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View Full Version : Compressor recomendations ???



KiddZimaHater
10-22-2009, 12:02 AM
I need a small compressor for die grinding, deburring, part cleaning, etc.
Most likely something in the 5 - 8 gallon, portable range.
What brands do you recommend?
I've read some AWFUL reviews about Craftsman. YIKES !!!
Home Depot? Lowes? Harbor Fright?
Or should I go with High-Dollar-Willy?
Help me out fellas....

dp
10-22-2009, 12:13 AM
Figure out how many cfm you need to run your tools and how much pressure you need, then buy a compressor that delivers that cfm at that pressure with a tank size of your preference.

KiddZimaHater
10-22-2009, 12:23 AM
Well, the average die grinder needs about 4-6 CFM's and 90 PSI, which really ain't much.
But which Brands are good?
I was thinking Craftsman, UNTIL I read the reviews.

barts
10-22-2009, 12:23 AM
I have a small Rigid (http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/OF45175-Air-Compressor/EN/index.htm) I like; semi-portable.

If I had the space, I'd have a nice big two stage... but for now, this will do.

- Bart

Bguns
10-22-2009, 01:48 AM
#1 NOT OILLESS Noisy, you will go deaf, and broke replacing PLASTIC pistons...
#2 Belt drive, so if pump dies easily replaced...
#3 1740 rpm 110 and 220 motor, if not affordable.... get 3450 rpm... Running big pumps slower makes them last...
#4 Cast iron pump...if not affordable at least castiron liners...
#5 1 to 1.5 real hp is enough for most light work
#6 CFM ratings are also inflated by dropping pressure.. What you need is at least 6 CFM at 90 PSI...

My cast iron pump, belt drive motor Cambell Housefield, has been working hard for 23 years in semi commercial use... sometimes 5 or 6 hours continuous running a day.

If you can run 220 to it, it will cause less blinking of shop lights on start.....

ALL Electric Compressor Motor HP ratings are bogus, a 110 v ~1.5hp motor draws 15 amps (max for normal 110 circut)

Notice HP on motor says SPC or Special.. Right next to Amp and volts so you can see what you actually are getting

psomero
10-22-2009, 03:14 AM
#1 NOT OILLESS Noisy, you will go deaf, and broke replacing PLASTIC pistons...
#2 Belt drive, so if pump dies easily replaced...
#3 1740 rpm 110 and 220 motor, if not affordable.... get 3450 rpm... Running big pumps slower makes them last...
#4 Cast iron pump...if not affordable at least castiron liners...
#5 1 to 1.5 real hp is enough for most light work
#6 CFM ratings are also inflated by dropping pressure.. What you need is at least 6 CFM at 90 PSI...




this man speaks the truth. especially the stuff in bold.

i doubt you're going to find a really "portable" model with a cast iron head, but i'd take cast iron over aluminum any day after having a craftsman oil-free compressor that has caused a lot of problems.

anything pneumatic or pneumatics-related that craftsman makes has been an utter disappointment to me. it's odd seeing that they have some of the best hand tools out there and everybody i know who has a craftsman toolbox with ball bearing slides loves it...

dr pepper
10-22-2009, 05:53 AM
I have a bus air brakes compressor turned by a scrapped 3 phase saw motor modded to single phase, fastened to a old gas bottle for a tank.
Cheap compressor, cost 20 quid for the compressor head from the local bus depot, the rest scrounged free.
If you've lots of cash though you could go and buy a nice broom wade or ingersol.

EVguru
10-22-2009, 06:22 AM
I have two compressors!

The first is the static one that I've been using for hobby use for nearly 20 years, it's a 3hp 100litre twin piston FIAC. It started popping it's 16 amp breaker a while back and needed a new starter cap, but other than that it's been rock solid.

My second compressor is a little portable 2.5hp unit that can be run on a standard UK fused 13 Amp plug unlike the big one. It came with blasting gun, blow gun, tyre inflator, paint gun, parafin gun, a long and short hoses and couplings all for the sum of 82 (three years guarantee).

It's from the discount ALDI chain, they do airtools once a years. I've been quite impressed with ALDI tools, cheap but usually quite adequate for hobby use.

psomero
10-22-2009, 07:11 AM
if you'd consider scabbing one together from parts, i'd highly suggest looking into york air conditioner compressors. there's probably at least a hundred websites detailing their conversion to air compressor on all of the 4x4 sites out there these days.

many auto manufacturers used york pumps in their vehicles. ford and volvo are two i know of for sure and they pumped out tens of thousands of cars which are rotting away in junkyards today...

airsmith282
10-22-2009, 08:26 AM
if waht you are loking for is a small 8 gallon unit go for the ch 8 gallon one i have one and i use it for all my auto motive and small engine stuff i use die grinders on it, as well as painting and so on its a work horse and i uses oil so its quiet when compared to and oil less one, very realible and you can usualy get just hte compressor it self for under 200 bucks or get he kit i did at home depo it was 229 canadian at the time i thnk it still is to if i remeber right, any how its a awesome machine and wil suit the needs you listed, i have also done sand blasting wiht it to , its not to bad but could be better in that department, other wise its a great machine and well worth every penny spent, one thign i did notive is the aftermarket tools like somna for example use less cfm then the same tool in a ch or master craft and so on, and the price was less and quaility is good as well.. i even bought pitbull air ratchet ok so i was really cheap but you know it performs just the same as the ch one and less cfm required.

anyhow thats my take on this one

aboard_epsilon
10-22-2009, 08:42 AM
you need 14 cfm for die grinder if you are using it continually (thats more than 5 Min's at a time)

i know this ..because that is what my compressor is ..and it just about keeps up with them ..

before anyone says ..it cant be a 14cfm comp..it is ..and its an Ingersoll rand one and genuine 5hp

what ever the manufacturers state as the cfm for those grinders ..it can be wrong.........

all the best.markj

radkins
10-22-2009, 10:56 AM
Also don't think a bigger tank will help, CFM is what you need. The tank is probably the most mis-understood part of the compressor but it's the part people see the most, bigger is better right? Not necessarily and a tank too big for the compressor is as bad or worse than one that is too small.

Falcon67
10-22-2009, 01:35 PM
Having had several compressors, I'd say a cast iron with separate motor and at least a 25 gallon tank and 1.5HP is the minimum for any kind of shop. These are usually 6.5 @ 90 / 8.5 @ 40 or thereabouts. Good enough for most stuff. If you have a corner, a vertical 3.5HP 60 gallon unit only runs about $100 more than a good portable and is 5+ times better. If you were close, I have an excellent used 25 gallon Porter-Cable compressor I'd make a deal on.

Actually, I see you're down around San Antonio, which isn't super far in Texas distance terms.

jdunmyer
10-22-2009, 02:02 PM
A_E has it right: if you're going to run any air tool that has a motor (grinders), you need a 5Hp compressor. I've had an old Gardner-Denver 2-cylinder single stage outfit for about 30 years now, and running either a die grinder or angle grinder steadily will keep that compressor running.

A bigger tank will help only if your compressor is a bit marginal and your tool usage is intermittant.

If the compressor you're considering runs on 120 volts, it's not big enough, period.

madman
10-22-2009, 02:26 PM
Well I bought a 5 HP Horizontal Model. I was told (yeah Ill believe anything) that it was a Devilbiss Two Stage. Then i did some work for a airvcompressor company in town. The gentleman comes into my home shop looks at my compressor and says..,,,How do you like youre SWAN AIR COMPRESSOR FROM CHINA. I was shocked i thought it was american.(I dony like chinese stuff in my shop) anyhow it is solid a two stage and has been totally trouble free for a LONGb Time. So if you see a swan cast iron 5 horsepower air compressor fear not it works damn well.

Forrest Addy
10-22-2009, 03:07 PM
Use air only for those things only air can do like bead blasting and some forms of spray painting, and parts blowdown. Air die grinders are air hogs. It takes a 3 to 5 HP (REAL HP not a number painted on a tank) to run a die grinder or a small bead blaster.

There have been some many improvements in power and weight reduction in electric die grinders I wuld never ghive an air grinder shop room. I use nothing but electric die grindersm 4" angle grinders and sanders. My air tool are in a box someplace.

That said only air will run a bead blaster. So if you get a compressor get one suited for your heaviest load. Ideally compressors whould run at 50% duty cycle so size the compressor DOUBLE the demand. The compressor will last many times longer than if it had to run non-stop for hours.

Some budget import compressors are durable performers. Don't sneer at them just because they are Chinese or whatever. So far as brand name that can be a crap shoot in thesee days of fraudulent compressor ratings and off shore sourcing. The all cast iron conpressors sold at Home Depot have attracted me. Most have US motors on them but them sizing them to suite your applications be sure to look at the motor name plate for full load Amps. 15 Amps at 230 volts three phase can be no more than 4 HP no matter what it says on the tank. 5 HP draws about 21 Amps at 230 Volts and do on. It's OK to buy a compressor with bogus rating becuase they may be of good quality outside of the claimed HP. My point is not to be taken in by a damn lies.

Falcon67
10-23-2009, 08:49 AM
Some budget import compressors are durable performers. Don't sneer at them just because they are Chinese or whatever. So far as brand name that can be a crap shoot in thesee days of fraudulent compressor ratings and off shore sourcing. The all cast iron conpressors sold at Home Depot have attracted me. Most have US motors on them but them sizing them to suite your applications be sure to look at the motor name plate for full load Amps. 15 Amps at 230 volts three phase can be no more than 4 HP no matter what it says on the tank. 5 HP draws about 21 Amps at 230 Volts and do on. It's OK to buy a compressor with bogus rating becuase they may be of good quality outside of the claimed HP. My point is not to be taken in by a damn lies.

The 60 gallon single stage units at HD, Lowes, the blue Campbell units, Tractor Supply, etc are all the same, just different colors. It's the same one I have - got the best price at Tractor Supply ($399). I assume the compressor is from the Lo Flung Happy Manufacturing and Heavy Industries plant. No matter, it works good. It runs very little in normal use. I have times where I use the devil out of a die grinder. When I port a set of heads, I just go buy a die grinder and expect to toss it when done. The compressor keeps up well enough. You're off a little on the current draw - the 3.5HP unit here pulls about 11 amps, 5 HP would be 17A @ 220 (5HP = 3725W / 220 = 16.9 more or less). Figure ((745 watts / HP) / supply voltage). Most compressors now carry the real rating - in the past, older units do not. The 1 1/2 HP portable I have has a "6HP" sticker on the side LOL.

I figure when I wear this one out, if the tank is good it's no problem to swap in a two stage pump and a slightly bigger motor, or go 3 phase.

airsmith282
10-23-2009, 09:51 AM
more and more stuff al the time is made in china japan and tiawan and ther is nothing wornge with the stuff,stuff that was usa made is not anymore and some guys still thing its made is usa its gota be good well not always so , i have noting against the usa stuff but the truth be know more and more all the time stuff stamped made id usa is not its made in china and such, sometimes you will see a lable made for the usa or made to usa specs still the stuff is not made in the usa , some guys dont read past the usa part and they by it and bitch after they find out is made in china, oh well thats life, 99% of all computer componets are made in japan and a few other places then they stamp the thing made in usa waht they dont say is with japan and china parts, the word revolves aropund japan and a few others cause they the ones that got the know how to do the parts,

toyota no longer made in japan now made in canada but with japan parts how dumb is that, is the car any better or worse no its still a great car so how the hell cares where its made or by whom its made by,

CH products now made in china likley for long time now and still CH is one of the better ones out there for HSM and just the home and car guys ,i wont by usa made stuff for air tools the stuff is over priced and they dont last any longer then made in china or other country made air tools.

i wont take my car to a mechanic they charge to much and some rip you off to and make crap happen so your bill goes even higher, so no one works on my car but me and i know what iam doing and i know my car is probley one of the safest ones on the road, ..

yes the CFM is a big thing but thats if you need it if you dont need it dont bother, i gots like 4.5 cfm in my 8 gallon ch and so whatif i have to let it recharge for a few seconds after using my die grinder or my 1/2 impact , big deal who care does it ge the job done yes it does, can i afford a bigger compresor with more CFM heck no would i if i had the money , darn straight i would but only for using a sand blaster on and thats it, my sand blaster wants 9cfm i got half that and it does work but it takes forever to do large items , small stuf its perfect for, but for larger stuff i want about 18 cfm and il be happy when i get 900 bucks i dont care about then ill by a bigger one that better suites my sand blaster..

my buddy gave me an aitbreating machine ,its cool it puts out 15 psi just perfect for my full size ch paint sprayer and its perfect as well for an airbrush kit to, and i can lower the psi as needed, anyhow never run out of air never run low on air its perfect , we all should have one of these cool toys, makes painting a pleasure now. even sucks up alot less hyro to boot,

if you need big get big if you dont need big then dont bother if inthe future you need big then save up for your dream compresser..

aboard_epsilon
10-23-2009, 11:38 AM
you got a lot of that wrong Airsmith

hardly anything percentage wise electronic comes from japan anymore ..that was 30 years ago ..

its all Taiwan now for most of the half decent stauff.....after that china makes most of it.

if it did come from japan though ...you would have a good buy, if you could get it cheap enough ..but you cant any longer ...jap made stuff has premium price.

all the best.markj