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  1. #1
    Gman's Avatar
    Gman is offline Mack Master William Large
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    Recommend me a compressor for home projects and bike bullshit.

    We're fairly active in our household and I have a bump of bicycles that are set up tubeless. I've been wanting to get a compressor for a long time to save me on trips to the local bike shop every time I want to swap tires. I'd prefer something with a big enough tank so it's not constantly having to refill and wake up the little one in the house. I have no idea what I'm looking at here so no idea how big of a tank or how much HP the motor needs to have. Might also use it for some furniture projects to strap a paint spray thing to it. Double bonus if I can use it with air tools for working on the Datsun. Doesn't need to be fancy, just needs to work. How much do I need to spend to get what I want and can I get it from somewhere like Home Depot to make it easy?

  2. #2
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    Look at the CFM requirements of the air tools you expect to use, and buy something suitable for that. Vertical tank doesn't take much space, so if you have a garage corner for it, just get a big one.

    This is my 18 year old oil less one. Still works fine. Oil less is noisier and won't last as long as oiled, so if you're running it constantly (commercial use) buy oiled.

    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  3. #3
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    Look at cfm (volume) vs pressure.
    Check craigslist, lots of tradesmen selling old gear all the time. Make sure fittings & hoses aren't too restrictive.

    I have an old craftsman, like 2hp, about 4.5 cfm, makes short work of tires and runs an impact for changing car wheels.

  4. #4
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    Pretty popular topic (not all are relevant but the first 4 are): https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...rchid=27336451

  5. #5
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    My use of a compressor is similar to op's. After having owned a couple different compressors, I'm fairly happy with the small, cheap pancake compressor I currently have. It's probably not gonna run a big nailer, but it's nice to be able to easily move it around as needed. I can fill trailer tires without having to deal with running lots of hose - I just carry the compressor out to where I need it. Extension cords are easy.

  6. #6
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    Ditto on the usage. I have this one, it's been perfectly fine, the attachments are quality: https://smile.amazon.com/PORTER-CABL...00N5UHK0&psc=1

  7. #7
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    I had a small Craftsman oil-lubed compressor that shit the bed after a couple years. I went to a Porter Cable pancake model and I’m a lot happier with it.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Porter-C...2002/203162815

    Edit: Oh, like ice’s.

  8. #8
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    I have a small 8gallon oiled compressor. 2.5HP, 4.1 cfm @ 90 psi
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    Compressor is fine, nothing special, but I like the 8 gallons are split between two 4 gallon tanks. The upper tank I can remove and take along to fill tires, blow out water lines, etc, when only a little air is needed. Total package is a bit heavy at 80lbs for portability though.
    Reminds me, time to replace the oil in the compressor.
    Last edited by BCMtnHound; 01-22-2021 at 04:38 PM.

  9. #9
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    I have like 5 compressors and like the California Air Tools one best. It's much quieter than the others, and aluminum tanks are nice when I have to carry it into jobsites.
    Whatever you do, don't get one of the cheap pancake ones from HD. It will wake up your dead neighbors, though they do seem to last forever.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  10. #10
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    I have the Husky 33 Gal one from HD. It is loud, takes a while to fill, and runs constantly when I use air tools.
    Works great though. I have used it with air guns, cutting tools, grinders, etc.
    Wish list item, when this one dies is a dual stage Puma 40 gal. https://www.aircompressorsdirect.com...CABEgK9GfD_BwE

  11. #11
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    I bought a Makita MAC5200 about ten years ago. It’s a 3hp 5 gallon 6.5cfm compressor which fills most of my needs well. It’s awesome with tires and as an air supply for blowing things off. It runs all my nail guns. It struggles to keep up with the air impact wrench, but that could be because it’s a crappy central pneumatic one.

    https://www.toolup.com/Makita-MAC520...BoCp_kQAvD_BwE

    I also have a small Makita oil less compressor for the portability aspect. It is surprising quiet and runs my trim guns just fine.

  12. #12
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    I have a Rigid 6gal pancake. Slightly more expensive and slightly better reviews than the standard red porter cable. Works great with my cheap siding nailer and brad nailer. Other than topping off the car tires I’ve used it for anything else...

    To me I’d be hard to justify buying an expensive compressor unless you were getting paid to use it...

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-6...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwm21 View Post
    I have a Rigid 6gal pancake. Slightly more expensive and slightly better reviews than the standard red porter cable. Works great with my cheap siding nailer and brad nailer. Other than topping off the car tires I’ve used it for anything else...

    To me I’d be hard to justify buying an expensive compressor unless you were getting paid to use it...

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-6...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


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    Cutting, grinding, HVLP painting. If you want to do any of those things you need the most CFM you can afford. It gets expensive. I use it all the time though. I am restoring a vehicle, so maybe I AM getting paid, eventually, to use it.

  14. #14
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    Harbor Freight, porter has a design flaw in the regulator valve get different one

  15. #15
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    I got a mac tools 60 gallon two stage compressor for $600 on facefuck a few years ago. Never runs out of air no matter what you are doing. I use it to clean my driveway, hehe, among other things. It's got a nice pressure regulator, and generally kicks ass. I bought it initially to paint a car, and it worked great for that. I thought I would get rid of it after that and get my cash back, but after owning a c ouple different smaller ones, this thing isn't going anywhere. It's here to stay.
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    sent from Utah.
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  16. #16
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    ^^^ That's a nice compressor. That'll run anything.

    To OP - this one brings up the point of whether you have a 220V plug available for compressor use. Many (most?) of the homeowner ones, like mine, and all the little pancake ones, will run on 110V.

    I wouldn't buy a pancake one for anything more than nail gun, bike and car tires. While they're small and portable, the tank is so small that the motor will run all the time during use. Will they even run an impact wrench without having to wait for the tank to refill?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  17. #17
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    I made a nifty line drier as well for long extended use periods. Critical when you are doing extended sanding or painting. It has been invaluable in painting 2 different cars, refinishing furniture... It's just a copper coil and a husky moinsture trap. Fill bucket with ice water, and the air cools going through the coil, any water vapor condenses thanks to the cooling, and is captured by the trap, clean dry air out...



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    sent from Utah.
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  18. #18
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    Good point about the 220v, I had to ad a 220v outlet and run wiring from my panel to where my compressor could reach it. It wasn't very hard and I managed not to zap myself.

    I'd add that this big monster compressor is significantly quieter than either of the two oiless smaller ones I had. And because it is oiled, it will last longer. As you move into the bigger ones, the benefits begin to compound, cooler drier air, more in reserve, less motor operation, longer life, quieter.

    Look for used...

    sent from Utah.
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  19. #19
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    DJSapp is online now (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
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    Quote Originally Posted by ötzi View Post
    Ditto on the usage. I have this one, it's been perfectly fine, the attachments are quality: https://smile.amazon.com/PORTER-CABL...00N5UHK0&psc=1
    I'm running this compressor for nearly 8 years now. Didn't use it for much besides bike tires (and even then it was easier to get the hand pump if it was only one bike). Keeping it charged all the time is dumb unless you're using it for a project. They'll all bleed off slowly and cycle at random times. Screw that.

    That said, I've used this guy for bike tires, painting cabinet faces and interior doors, running a door nailer, and spray lacquering. I don't know if I have a shitty HVLP gun, if I have no idea what I'm doing, or if the compressor can't hack it, but when I've run the HVLP gun with this thing my results suck ass. Much better results with a standard gun. Make sure to drain the condensate from the tank regularly and get an in line filter if you're spraying finishes.
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

  20. #20
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    As mentioned before, even with a beast of a compressor, if you are sanding or spraying a hvlp gun, you NEED a line drier. Absolute need. And you can make a very effective one at the hardware store for cheap. See above.

    sent from Utah.
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  21. #21
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    Sounds like OP is looking for 2 compressors, one for car shit and spraying, the other for hauling around and shit.

  22. #22
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    Get the big one like Basin has. They are like 200 bucks more and way more capable. I have this one (well a model or two older, but it runs like a champ even with a couple thousand hours of use on it) https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-60-G...sor/1000542193

    When you bring your car to a mechanic, you are not paying for their extensive high school dropout knowledge base, you are paying them to use their air tools. Well that and a lift. Everything is easy with air tools.

    If you are trying to run tubeless you want more than the pancakes listed here to set the bead of the tire I would think.
    Live Free or Die

  23. #23
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    basinbeater FTW on compressor, what I am looking at. Have not come across a good deal yet though, dam expensive for new.

    For portable air I got a Viair https://www.amazon.com/VIAIR-30033-3...1247410&sr=8-4

    edit: The Viair is great for keeping in truck, very handy when out riding or camping, etc...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdironRider View Post
    If you are trying to run tubeless you want more than the pancakes listed here to set the bead of the tire I would think.
    Nah, I used to set the bead with the tiniest little one gallon Senco compressor, because setting the bead is about pressure, not volume. This size compressor will run any sort of nail gun just fine, too. I used it for years as a production trim carpenter and it was totally fine for that, though it would be suboptimal for framing/sheathing large projects.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Nah, I used to set the bead with the tiniest little one gallon Senco compressor, because setting the bead is about pressure, not volume. This size compressor will run any sort of nail gun just fine, too. I used it for years as a production trim carpenter and it was totally fine for that, though it would be suboptimal for framing/sheathing large projects.
    I use a pancake compressor to set beads. Works fine.

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