Pancakes (oiless air compressors)

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  #1  
Old 11-02-04, 03:07 PM
jnshawnh
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Pancakes (oiless air compressors)

I'm looking to buy a lightweight air compressor for home use. Mostly airing up the tires, some painting, lightweight tools, etc. I've gone through all the back postings on this site so I have a pretty good idea what I need.
I'm looking at several Craftsman oilfree models.
Since I wont use it often size is an issue. There is a four gallon pancake compressor that looks like it will fit the bill. OK so finally; this is probably a dumb question. It's listed under carpentry tools on the Craftsman website. Any difference ? What is a carpentry type compresor vs any other.
 

Last edited by jnshawnh; 11-02-04 at 03:21 PM. Reason: add text
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  #2  
Old 11-02-04, 04:00 PM
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The reason the compressor is listed under carpentry is because it is best suited for nail guns, staple guns, finish nailers, etc. To run an impact wrench, for instance, typically requires more CFM @ a higher PSI. You need to look at the compressor rating and the requirements of the tools you plan to run. For instance, if you purchase a porter cable pancake 6-gallon compressor rated at something like 3CFM @ 90psi your not going to be able to run a average paint sprayer because it will require ~6CFM @ x PSI. Make sure you scope out the tools you want to operate before sinking the cash into the compressor. You may find yourself disapointed shortly after your purchase. Airing up tires can be done w/ pretty much any compressor.
 
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Old 11-03-04, 03:36 AM
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If that compressor is rated at approx 3 cfm like bradcros said, you are going to have a tough time with a paint sprayer. I have a oiled compressor that is rated around 5 cfm and it ran constantly when I used a little cup sprayer; I was forever waiting for it to catch up so as to not work it too hard. I'm not an expert by any means, but from what I have heard on this forum and from contractors, running an oilless compressor constantly is really going to shorten the life of that compressor.

Bruce
 
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Old 11-03-04, 04:50 AM
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Bruce and bradcros pretty much summed it up.

I would suggest either a very small low cost oilless unit for ocassional tire filling or a larger unit than the Craftsman pancake you are looking at, to be able to handle up to small air tools.

6 cfm of capacity is about the largest size unit you can plug into a 120 volt receptacle and would run a good many air tools.
 
  #5  
Old 11-03-04, 09:56 AM
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GregH:
As long as we're on the subject of air compressors and paint sprayers, a while back a contractor told me I could help out my problem of my compressor coming on so often by piping in one of those portable tanks (used for filling car tires) to my compressor. I then have a a 2 tank compressor. It seems to make sense, as the compressor wouldn't cycle as often, but it would have to run longer to fill both tanks.

Ever heard of this? Does it make sense to you?

Bruce
 
  #6  
Old 11-03-04, 10:16 AM
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Bruce,

I just bought a 2 hp 4 gallon campbell hasufeld pancake compressor 2 months ago. I had been using an 11 gallon before that but the valves appeared to have ruptured and it had to be cast aside. Reason I bought this unit is cause it was in their extreme duty line which means a 3 year warranty. It is small and very portable and handy for many household needs you mentioned (though I wouldn't paint with it). I do on occcasion hook up a 7cfm air gun to it and spray out my garage. As long as I use the air in short bursts I have plenty to get the job down without the motor kicking in all the time. All this is to say that I am very pleased with the unit in every aspect, with one big exception. It is NOISY!!!

If I could do it again I would buy an oil lubed model that would likely meet most of your needs. I know porter-cable makes a lubed pancake model (CPLDC2540P) and I really encourge you to consider this.
 
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Old 11-03-04, 12:27 PM
jnshawnh
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Thanks for the input. I wound up getting a small oil-lubed compressor. It wont run any heavy tools, so I'll have to sneak over and borrow my neighbors when I need to do any serious torquing.
 
  #8  
Old 11-03-04, 06:19 PM
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Bruce,

The advice you got to use an auxiliary air tank to control compressor cycling was right on!
This is exactly what the size of a compressor's air tank controls.
There is a rampant misconception that a larger sized air tank will give you more air.
It is true that you will have a few more cubic feet of air available before the compressor starts but this only lasts for a few seconds untill the compressor starts.

One thing you will have to keep in mind if you use a portable tank as an auxiliary air reciever is the fact that there is no water drain on these.
You will have to be very carefull to somehow turn the tank upside down on occasion to remove moisture that accumulates.
These tanks aren't designed for this type of use and aren't as heavy as most compressor mounted tanks.
 
  #9  
Old 11-04-04, 03:33 AM
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Thanks GregH,
Hadn't thought about draining the tank; very important when spraying polyurethane. My thought was to thread in a quick-connect and run hose between the 2. I would think I could pipe in a tee and drain before the quick-connect. Guess I'll head down to the contractor's supply house where I bought the compressor. Since they also do repairs, they should have an idea and the parts to do what I want.

Bruce
 
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