Air compressor suitability?

I have zero experience with air compressors, but could use one and a local store has one on sale with attachments.
The specs are: 8 gallon, 1.3 hp running, 125 max psi, 4.5 scfm@40 psi, 3.7 scfm@90 psi.
I wanted it to be able to assist with weekend auto repairs (brakes, calipers, springs, shocks, etc) and as well have some jobs around the house (nailing hardwood flooring, new trim work, bathroom renovations) and I would not mind if it were strong enough to be able to do some touch up spray painting.
Would people here be able to advise me if this unit would be good enough for that type of work? If not, what would the limitations be?
I am just a 'weekend warrior' not a commercial outfit, so the usage would be sporadic at best.
TIA.
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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 05:43:21 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Eight gallons is not very much--probably not enough for spray guns. Oilless air compressors don't last as long as the units that require oil. Just about any compressor will drive a nailer. Look at the requirements of the tools you plan to use, then size the compressor accordingly. A little extra power/capacity is a good thing.
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What you mention is fine for everything except the spray painting. That requires lots more air than you'll get with that unit.
s

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Different tools require different supplies.
A amateur spray gun may work with what you have, but if you want to use a good spray gun (good means better and faster results) you willl need more. It should be fine for a small touch up spray gun.
A finish nailer should be just fine, but if you want to do production framing or roofing, forget it.
I ended up sand blasting a large 2 story home. I would still be working on that job, except I rented a trailer mounted commercial air compressor.
In short, what you list may be fine, but I will guess that in time you will, like a lot of us have, find other jobs for it and wish you had more power and storage capacity. Check the specific requirements and recommendations for the specific tools you are considering.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Joseph, I knew if I waited around long enough there would be something we would agree upon. I am a fan for just overbuying. Then you can use it for most anything, including those jobs that come along only once a year or so. But not so much overbuying as the compressor you rented. I have a stand up Husky, and that does anything I want to do.
Steve
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> Joseph, I knew if I waited around long enough there would be something we

:-)
--
Joseph Meehan

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The compressor the OP mentioned is more than adequate for any nailer, including hardwood flooring nailers. That's the sort of rig that professional framers, roofers and hardwood installers use. Often two or three nailers off the same unit. I used one like that for flooring. Nailers really don't need that much.
Sanders, decent sprayers and sand blasters are the big air hogs.
Automotive tools need more air than nailers, but less than sprayers. If he can live with waiting for the tank to recharge with higher air volume automotive tools, he won't have problems.
["Waiting" isn't practical with sprayers, and a PITA with sanders or blasters.]
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Chris Lewis,

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Just for the helluvit, check the yellow pages for commercial compressor stores and pay one a visit. Ask about used or trade ins, and you might get lucky with a nice big machine priced at 20%% or so of new, which could be well within your budget. Don't be afraid of 240 V types, as they will like last far longer than what you can buy. In that way you could have something that will do anything you could throw at it it for years to come. HTH
Joe
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Exactly what I did maybe 15 years ago, and I've never been sorry.
5HP 220V cast iron 2 stage compressor with a 30-40 gallon tank. Still works like the day I bought it.
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From what you say, you will WANT (notice I didn't say NEED) a larger one than an 8 gallon. If you want to run power tools, one of those will be too light. Buy at least a two horse upright with a 30 gallon tank. HD has a Husky for about $300 that is good. DO NOT BUY THE OILLESS COMPRESSOR AS THEY ARE LOUDER THAN A JET MOTOR.
A small compressor works hard. A larger one doesn't work as hard to do the same thing. For a lot of what you want, a small compressor will be fine. But there's the every once in a while when the small one just won't do the work, and you'll be dead in the water.
Steve
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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 05:43:21 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

I have just about a years worth- so I remember most of my dis-appointments and where it exceeded my expectations.

Mine is a cheap Harbor Freight job- $150 on sale- 4HP/10gallons, uses oil, about 7cf@40psi & 4.5 at 115.
Plenty for even a framing nailer for my use- but I don't know if it would keep up with my brothers in law who are framers. [my framer is a Porter Cable- the finish nailer is a name brand- the brad nailer was a $10 special from HF- works fine.]
I've used a cheap HVLP paint sprayer- and it barely kept up--- but it *did* keep up.
It's too slow to really keep up with the gravity feed sand blaster I got-- but it allows me to empty the hopper-- then I refill, pause a minute or two, and repeat. Not big on production- but does the job.
Coolest tool is a $10 air hammer-- the chisels work great for splitting bricks-
Air shears work OK.
I've tried 3 different cheap die grinders & air cutters. Not enough CFM, though the specs on the tools were below 4.5. Remember that the tool makers say less, and your compressor is probably optimistic.
One other thing on that Harbor freight compressor. I used whatever oil they sold there. Next time I'll go for a lighter weight synthetic. When it is below 50 degrees the compressor won't start. I"ve moved it to the basement for the winter- but I'll see if an oil change and 'running it in' can get over that.
Jim
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Marginal for some tasks. Great for nailers, filling a tire that is low. You can airbrush all day, but a regular spray will take more air than the 3.7 cfm. Most take about 7 to 10 cfm. Air tools take a but more also for repeated use. You could drive a couple of lugs on a wheel, but an air chisel or grinder is out of the question.
Is portability a necessity? If so, this is good to take into the house for the trim jobs. If not, go bigger and run an air hose to where you need it.
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