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  • Air compressor confusion

    I picked up a nearly new Porter Cable CF1400 and finish nailer at a great price from someone getting out of the carpentry business and going back to driving semi's. Anyway, I am confused on a few things that the manual is not all that clear on and as usual I come here for the answers! This is a great forum, with few exception everyone is willing to share their knowledge.

    First off, I have a question about the "duty cycle" This compressor is obviously a light duty compressor not designed for constant use. The manual says about the duty cycle, it should not run more than 30 minutes per hour. Obviously one would not want to do it all the time, but how critical is that? Would it hurt it to buy a small pneumatic drill and on occasion have it work a little harder? Also was looking at www.snap-on.com item number PT100, which is a mini die grinder. Would this be a bad thing for this compressor?

    Secondly, I am confused about the SCFM's. It explains in the book what that means, but then it goes on to say SCFM@40psig is 3.7 and scfm @ 90psig is 2.7

    This has me confused. I am looking at picking up one of these swivels.....also at www.snap-on.com the item numbers are YA502P, YA502FC, YA502A, all have a max pressure of 150 psi, airflow says up to 33 SCFM, up to 46 SCFM, up to 33 SCFM respectively. Which is the correct one for my application?

    The compressor will be primarily used with air nailers, and I definately do want that 360 deg swivel, but as far as picking up the die grinder and a smaller air drill/also snap on makes a nice 1/4" impact air gun. For this small of a compressor am wasting my money on the air tools that "constantly" run? As far as the different pneumatic guns go, is this thing powerful enough to run a framing nailer or do i need to stick with finish/brad nailers/staplers?

    And one last thing. They sell those in line filters to trap the water. Now of course i drop a couple of drops of oil in the gun prior to each use as the directions state, are these in line filters worth the money? will they catch more of that water so I don't have to screw around trying to empty the compressor after each use. Sometimes I find myself pumping it up and i have a 16 ga finish nailer, many times i am done using it before it has to kick on again. The book is not real clear as to if you can keep the compressor charged or if it should be drained.

    I remember someone posting here to one of my other compressor questions that he had a similar and hardly ever drained it, and it works fine.

    As usual all, thanks in advance for your advice and sharing your knowledge!
    \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

  • #2
    SPACE, I BELIEVE THIS IS A 4 GALLON COMPRESSOR WITH A MAX. 1.5 HP. MOTOR. IT DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH STORAGE CAPACITY TO RUN ANY HIGH USE TOOL. IE, DIE GRINDER, DRILL, AND THE LIKE. A FRAMING GUN WILL WORK ON THIS, BUT IT WILL CYCLE EVERY FEW SHOTS AND NEED TO BUILD UP BEYOUND 90PSI TO PROPERLY RUN THE GUN. A LITTLE TRICK WOULD BE TO ADD AN EXTERNAL STORAGE TANK ON THE HOSE BETWEEN THE COMPRESSOR AND THE GUN. THIS WOULD ACT AS A BUFFER TANK AND HELP SORE THE EXTRA AIR NEEDED FOR SHORT BURST OF EXTRA AIR. AN INEXPENSIVE TANK WOULD BE THE PORTABLE TANKS USED FOR FILLING TIRES. APPROX. 7 GALLONS. JUST ADD A TEE TO YOUR AIR HOSE AND TIE IN THE TANK AND JUMPER HOSE.
    THE SCFM IS IN REFERENCE TO HOW MUCH AIR CAN BE PRODUCED IN A MINUTE AT THAT GIVEN PRESSURE. AS THE PRESSURE GOES UP THE OUTPUT OF AIR VOLUME PRODUCED GOES DOWN.
    NOT WISE TO RUN ANYTHING LIKE A HIGH SPEED TOOL ON A SMALL COMPRESSOR.
    ALWAYS WISE TO DRAIN YOUR TANK AFTER EACH USE/ EVERY DAY.
    GOOD IDEA TO INSTALL A WATER TRAP ON YOUR OUTLET LINE. THE COMPRESSOR SHOULD ALREADY HAVE A REGULATOR ON IT.
    THE DUTY CYCLE REFERS TO THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME, COMPRESSOR ACTUALLY PUMPING PER GIVEN PERIOD. THAT COMPRESSOR I BELIEVE IS OILESS. DON'T RUN IT TOO HOT.
    A SWIVEL IS HANDY FOR CERTAIN TOOLS, BUT A HOSE WHIP IS MORE RELIABLE AND LESS MONEY TOO. TYPICALLY A 2' SECTION OF HOSE AT THE TOOL END WITH A BALL TYPE SOCKET, (SWIVEL STYLE) CONNECTION.
    LAST POINT. WHY RUN A 15 AMP COMPRESSOR TO RUN A 3 AMP DIE GRINDER OR 5 AMP DRILL?

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info rick. To answer your last question maybe not so much for the die grinder, but the pneumatic drill i was looking at was a very slow speed drill. much slower (and lighter) than my milwaukee 1/2", and slower than my cordless. it would not be for everyday use, or constant use, just when necessary to get a nice slow precice hole in a piece of metal or something along those lines. Thanks for the rest of the info

      Ed
      \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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