Recommendations on good all purpose air compressor

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Recommendations on good all purpose air compressor

Post by marcus0453 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:48 am

I'm looking for a good all purpose air compressor to handle interior and exterior painting, nail guns, and other renovation related tasks. What do y'all recommend? Size? Brands? Features? Thanks in advance.


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A. Spruce
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Re: Recommendations on good all purpose air compressor

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:50 pm

First, you don't use an air compressor for painting in construction, you use an airless paint sprayer. Air painting is done on cars or lacquer finishes on cabinetry/furniture. Air powered paint spray equipment usually takes a pretty high volume, so you're getting into much larger and more expensive compressors. Same goes for air powered automotive tools, these take massive amounts of air, something that small compressors can't do

I would recommend you determine exactly what the primary uses of the compressor will be and then shop for one that can meet those needs.

Second, brand is less important than type of compressor. While you still want to purchase name brand equipment for the best quality and durability, you're not locked into this brand or that brand specifically to find a really good compressor.

If you want cheap, you will go for what's known as an oil-less pancake compressor. These are loud and have a relatively short lifespan. They're also awkward to carry and haul if this is going to be something you'll need to move around much.

If you want durable, long life, you will go for a conventional oil type compressor. These are much quieter and the oil lubricates the pump. They're usually a faster recovery/higher volume pump as well.

These examples are for small, portable compressors. Your needs will dictate if you should be buying a larger unit.

I have used a number of both types of compressor over the years, hands down, an oiled compressor is the better compressor. I've been using the same portable compressor for nearly 30 years, half of that time it was heavily used on a daily basis. It ran nail guns of all flavors, air hoses, texture hopper guns, and the occasional air hammer or impact driver. If the brand were still available I would highly recommend it.

If you're looking for value for dollar, Porter Cable frequently packages a pancake compressor, hose, and finish nailer at a reasonable price. PC used to be a very good brand, not sure where it falls now though, they're now owned by Stanley. I believe that other name brands will also run special deals on similar packages. Shop around and see what you find.

When it comes to brand, as a professional it is wise to stick with name brands that are trusted and readily available in your area. For the average DIY'r, who doesn't tax the capacity of the unit nor use it very heavily, just about anything will do, though I'd still highly recommend sticking to name brands and stay away from gray market garbage that you get from the likes of Harbor Freight.

Cheapy cheap tools from places like this are not well made, not durable, not accurate, all of which culminates in tools that are reasonably unsafe to use, and are not supported by the retailer/manufacturer, so when something goes wrong, you toss the tool and go buy something else. Investing in good equipment the first time is the only way you will actually save money in the long run.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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