View Full Version : Air Compressors

05-27-2004, 03:55 AM
My friend and I will be painting 5 or 6 cars this summer and I've been looking into purchasing an air compressor. I will also be using it to run tools in the garage like an impact gun, grinders, etc. I'm working at sears so I'll get about 25% off an air compressor so my choices are craftsman or a used one. Depending on my options I may just buy a small one for garage use and rent one for painting or buy a large 240V unit. What kind of specs will I need for painting and what will I need for general garage use?

Also is their any way I could run multiple units to power the spray gun since it takes a lot of air? I can borrow a newer 5hp 33 gallon compressor and an old belt driven 60 gallon compressor from friends.

Thanks in advance, Jon

05-27-2004, 08:26 AM
I worked for 2 years with a small shop compressor and now I have a nice large one. What a difference. Using the small shop compressor I could only sand for a few minutes then I had to let the compressor catch up for a few minutes. Now I can just sand and sand and sand. What a difference.
Go for the largest compressor you can afford and have room for. Also the larger compressors are much quieter than the small ones.

Bruce Bowker
05-27-2004, 09:02 AM
Go with the biggest you can afford. Also stay away from oilfree compressors if you don't want the noise. Old fashion piston type is far far quieter. I like the upright style with a huge tank. Home Depot has some good prices. Sears also I would guess.

And what is ANGELFIRE? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

05-27-2004, 06:22 PM
das right, get the biggest, baddest compressor you can get. this is one of those tools you don't want to buy again for a while

05-27-2004, 08:04 PM
Like any other tool, a compressor needs to be matched to the job.

Every air tool needs to be supplied with a sufficient volume of air at its intended operating pressure. Your compressor must be able to supply air to whatever tools you will be using for however long you will be using them. In general bigger is better and way too much is just about enough but you'll pay penalties in cost, size, weight and power wiring required if you go too far overboard.

Look at the tools you intend to use. They will have air requirements listed. Comparing those to the delivery capability of any compressors you may consider will help tell you which are up to the task.

When spraying finishes it is critical to have clean, dry air. Be sure to leave room in your budget for regulators, filters, driers, etc


10-30-2004, 11:20 AM
so the oilfree type are not as quiet as the oil based ones?

10-30-2004, 11:56 AM
No, the oil free compressors are quite loud. I bought one because I needed a compressor <u>NOW</u> , and the first time it kicked on, I about jumped out of my skin. If you have the room, get the biggest vertical, oil type unit you can afford. Too much is always cheaper than not enough.

10-31-2004, 10:40 PM
Ditto to the above. I used a Sears 1 HP for years and painted a few cars with it but always had to pause and let it catch up and there was never enough air so got a few foggy looking cars. I have Sears best spray gun from about 20 years ago and it uses 12 SCFM of air so I got a compressor now that will handle about 14 SCFM. A vertical 60 gal tank and 7hp. It is an oil type piston compressor and is loud. Very starteling on the first start. But handles anything I want to do now. I also worked for Sears for 27 years. I retired from there in 1997.

Tim Tucker
11-10-2004, 07:05 PM
I have an old (12 years) belt driven 5hp, 2 stage with an 80 gallon tank. I just shot my wife's VW with a FinishLine3 gun, and the compressor cut on maybe 10-12 times during the entire sealer-topcoat painting session. The bigger the tank the better...less noise..

If you're not using an HVLP gun...get one. The savings in paint on 5-6 cars will more than pay for the gun. I had never used one before - now I looking for stuff to paint..:)