Air Compressor For Household Use?

Old 07-12-18, 02:25 PM
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Air Compressor For Household Use?

I am going to get a new air compressor to replace my old harbor freight. No major automotive work or anything, just casual garage stuff, but in the event, I want to know I have some good psi to work with. I have this in mind:

Would this be stupid for a garage comp, or is it more geared strictly for job use?

Many Thanks, Don
Old 07-12-18, 02:31 PM
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It isn't so much about psi as it is about cfm. Most any 120 volt compressor will put out 110 psi or more. Each tool has it's own cfm requirement. Some tools like a nail gun can get by with less because it's only used for a moment. Impacts and such require more but often you can stop and let the compressor build pressure back up. Sanding and painting require the most cfm. Personally I'd want something with a bigger reserve [tank] BUT a lot depends on what you'll be using it for.
Old 07-12-18, 03:31 PM
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For casual house hold odd jobs it's more than I have. I use one of those donut units and it does everything I need. I even tightened bolts with it. You'll be fine, except if you expect to do lots of spray paint or use pneumatic told to any great degree.
Old 07-12-18, 03:38 PM
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The oiless pump will be louder than a pump using oil.
Old 07-12-18, 04:21 PM
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I have a very similar comp by Dewalt...but it's an oiled motor. Still kinda noisy.

Here's a hint....take it and find a cheapo lightweight dolly at somewhere like Big5, Harbor Freight, or thrift store/yard sale. Mount the compressor so the tank, gauges, and connections face the handles of the dolly. Makes it easy to move around, won't take up much room when stored in the upright position. With a little ingenuity, you can even bolt some hooks or something on and have a place for hoses/tools. When you want to use it...just wheel it over, lay it down flat, plug and go. Because mines oiled...I let it sit in the down position for 5-10 minutes before use. Oil-less wouldn't have that issue.

Mine has worked great for near 20 yrs...but doesn't have near enough capacity for a die grinder, impact wrench, etc being used normally.
Old 07-12-18, 04:23 PM
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Good call Vic. I also have mine mounted on dolly. Makes life so much easier.
Old 07-12-18, 04:28 PM
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Yeah...doesn't seem all that heavy at first, steel tank and all...but look at the weight spec. 55lbs! Maybe for young bucks, but I value my back.
Old 07-13-18, 09:17 AM
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You didn't say why you are replacing your HF unit, but if it was doing what you needed, and given the price difference, I would probably stick with another one just like it. I have 4 air compressors, including a 5 HP two stage for the shop, and the HF one just for carrying someplace to run a nailer, but have found that I use it a lot more than I first thought. Because it's so light weight I have often carried it out to top off the air in one of the vehicle or trailer tires or blow the dust out of the mower engine rather than dragging a hose out. I don't see a weight on the one you linked but it looks anyway a bit heavier. As far as anything being "stupid" for a garage, nothing is stupid, it's just a matter of having one that provides enough cfm for what you need. And yes, psi matters too, but, as mentioned already, cfm is more critical, at least for most homeowner applications.
Old 07-13-18, 01:48 PM
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Question - why are you getting a new air compressor?
Depending on the answer, have you thought about adding a supplemental air tank?
Something as small as 5 gallons or 10 gallons can improve performance.

Here's why I know.- I've got a 5HP 60 gallon compressor in a poorly heated 6'x10' garage workshop;
for winter projects I prefer to work in a warmer 28' x 36' unfinished basement;
so I run about 200' of 3/8" air hose to bring 120 PSI air to the basement. Regulator & auto oiler are on quick connects, so just click them off of the compressor and onto the end of the hose
Setup worked great with pin nailer, dremel sized air grinder, air saw.
Small orbial sander and HVLP spray gun, air drill, cutoff all worked ok.
Impact wrench, big descaler or chisel, nope.

Then, I fitted a 5 gallon air tank as a "local reserve tank", added an "X fitting" #1 is air-fill/pressure vent,
#2 is 3/8 quick connect on a 24" whip, #3 is tank, #4 is 3/8 nozzle with a ball valve.
(Valve is needed to hold air when you disconnected the nipple from the air line).
Having an extra 5 gallons of 115 psi air available for air-hugry tools made a difference,
impact wrench and chisel now work long enough to be useful.
Big descaler still doesn't work well, guess I'll have to pickup one of the smaller pistol-grip versions when it's on sale.

Finally, here's a hint - add a ball valve to the nozzle of your airhose and you get a quasi-air tank. One 50' hose @ 110 psi holds enough air to inflate lawnmower tires, 100' will inflate a flat car tire enough to be useful. Even those dinky yellow spiral hoses hold enough air to get ~2 shots from a pin nailer, because there's ALWAYS at least one nail that's JUST beyond the reach of the hose.

Last edited by Hal_S; 07-13-18 at 04:00 PM.

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