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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to one reason or another most of my tools are in need of replacement so I'm planning on selling off a few of the vehicles, to make room, and spending some of the cash on some new kit. I've got a selection of socket sets, torque wrenches, pullers etc. that I've amassed over the last thirty years of spannering and I'm desperately in need of a new trolley jack, foot pump, verniers but I'm not sure what else to invest in...

For years I've had a compressor built from bits of an old fridge, it was a leaky, fairly useless piece of kit that was only ever used for cleaning carb's and inflating tyres. So my questions are... and I realise they are a bit "how long is a piece of string" but...

What size is considered useful?

How useful is a useful one?

I'm on the verge of buying a new one but don't really know why (!), unsure if a small cheap one is a false economy, or a good one will be a waste of cash... I'm unlikely to use one for paint spraying but wondered if one might be useful for Waxoyl, air tools (which I don't possess and may find too expensive) and possibly sandblasting with the right kit. I use my garage mainly for maintaining/tidying, minor fabrication, cleaning, engine rebuilds and the like on my cars and bikes. I do fancy building a rod from the chassis up at some point, but that may or may not happen. I know there's a lot of info out there on the 'net but cross referring output to requirements gets a bit mind boggling. As I have no experience really any comments would be appreciated... or would I be better off spending my cash elsewhere, maybe a fridge and some beer?

Thanks.
 

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I have a lot of air tools I brought back from the states - got a small compressor very cheap from a friend and it doesn't keep up. I asked my brother (who is knowledgeable in these things) and he said 3hp and at least 15cfm is what I need. This will be for everything in the garage and will be plumbed in (probably if I can get my arse in gear) - haven't bought it yet, but a lot of second hand ones come up on ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, most of the cheaper/smaller Ebay ones that I was looking at seem to be 1.5 - 2 h.p. so probably not man enough for that sort of use then. I know the one I have won't keep up with inflating a fully deflated tyre but I've no idea what it operates at...
 

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Who promised you tomorrow
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I've been looking about myself and machine mart do a nice one. It's called the Airmaster tiger. It's 3hp, 100ltr tank and 14cfm. £270 or tad more for a 3 year warrantee.

I'm using this for light general use, cleaning stuff down, the odd air tool and using a mini and full size paint gun on smallish panels. I did have a 50ltr, 2HP version but it was always working too hard to cope with bigger jobs. I've been told the Tiger will do most things reasonably well though a 150 ltr tank would obviously be better if in regular use. As I'm really working at a hobby level it should do the job easily well enough without going OTT and breaking the bank.

From what I can gather high cfm's are needed for things like painting, you want a good motor to keep up the cfm's and the biggest tank you afford to stop the motor working too hard. For £300 I don't think that too much for something that does all that and having a compressor is like owning a Dremel tool, bloody handy! Some folks have a hang up with Machine Mart but I've used their stuff for years and only once had an issue and that was a bargain bucket angle grinder for £12 and they replaced it anyhow.

Maybe something like this should be about right for what your doing and maybe want to do in the future. With hoses, filters and a handful of tools your up for £500.

Good luck:tup:
 

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I have a mahoosive one,but apart from spraying,pumping up tyres or running a plasma cutter,i dont use it.

I prefer electric tools over air ones and im sure its cheaper to use electric tools,than having a compressor running all the time for the air tools.the noise isnt nice.

Air tools use a huge amount of air and unless you buy big,most compressors wont keep up.

If you want to sandblast,maybe best to research what air supply the kit needs.i think you may need to go big if you want decent results.
 

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Hi
The mashine mart air master 3hp 14 cfm 100 lt is a good multi purpose compressor will run most tools ok. Will run a small shot blaster gun. And with the right gun it's ok for painting. For £270 it not bad I've had mine for 10 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the opinions, the more I find out the more I think I need to spend! I'll let you know how I get on... I was hoping that a sandblaster might be viable but having deciphered the requirements I think I can pretty much forget that. It's a shame that all manufacturers don't list spec' in the same format...
 

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I have a big 3 phase two cylinder unit in the garage, which I have recently reworked with the extras that should have been on there all the time ( safety relief valve, automatic overpressure cutout switch ) and I can now use it for just about anything.

However - it really isn't big enough for sandblasting anything large, like a truck body or chassis. It's fine for small stuff, and will do a whole truck a few square feet at a time, just not sure I want to spend that long on it.

Basically if you have a compressor that will fill tyres and run a paint sprayer, you need to go a country mile beyond that before you can meet the cfm for a real blaster, which is the only thing you would need a BIG compressor for. I have a small Chinese unit that pretty much does everything the big old one does from a 13 amp socket except run the blaster.

I do agree that if you are not a commercial operation electric tools are fine, generally lower cost, and instant on / off with no messing around.
 
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