Pancake or tube compressor?

I was at Harbor Freight today. They had a pancake compressor and compressor with two tubes for the same price ($90). The compressor seemed to be the same, only the storage tank was different.
Why do they make two kinds, and why should I care?
I bought the pancake because it was a little lighter. I was a bit surprised to get it home and find it needed a regulator and a filter; the last compressor I bought came with those, so maybe it wasn't such a good price.
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Toller wrote:

I think the difference is mainly cosmetic. You just need to make sure the compressor supplies the amount of air you need -- which is difficult to tell because the manufacturers lie about the CFM's.
If the compressors are the same price, buy the one with the larger capacity tank.
I usually run my air hoses off the unregulated tank output. But sometimes I put a regulator and a short whip of 1/4" hose at the end of the long 3/8" hose (when the nail gun shoots all the way through the boards, or if I'm spray painting.) No regulator on the compressor itself is not a big deal. (It does have a pressure switch, doesn't it?)
Best regards, Bob
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compressor
the
surprised
price.
the air doesnt care what shape the container is in.

a big tank takes longer to fill. a smaller tank will fill quicker, but needs to be filled more often. in the end the motor is on about the same amount of time.
beyond a 'reasonable' size which depends on what you are doing with it, all a bigger tank is gonna get you is a bigger tank. buy a big enough tank, but after a certain point, the space it takes up is more important.
randy

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xrongor wrote:

Why even have a tank at all? Why not use a tankless "air on demand" compressor?
The motor is on about the same amount of time, but with a larger tank you can draw more than the compressor can deliver for short amounts of time. This is important because consumer air tools all seem to be rated 4 CFM regardless of their actual air requrements, and compressors usually overstate their CFM by at least 50%. (lying bastards) A larger tank gives you some leeway with the tools' air requirements and duty cycles.
Even if tools were spec'ed properly, sometimes you need a big blast of air to seat a tubeless tire bead or to blow dust out of the garage or something, and you can't do that with a small tank (unless it's pressurized to 150 PSI or more, but that is extremely unlikely.)
Get the biggest tank you have room for.
Bob
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Toller writes:

Style and fashion affects tools, apparently.
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