If you were buying motorcycles, horses, performance cars, etc I'd have some
advice for a beginner but I don't think there is such a thing as a entry
level compressor. Big or little they aren't particularly dangerous or have
any differences in care in feeding.
There are three ways to look at it.
Get the best and damn the cost. Make it a cast iron, two stage, oil
lubricated, 20 Gal. tank, compressor putting out over 10 CFM at 90 PSI.
Look up the requirements (CFM & PSI) of the various tools that you expect
you will be using and buy a compressor that meets those specs. If cost is a
factor you may have to reduce your ambitions.
Go to Lowe's. HD, Sears or whatever and get the basic pancake mailer package
and plan on upgrading the compressor somewhere down the line.
Click to see the full signature.