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Considering to buy a larger air compressor #4102929 05/21/16 05:13 PM
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windeye Offline OP
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I am a DIYer, mainly for car maintenance. What do you have at home if you use a 1/2 impacy wrench? I mean capacity of tank, and brand. Thanks.


2000 Mazda MPV LX, 202,500 miles
2007 Mazda 3 Touring, 112,800 miles
2013 Toyota Camry XLE, 100,800 miles
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4102941 05/21/16 05:31 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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I have use a 20 gallon compressor for years. It's perfectly fine for automotive work like air ratchets and impacts. Wont work with a sander or grinder though.


02 Wrangler traveler sae30
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
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Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4102943 05/21/16 05:34 PM
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Oro_O Offline
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Depends upon the size of your garage, and what you want to do. You can run a 1/2" impact off anything with a regulator. It depends upon how much you want to do without waiting for it to re-pressurize.

My dad's shop/garage, we have a 60 gallon with a 5hp motor. No waiting. I can sandblast parts and it can keep up. Run air tools including a 1/2" impact, snap on a hose to blow off the concrete pad, pretty much use it all day.

Brand is honestly not that important as a) quality of your fittings downstream to not leak matter, and b) Motor on different brands changes year to year it seems to me.

I love to sandblast and refinish stuff; to me that is the best use of an air compressor. Impact, when I need it, I can substitute a hammer unit or a large lever to get the job done. Not the most important use of an air compressor to me. Thus, I love the 60 gallon and 5hp set up. Once you have that, you will be surprised how cheap cabinets are and the new things you can do. The marginal cost on slightly larger compressor tanks vs. 20 and 30, and motors, can be small. So don't go too small, if you have the space, is my opinion.

Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: Oro_O] #4102952 05/21/16 05:41 PM
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windeye Offline OP
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Thanks. Harbor freight has a vertical tank, 21 gal. What do you think? No heavy use, just for car. Mainly busting frozen bolts. I have a 3 gal pancake, certainly won't work with half in impact wrench. My electric impact corded which is also from HF does not have enough loosening torque.


2000 Mazda MPV LX, 202,500 miles
2007 Mazda 3 Touring, 112,800 miles
2013 Toyota Camry XLE, 100,800 miles
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4102959 05/21/16 05:46 PM
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supton Online Content
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I have an oil-less 20gallon Husky that seems to do the job. I figure when the motor goes I'll get a better setup but keep the tank and plumb it in. It does seem to run near-continuous when I start spraying FF.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 187k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 153k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 209k, his
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4102972 05/21/16 05:57 PM
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eljefino Offline
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Whatever you run on a 120 volt, 15 amp circuit will all be +/- 20% of each other. To go really big you need to rewire. Max power from a normal wall socket is just shy of 2 hp-- there were some marketing liars a while back. (cough Sears cough)

Look up the spec for sustained cubic feet/ min at 90 PSI. IIRC most are 4.5 or so.

Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4102989 05/21/16 06:14 PM
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Merkava_4 Offline
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I like compressed air, but I don't like hearing the compressors run.

I gotta have quiet when I'm working on my car.

Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: Merkava_4] #4102997 05/21/16 06:18 PM
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Oro_O Offline
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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
I like compressed air, but I don't like hearing the compressors run.


Amateur. wink I love the sound of compressed air in the morning. It sounds like... (wait for it)... "Victory."

Had to throw that in. I watched "A Night in Ole' Mexico" last night. Robert Duvall is unbelievable. Great movie, great actor. Guy is in his 80s and out-acting guys 1/4 his age. And it's not just experience or youth. He uses his body, is there making you buy the character. Bowed legs and pot-belly and all. Smells like "Victory" to me...

Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: Oro_O] #4103003 05/21/16 06:24 PM
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Merkava_4 Offline
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Ingersol-Rand makes a screw drive compressor that's practically silent; costs big money though.

Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4103060 05/21/16 07:31 PM
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sciphi Offline
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I have a 30 gallon oil-lubed compressor. It's quiet enough for a compressor. The impact is far louder.


2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE
2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4103069 05/21/16 07:46 PM
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spk2000 Offline
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Have you checked out the newer battery impacts. Lowes carries a nice 1/2 Dewalt model that has plenty of torque for about $300. No hose take it anywhere. I was thinking this route.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_672795-70-DCF899M1___?productId=999947862&pl=1&Ntt=impact+wrench


96 Grand Marquis 203,000 mi
01 Sable LS Wagon 163,000 mi
02 Montero 191,000 mi
03 Sable LS Sedan 73,000 mi
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4103082 05/21/16 08:13 PM
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Vern_in_IL Offline
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Battery impacts are not environmentally sound. They make 110v electric impacts.

Last edited by Vern_in_IL; 05/21/16 08:15 PM.
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: Vern_in_IL] #4103122 05/21/16 09:08 PM
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Rand Offline
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Originally Posted By: Vern_in_IL
Battery impacts are not environmentally sound. They make 110v electric impacts.


Find me a 800lb-ft one for 300$ please.

you must really hate hybrid and electric cars then?


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4103163 05/21/16 09:55 PM
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DerbyDave Offline
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I have a Campbell Hausfeld 20 gallon compressor that has served me well for almost 20 years. I can't think of a job outside of auto body work where a 20 gallon would not be sufficient.


1997 Ford Taurus
2005 Buick Terraza
2007 Honda Ridgeline
1986 Suzuki Cavalcade
1986 Suzuki Intruder
Re: Considering to buy a larger air compressor [Re: windeye] #4104477 05/23/16 03:24 PM
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threeputtpar Offline
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I too have an older CH 20 gallon compressor that I scored on CL for $50. It still has the original manifold and holds air 100%. I just used it this weekend to remove the front brake brackets on my T-Rex to get the rotors out.

I have a 10 year old HF Earthquake 1/2 in impact that just laughs at lug nuts and caliper bracket bolts, although the new design of the Earthquake makes me jealous.

I even use the compressor to run an angle grinder with finishing disks and it keeps up well. I don't paint or sand, so I've never wished for a larger capacity.

Last edited by threeputtpar; 05/23/16 03:25 PM.

2013 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite - Havoline 5W-30 Syn / Mobil1 Filter 80k miles
2014 GMC Acadia Denali - SuperTech 5W-30 Syn / Carquest Red 22k miles (yes, that low)
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