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VMFers: What is your advice about which air compressor to buy for general Mustang garage work ? Who makes the best palm sander and air ratchet ? Do the compressors run on 110V or 220V ? What size air tank is best for home use ?

Thanks for all the tidbits !!

-Jeff
 

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I took the advise of several here and bought an Ingersol Rand impact wrench. I love it. I have loaned it to neighbors, and they have also been impressed. I bought a new one from Sears on [censored], but there are plenty of used ones there also.

I was in Tractor Supply earlier this week and saw some really nice Ingersol Rand vertical air compressors (with the big tanks) for under $500. If I didn't already own an almost new Craftsman, I would buy the IR.
 

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Try www.tptools.com and look for their tech section as a guideline for air consumption and other common questions. You can run either 110 or 220v on most compressors (my 3.5 HP Craftsman has been switched over to 220v, as well as my 6HP 60 gallon upright).

I agree with the Ingersoll Rand tool choice. You can buy the cheap stuff, but in the end it is still cheap stuff. It is never cheaper if you have to be two of the same tool to get the job done, my philosophy is to spend the money up front and then you won't have to hassle later...
 

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I vote for IR too. I just got a new IR impact wrench and I love it ::
As far as compressors, get a 220 volt one, 60 gal, 6HP or more, then if you get more serious tools :: You won`t need to upgrade
 

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I have a 6 hp, 30 gal upright compressor and it does ok for typical automotive work. May not be enough to continuously power a spray gun, but I dont paint there anyway.

RE: tools, I can only echo what has been said before, but to emphasize a lesson I learned -- some air tools you can make the decision to cheap out on, esp if you dont use them very often. I dont use a fancy cutoff tool b/c they are so cheap, for example. HOWEVER, get a good, strong, well-built impact gun from the outset. I did not and regret it....I will be spending the $$$ for a good I-R gun very soon. A cheap impact gun is worse than useless.
 

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Ohh yeah....also buy 2 impacts......1/2 inch and 3/8 inch.
I can't begin to tell you how useful the 3/8 inch one is..most people get impacts for changing tires and doing what they consider to be 'big' jobs....like strut rod nuts.....but the 3/8 impact gets more use in the garage than the 1/2 impact. Its small, versitile, and helps with stubborn nuts/bolts in almost any location.
 

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Two Stage pump with cast iron cylinder walls. Most of the cheap units around are single stage w/aluminum cylinders walls. Some of the single stage units have cast iron cylinder sleeves and this is a step up from the aluminum walls. Two stage compression allows the compressor to work less. A DA sander will eat up single stage air real quick. 110 or 220 doesn't really matter unless you're being energy conscious; the voltage doesn't make the air. As with anything else, expect to pay bigger dollars for quality. I've seen some nice two stage used compressors going on our favorite auction site for in the $2500 range. One of my friends owns a 20 bay collision repair center. The compressor cost over $20k. If going heavy duty, be sure the compressor is not set-up for 3 phase wiring. This is not an easy workaround. As for pneumatic tools, try Snap-on. I haven't had any problems with any of mine.
 

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my Ingersoll Rand compressor (60 gallon, 5 hp, single stage) was bought in 1988 and has NOT lost a beat - and I use it a LOT!!! In fact, I am ready to GIVE it away to my son in order to buy the large 80 gallon, two stage unit...

as far as tools - what can I say - Ingersoll Rand!! my model 4251 IR palm DA sander is light, doesn't use that much air and works great. Again, it has NOT broken down, along with my IR jitterbug sander and several other IR tools I have. You pay more in the beginning, but save much more down the road...

randy
 
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