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I'm considering a couple of tools that require air pressure - mainly a nail gun. Specs usually say 70 - 100 psi. Any recommendations on an air compressor? The smaller the better, and the quieter the better, but I'm also need to consider price.
 

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Bought the Porter Cable at Home Depot, Pancake tank, brand nailer & finish nailer & stapler for about $280. Really like it, but it is not the quietest. But with the nailers it doesn't run all that much.
 

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You need to look at the cubic feet per minute that the tools you want use. Even with a large tank, it will exhaust quickly if the compressor cannot keep up.

On a nail gun, like Mickey said, it's not using a lot of air all the time, so a contractor's type will work. But, if you are thinking of using stuff like a rotary grinder, air chisel, etc, forget it, it has too small a tank, and too low SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute).

Like I said, get the air consumption on the tools you want, and look to the future. Smaller means less capacity, quieter means more money.

(you also did not say gas or electric, I'm pretty much assuming electric)

Regards, Greg
 

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Two stage compressors are generally the quietest. Oilless type compressors can be much smaller in size but the trade-off is pretty much having to deal with the noise. Just buy a set of ear muffs.

The key to buying the right size compressor is not how many gallons it is, but it's CFM (cubic feet per minute) capacity. It needs to be greater than the most air munching tool you'll hook up to it or you will run the compressor non-stop causing an early failure. Nailers are usually low CFM demand because they are intermittent, but if you want to someday use it with a painter or grinder, then a larger tank with a higher CFM rating would be better for you. Craftsman makes a relatively quiet series that runs between 12 and 30 gallons with CFM ratings around 6-8CFM at 90 PSI. That's a pretty good rating. They are somewhat portable in that they stand upright and have a pair of wheels for rollling from place to place.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I would prefer electric as I need to use it inside and don't want the odor from a gas compressor.
 

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I got a 60 gallon vertical SPEED AIR. It's a noise maker. I have it out side and hoses with regulators inside my shops. This poor thing has been used and abused. It has been through two wars and a county fair.:D
Yes air driven griders tax it's limits. But for everything else it is fine.
You might think of putting your compessor outside under a cover/shed like I did. Build a box for it with insulation on the inside to muffel the noise. Make some vent ports to allow for air ciculation to keep it cool. That way you don't have to listen to the noise.
 

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Both of my compressors were second hand, the latest is a workshop type 6 horse, 50 gallon 240V monster that can drive about any tool I have, and can wake the dead when it kicks on.

The comment about the CFM is valid, but for the home hobbyist, the best compressors I have seen are the "home inventor" ones made from refrigerator compressors. Neat, simple and VERY quiet, a friend has one that his machinist neighbor made for him. Can run an airbrush, small brad gun or the like, would not want to run much more with it.

Check the pawn shops and craigslist, how I got my compressors for a fraction of what they would cost new.
 
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