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I am in the market for a air compressor hose. Should I go coiled or non-coiled, 50' vs 100', 1/4" vs 3/8", PVC vs rubber, import vs Goodyear for home use? Please feel free to impart any other advice pertaining to the topic.
I usually have several different types of hose (a couple of different compressors, too). One is just never enough -
I have a coiled hose 5/16" x 25' on one compressor that I use for quick stuff - say, airing up the low tire on the truck on the way out the door for work - just let go and it stores itself (and since these tend to leak around the swivels, it is on a 1/4 turn ball valve.)
Another hose - large diameter 3/8" x 50' goes out to feed to a manifold for other air tools.
Other hoses 1/4 x 25, 1/4 x 50 (several of these), 1/4 & 3/8 x 100, etc.
Most of my hoses are the premium type - mostly Coilhose Flexeel's - are very flexible and they last and are available in colors for color-coding.
(I do try to color-code the hoses so you don't have to follow the exact hose back to a manifold to disconnect.)
The RIDGID Flexpress hose is a good hose - got two of them.
I didn't just go buy these - they are an accumulation over years of being a tool junkie. (buy a new air tool - get a new hose too ) See how that works...
Thanks for the reply. You are far more serious than I am. I think I would be better served by a 25' coiled & a 100' hose non-coiled. Would I be better off w/ a rubber 100' vs the poly? Also, how does one decide on 1/4" vs 3/8"?
P.S. Since I am a neophyte, what do you think of the Coleman combo kit vs the Kobalt from Lowes?
My preferance is for "rubber" hose, as it uncoils easier than PVC or Poly hoses, which seem to be stiffer. Even the rubber hoses can be a problem at times. The length of course is totally dependant on where you will be working in relationship to the compressor. I have a 33-gal vertical tank compressor and though wheel mounted, I prefer to keep it in the basement or the garage (eventurally). At the moment I have a both 25 and 50 ft hoses. My hoses are 3/8, with the exception for my airbrushes which use a hose made specifically for such use. (Small diameter, low cfm, braided cover, and very flexible and lightweight.)
I don't care for the coiled hoses, unless you have one located at a particular tool or bench for short length, local use, like blowing away debris. But when they're hooked to a tool, they're not at all convenient (IMO), as they tend to act like a spring, continually tugging at the tool.
From my point of view, you want a hose that is flexible, with as little drag or weight tugging on the tool as possible. Likewise, you'll want enough length to comfortably reach your project area, but not so much that you or someone else will be tripping over it. The diameter is dictated by the tool's cfm requirements.
Brand and whether domestic or imported is pretty much determined by your pocket book and sense of patriotic purchase dedication. Whatever you buy, you need to take care of it. A hose that gets continually stepped on, kinked, abraded, and left on a moist concrete floor will have a comparitively short life.
I worked at an auto repair garage and all we had was coiled hoses. I hated them due to the spring effect and hard to work with in tight places. I put 3 foot rubber whip hoses on all my air tools and that seemed to help alot. I would recommend rubber hoses since you can repiar them easier. If you go with a coiled hose you might want to think about using a whip hose on your air tools.
For hose size, it depends on the tools you use. 25' of 1/4" hose seriously reduces the volume that gets to the tool. If you are using an impact gun for changing tires, or a pnematic nail gun, the 1/4" will work fine. If you are running a disc sander, cutoff tool or spray gun, go with 3/8" up to the last 10' or so.
One of the problems with the self-coiling hoses is that they will hang up on any protrusion and wrap around your ankles in a heart-beat. Another is that they crimp easily, cutting off your air. They're fine for the last few feet (a 25' one will coil up fairly short), especially running around to the tires on a vehicle. In a shop, they work best if coming down from overhead.
For the "rubber" hoses, check them for flexibility. The stiff ones are a pain to unroll and roll back up, and are much worse in cold weather.
TOD's idea of a short "whip" hose is right on target, and will make using your tools much easier. I like mine closer to six feet long for spraying or working on something on a work bench.
It's a good one to start with. They make many many kinds of hoses and not just for air as I'm sure you already know. You might want to take a look at this site. What you do end up with will depend on your needs and budget. I like the hoses that use a push-in fitting that you can remove, cut a bit of hose off and then use again. They are nicer on our hands. Please see picture and links.
Once there take a look at "Insta-Grip 250" which is more than good enough for most of us. Some of their hoses are super duty for industrial users and then cost gets out of control if you're not careful. Look in your yellow pages under Rubber Products-Industrial. There are other good brands of air hose and they can help you select a good one for your needs.
Can you indicate your planned use of the compressor. Also what compressor you are using?
Are you a weekend warrior or a pro?
Is cost for the hose a consideration?
These questions may dictate what the answer to your question may be.
I have PVC air hoses. check out Harbor Freight.
Item numbers...91525 [3/8@25'] $9.99, 91527 [3/8@50']14.99, 91528 [3/8@100'] 29.99
I have not had any issues and some of my hoses are 10 years old!
Of course living in Arizona helps reduce severe weather affecting them ha ha.
The black rubber hoses are rated at 200psi
The orange pliovic hoses are rated at 300psi
The blue PVC hoses are rated at 300psi
I have a short 3/8@15' air hose in a bag attached to my portable compressor. I do not care for the hard plastic coiled hoses, a personal thing I suppose.
Bottom line, any type of air hose that provides the proper volume, does not leak, and reaches the work is a good hose. I do not know the professional user's reasons for one hose or another. As a weekend warrior with a myriad of air tools from cutters, grinders, sanders, nailers, blowers, paint systems, etc. I find the 3/8 PVC hose my hose of choice.
I just dealt with this last month when I got my new compressor. I made the mistake of buying a 50' pvc hose and was working with it in about 50 degree weather. Hard as a freakin' rock! The next week Harbor Freight had the 50' 3/8" Goodyear hose on sale for $15, so I picked it up. Much, much better. I will only break out the pvc if I need the extra length and if I have the extra 30 minutes to roll it back up.
Baseball is wrong - man with four balls cannot walk.
Try working with that PVC hose when it's really cold like say +20 F or below. I actually got angry and busted a PVC hose trying to straighten it out when it was at about +15F here one night. *&^% thing would not bend, but it would bust off. With that, I switched over to only rubber and when brand new I test them by putting it (as it comes) in the fridge overnight or in the winter leaving it outside. If it's real stif, back it goes fast.
I get fed up with stiff extension cords too. These are the extension cords that I like. I know this is not the question, but if any of you want good extension cords for outdoors or inside, I recommend looking into these. The later one lets you plug in up to 4 items into the connector end.