Many heavy-duty applications reap the benefits of piercing tools. Piercing tools, also known as missiles, boring tools, moles, hogs, bullets, or horizontal jackhammers, are most commonly used for inserting conduit for water, gas, fiber optic cables, sewers, or landscaping and irrigation.


Piercing tools are used in what’s known as trenchless technology. Trenchless technology, or no-dig technology, is a fantastic and very simple method of applying conduit underground without disrupting the surface. It starts with an entry pit that workers will insert their piercing tool with, then the tool runs parallel to the surface to create an opening, or a bore, for the applicable material to follow. Finally, the tool comes out of an exit pit, which is aligned with the entry pit. Oftentimes, piercing tools are used after infrastructure is built aboveground or previous development exists underground and needs to be updated. Piercing tools are a less invasive, timesaving, and cost-effective approach to implementing new underground structures. 


Moreover, this simple process involves a striker (the tool that strikes the ground), which is connected to an oiler/mister with a hose, and the oiler is connected to the air compressor with another hose. The striker continuously pierces the earth to create an opening underground that allows for new material to enter its space. But what does the oiler and air compressor have to do with the piercing? This is simple. The air compressor serves the power needed to operate the tool and the oiler lubricates the equipment.


As mentioned, air compressors power piercing tools. Fortunately, Vanair® provides the engine driven Viper™ Rotary Screw Air Compressor, available in gas and diesel configurations. With configurations offering up to 80 CFM and 150 PSI of air power, this compact and dependable solution operates up to 4” piercing tools and gets you in and out of the job site fast. The Viper™ is compact and lightweight to fit one the bed of a truck, making it easier to maneuver than a tow behind or cross mount, while also having automatic start/stop features and adjustable pressure settings.