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Old 06-22-2007, 07:42 PM
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My First Compressor, Need tools, don't know what?

First off....Great forum...I have been reading and lurking for days!

I just purchased a Sears Model 16670, 2 stage, 1.6 running HP, 5.1 @90, 5.6 @40, 20 gal, @175psi with a remote 4 port connector for what I considered a ridiculous price on ebay. It was new in box, and I did some checking and it is actually a Porter Cable model CPFC@TV3520. I always wanted a compressor for the garage and at $200 (local pickup) I just could not pass this up. Now I know this is not a great compressor, but I am thinking I might be able to get some use out of it. Now for the questions.

I would like to use it when working on my truck but I really don’t know if I need all the “tools” and I have no idea what are decent tools for the occasional home user. My guess is a decent ½” impact wrench to remove lugs, and those tough bolts, such as shocks, etc. I am not sure if this ½” will be able to get into those spots for general use to make it worth while, but I guess I need one of these. So, suggestions please…..new, used, etc ..

Second tool- Again guessing but I am thinking a small ratchet. Now the question, do I need both a 3/8 and 1/4” ratchet OR can I live with just a ¼” and use an adaptor to 3/8 when necessary. My thinking is….the quarter inch is smaller and easier to use and I can get to a lot of bolts with it. When/if necessary, I can use the ½ to break the hard ones or larger sizes. Again, recommendations for a Ratchet, brand, model even, or price range. And do I need to get both….if so, can the ¼ be a cheapee, and the 3/8 be better.

Last question- The compressor has a 4 port “hi-flo ¼” connectors” detachable section with regulator etc. I called the Manufacturer and asked exactly what they meant by “hi-flo” and of course, they could not tell me if they were Type V or not. Should I buy a type V and replace one of the 4 with it , then connect to it for better performance?

I have spent the past several days reading everything I could on your forum…even so…I felt the need to ask these specific questions. Sorry if they have been covered before and I missed them.

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Old 06-22-2007, 08:11 PM
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I don't use my air tools very often, so mine are Cheops from HF (harbor freight).

I have a 1/2" impact, a 3/8" ratchet, a 3/8" butterfly ratchet (gets in small places), a 3" (???) cut off tool, and an angle die grinder. I drip a few drops of air tool oil in them before use and so far I have not had any isses with them.

I use an adapter from 3/8" to 1/4" as needed.

Again, I don't use them that often. Someone who uses them more often might want a better brand.

I have paint several guns, a DA, and an in line sander, but those are not what you asked about. I have a lot larger compressor for this type of thing.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:08 PM
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That is a nice compressor, probably actually made by Cambell Hausfeld for Porter Cable/Sears but unfortunately it wont run some of the tools that you mentioned too well. It will be OK for a 3/8 ratchet, some siphon feed spray guns but probably wont keep up with any HVLP gun. It will run some low CFM sanders but probably not a DA. Chances are that it might not keep up with some 1/2" impact guns with too low a max air pressure setting. It will run some smaller die grinders.

Regardless, it is still a good start until you feel that a big one that will run the larger CFM tools is in your future.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:34 PM
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IMO, here are the basic tools you'll likely want to have....

1/2" Impact
3/8" Ratchet
6" DA sander
5" Palm sander
Air chisel/hammer
Die grinder and maybe HS Cut Off

Keep in mind the sanders/grinders/cut-offs are serious air hogs...

Also, oil your tools after before/after each use. Later on you'll want to get a water separator, but right now, your own compressor is a good start.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:57 AM
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[QUOTE=Aces'n'8s] keep in mind the sanders/grinders/cut-offs are serious air hogs...[QUOTE]

A DA sander would not work very well at all with a compressor that size and grinders/cut-off wheels would be good for only seconds at a time, the cut-off would be especially bad. An impact wrench would likewise run for only very short periods but with those that usually is not a problem since they are most times run in short bursts then allowed to sit giving the compressor time to recover. IMO with a compressor that size the sanders, cut-off wheels and die grinder type of tools would be better left to electric types. This does not mean the compressor is useless since there still is a heck of a lot you can do with it if you select the right tools, for example you can definitely paint a car if you want to just don't try it with a HVLP gun. There are any number of paint guns, impact wrenches, nailers, etc that can use a lower CFM and these will make that compressor very useful, Let me suggest the HF "Earthquake" 1/2" and 3/8" impact wrenches as I have both of these and that 1/2" is inexpensive and is a brute by any 1/2" standards ( it is a knock-off of the Ingersoll Rand "Thunder gun").
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:32 PM
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[QUOTE=oldred][QUOTE=Aces'n'8s] keep in mind the sanders/grinders/cut-offs are serious air hogs...
Quote:

A DA sander would not work very well at all with a compressor that size and grinders/cut-off wheels would be good for only seconds at a time, the cut-off would be especially bad. An impact wrench would likewise run for only very short periods but with those that usually is not a problem since they are most times run in short bursts then allowed to sit giving the compressor time to recover. IMO with a compressor that size the sanders, cut-off wheels and die grinder type of tools would be better left to electric types.
I used ^ above air hogs on an old 20 gal oil-less compressor for many years before I got a 2-cyl. 60 gallon 220v unit.

While they weren't "ideally" suited for that little but LOUD compressor, I didn't want to buy electric tools only to buy pnuematic tools later down the road. The cut-off was definitely to worst, but I could manage 20-40 second full tilt cuts before I had to let the comp. recharge.

I didn't, as well as many others, start off with a 220v large CFM/volume compressor, so I had to manage with what I had.

Then again, one should analyze how much time it's going to consume to run an air hog on a small comp. vs. the cost of the wasted time vs. the cost of an electric equivalent tool.
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:11 PM
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Oldred said "Let me suggest the HF "Earthquake" 1/2" and 3/8" impact wrenches as I have both of these and that 1/2" is inexpensive and is a brute by any 1/2" standards ( it is a knock-off of the Ingersoll Rand "Thunder gun")."

Thanks, that is the type of response I was looking for. Brand, size etc. as well as do I need both a 3/8 and 1/2 ipact gun.

And do I need both a 3/8 and 1/4 ratchets. I thinking 3/8 would do, but then what about those tight spaces....where a small "mini" 1/4 would work out.

Steadypower.com had this in their specifications for this compressor.
------------------------------------------------------------------
3.5 Peak HP, 1.6 HP Running
Shroud with integrated air intake filter improves cooling
175 PSI - 49 gallon equivalent tank size as compared to conventional 125 PSI model
82 Dba
High-FloSM air regulator (145 PSI start and 175 PSI stop pressure switch) and 4 High-FloSM quick connect couplers
Provides the highest level of moderate-to-heavy duty tool operation in its class
120 Volt high-torque, induction motor for reliable starting
Longer life and quieter operation with "4 Pole" 1725 RPM motor
Removable "quadraport" station permits remote air regulation and control closest to the work; includes 4 quick connect bodies and a High-FloSM regulator
------------------------------------------------------------------
So, I am still thinking that this compressor will /should do better than the entry level 125psi units.
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Old 06-24-2007, 06:47 PM
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So, I am still thinking that this compressor will /should do better than the entry level 125psi units.[/QUOTE]

When all else is said and done it boils down to the CFM rating. No matter how much HP you have or how big the tank is (or the cut-off pressure rating) in the end all that matters is how much air the compressor can produce at a usable pressure. The CFM@xx pressure is what determines what tools a compressor will be able to run satisfactorily and if that CFM rating is low then nothing else matters because the air simply will not be there, the CFM determines what a compressor will run and the duty cycle will determine how long it will do so without a cooling period.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:33 PM
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One thing to look for when looking at air tools is the CFM rating at load, this will tell you how much air it takes to run the tool. Usually the higher priced/quality tools will use less air than the lower price/quality ones so can be used with a smaller compressor since they are more efficient. Get a GOOD impact, the cheap 14 dollar model will do nothing but cause you frustration when it won't even loosen a slightly tight lugnut on your vehicle. The model Oldred mentioned, IR Thundergun are good & powerful but loud or the 1/2" Nitrocat which is also powerful and is very quiet for an impact. Aircat/Nitrocat have noise levels in the 82-86 db range compared to regular impacts that run in the 95-114 db range which makes a lot of difference working indoors, late at night, with close neighbors, etc. Get good quality tools & you'll never regret it, get the cheapest thing made & you'll either hate it everytime you use it or will have to spend the money to get a good tool to replace it.
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