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  #1  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:25 PM
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home/shop compressor question

i'm going to buy a compressor and i've been looking at used ones on c-list. today i was at lowe's and they have some new ones for around $400. anyone have experience w/ these? i won't be using it "industrially" but i want it to last running air tools and occasionally a tire machine (yeah, i'm buying a tire machine, too)
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:35 PM
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The big difference is oiled vs oilless compressor. The oiled compressor will be much more quiet, but will cost more. What are your intended uses? I've got a 15 gal oilless, noisy, compressor that serves me well when I can't get to my shop. It will run just about anything except the very high use air tools, and cost $200.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:36 PM
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do not buy one with an oilless pump. try to find one that goes atleast to 125psi
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:37 PM
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you will need one with a high cfm rating to run that tire machine.

for the amount you need and the money you have to spend you may wanna visit harbor freight. they have some big ch units for not too much
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:39 PM
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http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Air-Compressors-Tools-Accessories/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xr5Zb8mr/R-100083906/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

this one would be pretty decent. what are your power limitations?
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:50 PM
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For impact wrenches, any size will work.

Dont consider anything smaller then 4-5 hp and 60 gallons if you will be doing body work or sand blasting. In fact, Sand blasting requires an 80 or 120 gallon tank. By body work, I mean running sanders and spray guns. These have constant demand needs. An Impact wrench is only on a few seconds at a time.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2009, 12:17 AM
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The cfms @ whatever psi are probably the most important ratings to look at. Tank size is probably going to be important for that tire machine.
My guess is anything that can run that tire machine can run whatever grinders, sanders, or impacts you have.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:49 AM
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Become a careful consumer. Ignore HP ratings--they mean NOTHING.
The only ratings that matter are CFM at___Pressure.
Find out the CFM and pressure requirements for your tools. If you are only running one at a time, then the compressor must deliver at least what that tool requires. At that the compressor will be running full time.
The only thing a large tank does is give a little more time before the compressor kisck back on/ Might be helpful if you have a high CFM requirement fpr short bursts--like a tire machine.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2009, 10:55 AM
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When I was looking for a compressor a few months ago, it appeared to me that for any serious work, a person would need a 220 volt compressor, since all the 110 volt versions just didn't put out enough cfm for high air consumption tools. Since I didn't have 220 volts and didn't want to put it in, I ended up getting a inexpensive used oiless 110 volt 60 gallon from Craigslist with a relatively high pressure output. I kept my old Craftsman oiled compressor as a backup.
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2009, 11:33 AM
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First, I have no idea of the needs for a tire machine.

I have an old larger Craftsman, 20 gallon tank, 4 hp 120+ psi.

Serves fine for general uses, tools, sprayer etc.

I have it mounted inside an enclosure in the main garage, with lines plumbed through much of my workshop garage.

IF you don't need a monster, I would look at something like it.

Go with an upright, takes up less floor space.
Get one that is movable, mine may be mounted, but in a few minutes I can convert it back to a portable and take it with me.

Sometimes dropping some major want, gives you a tool that has more general use.
But YOU have to make that decision.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2009, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
The only thing a large tank does is give a little more time before the compressor kisck back on
Right. The only thing you don't want is a tank that's small enough that the motor is always on because you use the air in the tank too fast.
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2009, 06:44 PM
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My tank is only 26 gallons, but often when I have a small job to do, I don't even have to switch the compressor on. The air in the tank gives me a few minutes of use of a blow gun or air drill.

I did remove the cheap-o drain valve, replacing it with a 90-degree fitting, short piece of pipe, and a ball valve. That makes it very convenient to drain the water. If you own a compressor, don't forget this step. On any day when you run the compressor, drain the water.
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  #13  
Old 09-05-2009, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
My tank is only 26 gallons, but often when I have a small job to do, I don't even have to switch the compressor on. The air in the tank gives me a few minutes of use of a blow gun or air drill.

I did remove the cheap-o drain valve, replacing it with a 90-degree fitting, short piece of pipe, and a ball valve. That makes it very convenient to drain the water. If you own a compressor, don't forget this step. On any day when you run the compressor, drain the water.
Reminds me of a humorous incident. One of the soils testing labs I used to work at used a small compressor to supply air for some soils tests. I happened to be in the shop one day, and I noticed the compressor would run for about 30 seconds and cycle off. Then in another minute it would come on for 30 seconds. It had a 10 gallon tank, so it should have had longer cycle times. I asked the lab technician how often he drained the water. I got a totally blank stare. I opened the drain and dumped about 9 1/2 gallons of water on the shop floor. It then cycled normally.
You gotta drain them occasionaly
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
Reminds me of a humorous incident. One of the soils testing labs I used to work at used a small compressor to supply air for some soils tests. I happened to be in the shop one day, and I noticed the compressor would run for about 30 seconds and cycle off. Then in another minute it would come on for 30 seconds. It had a 10 gallon tank, so it should have had longer cycle times. I asked the lab technician how often he drained the water. I got a totally blank stare. I opened the drain and dumped about 9 1/2 gallons of water on the shop floor. It then cycled normally.
You gotta drain them occasionaly
That is a good one, but I know personally of a compressor tank that blew its bottom out at 125psi. A friend worked at the shop. It was in a steel building and put a rather huge dent outward in the side when it blew up. I saw the aftermath.

Filling with water and displacing air is the least of your worries.
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2009, 12:40 PM
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The ones at Lowe's for $400 are very good, I have not seen any come back so far. There is a 30 gallon model that has the twin compressors that I am eyeing for myself
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