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Discussion Starter #1
Getting tired dragging my little (but getting heavier) 6 gal compressor from the basement to the garage all the time. So it's time to get another one. I'll leave the 6 gal in the garage and keep the new one in the basement. The 6 gal was too small for the shop anyway. What brand and how big should I go? Trying to keep it under $500.

HJ
 

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US made Rolair...
but 300$ is going to get you an import...

tell us more about what you are running on air...
 
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tell us more about what you are running on air...[/QUOTE]

Just the normal stuff. Blow dust around (by CNC), finish nailer, and hopefully will start spraying finish coats instead of brushing. Nothing exotic.

HJ
 

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Like Stick posted, Rolair is well made.

What you might do is call or visit a few of the air compressor repair/service shops and ask what they would recommend or what to avoid.

For years a cast iron oil bath pump was the gold standard. Those units seem to last the longest and the oil-less pumps seem to wear out quicker and from what I have been told, some are not worth repairing.

I have a Grainger USA made pump motor and a cast iron oil bath pump 25 gal. tank unit in the shop --a real work horse when needed. Only use it for nail guns, blowing out saw dust from tools, etc., it is probably a bit too much, but 'ya nevva' know when you'll need something bigger that will put out the air. I found this out when I need to use a cut off tool to remove some rusted on nuts and bolts. I do not spray with it as I have an old HVLP unit to spray water based materials.

Only problem I had in 20+ years was a new cut off valve. I added an extension to the tank drain for easier draining. I would recommend draining the tank after each use -- cheap insurance to insure tank longevity to prevent pin hole air leaks in the tank. Supposedly, the Teflon lined tanks will not rust out. Also run good filter(s) to prevent condensation from entering your tools or contaminating your finishes.
 

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tell us more about what you are running on air...
Just the normal stuff. Blow dust around (by CNC), finish nailer, and hopefully will start spraying finish coats instead of brushing. Nothing exotic.

HJ[/QUOTE]

My only advise is to stay away from the direct drive compressors. If a motor or the compressor goes bad then you are hosed. If it is basically for hobby use then a small 2-3 hp should do. There are many out there for less then the $500 price. I have a 220v, 5 hp, 20 gallon Sandborn that I paid $350 for in 1986. It is still going strong. I realize that it is a 30 year old price, but inflation can't be that much. IR, Rolairs and the like are really nice but for hobby use they are a little pricey.
 

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John , interesting post as I am looking for one too . My application needs a lot of cfm , so we're comparing apples to oranges I guess .
Here's the one I'm ordering in the near future .
https://www.acklandsgrainger.com/en/product/SDR5Z639

I have a plethora of air tools and can't use them as my Campbell Haisfeld 5.7 cfm @90 psi broke down . It was basically a big lunk of heavy crap that couldn't do more than drive air nailers anyways , so it's probably a good thing .
I should have bought the one I have now , a porter cable portable pancake style one for air nailing , and a monster for DP sanders etc .
I plan on buying a plasma cutter to , so I'm going to need a decent volume of air .

Not going below 16 cfm @90 psi this time. I've never heard of anyone complaining they have to big of a compressor . Plus I have a 100 amp service in my garage , so that helps

This ones a dual stage , [email protected]




http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/i...-67n/Ntk-All_EN/R-I1635875?Ntt=Air+compressor
This is my second choice . Single stage 4cylinder ,[email protected] psi
 

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Like Stick posted, Rolair is well made.

What you might do is call or visit a few of the air compressor repair/service shops and ask what they would recommend or what to avoid.

For years a cast iron oil bath pump was the gold standard. Those units seem to last the longest and the oil-less pumps seem to wear out quicker and from what I have been told, some are not worth repairing.

I have a Grainger USA made pump motor and a cast iron oil bath pump 25 gal. tank unit in the shop --a real work horse when needed. Only use it for nail guns, blowing out saw dust from tools, etc., it is probably a bit too much, but 'ya nevva' know when you'll need something bigger that will put out the air. I found this out when I need to use a cut off tool to remove some rusted on nuts and bolts. I do not spray with it as I have an old HVLP unit to spray water based materials.

Only problem I had in 20+ years was a new cut off valve. I added an extension to the tank drain for easier draining. I would recommend draining the tank after each use -- cheap insurance to insure tank longevity to prevent pin hole air leaks in the tank. Supposedly, the Teflon lined tanks will not rust out. Also run good filter(s) to prevent condensation from entering your tools or contaminating your finishes.
Good advice Ray .
Your lucky as the pumps are made overseas now :(
 

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Definitely focus on the tasks you plan on using it for. I use mine for spray painting and nail guns. Spraying requires good CFM, nailing not so much. I've been through several and had bad luck with all but the most recent one, a Dewalt 55168. I'm not holding my breath on that one but it's been solid for longer than any of the others. Do not go cheap on a compressor. Do avoid harbor freight compressors like the plague. I would have bought a Cal Air one (good reviews and pretty quiet) but got a really good deal on the Dewalt.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)

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I buy very few things at HF that have a motor or involve accurate measurements. But I do get some stuff there.

Kinda looking at this one. Thoughts?


http://www.amazon.com/Rolair-FC2500...ressor&qid=1461093147&ref_=sr_1_7&s=hi&sr=1-7

HJ
My last one was just over [email protected] psi and it is was just in the middle of useless IMO . Big enough to do nail and brads , but really nothing else . May as well have a little pancake one to do use for Brad nailers , as there easy to move around . I used to have to get my neighbor to help me pick my old one up , when all this time I could have had a much smaller one do the same job.
It's a tough call for me to do anything under 16 [email protected] anymore , as they will pretty much run any air tool well .
I love air tools , as when you let go of the trigger they stop right now
 

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as pluses for you...
go w/ a two stage over a single stage..
oil bath over dry...
belt drive over direct...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I found the Puma about 15 miles from me for $500. It's belt driven and oil. That's 2 out of 3.

HJ
 

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Puma at one time was top shelf...
 

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+1 on the California Air. Very quiet.

I also have an old Thomas. American made, solid, and had the price to reflect all that. I thought I'd be able to use it for life. Unfortunately, they got out of the retail business and parts aren't easy to find. I've replaced the regulator, and I'm hoping nothing else goes wrong. But I still may fail before it does.
 

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Once again, Stick hits a home run with his post.

The only thought that I can add is check electric panel breaker size for the outlet you intend to utilize. The larger compressors pull a great deal of juice on start up.
 

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add Quincey to the list of good compressors...
the library PDF's.....

.
 

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Once again, Stick hits a home run with his post.

The only thought that I can add is check electric panel breaker size for the outlet you intend to utilize. The larger compressors pull a great deal of juice on start up.
Yes that's my concern. The 7.5 hp I'm looking at has a 30 amp draw , and I'm not sure if 6 gauge wire and a 50 amp breaker will be big enough for the in rush current, as I think they recommend a 60 amp breaker . Which kind of makes it a PITA as 6 gauge copper is only rated for 55 amps . 4 gauge is a bear to work with but I've done it . Can't get 4 gauge in town here though , but they have 3 gauge .

Maybe I should down size to a 5hp compressor , as it will be easier powering wise :(
 
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