Compressors: Which is better oil or oil free?

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Looking to buy a compressor with a brad nailer. Which is better oil or oil free?
Any experiences good or bad appreciated.
Thx
Dean Hummel
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 21:45:38 -0400, Dean Hummel

The oil-less are fine - so long as you're already deaf.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
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Oil is better than oil free. For your application with JUST a nailer, a direct drive oil type will be quieter than an oil free direct drive. Better yet but with a loss of portability compared to direct drive units, oil type and belt driven.
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Oil Free Cheaper Lighter, Noisier Good for light duty. OTOH, there are some in commercial service for medical applications where oil is a contaminant that cannot be tolerated..
Oil Lasts longer Usually heavier and less portable Quieter
If you are going to use a nailer, inflate an occasional basketball, oiless is suitable and can last a long time. If you plan to advance to larger air tools, spray painting trucks, get a larger oil type. Both have a place. I've had an oiless for four years and it suits me just fine. YMMV.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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If you are looking primarily to power brad nailers and finish nailers, there is a Senco combo comp+brad nailer that is quite small and reasonable. As I recall, most of these packages are oil-free. Will the compressor be somewhat stationary or do you need more portability?
However, I run framing nailers and fencing nailers which require more air, so I have the Hitachi EC12 oiled compressor, 2HP motor and quicker recovery time. Bounce-firing a framer or coil nailer will use up the tank contents more quickly. It weighs about 60# and must be kept level for the lubrication to work properly.
On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 21:45:38 -0400, Dean Hummel

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"Dean Hummel".

As other have said, an oil type is better, quieter and will last longer. The oil-less is cheaper, lighter and noisier.
My suggestion would be to get a good one, you'll be happier longer.
Dave
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Dean:
I have been contracting for about 30 years now. I like oiless because we use them for roofing every day. No worries about oil leaks, breaking the site glass, snapping off the fill/dip stick, and not problems with the oil leaking out of the head when the compressor is on its side or oil thickening up when on a frosty jobsite.
I have had plenty of both. In my shop, I run an oiless. It goes nowhere, never is at any kind of damage risk, and has only seen one or two jobsites. It lives in a quiet corner under a noise barrier/dust shroud. It isn't THAT much quieter than my three oiless comps. But it was on sale and had the specs I wanted to run a couple of large finish nailers at a time.
My oiless comps kick ass though, as they are almost indestructible. Here in South Texas it easily hits 100 degrees plus in the summer, and hoisted onto a papered roof, the surface temps hit 145 or so on the surface where we put them to run two to three roofing guns. Never had one of my CH Extreme oiless comps fail.
Think about this when you want to decide about reliability: One 28 square roof has about 10,000 nails in it. This is only a box and a half... some more some less. So when we do three roofs a week after hail season, this is about 30,000 nails. A week...
Go to a month... 120,000 nails. We don't use them that hard all the time, so I'll say 7 months a year. 840,000 a year. (You should see my fastener bills!) These compressor still shoot more though. When we go inside, they also power our finish guns and we have done a lot of room addition type framing with Bostich and Hitachi framing nailers. We have no other compressors in the field BUT oiless.
Oh yeah, remember my newest CH comp is about three years old. We did have to buy a new regulator for that one though, since one of my knotheads screwed down the knob as tight as he could get it to get more pressure.
Good luck on this. If I were you I would go with the best deal and house the compressor (oiless or oil) some way if it is for your shop to cut down on the noise and the dust it will eventually suck in to the intake.
Robert
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Thanks Robert, very good real-life input.
RJ

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The oil compressors are the better of the two. With proper maintenance they last longer and usually less noisy, but cost a little more. Get a well-known brand.
On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 21:45:38 -0400, Dean Hummel

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Dean Hummel wrote:

I like the oiled compressors best. I have 5 compressors that I run now and all of them are oiled. I have run about 10 or so oiless and I was not pleased with their durability. In my shop at home, I have a 35 year old Sears Craftsman 20 gallon compressor which has had regular duty for all of its 35 years. I have had to change the oil about every 6 months and I did a rebuild on it about 15 years ago. During that time I have gone through numerous oiless compressors.
The oiled compressors MUST be kept on flat level surfaces and you have to change the oil, but they just keep going and when they get weak, the rebuild is only about 40 bucks. A rebuild on an oiless can be as much as $150 depending upon the brand, and they need it more often.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Lots of good answers. Oil is better, as stated, for durability and noise, BUT if you are going to paint, it's better to be oilless. Even so, you'll need a drier of some sort to really do a good job. If you don't plan high quality painting, the $400, 5HP rigs in the home stores are a great buy. The vertical tank takes minimal space. Wilson

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On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 13:21:43 GMT, Wilson Lamb wrote:

Are filters available that do a good job of keeping compressor oil out of spray guns?
Is this more an issue with a well-used compressor?
--
Art Greenberg
artg AT eclipse DOT net
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Yes.
Yes
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Just curious here - what oilfree compressors have enough cfm to run a spray gun?
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Lots of them. http://www.silentaire.com/silentaire/oilless.asp
http://air.ingersoll-rand.com/CMP/sap/oillessbasepltlevel3.htm
Not enough power for you? How about a Grimmer Schmidt. 10 HP 35 cfm or a 50 HP 222 cfm? That would set you back over $40k.
Fini has a line that includes medical air. www.finicompressors.com
There are many more that the little PC pancake models.
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wrote:
snip

Yeah, but Home Depot doesn't carry this one!!! :-)
Layne
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All the best ones - but they'll be screw compressors, not piston or pancake. Screw compressors are quiet, efficient and very expensive !
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wrote:

yes and the screw compressors have OIL in them:-)
EXPENSIVE oil too....
William....
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William wrote:

Even the oilless ones?

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--John
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wrote:

Depends on if it was designed to be that way, I guess?
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