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Old 09-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
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air compressor

hi guys.
looking to get a new air compressor that will be powerful enough to operate air wrenches and other air tools. would like it to be as quit as possible.
what will be the best choice for my money?
thanks in advance.


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Old 09-12-2012, 06:55 AM   #2
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You will need a twin cast iron cylinder compressor 220/240 volt. To drive air wrenches you need a minimum of 10 CFM at 150/175 PSI. Check out this one at Northern Tool and read the reviews. Buy a good compressor the first time or your just throwing your money away.

FREE SHIPPING — Ingersoll Rand Type-30 Reciprocating Air Compressor — 5 HP, 230 Volt 1 Phase, Model# 2340L5-V | 19 CFM Below| Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:20 AM   #3
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It will depend on what air tools you intend to use. An impact gun is usually used intermittantly, so a small compressor with a 30 Gal. tank will be fine. If you get into continuous use, demand goes up greatly.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen wilson View Post
It will depend on what air tools you intend to use. An impact gun is usually used intermittantly, so a small compressor with a 30 Gal. tank will be fine. If you get into continuous use, demand goes up greatly.
Got a 30 gallon myself. 6.2 cfm at 150 psi. Yes it will drive air wrenches if the nuts or bolts are not torqued tightly. Usually have to break them lose first before using my air impact wrench. Wanted to save money...half the cost of the Ingersoll . Oh well.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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I have a small 3hp 8 gallon air compressor from Harbor Freight ($130) and it will run most air tools satisfactory but like some of the others said you have to loosen the stubborn bolts/nuts by hand with the lower volume/pressure units. The impact wrench I have is a little underpowered but works none the less.

I would say that my small setup is marginal and if I had to do it again I would go with something bigger like 15 gallons and 5+ hp with 150psi or greater available.

My constraint was that I wanted it to run on 120 volts standard 15amp circuit.

The 5hp+ units require 230v and 20+ amps circuit.

I'd buy a gas engine powered unit if portability is required or your 230v plug is not in a good location near where you will be working.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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thanks guys.
i was thinking about the ingersoll rand but was a little bit overwhelmed with the price.
after all i'm not a professional mechanic that will need to use it every day.
with that said, i will take JCB advice. its better to spend money on something that i will enjoy using, then spending half of the price on something that will collect dust (like the compressor i have today). what's the point of using a power tool, if i need to break each bolt by hand.
i guess ill have to wait a little to get the budget.

just pulled the trigger on that one:

Automotive Scissor Lift

got sick of lifting the car every time.
well i guess ill have more power now for more hand wrenching

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Old 09-13-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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The impact wrench not being able to break loose tight bolts has nothing to do with the compressor being used. If it can produce over 110 PSI it will work at least for short bursts. Just a sign that they bought a cheap impact wrench.

You can get away with cheap air tools for most of them. I have found that you get what you pay for with an impact wrench. Any cheap speed wrench, air chisel, sheet metal sheers, Rivit gun, grease gun etc, will do, but not so on the impact wrench.

I've been using my Sears Craftsman 4 HP 25 gallon oil-less compressor (120 volt 15 amp) with air tools for around 20 years. Still works fine and has never needed any maintenance. Only thing I don't like is that it is really loud. I have several air tools and love using them. It's a little small for doing things like blowing out your sprinkler lines for winter - but I was still able to use mine for that when I lived in the city and had a lawn.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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Dave's advice is right on the money. Breaking bolts loose is all about the impact gun, not the compressor. Try and get a good used Snap-on, Mac, or I-R impact gun if you can. They are worth the money. Lots of good deals on ebay. Remember to oil it each time you pull it out and it will last you forever.

As far as I'm concerned, JCB986 is full of it. You don't need anywhere near that much compressor unless you are running a shop full of mechanics. Total overkill.

I have the Dewalt D55168 compressor with the following specs: 1.6hp, 4.8 scfm@90psi, 15 gal tank, holds 200 psi. This unit has been more than adequate for every task I have given it and is all the home mechanic needs. Bought it used for $200.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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WOW!
this tread is starting to be interesting.
defiantly thinking of going with the IR impact gun.
how loud is the Dewalt compressor?
i have a friend using the craftsman professional (the black one) it is very powerful and quite. also can be a good option for me, for around 500$.

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Old 09-13-2012, 01:24 PM   #10
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The IR gun is a good choice and is a professional grade tool, likely all you will ever need.

I don't think the Dewalt is any more or less loud than your average oil-less compressor. To be honest, I never really gave much consideration to the noise level. It is certainly possible to carry on a conversation standing right beside it when it is running, if that gives you a frame of reference. I like that it is a vertical tank which saves on footprint and that it is designed to be very portable with wheels and a sturdy handle that also gives you a place to coil your hose. It's also the only one I saw in that range with a 200 psi tank. Unfortunately, it is bright yellow. Sorry Johnny.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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Thanks a lot Mark.
Got this baby on the way.
Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX 3/8-Inch Impactool - Amazon.com
Amazon also has good price for the compressor.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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Now I need advice how to deal with the wife
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:06 PM   #13
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Why tell her? My wife has no idea what tools are in my shop or what guns are in the cabinet, and we're both much happier for it.

Interesting that you went with the 3/8 model. I love my 3/8 and 1/4 air ratchets, but for the big gun I prefer 1/2. Btw, you do have a set of impact sockets, right? Regular sockets won't stand up to that impact gun for long.

Also, (and please forgive me if I'm stating the obvious) the impact gun is for removing bolts and the torque wrench is for installing them. I've seen many cases of guys using the impact gun for installing lugnuts and over-tightening them in the process. Then when you get a flat away from home you're fuct because there is no way you will get them off with the tool kit wrench.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #14
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Seriously, cancel that order before they ship it and get a 1/2 inch impact gun with closer to 750 lb ft of torque. You will not be happy with that little 3/8 inch model.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:34 PM   #15
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Again, I really have to agree with Dave.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #16
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Advice taken.
Once again thank you very much guys.
No worries Mark
I have Impact sockets, and 5 torque wrenches (2 of them are snap-on)
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:01 AM   #17
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I have a small compressor I used for brads and finishing nails so I decided to try a 1/2 impact wrench with it and it worked fine. It is only 6 gallons, but it will develop 150 psi. No problems at all for removing lug nuts and such. It may cycle more frequently, but unless you are in a shop and using it all day I found it to be adequate. If the original intent had been to use air wrenches I would have gotten a larger capacity system but since I already had this smaller unit, I tried it and it worked fine.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by opus69 View Post
I have a small compressor I used for brads and finishing nails so I decided to try a 1/2 impact wrench with it and it worked fine. It is only 6 gallons, but it will develop 150 psi. No problems at all for removing lug nuts and such. It may cycle more frequently, but unless you are in a shop and using it all day I found it to be adequate. If the original intent had been to use air wrenches I would have gotten a larger capacity system but since I already had this smaller unit, I tried it and it worked fine.
that's what i'm going to do.
ordered a 1/2" IR impact gun. going to try it out on my compressor and see how it works. if it doesn't, then ill get the new compressor.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:36 AM   #19
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that's what i'm going to do.
ordered a 1/2" IR impact gun. going to try it out on my compressor and see how it works. if it doesn't, then ill get the new compressor.
I know earlier I said the only thing I didn't like about my compressor was that it is really loud but I thought I'd add that certain air tools use a ton of CFM at high pressures, particularly things like die grinders and air drills. When I'm using my air drill or die grinder I get a little frustrated as every few minutes I have to wait for the 25 gallon tank to recharge from about 80psi to120 psi. Below 80 psi, most air tools don't perform very well. Most wrenches don't consume that much CFM or aren't used continuously like a die grinder.
If I were going to buy a new compressor for my garage today, I'd be looking in the 6hp or higher range with around a 30 gallon or larger tank and I'd get something that is quieter than what I have now.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:36 PM   #20
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Late to the party but... I have used air tools for 40 years and I think there are better choices today. A Makita cordless impact driver and a Makita compact drill/driver are a lot less $$, get just as much work done, and don't annoy you with hoses in the way or air tool/compressor noise. All my air tools are parked in a drawer these days and I prefer the cordless rechargeables. I use the compressor to fill my tires. YMMV

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