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Old 07-26-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
GSherbs
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air tools & compressors

I apologize if this has been brought up before.

I did search the forums and haven't found anything specific on the topic so I thought I'd ask.

Obviously, many of the folks on this forum do some or all of their own work on their cars. Myself included.

What I am wondering is how many of you might be using air tools and what brands you recommend for both tools and compressors... And, further, for compressors, what capacity you recommend for a reasonable complement of air tools for working on the car.

If this has been brought up before, feel free to point me in the right direction.

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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What's your budget look like? How much do you want to spend on this stuff?
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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Depends on your budget and which purpose u will be using it for.
Generally, oiled compressor is more quiet than oil-less and for painting/sand blasting, you need bigger compressor. Something like over 60G.

If you are using it for just nuts and bolts, like me, I have is 20G oiled compressor, and haven't failed me yet.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #4
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Well, I'm interested in quality and buying something that is sized right for my needs. I don't mind paying up front for good equipment that will last.

If that means I have to buy a $2000 2-stage, 80gal compressor, so be it. Of course, if I don't need such a thing and can get away with a single stage 60gal for <$1k - then all the better.

When it comes to the tools, I really haven't researched them to a great extent - have been focused mainly on the compressor.

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white46 View Post
Depends on your budget and which purpose u will be using it for.
Generally, oiled compressor is more quiet than oil-less and for painting/sand blasting, you need bigger compressor. Something like over 60G.

If you are using it for just nuts and bolts, like me, I have is 20G oiled compressor, and haven't failed me yet.
I doubt I'll ever sand blast but I may use it for finishing furniture down the road - not a big deal if I can't though... Wrenching will be the primary use, secondary use would be to run a 15-18ga finish nailer.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white46 View Post
Depends on your budget and which purpose u will be using it for.
Generally, oiled compressor is more quiet than oil-less and for painting/sand blasting, you need bigger compressor. Something like over 60G.

If you are using it for just nuts and bolts, like me, I have is 20G oiled compressor, and haven't failed me yet.
Well put. As far as the impact tools go...they're like any other tool as in you get what you pay for. From my experience it's safe to follow a dependable brand name (ie. Craftsman, Koblat, etc)


Note: I don't support or frown upon either Craftsman or Kobalt. Purely examples.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:12 PM   #7
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I had this dilemma in the past I found out that:
1) compressors for serious work (such as high-torqued impact wrenches) are extremely expensive, HUGE and LOUD;
2) quality air impact guns are also not cheap.

Therefore, I just got electrical impact wrench - DeWalt DW292 and it works just fine, including some tough nuts like crank pulley one. Cost me something like $180. After using it for awhile, I also got cordless Craftsman 19.2V impact wrench ($95) and it is surprisingly good! Currently I am rarely using the corded DW292, I mostly use the Craftsman tool, it is very capable.

So, I'd say for wrenching you don't really need the air compressor. For other applications you can buy cheaper/smaller one, if you want, but I still don't have it.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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Air ratchets and air impact tools are great especially if you make your living as a wrench, are they really needed to do your own repairs? Not really, they will save some time, but most of the fun doing your own work is spending the time to do it. Also, hand tools allow for mishaps along the way that air tools will not. Unless you purchase the impact torque sockets for wheel lugs/studs,i.e., an impact wrench shouldn't be used to put wheels on, much better to put them on by hand and then torque them with a good torque wrench. Once I stopped wrenching for a living, I sold off all my air tools, and they were all Snap-On so they were not cheap to begin with. The only air tools I still own are 2 die grinders and 2 spray guns (touch up air brushes really). I use a 20 gallon oil-less compressor, easily moved and stored and it doubles well being used for installing hardwood flooring, roofing and framing. This is strictly my opinion and I know there are lots out there that have the full compliment of air tools. If you really want them, just go buy them, the more expensive the air tools are, the better they are. THe larger the compressor, the less it has to run when using the tools.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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Air ratchets and air impact tools are great especially if you make your living as a wrench, are they really needed to do your own repairs? Not really, they will save some time, but most of the fun doing your own work is spending the time to do it. Also, hand tools allow for mishaps along the way that air tools will not. Unless you purchase the impact torque sockets for wheel lugs/studs,i.e., an impact wrench shouldn't be used to put wheels on, much better to put them on by hand and then torque them with a good torque wrench. Once I stopped wrenching for a living, I sold off all my air tools, and they were all Snap-On so they were not cheap to begin with. The only air tools I still own are 2 die grinders and 2 spray guns (touch up air brushes really). I use a 20 gallon oil-less compressor, easily moved and stored and it doubles well being used for installing hardwood flooring, roofing and framing. This is strictly my opinion and I know there are lots out there that have the full compliment of air tools. If you really want them, just go buy them, the more expensive the air tools are, the better they are. THe larger the compressor, the less it has to run when using the tools.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:28 PM   #10
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I don't use impact wrench to put wheels on, but I definitely use it when I need to take the wheels off!
As to necessity of air/electrical impact wrenches/rachets. In many cases there is enough leverage to use long breaker bar to take off a tough nut. Impact wrench is just a savior here, makes life much easier and diy-projects more fun and less grief.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervous View Post
I had this dilemma in the past I found out that:
1) compressors for serious work (such as high-torqued impact wrenches) are extremely expensive, HUGE and LOUD;
2) quality air impact guns are also not cheap.

Therefore, I just got electrical impact wrench - DeWalt DW292 and it works just fine, including some tough nuts like crank pulley one. Cost me something like $180. After using it for awhile, I also got cordless Craftsman 19.2V impact wrench ($95) and it is surprisingly good! Currently I am rarely using the corded DW292, I mostly use the Craftsman tool, it is very capable.

So, I'd say for wrenching you don't really need the air compressor. For other applications you can buy cheaper/smaller one, if you want, but I still don't have it.

Thanks much!

This was very helpful. I've been considering electric impacts as well (both corded and non corded) and have been trying to do comparative research (vs air tools) for a while now.

Really appreciate the insight!
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:35 PM   #12
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i was in the exact same boat as you a couple months ago. i even made a thread about it. surprised you didn't find it. anyway...
i started out with a 12 gallon oiled craftsman compressor rated at 2.4 CFM at 90 psi. i also got the $40 craftsman impact wrench that they have on special normally.
they were both GARBAGE. the compressor has such a low CFM rating that it will barely power more than a nail gun. and the gun was broken out of the box. it wouldn't even loosen a bolt at 70ft/lbs.
long story short i got a 20 gal husky compressor rated for 4.3 CFM @90psi and an ingersoll rand impact gun. the combo is amazing. the 20 gal capacity is perfect for what i do which is wrench on cars. i wouldn't go less than 20 gal for my uses. i would like more but wasn't willing to pay more at the time.
also the IR impact is AMAZING. i'm absolutely in love with it and highly recommend it. both the compressor and gun were very well priced. i did a lot of research and am very happy with my decision.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAA#ps-sellers

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...N#.UBGo_hyryfc
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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I have a 25 gallon oil less comp and various tools for it. Works fine when i use it for wrenching, but when i get out the sanders for bodywork it doesn't have the volume to keep up.
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:44 AM   #14
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Thanks Fellas

Appreciate all of the insight.

@peytonracer4 - i'll search for your thread.

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