Compressor for tire inflation

I have a 10 gallon portable air tank I use to inflate the tires on my cars. For a long time, I went to my local garage and they filled it for me (I've been a customer for 25 years and I know the owner, so they wouldn't let me even fill it).
Then the owner retired and closed the garage and sold the property. So to fill the tank, I bought a small electric compressor -- the oilless kind that buzzes loudly when you run it. (I also found that the 10 gallon tank needed filling a lot more often than I thought it would).
The little compressor worked for a time, but last week I was filling the tank and it started smoking. I shut it down, but it's broken and no longer pumps air.
I went to Sears to get a replacement and bought what appears to be a 125 psi compressor of the same oilless type as I had before, although maybe a little fancier.
However, for about a $12 difference I could have had an oil-type 1.5 hp cast iron electric pump mounted on a three gallon tank. complete with hose, various fittings, etc.
On the way home, I started having a big case of buyers remorse over the oilless "inflator" compressor I bought. Should I have gotten the other one?
Now in case it isn't apparent, I know nothing, nada, zippo about air compressors. All I want to do is inflate tires on my two cars and on my various lawn tools. I want to avoid having to grub around in the bay of the local gas station trying to make the hose fitting that has been driven over several hundred times stay flat against a tire valve, especially in the winter when the fitting is frozen. And I want to avoid dragging the tank to the filling station every time I fill more than two tires, or putting my snowblower or wheelbarrow into the trunk of my car every season to take it to the filling station air pump.
I have no interest in air tools, paint sprayers, sand blasters, etc. I woke up one day and for some reason was just plain too old and sore to build or fix stuff anymore. And I'm not interested in spending more than $100 which is the sale price of the cast iron pump.
I'm thinking of taking the small inflator back tomorrow and exchanging it for the other, cast iron, one. Smart move or stupid overkill?
The little one is lightweight. It will no doubt work but takes a long time to fill the tank. And it may burn out like the previous one did. And the old one was really noisy in an irritating sort of way.
The cast iron pump is mildly heavy, although I can carry it without any trouble. I'm not sure it has a fitting for a tire valve so I might have to buy that separately. It has a longer hose. I guess I have to put oil in it (what's the deal on that?). The tank is just three gallons, so I guess I'd use it to fill my 10 gallon tank and use the tank to fill the tires.
What say you all?
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Do it. The other compressor will last far longer. You will have to change the oil once in a while. There is no reason you'd have to use the other tank to fill tires, although you could, unless you can't reach them with the compressor plugged in. Then you just buy more hose.
Bob
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I once too used the small cheapies and never thought I would need a larger air compresser. Then one day I decided to break down and purchased a belt driven small compresser on sale at Sears. I used it with a few air tools and then discovered I couldn't do without it. It seemed that I checked my tires a little more often with this one. Only takes a couple minutes to completely fill up. Then one day I was looking at at an air nailer. Yep, best thing since sliced bread. Another use I use mine for is to blow air to clean things. Wife just wanted her vacuum cleaner cleaned out and that did the trick. You'll never regret buying a real air compresser, just make sure you get the belt driven type as I've seen the pancake type break pistons very often. The cast iron compresser/belt driven are the best. For your use just buy a short air hose and interchangable chuck to switch between the tire chuck and the air blower. I don't think you'll regret buying a real air compresser. I now own two.
J

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if you just want to fill tires, get a hand or foot operated air pump at the car parts store
and store it in the trunk...
next time you drive over a nail and a day later notice your tire is low due to a slow leak, you can fill it up on the spot...
Mark
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I did the same way. One electric, another gas powered. Tire inflator, then nail gun, air tools, and my worldly possessions keep increasing.
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Thanks to the responders. I took your advice and exchanged the small "inflator" for the cast-iron oil-type pump. It seems to work fine, although I have yet to try it on a tire, and looks to be perfect for what I want -- and it does have a tire chuck in the kit. I've decided to also get a 25-foot extension hose for $20 so I don't have to drag the unit around so much. It's not a high-quality tool, that's for sure, but it will certainly work for the light use I'm giving it.
I got a little bonus on it, too. I looked it up on the Sears website last night to see what accessories were included (it doesn't say) but I noticed that on the web it was $89.95 instead of $99.95. I mentioned it to the clerk at my local Sears and he took off $10 on the spot. The exchange was totally hassle-free as well.
Thanks again for the advice.
On Mon, 28 Nov 2005 23:37:19 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@xxoptonline.net (Tom Miller) wrote:

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You made the right decision to get the oiled one! My OLD Sears 1HP rusted through on the bottom of the tank and spit rusty water on the pavement. Due to my ignorance and neglect it wasn't drained during the 6 months it was used after I inherited when a neighbor died. It's got a quarter turn valve plumbed out beyond the end of the tank that gets opened after EVERY use.
On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 01:13:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@xxoptonline.net (Tom Miller) wrote:

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wrote:

Yeah, I actually read that part in the instructions and after a few tries figured out which way to turn the valve to "open."
The instruction manual is pretty bad, however. Assembly instructions on mine were, er, vague to say the least. Fortunately it wasn't rocket science, so I figured it all out after a few tries.

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