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Shop Air Compressor?

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NCtoy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 8:43am
What is everyone using for an air compressor? What do you use it for and do you like it? I'm wanting to replace the one that blew up a year ago, but having trouble deciding what to get. I thought I wanted a 110v with wheels so I could take it to do other jobs. But after looking for one with decent air making ability I found that I could get a much bigger 220v one for less than $100 more.  Now I can't decide what to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scott R Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 9:24am
I would say depends on what is more important to you... Portability or CFM?

As you probably know using a small compressor a tool like an impact or sander is going to run out of air real quick. Leaving you sitting and waiting for it to catch up more than getting the job done.  But if you need a compressor away from home often, all the air you can use in the garage is no good to you.

By the way I must tell you I have both types. Although if I had to choose I'd have to take the portable. I'm a carpenter and need a compressor on the job and it will suffice in the shop too.


Edited by Scott R - 19 Mar. 2011 at 9:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FrankUSMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 9:39am
This happened to me years ago. I was in the same boat.......so, I went to my best friend, and asked him. he told me that it would best if I bought the smaller wheeled one. I bought it. Very happy, (I still have it today over 20 years later). I saw him a couple of days later, and told him that I took his advice and got the one with the wheels. I then asked him what made the wheeled one better, my best friend looked me in the eyes and said " that way, I can borrow it".
One of the few, Frank USMC RET
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 47goDevil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 9:46am
i've used this portable electric 120/220 wheeled air compressor for fifteen years and never a problem. 
 it's a horse and a half and it's a continuous run.    i'm told it's the quietest compressor made . 


Steam Jenny Air Compressors formerly Emglo Air Compressors

 sometimes i link it to one in the shop for even greater results .      
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkreutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 11:06am
Depends on what you're going to use it for. If you use nail guns, impact guns, air hammers, and pump up tires, the portable is fine (and probably preferable) But if you use air grinders, media blasters, paint guns and the like, you will be standing around a lot waiting for a compressor to catch up if you don't get the biggest storage tank and compressor you can afford. The best would be to have both. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote westforkboyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 11:36am
Here's an option. Kinda in between size and portable. Bought this model about 8 yrs ago and its been OK. Works great for everything up to a large grinder or blaster. It'll run a die grinder and any impact, ratchet, paint gun. It's worked out pretty well for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCtoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 12:20pm
WFB- thats pretty comparable to the other portable ones I'm looking at. My older one was similar sized and did most stuff ok, but I had to wait a lot with a da or even if running a grinder a lot.
 
The funny part is most everybody recomends what they have. Most people here seem to have a portable and like it, but everybody I know with a larger compressor says thats the way to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkreutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 12:39pm
It's kinda like talking about hot rods. "There's no replacement for displacement"LOL. While it's possible to tow a trailer with a Beetle, you wouldn't want to do it for very long. (can you tell I'm on the "bigger is better" side?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Night0wl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 2:14pm
I agree with Gale.  You really need to know what you plan to use it for and what you can afford.  Kinda like asking what kind of car should I get, or should I get a truck.  All of them do the same thing essentially but it really depends on your needs and or future needs and budget. 
When I started out I just had a small pancake compressor.  It ran my nail gun and it would push an impact but it ran a lot of the time as I waited for it to recharge.  I then got a good deal on a Craftsman Professional 25gal unit with wheels.  I moved it around the garage when cleaning and it worked well.  It would run more stuff but still needed to recharge as I found myself pushing it's limits.  It was rated 5.8 cfm at 90psi by the way.  I knew that I would be wanting to sand blast and run an air grinder and do some painting and so that unit was not gonna cut it.
I was on the hunt for a large replacement a couple of years ago and I got this Ingersoll Rand, 80gal unit.  It pumps 24cfm at 125psi and is fully capable of anything I need to do.  It is 220v of course.
I was able to sell my craftsman and pay a big chunk on this unit.  So I did the upgrade route.  If I need to take something with me, my pancake compressor still works fine.  Not everyone has room or the budget for a big one like this, but I am glad I got it.  I got my moneys worth out of my craftsman too.
Here are a couple of pics.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pat T. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 7:03pm
Wesforkboyd---That is the same compressor that I have but I found that running a 3/8 impact gun that it didn't have enough to rnn it right. Another thing that I had problems with was that the tires on the plastic wheels both broke. I ended up getting some steel wheel with bearings in them and they made a big difference as far as rolling the compressor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote F Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 8:44pm
We had the same basic one Nightowl shows as a body shop compressor at school. Excellent unit if you can afford it. Ours would supply air for my entire class, or at least as much air as 6 semi motivated teens would want to use at one time... If they all decided to DA a fender while someone was outside sandblasting, then it had to catch up occasionally.
 
I bought a Quincy for my shop in Texas, it is a decent unit US made, but since I moved teh shop to the house, I do not have adequate power to run it, and have a Harbor Fright one that will run on an extension cord instead. It will not even run an impact wrench to pull tires off, but at least I can pump up tires... Gotta get a new service entry for the house, 70 amps is a little small.
If you haven't checked out the tech FAQ section, go to:
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for a lot of great stuff you need to know!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 47goDevil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 9:01pm
extension cords are not good for the capacitors, sure they're not expensive and most likely the first thing to go wrong .  look into it if you have one failed . 
 every time temp power was moved on a site there was offered a heavy generator that never gave steady power and that would blow a capacitor every time . 
 but with a correct current on a busy day this wheeled compressor will handle five framing nailers all day long .  
      honestly the best tool i ever bought .  
 it took me from 500 a week to 500 a day over night.  good times.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3ferris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 9:03pm
F bill  go with at least a 200 amp...   a 150 will cost you the same amount with in a few dollars
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote F Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 9:17pm
Originally posted by p3ferris p3ferris wrote:

F bill  go with at least a 200 amp...   a 150 will cost you the same amount with in a few dollars
 
Yup, my thoughts were 200 amp service.   Gotta figure out how to run a line to the shop, whether to do it overhead or underground, and ground requirements for the shop building. (and gotta figure out where the $$ will come from too..lol) We have a power pole with meter and shutoff(that's the 70 amp service)   going to the house, garage is only 20 feet away from side porch of the house. I do have leftover 4 conductor direct burial  from mone of the rentals, just not gonna hire the same electrician as my brother did. $1200 for a new meter loop seems a little spendy to me.
If you haven't checked out the tech FAQ section, go to:
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plowpusher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar. 2011 at 10:58pm
I have a 5 hp single stage with a 60 gal tank it works ok but I wish I would have gotten a 2 stage  for quicker recovery when running grinders  blasters, plasma cutter and I think it would work better for painting. I have a small compressor to run nail guns and a blow gun. It all depends on need and wallet size. 
when i grow up i wanna be a kid
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 47goDevil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar. 2011 at 10:48am
when i do an addition on a home , the electrical upgrade is always the case. 
 70 amp is quite low. musta been built in the 1940's,  i mainly run across 100 amp and those always get a boost. most older homes around here were built in the 1950's .  
 if the pole is on the property of the home i happen to be working on, more than likely the new service will be upgraded to underground, the utility dpt. also prefers it that way.   cost about $400 and we keep the remainder of the line/ waste.  that scrap can then be used for heavy equipment. 
      150 amp is a standard here with 200 amp for homes with pools.   
 splitting properties from r1 to r2 or r3 or even adding a shop ?   i would leave the residence alone and provide a new service to the adjacent structure.  eliminating problems for the home. 
      $1000 is the rate for a new panel in california , plus the utility dpt. charge. 
  
 your demographics may differ.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ovrlnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar. 2011 at 12:51pm
I have a 110 craftsman 30 gal and a 60 gallon reserve tank
hooked to it. Slow recharge rate and although it does the
Job i often wish i had more. In the future if i buy a new one
It will be 220v and dual stage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sireland67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar. 2011 at 8:58pm
I have a 5hp 220 craftsman my wife bought me in 91 for christmas.
I have only changed one belt, but it has a slow recovery when running a da or a straight line sander.  It will paint a vehicle with no trouble.
But it has a ton of hours on it.
It just keeps going and going.
When it finally dies I will replace it with a 60 gal upright 220 unit.  I figure it will be the last compressor I ever buy.
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