Cheap Air Tools Setup?

Hello All, I would like to get into air tools as I have a project right now where an air brad nailer would be quite handy. I'm going to get the Harbor Freight brad nailer and one of their cheap compressors. I know that I'm not going to be getting extremely high quality but the whole setup will cost less than the price of a single "good" air nailer. My question is are any of the multitude of cheap compressors that HF sells any better than the rest? I was thining maybe this unit might be better than the rest as it uses oil:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberB321
Thanks Mike
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Mike -
The compressor and cheap brad nailer are two of HF's diamonds in the rough. I have the "pancake" version of the compressor, but I am sure it's got the same motor/compressor setup. The small brad nailer works great, too. I've use both of them pretty heavily and been satisfied with the purchase.
I do put drops of oil into the nailer on a regular basis, and drain the compressor tank. The only situation I've had with the compressor is that if it is very cold, it may stall instead of start running against a tank of air - first start up in the morning sort of thing. I bleed off the pressure from the tank and THEN start the compressor and it works fine from then on. Of course, it may be voltage drop from having it plugged in to 30' of 5 amp lamp cord.... kidding!!!
Jump on that like white on rice, my friend!
John Moorhead
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It is not just the cheap compressors that stall when cold, I have a Porter Cable pancake compressor that does the same thing. And as far as the air nailers go, I have the HF $14 brad nailer, been using it for years with no problem. As a friend of mine once put it, even if it only works for one job, you got you moneys worth.
John Cunningham

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Mike - I've had this one for about a year now, and it works great! I don't use it much - I have a couple of brad nailers, and I bought the PC FN250B, which it does a great job with. It's a little loud, but as I said, I don't use it much, so it's no big deal. I also bought all the connectors and hose at HF - and I saw the same stuff at Lowes for about twice the price!
If you're framing a house, or for really heavy use, obiviously, you'd want something bigger and better, but for light to medium use in a "hobby" setting, this one is fine. The only thing I'd do differently is that I'd have bought the one with the 10 gal tank http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber8795 (crap, it's $129!!! I KNEW I should have bought it) they have for around $150, mainly because I'll be painting some base and crown molding for the house, and I don't think this 5 gal one will drive a sprayer (if anyone knows different, let me know).
You might want to think about the Campbell Hausfield same price, little tank (3 gal) - http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber160 They're a "name brand", and are supposed to be good quality. It think they're made in Ohio.
But, I'd say go for the HF one, if your project doesn't require heavy use.
Nick B

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On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 20:38:39 -0500, Michael Dombrowski

====================================Have to ask you what you really mean...by your statement that you want to get into air tools... ?
That compressor is honestly all you need to run a brad nailer.....and I see no reason to tell you otherwise...EXCEPT it is way too small if you really intend to get into air tools...
I restore cars as another Hobby...and my compressor is a 80 gallon 8 Hp unit.. Much more then I need in the woodworking shop but for working on cars it is about the minimum I would want....
If you intend to "get into" air tools then buying such a small compressor is going to be a waste of money... Buying a larger compressor like mine would also be a waste unless you intended to do body work and paint cars...
Just sit down and think what you "may" use it for.....
Bob Griffiths
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... and then buy a little more.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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I happen to have one of those compressors!
It's proven to be a pretty darned decent unit. It is an oiler (a +). It's fairly quiet when it chuncks up to pressure. It's also a tad heavy. I paid about 69$ for it at a store sale. I got a helluva deal on the price, there's no getting around that. I do believe that the price in that web page ad is fair. The unit is worth it. (I'd buy it again at that price. But I don't need a third compressor.)
I have several HF air tools. Three happen to be nailers. NO COMPLAINTS. In fact, some of the HF purchases have outlived the Big Brand Name units I bought.
--
Enjoy life and *do* well by it
-- it might well be the only chance you get :-)
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