Air compressor recommendations?


Am looking to buy an air compressor for my son for Christmas somewhere in the $200-300 range. I have looked at several Craftsman models but unsure about which would be better.
Any recommendations?
Thank you for your reply.
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wrote:

There are other things to consider. Noise. What tools does he plan to operate. Is portability important or the amount of space it takes. The choices are MANY. You need to narrow down your son's needs. I have a small noisy high output Eagle that meets all my needs perfectly. I would have preferred a huge quiet beast standing in the corner....
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I've got an older Craftsman that's about 10 years old and it is REALLY noisy -- I usually run it in the garage with the door CLOSED and a hose coming out from under the garage door and use it outside where I can get away with no hearing protection. We had a contractor come over to install some doors one time and he had a really nice pancake style (twin smaller tanks) made by a company that I no longer recall (but a very reputable company as I recall -- it just wasn't one you would initially think about for other tools -- I believe they only made compressors). Anyway, it was REALLY quiet and had enough power to use for nail guns and what-not (which are not really demanding as something like an air-ratchet or similar that uses constant air instead of a quick "puff" like a nailer does). Sorry for being long winded..
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Better off asking at rec.crafts.metalworking 'Course, they'll proly tell you much more than you'll want to know. :) But, there is stuff you *should* know. Two ends of the spectrum: cast iron head, belt driven, oil-lubed style, either horizontal or vertical. Or direct drive oil-less aluminum head types. Most shop heads prefer the former, which also has generally more cfm and is quieter, much more reliable, last longer, etc. Altho in some situations the latter can be preferable.
If going w/ the former, I got a GREAT 26 gal vertical jobby from HD, a Husky. Excellent, QUIET compressor head, almost identical to what came on my friend's very quiet SpeedAire. That's how I knew to buy it. Floor sample for about $160, from $299. You can sort of bump up the capacity by adding add'l tanks, in parallel.
Problem is, these HD-related companies mix and match so much crap together, you can never be sure you'll get the same thing next month. I happened to see my 26 gal jobby in a HD just the other day, and the head looked a bit different. And not all HD carry compressors all the time.
Most on rcm will tell you to avoid Craftsman (Crapsman) like the plague. But otoh, it might suit your purpose, altho it would be nice to catch a sale--no real bargains over there.
If posting on rcm, better to describe what your son is going to be using it for, in as much detail as you can. Eg, "shop air" for simply blowing crap out of parts, or for a sand blaster, or for pneumatic (air) tools for autobody/painting, or other tools that require lesser amounts of air for other miscellaneous functions. Or mebbe just to fill tires/basketballs with. Etc. HTH
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Mr. P.V.\'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Susan Thomas wrote:

is a brand of compressor that I know people do respect. Here is a link to a compressor in your price range from a well known supplier:
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/NTELargeImageView?storeIdi70&catalogId@06970&langId=-1&rfno 0311703&zoomId=none&moreImages=none&fullTime=none&totalSounds=none&rotate=none
The tools and tasks your son are planning will determine the type or size of compressor he needs. compressor output is measured in cubic feet per minute or cfm and air tools are rated the same way. that not the final word however since the size of the storage tank greatly influences the work you can do. You can't have too big of a tank. That's why I reccomend a compressor with a medium sized tank. It's big enough to increase it's usefulness yet is still portable (on wheels).
Best of all is a stationary unit. Them things are so noisy so you just put it where the noise bothers you the least, maybe in another room. Beware of putting it outside or in an unheated room because my compressor won't run when the temp goes below zero.
The cool thing about compressed air is that you can run as much hose or pipe as you want, anywhere you want, and there is no loss of power. More pipe also means more storage and one place where I worked ran lots of pipe back and forth just to increase storage.
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Buy a bigger compressor than you think you will need. Soon you will be using it for things you never thought you would. If you buy too small, you will soon be in the market for a larger one, and lose money in the exchange. Go with a top name like IR or such. They last a lot lot lot lot lot longer.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

still chugging. I was going to replace it recently when the pressure switch went bad. Found a replacement at Graingers for $15. Reason I didn't junk it: I couldn't find a comparable one for under $250. The cheapies from China have poor CFM capacity. My advice: look for one with at least 5 CFM at 90 psi. That will allow for auto painting and much more. However, if you need to use air tools, you'll need one with 10 CFM at 90 psi capacity.
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For that amount of money, get a 2 hp, 4 gallon oil-lubricated compressor by Hitachi, Rol-Air, Ingersol-Rand. It provides 4 cfm at 90 psi and will do many things while weighing under 70 pounds.
It will NOT run tools like impact wrenches, air sanders and die grinders. It WILL inflate tires, run pneumatic nailers and be very portable. If he needs a bigger unit, give him a gift card for $300 and let him add more money to buy that $800+ compressor.
wrote:

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Just avoid the oil-less direct drive units. They are junk. Not to mention, they are so loud they'll run you out the room.
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Steve Barker



"Susan Thomas" < snipped-for-privacy@ils.unc.edu> wrote in message
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Over the years, I've lost all respect for Sears. I'd even prefer something from Harbor Freight.
If you get one which is splash lubricated, get a good brand of oil. Cheap oil is more costly in the long run. And change the oil after 10 or 25 hours, what the book says. New units wear rapidly in the first few hours.
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Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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wrote:

Do not buy an oiless.
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