Air Compressor Question

I have seen a lot of references to size of air compressors for different jobs and tools but I can't find a good rule of thumb, Yes, I know I can use each individual tools ratings but I don't have them all yet.
Today, I use a PC Pin Nailer, a SENOC Brad Nailer and a Bostic Brad Nailer/Stapler. I am using a Sears Craftsman 1 HP 7 Gal that is rated at 2.4 SCFM @ 90 PSI (125 max). I am looking at adding a Finish Nailer, pnuematic sander like the PC PTS6 and a pnuematic drill.
Any recommendations on what size compressort I should be looking to upgrade to?
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You already answered the question. What is the cfm requirement for the sander? The compressor should be larger than that. Sanders happen to be one of hte biggest air users, as well as the longest running tool A nailer runs for 1/10 of a second, the drill may run 15 seconds, but a sander can easily go for 5 or 10 minutes non stop. You want a compressor that can keep up with some reserve power. At that point you have to consider the operating cost, acquisition cost and determine if an air sander is the best tool for you. Investing in a $600 compressor and $500 new electrical service to do the same function as a $65 ROS does not make sense. But many of our tool purchases make poor economic sense. Ed
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Something to consider, nailguns use air for a "A Split Second" at a time. Just about any standard pressure compressor with a tank will work out fine.
Sanders, drills, impact wrenches, air ratchets, air chisels, cut off wheels, paint guns, and or basically any tool that runs for extend periods of time past 10 or so seconds needs a larger capacity tank/compressor to be able to keep up. Look for the CFM ratings of all the tools you are likely to add in the future and if that is in the near future, consider buying a compressor that will handle that CFM rating.
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I'm not familiar with that model of sander but sanders in general use lots of air, about like having a small blow gun constantly on. I'd estimate you'd need a good 8-10 CFM at 90PSI +/- for extended use of a pneumatic ROS. Perhaps if you search around you can find one that requires less air. A pneumatic 1/4" or 3/8" drill requires lots more air than any nailer also, though less than a sander. If you are considering these items instead of corded or cordless electric tools, you may want to think about the noise level of air vs electric too.
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There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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Larry W wrote:

<snip>
The Porter Cable PTS-6 requires approx. 15 SCFM @ 90 PSI.
http://www.toolfetch.com/Brand/Porter_Cable/Air_Tools/Air_Sanders/PTS6.htm?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=GS&utm_campaign=toolfetch&cm_ite=Porter%20cable%20PTS6
The compressor would have to be in the 5 to 6 horsepower range.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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wrote:

You are going from the least heavy air user (the nailers) to a SERIOUS air user (the sander). I have a Craftsman 6 HP (yeah, right) compressor with a 30 gallon tank and it is essentially useless for a sander - just can't keep up. Your little 7 gallon unit will require you to constantly stop and wait for the compressor and the compressor will run constantly while you are sanding. I just decided that the electric sanders work about as well, use far less electricity and the power cords are far easier to drag around than air hoses. I don't really know what an air drill requires in air volume (although a die grinder, heavily used, takes some air). Don't even ask about paint sprayers ;-)
Dave Hall
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Exactly the answer I was looking for, It makes much more sense to stay with a reasonable sized and priced compressor and use a good electric ROS sander as someone suggested.
Thanks for the inputs.

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