Air compressor coupler question


I'm quite confused by the couplers for air hoses, tools and compressors. The compressor that I am going to buy has a 1/4" outlet. The hose I bought is a 3/8" and the tools that I bought have a 1/4" inlet although they recommend a 3/8" hose. What type of connectors do I need? When I see a 1/4" or a 3/8" coupler does that mean the hose side, the connector side, or both sides? What size do I need for my setup? Do I have to buy a special 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?
My other question is about water traps and oilers. I've read that it's best to place them as close to the tool as possible. However, the ones that I have seen on HF and NorthernTool look quite large and heavy and look like they are supposed to attach directly to the air compressor outlet and not dangle from the end of the tool. Are there lightweight ones that easily attach to the tool itself? Any recommendations on where I can find one and a good brand? Thanks,
Brett
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Brett wrote: snip-When I see a 1/4" or a 3/8" coupler does that mean the hose side, the connector side, or both sides?-snip
Connector side. Try before you buy.
snip-My other question is about water traps and oilers. I've read that it's best to place them as close to the tool as possible.-snip
Right after the compressor tank outlet would be best, IMO. Keep the water out of your hoses. HTH. Tom
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The size indicated typically refers to the threaded pipe size, but in the cases of hoses it refers to the hose's inside diameter. Most typical 3/8" hose assemblies (from HD, Lowes, etc) will come standard with 1/4" pipe threads, specialty hose assemblies from major air tools suppliers and maybe the HD, Lowes will offer a 3/8" hose with 3/8" pipe threads. And in special case you can fine a 1/4" hose assy w/ 3/8" pipe threads. The best way to go now days with the high flow rates of air grinders,sanders is to go with the high flow couplers and 3/8" hose with high flow 1/4" ends. What I have done is buy standard 3/8" hose w/ 1/4" ends and drill out the 1/4' fitting to 5/16" or there abouts, . Harbor Freight is an excellent place for high flow air fittings. I believe HD, Lowes have a limited selection too.
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Seeker wrote:

I've never used HF's fittings so have no idea what they're like or whether they are consistent. There's a "veritable plethora" of differing designs which are not all interchangeable, even for the same nominal size(s). I suggest standardizing on a name manufacturer such as Milton of a given style so you're not dependent on the "stock of the day" at the Borg or other vendor...
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On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 10:02:56 -0500, the opaque Duane Bozarth

Only two styles are common nowadays: automotive and industrial. I converted all my old M-style (auto) connectors to industrial, the "new standard" T-style AFAIK. Below are Miltons:
http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/mils-777.html M style http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/mils-783.html T style
With a few of HF's fittings, easing the edges can make the difference between a fighting fit and a good fit. This is one of the areas I wish I hadn't skimped on my purchase. Live and learn.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Hell, there are at least 4 non-interchangeable ones hanging on the wall at the local farm supply...some I'm sure aren't as common as others, but I'd be surprised if there aren't still a lot more choices than two...I know the ones from Lowe's I had aren't interchangeable w/ any of the Milton's in stock locally...
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On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 15:57:30 -0500, the opaque Duane Bozarth

Yes, more types are available, but notice what comes with your air tools. Nowadays, as far as I've seen, they're all T-style.
There were 6 styles available when I was graduated from auto tech school in the very early 70s and had to tool-up.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

No tool I've bought recently actually came w/ a connector for (I presume) the reason they have no clue as to what type the end-user is using...

All I know is that the local farm supply is stocking M, S, T and another (A, maybe?) I don't recall offhand...that mayhaps be for folks already committed to one style like me that aren't going to willing change--just like I'm not going to change the hydraulic couplings on the tractor or all the equipment to ISO from the "old" JD design...
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On Thu, 28 Jul 2005 11:48:49 -0500, the opaque Duane Bozarth

I guess I've been shopping at HF too long. LOL.

I got tired of having 2 types and did convert my air tools and little backup compressor, a Rand 3/4 horse. Yeah, I doubt anyone would convert all their hydraulic couplings. Too messy and costly, and with little need.
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Last time (recently) I bought some of the connectors, there were (3) types available at the local store. Take a fitting with you, make sure all your connectors / hookups are the same. Otherwise it's a real PIA to move things around or reconfigure.... Don't ask me how I know!
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Yup, it's a real PITA when they don't match. Mine are all one type, one SIL has same type, two other SIL's have longer tips on the male connectors. Made a short adapter hose with "long tip male & "short tip" female coupler to use my tools @ their places.
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Norman D. Crow wrote:

all of mine are one type, but every once in a while I run into a contractor or somebody like that who has a different system. I have a handfull of odds and ends fittings around for making adaptors. if I run into a system I don't have one for, I go buy it. haven't had to buy one for a while now.
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wrote:

these will interchange with each other. The best coupler I ever found was Cejn. I used to own a tool repair shop and my mechanic coupled and uncoupled hoses constantly while repairing and testing tools. They were always being dropped or slammed into the bench yet they would last for years. They are also push to connect which is real handy when connecting tools - it's a real PITA to have to slide the collar back to connect a tool.     As to filters and lubricators - most are located near the outlet of the compressor but if you have a fairly long run and multiple drops it is best to locate them at each drop. Another way to help eliminate water is to have an uphill run with a trap at the bottom to drain condensed water. It also helps to blow down the compressor tank frequently. We ran a copper tube from the tank drain to the outside of the building with a ball valve. It was easy to open the ball valve and blow all of the water from the tank. Good luck.
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