Flutterby™! : Air compressor recommendations

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Air compressor recommendations

2012-01-04 16:17:53.243337+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

My Craigslist special Thomas Ultra Air-Pac 1.5HP compressor appears to have died. After using it for the framing nailer for the workshop, I turned it on after a few days off and it runs continuously without generating more than 65PSI. The one problem I had with the compressor was that it was super freakin' loud.

So I'm in a quandary. I'm now used to a compressor for the shop. I currently use it mostly for pin nailing and blowing dust. I probably want something I can move closer to the house, for nailing trim. I'm also thinking about how it might be nice to have something that can drive a spray gun or do light sand blasting, but that's kind of the other direction, towards a big heavy fixed compressor (I do have 3 220v #10 ga circuits in the shop that I don't yet have a use for...).

Quiet is good. As I write this I'm thinking small and portable is good, because what I want is something I can fire up for a few nails or staples, and drag in to the house, which kind of says that I should just buy an HVLP system when I want spray finishing. And it's just me, so the most I'm going to be driving is me using a framing nailer, and I'm a fairly methodical user of nail guns. Keeping a big tank charged all the time seems like a waste.

This Fine Homebuilding request for quiet air compressors has a couple of suggestions, the Rolair JC-10 is claiming 60dB(!), That thread seems to think highly of the Makita MAC700, at 80dB, and the Thomas Air-Pac T30, although the Thomas Air-Pac web site says they're not accepting orders right now.

Anyone got thinking on air compressors for my applications?

[ related topics: Ethics Pyrotechnics Guns Real Estate ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-04 16:50:08.020754+00 by: meuon

I had a $99 fleamarket no name air compressor that was a piece of junk that I miss. It finally rusted up to where it would not run. It was replaced with a Bostich branded pancake compressor that is just barely worth keeping. Electrical connections in sealed wiring connectors failed, the under the plastic cover air connections (some attempt at a cinch fitting) leak or pop-out, and after only a few hours of use, it no longer reaches > 50psi easily.

On my list is a real, commercial style real air compressor. It should be the last one I ever buy.. or, if I find another "$99" fleamarket one like I had with metal fittings and pipping, and a simple on/off switch, I'll buy two.

It's one of those things that a simple, rugged unit should last forever. My old one got left outside in the rain for a few years... I should have valued it higher.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-04 17:23:52.899367+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Shop at some of the auto parts retail stores (Autozone, Pep Boys, etc), they'll often have specials for compressors. Considering the price of one of the expensive compressors, you'll be able to build an enclosure for it that'll cut the volume even lower while saving some cash.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-04 17:32:09.235699+00 by: Dan Lyke

Here's a video review of the Rolair JC10. I think I'm in love.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-04 18:22:46.673117+00 by: meuon

That's a double low pressure rubber diaphragm compressor. Good: No oil in air. Bad: The rubbers go bad, it takes both cylinders to reach pressure. low flow.

Perfect for a small shop, airbrush, brad nailer,etc.. would not keep up with my impact wrench.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-04 20:18:49.423206+00 by: meuon

The Bostich in that link is EXACTLY what I have.. and hate. Laughing.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-05 01:28:26.60692+00 by: Dan Lyke

A little closer inspection, and a few bucks at the hardware store for compression fittings and tubing and my compressor is fixed. Happy that it was cheap, bummed 'cause the quiet ones seem really cool...