I'm going to be purchasing an air compressor in the near future. I've
looked around at the local Borgs, Harbor Fart Tools, etc. and I'm wondering
what people here have had experience with. I'm considering going to Sears
and getting a Crapsman as my experience is they have the best value per
price. Yeah, I know there are better tools/equipment than Sears but my
budget isn't huge yet and I wasn't too impressed with HFTools.
Yer suggestions are appreciated.
I have a CF 5/20 AC. It's on the verge of being too heavy to carry
(it's in the basement) so I have a small access hole between the
basement and the garage to run an air hose up there. One of these
days, I'm installing copper air pipes all around, but I'd like to get
a bigger compressor when I do that (no more need for portability then).
Some AC notes, all IMHO...
* The 5HP/20gal size seems to be the most popular for home shop use.
* Oilless are noisy but better if you use the air to spray sawdust off
your woodworking projects. If you get an oil bath unit, make sure
you get an air line filter too.
* The 2 stage (175 PSI) is probably better if you're using a big air
nailer. The 90 PSI low end on my regulator isn't quite enough for
* For CFM use (sprayers, sanders, air wrench, etc) plan on getting
twice the CFM the tool says it needs. The CFM printed on the AC is
usually VERY optimistic.
* HP ratings are mostly lies. Go by the volt/amp ratings. At 120v,
it's about 8 amps per real HP.
* ACs designed for *only* 240v are more efficient than ACs designed
for either 120 or 240 and wired for 240. This is my dad's
observation, based on a couple of Craftman ACs.
I bought a used 12-year-old oil-lubed 15-gallon Craftsman out of the
paper. It cost $60, and works like a champ. Enough air to spray
finishes and paint, runs quiet, reasonably portable on flat surfaces.
I would recommend you exhaust your local used tool sources first to see
what you can find.
If you'll be selecting a new compressor, it really depends on what your
intended uses are. You should pick one that has about twice the
capacity as what you think you'll need, because once you have one,
you're going to want to use it to do EVERYTHING.
I would stay away from the oil-less compressors because of noise and
durability, unless you absolutely must have a compressor that can be
carried around. The oil-lubed belt-driven compressors will last the
longest and generally have the highest capacity (gallons, cfm@psi).
Bigger compressors can be plumbed all over the place. I have lines
running through my shop and into the garage, and two 50-ft hoses that I
chain to the others to get just about anywhere on our property.
Learn how to spell recommendation, Cletus.
No, I'm not the spelling police and no, I don't own Usenet.
Learning how to express one's self clearly and concisely is the
hallmark of an ordered mind.
Provide a little more detail. What do you want to do with this
compressor? Clean off your workbench, drive a paint sprayer, run a
framing nailer, what?
Will it be for continuous use or intermittent (homeowner) use?
If running air tools, what are their pressure and flow requirements?
You cut down Sears tools by calling them "Crapsman" and then say you'll
probably buy one anyway. That's a mixed message if ever I heard one.
Do a Gooogle search or an epinions search or read reviews of tools on
Basically, you need the right tool for the job. First you need to
define the job, then you can buy the right tool for it.
Man, don't be so anal about wording... I've always messed around with
wordplay. I wasn't degrading Craftsman, just having a little fun. Lighten
That said, yes, I should have been a bit more detailed on what I'm going to
be using the AC for. Basically, a little bit of everything from airing up
the kids' bike tires to driving a nail gun (16 ga most likely the biggest),
spraying lacquer, etc. but it does need to be portable.
I was mainly asking for *recommendations* for brand. I can figure out the
size I need.
Quincy - Probably THE Cadillac of compressors. Cast everything, and
heavy duty bearings.
Speedaire - Industrial variant of CH. Another high end compressor.
FWIW - I have a Speedaire 7.5hp 80 gallon driving the main air in my
shop and have a no-name "2hp" hotdog portable. The little compressor
is an oiled piston type compressor that seems to be of reasonable
construction. It's loudish, but not unbearable. It works really well
for small tools, but would never be enough to drive a spray gun. The
duty cycle necessary would kill it I am sure. The big compressor can
move a LOT of air. I think it is good for around 20CFM and 175psi.
The little one is probably 2-3 cfm at 125.
I paid $80 for the little compressor. I bought the big one needing
work. Total, including repairs, I have $300 in it. It will probably
last me(and my kids) a life time.
On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 10:16:43 -0800, "NorthIdahoWWer"
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
If you are just starting out with this, and are actually asking what
cheap make to buy, I seriously doubt that.
No put down. There is more to it than meets the eye, with a lot of the
extra info being available from people who have dealt with the BS and
who know what "real" CFM you are getting or need.
No, I'm not just starting out. I've done woodworking part time for the
better part of 20 years, I've just never had the need, space, or extra $$
for an air compressor. Now that I've gone full time and woodworking is my
primary source of income, I have to look at buying an AC as one of the
things I'll be doing is trim work and will be using a nail gun.
Secondly, I didn't ask what "cheap make" to buy. I was asking for a brand
recommendation looking at cost/value and thought I'd check with the group
since most of you have AC's already. I've used AC's in many other shops
including the last place that I worked and yeah, I could go out and buy a
huge machine that would be overkill for my current needs but I do need
something that I can also load in the back of my truck to take to a job
site. So I really CAN figure out what size I need.
On Tue, 8 Mar 2005 22:31:01 -0800, "NorthIdahoWWer"
the compressor for... Using a Compressor to use a Brad nailer in
the shop requires a lot less HP and Tank size then using the
compressor to sand the hood of a car or paint your house...
Not all that many actual manufacturers of these things...
Ingersol, Devilbis, and Campbell-Hausfiled (spelling on all ??)
come to mind ...most likely any of them could be the actual
manufacturer of your compressor no matter if it has the Craftsman
or Harbor Freight label plastered all over it...
I have a Big monster...upright 80 gal tank 8 Horse unit (oiled) which
does all I need...you most likely do not need anything that size..
Tell us what you intend to use it for.... I would hate to have to
drag mine around the house to paint the shutters ..you get the idea.
I have CH that is 26 gal., 6 HP, wheels, requires oil changes. I got
120v so I can use it anywhere. I found out that a portable tank works
well for small jobs, so if I did it again I'd get one that is
stationary with a smaller footprint. I'm notimpressed with Craftsman
compressors that are oiless and noisy. Made in USA is better than
those made in Taiwan or China. You need to know what tools you will
On Tue, 8 Mar 2005 22:31:01 -0800, "NorthIdahoWWer"
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