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Author Topic: Air Compressors  (Read 2256 times)

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kahlid74

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Air Compressors
« on: April 13, 2012, 09:11:39 am »
Does anyone have one?  What do you use it for?  Nail guns?  Filling tires on your car?  High power air tools like sanders/grinders?

My primary use would be for Nail guns and for just air pressure to blow dust around, etc.  These are the two that have the highest rankings on most sites:

The Makita is smaller/less weight and Makita makes rocking things but it's decibels are 80 which is significantly louder than the GMC who ranks at 60 decibels and has a larger tank.  The Makita has a higher CFM at 90PSI but for nail guns/air dusting I can't see that being a big factor and with the small tank on the Makita, if I were to use that higher CFM at 90PSI I would be recycling like constantly.  Additionally the GMC is oil-less.

I'm thinking of getting the GMC just because it seems like a better buy for something who isn't going to be using it everyday but I'm open to anyone's suggestions here who owns one and can give me insight into them.

elkameleon

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2012, 09:35:28 am »
i have a little 3 gallon, its pretty much worthless, even for blowing your computer out too... compressor kicks in like 5 seconds after you start sprayin air, and takes forever to fill. So my point is, DO NOT SKIMP, you'll regret it later, I know I do.

drventure

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 09:43:52 am »
i have a little 3 gallon, its pretty much worthless, even for blowing your computer out too... compressor kicks in like 5 seconds after you start sprayin air, and takes forever to fill. So my point is, DO NOT SKIMP, you'll regret it later, I know I do.

+1
Pancake compressors are very noisy, they're usually oilless so that won't last long either. On the plus side, they are portable.

I picked up a vertical tank compressor for cheap off CL and couldn't be happier

Similar to this



They don't take up much space in the garage, they're big enough to do most kinds of nailing/grinding, I've even run a framing nailer with it. It won't be enough to sandblast, but I haven't had the need yet  :)

And they have wheels, so you can move em around relatively easily.

Everyone I talked to about compressors said if you don't want to be buying a new one every year or so, get an oiled compressor. Yeah, they're a tad more work, but they'll last forever.

Sparkolicious

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 09:53:23 am »
I have a campbell hausfeld 20 Gallon.  I use it in the shop for spraying paint, filling tires, grinding, sanding, and blowing off the dusty bench.. I have a pancake compressor for trim work.  No way you want to lug that big arse thing around jobs.  I also have a mini compressor for airbrush work.  It is tiny, but very portable, and plenty good enough to spray with.

Vigo

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2012, 10:09:28 am »
I dunno, I have been super happy with my 3 gallon harbor freight compressor for $50. Of course, I don't have any false expectations about it. I primarily use it for air finish nailing, stapling, painting and filling tires and the fact that it is so tiny means that I can take it anywhere. If I want to do a project on my second floor, it is much easier than carting a big compressor to the job. I also have used it for blowing just fine, but you have to use a small, focused blower nozzle, I use one where i can adjust the flow. Otherwise, nothing will drain a compressor faster. I cleaned out a carburetor and using the blower to remove any final lingering dirt in the chambers was a breeze. They are perfect for when you need a quick blow job.  :burgerking:


Of course when I move to a house with a real garage, a 20+ gallon compressor is on the list. It just allows you to do so much more.

kahlid74

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 10:34:40 am »
Thanks for all the replies.  Great information.  For right now I don't need one of the super big/powered ones as my use case just doesn't call for one of those *yet*.  The oil-free versus oil is great to know but I'm wondering if that's under constant use.  The use I'd be looking at, in such a small quantity, would leave me of the mind set that I would spend so much more time working with the oil than using an oil-free to the point of failure.

I'm going to try the GMC one (Bigger tank/Oil Free) and see how it performs.  The cost isn't a place where I'd be totally kicking myself if it failed.

Now the question is what 15 Ga Nailgun do I get.  I was going to get the Hitachi but after a few more reads I'm now thinking Dewalt.

drventure

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 10:44:27 am »
I dunno, I have been super happy with my 3 gallon harbor freight compressor for $50.

Don't get me wrong, I used a pancake compressor for several weeks installing hardwood floor at the house my dad built a few years back. They are quite handy. But like vigo says, don't put your expectations too high.

As for carting it around, I picked up a 100' airline off ebay for ten bucks. So I put the compressor outside and shut the door. 100 foot line reaches anywhere I need to be in the house, and I don't have to listen to a compressor kick on all the time!


Mysterioii

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 11:15:42 am »
Eh, I've got this little one from home depot:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=202529941&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053

It is noisy, I admit, but it's been fine for occasional finish nailing and brad nailing.  When I got it, it was bundled with a brad nailer, finish nailer and stapler.

I went ahead and got a boxed set of Husky air tools fairly cheaply, with like a spray gun, air hammer, ratchet, impact driver, inflater etc.  Honestly haven't used them much (some of them not at all).   From what I read AFTER I got everything apparently the pressure on my little compressor is considered a little underpowered for those tools.  At least I'll have them later when/if I upgrade.  For occasional nailing though mine has been fine, and even though it's loud at least it's easily portable.

yaksplat

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 11:46:49 pm »
I have a 5 gallon Porter Cable Stack Compressor.  0-145 psi in about 45 seconds.

works great for:
all of the nailers (pin, finish, flooring, roofing, framing)
grinder (need a surge tank for this)
impact gun
air ratchet

blowing dust out of computers or anything really
filling tires

Cons:

It's heavy and needs to be on a large gage extension cord if it's more than 25' from an outlet.

To counter this i mounted it in the basement with a 5 gallon surge tank and ran some tubing out the garage.
This kit works great: http://www.amazon.com/RapidAir-Compressed-Air-Master-Kit/dp/B004YP23PW

Now i no longer have to carry it around.  I have air in my shop and an air tap out in the garage.
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eds1275

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2012, 03:44:45 pm »
I use a C&H oil free compressor, I think it's a 3-gallon. It was $90 with a tool kit, including a nail gun. For dusting things off, inflating tires [takes about 4 tanks full to fill a car tire, but a bike tire or wheelbarrow no probs]. What I usually use it for is the nailgun. I glue two pieces of stuff together, clamp it, nail gun it a few times, take my clamp back and move on to the next one. I could probbly use a small airbrush on it but not a larger gun.

kahlid74

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 10:03:48 am »
That's a wicked kit Yak and something that would be awesome to do.  It's my 30th birthday in two weeks so I put an Amazon gift list up with the compressor and nail guns.  Lets see if people buy em for me!

knave

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 04:42:09 pm »
I bought my compressor knowing that it was more than I needed. I want to eventually use grinders and some of the higher CFM tools so I picked up a 33 Gal upright. I love that thing. Granted 99% of the time I'm only filling tires but it makes changing a tire a snap. I would get one this size again in a heartbeat.

selfie

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 06:30:02 pm »
Compressed Air in your workshop is one of those things that you will wonder how you ever did without. I have two 10hp 200lt compressor in my workshop and a 3hp at home.

Buy the biggest you can afford/justify you will use it more than you are planning to. A smaller pump that is trying to keep up will generate more heat and more moisture in the air.

GregD

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 08:46:55 am »
I have a portable compressor and large one that I have plumbed into my workshop.  I have connection points all over the place and I just use the cheap Craftsman yellow spiral cords because I don't have to roll them back up.  I even have a connection point going through the wall to the driveway for filling up tires and balls.  Compressed air is essential.  I love my nail guns.

kahlid74

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 09:14:22 am »
I wound up getting the GMC Syclone.  The thing is freaking super quite.  It's sound is indistinguishable from the rack of servers/switches I have running so awesome sauce.  It's a good foray into compressors for me to start.  If this works and I use it a lot I'll get a big one in the garage in a couple years.

yaksplat

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Re: Air Compressors
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2012, 01:12:59 pm »
You won't need another compressor, just a larger surge tank in line with it.
Check out my current 3 machine build:
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