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Old 09-14-2006, 09:51 PM
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Basic Air Tool Set Help

Help

I have all the typical hand tools and power tools every handyman and auto mechanic needs. what I don't have are any air tools - including impact wrenches, etc. I have an air compressor but no tank. the air compressor has to run whenever I use it for something.

I want a air tool set for typical auto mechanic type work. I have only a small amount of garage space left for stuff. I don't have "Jay Leno Garage Space". what do you recommend I get for a starter set of air tools and equipment.

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Old 09-14-2006, 10:09 PM
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Are you doing body work or the general stuff..the most conveient air tool I have is the 3/8 air ratchet and a 1/2" impact for lug nuts and such..Get an air tank for that compressor..

Just add a tool as you find the need for it and you will have a set that is in tune to your needs.

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Old 09-15-2006, 01:10 AM
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Before you buy any tools, you need to figure out how much air your compressor produces. Different tools require different amounts of air, in CFM. You dont wanna buy a tool that needs 10 CFM to run if you only have 6.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:12 AM
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Sounds like the air compressor you have was made to inflate tires or run a small paint sprayer/air brush. That won't run tools. Impact wrneches, sanders, and drills need a good bit of air. You need at least a 3 hp compressor with a 18-20 gallon tank. That will be fine for hobby work, though you will have to take a five minute break on occasion to let the compressor catch up. 5 hp and 25-30 gallons should run just about any tool you want as long as you want to run it working by yourself. The compressor is the single most expensive item. After you have that the tools are a lot more cost effective.

The tools do use a certain amount of air (cfm) at a certain pressure (psi). An impact wrench will probably use the most. Check the tool requirements and size your compressor to that. You can go a little under, but you'll find yourself waiting for the compressor to catch up if you do. For occasional hobby work that might be acceptable -- it's your call. Stay away from anything under 10 gallons though. The small 2-5 gallon compressor run an air nailer fine with only an occsaional wait to build pressure, but an impact wrench or painting takes way more than they can provide.

You can use Harbor Freight quality items for occasional hobby use with no problems. If you're using them daily for months at a time they'll wear out fast, but you should get 3-5 years of good service from most if you're just building a car or two and doing maintenance over that period. If you're doing more than that invest in better tools.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:24 AM
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thanks for your help guys - good information. I need to come up with some scheme where I can get the air compressor "off the floor" if you know what I mean. Floor space is limited. Maybe I can construct a suspended platform of some kind and put the compressor near the ceiling. I'll take a look at that. I figure $200 to $300 should get me a decent compressor with mounted tank right?

Oh one more thing. with regard to the brand name and quality of the air tools and sockets, etc. do I have to buy name brand stuff or is the no name brand stuff ok for that? You know what I mean. If I bought a standard 10 piece wrench set from craftsman is would cost about $40. If I bought it from Snap-On or SK, it would cost 3 times that price.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leejoy
thanks for your help guys - good information. I need to come up with some scheme where I can get the air compressor "off the floor" if you know what I mean. Floor space is limited. Maybe I can construct a suspended platform of some kind and put the compressor near the ceiling. I'll take a look at that. I figure $200 to $300 should get me a decent compressor with mounted tank right?
I do recall seing a picture posted by a member who built a shelf and had the compressor up on it. Great if you can afford the wall space to get it up and out of the way.
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