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Take me to school on air compressors

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by MudFlap, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. MudFlap

    MudFlap [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You guys teach me a thing or 3 about air compressors. Im looking to buy one for around the house type use. The typical air in the car tires, and maybe the occasional air tool like a sprayer of impact or other air tools. Im not trying to break the bank either, so recomend me a compressor I think I would rather go slightly smaller than I need than bigger, but I really dont know anything about em though.
     
  2. bmpskir

    bmpskir Well-Known Member

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    you don't want to go too small - can't run air tools as easily... I would say 30-33 gallon sears or lowes.... 200-300 bucks range...
     
  3. Executive

    Executive Conservative

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    Most are made in China junk. The only way to get a good one is to spend big money. A good Ingersoll Rand will cost you close to a thousand dollars. there are a few alternatives though. I bought a DeWalt high pressure 20 gallon upright that is actually made in the USA. It has worked out pretty well for everything I have asked it to do. Impact gun, air ratchet, undercoat gun (used to apply Fluid Film), airing up tires, nail guns, and so on. I bought mine at the cheapo depot for $379 back in May.

    Chris
     
  4. gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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    Cast iron heads rather than alluminum heads on the compressor motor if you plan to keep the compressor for a long time .
    You can run impact guns and air ratchets with low volume compressors once the tank fills up , but if you wanna run body shop air tools that need continous flow you will need a high volume compressor .
    All i have is a 60 gallon but its dual stage and keeps my impact gun very happy .
    Eagle makes some great compressors .
    Here,s an example http://www.eaglecompressor.com/air_compressor_model.php?recordID=175
     
  5. PatDig

    PatDig Member

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    Belt Drive! The direct drive compressors are really loud.
     
  6. amaes

    amaes Cuz Stock Sucks

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    1. Buy as big as you can afford or have space for. This is because a lot of tools require a lot more air then you would think. The bigger it is the longer the air will last and normally the Higher the CFM rating is on it.

    2. Plan on spending about $200 on top of the compressor if you do a 220v unit as the big ones do not come with anything. you will need to buy: Ball Valve, air filter, Regulator, quick disconnects, fittings, hose reel, patch hose for hose reel, wire to make cord or to run to breaker box, and I'd suggest hockey puck feet.

    3. Buy a belt drive compressor. They will last longer and are not loud like the oil free style. They have smaller 20gal and 30 gal that are 120v.

    4. The US General 60gal compressor from Harbor Freight is built by a US company and a lot of the guys on my tool forum use it with great success. Quincy is known to be one of the top brands money can buy. You will pay a little more for this.

    Here is my set up. Its a 60 220v campbell hausfeld from Lowes when they got rid of them last spring. I picked it up for $345 with tax on clearance. Works great.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. amaes

    amaes Cuz Stock Sucks

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    Pictures of the hockey puck feet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    When you're talking air compressors you want to go bigger than what you think you will need. I have a small compressor that works great for finish work but sucks for airing up tires and the such. I have a DeWalt/Emglo that seems to be pretty stout but sucks alot of juice on start up.
     
  9. maykevin5

    maykevin5 Well-Known Member

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    I would recomend finding a old used one that is belt drive dual piston. They have a crank case that has oil in it. They will last forever if you maintain them. The new ones are oil less and are loud and wear out fast.
    Find one like this
    [​IMG]
    Not like this
    [​IMG]
     
  10. dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    Not all new air compressors are oil less. In fact the new DeWalt I bought takes oil. A used air compressor can be a good idea as long as it has some life left in it. The picture above looks like a single piston 220V. I think you may be thinking of a two stage compressor.
     
  11. chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    As mentioned, an oiled compressor lasts longer.also, look for higher CFM output.
     
  12. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    I bought a Dewalt 15 gallon 200 psi tank. I love it.
    http://www.toolbarn.com/dewalt-d55167.html?ref=base&gclid=CPK109jAzbUCFSRxQgodggwAKQ

    It's oil-free and not a belt drive (which I would have liked) but it's still pretty quiet (78dBA), especially compared to my cheapy Campbell Hausfeld (2 gallon, 100 psi, 0.3 SCFM) that I bought at lowes. It was much cheaper than the belt drive compressors as well.
    dewalt.jpg

    I've used it primarily for spraying texture on my walls after removing wall paper. With the smaller compressor, I could only spray a 4 ft section at 40 psi (quickly) before the pump kicked in and I'd have to wait for it to recharge. With the Dewalt, I did a whole wall at 60 psi before it came on. I'd usually have to reload the hopper before the pump came on.

    4.8 SCFM at 90 psi.
     
  13. Bistineau

    Bistineau Well-Known Member

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    When shopping for a compressor, I feel CFM(cubic feet per minute, air flow rate) is more important than tank size. You can always buy another ,larger tank later if needed. If I were looking at 2 compressors and one had 2.0 cfm with a 60 gallon tank, and the other was 4.5 cfm with a 30 gallon tank, I would select the 4.5 cfm over the 2.0. I have a small pancake compressor with a 2 gallon tank and have it connected to a seperate 25 gallon tank for volume. That is my normal use compressor for general use in the shop. When I need more capacity, I also have another hotdog style compressor and a wheelbarrow tank style gas powered compressor. If need be I can plumb all of them together for maximum airflow to the big tank, and I have a couple of portable air tanks I can add to the mix for even more volume in the system. Consider CFM rating of the compressor as more important than tank volume. You can add more tank volume cheaper than you can add CFM.
     
  14. nelztaco

    nelztaco Well-Known Member

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    I recently went through the same decision. Look up ingersoll rand garagemate. I picked one up used on craigslist after reading and researching small household air compressors and checking reviews.
     
  15. Fire Taco Fighter

    Fire Taco Fighter Well-Known Member

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    beleive it or not Harbor Freight compressor are pretty good for home use.
    My father has one and it works great.i myself have a craftsman oil-less. Also my freind has a huskey from home depot that works great to. I would go w/ a high pressure like 150psi and no less that a 25 gal tank if you want to run air tools like an air rachet or die grinder.
    The cambell housefield from lowes isnt a bad deal it comes w/ tools aswell
     
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