what is the best air compressor for the home do it yourselfer
My first compressor was a small Porter-Cable pancake unit wich came with a couple nail guns as a package. It cost less than two hndred dollars at the time. It is still working fine after almost 20 years. Granted, I am not a carpenter using the unit day in day out, but it stands at the ready in my shop. Great for filling up the car tires too. It has been one of the most useful tools I have ever bought! I used to laugh at Norm Abrams for using his pneumatic nail gun so often - until I bought one!
One of the big advantages of the smaller unit is its portability. It is very easy to move around the job site or from site to site. It also draws very little electric power. Any common household outlet is sufficient.
Well...longevity is a function of who built the compressor. I have an oil less compressor from, probably the mid to late 80's, that was recyled from a restaurant soda system. It's made by Thomas (who I believe is out of the compressor business) probably because they couldn't compete with the big box stores. Why spend $400 on a compressor that lasts a couple of decades when you can spend $100 on a compressor than lasts a couple of years. :smileysurprised:
The answer is it depends on what you want to do with it. Different tools have different demands as to air supply in cubic feet per minute and working pressures. Nails guns require a relatively high pressure approaching 100psi, but very little volumn of air. Air spray guns require only moderate air pressure of about 40 to 50 psi, but lots of volumn of air.
A relatively small compressor will power the air nail gun, but it takes a larger unit to supply large volumns of air for pneumatic spray guns, grinders, etc.. The best course is to decide what tools you want to power and then see what air pressure and volumn they require. Find a compressor that will deliver those demands. Every compressor will have a rating on it as to what psi and cfm it will deliver.
Compressors with larger air storage tanks tend to do less cycling on and off. Even an undersized unit will be able to power high volumn tools for short periods, but then you will be waiting for the compressor to build up adequate storage before you can begin again. Too much air is better than too little.
Hope this has helped.
Hope this has helped.