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Tool Time - looking into a low cost compressor + tools

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Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
The wife is finally on board with me getting a tool chest and compressor this spring. Just way too useful with the abundance of both cheap and low cost hoses, tools, and attachments. But as with all things, I'm not just going to buy the lowest priced item available, I'd rather spend a little higher to get the oxymoron-ic 'better quality cheap stuff'.

I've had good luck buying goods from Costco/BJs/Sams Clubs, etc. and found this advertised at Costco.



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If you plan to use a high demand tool like a cutoff or disc sander, your compressor will run constantly and require you to stop working occasionally to allow the pump to catch up. I have a 25 gallon and it struggles at times. That 6 gallon isn't going to last very long.

My opinion is to spend decent money on the compressor and use cheapo tools. I like the craftsman professional. Reasonably priced for a high volume pump with better internals for long life. I've had mine for over 10 years and it still going.


#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
For non-pro use a 25 gal should be more than enough IMO. The Craftsman line is pretty reliable in my experience. Also check Harbor Freight. Some things they sell are not of the highest quality and some is more than acceptable for other than daily pro use. I have a number of air tools from them (Central Pneumatic) that practically cost nothing that are still going strong.

Some links:


Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
Exp. Type
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
I have had good luck with tools and supplies from Northern Tool.

Spending more on the compressor and a bit less now on tools is good advice. I have gone through two Coleman compressors in the last 8 years. First on warranty and the second just recently. Good to get you started, cost wise. They just dont pass the test of time.

My replacement will be a 5HP two stage IR 80 gal tank. I do not want to run out of air when grinding or blasting.

CP used to be one of the best tool maker. Not so much now. I have a CP 734 I bought when I was a teenager. its still kicking 30 years later. The new models???
I've had the opportunity to use some great compressors over the years which has really spoiled me. I'm talking about industrial screw type supercharger like compressors that are quiet and have huge outputs. That's going to be out of your budget however.

What I'd recommend is a good used compressor. They typically last a long long time in a home environment and you can probably get twice as good of a compressor if you buy used. 220 volt units are more efficient and more powerful but you need to have the service. The little ones have a high PSI rating but as previously stated the VOLUME of air is insufficient for air tool use. I'd follow CL for a few weeks to get a feel for what's on the market. You really can't go too big!

BTW- I got my Zaino kit!! Sunday is scheduled for cleaning the car prior to going to Vegas for the Bash.


Save the dawn for your dishes!!!
I use a 25 gallon compressor and if you plan to take any kind of bolt off that has some torque on it you will want to skip the bobo line of tools. I use a ingersoll rand with 600ft. I should have went with a snap on or their thunder gun.

I will say a 6 gallon is to small to do any real work on a car it would be constantly running.

now may I try to convince you to not buy air tools and go with cordless impacts? that's what I am in the process of doing. much quiter no need to buy a compressor. just an extra battery pack or two. you can take them with you to the track no hose to deal with and they are powerful enough to give air a run for the money.

I have tried my friends craftsman C3 1/2" impact and its pretty nice and the price is cheap. I am getting one to take to the track to do wheel swaps. I found that it was the same price to buy just the tool and the lipo pack and charger over there kit which comes with just nicads.

if you have the extra cash I would go for the below cordless.


Dacia Sandero
I have a harbor freight compressor that's been great. I believe its one of the 25 gal ones.
Not crazy spendy - I think I got it, the 50ft hose kit, attachment/fitting kit, a 3/8 air ratchet, and 1/2 impact for about $400ish a year or so ago

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