Compressor Purchase Info Question


Planning to buy air compressor for 20x11 ft shop. Will be used to clean tools and shop, drive some brads, and nails up to 1.75 inches. No spray painting, or heavy duty use. Would like one that requires oil as I understand they are quieter and last longer. Interested in brand names, hp, tank size etc.
Thanks in advance for replies,
Dan J
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For light use, blow gun, running a brad nailer, airing up a bicycle tire, I would get a pancake compressor. DeWalt makes a nice one, I forget the model though. Get one with a 1725 RPM motor, oil lube, it will be fairly quiet. If, and when the need arises for more horse power then buy a 60 gallon unit, then you will have the best of both worlds. A large capacity compressor for the shop, and a portable unit for use anywhere! My first compressor was a twenty gallon unit that ran on 240 volt. Too big to haul around, also limited by 240 volt, and to small for any real work. It has been replaced with two compressors, an small portable and a 60 gallon unit. Greg
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Really depends on your projected usage and the tools you currently own, if you already own a lot of electric tools, then you aren't going to have want for air driven tools. Air tools tend to be cheaper, longer lasting, cheaper to repair, lighter....maybe quieter.
Greg's reply was:

Excellent advice IMHO
My main use of air is for my RO sander, WAY faster than jitterbug, however since my 15 yr old 2HP 20 gal Speedaire never came close to the CFM req's for the sander, and it's dying, I'm looking at either a new compressor, or alternate sanding method. A General dual drum sander is next on my buying list, I'm tired of sanding and any compressor that will power my sander costs almost as much. I will probably just keep repairing my current compressor to handle all my other tasks (nailer, pinner, stapler, household and shop usage, and using a cheap paint gun and a couple hundred feet of line it occasionally gets used as a garden sprayer :)
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Really depends on your projected usage and the tools you currently own, if you already own a lot of electric tools, then you aren't going to have want for air driven tools. Air tools tend to be cheaper, longer lasting, cheaper to repair, lighter....maybe quieter.
Greg's reply was:

Excellent advice IMHO
My main use of air is for my RO sander, WAY faster than jitterbug, however since my 15 yr old 2HP 20 gal Speedaire never came close to the CFM req's for the sander, and it's dying, I'm looking at either a new compressor, or alternate sanding method. A General dual drum sander is next on my buying list, I'm tired of sanding and any compressor that will power my sander costs almost as much. I will probably just keep repairing my current compressor to handle all my other tasks (nailer, pinner, stapler, household and shop usage, and using a cheap paint gun and a couple hundred feet of line it occasionally gets used as a garden sprayer :) Steve Jensen Abbotsford B.C. snipped-for-privacy@canada.mortise.com chopping out the mortise. Surfing along at 19200 bps since 95. BBS'ing since 1982 at 300 bps. WW'ing since 1985
Nothing catchy to say, well maybe..... WAKE UP - There are no GODs you fools!
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Oddly cleaning tools and the shop will be a big demand on the compressor compared to driving brads. Fortunately cleaning up probably will not take long. As far as a compressor for driving nails, I don't know of any that will not. Nail guns of any size are low volume users. You can run a framing nail gun with a small compressor also. You would probably be happy with something around a 20 gal tank. That size will work better when cleaning up over the smaller models. It will have more reserve capacity before having to recharge.
Brands? Many are built by a few manufacturers. I would suggest oil lubed as you stated and a cast iron pump. Take a magnet with you when shopping. It is sometimes difficult to determine what metal is used under the paint. The magnet will let you know if it is aluminum or iron under the paint.
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I'm shopping for a replacement compressor, too. I'm looking at the $400 range. There's several models in this range that are very similar - cast iron compressor, 27-30 gallon tank, oil lubed. I went to look at a slightly used one and it blew me away how quiet it was, so that's probably the range I'll get. I never thought about taking a magnet along, but that's a great idea. Lowe's has a new model that sure it tempting. I'm not sure about their private label "task force" though. I think its a chinese knockoff instead of the rebranded campbell-hausefield you see everywhere.
Bob
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Mine is a SpeedAir and I believe that it is probably built by CH. It is all cast iron except for the head. I recall how quiet it was at the dealer and that sold me. You can have a conversation next it with no problem even when it is running. ;~) I bought mine at Crow equipment about 10 years ago and they tweaked it a bit by extending the train valve via a pipe and ball valve to the outer bottom edge of the tank to make draining something I do with my toe.
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Campbel Hausfeld builds for Lowes and for Home Depot.
--

-Mike-
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Up until recently, the lowes compressors were clearly campbell-hausfield. But the lowes near me recently go rid of all of these and brought in a whole new line of all black task force compressors that don't have CH anywhere on the box or component labels. They don't look like any of the models I see on the CHPOWER website. That's why I suspect they've sourced from somewhere else.
Bob
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I guess I'm not surprised to hear that. It's a bit disappointing, but that's the way things are going.
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Yeah, well...note that almost all compressors are made by CH or DeVilbiss:
http://www.aircompressorsettlement.com/faq.php3

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What I'm wondering is about the models that are clearly not made in the USA. For the longest time CH cast iron compressors seem to have been USA made. Home depot still advertises "American made" on some of their compressors. The Task Force cast iron compressors at Lowes are clearly not made in the USA. They may be imported by CH, but they are not made in the CH US factories. Sometimes the transition to Chinese manufacturer is fine, other times it spells a huge drop in quality even though it may be handled by the same US company - that's why I'm cautious, since there's been virtually no discussion, reviews or comments about these offshore compressors.
Bob
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Yes, I used to think that I could "sense" what factory *really* made a particular router bit.
Then someone who actually knows about this stuff told me the other way around -- he indicated that the carbide, the shank, the colored paint, and the grinding come from different places depending on what month it is -- on something as seemingly monolithic as a router bit. So how many components are in a compressor?

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a bunch. Some people would be horrified to know that in the past (and maybe now) the forks on some Harley Davidson motorcyles were made overseas. I don't know where I pick up this trivia. I don't even own a Harley.
Bob
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On 9/14/2005 1:28 AM BillyBob mumbled something about the following:

owners know this.
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Odinn
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cost wise a smaller tank unit with a extra tank is a cheap way to go. gives you portability and a bigger tank at the same time. hell my little guy would fill it's tank and the 30 gallon crapsman tank faster then the crapsman could do the job. Knight-Toolworks http://www.knight-toolworks.com affordable handmade wooden planes
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What is your "little guy" compressor? I sure am tempted by the smaller cast iron compressors like the Hitachi EC119 (see http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId1866-67702-EC119&lpage=none).
Bob
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