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Portable air compressors for air-tool use #5280218 11/29/19 08:14 AM
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Snagglefoot Offline OP
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I was wondering what is your favourite air portable air compressor to power a single air tool such a an impact gun or air hammer. I have noticed some 20 gallon units that deliver 4 cfm @90 psi, 150psi max with a 1.3 to 1.5 HP motor. Would that be useable? Thanks. smile

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 11/29/19 08:15 AM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280230 11/29/19 08:31 AM
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Fawteen Offline
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Just look up the air consumption of the tool you're interested in and see if the compressor can handle it. Without knowing exactly what tool you're looking at, it's almost impossible to give a recommendation. For example, if you're looking at an impact wrench, a 3/8 drive will use around 3 cfm, but if you're looking at a 1" drive it will use around 10 cfm.

Keep in mind that continuous use tools (like air ratchets) have significantly higher air requirements than does something like a framing nailer that only uses quick bursts of air. The specs on your little air compressor are pretty weak, so you'll probably be stopping a lot to let the compressor catch up for anything other than small tools.

Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280259 11/29/19 09:09 AM
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Audios Offline
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Youll need at least 8 CFM and a 3/8 hose and adapters out of the compressor. My cheapie 130$ Harbor freight 22 gallon cant keep up when I hooked my 1/2" Snap on Impact to it. Felt extremely weak, and didnt sound right. MY father and brother (Contractors) can run their nail guns off of the small pancake compressors no problem.


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Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280262 11/29/19 09:11 AM
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Donald Offline
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The portable air compressor are good for nail guns, etc.

Many air tools use a lot of air. Some not so much. As mentioned, check the air requirements for the tool.

You could probably connect a 60 gal tank to the portable air compressor and make it much more usable for air tools.


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Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280299 11/29/19 10:04 AM
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Rand Offline
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sometimes on intermittent use tools they will rate it odd..

such as an air impact that says it uses 7cfm, but thats depending on using it for 15s out of the min.. so actual consumption is 28cfm.

for example the 2235QTiMAX is rated for 24CFM at load and "average air consumption" is 6cfm

you have to make sure your air compressor can even output that much.. many small ones have 1/4" outlet pipe to the regulator.

So unless you have a hefty "portable" with 33gal tank etc.. its not going to be very good.. might as well go battery tools.


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Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280358 11/29/19 11:18 AM
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atikovi Offline
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Why do you need a portable one? Wouldn't a cordless tool be a better option than having to lug around the compressor? The only use I can imagine is for a nail gun on a construction site.

Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Audios] #5280431 11/29/19 12:45 PM
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JC1 Offline
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Originally Posted by Audios
Youll need at least 8 CFM and a 3/8 hose and adapters out of the compressor. My cheapie 130$ Harbor freight 22 gallon cant keep up when I hooked my 1/2" Snap on Impact to it. Felt extremely weak, and didnt sound right. MY father and brother (Contractors) can run their nail guns off of the small pancake compressors no problem.


+1. I had a cheap 25 Gallon single stage noisy as heck compressor. It always struggled with the 1/2 Air impact guns. Be prepared to wear hearing protection if you use a small compressor and you are doing something major. You also find that if you are working on larger bolts etc, you will get a limited run on breaking loose larger fasteners while you need to stop and let the air tank refill to get the maximum torque available. That is a major pain after a while.

I Finally found a used 60 Gallon 240V compressor on Kijiji that I upgraded to. What a difference in performance and less noise to boot! I got a heck of a deal on that compressor. Guy sold it for $250. Cost me about $120 to run a 240V line to my garage with new breaker and conduit etc. I sold my old 25 gallon for $100 (I got it for $80 about 8 years ago).

Pancakes like already mentioned are good for nailers etc. These days you can get a battery powered Brad nailer. A lot of people buy the HF cheap upright compressor for under $200 bucks. They sometimes tie in an Air Pig secondary tank for better performance. Check Youtube for possible solutions.

Snagglefoot, I see that you are in Canada as well. Have you looked on Kijiji or can you get to a HF in Washington State or that's not a viable option for you? Keep searching Kijiji, you will find something if you are persistent.

Last edited by JC1; 11/29/19 12:51 PM.

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Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280455 11/29/19 01:21 PM
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ted s Offline
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Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
I was wondering what is your favourite air portable air compressor to power a single air tool such a an impact gun or air hammer. I have noticed some 20 gallon units that deliver 4 cfm @90 psi, 150psi max with a 1.3 to 1.5 HP motor. Would that be useable? Thanks. smile



no

Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280485 11/29/19 02:06 PM
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+1 on the 8cfm. I bought a Craftsman 1/2 inch drive battery impact wrench. Haven't come across a lug yet that it hasn't handled. Has 3 LEDs on the front to see what you are doing too. Battery is the way to go for that.


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Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280529 11/29/19 03:28 PM
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Fattylocks Offline
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lKind of fond of my California Air Tools with an aluminum tank. Pushes my Ingersoll Rand 231c impact no problem. It's very quiet.

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Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280561 11/29/19 04:18 PM
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The physics of air compressors-- and electricity-- pretty much top out most 120 volt units at the same spot. You get 2 hp which gets you 4-ish CFM at 90 PSI, plus or minus 10 percent based on how well machined everything is. Anything more is fibbing by marketing.

If you've never had a compressor before, the one you list is an adequate starter unit. The 20 gallon tank will carry it during your bursts of work and you won't have to rewire the garage.

Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280663 11/29/19 07:18 PM
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Driz Offline
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You can cheat with anything under 5 hp but will hate yourself in the end. Remember too those HP are Chinesium power and the CFM statements are just as ridiculously overstated. Consider that before you go small.
I have a 20 year old Campbell Hausfield 26 gallon 6.5 big portable 220v. Something like 9 [email protected] and it’s fully capable of running air guns. Trouble is any stooge knows it’s really not Putting out anywhere near that. I can paint, carefully, and even sandblast, sort of😣. You get the picture. The good thing if you want to call it that is the stupid thing has carried me all those years . Unless all you 🤞🏻EVER🤞🏻are gonna do, and you know better🤔. Either go big or you’re gonna be unhappy.

Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280679 11/29/19 07:36 PM
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P10crew Offline
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Snag yes a small compressor will operate both of those tools for just a few seconds then the governor will start the motor and just a few more seconds and tank pressure will be below 100. Then the torque of the tool goes out the window

Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5280749 11/29/19 09:15 PM
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Ozonkiller Offline
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When I go to the races I use a small pancake compressor for airing tires, blowing off parts etc.
For the heavy lifting I carry a tank of Co2 with a regulator. Works like a champ and a tank lasts me all season

Re: Portable air compressors for air-tool use [Re: Snagglefoot] #5281694 12/01/19 07:38 AM
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Donald Offline
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There are portable and then there is portable. One is one you can pick up and carry and the other is a much heavier one you wheel around.


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