Mark J

Air Compressors. How big?

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I am awaiting delivery of a Dust collector (Laguna pFlux 3HP).  The unit does not have a built in brush mechanism to clean the HEPA filter.  Instead your supposed to blow out the filter with compressed air.  So I've been looking at air compressors, but I have no idea what I'm looking for.  

How much compressor would I want to blow out a big air filter on a DC unit? You want to knock off the dust, but you don't want to blow a hole in the filter either, and you'll need several minutes of air flow.
PSI ?
SCFM?
HP?
Tank size?
OIl or Oil less?

I don't consider an air compressor a sexy purchase, so I'm looking at cost, too.  

As far as other uses for compressed air, the only one I can think of is a 23 guage pinner, which I might get someday.  And that would be for light duty, not productions work.  
An HVLP sprayer is probably NOT something I would be looking at for a very long time, if ever ( so I wouldn't size the compressor for HVLP).  

Appreciate any advice.  

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If all you plan to do is blow out your filter and occasionally run a pin nailer, any contractor-grade pancake compressor should work. Even though you may have to refill the tank a couple of times to finish blowing the filter, it shouldn't be all that inconvenient.

However, having a larger compressor and larger tank opens the door to another world of tools. Die grinders and sanders powered by air are more compact, and often less costly, than their electrip counterparts.

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I've got a little 6 gallon pancake tank 1 hp 120 volt compressor that does just fine for blowing out filters and running a small nail gun . If you are really going to town and the pressure runs low just take a break and let it build up & shut off then go again.  I use a turbine type HVLP.  An air impact wrench even works for a couple minutes but it gobbles up the pressure pretty quick. 

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You don't need much for your dust collector..A pancake as mentioned will be fine.

At work ours has air inside that activates every 15 minutes to break dust build up....

 

IMG_0190.JPG

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26 minutes ago, BillyJack said:

IMG_0190.JPG

I was thinking of getting one just like that :o.

OK, so blowing out the filter is not a compressor challenge.

What about the oil vs. Oil-less thing?

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Craigslist is a good place to find any kind of air compressor.  Just got that 10hp for 500 bucks.    A pancake is okay for small nail guns, but doesn't really move much air.  Pancakes are typically oil less, and very loud.  My favorite small compressor is an Emglo 4 gallon twin tank one-think model810 or something like that.   It moves a lot more air than a pancake, and is only slightly heavier.  The pancake compressor is mostly just aggravation to me, and it hasn't been used at all since I bought the little Emglo.

Next step up would be a 30 gallon single stage, like Home Depot sells for around 300.   I have one of those that goes to job sites for blowing out floor cracks in really old houses.  It's loud too.

I bought the big one for running a 3/4" air wrench for working on tractors, and trucks.   I also have a 3hp 2 stage with 80 gallon tank that I've had since 1974, but it won't keep up with a 3/4" air wrench.

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Don't forget to drain the tank every so often. My 50 gallon compressor gets drained about once a month and there is always some water. My little compressor gets checked at the same time and frequently there isn't any. Humidity and how much the machine gets run will affect this. Draining an air compressor can be messy. Be prepared for splatter. It can have oil & rust mixed in and stain wood and clothes.

Oilless are good if you plan to haul it around but I have found that oil compressors can be cheaper and live longer if maintained. Air compressor oil is non detergent special stuff but not expensive. Hobby use could go a couple years or more between changes. 

Noise is a factor. Those Emglo compressors are nice. 1/4" hose is light but tangles easily. 

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There is almost always some sort of deal package with a pancake compressor, and two or three nailguns going by either Senco, or Bostitch, for about the price of the compressor by itself.   http://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/bostitch-3-tool-compressor-combo-kit-btfp3kit?catargetid=600009240000654609&CAPCID=41759085821&cadevice=c&catci=aud-72848052701:dsa-41856624169&agid=9444032021&gclid=Cj0KCQiA_5_QBRC9ARIsADVww15fMoPXnvgPeFs3J7bCRYR1EcIftD_0tP4x8FIM-qc9vbQU36vjoN8aAuU6EALw_wcB

For drains, I've not had long term luck with the automatic drains, and switched all but the little tanks to regular ball valve drains.  The little, two-eared turn valves are slow, and clog easily.

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ROLAIR was the king of compressors with contractors and cabinet installers... Not sure anymore as installation to me these days is a nightmare with my knees....

D1500HPV5.jpg

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Thanks for all the feedback.  I did some looking around on line and had settled on the DeWalt DWFPP55126 pancake because a lot of reviewers had said it was quiet.  Price around $170.

Then I figured I'd get out of the house and head to the big box just to look around.  

Left with a Bostitch BTFP02012 pancake for $100.  I figure given how easy it is to make a return, I'll take it home and plug it in.  If it's deafening I can try the DeWalt.

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18 minutes ago, BillyJack said:
606 South Lake Street
PO Box 346

Hustisford, WI 53034-0346

Not arguing, or even talking the brand down. Just letting you know that what is really common in one region may be special order in another. 

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9 hours ago, BillyJack said:

You don't need much for your dust collector..A pancake as mentioned will be fine.

At work ours has air inside that activates every 15 minutes to break dust build up....

 

IMG_0190.JPG

Yeah, we have a 'dust collector' of similar design where I work, but I have to use Google Earth to get it all in-frame.

 

Capture+_2017-11-12-19-28-56-01.jpeg

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I"ve heard of Rollair, but never actually seen one.  I looked at their website, and their prices aren't that bad-maybe a little higher than others, but no one I know around here sells them, that I know of.  Looks about like Emglo, but they have more models.  Their big compressors aren't reallly premium priced, and look similar to other 2 stage compressors.   Once you get into large, 2 stage compressors with fancier valves than normal, the prices go up, but then you get to the screw type, and the prices Really go up.

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Rolair was the cadillac of 90's as far as mobile air...I couldn't tell you now what everyone uses. We use Atlas Copco industrial  at work. Haven't installed in 13 years...

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38 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

Yeah, we have a 'dust collector' of similar design where I work, but I have to use Google Earth to get it all in-frame.

 

Capture+_2017-11-12-19-28-56-01.jpeg

Been in Jackson,tenn many times. One year 13 times,,, Use to be a Duren furniture company their I believe...

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I was wondering if you could use a shop vac to blow out the filter?  With that being said every shop/garage needs a pancake compressor (or some type of compressor). I had a compressor years before I started woodworking and I use it all the time. Frequently to top off the car tires, maybe I should just buy new tires? :)

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