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Discussion Starter #1
how much compressor do i need for painting an entire car? 30 gallon? 60 gallon? what about cfm?

harbor freight has a 60 gallon compressor that pushes a little over 10 cfm at 90 psi for only $400, but it needs to be hardwired into the fuse box and comes with out any accessories..

sears has a 30 gallon compressor that flows 6.4 cfm at 90 psi for a little over $300, and it comes with an air hose, a few air tools, and some other accessories...best of all, it plugs into a standard 120 volt outlet..

will this be enough compressor for a full paint job, or will i need the more powerful 60 gallon?

thanks,

- eddie -
 
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Your best bet for compressors, as with welders and similar tools, is to buy the most you can afford. The tank size isn't as important as the CFM. Painting, along with sanding, are air hogging jobs. They are like holding the air valve open for extended times. You want as high a CFM rating as you can get. Usually, and I may be starting an arguement here, a compressor that runs on 110 volts is going to be too small for painting. My experience is that they have to run constantly, and because of that, they have a tendancy to cause more of a moisture problem. They also have problems maintaining the air pressure you need. I don't know about the compressor at Harbor Freight, but, my compressor runs on 220. It can be hard wired in, but isn't. I simpply put a cord on it, like an electric dryer or stove. Normally they require either 30 or 50 amp circuit. You can usually get a cord and outlet matched for that. Mine even matches the plug for my Lincoln stick welder. That way I can swap them out as needed. Hope this helps.
 

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ya id wanted to get air compressor for like $300 to paint car, but thats IMPOSSIBLE, the least you have to spend is like $800+ and thats REAL GOOD DEAL if you can find any, but usually least you spend is $1K+ , cause u want good compressor that will do job, needs to have at least 40+ gallons and pump at least 20CFM so that you ALWAYS have constant pressure of 10p.s.i. at the gun air cap, and most times it needs to be even more for proper top coat/clear coat and most of paints application. and you have to have 220V outlet for that compressor, you dont want to strand it so that it burns out on you.
But perhaps if you could buy one for $300+ and all you care is about one paint job that you do on your hot rod like once in few years, id get cheap one like you said $300+ and really crank it up, it probably will get destroyed but thats why you should keep receipt and return it after you use it ;) cause after using that small of compressor it will be wasted.
 

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(My $.02 of course!) I have a Sears 3horse and a Sears oiless and they work fine. You have to plan your work and yes, they run quite a bit but 12 jobs later and the 3horse runs fine. (no I haven't burned one up yet) Yes- I do get more moisture as adtkart said- since it is running more- so I have to use more filters. The oiless has helped a bit on that. I'd also suggest to get the biggest you can afford, but I didn't have access to 220 and redoing main feed to garage was gonna cost over $2000 so I went w/the 110 compressors. If you take your time and plan, it can be done. (but again- go as big as your pocketbook!- you'll never regret it!)
 

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I have had the $400 10cfm Harbor Frieght compressor for about 8 years, have abused it highly and it keeps trucking along. It handles all my air tools including an HVLP hog spray gun. Paints a car w/o raising a sweat.

[ April 22, 2003: Message edited by: [email protected] ]</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for helping me choose guys.. for $400 if the thing explodes in 6 months than i'll already have gotten my moneys worth out of it..

willys,

thats what i like to hear! thanks...

Eddie
 
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