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post #1 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Best shop compressor

I'm in the market for a new shop compressor. The hand-me-down I have doesn't have enough power for my nail guns. Does anyone have suggestions on power/cfm/tank size? I'm looking at the California Air Tools 6.3 gallon 1hp Ultra Quiet series.
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 02:17 PM
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We would need an idea of your air needs. If all you are doing is shooting nails most any compressor would work. If you are spraying a lot of paint or doing some sandblasting then you would need a much bigger compressor. I use a small 1 hp. Speedaire compressor for work on job sites where I do some paint spraying but not continiously. At the shop I have a 5 hp. Ingersol Rand T30 which gives me air for anything I'm doing.
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post #3 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
I'm in the market for a new shop compressor. The hand-me-down I have doesn't have enough power for my nail guns. Does anyone have suggestions on power/cfm/tank size? I'm looking at the California Air Tools 6.3 gallon 1hp Ultra Quiet series.
Thanks
Hi Steve,
I'm just using it for general shop work, no spraying as I use a HVLP for that and no sandblasting. My current compressor is only rated to 90lbs but probably doesn't make that much since i have trouble getting even brads all the way in hardwood trim. My big need coming up is building out the basement so i'll need enough power for my 3.5 inch framing nailer. No air tools at this time but i will probably get an impact wrench.
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 04:44 PM
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Impact wrenches, and air ratchets such up the CFM pretty good. You will want a compressor that will deliver a MINIMUM of 6 SCFM... Or at least as close as you can get to it.

It sounds like you are looking for something portable-ish... Which I would think would put you into the 30 gallon area. Much bigger and it won't be portable at all, much smaller and it won't be enough to drive an impact wrench or air ratchet...

For MY shop, I chose a Central Pnuematic 2 Horsepower, 29 Gal., 150 Cast Iron Vertical Air Compressor Item#68127. Just be sure if you go that way to get the extended warranty. A few extra bucks, but well worth it if you do get a dud... I didn't and have been flogging the snot out of my compressor now for the last few years...

I do have an issue with the regulator however... When it reads 90 psi, somehow between regulator on the tank, and through the hose, and to the impact wrench the pressure drops, meaning flow goes up, but power out of the gun drops a LOT... What I ended up doing is keeping the regulator at the tank all the way up, or at least at the 125 PSI setting, then regulating down to 90 PSI at the tool with a standard regulator http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-1-4...03AV/100019273.

Now the impact wrench does what an impact wrench is supposed to do, and does it scary well...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 04:48 PM
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A nailer is intermittent use, and as long as the pressure can be set to about 100 psi any of the little "pancake" compressors are adequate. An impact wrench needs more CFM, which implies a bigger motor and tank. I would recommend one of the 25-30 gallon upright "portable" compressors that run on 120V. Mine is a 25 gal Craftsman, and it handles anything short of a full sized HVLP spray gun.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #6 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 04:51 PM
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80 gallon two stage. 3 or 5 hp
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhost View Post
It sounds like you are looking for something portable-ish... Which I would think would put you into the 30 gallon area. Much bigger and it won't be portable at all, much smaller and it won't be enough to drive an impact wrench or air ratchet...
Agreed. The biggest you can get and still have it on wheels is about 1.6 (real) hp, and they're typically 25-30 gallon.

Quote:
I do have an issue with the regulator however... When it reads 90 psi, somehow between regulator on the tank, and through the hose, and to the impact wrench the pressure drops, meaning flow goes up, but power out of the gun drops a LOT... What I ended up doing is keeping the regulator at the tank all the way up, or at least at the 125 PSI setting,
Air pressure at the load is lower than at the source, depending on how much flow and the length, diameter of the hose and couplings etc. Exactly the same effect as electricity and wires. I have a spray gun that uses 12 CFM of air, and with only 23 psi at the gun I need to set my compressor to 90 psi. If I had 1/2" hose instead of 3/8" there'd be less losses.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 05:09 PM
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As long as you didn't continiously use the impact wrench a compressor like this one would do what you need. It will be kind of loud though. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-8-G...530B/202564847

If noise is an issue then you might look for one that has the motor and the pump are seperate like this one. It would give you more air anyway. http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...r?cm_vc=-10005
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 06:28 PM
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The size of the tank is relatively unimportant. What does matter is the CFM of the compressor. If using a tool that depletes the air supply in the tank to the point of the compressor 'kicking on' to restore the tank, it has to at the same time support the tool being used.

So, in essence, the compressor should have an output to support the CFM demand. As for design, a vertical tank setup takes less floorspace, and drains more efficiently, IMO.




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post #10 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 08:11 PM
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It's most aggravating to buy a product in which the warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on. So looking into the future just a short distance I would tend to purchase the one parts might be replaced on without relying on the manufacturer. Pressure switches, pressure regulators, leaking relief valves etc. all come to mind. Given the choices we have for light duty and cost in today's market I would opt for a belt driven oiled even if the grand kids had to go without ice cream for a short time.
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post #11 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 08:49 PM
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I have a Kobalt 30 gal, with a cast iron pump, it says it's a 1.6 running hp with 5.6 cfm at 90 psi. It's a belt driven oiler and I like it.
I run some air tools but not much, mostly nailers.
Haven't had any issues t all with it. I bought it at Lowes on sale, sorry can't remember exactly what I paid but it didn't break my wallet I do remember that.
What I really like compared to my 25 yr old 15 gal comp is that it rarely runs if I'm just using a brad nailer or 16 guage nailer. Now my air nozzle will get it going fairly quick

Good luck!
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post #12 of 29 Old 03-26-2014, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys...lots to consider and I appreciate the relies.
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post #13 of 29 Old 03-27-2014, 12:33 AM
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I had been thinking about a new compressor lately as well and narrowed it down to the Craftsman Professional Super Quiet 27 gallon or the Husky Ultra Quiet 30 gallon since I wanted 115v, oil lube, vertical tank and as quiet as possible since I have to have it inside in a specific location.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00916474000P
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-30-...-203187352-_-N
Specs were close enough for what I do and I was about to order the Craftsman however I noticed it had a 20 amp motor so I decided on the 15 amp Husky to keep from having to do any electrical upgrades. I went down to HD yesterday to pick it up but the only one they had was a display and the sales clerk said they wouldn't sell it. I decided to ask for the manager just in case and not only did he sell it to me but he gave me 20 % off! I've only done the break in procedure with it so far but I plan to do a review once I use it for a while.

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post #14 of 29 Old 03-27-2014, 08:27 AM
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Just keep in mind, if you want "quiet"
stay away from the direct drive "oil-less" ones.
They are really loud.

JC
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post #15 of 29 Old 03-27-2014, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Just keep in mind, if you want "quiet"
stay away from the direct drive "oil-less" ones.
They are really loud.
The California Air Tools Ultra Quiet series 6.3 gallon oiless compressor I'm considering has an advertised rating of 60...pretty quiet. I'm just concerned whether it has enough ummph to power a framing nailer properly.
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post #16 of 29 Old 03-27-2014, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv View Post
I had been thinking about a new compressor lately as well and narrowed it down to the Craftsman Professional Super Quiet 27 gallon or the Husky Ultra Quiet 30 gallon since I wanted 115v, oil lube, vertical tank and as quiet as possible since I have to have it inside in a specific location.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00916474000P
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-30-...-203187352-_-N
Specs were close enough for what I do and I was about to order the Craftsman however I noticed it had a 20 amp motor so I decided on the 15 amp Husky to keep from having to do any electrical upgrades. I went down to HD yesterday to pick it up but the only one they had was a display and the sales clerk said they wouldn't sell it. I decided to ask for the manager just in case and not only did he sell it to me but he gave me 20 % off! I've only done the break in procedure with it so far but I plan to do a review once I use it for a while.

I have that very model of Husky compressor. We needed one for blowing out floor cracks in old houses that required more air than the small nail gun compressors would move, and I didn't want to move the big one from the shop. It works fine, and should serve you fine for what you want. The four foot wand from Northern is well worth its cost for staying out of the fray when you are blowing something off.

The on/off switch fell apart on mine. Now I just use the plug on the cord as the switch.

Tractor Supply has decent little hose reels cheap.

Last edited by Tom King; 03-27-2014 at 04:46 PM.
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post #17 of 29 Old 03-27-2014, 04:58 PM
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Here's the link to the air wand. I bought it for blowing out floor cracks without having to bend over, which it works great for, but we end up using it for almost everything else.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2855_200512855
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post #18 of 29 Old 03-28-2014, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv View Post
I had been thinking about a new compressor lately as well and narrowed it down to the Craftsman Professional Super Quiet 27 gallon or the Husky Ultra Quiet 30 gallon since I wanted 115v, oil lube, vertical tank and as quiet as possible since I have to have it inside in a specific location.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00916474000P
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-30-...-203187352-_-N
Specs were close enough for what I do and I was about to order the Craftsman however I noticed it had a 20 amp motor so I decided on the 15 amp Husky to keep from having to do any electrical upgrades. I went down to HD yesterday to pick it up but the only one they had was a display and the sales clerk said they wouldn't sell it. I decided to ask for the manager just in case and not only did he sell it to me but he gave me 20 % off! I've only done the break in procedure with it so far but I plan to do a review once I use it for a while.

It seems like your Husky and my Kobalt are made in the same factory! they look identical, mine has been worry free.
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post #19 of 29 Old 03-28-2014, 03:44 PM
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If you want an impact wrench, you might be better off considering just buying an electric one. I think those impact drivers use a lot of air, so you'd almost have to up-size your compressor just to accommodate that one tool.

I've got the Harbor Freight 1/2" electric impact wrench (mechanics type tool, probably not for woodworking) that they sell for about $40, and it works great. I've taken off some pretty big, stubborn fasteners with that thing.

I've heard that the oiled compressors last longer than the oil-less, but I'm not an expert on these things.

I have a Husky (Home Depot) brand compressor, 8 gallon, cast iron cylinder, oiler, that has worked well for me. I've even run a LVLP sprayer with it and it worked very well. For home-use, it's been a nice unit, and about $120 or so. (basically, the same one that Steve Neul linked to above.)

Last edited by pweller; 03-28-2014 at 03:47 PM.
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post #20 of 29 Old 03-28-2014, 05:57 PM
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I have a Makita MAC 700. I needed one I could easily transport. I wanted to get the next size bigger... the one with two tanks.... but they were out of stock at the time. My Porter-Cable framing nailer runs fine at 100 psi, but I don't think it would handle a high volume tool like an air sander or impact wrench.
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