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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Air tools

How big of unit do i need to run tools? I have small air com. i use for a nailer and air brush, ext. I would like to run a some basic tools for repair and maybe A cut off wheel and a small sander. What should i look for?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 11:27 AM
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I have a 20 gal Craftsman... and it's barely adequate.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 11:43 AM
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i have a 20 something gallon from harbor frieght and it works pretty darn well ....dont buy an oil-less from them though.

it ran my nail gun just fine.....and it also runs my impact wrench w/o problems.....

i dont for-see needing much bigger than that in the near future....but maybe that will change once i get more stuff....i'd like a sandblaster soon

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 01:37 PM
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The gallon size of the tank isn't what's important.
Even a tiny little pump can fill it after a long enough time. If the compressor pump can't keep up, you'll run out of air as soon as the tank is drained. The tank is just storage.

They are rated in CFM - cubic feet per minute. Check the tools rating, then check the compressor's rating.

General rule is a 3 HP pump will keep up with most air tools. Sandblasters usually need a bit more.
2 HP works, but every so often you have to let it catch up. That's the common home compressor - it's fine for most home projects.

1 - 1.5 HP is a PITA!

Over 3 HP usually requires 220V.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Great thanks for the info. As long as i get a 2hp or larger, with oil i will be ok Thanks
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 04:00 PM
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I would also pay attention to the tank size. For instance... it will do you no good to have a 5hp motor if it has to run constantly to keep up with an air hog tool. Large impacts, grinders, and sanders can use a lot of air. Especially if you buy lower cost tools, they seem to be much less efficient than their high dollar counterparts.

I have a single stage 1.5 HP on a vertical 44gal tank. Once the smaller pump has the tank filled, I can work non-stop and I only own a couple of tools that use so much air that I need to stop from time to time to let the pump catch up.

The larger tank is also nice for other things. Once the tank if pressurized, it sits... if I need to use a little bit of air here and there, I don't even need to turn it on. Just use what's already stored. For instance, if the tank is full @ 120psi, I can re-inflate all four 35 inch tires on my jeep when I return home from the trail without flipping the switch.

Is this the only hammer you've got?
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 04:16 PM
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How long does it take that 1.5 to fill up the 44 gal initially?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 04:31 PM
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I would recommend a 220 volt compressor that puts out enough cfm to keep up with the tools you intend to run off it. So you need to start from the perspective of what tools do you intend to use with it.

There's all sorts of marketing baloney of 2 hp peak, 5 hp peak, etc. A real 2 hp compressor needs 220 v power, otherwise you need more amperage than a 110v circuit can typically supply. I agree with the recommendation of at least 3 hp. I have a 220v 2hp twin cylinder unit and it won't keep up to continuous work with a paint gun, sander or impact. At one time I had a 5 hp compressor and I now wish I had replaced it with same. You could run tools at about 75% duty cycle and it would keep up. You turned it on and the pressure gauge went from zero to 90 very quickly. You need that if you are doing something like sand blasting, painting or sanding.

Also, buy quality tools, they deliver more power for the air they consume than the cheap chinese tools.

When looking at CFM of the tools, consider the typical duty cycle. An impact gun might see very intermittent use, a sandblaster, sander, or paint gun continuous use. So if the impact uses 10cfm, and you run it at 50% duty cycle, you might only need a 5cfm at 90psi compressor. But if you run a paint gun that uses 12 cfm at 40 psi, and you run it continuously, which is likely, you will need a compressor that can deliver 12 cfm at 40 psi. Also note that the cfm is rated at a specific psi. The higher the psi, the lower the cfm output, as its more highly compressed.

You'll never regret buying a good compressor.
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