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  • Small portable Compressor suggestions

    I`m going to be installing allot of sub-floor this summer at the cabin and not to sure who makes a good reliable compressor.I dont mind spending a bit more for a better quality /reliable one.

    I`m also a little confused to what size i will need ??

    I will just be using it to nail down the sub-floor.

    Thanks in advance fellas.

  • #2
    Re: Small portable Compressor suggestions

    There's a lot of competition out there and generally speaking the Porter-Cable "Pancake" style compressors are very popular. To my knowledge, these are all non-lubricated units and as such are quite loud. They are dependable though and as I said quite popular, as their primary purpose is to drive "nailers".

    Most any of these small 2 to 5 gallon, 124 PSI units will drive almost any nailer, including most floor nailers. Primary thing is to look at whatever floor nailer you will be using and it should state it's pressure requirements (usually in the 90 psi range) and it's CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) requirements (usually less than 2 CFM)

    Personally, I use a small 2-gallon Craftsman, which is imported by Mid-West Air. It's a lubricated compressor with a cast iron cylinder, 125 psi unit with a 50% duty cycle at 4 to 5 cfm. I like it as it is very portable, has a small "footprint", and is exceptionall quiet, especially when compared to almost any aluminum oil-less unit. While Sears no longer sells this 2-gal model, they do have a 3-gallon that often sells for $119 or less. Mine is now three years old and has provided excellent, carefree service.

    I hope this helps,

    CWS

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    • #3
      Re: Small portable Compressor suggestions

      Any of the Makita Mac series would serve you well. I have the larger Mac5200 and it has excellent CFM for inflating and spraying finish or paint, or occasional light air tool use.

      I also have the small Craftsman and it is great for nailers. Check your nail guns and see what your air requirements are before choosing

      Both are relatively quiet. The Mac5200 is heavy though if you plan to drag it up stairs. Its also expensive and I'd be reluctant to leave it at the cabin for the thieves. Check Costco if you have one near. They usually have good quality off-brand compressors for around $150. I had one once and beat the snot out of it and it would not die. A buddy of mine begged me for it so I traded him for the small Craftsman. He is till beating the snot out of it.

      Ern

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      • #4
        Re: Small portable Compressor suggestions

        I bought my dual tank compressor from a parts house. My 20" year old compressor just came back from service and the switch was not wired correctly (boss did some fiddling) and I needed a compressor yesterday. I paid $100 out the door for it 8 years ago. 50% duty cycle, 3ish cfm at 90psi, oil lubricated pump. Kinda noisy, but it worked, and it is cheap enough that if it is stolen or fried a replacement is cheap enough. Porter cable has a $100 unit (old style) that I would have preferred for most work, but my bigger one works better for spraying texture. Mine only pumps up to 100 psi however. Whatever you buy, look at and compare specs. Do you plan on doing alot of nailing fast? A larger compressor will keep up with the demand. I would also take into consideration any future jobs you might need a compressor for. If this job is a one time thing, I would tend to buy something off of craigslist, or a used repaired one from a tool repair shop or pawn shop.
        Last edited by masterbeavis; 03-23-2011, 06:20 PM.
        We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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        • #5
          Re: Small portable Compressor suggestions

          What about the oi less any better?
          How do the ridgids stand out? haven't read to many positives on some of the review sites.

          btw thanks for the excellent advise here.

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          • #6
            Re: Small portable Compressor suggestions

            I have a Porter Cable pancake that I used to build a house, garage and numerous other projects. Great compressor, tough, portable and loud. I also have a small Dewalt hotdog that I use in my shop for woodworking projects. I like the Dewalt because it is very light and actually quiet for an oiless compressor. It has a small tank so you couldn't use it for multiple nailers or rapid firing a framing nailer, but for finish nails, brads and pins it is great. I bought it on Amazon a couple of years ago for a little over $100. Good Luck, Mike

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            • #7
              Re: Small portable Compressor suggestions

              Originally posted by gobby View Post
              I`m going to be installing allot of sub-floor this summer at the cabin and not to sure who makes a good reliable compressor.I dont mind spending a bit more for a better quality /reliable one.

              I`m also a little confused to what size i will need ??

              I will just be using it to nail down the sub-floor.

              Thanks in advance fellas.
              I've been using a Porter Cable model C2002 pancake for a couple of years now. 150 psi, 6 gallon tank, 2.5 CFM@ 90 psi, 75% duty cycle. Drives everything I have, 23 guage pin nailer through Hitachi full head framer. Won't rapid fire the framer very long as I usually run it at 110 psi, everything else runs at 90 psi. About the only tool I have that will make it holler uncle is my die grinder but that's an air hog anyway. It is oiless so it is loud though.
              Hope this helps.
              PS - got mine reconditioned through CPO outlets for about $100 but I suspect they are likely higher now.
              John Schaben -- from the Middle of Kansas
              I haven't failed, I have simply discovered several hundred ways that don't work!

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              • #8
                Re: Small portable Compressor suggestions

                I too have the craftsman 3 gallon hotdog compressor. I have had mine for about 8 years. Sears is good to mark it down to around a 100 bucks several times a year.

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