Air compressor?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MTBLAZER89, May 12, 2003.


    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Aug 14, 2001
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    Oak Harbor, WA
    What are good specs for an air compressor? I am not very savvy in the air tools department. I was just wondering what you guys use for air tools ie. Impacts, sand blasters, etc. Don't want to get a cheap one that can't keep up.

  2. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

    Mar 6, 2000
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    What you need to look at is the required CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of the tools you want to use, and find a compressor that is rated to put out AT LEAST the highest figure you find for the tools you want. For example, say you find a 1/2" impact gun that's "to die for". It needs 5 CFM at 90 psi to operate correctly, according to the manufacturer. You'll need a compressor that is rated for at least 5 CFM at 90 psi to run that impact correctly.
    Larger tank size and higher tank pressure gets you more runtime from the tool before the motor kicks on. More rated CFM from the comp. means you've got a "fudge factor" if/when you get bigger or more powerful tools down the road.

    My personal opinion: Spend the money now for a good-sized compressor, and you won't be dissapointed. It's no fun to have to wait for the comp. to catch-up to you because your tool sucks more than the comp. can blow... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    I've got a Craftsman; 30gal. vertical tank, 150psi. See it HERE . Great investment; well worth the money I spent on it.
  3. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

    Mar 8, 2001
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    Clearfield Ut.
    It deppends on how you intend to use it, aswell as how often.

    Impact guns and ratchets, don't require as much air as body-shop tools do, such as grinders, D/A sanders.

    A good Single-Stage, Single-cly., 30 gal tank, "Dirrect-drive" air compressor, will be just about the smallest compressor I would recommend for someone who may only use it once or twice a month (on average) and with impack-style tools. Grinders, Sanders and the like, will empty the unit in short order and it may get irritating - haveing to wait for the compressor to fill up again and again.

    On the other hand,
    Someone who intends to use it for Body-Shop type of work (includeing grinding metal, cleaning welds, cutting steel ect..) Will need the larger air compressor. Single-Stage, Two-cyl, 60-gal tank, Preferaby "Belt-driven" air-compressor will do nicely (for weekend use). Keep in mind, a compressor of this size will cost quite a bit ($400-$700) and will allso require 220v source.

    Rule of thumb,
    Find a air-compressor that fits your needs, then get the next size larger.

    As a "first" air compressor,
    Check out Craftsman Two-Stage, Two-cyl, 30-gal, "direct-drive" air compressor. This unit seems to be pretty good for intermitant, weekend wrencher type of use. Allthough, I would suspect, it may wear-out sooner then a larger, profesional-grade air-compressor.

    My "first" compressor was a Craftsman "direct-drive", Single-Stage, Two-cyl, 60-gallon tank. This was the biggest-cheepest compressor I could find. It worked well, for awhile, but I pushed it hard and eventualy blew the guts out of it, literaly.

    My current compressor is a Cambell Hausfeld, Single-stage, 4-cyl, 60-gallon, Belt-driven, unit. I plumed it's tank into my old Craftsman tank, So now it has 120-gallons. This Sucker ROCKS ! It's all-most as good as a Two-Stage unit, but at half the cost.

    Final notes,
    - Cambell Hausefeld Compressors are excelent, and the price is very-ressonable. (I've personaly used and abused 3 of 'em, of several different sizes, and each one is still in use today !)
    - Ingersol Rand's 2112 3/8" impact gun is the primary tool I use and it is by-far the best 3/8s gun I've ever had my hands on.

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