Air compressor

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 08-04-2009 10:18 PM 2047 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3096 days

08-04-2009 10:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I order me a Factory-Reconditioned Bostitch U/BT200K-2 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch 18 Gauge Brad Nailer from Amazon yesterday for $25.10 I am wondering what size compressor to buy? The compressor needs to be able to run a finish nailer to. I am going to use the nail gun for building cabinets, built-ins, and trim carpentry.

15 replies so far

View degoose's profile


7193 posts in 2778 days

#1 posted 08-04-2009 10:23 PM

I would not go any smaller that a 2 HP 10 cfm.. bigger if you can.
Always buy the best you can at the time.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3308 days

#2 posted 08-04-2009 10:31 PM

With the choice of a compressor, if I had to buy another one, would definitely be one that is OIL LUBRICATED, 5 CFM at least, and is fairly quiet. The non-oil lubricated are usually very loud, most of the pancakes that I’ve used wouldn’t pump up a flat tire on my truck in 15-20 minutes hence the more CFM (cubic feet per minute) should be pretty high and you couldn’t stay in the shop with them….noise. It’s going to take 8CFM at 40psi to run most air sanders and spray guns.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 2691 days

#3 posted 08-04-2009 10:51 PM

I guess one of the good things about Amazon, is you can return/cancel orders.

Surprised with over 2500 posts here you missed recent LJ activity on ACs. Bostitch has been slammed and Makita has been applauded; both of which I agree.

I find one of the absolute beauties of LJs is to ask before I buy anything woodworking-related.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3096 days

#4 posted 08-04-2009 11:16 PM

I been mostly looking at the projects page and welcoming newcomers to LumberJocks, I will be checking the fourms more often.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2903 days

#5 posted 08-04-2009 11:35 PM

I think you could easily get buy with a pancake compressor like Bostitch, Porter Cable, etc. make. They would easily power any nailer. Actually some manufactures have a packaged set of nailers and the compressor for a reasonable price at most big box stores. As long as you dont have several nailers going at once they provide plenty of air. I happen to have the Bostitch Builders Series compressor which has the double horizontal tanks and its oil lubricated. I dont recall what the HP or CFM is. Its been great and works very well with any combination of nailers. The only problem is that I take it with me to build decks, remodel houses etc. and its heavy. I have even used it to pump up the car tires or use an air wrench too.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2693 days

#6 posted 08-04-2009 11:37 PM

I have the Hitachi pancake and it is pretty good….I also reviewed it here on LJ’s….I’ve been running a framer, and some air grinders on it…which take alot of pressure and it has been holding its own…

If you are going to use in your shop…and not move it….I recommend a high capacity tank and a belt driving oiled compressor…as they are quiet and more efficient….but not portable…

For using a portable you have to put up with some noise…some are noiser then others….the Hitachi starts out a bit noisy, but has reduced significantly after being broke in…

My take for what its worth.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1877 posts in 3095 days

#7 posted 08-05-2009 01:51 AM


Look at this deal….............................

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2506 posts in 2861 days

#8 posted 08-05-2009 02:45 AM

I’ve had the Sears compressor that Matt Garcia has given a link to above. I’ve used it to strap two roofs for metal roofing, I’ve done 4 hardwood floors and built a handful of decks, sheds etc using a large Porter Cable framing nailer with the size nails you mention. It’s an oil one, fairly quiet, and is still kicking. It keeps up. Even if I walk the roof bamming nails in, it runs a lot but I never had to stop and wait.
I also have a honking 5 hp 60 gallon compressor in the shop. For anything rotary you need something much larger like that. Grinders, drills, cutoff tools etc. But for nail guns…. smaller is ok. I also recommend that you think ‘future’ buy as large as you can. If portability is important they’ve got some fairly large ones on wheels. good luck.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Roz's profile


1693 posts in 3209 days

#9 posted 08-05-2009 03:51 AM

Charles, If you are going to primarily use this in your shop I would recommend a larger compressor that would handle spray guns, big mailers and pneumatic tools. I prefer an oiled twin cylinder compressor with a volume of about 150psi at a minimum. That will handle most anything you need to do in a shop. As for storage capacity, “bigger is better”.

However, if you are looking for something for on the jobsite a portable compressor like a pancake is the way to go. In my limited experience the twin cylinder roll around type do the best job of maintaining volume and pressure while in use. I just recently saw a LJ’s posting on the purchase and installation of such a unit. Dewalt, Bosch, Porter Cable, Craftsman and others all offer this type compressor. Equipment rental places often have used units for sale.

Don’t be bothered by the hype over brand names and magazine reports on good and bad models. Brand names don’t mean much; they come in and out of style. Often the very item the experts declare to be the worst, will do just fine and at a better price. Do some looking, reading and asking, then you’ll know what works for you. Roz.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3096 days

#10 posted 08-05-2009 04:14 AM

I am going to use it on the jobsite and in the shop.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3120 days

#11 posted 08-05-2009 04:28 AM

Have a look at the REVIEWS on air compressors.
Matt has a good all around one from sears.
I have an oiless one and it is too noisy I just purchased an oillub. one last week 3Hp twin tanks 5 gal. real quite works good I am going to put the oilless one to rest.

View Roz's profile


1693 posts in 3209 days

#12 posted 08-05-2009 04:35 AM

Then the portable is going to be best for you. I think it was ND2ELK that recently added one to his shop and posted it on LJ’s. You might want to look at that.

The portable twin cylinder compressors are a little larger and heaver than pancake compressors.
I have found they provide more sustained power and you spend lest time waiting for the tanks to fill. In my opinion Oiled compressor motors are superior to the oil less type motors because they are make less noise and last longer as a rule.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3120 days

#13 posted 08-05-2009 04:40 AM

Roz…after seeing ND2ELK posting I purchased mine….you are right.
I only paid $130 and have a 3 year warrantee and comes with a hose.

View Roz's profile


1693 posts in 3209 days

#14 posted 08-05-2009 04:47 AM

Yeah, I think that is the way to go. I hope you enjoy yours. Roz

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View jack1's profile


2055 posts in 3450 days

#15 posted 08-05-2009 04:49 AM

The bigger the better for a stationary and look at a little guy to take with on jobs too when you can afford it. Don’t skip on the size CFM is very important the more the merrier! ;o)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

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