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Good online catalog for pneumatics with search tools and prices?

Good online catalog for pneumatics with search tools and prices?

(OP)
I don't normally work with pneumatics, and am frustrated with the sites I am coming across as I search the net for components. Ideally, I would find a vendor with an online catalog that has a good search tool, and includes the technical literature and prices on the components. Currently I am searching for some 12v DC solenoid air valves.

McMaster has a wonderful online catalog that has always been head and shoulders above the rest, but a limited choice of pneumatics. Grainger has more, components, but a poor interface and no filtering for the valves. I have used Coast Pneumatics in the past, and they had great prices, but I am constantly choosing parts for which they don't have the technical literature, and no filtering process to find a component. Places like Parker require you to choose the part family, rather than start with any sort of filter.

Where is the best online catalog with a good user interface and prices?

Thanks for any leads
-Joe

RE: Good online catalog for pneumatics with search tools and prices?

(OP)
Thanks for the Automation direct link, it definitely is the best I have seen for pneumatics.

It is not quite as extensive a list of pneumatic components as some sites, but the search filters and prices have now made it my "go to" site for automation. It had the spec sheets, and even 3D models of the item I selected.

-Joe

RE: Good online catalog for pneumatics with search tools and prices?

Companies that supply technical industrial parts usually sell through distributors and rarely reveal any pricing information. McMaster and Automation Direct are distributors and do not provide much technical support. Most technical and application information will be found in on-line PDF's of the manufacturer's technical literature which you will need to read and understand. I've usually found websites that are designed around branched searches to be able to look at product information to be very frustrating and close to useless. Pneumatic component selection can be quite complex. I have spent many years at it and still have much to learn. Learning takes time.

RE: Good online catalog for pneumatics with search tools and prices?

(OP)
Compositepro, in general I agree that part shopping can require a complex process that is not amiable to a filtering system. However, there is certainly a certain category of shopping that does work with filtering.

E.g. if I go to McMaster, and want to get a 1/4" x 1" bolt. Better than 95% of the time, I just want what most others want, a few basic choices. I realize that sometimes people need an unusual bolt, perhaps with left-hand thread, made of brass, with mill-spec certification. But, if you show me 10,000 types of bolts on the list of bolts, it is of no value. That person with need of an unusual bolt may simply go to a fastener specialist, and tell them what they need. That specialist will advise them, and verbally give them the quote.

McMaster is certainly the best example of a searchable catalog. And any time they don't have dimensions for the part, or some other technical specs, they have been very quick to provide that information. Their prices are sometimes much higher than other vendors. But, often the convenience of using their web page is much more cost effective than sludging through a poorly made distributors online catalog, then go the manufacturer's site to get more details on the part, and finally calling the distributor to ask for a price.

I am sure your own observation is true for your particular line of work, and your own familiarity with the components, and vendor catalogs, is a very valuable part of your job.

-Joe

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