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
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
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.
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.
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.
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
The Porter Cable PTS-6 requires approx. 15 SCFM @ 90 PSI.
The compressor would have to be in the 5 to 6 horsepower range.
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
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