1) Just putting air into tyres at home doesn't take much of a compressor.
You are better off with an "oilless" compressor because otherwise you are
putting small amounts of oil into whatever you inflate.
2) Believe it or not, if you use compressed air to "clean" you can consume
a LOT of air. If you are cleaning electronics, you are better off using a
household vac to both suck and blow. Again, oilless is better simply
because you don't have any compressor oil getting into the air stream.
3) In theory, oilless compresses don't last as long as "oil in crankcase"
compressors. Maybe so.
If you're going to spend $100 to fill tires and blow off your
computer. . . . I'd spend $150 and go with this one-
[it's $160 now- but they go on sale for $130 or so every so often]
This will do what you want- plus run any nail gun you can throw at it.
[$15 brad/staple guns are pretty handy]; air chisels are fun; it will
do little sandblasting jobs; runs a HVLP paint sprayer alright;
doesn't have enough air for a die grinder.
Note the CFM ratings on whatever compressor you buy. Take into
consideration that the compressor folks exaggerate high- and the tool
folks give a low number.
HF makes air tools so cheap you can't afford not to try them out.
[many are junk- but for $10-15 you can get a taste & see if you'll
actually find them useful]
The CFM of the second one is far better than the first. 0.7 versus 2 @ 90
Personally, I'd not buy anything from Harbor Freight and spend the extra for
a Porter Cable pancake compressor, but that's me.
When I bought my first compressor last year, I wanted something portable
and not too loud. For this reason, I bought an oil lubed Campbell
Hausfeld compressor at Costco for $99. Oil lubed models are generally
quieter than diaphragm ones.
It recently stopped working when I went to fill up some new soccer balls
and I thought the thing was fried until my 7 year-old found a reset
switch when we had the thing on its back. So, from the point of view of
"what type would I buy NEXT" (which I thought I was going to have to do,
cause these things are just too darn useful), I'd opt for an even larger
one on wheels.
Why? Well, like you, I've only used it for tires, cleaning the computer
and...dusting the garage floor. The latter requires the thing to cycle
on about every 20 seconds or so (mine is a 4 gal, twin tank) for about
15 seconds. The motor is not as loud as a diaphragm model, but still a
bit hard on the ears.
If you're NEVER going to do anything beyond tires and computers, then a
tank of air is a tank of air, but my guess is you'll keep it for a
lifetime and it won't be long before you buy a tool or two for it (I
bought a crown stapler and am just waiting to put up some molding).
Just keep in mind that dusting, grinding, painting etc. require lots of
airflow and I'm sure most people would agree that a large tank and
oil-lubed compressor is the way to go. It will last you a lifetime.
If mine DOES die at some point, I'll look for an 8 gal., oil lubed model
Walter R. wrote:
I tend to overbuy for just the same reason. My last compressor was a 5 hp
Husky. Since I got it, I went and got air tools that I had wanted. Nothing
like changing tires with an air wrench. And if you want to do some big job,
it isn't killing a little compressor that you have to run continuously to
keep up and it doesn't.
My first compressor was a Sears "5Hp" unit. After a few years, I wanted more,
and finally settled on a used 5Hp 2-stage compressor from a compressor shop.
This unit is quieter (no tinny rattle) and supplies whatever I need. And will
last my lifetime probably. I passed the sears unit on to my father.
Running continuously isn't a bad thing. The compressor shop told me it needs a
long period of use occasionally to boil off water in the oil. But this is an
I just bought one a few weeks ago and what I discovered is that once you
decide to go with one that is large enough to have wheels instead of just a
handle you might as well go large. I ended up with a 26 gallon vertical
tank because it actually has a smaller footprint than smaller horizontal
units (how often is height an issue?).
A smaller unit might still have a weight adavantage should you need to
actually lift it into the back of a pickup, but as long as you are just
rolling it around the one I bought moves like a two-wheeled hand cart and is
no more difficult to move than a smaller unit would be. For the time being
it just sits in the corner of my garage, but I could bring it in the house
if I needed it closer for using a nailer or some similar project.
Having the large tank does provide a lot of advantages the most notable
being the infrequency of the unit having to start up the motor. Most times
when I use it the motor never comes on at all. While I haven't used it yet
for spraying or other tasks that require high volume it's nice to know the
capacity is there if I should need it. I realize that "bigger tank" is not
synonymous with "higher volume rate", but it does factor in. I also did get
the unit that had the highest CFM in the price range I was shopping for.
Or this One with stapler/nailer & staples included:
This is a diaphragm model. I have this one, but with the oil lubed
motor/compressor. Hmmm, actually, mine must be a bit larger as it's a 4
gal. I would not go smaller than 4 gal.
I'd stay away from combo nailer/staplers. Get a nailer for nailing and
a stapler for stapling.
that 89.00 looks modern ...id get that one.......... fyi.. my neighbor
bought hf oil bath compressor with 12 gallon tank and bought their
special compressor oil . that thing kept getting hot after a few minutes
and kicking off the thermal reset.. he took it back and replacement did
same thing. we drained "special" hf oil and filled with synthetic engine
oil. it has worked fine since.seems special compressor oil isnt good
I got a relative cheap (less than $100) oil lubed compressor from Harbor
Freight. I think it was rated at 5.6 CFM.
I got it mainly because a oilless compressor I had could not supply the air
needed by a pnaumatic floor scraper I picked up from HF. The oilless would
not "work" the scraper even in short bursts. The "gallon sized" air tank
just wasn't big enough.
The HF compressor did the job. It wasn't up to coninuous operation but it
provided wll over a 20% duty cycle.
I haven't subjected it to long term use as I not quite up to scraping all
the carpet from the basement yet. I did have some problems with getting
enough electric powr to it. I had to plug it into an outlet right next to
the main service panel. Otherwise it would stall and the thermal overload
would trip. It has a "dump valve" that takes the load off the motor when
it starts but untill it can get up to speed within 1/2 second, the full load
will stall the motor and cause a thermal trip.
Larger loads like that compressor really are suitable for 120 volt outlets.
They really need 240 volt motors and outlets but most folks just don't have
or want 240 volt outlets.
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