Home | 'How To' Guide | Surface Preparation: Trelawny VL303 Needle Scaler – How-to-Guide
Surface Preparation: Trelawny VL303 Needle Scaler How-to-Guide

Surface Preparation: Trelawny VL303 Needle Scaler – How-to-Guide

Cleaning surfaces or removing coatings or other materials that have built up that require specialised tools. The Trelawny VL303 needle gun or needle scaler is the ideal low vibration solution designed for projects of all different sizes and surfaces. 

How does the needle scaler work?

The Trelawny VL303 houses 28 x 3mm needles attached to a pneumatic scaler gun. These sharpened needles are powered in and out, blasting the surface to remove the coatings on a surface.

Trelawny needles are of the highest quality, proven to last 10 times the duration of some other needles on the market. Trelawny also offers a smaller, lighter 19 needle gun to assist tasks with restricted access/manoeuvrability, an ATEX certified tool for use in explosive/hazardous environments and also a chisel scaler option for chipping off larger sections of material in one go.

Setting up a Trelawny pneumatic scaler

Before operation, it is important to ensure all the below elements have been considered/carried out:

  • The VL303 tool requires 5.5 CFM (2.6 LPS) free air delivery from a compressor, so it is essential to make sure the compressor is capable of supplying this 
  • Ensure the air pressure on the compressor is set to 90 PSI (6.2 BAR)
  • Connect the air supply from the compressor
  • Connect the inline lubricator assembly (see setup below) or manually apply oil to the tool prior to use
  • Ensure the threaded tube sections of the tool are tight and secure
  • Check all the hoses and fittings have been tightened and have no leaks (minimum 3/8” bore hose)
  • Fit the dust shroud. Doing this significantly reduces the risk of operator exposure to harmful dust and also creates a much cleaner working environment

When hiring a Trelawny tool from Beacon, we will ensure it comes serviced and ready to use and with a suitable compressor. 

How to set up the inline lubricator assembly

This is the perfect accessory to use alongside the needle to deliver a constant protective supply of oil to assist performance and reduce wear & tear.  

Unscrew the lid of the lubricator and set the internal gauge between 5-10 using a flat head screwdriver (this controls the flow level of the oil). **Pour in the oil, replace the top cap and ensure it is secure. Trelawny recommends using a low viscosity air tool or hydraulic oil. 

What is the operating vibration level of a VL303 needle scaler?

A Trelawny VL303 needle scale vibration level depends on a number of factors, such as the surface being worked on and the pressure being applied by the user. This means that you will need to calculate the vibration levels on a project-by-project basis.

There is guidance from the HSE Vibration at Work, around long-term exposure as it can have significant impacts on the hands, arms, and body. With this in mind, it should be a crucial consideration when choosing a hand-held power tool for a project.  

Trelawny’s unique vibration reduction system

The unique tool design reduces vibration by 8 times that of a standard needle scaler or gun.

Operation: Cleaning or removing coatings from a surface

Once it is set up and ready to go, you apply the needles to the surface you are trying to clean or remove the coating or other materials from. Be sure not to apply excessive pressure and allow the needles to do the work. Continue to move the needles around the surface until the area is clear. 

What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn?

PPE is essential when carrying out any task on site that requires power tools and has a risk of creating airborne particles such as dust or asbestos and should not be inhaled and could have serious health impacts. 

PPE Requirements:

Note: Masks should be airtight to ensure any dangerous dust, fibres, or vapours are not inhaled. Inhaling these hazardous materials over long periods of time can have devastating impacts on a construction worker’s long-term health. To be sure a mask is protecting you or your team properly, a face fit test should be carried out by an experienced professional. 


For optimum performance and to increase the longevity of the tool, we advise the gun or scaler is oiled daily over the duration of the project. This wear and tear can also be further reduced by using an inline lubricator assembly.  

Beacon stocks the Trelawny VL303 needle scaler, available to hire or buy. To discuss your project needs or our hire packages, please don’t hesitate to contact your local branch, where one of the team will be happy to help you. If you are already a Beacon MyAccount holder, you can log in to see our latest offers or current prices. 

It is important to note that for equipment or tool hire, you will need a Beacon MyAccount. This is to make hiring from us quick and easy over time. Our MyAccount is a premium service designed to support our business customers and offers a range of benefits, including 10% off website list prices, 24/7 access to your service or test certificates, as well as the ability to download a bespoke price list just for you, and much more. Learn more.

To apply, just complete our simple online application form, and we will do the rest. Apply now.

*Aeq stands for the acceleration equivalent value, which is how we measure vibration and is measured in metres per second squared. 

**Refer to the manufacturer for recommendations or speak to your supplier for further assistance