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post #1 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 6:34 pm Thread Starter
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Small, home, air compressor

I'm looking to buy a small home electrical compressor, just to have at my garage so I can tap the tires, blow dust from the small parts on the bike, and other things (any ideas?).
I stop by Sears and then Wall Mart and they have all kinds on the price range of $100 to $200.

Any idea what would be a good brand/model?

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post #2 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 7:03 pm
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I bought a "Husky" brand at Home Depot about 5 years ago for about $90. It's not fancy - just bought it for tires. It hangs on the wall, but is portable. Very handy for autos & bicycles, too. I imagine the Sears Craftsman brand would be as good if not better.

Very similar to this:
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...seBVCookie=Yes

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post #3 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 7:27 pm
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Small, home, air compressor

Elton,

Most brands sold are good compressors. First, what do you want to use it for? Just filling tires and using the occasional small air tool? Or do you want to knock off rusted lug nuts from an old car? For all applications, look at the max PSI (pressure) rating of the compressor and the CFM (volume).

Also, consider how much current draw the compressor will have versus the out put. My garage is only on a 5 amp circuit, so I bought the following:

2 gallon Black & Decker compressor at Target for $80. It has a 125psi max pressure, but only has 6CFM at 45 psi. Lots of push, just not for very long. Plus, it only draws 3 amps, as it is a vane compressor (works like a supercharger).

If you have the space and electrical, a 5HP 15-20 gallon (15 amp draw) will do you just fine.

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post #4 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 9:25 pm
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I've had a Sears’s compressor (1 hp - 12 gallon tank - oil compressor) for almost 30 yrs. I use it for airing tires; blowing dust; powering my finishing nail gun, air ratchet and caulking gun. I have never had any problems with it. However, if I were to purchase a new one I would get the kind that is vertical because it takes up less floor space. Remember to drain the tank after each use to get rid of the accumulated moisture to prevent rust. I think you will find that this will be one of the best investments you've made.
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post #5 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 9:50 pm
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If all you want is to fill tires and such small jobs check "Big Lots" if you have one close by, they have been seen for about $50.00 or so.

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post #6 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 10:01 pm
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I had one of the "cheap" 110v 26 gallon compressors from Campbell Hausfeld...it caught on fire. I'll never buy another oilless compressor again. I replaced it with a 60 gallon 230v compressor from Home Depot.
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post #7 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 10:37 pm Thread Starter
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what exactly would be the advantage (or not) of an oilless compressor?

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post #8 of 20 Old Mar 18th, 2007, 11:45 pm
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Buy a compressor for now but do look further down the track. Check out the cfm requirements of some of the pneumatic tools around, they often need more supply that the little compressors can deliver.

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post #9 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 1:50 am
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Small, home, air compressor

An oilless compressor is maintenance free, which when translated from technical jargon means: it will work fine for a long time, then fail, when it does finally fail, this one can't be repaired.

Tim Barstow

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post #10 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 7:09 am
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I've had oiless compressors forever and never had a problem other than the fact that I always wish I had a bigger one. Once you have one, you always find other things you would like to do with it. I would look at a compressor with a tank (mine is vertical to take up less floor space) instead of a small tankless unit. Just my $.02.

Ray

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post #11 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 7:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout
what exactly would be the advantage (or not) of an oilless compressor?
Elton, if you remember the little compressor I bought to the service party at your house, it was my daughter's Sears Craftsman, about $90. It would be just fine for the uses you mention. It will even run an impact wrench for short times, as long as the pressure is given time to build back up between uses. The CFM ratings are steady state that the compressor will supply to the tank. However, the CFM output fom the tank to the tool is as high as the hose and fittings will allow for a short time until the pressure drops too much for the tool used. Remember, we tried the impact wrench on Buck's swing arm pivots, but had to get a 4 foot pipe to break that one loose. Unless you plan to do something which requires high CFM for a longer time, such as painting, just get the small one.

Oilless is OK for home use, but the larger oiless compressors are noisy and pretty low CFM for the horsepower rating. I have a 2HP Craftsman oil type that has seen pretty heavy use for about 30 years! The tank is starting to rust out now, so I will be looking for a good 3-5 HP vertical OIL TYPE unit next.

Beware anyone looking for compressors now, for some stupid reason the manufacturers of consumer ones got into a HP war, and now are rating them at "PeaK" hp. That is a huge rip off, as it is meaningless. Don't understand why they are allowed to label them this way. If you want a certain HP compressor, be sure it is steady state rated. One clue is that one horsepower is 746 watts, supply will be more due to motor efficiency, so check the motor nameplate rating for amps, multiply the voltage by the amps to get watts, then divide by 800 to get approx. steady state HP.

Another clue, one horsepower of compressor should supply about 4 CFM steady at 90 PSI to the tank. A true 2 HP compressor will be rated at around 8 CFM at 90 PSI.

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post #12 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 8:39 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout
what exactly would be the advantage (or not) of an oilless compressor?
They generally run on 115V and are VERY loud. The only "advantage" is that they are cheaper than the good old fashioned ones.
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post #13 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 9:30 am
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I got a little 2 gallon one at TSC. It does great for topping off the bike and car tires but it will not do much else. It is noisy but I do use it fairly often.

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post #14 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 9:45 am Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the comments. I guess now a much more educated on compressors.
My garage has only 5A like Tim's garage so I will look for something on the 3A range.
I will try to get a vertical tank, and at least 100+PSI, oil type.

I will let you guys know when I get it.

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post #15 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 11:50 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderRay
I've had oiless compressors forever and never had a problem other than the fact that I always wish I had a bigger one. Once you have one, you always find other things you would like to do with it. I would look at a compressor with a tank (mine is vertical to take up less floor space) instead of a small tankless unit. Just my $.02.

Ray
Right, I picked up a huge one at an auction for under $50. (Big enough that it lives out back.
It will also run any air tool including an airboard sander, if I'm so inclined.
Rock

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post #16 of 20 Old Mar 19th, 2007, 12:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout
Thank you all for the comments. I guess now a much more educated on compressors.
Surely your garage circuit is a 15 Amp circuit, and not 5 amp?

It is important though to be able to start a compressor under that is located some distance away from your electrical service entrance. Using 220 VAC really helps if you can add the necessary wiring. Otherwise the input surge will pop the breaker on restart unless you have a pretty small compressor.

I cobbled an old refrigerator compressor adding some conventional oil for lubrication. Advantages are they are quiet, take little power, generate high pressures (150 psi easily) with no sweat, but they have very low capacity, so they need a large tank. You must add a blowoff valve for safety though!
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post #17 of 20 Old Mar 20th, 2007, 12:24 pm
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My loverly wife bought me a this Delta Compressor and Tools combo for Christmas several years ago at Home Depot. I'd been wanting one for years and she only bought this one because it was on sale for $110 with the tool set. She found a couple of small nail/brad guns at Sam's and I had Christmas for less than $200.

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post #18 of 20 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 4:14 am
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Re: Small, home, air compressor

For years I used a small converted oil type compressor converted from a very old appliance of some sort. It had a 12 gal tank. Took forever to pump up but was pretty usedful to have until I started wanting to use air tools. Bought a 240V only compressor from Sears that delivers 12 cfm at 90 psi and has a 27 gal. tank. I love how fast it comes up to pressure and have found that it is nice to have a 240 V only compressor. Makes it harder for people to borrow! I fitted it with a ball type valve for the water release as it is more reliable and NEVER plugs up with the flotsam and jetsam that is inside the tank from mfg. Never any rust but the original screw type valve kept plugging up.


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post #19 of 20 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 6:16 am
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Re: Small, home, air compressor

Check craigslist. I eventually found a 22 gal, 150 psi and paid $50.00.
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post #20 of 20 Old Jun 10th, 2009, 8:31 am
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Re: Small, home, air compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout
I'm looking to buy a small home electrical compressor, just to have at my garage so I can tap the tires, blow dust from the small parts on the bike, and other things (any ideas?).
I stop by Sears and then Wall Mart and they have all kinds on the price range of $100 to $200.

Any idea what would be a good brand/model?
I bought a Factory Rebuilt Makita MAC2400 for about $200. It is the quietest compressor that I could find. Here is a link to Amazon so you can read the reviews. Look for a Makita factory service center in your area if you are interested in this compressor. The one I bought looks and performs like it was brand new.

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