Air Compressor

I am lookin for a half decent one with aprox 150 to spend. Any suggestions folks?
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The starting point for this one is your intended use for it, and there are three main factors - volume of air production in a given time, measured in litres/minute, weight/portability and frequency of use.
These determine the size of the motor/compressor and the store (receiver).
If you only want to use tools such as nailers and impact wrenches and the occasional use of a blow gun then almost anything is adequate because they use small amounts of air. Something like one of the 25 litre models or even one of the pancake types would be adequate for this. They are also quite light and portable - can be moved around and so on.
However, if you want to use more air-hungry tools such as sanders and certainly to do spray painting, sand blasting and so on, you need something larger. It's possible to do small paint jobs with a 25 litre model, as long as the spray runs are such that you can stop and wait for the compressor to refill the receiver. The air production rate from the compressor doesn't really keep up with the rate of use. So really, if spraying and sanding are major uses that you have in mind, you need to be thinking about a 100 to 150 litre model.
Most suppliers tend to group anything up to 50 litres as portable and anything above as for workshop use.
I currently have a 150 litre belt driven model. It came with wheels on one end and a handle on the other and could be wheeled around the workshop or even outside. However, at a weight of 80kg, this is not something that one is going to take upstairs or put in the back of the car. I have mine fitted in the roof space of my workshop and hooked up to a plumbed airline system with outlets around the walls and on the ceiling.
Frequency of use is important as well. There are three to four classifications of compressor - Hobby, Trade, Professional and Industrial. Really the hobby ones are what they say they are - light and very occasional use.
The majority of compressors sold in the hobby/home/light to medium workshop ranges originate from Italy from one or two manufacturers (Fiac is the main one) who produce them on a private label basis for suppliers such as SIP, Clarke and a number of others. If you look at the various web sites, you will see that these are essentially the same products between the different labels.
However, there are differences in terms of the components actually used, and that is a factor of the classification. For example, in the SIP range there is Trade, Professional and Industrial. If you compare them in a given size, there are differences to the compressor itself - e.g. materials of pistons, sleeves, valves and type.
Have a look at http://www.worldofpower.co.uk/acatalog/air_compressor.html where there is an online catalogue and detailed specs. This is not necessarily the least expensive source but with model identified you can look for price.
However, you will notice that you would pay more than your budget for a compressor able to do the heavier duty jobs. You can certainly get a good 25 litre one in your budget and for slightly over and a bit more oomph, the SIP 1570 would be a reasonable choice.
There may also be secondhand ones around, although I would be careful about the source. If it's a workshop getting rid of one, then it's quite possible that the compressor component is knackered. They may be repairable, but if a replacement compressor is needed, probably not economical.
If you wanted to look at secondhand ones, Thorite periodically have reconditioned models.
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Slightly sideways.... I have always been interested that home insurers do not show the same interest in *pressure vessels* as commercial ones. My insurers require an annual inspection despite the fact that my workshop compressor probably gets less use than many domestic hobby jobs.
regards
--
Tim Lamb

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Yes that is curious. It is probably a use in the workplace issue since there is an HSE requirement as well.
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writes

Like tractors perhaps? If you employ someone you need a roll bar or cab, if just for your own use you don't.
Julian.
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Without doubt this one here represents very good value. it's 2.5hp (1hp more than normal) and is 99.99 Look for the Sioux ll . Note also that it's oil lubricated, the dry ones don't last as long and get too hot.
http://www.wolf-online.co.uk/acatalog/Special_Offers.html
Julian
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Julian, a question.
I like the Sioux II. I know it comes with a few attachments but are all compressor attachments universal or do I have to buy Wolf's own attachments for this compressor??
thanks again millan
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Millan wrote:

Compressors usually come with one of a number of "standard" connections. Converters between these various standards are readily available. So in the end what counts is what sort of connector you decide you want on the end of your air hose. PCL connectors are a popular choice, and these make for easy coupling and decoupling of tools, while keeping the air trapped in the hose when there is no tool fitted.
--
Cheers,

John.

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The connections are a standard type, but not PCL. I changed over to PCL years ago so just swapped them out (two minute job). Machine Mart have all the PCL stuff for a quid or two. The attachments are pretty cheap, the paint sprayer won't be up to much, and you'll want some decent rubber hose.
It's a cracking compressor. I've got three and join them together with some 'Y' pieces for when I'm doing stuff that requires a lot of air. (industrial needle de-scaler or grit blaster)
Julian.
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As Andy has already said, what do you want to do with it? Once you have decided that, find out what the typical working psi/bar and CFM is for the tools you will be using, once you know the maximum psi/bar & CFM required (CFM is basically how quickly the tool uses air or how quickly the compressor can replenish the tank) you can then chose a suitable compressor/tank combination.
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Sorry for the lack of detail. I need it for semi professional use. Sanding, nailing, spraying, car work, etc. I want one that requires the least maintanence and will last a while. Many thanks
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Then you need to budget around 350-450. e.g SIP 6634, 6636
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What about lubrication for power tools and water/oil removal for spraying?
regards

--
Tim Lamb

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Also, if the air supply is used for supply breathing apparatus (such as spray masks) he will need a (tested and certificated) air dryer too.
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There are different ways to achieve that.
With a portable system, the easiest way is to add a filter/dryer to the output of the compressor. This will give air suitable for spraying. For power tools, generally it's possible to introduce a few drops of oil into the air inlet of the tool.
For my fixed workshop system I put in FRL units (filter/regulator/lubricator) at various locations.
http://store.norgren.com/INT/en/cat3/skuBL72-201G.html
These are actually modular units and a porting block can be fitted between the sections allowing additional outlets. I have three outlets at each FRL:
- Input. This gives 10bar (controlled by the compressor limit switch). Unregulated and unfiltered.
- After Filter and Regulator. This is clean and dry air suitable for spraying.
- After Filter, Regulator and Lubricator. Cleaned, dried, regulated and lubricated for power tools.
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Excellent stuff but I suspect we are a bit over the 150ukp budget.
There is a big financial difference between a proper system and something that will inflate tyres and blow the crap out of my combine harvester:-)
regards

--
Tim Lamb

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I think we are to do significant paint spraying anyway.

You could do the blowing the crap bit, but inflating combine harvester tyres could be challenging for a small model I would imagine. I thought that farmers mainly used external contractors for harvesting?
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<snip>
Hmm, tyre inflation needs air pressure but not volume, something even a small compressor will cope with (given time - that's why those tank-less tyre inflators that the accessory shops work), blowing out crap from large areas needs large volumes of air but little pressure, that means either a large storage tank a or *very* large compressor displacement! :~)
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On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 09:53:14 +0100, ":Jerry:"

Big tyres need volume as well, even standard 4x4 tyres can take several minutes to pump up with the "good" shop bought inflators. Robert
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Yup. The only decent 4x4 inflator is one made by "Ring" and badged as "4x4". I burnt out several of the cheap ones before I realised it was a waste of time buying them.
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