Air compressor recommendation for garage?

Discussion in 'Garage Talk :: Tool, Tips and Maintenance' started by rkw, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. rkw

    rkw Well-Known Member

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    For years I've just been using a 12V emergency air compressor plugged into the cigarette lighter to maintain tire pressures. It should be more convenient if I have an AC powered compressor in the garage. Any recommendations? Something small, light and cheap because I don't think I'd use it for anything else.
     
  2. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    The problem with cheap air compressors is they really don't last long. I ended up spending a bit more on a small one, name brand, can't remember which, at Menard's and it was worth the extra money--I haven't had to replace it; it's still going strong five years later. I bought my first one prior to that, a cheap one, at HF, it lasted a year....Unfortunately "cheap" and "air compressor" don't mix....
     
  3. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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  4. N2MINI

    N2MINI MINI of the Month

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    I bought a small upright from Sam's bout 15 years ago and it's still running. $225 20-25 gallon tank. Has wheels. Less then 2'x2' foot print. You'd be surprised how often you find the Need for it if you do home projects etc.
     
  5. rkw

    rkw Well-Known Member

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  6. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Sears has some nice ones. Mine is about 20 yrs old and works just fine.
     
  7. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Be careful about Amazon reviews. I have been burned by them before.

    The Sears unit is cheaper and you can pick it up and take it back to any Sears if you have problems. For me this is not something I would want to buy on-line.

    Good luck with whatever you buy I am sure you will enjoy it like I do my garage air compressor. :Thumbsup:
     
  8. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, Sears does have some nice stuff--not always cheap, but usually well made, and it often goes on sale if you're not in a hurry. And if you have a Sears close by, they are about as good as it gets for honoring warranties.

    The one I got from Menard's was nice--it is like a small cart with wheels--very portable, small tank, and quiet. That's the other thing I forgot--some of these suckers, especially the cheap ones, are loud--as in neighbor waking loud. I was going to get rid of my cheap one anyway because of that; nothing like getting up at 6 A.M. to go to the track and waking up the 'hood inflating tires.
     
  9. carboman

    carboman New Member

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  10. mrntd

    mrntd Well-Known Member
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    I got my first one, a small Campbell housefield, since 1986. It's still working fine. It won't run air tools but it will fill tires. My cheap harbor freight 8 gal has been working fine for 6 years.
     
  11. ljmattox

    ljmattox Active Member

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    95% of the time I just use my Black & Decker Air Station for maintaining air pressures in the 6 vehicles at our house. Set to a pressure, it shuts off when reached. Runs on 12v also, I've taken it auto crossing. I've used it since 2008, and is holding up fine. It's just easier to use than dragging out the "real" compressor most of the time. It's tire pressure gauge is close enough to use, and I can always double check if needed with a separate gauge.
     
  12. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    For just topping off tires, using the blow gun to blast debris off stuff, etc. this is a great solution. Set it up in a corner, mount a hose reel, and it's really handy. Use quick-connects, and you can unhook the pancake compressor and take it where it's needed. Good ones can run low volume air tools (nailers, airbrushes, some impact wrenches, etc.)

    I started with a portable, and quickly outgrew it to one of these...
    [​IMG]
    But I run lots of air tools, paint guns, etc.
     
  13. DryMartini

    DryMartini New Member

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    I'm with Dave.0 on this. I only need a small one for tires, blowing off mower, filters, etc. But, I quickly went through 2 small "off brand" ones bought at big box stores on sale. Went to Sears and got one of their small units 6 or 7 years ago and not a problem with it. Wasn't that much more $ and I could tell the better construction right away.

    I also find keeping a stand alone tank full is handy. It's portable and keeps me from running compressor every time I need to adjust cycle or bike tires. Prefer quick release attachments on both, as it seems I need about 4 different chucks (short, double extended, etc.) to reach the valve stems depending on the vehicle.

    Good luck!
     
  14. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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    If you're going for "small and lasts forever," check out this Makita. The oil-lubricated pump is very quiet, runs cooler, and will last much longer. My brother and I gave one to our father for Christmas, and none of us have heard a compressor as quiet.

    Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor - Amazon.com
     
  15. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Funny thing. I was in the garage today, and finally figured out I contain so much overblown, pressurized hot air, I no longer need an air compressor. Imagine that!
     
  16. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    #16 Firebro17, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
    I've had great success with my Craftsman upright. This 6HP, 33 gal., 150 psi model easily runs my small air tools in addition to the small tasks everybody has already mentioned. It's easy to move if need be and takes up very little space.

    I'm not sure why I can't get the picture to post correctly. Must be another iPhone fart.
     

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  17. lucas0292

    lucas0292 New Member

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    I have no experience with this, but I've been told that leaving a compressor full will get you rust in your tank. Moisture in the air, etc..
     
  18. rkw

    rkw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. I'm rethinking this and trying put things in perspective.

    Part of me appreciates capable and quality products, but the reality is that my needs are very low: top off the tires on 1 (our only) car that isn't driven a lot. We live in the city and I commute by public transit, and my wife by bicycle.

    I'm actually kinda disappointed that I have to admit to myself that I don't need a new toy like a "real" air compressor. My $20 Sears 12V compressor has been adequate for the past 7 years. I'm just tired of the hassle to dig it out of the car and unpack it, string it up to the cigarette lighter and turn on the ignition to use it, and pack it all up again. In reality, all I need is something like the same compressor with an AC power cord. I'll search around on Sears.
     
  19. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    What about something such as this then?

    Sears.com
     
  20. rkw

    rkw Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm... for topping off tires, this looks very convenient. Cordless, built-in gauge, and $40 (doesn't include battery or charger):

    Craftsman Cordless Inflator

    [​IMG]
     

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