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View Full Version : Air Compressors? Educate me...


Corbet
12-27-2013, 06:53 PM
Thinking about buying an air compressor for the garage. Say under $1000 budget. Something like this: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200612354_200612354

115v would be much easier to deal with but not required. What say you?

Keith
12-27-2013, 09:45 PM
What are you gonna use it for? Just nail guns and inflating tires? Or paint guns and air tools?

Inukshuk
12-27-2013, 09:57 PM
I have had almost the exact same model as this http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-26-Gal-Portable-Electric-Air-Compressor-with-2-Air-Tools-F2S26VWDVP/202208341?N=c27pZ1z0v5qk# for 10 years. takes care of all my tire needs, blow out sprinklers every year, impact wrenches. If I am using a nozzle to blow out the truck it runs constantly. This one may not be enough for heavy grinder or paint spraying use.

SteveH
12-27-2013, 10:43 PM
60 gal, 5 horse, upright, 220v, oil-type. $479 at Home Depot type places. You can't outrun this compressor unless you do a lot of sandblasting (without stopping) or use a giant impact wrench on 8-lug trucks as fast as you can. I have had mine almost 20 years (a Coleman) - never done anything except drain water out of it. I have used it extensively in that time, although as a hobbiest. Oil type are quieter than oilless and uprights take up less room. 220v start quickly/briskly and after it's wired, you have an welder outlet you can use if you don't feel like adding another 220v outlet.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Powermate-60-Gal-Stationary-Electric-Air-Compressor-PLA3706056/202636579

Corbet
12-28-2013, 08:55 AM
Use would be for air tools. I have a 1/2" impact now but would add to that of course. Paint sprayer maybe down the road. You know once you have the compressor the tools start to multiply.

I already have a 220v outlet in the garage for the welder so I'd just need to run a second line to where ever I decided to shoehorn this thing in.

Thoughts on portable vs perm? Looking at this to:http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200612355_200612355

I don't have any brand in mind now. The Quincy is appealing as its made in the USA.

farnhamstj
12-29-2013, 08:22 AM
I use a Quincy for work. Awesome. (13hp, 21cfm gasoline)

rover67
12-29-2013, 10:36 AM
30 gallon 5.2 cfm husky from homedepot. $429 when I got it a year ago.

I like it, but more is always better. That one you linked at 7 cfm would be sweet.... 26 gallons would keep it easy to move.

Mine is not enough for sandblasting but nothing except for what farnham run is. I hate sand blasting anyways. For air wrenches (I run air ratchets and impacts) it is plenty. For my die grinder it works fine too but getting small. For the disk sander it is a tad small. By small I mean it'll run the disk sander for a minute and then the pump kicks on and can't keep up totally but the tool remains functional. By a tad small I mean the compressor keeps up but cycles a lot. Bigger than 30 gallons would be nice in those cases.

I would certainly look for a belt drive low RPM cast iron pump type compressor whatever you do. Nothing against Daniel's machine.. it is perfectly functional, they are just a ton quieter and if you work in the garage a ton you'll appreciate the noise reduction more than anything. Plus for grinders and sanders they aren't typically enough.

Look on CL... You can find some nice machines used typically that are awesome.. at least in the front range you can. ESPECIALLY if you can run 220.

Woodsman
12-29-2013, 03:56 PM
I can tell you I compared the 60 gal vertical compressors a while back and found most (Husky@Home Depot, Kobalt@Lowes, Sanborn@Menards) were the same and probably made by Campbell Hausfeld. Tractor Supply just had the Campbell Hausfeld for sale for $429 and I'll be installing one in my smaller shop.

I run a Kaeser SX6 with air dryer in my larger shop where I do a lot of spraying but that's much higher in price unless you get super lucky on the used market.

DanS
12-30-2013, 07:27 AM
These guys are giving good advice, so I'll let most of that stand.

The highest use items in our shop are the blast cabinet, followed by the die grinder. If you will do much of either (and if you are doing much of any restoration a blast cabinet is worth its weight in gold), you will want more CFMs for sure.

But Marco hit the most important nail on the head: look for quiet. Even in our big shop, the compressor is incredibly loud when it runs. Next time I build a shop, I'm going to build a little outdoor room to house the compressor in, just to keep it quieter in the shop. It's really hard to work sometimes with anyone else if the compressor is running.

Dan

Corbet
12-30-2013, 08:15 AM
Next time I build a shop, I'm going to build a little outdoor room to house the compressor in, just to keep it quieter in the shop. It's really hard to work sometimes with anyone else if the compressor is running.

I've considered building a Compressor "shed" outside on the back wall to house it. Save me the floor space and the noise. My neighbor may not be impressed however:o

Squishy!
12-30-2013, 10:00 AM
I've considered building a Compressor "shed" outside on the back wall to house it. Save me the floor space and the noise. My neighbor may not be impressed however:o


Insulation goes a long way to keeping happy neighbors. It's a good fences kinda thing.

Unless of course you wanna make em mad. :D

Jacket
12-30-2013, 12:27 PM
I got this one (or something pretty close to it) in the last couple of years after my cheap, old compressor finally died.

http://www.aircompressorsdirect.com/Industrial-Air-ILA1883054-Air-Compressor/p3703.html?utm_source=google+shopping&utm_medium=shop+portals&utm_campaign=ILA1883054&gclid=CI2U4YPV2LsCFfJxOgodNiQA4g

I picked it up at Murdoch's when they were having a sale - I think it was just under $400 with the sale. Decent machine, runs relatively quietly, and does most everything previously mentioned for the 120v machines. I think all these 120v compressors that have been mentioned are similar in spec and capacity, and seem to be around $400 at the cheapest. I'm not sure there is really much of a difference unless you can increase the budget and spend $700 or more for an American made product or a 240v compressor.

One thing I've noticed is that running one of these machines on a standard 15A breaker tends to trip the fuse fairly often unless I am very careful about what else is running on the circuit. I'd like to upgrade that breaker on the panel to 20 or 25A, but it's a project for another time. For now, it just pisses me off when it happens.

Squishy!
12-30-2013, 01:48 PM
One thing I've noticed is that running one of these machines on a standard 15A breaker tends to trip the fuse fairly often unless I am very careful about what else is running on the circuit. I'd like to upgrade that breaker on the panel to 20 or 25A, but it's a project for another time. For now, it just pisses me off when it happens.


:eek: just be careful upsizing a breaker. You gotta make sure it's the right wire size to handle a 20amp+. Otherwise it's like putting a bigger fuse in your cruiser just cause your headlight keeps popping.

I think I'm going to put in a dedicated circuit for my compressor.

Air Randy
01-02-2014, 08:27 AM
60 gal, 5 horse, upright, 220v, oil-type. $479 at Home Depot type places. You can't outrun this compressor unless you do a lot of sandblasting (without stopping) or use a giant impact wrench on 8-lug trucks as fast as you can. I have had mine almost 20 years (a Coleman) - never done anything except drain water out of it. I have used it extensively in that time, although as a hobbiest. Oil type are quieter than oilless and uprights take up less room. 220v start quickly/briskly and after it's wired, you have an welder outlet you can use if you don't feel like adding another 220v outlet.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Powermate-60-Gal-Stationary-Electric-Air-Compressor-PLA3706056/202636579

Lots of good advice here already. My .02 is get the largest 220V unit you have space for and fits your budget. For most folks the Home Depot/Lowes units are everything you will ever need. No need to spend the bucks on the high end professional style units unless you are going to be using it daily for HD business use. Stay away from the oil-less 120V units unless you need a really portable unit that will only get occasional use. They work OK but are very noisy, will wear out much sooner than an oiled compressor, and you will get tired of resetting the breaker.

Keith
01-02-2014, 09:18 AM
Question for folks with the big (10+ gallon) compressors. I have a little Makita 2.6 gallon oiled compressor. I drain the air off it after each use because the manual and several friends have told me this is a good idea.

So, folks with the big units: How often do you drain the air? And how long does it take?

Corbet
01-02-2014, 09:26 AM
Thanks guys. I'm leaning toward this: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200612355_200612355 or something similar. 12.8 CFM @ 90 PSI should do all I would ask it to do. Seems like the high end of the home user type compressor. More expensive than a HomeDepot but I like "made in USA". I need to check Big R locally. Seem to remember walking by something there domestically produced.

Now to go build some more barriers to fund this.:thumb:

Air Randy
01-02-2014, 05:48 PM
Question for folks with the big (10+ gallon) compressors. I have a little Makita 2.6 gallon oiled compressor. I drain the air off it after each use because the manual and several friends have told me this is a good idea.

So, folks with the big units: How often do you drain the air? And how long does it take?

I drain the water out of the tank once or twice a year. Its so dry in Colo. I rarely get more than a few drops. I do run an inline separator and regulator too. This is a good item to have so you can fill the tank to maximum capacity/pressure but keep the line pressure to around 90 psi. I always leave my compressor aired up but I use it frequently too.

Rezarf
01-02-2014, 08:13 PM
For under a grand and already being wired up for 220v in the garage I'd be looking at a Quincy or Ingersol Rand with a vertical tank. Longer hoses are easier to mess with than a portable tank IMHO.

simps80
05-01-2014, 10:24 AM
Is there a "most common"
220v receptacle for air compressors,
I know that's a loaded question but I have an electrician coming out to do a bunch of work I was going to have him add a 220 for my welder while he is here
and also a 220 for an air compressro that I have yet to buy.
????


most installation manuals that I can find for various 220/230 compressors call for a 15 amp like this:
-- ---
o

but then some like the quincy above that Corbet mentions (manual here: http://www.northerntool.com/images/downloads/manuals/39564.pdf )
don't even specify
....
so maybe the only answer is buy the compressor I want then wire up the plug after,
I'm trying to put the cart before the horse here, since the cart (the electrician) will be on premise anyway and the horse has yet to arrive.

let me know if anyone has any other ideas other than buying the desired compressor first

subzali
05-01-2014, 10:59 AM
One of your links doesn't work Mike. I'd say putting the circuit in first is like buying the horse first. You could just have him rough-wire it to a 240V junction box and buy the actual outlet later.

simps80
05-01-2014, 11:25 AM
yea that's probably best Matt.

it seems most I can find that actually detail the plug specs call for a 6-30 like this:



36860

maybe I'll just tell him to put that in, and if I have to change it later I will

Corbet
05-01-2014, 11:28 AM
I'd have him run the circuit if you have to just change a plug later not that big of deal. Or you could just hard wire the compressor later?

Jacket
05-01-2014, 12:19 PM
I'd say putting the circuit in first is like buying the horse first. You could just have him rough-wire it to a 240V junction box and buy the actual outlet later.

Agreed. Just take your "best guess" on the receptacle, and if you are wrong it's easy to swap out.

Note: Turn off circuit power at panel before changing receptacle... ;) :gaah: