I'm getting ready to pick up a portable air compressor - mostly for shop
use, but also fo the occasional site work. Mostly used for a coupla pin/nail
guns, a jitterbug sander and (hopefully) for spraying finish. Any
recomendations for a decent unit?
If you use the words "jitterbug sander" you just raised the air
requirement to 9 cfm at 90 psi. That compressor just became a lot less
portable, bordering on trailer-mounted.
The portable compressors that I use are 4 cfm at 90 psi, 4 gallon tank
and weigh about 60 pounds. Hitachi and Rol-Air brands.
Portable and jitterbug sander don't go together all that well. Same for
spraying finish. I've got a 15 gallon 1.7HP and it can't run either of
those for more than a few minutes with out cooking the motor.
have to agree with everyone here. I had a portable compressor in my shop
which worked well but that was not designed to run air tools. Air Tools will
kill a little compressor. So I leave the small compressor for portable work
and got a larger one that just sits in the shop.
You need to be a bit more specific here. Not all Air Tools will kill a
small compressor. Typically Automotive air tools will work a small
compressor too hard but nail guns which are air tools work very well with
Correctemundo. It all comes down to CFM requirements and to make an
educated choice one should first learn the requirements of the tools one
expects to use and then buy a compressor greater than those requirements.
Since these are guys toys we are talking about, a lot more would be a good
HI JD, I'm not familiar with the jitterbug sander or the spraying
finish but as for the nail gun usage...I just put a Porter Cable, 135
psi, 2hp, 6 gallon pancake style compressor thru it's paces two weeks
ago on a little building project. We put together a 15x15 cabin in the
wonderful mountains of PA. I was using a framing nailer and roofing
nailer for three days and the compressor never missed a beat. I can't
testify for long term usage under these conditions, but it didn't have
any problem keeping up with constant nailing going on all day.
Just my limited experience... Good luck.
As stated by the other 2 posters, the air sander is not to be considered for
use with a portable. Add to that air drills, impact wrenches, air ratchets
and most spray guns. The portables are good for most any nail gun except
palm nailers, airing up tires, and blowing dust from small surfaces.
I was able to use the popular porter cable pancake compressor to run an
impact wrench. It had to refill after about every 3 lug nuts. So it
was usable, but obviously not ideal.
Another thing that a lot of people told me I couldn't do was use a full
sized framing nailer with the little PC. It did just fine, refilling
after every 10 foot wall section. Underpowered, but definitly usable.
Now I have an 80 gallon, 7.5hp PC also. :-) ... best of both worlds.
More information would help.
Will you have electricity available or does it have to be gas powered?
Most any unit will take the nail guns, but the sander is going to require a
much larger unit. Check the requirement of the tool you have in mind.
By portable, do you mean carry it into the room where you will be working,
or do you mean run it from the back of the pickup?
If you want to use a spray gun larger than an airbrush or critter, the
compressor will not be what I would call portable, though there are
some wheeled units that can be lifted into the back of a pickup truck
by 2 (or more) people or rolled up a ramp.
I have a pretty old compressor I bought used, but if I was going to
buy a new one I'd check out some of the Harbor Freight units. Their
brad nailers are hard to beat on price and work well also.
If the thought of a HF compressor is too worrisome, any of the small
paancakes or hotdog compressors from PC, Dewalt/Emglo, etc. will run a
brad nailer. Sometimes Sears has a decent unit on sale. Look for oil
lube. Generally is much quiter than oiless and longevity is better. If
noise is important to you, see if you can run it before buying.
Sounds like I'mlooking at the wrong solution. The main use wil be for
sanding and spraying finish, so it sounds like the portable compressors are
just going to be too small.... I kinda suspected that might be the case, but
Guess its time to look at the bigger units...
thanks to everyone that replied..
> Sounds like I'mlooking at the wrong solution. The main use wil be for
> sanding and spraying finish, so it sounds like the portable
> just going to be too small....
Been to the movie.
Buy a 5HP, 2 stage compressor mounted on top of an 80 gal vertical
You will have enough air to drive a jitterbug and also do a decent
Anything smaller is marginal.
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