid Hose?
While there are several types of air hoses, the 2 basic variations are rubber and PVC. Each have their strengths and weaknesses, but the general rule of thumb is that rubber is more flexible and weighs more, which makes it lay on the ground better and is less likely to be tripped over. This makes rubber the hose of choice in most shop settings. PVC is lighter, stiffer (especially in cold weather), and thus more abrasion resistant. It is also easier to yank around than rubber hose. These qualities make it the choice of most roofers, framers, etc. The hybrid hose is an attempt to capture the best of both. Made of a “high performance polymer” Tekton's Hybrid Hose aims to harness the lightweight and abrasion resistance of PVC, and the flexibility of traditional rubber hose, even in cold weather.
High quality, brass, 1/4″ NPT fittings, working temperature range of 25-150 F, 300 PSI Max working pressure, Mesh reinforced inner tubing Tekton's fantastic, 5 year, no questions asked, warranty meets 4:1 burst pressure/working pressure safety factor.
There is no denying the hose has a quality feel to it. For performance testing I outfitted it with high quality Milton fittings, hooked it up to my compressor, attached a cheap blow gun on the other end, and shook, dropped, pulled, and kicked the hose to try and induce any type of leak. After 10 minutes I was satisfied that the hose wasn't going to leak. The real marketing hook on these hoses is cold weather performance. It's emblazoned on the front of the packaging which gives me the impression they are confident in the claim. To test it’s cold weather performance I did what any logical person would do, I rolled it back up and tossed it in the deep freeze overnight. After 11 hours of hanging out with the processed remains of last years Black Angus, it was pretty much frozen.
Upon removing it from the freezer, I immediately took it out into the shop and hung it up from the garage door track. The hose was significantly stiffer than it was at normal temperature, which is to be expected, but was still pliable and quickly straightened out under it's own weight.
A Special Mention:
In todays market it is often difficult for manufacturers to offer tools and equipment Made in the USA at a price point the DIY/Non-Professional user can justify. However, I'm delighted to report that the Tekton Hybrid Air Hose is 100% made in the USA. A big TIA thumbs up to Tekton for sourcing this item from The United States.
The Tekton Hybrid Hose is exactly what it was designed to be. It's not quite as flexible as rubber, but much more flexible than PVC. It's much lighter than rubber, but heavier than PVC. It falls somewhere in between rubber and PVC in every category. It's performance characteristics make it a viable option in any user category and for the DIY/Homeshop, it could be the universal option you've been looking for. We don't see it eliminating rubber hoses in the auto shops of the world, but it may render PVC obsolete. We have no complaints about the performance of the hose, but we would like to see a 1/2″ option. If you're a PVC user, the hybrid hose is definitely something to consider and the 5 year warranty, industry leading customer service, and the fact that it's proudly made in the USA, are icing on the cake.