What air compressor?

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Forum topic by Sanderguy777 posted 05-26-2015 07:51 PM 1190 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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170 posts in 1195 days

05-26-2015 07:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question spray gun nailer air compressor finish pin brad hose reel

I have a couple nailers ( brad and pin) I want to get a finish too, but I need your opinion on what compressor I need. I have access to a 4 gal. but I don’t know any other specs and I really want my own anyway.

I want it to be quiet and also be able to have pretty good SCFM. Now here’s the catch, I want it under $250 and that’s the max. I might be able to go for $300 if it is a kit. But mainly quiet and as much SCFM as I need for nailers. 20 Gal. is the biggest I want because I have limited space.

I am thinking about having it about 20 ft from the shop for noise sake and then having a overhead hose roll for the extra hose. Does hose length affect operation?

I will also want a die grinder and maybe a impact wrench if I could run it. I already have a couple spray guns, but they use more SCFM than the borrowed one has available.


10 replies so far

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3736 days

#1 posted 05-26-2015 08:10 PM

Die Grinders and impact wrenches are major Air Hogs

If you want to do that you are going to need a much bigger than 250 dollar compressor.

Typical wrench will be 90 PSI and 5CFM
Such compressors will be more like 500 dollars.

If that need is future/occasional…. then you can go smaller/quieter.

YES length of hose affects performance, but you can offset that with larger diameter hose.

e.g. I have a 23 gallon compressor, and using my 1/4 inch hose, I cannot get enough air to remove lug nuts from the boat trailer. but with the 3/8 hose I can.

For small jobs and such, I bought a Husky 2 gallon “Whisper Quiet” air compressor that is really quiet (69 dB), for less than 50 bucks that I like.

I just put a 1/4 quick connect onto the compressor itself… it comes with the hose (POS coiled one) plumbed in, that immediately is kinked. I just use my regular hose now.

Something like this would work for what you want, and you could live with its noise.

Delivers 7 CFM at 40 PSI; 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View ChrisK's profile


1959 posts in 3075 days

#2 posted 05-26-2015 08:15 PM

The few oil less units i have used are very noisy. I have a 30 gallon Husky (15 years old now) fairly quite. The oil units will be quieter. You can enclose the compressor somewhat.

Hose length is only an issue for very long runs at high CFM requirement. Like HVLP painting 100’ away trying to use 1/4” fittings. look for industrial fitting for larger od hose if you need the CFM at pressure at a distance. McMaster-Carr is a good place for information. The die grinder and impact gun will determine the min CFM of the compressor. The longer you want to use the more CFM you will need. I can use a die grinder for a minute or two with no problems. I run my impact off my PC pancake, it just cycles after a few lug nuts.

-- Chris K

View MrRon's profile


4758 posts in 3237 days

#3 posted 05-26-2015 08:32 PM

I have one of these and it is super quiet. I can use it all day long and not be concerned by noise. You can see a demonstration on the internet comparing noise levels between the CAT and other compressors. I highly recommend them. Another plus is the aluminum tank; no more rust and it is oil free. There are also some reviews on this Lumber Jocks website.

View Sanderguy777's profile


170 posts in 1195 days

#4 posted 05-27-2015 10:22 AM

Thank you guys. I will be sure to start saving up. I have a 6 Gal. pancake in the States, would that run the nailers. If you can run a wrench, I should be able to run a nailer as long as I don’t try the contractor thing.. you know the machine gun nailer. Thanks again

View artsyfartsy's profile


972 posts in 1152 days

#5 posted 05-27-2015 02:09 PM

Sanderguy, I have a 1.5 HP, 6 Gal., 150 PSI Central Pneumatic Pancake compressor I bought at Harbor Freight (Cheap). I have two brad nailers and a HVLP spray gun, my compressor does everything I need it to do. Sure it gets noisy at times, but what the heck. I’m not wrenching on cars so I don’t need more compressor. I know your situation and where you live so in the end, it’s what you can live with.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

View MrFid's profile


874 posts in 1898 days

#6 posted 05-27-2015 02:30 PM

IF you’re using it exclusively for nailing and small wrenches, the 1/4” hose is fine. I run a 50 foot poly hose off mine connected to a 25 foot rubber hose nearly always and it’s just fine for my framing nailer and smaller. I’d say your 20 foot run to your shop and extension hose would be fine for woodworking operations. Heavy duty operations like removing lug nuts will require more air than nailers. Impact wrenches do use more air than nailers will, but they can still work okay. I have a 10 gallon that I use an impact wrench on without issue. The compressor refills often under the wrench, but I’m not using it every day nor professionally. Haven’t tried spraying with mine yet.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5111 posts in 1714 days

#7 posted 05-27-2015 02:36 PM

Quiet, high SCFM & under $250 reads a lot like my list for a new truck: 30mpg, 400hp, <$20K.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1215 days

#8 posted 05-28-2015 03:32 AM

If you’re placing the comp away from the shop/house/basement what difference does it make how quiet it is? I have a 30 yr old 20 gal Emglo that’s pretty quiet. Constant run, cycles when LPL met, it was my go to work horse till 2010. I also have a Mak 5200, it works great for running a couple spikers and 6/8p nailer, it’s loud but shuts down when HPL is met I’ve also used it a little for spray painting.

As for running a grinder or impact wrench I can only speak from my own experience nothing below an auto body repair shop 100 gal 2 stage comp will keep die grinders and impact wrenches working without a severe drop in pressure. raise the LPL pressure to power the tools and any 20 to 30 gal construction grade comp will be under a constant charging cycle

-- I meant to do that!

View a1Jim's profile


117085 posts in 3570 days

#9 posted 05-28-2015 03:53 AM

Sanderguy I’m a contractor and I’ve owned a good number of compressors,Ive bought cheapie compressors ,they don’t last long and some others that are too big. I bought the Makita compressor in the link below and it’s been a good design and puts out plenty of air for two framing nailers and has cool feature that lets the handle fold down and wrap and air hose right on the handle plus a built in compartment for misl. air tools and connectors. You can buy a small compressor for less but this ones built to last so you don’t have to keep upgrading like I have over the years.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Sanderguy777's profile


170 posts in 1195 days

#10 posted 05-29-2015 05:12 AM

So I am thinking about either the Makita 5200, or the CAT 10020. Leaning towards the CAT….

What hose type? I have seen rubber and PVC. What size? Both compressors have 1/4” valves, will they work with 3/8” hoses?

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