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Portable Air Tank Sufficent?

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  • Portable Air Tank Sufficent?

    Hey, I'm looking to get into using air tools to make some of my jobs a little easier and faster problem is, I live in an apt and I do not have a garage, and living in san francisco, it makes working on my car a hassle with space constraints. Now. I have a spot to work on it, problem is I want to stay low-key, air compressors (or the ones I've heard) are much too loud to be used without being excessively noticed. Then I noticed portable air tanks would a 10-11gal compressed air tank be sufficent for most jobs? can anyone speak out on this? or if there's an almost silent air tank that's semi-portable I'm all for it. thanks for the advice.

  • #2
    Re: Portable Air Tank Sufficent?

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but no way in hates. Possible you can get away with a tank of nitrogen for some stuff but the air consumption that is required by most automotive pneumatic tools you cannot even come close to attaining with an air tank. For automotive type application your minimum requirement is probably a 30 gallon COMPRESSOR, that provides at least 9 CFM to run any kind of air ratchet, Impact Wrench or DA. Why cant you just use electric tools?


    • #3
      Re: Portable Air Tank Sufficent?

      i've been told most eletric tools like impact wrenches would break quickly because they wouldn't provide enough power


      • #4
        Re: Portable Air Tank Sufficent?

        Originally posted by Mysticcal View Post
        i've been told most eletric tools like impact wrenches would break quickly because they wouldn't provide enough power
        i have electric impacts to 3/4'' drive and they are great.

        air impacts to pack a wallop for their size and weight.

        you still need air to fill tires.

        nitrogen is great for tires, but it gets spendy to run air tools with.

        the better oil filled pumps will run quieter than an oiless pump.

        if your wrenching on a car, i doubt an air compressor will attract that much more attention.

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Re: Portable Air Tank Sufficent?

          There are some well made slow pump speed cast iron block reciprocating stationary air compressors that have intake silencers and don't make much noise that would bother neighbors. The problem is that they are huge, very heavy and are quite costly. If you are thinking long term then one may well be worth looking into. If you are just wanting to use a 1/2" drive impact wrench there are several electric corded ones that should serve you quite well and at far less cost. Please give us a better idea of what tools you really think you need. As for a no compressor setup that would do anything for you, if you were to setup a good condition used horizontal 120 gallon ASME air receiver tank in a small (5' x 8' open style) tow trailer and had a way to charge it up to say 175 PSI from a place with a big stationary air compressor (Pay some $$$ to a big body shop as they normally have loads of compressed air there.) and then had a good filter-regulator on it, that would run some air tools for awhile. When you get low on air, take it back and fill it up again. This may seem a bit insane, but it would keep you from having a noisy air compressor. On the other hand air power impact wrenches, air hammers, drills, grinders and most other tools make noise... lots of noise.

          If you do get a tank mounted air compressor, look into good oiled ones with a cast iron block and belt drive. The direct drive compact ones run at high speed and they do sound like a a small engine running super fast. The idea is to slow things down and to have a filter-silencer on the intake of the compressor pump. It really makes a difference.

          What about the electrical issue? To run anything worth bothering with you need a true 3HP motor minimum and a true 5HP is more like it. Using automotive air tools uses up load of compressed air and fast. I learned this some time ago. There's no use buying small trying to save some $$$ as it just won't work out for you. With that said, you'll need a minimum of 30 Amp. 240 Volts single phase power to the air compressor on it's own private circuit. Are you ready for such electrical loads?

          Do you currently own any air powered tools? If yes, please give more info about them.
          Last edited by Woussko; 06-27-2008, 12:00 PM.