Good bye air compressor

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Jun 25, 2009
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I've had my trusty 26 gal craftsman compressor for 15 years if not more. It has served me well powering my IR2135 and friends. It started to have a minor leak about 2 years ago but now the motor finally stopped working. I'm a home gamer/weekend warrior at best.

15 years has changed quite a bit. I now own an M12 3/8 stubby and ratchet, and a Makita 18v 1/2 mid-torque.

In the last year the only time I've used the air compressor was for the HF brake bleeder. Makes me wonder if i can go without an air compressor. Its nice to have and I'm sure I'm not thinking of all the things i can use this for.

What is the smallest tank a home auto repair guy should have? I'm debating on giving it up completely or going smaller. The pancakes i highly doubt can even build up enough pressure.
 
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I've had an 8 gal for a long time, Sufficient for blowing stuff off, filling tires and volleyballs. I can even paint with it if I'm patient. I think you'll miss the little stuff you do with it.
 
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What is the smallest tank a home auto repair guy should have? I'm debating on giving it up completely or going smaller. The pancakes i highly doubt can even build up enough pressure.

60 gallon! Lol just kidding.

A pancake builds enough pressure, just not enough volume. I have used one in a remote location to loosen a lug nut or a water heater anode plug.

Just have to let it build up pressure in between.

I will always have a larger compressor as I want to get into bead blasting.
 
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They are very useful for powering a vacuum operated coolant filler. 26 gal is the smallest I'd settle for.

And of course, for airing up tires and for using a high-powered 1/2" air impact.
 
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I have a 13 gallon Craftsman. Only thing that it runs out of air on is a die grinder if I use it a lot. I used to run my impact wrench off a 2 gallon unit; as Spasm3 said, pressure isn't the problem, it's volume. A couple of blasts on the impact wrench and I'd have to wait a minute for it to recharge.
 
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I have an 8 that works okay for inflating tires. did an additional 11 gallon tank to it and it's immensely more useful with that 11 gallon aux tank. I can effectively use pneunamic tools with 19 gallons.

I couldn't find any of my electric drills when I was putting the hitch on the Grand Marquis and the 19 gallon setup was able to run a Chicao Pneumatic drill to do the frame holes!
 
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I have a 25 gallon Craftsman air compressor. I definitely use it less since I have a 1/2 and 3/8 battery impacts, and I also have a battery ratchet. With that said, the times I've needed the air compressor it was the only tool for the job.
 
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I'd say at least keep a little one around for blowing dust out of a computer, filling up tires, etc.
if you want to use air tools that arent crazy a 20-30gal will run most esp if you get one of the newer 150 or 200psi models.
(can use regulator to not damage tools)

YMMV:
walmart had an 8gal for 50 check and see if any left by you?


home depot has some of these "Husky 20 Gal. Vertical Electric-Powered Silent Air Compressor"clearanced.. pretty nice $174

Still full price by me.
 

bowlofturtle

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I've had an 8 gal for a long time, Sufficient for blowing stuff off, filling tires and volleyballs. I can even paint with it if I'm patient. I think you'll miss the little stuff you do with it.
i have a feeling you are correct. Just the random little things.
They are very useful for powering a vacuum operated coolant filler. 26 gal is the smallest I'd settle for.

And of course, for airing up tires and for using a high-powered 1/2" air impact.
Haven't upgraded my toolkit with that yet. I've seen it done but I'm still on my spill-free funnel kit.

I have a 25 gallon Craftsman air compressor. I definitely use it less since I have a 1/2 and 3/8 battery impacts, and I also have a battery ratchet. With that said, the times I've needed the air compressor it was the only tool for the job.
My thoughts exactly. Power tools really made me forget about using a compressor but the biggest thing is I can do stuff roadside.

One other thing I didn't mention was the lack of space. While a 26 gal tank doesn't take up much space, I have to work around it.
 

AutoMechanic

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I have a 20 gallon at home. I use mainly air tools at home still it does fine. I’d definitely keep at least a small one around for airing up tires. Walmart had a smaller one on sale mine ran out of them but you might find one they were getting rid of them.
 
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I have a 19 gal hotdog. The only reason I've kept it is it fits under my shelf. Majority of my power tool needs have moved over to M12/M18
 
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I saw a YouTube video where a guys 25 ish gallon compressor blew up in his shop like a grenade. It caused extensive damage and could have killed someone if they were next to it. He claimed the compressor was maybe 15 years old. (My 26 gallon compressor is the same age)

I’ve been thinking of replacing my old craftsman for a newer ultra quiet.

I too have noticed that I barely use the compressor anymore with all the battery powered impacts that I own now getting the majority of use.
 
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I have a makita mac5200. I don’t need a lot of volume. It runs everything I need it to and goes from 0-140 psi in under a minute and a half. Good all around compressor.
 
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Scarsdale, NY
My 20gal Air America 125psi let go after ~25 years and was replaced with a Fortress 225psi 5gal from Harbor Freight last year. My decision was based on 5.1SCFM to run my 1/2” impact gun. So far I haven’t tested its full potential yet so only time will tell.
 
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Fort Worth, Texas
I saw a YouTube video where a guys 25 ish gallon compressor blew up in his shop like a grenade. It caused extensive damage and could have killed someone if they were next to it. He claimed the compressor was maybe 15 years old. (My 26 gallon compressor is the same age)

I’ve been thinking of replacing my old craftsman for a newer ultra quiet.

I too have noticed that I barely use the compressor anymore with all the battery powered impacts that I own now getting the majority of use.

You have to have water sit in the pressure vessel for long periods of time for it to fail. I've seen a lot of compressors develop pin holes from rust but never a catastrophic failure. If your compressor has a certified vessel....I wouldn't worry long as you're not exceeding the working pressure.
 
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Mar 21, 2004
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Near the beach in Delaware
for tires my go to tool is a Ryobi cordless air inflator where I can set the stop-at-pressure and turn it on and wait until it stops. No hoses dragging in the snow or dirt. Now if I had many to do then sure an air compressor. But for the occasional tire its great.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
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Hedgesville, WV
I have a large compressor in the shop behind the house but it was always a pain for smaller jobs and I hate having to take the work to the tool unless its a big job. I bought a 6 gal pancake and a 7 gal portable tank. The pancake is great for running an air stapler and nailer inside and a low pressure paint sprayer it also runs all my air tools for short periods and I use it to fill the portable tank which stays filled and is great for the quick top ups on tires on the cars, trailer and tractor. For 90% of what I do now I could get by with the pancake and the portable.
 
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