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Subcooled 03-12-2011 12:24 AM

Air compressor for home use.
Been reviewing many different compressors onlne and stores and would like some input from you guy's here.

My needs will be for remodel around the house and work in the garage. Would like to use it for nailer, painting, cleaning.

I don't need top of the line, mid range in price.

What SCFM delivery and at what pressure should I be looking for?

Oil or oil-less?

Tank size?

Just Bill 03-12-2011 05:58 AM

All air tools have specific CFM requirements, check the tools you want to run and get a compressor with the capacity to deliver. Some tool use a LOT of air, some do not. The bigger the tank, the longer you can operate between comp. cycles, and the more consistent pressure it will deliver. For things like spray painting, you will filters and moisture separators.

Do It Right 03-12-2011 06:04 AM

What ever size you do decide on, DO NOT buy a reed type compressor, they don't last.
"Lifetime Lubricated" means 'When the unit fails- that's it's lifetime'.

Only get one that is oil-lubricated.
Invest in a quality, portable, piston-type, 22 to 30 gal.
I have an Ingersol-Rand like this:
I got it on CraigsList for $400.
Most compressors this size max out at 135psi.
If you step up to a stationary 60gal or larger, they are typically 175psi.
SCFM....larger is better. Any portable unit will be 5 to 8 scfm.
Your tools will dictate what scfm you will need.

I would stay away from no-name brands, as you don't know who made it, or where you can get parts.
If you think you will be using it to blow out irrigation lines, or for painting cars, (the above) compressor is too small. You will need a larger tank and more HP (horsepower).

I do use mine to blow out the irrigation system, but it takes forever.
I have to repeatedly open/close each zone (with compressor at max PSI) because there's not enough volume to this size. But with increased capacity, comes lack of portability.... then you'll be needing a lot of hose.

You'll need to give it a little maintenance, drain the water, change the oil, replace the air filter.
But a quality compressor will last YOUR lifetime.
To save some money, you can replace the factory air filter housing with one that holds a lower-cost element. A factory replacement air filter for mine was $15 to $20.
I replaced the housing with this one:
The replacement cartridges are less than $4.00 ....
Good Luck

Subcooled 03-12-2011 10:17 AM


Originally Posted by Do It Right (Post 607699)
What ever size you do decide on, DO NOT buy a reed type compressor, they don't last.
"Lifetime Lubricated" means 'When the unit fails- that's it's lifetime'.

Only get one that is oil-lubricated.
Invest in a quality, portable, piston-type, 22 to 30 gal.

Good info, thanks!

algored2deth 03-12-2011 11:17 AM

Here is the one I bought.

Fairly quiet too. About as loud as a decent vacuum. I can talk on the phone while it is running next to me. Uses oil and is not like those pancake porter cable dealies at HD or lowes. You can run most items like nailers and maybe a small spray gun. If you want to run air tools, go bigger. Things like impact wrenches need more air.

SoCalLivin 03-13-2011 10:34 PM

I have owned many types of compressors and here would be my guidelines:

Up to 5 gal- Nail guns, blowing dust/dirt off stuff, filling tires, good portability

5-20 gal-All of above+, small air tools that dont require extended usage(air ratchet or impact gun), pretty portable

20-40 gal-All of above+, most air tools, texture hopper, small painting projects(parts, small furniture), kinda tough too lug around(even with wheels)

40+ gal-All of above+, larger painting projects(car, cabinets, large furniture), big enough to plumb air lines around a shop, most are not portable

-dont buy the best or worst, average compressors last a long time with minimal care
-dont paint with it, trust me, buy or rent an airless. The right tip/material combonation on an airless is waaaay better
-if you dont already have nail guns, get one of those combo deals at Depot or Lowes. Those rigs are fine. If your not using it as a contractor don't overspend on an air compressor
-Good Luck

Arthur_80 03-13-2011 11:11 PM

I've been doing some research on air compressors lately. I would recommend an oil compressor as well, the oil-less are really loud.

As for SCFM, I found this chart of tool CFM requirements. Figure out your airflow requirements by adding up the CFM for all the tools that will be used at the same time, then multiply that by 20%. You need to choose an air compressor with a CFM rating that exceeds the amount of your total requirement.

Air Tool Description Average CFM @ 90 PSI
Angle Disc Grinder 7″
Brad Nailer
Cut-Off Tool
Dual Sander
Framing Nailer
Grease Gun
Hydraulic Riveter 4
Impact Wrench 3/8″ 2.5-3.5
Impact Wrench 1/2″ 4-5
Impact Wrench 1″
Mini Die Grinder
Needle Scaler
Orbital Sander
Ratchet 1/4″
Ratchet 3/8″
Rotational Sander
Speed Saw

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