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Compressor/Air tools advice for a newbie

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Compressor/Air tools advice for a newbie

Old 10-09-2019, 12:30 PM
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Default Compressor/Air tools advice for a newbie

TNT Braintrust,

After 20 years of sitting right there, itís time to get busy. Iíve used air tools occasionally in the past, but now I need to purchase some and a compressor that has enough ump to work with this 40+ year old rust bucket. Looking for compressor/air tool recommendations
TIA,

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Old 10-09-2019, 12:36 PM
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In the normal THT responses you get replies that say you can only buy the most expensive compressor and air tools
available.

In realty you need stuff that is ďgood enoughĒ for what you want to do, no need to spend money on features or quality you donít need.

Lower cost compressors have come a long way in recent years. Look at CFM at 90psi, not advertised HP, they all lie on the HP rating.

A 5hp vertical tank style works well, if itís in the same area where youíre working make sure itís not too loud.

Last edited by ondarvr1; 10-09-2019 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:56 PM
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Donít plumb air lines with pvc. Pex is fine.

if at all possible put the compressor outside of your workspace.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:13 PM
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air tools are out dated and obsolete.... check out Milwaukee power tools. my cheap walmart compressor and impact are still running 20 years later

https://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-M18-FUEL-Auto-Kit/dp/B07DQ4PFK1/ref=sr_1_7?crid=R2DQHNM6GOJ6&keywords=milwaukee+tools&qid=1570651553&s=hi&sprefix=mi%2Ctools%2C289&sr=1-7 https://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-M18-FUEL-Auto-Kit/dp/B07DQ4PFK1/ref=sr_1_7?crid=R2DQHNM6GOJ6&keywords=milwaukee+tools&qid=1570651553&s=hi&sprefix=mi%2Ctools%2C289&sr=1-7

I have a 1977 bronco too, that I need to redo. certain 77 parts are hard to get. I have a 74 with a 4bt cummins that is fun.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:55 PM
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If You do go with Air Power...Ingersoll Rand and don't look back.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:57 PM
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Champion air compressor 100% made in the USA pump and tank is all made here motor is USA made to you can pick a used one up it's the last compressor you will buy they have been making compressors since the 1950s.Most of the compressors you buy are China made crap they might be made here but the pump is made in China there are only a few companies making USA made compressors champion is one sailor beall is another Ingersoll Rand pumps are made in China at least the newer ones are don't know about the old stuff.

Ive been doing a lot of research on compressors I'm starting a new business and was going to buy used but I decided to go new champion is what I'm buying for your needs you could get a nice used compressor.

Last edited by suzuki140; 10-09-2019 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by suzuki140 View Post
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For a bigger compressor, I would only consider rotary with a refrigerated air dryer.

Just the savings in annoyance from the sound is worth it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:03 PM
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this seems to be the cheapest best bang for your buck compressor.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...air-compressor

It will be my next one. My current 120v 33 gallon one doesn't cut it for most everything.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:07 PM
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Get one or two battery powered impacts and skip the air tools. Battery powered stuff is quieter and simpler. The only thing you need a compressor for is inflation!

I say this as a dedicated DIY mechanic who works on all of my own stuff. I have a cheap 15-ish gallon compressor I got for free from a neighbor - it is loud and the hose is always snagged on something. I bought an Ingersoll Rand impact and ratchet set to go with the free compressor. Works great but I would buy battery stuff if I did it again.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:23 PM
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I have a tool box full of air tools, I bought a Milwaukee 1/2 impact and ratchet and have not touched a air tool since. just my $.02
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by capt_matt View Post
Get one or two battery powered impacts and skip the air tools. Battery powered stuff is quieter and simpler. The only thing you need a compressor for is inflation!

I say this as a dedicated DIY mechanic who works on all of my own stuff. I have a cheap 15-ish gallon compressor I got for free from a neighbor - it is loud and the hose is always snagged on something. I bought an Ingersoll Rand impact and ratchet set to go with the free compressor. Works great but I would buy battery stuff if I did it again.
I agree with this. I wrench for a living and only air tools I have now is a Mac 3/4 drive impact and a CP spline drive for the large stuff. 1/2 quality cordless impacts work for 90% of what I do. My most used cordless is a Mac 1/4" ratchet

Plus the cordless impact is nice to have in grocery getter for the occasional flats.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Time Machine View Post
For a bigger compressor, I would only consider rotary with a refrigerated air dryer.

Just the savings in annoyance from the sound is worth it.
We use to have one it was a money pit to maintain rotary compressors are good for body shops that run all the time.Mine won't be running 24/7 the champion isn't that loud it runs at low rpms.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:54 PM
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Electric is great until you get to doing body work. Itís great for that too, but the cost of the tools get crazy when you get away from air. Also canít sandblast without air if thatís a concern.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Donít plumb air lines with pvc. Pex is fine.

if at all possible put the compressor outside of your workspace.

NEVER use any plastic for air!!!! Failure can cause shrapnel. Metal pipe will split upon failure rather than grenade as plastics will.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:56 PM
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I'm your basic home mechanic/tinkerer guy that works on one of my motorcycles or cars pretty much every night, and here is what I find:
1. Electric power tools are nice for a lot of things, but if you are using them a lot, it can incredibly frustrating to have to be replacing expensive batteries that no longer hold a charge. If you go this route, check to see if home depot is still offering a lifetime warranty on batteries (yes, batteries!) with their Ridgid line. I been pretty happy with their impact driver.
2. If you are serious, you have to get air power. There are just things that work better with air tools. For example, when I work on motorcycles (lots of 8, 10, and 12 mm head fasteners), a 1/4 air ratchet provides much better control than an electric driver. And on cars and trucks, there are lots of things where you can't beat a high powered air impact gun. I also find lots of uses for die grinders and cut-off wheels, and the air-powered versions of those tools are compact and work great, and they are dirt cheap. Remember that air tools have a hose, but they don't have that bulky battery that limits where it fits.
3. If you plan on running sanders or grinders a lot, you are going to need some serious air flow. If you are just running ratchets and impact guns, with occasional grinding, I would think any compressor with a 25ish gallon tank and a cast iron oil-lube pump would be fine. I bought a nice IR 100% duty cycle portable upright model for my garage (car work), but the Husky compressor in my basement has been powering the motorcycle shop for 15+ years with no issues.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rpt50 View Post
you can't beat a high powered air impact gun. I also find lots of uses for die grinders and cut-off wheels, and the air-powered versions of those tools are compact and work great, and they are dirt cheap. Remember that air tools have a hose, but they don't have that bulky battery that limits where it fits.
.
I also have an air chisel, which is a real problem solver, on occasion.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Stoked View Post



NEVER use any plastic for air!!!! Failure can cause shrapnel. Metal pipe will split upon failure rather than grenade as plastics will.
Are old shop was plumbed with scheduled 40 pvc it's rated for over 200 psi but this was back when they didn't have the aluminum tubing which is nice I will plumb my shop with the aluminum tubing.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Stoked View Post



NEVER use any plastic for air!!!! Failure can cause shrapnel. Metal pipe will split upon failure rather than grenade as plastics will.
pex is fine. Not other plastics. It just splits open. Not good for spots exposed to direct sunlight though.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:46 PM
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Many people are saying to go electric/cordless and forget the air. I have a bunch of both, they each have their place.

But if he plans to do any body work heís going to need air, plus an air nozzle comes in handy quite often. You donít need to spend much money to get an adequate compressor.
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