Air Compressor Size

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Coreyw454
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Air Compressor Size

Post by Coreyw454 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:46 am

What size compressor is best for running air tools like air ratchet, impact, die grinder, etc. Will this be big enough?

https://monterey.craigslist.org/tls/6406111417.html

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REDONE
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by REDONE » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:22 am

Die grinders use a lot of air. I can't see in that pic, but I've found 5hp to be the minimum for running a single die grinder. Another consideration I can't see in the pic, but oilless compressors are throw-away compressors. They are good for minimal garage use: inflating stuff and occasionally running an air tool. For extended use at or near the duty cycle, stick to oiled compressors and use a filter/dryer when you need clean air.

Personally, I've gotten away from air tools. There's a cordless equivalent for nearly all of them, and a compressor big enough to run most of them takes up a lot of space and energy. I mean, a 5hp electric motor only gets you maybe a 1/4hp at the tool. A big compressor is pretty much necessary for serious body work, but not much else.
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Stuka
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by Stuka » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:04 pm

With air tools it all comes down to duty cycle. Your basic impact wrench or the like does not require that much if its used off and on a lot. However, die grinders and such that are being used continuously need a compressor that can really put out some CFM.

I too have moved to electric impacts and such. They are just so much nicer to use.

With that compressor, I have a feeling it won't be what you want for a grinder that you will be using regularly. If its for 30 seconds so off and on, you should be fine. You may have to wait now and then. But for prolonged work, way too small.
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Coreyw454
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by Coreyw454 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:09 pm

Thanks for the replies. You both make good points about electric tools vs air.


1979bettywhite
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by 1979bettywhite » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:58 am

Glad this got posted. Am in the market for a compressor, but in all my research, you guys are correct. For my application, I think I can get away with just using all the electric/lithium equipment. And with all the black friday etc deals out there, it has been hard to justify throwing down $300+ for a solid oiled compressor.


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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by Adventure_Wagon88 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:12 am

I've got my eye on the Eastwood QST scroll compressor down the road. They just came out with it, it's an incredible machine on paper. Their HQ is close to where I live and they often have scratch and dent/RM tools at a heavy discount. Like most said I too have built my shop around electric tools and don't miss the compressor. But I'd like to be able to run a paint gun, blow off tool, sander, and have shop air for a big plasma cutter. The little throw away $25 HF oilless I have does fine for airing tires and the occasional nailer, sheet metal punch, or blow off (given ample time haha). Save your money for a good one but invest in electric stuff in the mean time.


1979bettywhite
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by 1979bettywhite » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:30 pm

Picking up this one for Christmas.

https://www.amazon.com/Senco-PC1131-Com ... 89%3ASenco

Get's great reviews and a great price for what you get. Should be able to run some air tools with this. If I ever do want to run a paint gun or die grinder I may need to look elsewhere. But I don't intend to.

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REDONE
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by REDONE » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:49 pm

You're right that it won't run a grinder or a sprayer, but I have used that exact same compressor (borrowed) to run a framing nailer ( closing up crates the size of cars with 2+3/4 nails) and it kept up just fine. In honesty, I think that's the exact right size for a handy homeowner.
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4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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Lumpskie
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by Lumpskie » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:48 am

I use the Dewalt version of that compressor too. It's great for the impact, air wrench, nail gun and tires. That's all I've used it for but it has held up well for 6 years or so.
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by tgreese » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:54 am

The main reason the pros use air tools is because of the bulk and weight of electric motors. An air turbine is much lighter and more compact than an equivalent electric motor - really makes a difference when you are lifting and holding the tools all day.

Modern electric motors have gotten much more powerful, driven by the market for portable battery-driven tools, I presume. If I did not already have a compressor, I would own an electric impact.
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threepiece
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by threepiece » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:51 pm

Electric and pneumatic power each have advantages and disadvantages.

As mentioned air tools are usually lighter but this isn’t always an advantage such as with an impact wrench and pneumatic hammer. A heavier bodied impact or hammer tool will transmit more energy to the action instead of being absorbed as vibration in your hands and arms. These tools are usually not used for long periods of time so I prefer heavier over lighter.

Drilling spot welds with a relatively delicate and expensive cutter can be trouble with electric drills. The high rotating mass of the motor armature can cause the cutting tool to snap if it becomes jammed in the work. For this reason I prefer air power for spot weld drilling.

It is hard to beat the throttle control of a quality air tool, even cheap air tools often have better control than many electric tools. This is especially important with grinders where finess is sometimes the game.

Air tools exhaust air. This exhaust air invariably picks up dust. I hate breathing dust.

Electricity can be dangerous in wet places. There have been times when I had to stop work outdoors because of wet conditions.
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Re: Air Compressor Size

Post by threepiece » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:39 am

Stuka wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:04 pm
With air tools it all comes down to duty cycle. Your basic impact wrench or the like does not require that much if its used off and on a lot. However, die grinders and such that are being used continuously need a compressor that can really put out some CFM.
I can see your point. Air tools need a certain amount of air to be effective., however the context in which you use the phrase “duty cycle” can be confusing to some.

Duty cycle basically means how long a device can operate before it requires rest (usually to cool down) I don’t know of any air tool or air compressor that can’t run continuously; These are rated at %100 duty cycle. The condition of insufficient air would be better described as a lack of capacity.
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.

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