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  • Air compressors - good\bad ?

    I am thinking about getting a better air compressor.
    The one I have is a 6-gallon? It can run staple guns and nails guns, but I am looking at air tools and probably doing some painting using air.

    I know you need a lot of CFM to do painting, but I don't need continuous air like a body shop.
    My little one might be good for air-brush, lol, and it takes a while for it to recover.

    I know Home Depot, Menards, Harbor Freight have their 'brands'...are these any good?

    What is the difference with oil and non-oil?

    Price-wise, I like the HF McGraw 20 gallon / 135psi / $190

    mcgraw_compressor.PNG


  • #2
    This one is pricey, but it has a dual pump and is super quiet. 70db!
    cfm is about the same as the HF.
    4yr warranty - 8 gallon tank

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...5283_200695283


    northerntool_compressor.PNG

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    • #3
      I would go oil free for light duty "home owner" type stuff just cause its cleaner. Don't forget to put a little oil in your tools from time to time. We use oiled compressors at the farm, but we use a ton of air, rebuild the compressors. But for around my garage I would get an oil free.

      I have a 20 gallon oil compressor in my garage now, it leaks a bit. I paid $10 at a farm auction...it has lasted amazingly long, lol. I really haven't expected it to last as long, actually kept it as a spare in the shed to fill tractor tires.

      I prefer a bit more storage...I don't have an opinion on those brands as no experience. It is also easy to add a 2nd tank, and you can often find people just getting ride of a compressor that doesn't work and plumb the tank in.
      Farm to Table Beef, Made Simple. Pasture Raised Beef, from our farm shipped to your door: www.scholzefamilybeef.com

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      • #4
        I didn't know you could tie tanks together. That's cool.
        I've been reading up...seems like an oil compressor might be overkill. Thanks for your more experienced input!

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        • #5
          Yeah, literally just connect them, lol. Doesnt need to be anything fancy.

          The down side to more capacity is if empty it takes longer to get up to usable PSI if everything is empty, nice to have a valve to shut off a 2nd tank in that case if you just need a quick shot of air.
          Farm to Table Beef, Made Simple. Pasture Raised Beef, from our farm shipped to your door: www.scholzefamilybeef.com

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          • #6
            I think my compressor needs to be rebuilt. Or I should buy a new compressor. So this thread is what I am looking for!
            2004 BMW R1100SA(street/Deer Spear)
            2008 Suzuki SV650 (track\race CCS AM#259)

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            • #7
              I have found the oil less compressors are noisy and do not run my air tools very good. I am using a 2 h/5 gallon oil free single stage compressor. That is on the small side for air tools though. I am looking at a 5h/30 gallon 2 piston oil compressor when I win the lottery.

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              • #8
                You need to find out what air tools you are going to use, check their CFM ratings, then figure out how big of an air compressor you will need. CFM measurements on compressors is usually pretty generous from what they actually put out. Also, HP ratings are a joke. Look at the amps of the motor. You need a 20 amp motor (continuous) minimum to be a 5hp compressor. Many go by the starting amps for the motor and rate them based on that.

                My big compressor says it is a 5hp. Starting amps are 20, but continuous is 15. So really more like a 3.5-4 hp rating.

                Tying tanks together is great for more air, but it also takes up A LOT more room. Also, once the tank is empty it is going to take a long time to refill if you are using a small compressor.
                Like me on Facebook at Yellow Duck Racing
                LB Photography, Apex Custom Coating, Track Graphix, Spears Racing

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                • #9
                  Oh, if you are going to paint, you will NEED to run an air dryer. This can be as simple as a transmission cooler hooked up the air outlet of the pump then go through an auto water drain prior to it going into the tank. Then you need to put dryers on the guns too.

                  Continuous use air tools are generally better left to electric for us home users. Sanders, grinders, cut off wheels, etc... suck so much air it is incredible.
                  Like me on Facebook at Yellow Duck Racing
                  LB Photography, Apex Custom Coating, Track Graphix, Spears Racing

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                  • #10
                    California Air has highly rated - SUPER quiet. Check out the videos comparing the running sound.

                    CAT-8010A $180-190 , also in an aluminum tank (wont rust)
                    Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor \ 60db \ 8.5amp
                    3.00 CFM at 40 PSI - 2.20 CFM at 90 PSI
                    life cycle before wear of 3000 plus hours compared to other comparable air compressors with life cycles of 500 hours or less.

                    10020C $350, Powerful 2.0 Hp with Low amp draw - 7.0 Amps
                    6.40 CFM at 40 PSI & 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI. \ 70db
                    life cycle before wear of 3000 plus hours compared to other comparable air compressors with life cycles of 500 hours or less.

                    Tammy - I know nothing about rebuilding. I know tanks can get rusty if they aren't emptied...?


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                    • #11
                      I forgot to add. 20 amps @ 240v is 5hp. If you are using 110v the calculation is different.
                      Like me on Facebook at Yellow Duck Racing
                      LB Photography, Apex Custom Coating, Track Graphix, Spears Racing

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                      • #12
                        and you can order the California Air Tools from Home Depot and pickup at store (to check for damage b4 taking home)

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                        • #13
                          What air tools are you looking at using?
                          Like me on Facebook at Yellow Duck Racing
                          LB Photography, Apex Custom Coating, Track Graphix, Spears Racing

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spoot View Post
                            Tammy - I know nothing about rebuilding. I know tanks can get rusty if they aren't emptied...?
                            Yeah I thought of that after my post. Mine looks rough so it would be safer to simply get a new compressor that isn't 40 years old.
                            2004 BMW R1100SA(street/Deer Spear)
                            2008 Suzuki SV650 (track\race CCS AM#259)

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                            • #15
                              If you have 220v in your garage get a 220v rated compressor, less amperage and better startup.

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