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Country Discussion Topics
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Air Compressor how big do I need?
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Kansas Kid    Posted 09-19-2002 at 15:17:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
My little air compressor quit this morning. My neighbor gave it to me a couple years ago and it was pretty well used up then. It has about a 20 gallon tank on it. I would like to buy some air tools such as impact and ratchets and have plenty of air to run them. What does cfm mean and how much cfm should I look for?

Kansas Kid    Posted 09-19-2002 at 19:19:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks a lot for all the info. What size of tank should I look for also?

Bob /Ont.    Posted 09-19-2002 at 20:08:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I think the common tank is about 60 gal, water heater size, try to get an upright to save space.
Later Bob

alumtuna    Posted 09-19-2002 at 18:10:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Kansas kid,

I have a 5.5hp from Sears for about $300. It works great and ill recommend it. As long as the compressor has a tank it should run most pneumatic tools. Its not really the CFM involved because you dont run the tools continuously, so the compressor always fills the tank at the level you set it.


Ron/PA    Posted 09-19-2002 at 16:53:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If you plan on using it for much more than blowing up tires, be thinking very hard about getting cast sleeves and heads. Alot of the cheaper units will warp with steady use.

Hogman    Posted 09-19-2002 at 18:06:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cambel Haus if You want real seldom used,light duty,They will not stand up to any kind of hard work. I'd sure look for a good used cast iron unit. I bought a used unit and replaced tha engine for about tha same price that I paid for a Cambel/haus piece of junk and it will run hard all day.Have it on My service truck,use it for drivin fence posts,cleanin equipment,runnin air equipment, keep gas in tha tank'n tha oil changed.
It's comparin pot metal ta cast iron. Of course if You can't find tha good used one Ya gotta settle for what Ya can.
Get tha most cubes Ya can,ever how many somewhere down tha road You'll wish for more.
Good luck

Bob /Ont.    Posted 09-19-2002 at 18:54:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Just one thing to mention here Hogman, I bet you have lots of HP's on that compressor. If you use a gasoline engine you need 3X the Hp of an electric motor to do the same job. And wireing the motor for 220 as opposed to 110 will cut down on heat too.
Later Bob

MikeH-Tx    Posted 09-19-2002 at 15:28:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
CFM means cubic feet per minute of air flow. Most
hand tools want at least 5cfm at 90lb pressure or
better. My Sears 2hp will not do that, but actually will
make a ratchet work (barely).

If you intend to use hand tools, get at least a 5hp.
Harbour Freight and Home Depot both sell Campbell
Hausefeld brand 5hp for less than $400.

If you think you will ever want to do some sandblasting,
even a 5hp is too small to do a big job. However, that is
the size I am considering for a general purpose
machine to do painting and run a few hand tools, with
some occasional light sandblasting. Bigger than that
comes with a much bigger price tag.

DeadCarp    Posted 09-19-2002 at 18:44:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
First off, almost any compressor CAN do almost anything - it's just a matter of patience.

Years ago when the rearend went out on my old 1-ton pickup, i decided to use that old (pretty fair) impact wrench to break the big nut loose. Trouble is, i only had a little tankless compressor. (I think it tops out at 50 PSI) So i bought the socket, hosed the area down with Liquid Wrench, grabbed some coffee and set about squeezing the trigger. At a rate of about 3 pops/charging, it took about 2 hours before i heard a VOOT but it still beat hammering by hand!

If i were shopping, i'd go with what the other guys are saying. :)

Bob /Ont.    Posted 09-19-2002 at 16:51:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The 5 hp is the most common one made I think and you get the most for the $$$. If you are going to do much heavy work try to get an mid range one not just the cheapest. The upright is a real space saver too. If you have time to choose look for a used T30 Ingersoll, they are the top of their line and will last for generations.
Later Bob

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