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Old 12-26-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


So i'm in the market for an air compressor.

I've been working on my cars a lot lately and would like to be able to run a 3/8in air ratchet, and a 1/2in impact gun. Not full bore but just to aid me in my working.

I'm confused as to what i should be focusing on in terms of numbers.

CMF or tank size


Seems like the dual tank 4.5g's have higher CFM(5cfm @ 90psi)
while the larger 15-20g tanks have slightly lower CFM's(4.2ish CFM @ 90spi)

So should i be focusing solely on CFM or would having a larger tank be a lot better?

so far i like some of these.

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Old 12-26-2009, 01:41 PM   #2
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


You need a figure out what your tools are rated in terms of cfm. I would get the largest cfm compressor that is in your price range. Also look for one that uses oil in the compressor compared to an oil-less one. The oil compressor will be quieter

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Old 12-26-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


Publish some prices, candidate CFMs and candidate tank sizes.
Graphing these with price on the vertical axis will tell you quite a bit.
You can bet that the CEOs of these competing compressor companies are looking at the same graphs, and deciding how best to get your business.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


Thanks for the replies but i ended up pulling the trigger on one today.


My father had bought me a 6g pancake, a low budget socket set and impact gun from Rural King.

I ended up taking them back and they had a DeWalt 15g compressor that had been recommissioned that i think will be good for my needs. It was $200 vs. the new one which was $375 so it'll be plenty for what i'll most likely use it for.

I noticed the impact wrench he gave me said it needed about 4.7cfm for good performance. Then i saw at the store the $200 Chicago Pneumatic said it needed 5cfm. So i figured at 5.4cfm this tank should be fine with whatever i decide to get.

http://www.ruralking.com/compressor-...alt200psi.html
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:34 PM   #5
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


So how big a mistake did i make buying an oil-less compressor?

I suppose i can always take it back if you think it's not the best i could have gotten for the price..
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:03 AM   #6
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


You did fine buying that one. an oil compressor would just be a litle quieter.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


I've read that some people leave their compressors always on and always filled up.

Is that okay?

And if so how often do you hear the compressor turn on to rebuild air from it just getting out?
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:28 PM   #8
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Need help picking a sub $300 air compressor


It's OK if the system is fairly air tight. You should make sure you drain the water off, some say daily if left on. If you don't sludge will build up in the bottom of the tank and you will never get rid of it.

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