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What Are the Different Types of Pneumatic Handles?

A pneumatic handle is a type of control handle that directs pressurized air so that it signals an input to produce an output such as up, down, grab, or release . Instead of providing our customers with one standard option, AIMCO® is interested in innovating our products, such as pneumatic handles, to give our customers options and flexibility for the infinite number of unique applications out there.

Why Use Pneumatic Handles?

At AIMCO®, we design ergonomic control handles that make it easy and intuitive to operate an industrial lift assist with the slightest touch. Dual task functions that prevent accidental release are a particular draw for pneumatic handles, as these functions promote safety in the workplaces.

Choose Pneumatic Handle Features Based Upon Your Needs

At AIMCO®, customers have the advantage of being able to choose their pneumatic handles based upon their specific needs. Below you can explore the options available with the features that are most important to you:

Small and Simple

If you are looking for a pneumatic handle that will be as small and simple as possible, our Slide Valve Controller is the option for you. These handles integrate pneumatic air design into a grab/release controller, and can be used with the Pistol Grip Controller to create the smallest lift assist controller imaginable. The Slide Valve Controller is also a perfect fit for an electric hoist where the hoist pendant is independent from the handler.

Slide Valve


AIMCO® doesn’t merely take handle size into consideration— we also factor in elements such as speed. We can make pneumatic handling recommendations for customers who need to keep up with short takt times and require quick operation and fulfillment speeds. As a workpiece that can be handled from the top face, the Autopick Controller is perfect for fast-paced work environments. This equipment eliminates the need for the operator to push buttons to pick and release parts up to 300LBs, which ultimately streamlines our customers’ facilities.


Intuitive Design

Our Inline Slide Handle is a pneumatic up/down controller specifically designed for JD Neuhaus mini series air hoists and customer supplied Air Balancers. The most intuitive up down controller imaginable, grab the handle and the lift follows the movement of the operator. The Inline Handle is also an optimal solution for simple hook applications.

Inline Slide Handle

Ergonomic Pick and Place

If you need to pick and place loads from low and high points, our Pivoting Handlebar, Vertical Slide Handle, or Pace Controller minimizes bending down and reaching up. When exploring these pneumatic handle products, our team is happy to provide examples of previous projects that were successful.

For example, the Ergonomic Pivoting Handlebar has been integrated in the past with an AIMCO® gripper tool to optimize operator position and prevent back and shoulder strain. The pace controller, on the other hand, addresses the ergonomic challenges by presenting easy to access control paddles and rocker switches to achieve the power roll, power tilt, and gripping functions needed. As for vertical slide handles, this pneumatic handle consists of a vertical linear rail and guide block with a parallel rodless air cylinder. The regulated pressure ultimately balances the weight of the handlebar and control handles, giving it a float-like feature.

Vertical Slide Handle

Meeting Strict Automotive Needs

Our thumb lever control pendants come with a pneumatic valve block that can be setup for up down control or grab-release functions. Lever push force is less than 2LBs which qualifies it to be used in strict automotive plants. Shaft collar mounts are equipped with an array of holes so they can be indexed and positioned ergonomically. Intuitive push button configurations and triggers combine with this design to deliver the ultimate in simplicity and control.

Standard Control Pendants

Reduce Hand Repositioning

Our index finger triggers and rocker switches allow for convenient access to common auxiliary actions such as break release (finger trigger) and tilting or rolling (rocker switches), without adding any complexity or hand repositioning.

Pistol Grip Controllers are also carefully designed with reducing hand repositioning in mind as well. This pneumatic handle equipment works to keep the operator’s wrist in a comfortable position, regardless of use in low or high positions.