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air compresser ?????

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  • air compresser ?????

    are there any opionions on the campbell hausfeld 1.3 20 gallon 200 psi electric compressor sold at lowes comes wiyh 26 pieces for 299.00 just started woodworking and looking for a good compressor?

  • #2
    Re: air compresser ?????

    Nothing against the brand and I don't know that particular model.

    But, the primary consideration for selecting a compressor is to get a handle on what you intend to do with it. Small tools like nailers require no more than 90 psi and generally very low CFM; so very little compressor is needed for that type of tool.

    However, if you plan doing any finish spraying then you will require a lot more CFM... usually in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 cfm at 40 - 45 psi. That generally provides a significant tank 30 gallon or higher, and most importantly a compressor that at leat meets (with a good-size tank) or exceeds the CFM requirements of the spray gun. Otherwise, the compressor cannot keep up and you'll have to spray in short bursts and wait for the volume to rebuild in the tank. That will greatly over tax the compressor.

    So, get an idea of what you want to do and the CFM/pressure requirements of the tools in mine. Size the compressor accordingly.

    I have two compressors... a 33-gal, 150 psi, 8.6 cfm @ 40 psi Craftsman "oil-less" unit. Much too loud and I can use a small "gun" for spraying... but have to wait after just a few minutes of spraying. It does the trick for me, only because I'm usually only doing smaller pieces. (IT would probably do for a desk or small cabinet.) But the "oil-less" is extremely noisey... and every one in the house or yard will need ear-protection to the extreme.

    My second is a 2-gal, 125 psi, 2.5 cfm @ 90 psi., lubricated (oil in the crankcase) Craftsman. That unit only weighs about 40 lbs, is easily carried, and drives my nailers with good reserve. A few good things about it is that it's small, portable, and easy to take up and down stairs and most advantageously... it's fairly quiet and I can work within a few feet of it without much of a problem. It is no longer carried, being replaced by a 3-gal unit which is about $120. This compressor however, wouldn't be much use for many other applications and almost impossible for spraying unless your using a small airbrush.

    So, once again... nothing against C-H, as I think they make a good compressor. I just don't know that particular model. I'm not pushing Craftsman either, though I've been happy with mine (except for the noise of the oil-less unit). I think I'd stay away from Lowes' "Cobalt" brand, as I've read a lot of problem posts with those. You want to match your tools and usage to the compressor CFM and pressure capabilities... the compressor should always exceed the need of the tools, at least by some margin. Lubricated compressors will be heavier (usually they have cast iron cylinders) and quieter and they will generally last a lot longer. But they pose a problem in cold weather as the oil viscosity thickens and will trip the breaker as the unit trys to overcome this extra work.

    You also have to change the oil on occasion, and you need to provide some filtration in the line as oil will carry into the airstream. Okay for most tools, but a disaster for spraying any kind of finish.

    Oil-less compressor are most always aluminum construction (though tanks are most often steel) and higher speed. That makes them noisey, and their lifespan is generally about 1/3 that of an oil-lubricated cast iron unit. But, with oil-less you don't have to worry about oil in the downstream.

    With any kind of compressor you do have to be concerned with moisture and the subsequent build-up of this as in condenses in the tank. As the air heats up in its compression, any moisture will condense or "drop-out". In summers the humidity is much higher in most places and you can accumulate condensation quickly. Cold air is much dryer and though there is still moisture, it is not as high as with warm and humid air.

    Subsequently the tank needs to be drained at the end of each work cycle and in some cases you may need to provide some kind of filter or moisture trap to keep that moisture out of your tools.

    I hope this helps,



    • #3
      Re: air compresser ?????

      Here is the compressor. Shop Campbell Hausfeld 1.3 HP 20-Gallon 200 PSI Electric Air Compressor at

      I am leery of big tanks and small pumps. When the tank is empty it will take forever to fill, if being used heavily, it will never recover until you stop and take a break. This machine is a terrible choice for pneumatic sanders, grinders, pretty much anything that uses a lot of air.

      3.8scfm at 90 psi on a 30 gallon tank, I would not be happy with it. The tank does fill to 200 psi, that will give you more run time before the compressor cycles back on, but once it does, the chances of it refilling the tank and keeping up with the demand are slim to none.

      The accessories that come with it do make the package look appealing if you do not own the tools already. Is any of this stuff pro grade? No, not really, but for most homeowner types, this compressor can be a good value.

      What kind of wood working are we talking about? Nailing plywood together or running a 10 man shop with pneumatic everything? I personally would be inclined to purchase all the compressor you can afford if you are going to try to make money. Nothing hurts worse than buying something you need to replace later because it does not suit your needs.
      Last edited by masterbeavis; 02-21-2012, 12:16 PM.
      We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!


      • #4
        Re: air compresser ?????

        +1 on what masterbeavis said.
        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.


        • #5
          Re: air compresser ?????

          I agree with this also. No need to repeat what he already said.


          • #6
            Re: air compresser ?????

            Hi......I want to buy an air compressor. What's the minimum capacity required for spray painting and operating air powered tools?
            Vacuum Systems | Industrial Pumps |Centrifugal Pumps


            • #7
              Re: air compresser ?????

              Originally posted by MarkhamCornoit View Post
              Hi......I want to buy an air compressor. What's the minimum capacity required for spray painting and operating air powered tools?
              that is a loaded question, as most power tools are not ran at 100%,

              and spray guns can be made to take 2 cfm to 20 cfm

              most home compressors portable are designed fro 110 volts on a good 15 amp circuit or a 20 amp or about 1 1/2 HP regardless of what the tank has on it, and will do most home shop thing OK,
              stationary compressors are mostly designed for 220 volts, and could be (2 to 5 hp) in the home line and in commercial up to 100 or more,

              I have a two stage 5 hp compressor in the shop and it is a lot better than the 3 hp single stage unit I had with small tanks,

              but for 30+ years I use the little compressor that was 3 hp and got by fine, and in the wood shop I have portable compressor of about 1 12/ hp and it has done ever thing I have asked of it, but I have not tried my paint sprayer with it or some of my heaver air tools, (and with a smaller unit some times you use for 15 seconds and then wait for it to refill and do it again),

              even a paint sprayer that takes a lot of CFM and be used with a small compressor if the job is such that you can make a pass before one is out of air and can wait for the next pass,

              many times in the shop with the old compressor I would use a air tool run the tank down and wait and try again, (using an impact wrench is usually not a problem that way) but the new compressor really makes using the 1" impact easy, (also have hoses for it that are 1/2" and that helps a lot),
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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