Trying to decide on an air compressor.

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by A.T. Hagan, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    I'm trying to decide on an air compressor and would like to collect a few opinions.

    I'd like to do a small amount of sand blasting with it, a moderate amount of spray painting, but mostly would be used for blowing off and cleaning equipment, tire inflation, that kind of thing.

    My local Tractor Supply has three choices that interest me which is more than anyone else has locally that I've found so far.

    The first is a Campbell Hausfeld vertical 30 gal rolling tank 5.5 H.P. Peak 150 Max. P.S.I. 5.1 SCFM @ 90 P.S.I. that can be seen here:

    I can't find a machine exactly like it on the Campbell Hausfeld site so it may be a special deal thing for Tractor Supply unless I just plain missed it. I've had a Campbell Hausfeld in the past and had no complaints with it though I never really used it hard.

    Another possibility is their Farm Hand 5.0 H.P. Peak, 26 Gal. Vertical Air Compressor Single Cylinder, Oil-Lube, Cast Iron Pump 5.7 SCFM @ 90 P.S.I. that can be seen here:

    I know nothing at all of this brand and have never heard of it before but its features seem comparable to the Campbell Hausfeld above at another hundred bucks higher cost.

    They both only list peak horsepower. I'm figuring their steady running horsepower about 2.0-2.5 hp or so.

    They also had an Ingersoll Rand model roughly comparable to the above two that I cannot find on their website anywhere that I believe was their vertical model Garage Mate that can be seen here:

    It has a 4 hp peak, 2 hp running, 5.7 cft @ 90 psi and a 24 gallon vertical tank.

    Anyone want to venture an opinion on the suitability of the above compressors for my needs?

  2. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

    May 12, 2002
    New Zealand
    Hi, IMHO the little 2hp jobbies are fine for blowing dust off things, topping up tires but are on the limit for spray painting. I feel they are inadequate for driving any air tools except the smaller air chisels and impulse wrenches etc.

    I think you need more horsepower for the sand blasting, although maybe that depends on what you are doing, sand etching pretty pattern on window glass or knocking the scale off old rusty machinery.

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Ingersall Rand is the Cadallac of the three, long known as quality equipment. If your needing major capabilities such as sandblasting just add an old propane tank as an accumulator for those 3 to 5 minute continous blasts. A 1000 gallon tank is sufficent for just about anything. Of course the recovery time is increased but thats what work breaks are for.
  4. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    washington/british columbia
    The key here is the SCFM flowrate, the higher the better.
    Don't buy any of the "oil-less" crankcase compressors, they're junk, as are most aluminum compressors, try to stick with cast iron if you can.
    Multi-stage compressors are better (also more $$), single stage is ok but usually come in only limited sizes.
    I wouldn't use anything less than a five HP, and at the very least an 80 gal. tank, for tools and painting.
    If you plan on any serious sandblasting, your going to have to go bigger, sandblasters really gobble the air up, see TIP Sandblasters site for fair flow requirements.
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Buy a belt drive, cast iron compressor that makes the most CFM @ 90 PSI mounted on as large a ASME approved tank as you can afford . Ignore the HP ratings as they are meaningless as advertised (sales gimmick). You will need around 20 CFM to be able to continuously sandblast on a small scale.