Compressor question : Beginner

Hello, There are so many choices for compressors. I understand that getting oil-lubed is the way to go. It seems that PC, and Dewalt get alot of attention. The Husky brand is campbell hausfield. blah blah.... I have a senco finish nailer, and a PC framing nailer Here is my project list...Finish basement (frame/trim),12x16 barn,finish work upstairs
Beginner question : I have read the reviews of PC pancake compressors, and from what I have read, they are not great. What would you buy that would not break the bank ?
Thanks again (and again) for your patience. -Jack
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If you need a compressor to power nail guns, pick one. Pancakes were basically designed for nail gun use. Of course if you think you will use a tool that will require more air "volume" get a larger compressor. For your ears sake, typically oil lubed will be quieter and will last longer.
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Nail guns work fine with the smaller compressors. If that's all you'd think that you might use a compressor for, then almost anyone might do. However, if later on, you think you might buy a ratchet air tool, nut driver, air driven sander or something that requires a continuous flow of air, the bigger ones are needed for that type of equipment.
I've got a 3 gallon hot dog compressor. All I've used it for is a nail gun, blasts of air to push around sawdust and filling tires. I've had it for five years and it does everything I've asked of it.
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I just picked up a Makita MAC700. It's oil-lubed, small and portable, like many others in it's price range, but what sold me is how quiet it is. You can have it in the same room you're working in and carry on a normal conversation. No earplugs or yelling required.
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If this is your only compressor, I suggest you look at something that will support more than nailing. The pancakes and other portables support nailers but not much else. If you get compressed air in your shop you, will find a lot of other uses (air tools, sanding, painting, blowing debris out of tools and garage, tires, cleaning lawnmower base, etc.)
My machine is a Campbell Hausfield 30 gallon, 5HP, oiled upright on wheels. It resembles the 60-80 gallon uprights but the whole thing only sits about 4' high and uses a little less floorspace than some of the smaller horizontal tank compressors. I have had it about three years and it replaced another 20+ year old CH machine.
By the way, if your garage happens to adjoin your basement, especially the equipment room, it is pretty easy and cheap to plumb air into the basement. I ran a 3' piece of gas pipe through the 2x10 base plate, from garage into the basement. I put a male quick-connector on the garage end and an elbow and female quick connect in the basement. When I was working on the basement finish I just kept the compressor, in the garage, hooked to one end and had a basement air source on the other. Whole thing probably cost about $10-15.
Even after the basement finish it is pretty neat having compressed air to blow debris out of the bottom of the furnace, etc.
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ranted:

I'm a real tighta^H^H^H^H^H^Hfrugal person. I settled on the 4hp (right) 20-gal. Harbor Freight vertical when it was on sale for $159.95 and am happy with it. ($169.99 right now.) www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberG065 It's not as quiet as a US made compressor, but it's an oil sump box at half to a third the price, too. That beats the 3/4hp Rand pump I had been using with a couple 5-gal. tanks.
--
"Given the low level of competence among politicians,
every American should become a Libertarian."
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calmly

i have the same one. wait until you try to get parts for it. no one locally will stock them. they have to come from italy, will take 12 weeks, and they will send you the wrong part 3 times before stating they don't know what to send to you and try elsewhere. damhikt.

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jack wrote:

direct drive. They are much quieter.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Actually I have a direct drive oil lubed compressor and it is pretty quiet. I can hardly tell the difference between it and my belt driven unit that is pretty quiet also. I think it is the oil lube that makes the biggest difference in noise.
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than the oil-less. But the type of sound that comes from the oil-less makes my hair hurt. I'll take an oiled pumper any day. They seem to last longer too.
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Yeah, the oiled ones tend to be quieter. I can have a conversation standing next to both my direct and belt driven oil lubed compressors.
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