Where to get Pneumatics

I know many people do not buy their pneumatics from vex due to the price. Where do you buy your pneumatic parts? Do you use any fittings other than what vex sells?

Honestly it’s worth just buying it from VEX. If you crunch the numbers it can’t be more than 10$ in savings on a 200 $ pneumatics kit when you buy from plc center. And the shipping is over a month buying not from VEX. Also you still need the driver cable from vex so that cancels the small savings you might get.

If you can find a way, buy from SMC directly, it will be much cheaper. They don’t really sell direct to consumer though, so I would suggest finding an engineering company near you willing to sponsor your team by purchasing the SMC parts you need and donating them to you. A couple cylinders, storage tanks, and solenoids really don’t cost much at all direct from SMC so many companies would probably be willing to do this, especially since in this case they can see directly where their sponsorship is going.

Depending on your location, there are vex suppliers that can get ship parts to you faster than the actual Vex website. For instance my team orders most of our parts from a supplier that is practically local to us called RobotMesh. We can get our parts withing a week or so.

There’s a lot of teams that do that now. Even if they don’t have it in stock it will ship directly from vex.

In this case however I think they want to get the cost reduced so Robotmesh wouldn’t be the way to go

When I order from VEX I typically get parts within 3 days. That is shipping from Texas to Minnesota. Point being, if you order from VEX and live in the contiguous 48, you will probably receive the shipment within a week.

Here https://vexforum.com/t/pneumatic-components/34946/1 is a link to the already answered thread.

It’s not much cheaper. In many cases, in fact, it can be more expensive. However, if you already have a pneumatics kit, and say you want another cylinder but not a solenoid, you can order from SMC. But the prices are close to identical as I have come to learn.

My company would really like to know where this “magical place” is to buy components at wholesale!!! As it is, my company gets the best prices on industrial stuff from sources already listed: plccenter, automation direct, MSC, Bolt Depot, etc. Here is the reality (two, actually): first, stepping into pneumatics for VEX is a step away from mass-produced consumer electronics and toys (where things are cheap, even if you don’t think they are) and into industrial components, where VEX teams have to pay the same prices as industry for those components. Second: when (or if) manufacturers sell direct to consumers, they do so at their MSRP’s, unless they are selling “seconds” or specifically making a donation or discount to a team. In business, a manufacturer who undercuts their distributors for price soon has no distributors willing to sell their product.

I’m also on the list of people who work for an industrial original equipment manufacturer (OEM). I have had our vendors quote parts to make up our own VEX pneumatic kits. I found that if I was creating 10 kits I could save some money purchasing all the components from an SMC distributor. The money I would save wouldn’t be significant, and I wouldn’t have the cylinder mounting brackets that you can only get from VEX, and I would be worried that some of the parts would come in as not VEX compliant.

It’s not worth making your own kits. I’d recommend purchasing pneumatic kits direct from VEX or one of the official re-sellers.

If you can get an SMC distributor to donate the pneumatic components, then it would be worth getting components through them.

Shipping from VEX can take over a month as well.

Only if it is not in stock. Assuming you live in the US you will typically receive VEX orders within 3 days.

Ok, in all the time I’ve been doing vex (5 years now), I have never had anything come within 3 days.

I said this earlier, but this has been my experience:

Where do you live?

UPS Ground (the cheapest option) will get to you in the time shown on the map from when it’s shipped, and I’ve almost never seen UPS or FedEx miss delivery estimates. Same times will be from Idesign, and for Robotmesh it will usually be faster to the west coast.


So if it’s taking much longer than a week to arrive, chances are it’s something with your organization’s ordering or receiving.