I'm looking into purchasing an air compressor but I'm not that familiar
with them. I want one that will be powerful enough to let me use some
air wrenches to take lug nuts off/on, painting, etc.
Anything in particular I should stay away from?
What PSI, gallon, HP, etc.?
Look at some the types of tools you plan on using to see their
Things like air wrenches are fairly air-consumption hungry...10-12 cfm @
100 psi kinda' numbers. More is better is a good rule of thumb--you can
always use a regulator for lower pressure but you can't get more volume
than what the compressor can put out.
Others here might not agree, but I would stay away from the direct drive
compressers. Get the one that has a belt from the motor to the
compresser. A 2HP should work fine for home use, those small pancake
compressers won't do the job and they are not belt driven, normally.
Don't buy a stand-up compresser if you plan on moving it, get one one
wheels that you can manage. A larger tank means more air between
compresser recharges not necessarily more PSI. Most every air tool I
use runs around 90-100 PSI and that includes all my air nailers. Most
other tools actually require lower PSI which can be controlled with the
regulator on the compressor. For home use, I've learned that a 200 foot
air hose is great to have and also get the quick disconnects for the
hose and your tools.
Steve K wrote:
Most any compressor today will put out enough pressure. Some are rated at
135 psi, but in reality, most tools are run at 90 to 100 psi. Some
compressors have a built in regulator to adjust as needed.
For filling tires, running nail guns, the smallest will do. For air tools,
you need to be able to keep up to something that uses between 5 and 10 cfm.
Look at the tools you want to use and size accordingly. Keep in mind that
even a small compressor will have reserve so an impact wrench that needs 10
cfm does not need a compressor that large for a 15 second run of a bolt.
But, a sander that runs for 10 or 20 minutes non-stop will need it.
Bigger is most always better. The larger the tank, the more reserve you
have, but the larger the tank, the longer it takes to get to pressure when
all you want to do is top of the kid's basketball.
The main thing you need to look for is CFM. The pressure can be
regulated, but you can't get more than the maximum flow of air than the
compressor is designed!
Air wrenches have a vastly different CFM requirement than a paint gun.
Take a look at the tools that you're going to use first, determine
their requirements, and size the compressor for that. Then you can
look at the different kinds of compressors.
You might get into a 220V compressor, which you'll then have to
determine your eletrical situation.
Depends also on what you'll be using it for. My compressor has
plenty of CFM, but can't get over 100PSI. It's great for most
continuous-flow air tools (wrenches, sanders, etc.), but my air
nailer won't quite bury a full 16d nail in hard old lumber with less
than 115 PSI.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
get at least a 60 gallon tank, a 2 stage compressor(180lbs) is
best but a single stage oil bath belt driven compressor (125lbs) with
10cfm at 100lbs is the lowest to go.
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