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Air Compressors

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  • Air Compressors

    I'm lookin for a good air compressor and I have no idea what to get. I do small side jobs now but I plan to do alot more very soon. I need a compressor to run nail guns. I was looking at DeWalt and Craftsman but now lookin at the Ridgid and I have no idea what to get now. if someone could help out that would be awesome! thanks...

  • #2

    The only input I have for you is to decide what you will be doing with the unit. For instance, if you are driving an air nailer, pressure is more important than flow of air. If you use it to paint, flow is more important than pressure.

    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.


    • #3

      Selecting a compressor is largely dependant on what your intentions are for its use. As "steelewoodworker" stated, flow (volume) and pressure are the two important criteria. Nailers require very little volume and so any of the the small tank type units, like pancake compressors will usually suffice.

      If you already have you nail gun(s), then probably price, warranty, and reputation for reliabity and performance are the important things by which you'll make your decision. Also, portability may be important as you may want to move it in and out of your truck or around the worksite. But, unlike electrical extension cords, a long hose works very well without any concern for power (flow and pressure) loss.

      If you don't have your nailer yet, then a package deal might be good to look at. Porter-Cable units seem to be very popular and were a big seller during the Christmas shopping season.

      If however, you think you're going to expand your use to other tools, the pancake-type units will most likely fall short of your needs. If you search through the forum, you'll find many older posts that provide much detail on compressor use and pressure/volume demand.



      • #4
        Have heard that you need at least 10CFM to do anything. I've heard that you want oiled. I like the Craftsman Proffessionals, but have heard a lot of good about Husky. Would also say look into Ingersol Rand as well.
        <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a><br />Please tell us how you like the site, even if you hate it. If you want, feel free to visit the forum.


        • #5
          Check out ROL-Air. They are an american company who make excellent compressors. THey have a model that is tiny, and protable that would make a great starter compressor.
          They people at the company are very friendly and will help you select the model that is right for your needs.

          Here is a link to their web site:

          web page

          Happy hunting


          • #6
            I will back up the Rol-air comment. I have one at home and we have 100+ at work. These get beat to hell and keep on running. Can't hardly kill 'em.

            You can pick up the smaller 1hp ones for under $300. Perfect for nail guns. Can run 3 finish nailers pretty easily. Probably a couple framers and roofers at the same time, but the compressor will run constantly, and I wouldn't recomend that. [img]smile.gif[/img]


            [ 04-28-2005, 11:16 PM: Message edited by: tsbrewers ]


            • #7
              I had an old oil filled Sears compressor that I loved but it got stolen. I then replaced it with a new Cambel Hausfield that looked exactly the same but wasn't. I took it back and picked up a PC oiless that I love. It is compact yet supplies all the air I need for around the house jobs. It was built to spend the day in field framing houses so my little odd job here and there is no problem. I use it with air ratchets, impact drivers, nail guns, blow guns and to inflate tires and things.

              Everyone says buy oil as they are quieter, not so this PC is much quieter than the Cambell Hausfeld but neither are quiet. Others says oiled last longer. Only if you maintain them regularly. The PC store sells both oiled and oiless, they use a an oilless in their repair center and that is what they recommended for me.

              Unless you go into the 10scfm with 50 Gal tank class and higher you will fine they all fall a little short when trying to paint. Most will do it but they will be running a lot. The PC I have will maintain 6 scfm at 40 psi and 5.7 at 90 psi it easily will power multiple nail guns and will cycle on and off with an open air line and pressure at 40psi.

              My model PC3151 and it is built with a cage around the unit to protect it from falling objects and has wheels and a pull out handle to wheel it around or you can pick it up and carry it.

              The thing I like most about the unit is the amount of room I got back in my shop that the 30 Gal Sears unit used.

              I have used mind to chisel tile up, air grind concrete flat, frame out a bath room, frame out a shed, shoot lacquer on a coffee table and do two brake jobs on my cars along with changing mower blades, blowing out the pool filter and assorted tires and things. I grab the handle and take it with me all through the house and back yard.

              Would it be sufficient in an auto garage? No! Would it serve in a production paint shop? No! Can it power DA sander? Yes long enough to clean a spot on a fender but not anymore. Does it do everything a home hobbyist needs? So far it has. Price $230-299 depending on where and sales.

              Hope this helps
              Rev Ed


              • #8
                I Picked up a porter cable pancake compressor and 18 ga finishing nailer good as new for 95 bucks. the gun had hardly been used and was worth the 95 bucks alone. the compressor is the CF1400. 4 gallon tank. Will primarily be used for nail guns. IN all honesty, if i was buying new i would have gotten a larger compressor but this one will suit me fine. I have a question posted on this board regarding compressors too that i need to check for replies to. I won't post it here but it had to do with aux tanks for added air to run larger tools and tools that need more constant supply. My compressor says the duty cycle is 30 minutes every hour meaning it should run no more than 30 minutes every hour. There was a gentlemen that if i read his post correctly he has the exact same compressor as I, has had it for quite some time, has ran it consistently ignoring the "duty cycle" for many years with no problems. Again i might have misunderstood him, but i think that is what he said.

                Someday down the line i will get a bigger compressor. I like the thought of being able to run a pneumatic drill or 1/4" die grinder off of it. I have a few other items that take priority right now. before i upgrade the compressor, i want to add a few more nail guns, bench dog router wing for my ts3612, delta tenoning jig, and POSSIBLY a drill press first, although the larger compressor will likely trump the drill press, unless my increased volume idea will work.

                Whatever you get, think about future use. not just today but what you would LIKE to use it for in the future, and then get the largest compressor your budget will allow to get done what you want to get done today, and will allow you to expand for a few years before having to get a bigger unit!

                good luck