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Compressor Recs Needed

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  • Compressor Recs Needed

    Looking to get a new compressor, but am not planning to do any auto work with it. Highest CFM requirement is likely from the sprayer (and would be doing a lot of this with kitchen cabinets, enclosures, furniture, etc) otherwise mostly for nailing & inflating. I am considering the Fortress 27gallon from Harbor Freight and would be willing to purchase the comparable Dewalt if it’s much better.

    My question is, is there a better option of similar pricing for what I need? It seems the high psi doesn’t seem as necessary so may be paying for what isn’t needed.

    For reference, I don’t want a stand alone sprayer such as Fuji because I also want something to push a roofing nailer.


  • #2
    I've been using air compressors every day for many years. I own three Makitas. They are among the quietest I've heard. They are cheap, well made and very heavy for their size. The reason I own three is the smaller one, a ten year old single tank "hot dog" unit started leaking oil, so it stays in the garage on a piece of cardboard. The twin tank one has nearly the same motor and pump, just more air storage and of course it's even heavier.

    Most small, cheap compressors are insanely loud. It seems they are all rated at 80db, but of course that's the end of the spec. The Makitas turn slower, so while they make plenty of noise it's not the irritating sort of racket you get from a DeWalt or such. For bigger jobs, I have a belt driven twin cylinder that doesn't make much more noise than one of the Makitas. I sometimes take it to bigger job sites and leave it there to supply air for everyone just so I don't have to listen to those abominable things that everyone else tolerates. Life's too short for that BS.

    The smaller one is MAC700, about $210 at the jungle. Its big brother is the MAC2400, about $100 more. I don't know anything about the others, like the ones on wheels. I've hardly ever seen another Makita compressor being used, for some reason. They have been as trouble free as any compressor for me, and they hold air for months. Usually, I run the oil that comes with them for several weeks, then switch to full synthetic. That makes cold starting far less painful.

    Pay attention to the instructions that tell you to run it for 20 minutes with the drain cock open. That seats the rings properly.


    • #3
      I have a Husky compressor from HD as my portable unit. It is great, no complaints. I have a larger, 80 gallon compressor I paint with though so I haven’t used it for that.

      If you get a cheap compressor you may consider swapping for larger diameter hose and better gauges.

      This one:



      • #4
        I like my California air tools aluminum 8gal.... Performs well, very quiet (for a compressor), handled issues I was having well (pretty sure it was due to shipping)..... Not sure on their bigger products.
        Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p


        • #5
          Might search the WEBV for more construction based forums. The California units do come out highly rated. Puma for big boys. When my old Craftsman have out after 30 years, I bought a new one. POS.
          Be very careful of specs. TO say they lie about both tool use and compressor delivery is being more than generous.

          I have the small PC I use for my pin nailer. No where near enough for my siding nailer. The 5 HP Craftsman cant even run a DA full time. It does pretty well with my spray guns.


          • #6
            It takes a real machine to run a DA full time. Five Craftsman horsepower is usually about 1500 watts, or something like two horses. Compressor marketing could teach audiophoolery a thing or two about absurd claims.


            • #7
              what compressor is this replacing? For nailing and inflating you could use a small "roofing" nailer. Things like DA's, die grinders, and paint guns use a lot of air and leave u waiting while the tank fills. I'd look into a stand alone sprayer + a small roofing compressor vs a stronger 220v compressor.


              • #8
                Thank you for all of the replies. Over the past few days I was actually considering a stand alone sprayer such as the Fuji Semi Pro 2, then a lesser expensive compressor. Right now I have a small pancake, and it’s served me well. Just figured if I’m upgrading and the monetary path seems similar, might as well get a do it all compressor. After reading it seems a compressor like that is 1-2k+ however.

                With that said, anyone have experience with the Fuji Semi-Pro 2, and if so, do you feel it’ll atomize as well as an appropriate large CFM compressor?


                • trevordj
                  trevordj commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have never used the Fuji Semi-Pro gun but I will say getting a good finish with a gun is much, much easier with a quality tool. I started with a 3M accuspray gun which is right around $150. I was able to get good finishes with a lot of color sanding. It was tough. Especially spraying primer, it just didn't get as much material on the part. I slowly transitioned to some quality guns, a Tekna primer gun, and Devilbiss DV-1 base and clear guns. The difference is staggering. I only say this because if you lock yourself into the Fuji, that's it. If it doesn't work for you then you have to then purchase a compressor and better gun. If you get the proper compressor now you will have many, many more choices for guns.

                  I have this compressor for pneumatic tools and spraying. Its a beast. It can easily keep up with anything I use.