Air compressor advice. 20 vs 30 gallon and brands?
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    Air compressor advice. 20 vs 30 gallon and brands?

    Hi all.

    I need an air compressor and would like it horizontal and somewhat portable in a pinch. Mostly for inflating and swapping tires but occasionally might run some air tools. Looking at the CH 20 and 30 gal. units that are both rated at 10.2 [email protected] psi. The 20 gallon would fit better in the shop... But for my typical needs would I want to consider the 30? Would the only downfall with the 20 be that it'd kick on more and/or run constant with a high flow tool?

    Not sure I've seen other brands with these specs in this size. I'm open to other brands if there are better units.

    Any advice on this topic would be appreciated!

    Thanks

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    What degree of portability do you desire? At 10.2 CFM @ 90 PSI I assume the units you are looking at are 220V? That in itself limits a lot of the normal portability options.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    What degree of portability do you desire? At 10.2 CFM @ 90 PSI I assume the units you are looking at are 220V? That in itself limits a lot of the normal portability options.
    I agree yeah they are 220v. Portable in the sense to wheel over to house if I need a bit of air there short term. Could always get a longer hose or air pig too. I wouldn't need to be plugging it into a 120v outlet for my needs.

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    RodW's Avatar
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    I see that your nickname includes "Northern." The compressors you're considering should provide enough SCFM for most tools, but if you need to winterize irrigation/sprinkler pipes, etc., the larger tank will have a better chance of keeping up with those airflows. Ditto for pneumatic sanders...
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernGreen View Post
    Hi all.

    I need an air compressor and would like it horizontal and somewhat portable in a pinch.
    I bought one of these from Tractor Supply and have been very pleased. Look around and you will see units with the same specs in different colors / brands for a good bit more money.


    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...mpressor?rfk=1
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails portercablecompressor.png  

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernGreen View Post
    I agree yeah they are 220v. Portable in the sense to wheel over to house if I need a bit of air there short term. Could always get a longer hose or air pig too. I wouldn't need to be plugging it into a 120v outlet for my needs.
    I don't think CH makes a vertical compressor with wheels in the 10 CFM range. The long hose may be the best solution as you give up a lot of options to have a wheeled unit and at around 180 lbs. it's not something you just grab for inflating a tire.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaJohn View Post
    I bought one of these from Tractor Supply and have been very pleased. Look around and you will see units with the same specs in different colors / brands for a good bit more money.
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...mpressor?rfk=1
    The OP stated he needs something in the 10 CFM range and that Porter Cable unit is only 5.3 CFM.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Well, I hate to be the one to tell you, but you wont get a true 10cfm out of any compressor that small. With very few exceptions, the pumps just arent big enough to do it.
    There is one wheelbarrow style that sell for $1000 that uses a gas engine that will do 9cfm, but most manufacturers rate the CFM only based on a very short timeframe vs flow.
    What you want to look for is continuous CFM, and compressors in that size range are generally around 5-6 at best, which wont keep up with many air tools like a die grinder, air sander, etc. They will work fine for airing up tires, or running an impact, or short bursts with a sander or whatnot, but they will not keep up with continuous use.
    There is a chart at the bottom of this page:
    Portable Air Compressors | Quincy Compressor
    Quincy would be my top pick at any level of compressor. Nobody does it better than they do. They arent cheap though.
    Their 20 gallon does 7.4cmf @100psi.
    220V vs 110V really doenst do much with regard to CFM. The motor doesnt spin faster, nor the pump, its just more efficient in its operation and draws less amps. Going with a 20-30 gallon tank compressor, I wouldnt let voltage determine the compressor I bought.

    This is something I went through years ago, and still do when I talk to friends about compressors, is that manufacturers arent always accurate with specs. They fudge them to get better looking numbers, then a guy buys one and is unhappy with the performance because they took it at face value. One should be able to do that, but unfortunately, thats not the case.
    One easy way to get more CFM is using larger pipe through out the system. Out of the tank, into regulator, out, etc. That will flow more air, but if the pump cant keep up, it doesnt matter much.

    You can look at quite a few compressors and actual reviews over at aircompressorsdirect.com
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    I'm not overly concerned about getting a true 10cfm from the small compressor, but wanted those specs as the 5-6 cfm 110v units in that size would be that less powerful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernGreen View Post
    I'm not overly concerned about getting a true 10cfm from the small compressor, but wanted those specs as the 5-6 cfm 110v units in that size would be that less powerful.
    The intended use is the KEY factor. You mentioned inflating tires and some air tools. Do you have any particular air tools in mind? A home user can usually get by with less compressor than say a commercial shop because you don't have to run the tools all day long. With some air tools you can get by with less CFM and a larger tank (say 30 gal). Others are such air hogs that you need a lot of continuous CFM to run them properly.

    I have a 110V vertical 30-gal Kobalt that I bought at Lowe's. It is actually a rebranded CH. It's rated at 5.5 CFM @ 90 PSI and I've ran some CFM tests and it comes out very close to that. I can run a 1/2 impact, air ratchet, and cut-off tool for long enough to typically get the job done. I also once ran a large framing nailer which was no problem. The cut-off tool is the biggest air hog. Once when cutting tire chains I had to keep stopping every minute or so and let the air build back up. It was a bit of a PITA. I ended up getting a cheap electric cut-off tool for $19 from Harbor Freight and it worked MUCH better. :-)

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CH_comp.jpg  
    Last edited by jgayman; 02-26-2019 at 07:43 AM.
    trboxman likes this.
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