Does anyone know of a good site where I can read up about air compressors and tools? I'm trying to decide what kind of compressor and tools to buy.
My SWMBO bought a small 2hp 6gal compressor for fathers day (bless her heart for the thought). It only has a 3.9cfm rating at 40psi. My brother has a 1.5hp 20gal sears compressor rated at 7.9cfm at 40psi.
Is either one of these acceptable for restoration work. I don't plan on doing any painting, just welding/grinding/cutting, etc. Does HP matter much or is the cfm and psi rating more important? I'm new to this and would really appreciate help.
Unless you're doing continuous work, like running an air grinder/sander or blast cabinet, it's the pressure that does the work for you...if your unit can make 90 psi, you'll be able to do a number of things, maybe just not for long..
Your small unit will be great for staple/nail guns, a small air drill, and of course, airing up tires, pool toys etc.
Your brother's unit would be better suited to running an impact, 1/2" air drill, die grinder, etc. You can run them on yours but just not for long (combination of low cfm at a useable pressure and small tank)
In the shop, I use electric tools for most sanding/grinding work, except for a die grinder, which is air. I use air mainly for running drills and impact wrenches. I'm still using the same compressor I started the business with back in the 80's, a single-stage twin CH with 60 gallon tank. I replaced the 5hp single phase motor with a 3hp 3phase motor and it works a whole bunch better...other than running a sandblaster/blasting cabinet efficiently, it's done everything I need, and I use it every day.
Select the air tools you plan to buy. Be sure to note down their ratings (e.g., 80psi @ 3g). Be sure the compressor you select exceeds the rating of the highest tool you plan to use and have a 30% margin. My Sears compressor is rated at 120 lbs at 6g and its just big enough to run my impact wrench efficiently...sounds like the one your wife bought. If I use the wrench a lot, the compressor will run continuously. It's enough for what I do with it but has no extra reserve.
Even you are not professional, spend $100 bucks more and buy the compressor with higher CFM. I did that mistake and have to change it to better.
If you not painting or grinding/cutting, 5hp to 7hp with
6CFM/90psi and 8CFM/40psi will doit. Only difference will be on the time to get it back to full pressure. That's why two cylinder 230V are more convenient.
Thanks again everyone. My brother said I can use his as long as I want/forums/images/icons/smile.gif and it won't cost me a thing....except for an air line (he doesn't have one) and tools. I returned the small one that my wife got, and got a 4.5" Dewalt 7.5 amp angle grinder and a good movie from Costco (I even got some change back from the deal). The movie was an impulse item/forums/images/icons/smile.gif.