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Hello all new at trying to paint and looking to do small stuff like fillers , fenders etc to start off with but question is about compressors.. Dont got big money to buy the best big compressor set up so whats the smallest could i get away with to do small stuff? Would a 20 or 30 gallon be good? And what else should i look for in a compressor when using for painting?
 

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Harbor Freight as far as I'm concerned is 'the spot' for cheap but good compressors.

My HF 90234 compressor ( discontinued ) was $150 when the sister model Campbell Hausfeld was about $300 at lowes.. It was a CH manufactured unit. Plastic handle instead of a steel handle. That steel handle wasn't worth almost $200.

Now as for what to buy... Something oil lubricated in the 5+ SCFM rating @ 40 PSI and that will generally be at least a 10 gallon tank. But tank size is not all what your looking for... You won't run a true HVLP gun with this. There are gravity feed guns sometimes called HVLP that will list pressures around 40 PSI and those are the ones that you want. They operate around 5 SCFM and a little compressor like that will keep up. You don't need a Binks, Devilbiss or Iwata gun. The cheapies spray as good as you will
 

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Be sure when looking at specifications you're comparing apples to apples . CFM is not the same as SCFM . If your requirement is in SCFM , compare it to SCFM . SCFM numbers represent less working air than CFM . Look it up .
I'm not sure why matt167 recommends an oil lubed compressor ?
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I think the biggest reason for oil lubed, is long term life. Yes you will need a oil separator or oil filter to ensure clean air to the gun if using an oil lubed compressor
 

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I'm not computer saavy enough to post a link , but if you find & other articles , it will help separate truth & fiction View attachment 623244

I'll help you out, since you can't help yourself..

Right at the bottom it says for high CFM requirements you may opt for an oil type compressor... And if your using a spray gun at continuous duty at or near the compressors max volume.. Sorry but that would be considered a high CFM requirement.

Also.. This reference is written almost exactly like the one you found, however it states what I have very clearly at the bottom.


Now go to almost any auto shop or paint shop and I betcha they are using an oiled compressor with filters and oil traps... Oil free are popular in pharmaceuticals and things like that where the air cannot have any trace of hydrocarbons... Edit. Forgot to mention construction crews of course, with air nailers/ staplers and things like that.
 

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I missed the part where the OP was running a commercial venture , sorry ! Something else , while the focus has been on the pump , perhaps equally important is the motor , many of these compressors come with less than robust motors , do your homework . The last thing is where the compressor is placed , in the same room as where especially paint dust is present , compressors & especially motors are subjected to particulate that eats rings & coats electrical windings that then overheat & fail early !
 

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Yes i heard its better with the oil system if you want it to last a long time
Long time or continuous use as the articles pointed out.

Just reference post #2 and it will do what you want and last.. Don't buy a compressor with over 175 PSI rating. Even 120 PSI is enough but 150 PSI is standard.. A lot of the oil free compressors and some oil lubed compressors have 175-200 PSI ratings on a large tank. They do that because it can artificially skew the CFM into a higher rating.
 

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Matt167 is correct in his statements. i have been in the compressed air business for over 25 years and until you get into the oil-free screw design elements you are wasting your money on oil free. in the piston oil lubed world will give you the life needed over the oil free piston. you will need some kind of coalescing filter and you should have a dryer to remove moisture (thats a whole other discussion) i would say 4-5 hp minimum and 20 gallon tank or larger also 2 stage compressor
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Long time or continuous use as the articles pointed out.

Just reference post #2 and it will do what you want and last.. Don't buy a compressor with over 175 PSI rating. Even 120 PSI is enough but 150 PSI is standard.. A lot of the oil free compressors and some oil lubed compressors have 175-200 PSI ratings on a large tank. They do that because it can artificially skew the CFM into a higher rating.
Ok i see i found this craftman air compressor its a belt drive 4hp and its oil unit and at 125 psi. Do you all think this a good one to practice on to do small parts and fenders and hoods?
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I agree with Matt that Harbor Freight is the go-to place for reasonable prices on tools, but I didn't find what I wanted when my old one gave out. I could care less about PSI rating, as that's not what I was looking for. I wanted something that was rated at 8-10 SCFM @ 90 psi, because I needed to run air tools (in addition to a spray gun). The only thing at HF that had that capacity was a big gas powered one at $$$$. Elsewhere, Lowes had a 60 gal one under a grand, but that was way over my budget. I kept watching and picked up a used Craftsman 30 gal w/ 5 HP for $100 on C/L that puts out 9 SCFM @ 90 psi. SCORE ! I also can easily blow out my sprinklers with this one.
 

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Ok i see i found this craftman air compressor its a belt drive 4hp and its oil unit and at 125 psi. Do you all think this a good one to practice on to do small parts and fenders and hoods? View attachment 623308
Just be sure on any used unit, to check the bottom closely for any signs of rust. Water will accumulate in the bottom and rust it out if it isn't drained regularly. That's what killed my last two tanks.
 
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