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#4611954 - 12/23/17 08:56 AM They say size matters.... Does it?
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5775
Loc: Michigan
What size air compressor do you have?

I have a 10 gallon 1 hp unit.
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#4611962 - 12/23/17 09:01 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
ARB1977 Offline


Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 5167
Loc: North Texas
12 gallon craftsman...hopefully I get my father in laws 25 gallon soon.
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#4611970 - 12/23/17 09:08 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
i_hate_autofraud Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 705
Loc: Canada


I go by the SCFM / CFM @ 90 PSI then the tank size, I like a smaller tank so it's
easier to haul around and a bigger compressor.

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#4611971 - 12/23/17 09:09 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ARB1977]
krismoriah72 Offline


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1518
Loc: wv
CFM matters on air tools. not sure what your needs/usage is.


I have converted to cordless impacts for working on vehicles.




Edited by krismoriah72 (12/23/17 09:11 AM)

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#4611975 - 12/23/17 09:12 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2632
Loc: PV Az
4 gallon 1 horse Husky. Tires and brad gun. Perfect size for me.
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#4611976 - 12/23/17 09:12 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
NibbanaBanana Offline


Registered: 05/23/16
Posts: 292
Loc: New England
I have an old SpeedAir I bought at an auction about 15 years ago. It was supplying a machine shop. 80 gallon horizontal tank. 3 cylinder single stage. There's a chart in the owners manual that tells what hp is needed for a desired cfm of air (which is determined by rpm of the compressor). IIRC 3hp will drive the compressor at some rpm(forget how fast) that will put out 18cfm at 175psi. I have it set up for half that. So I have a 1.5hp motor on it and the sheave I'm using runs it at an rpm to put out 9cfm at 175psi. I've replaced a couple valves, filters and gaskets. All parts still available at Graingers. I'm guessing it's 70's vintage. Good old US made machine.

When I bought it, they had been using it for painting, and painting right near the compressor. The oil was filled with grey paint from the overspray. I ran kerosene in it for a few minutes to clean out the crankcase. No problems. Use M1 10w-30.
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#4611977 - 12/23/17 09:13 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
RedOakRanch Offline


Registered: 11/10/13
Posts: 846
Loc: Central Coast California
Makita Mac5200, portable, 5.2gallon 6.5cfm at 90psi. I love it!
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#4611979 - 12/23/17 09:14 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: krismoriah72]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5214
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
ARB1977 said, "......hopefully I get my father in laws 25 gallon soon."

Doesn't look good for his FIL.

Note to FIL: Watch out for "funny tasting" fruitcake.

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#4611988 - 12/23/17 09:19 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4216
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
I think capacity matters depending on what you plan on using the compressor for. I have a small 5 gallon or so compressor that is perfect for airing up lawn equipment tires or for tools that only require shorts bursts of air. It is much easier to lug around than the larger one.

The larger compressor is much better for tools that require large amounts of air to run for longer time periods, such as an air ratchet or die grinder.
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#4611993 - 12/23/17 09:25 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: jeepman3071]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3001
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Size does matter for air tools. I have a 27 Gallon coleman compressor. There are times when I wished I had a 60 gallon compressor.
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#4612002 - 12/23/17 09:33 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29747
Loc: NY
I have a 15 gallon and a 60 gallon compressor, in all honesty there is no comparison when it comes to air tool use and spraying. Size really does matter.
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#4612014 - 12/23/17 09:40 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10559
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I've got an 18yr/old Harbor Freight ~4gal, 2hp unit (twin tank). It's great for tires and small usage air tools, or where portability is important. I love this little unit because it spins at ~1600rpm and is relatively smooth and quiet.

I also have a ~3yr/old HFT 21gal, 2.5hp unit. It moves a LOT more air, but is heavy, bulky and obnoxiously LOUD given all the cheap oil lubed HFT units spin at something like 3600rpm now. I don't expect awesomeness out of either given the price point, but they work for me. I really only use the bigger one for impact gun use. I think I got the 21gal for $169+ tax with a coupon back then. The little guy was $69 or so 18yrs ago.


Edited by JTK (12/23/17 09:40 AM)
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#4612019 - 12/23/17 09:41 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4394
Loc: The Midwest
I have a 60 gallon single stage horizontal air compressor with a drain lanyard on the bottom like an old semi I can tug on to empty water out of the tank.
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#4612022 - 12/23/17 09:44 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: JTK]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4394
Loc: The Midwest
Originally Posted By: JTK
I've got an 18yr/old Harbor Freight ~4gal, 2hp unit (twin tank). It's great for tires and small usage air tools, or where portability is important. I love this little unit because it spins at ~1600rpm and is relatively smooth and quiet.

I also have a ~3yr/old HFT 21gal, 2.5hp unit. It moves a LOT more air, but is heavy, bulky and obnoxiously LOUD given all the cheap oil lubed HFT units spin at something like 3600rpm now. I don't expect awesomeness out of either given the price point, but they work for me. I really only use the bigger one for impact gun use. I think I got the 21gal for $169+ tax with a coupon back then. The little guy was $69 or so 18yrs ago.


My air compressor is in it's own room so I don't gotta hear it run while I'm in my shop.
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#4612049 - 12/23/17 10:09 AM Re: They say size matters.... Does it? [Re: ZZman]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
I used a 60 gallon, 10.2 SCFM Husky Pro (single stage upright head, average hardware store model) until one of the reed valves gave up this summer, but within about a month I moved into my new shop which had an old IR dinosaur with a Model 30 head (V-twin compound, cooler between cylinders, etc.) and 60 gal. tank that still worked, more or less. So I plumbed the Husky Pro inline with the Ingersoll and just used it as an extra tank, but the old compressor struggles to keep up with any extended use of a die grinder, etc. so I got ahold of an Ingersoll head that'll fit the Husky (buddy has the scrap contract for the IR factory in town) and just got it bolted on last night. Gotta get a belt for it and then I'll have 120 gal. of air and at least 18 CFM judging by the dinosaur's output compared to the Husky's.

With that combo I'll stage the old compressor to kick in second to keep it in one piece longer, and shouldn't have to worry about letting up at all with a die grinder, DA sander, etc.
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