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what Compressors

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  • what Compressors

    I am looking to buy an air compressor to use at my home shop. I do not have much knowldege on this topic. any reccomendations or brands and or models? I was noticing the ridged compressors. I would like to have an electric one, all i am gong to use with it is a nailer and stapler for now. and would i need an oil less or one with oil?? i dont know much at all abut this as i stated before

  • #2
    Just about any small compressor will do for use with a nailer and stapler. Oil lube or oilless for small compressors is, IMO, a toss up. Traditionally, oil lubed models tend to run quieter but that isn't always the case. Harbor Freight has a small oil lubed compressor that is extremely noisy but the price is very attractive at around $90. The oiless compressors on the other hand are supposed to be noisy but I have a Campbell Hausfeld Contractor Series pancake model that is very quiet.

    The mistake many people make when buying an air compressor is that they don't look far enough down the road. If you think that there is even a slight chance that you might want to do some spraying in the future consider that when buying your compressor. Many pneumatic tools eat tons of air so while a little 4 gallon pancake unit will be fine for your nailers it simply won't do the job for most other air powered tools.

    When looking for a compressor, disregard all the claims about HP. HP means nothing but the SCFM output of the compressor is very important. The higher the SCFM number at 90psi the better. Look at some air tools that you think you might like to use someday and find out what their SCFM requirements are then buy an air compressor that can deliver the amount of air that you'll need. Unless it's taken to the extreme, overkill is never a bad thing when it comes to selecting an air compressor.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      BadgerDave gave excellent advice. I have a pancake compressor and it works great for nailers. But trying to use any continous running tools uses up the air reserves too quickly. For example, I was using a 3/8" air rachett to drive some lag screws. Between each screw I had to wait for the compressor to recover. Buy the largest one you have space for and can afford.


      • #4
        Air compressors come in three varieties---oilless, oil lubed, and turbine. Oilless are gererally the cheaped, smaller, and most portable. They are also the more noisy, as a rule.

        Oil lubed compressors require some periodic maintenance, changing compressor oil, belt inspection/changing for belt driven models, etc.

        Turbines are designed basically for spraying as there is no tank for storage.

        There are many shapes---pancake for the small portable oilless types that Porter Cable, Campbell Hausfield, and other companies make.

        Tank type---single or twin---are also portable and have a bit more volume for storage. Some tank types have a set of handles and a wheel for easier portability.

        Stationary compressors come in two styles, vertical tank and horizontal tank designs. The vertical tank design is popular where limited space is available.

        Most woodworking tools---nailers, staplers, brad nailers, etc can be run with the smallest compressor.

        Air powered sanders, files, impact wrenches, die grinders, etc. require large compressors with large storage tanks. I used to use an air powered 12" grinder that would exhaust a shop compressor that had a 100 gallon tank and a twin cylinder compressor driven by a 220v five horsepower motor.
        Mac<P>Problems are opportunities in disguise


        • mdl131953
          mdl131953 commented
          Editing a comment
          Ok, I'd like a Rigid 6 gallon Vertical Pancake Compressor. Son wants one like mine for Christmas and I didn't know they are that hard to get! Any clues?

      • #5
        Check out Campbell Hausfield's VT6299 or VT6290