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Garage Air Compressors


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It seems that I could fit out my garage with a complete set of air tools for the same price as a cordless Impact Driver, but when looking at the range of air compressors in Machinemart, there are just loads of them.


From what I gather I would need something that delivers 6.1 Bar and 5 cfm. I'm considering the Clarke Syder 3

Air displacement 6.3 cfm

Max working pressure Bar

Air Receiver 2 ltre


It only weighs 14KG and I recon I could install it in the roof of my garage.


Or would the Spyder 7 be better?


Does anyone else do anything similar? If so what compressor do you use?



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With compressors you need to consider a few things…


The air delivery, rated as CFM (Cubic Feet Per min) be careful with this as some manufactures quote the “theoretical” CFM which is a calculated rate I.E. bore X stroke, others quote the more realistic actual delivery.


Size of receiver – usually specified in litres, bigger the better


Size of the motor – HP. Some of the larger single phase compressors won’t run off a standard domestic 13 amp plug and require heavy duty wiring.


As an example I have 2 compressors which I use, both are rated at around 9 CFM. The difference is in the size of the air receivers. One is 25 Litre, the other is 150 litres.


I use the small one for blowing up tyres, blowing off small parts, with the air drill to drill holes, blowing up the air bed. It just about copes with this and has the advantage that it’s ready to use in seconds. I find that it just about runs an air impact wrench to undo wheel nuts, but not if they are very tight.


If I have to do any serious work like spraying, using a die grinder, an air sander, air hacksaws then I have to use both compressors working at the same time together.



To sum up, a 6CFM compressor with a 2 litre receiver would be OK to blow up an air bed and your tyres, blow off carb jets, but little else. To do more you really have to go to a much bigger model.


Hope that helps




Edited by - Tony L on 5 Jul 2004 09:25:08

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There's no substitute for cubic inches... who was it who first said that?

I've got a 3hp V block 50l tank that will drive pretty much any tool all day long. This is about the limit for 13A. It used to pop the 10A fuse system when we lived in Sweden but there was a work around for that *wink*

I started off with a 1.5hp 25l tank. Get the biggest one you can afford / accommodate would be my advice.


Moving it up to my boarded in loft is a good idea but it's un-insulated up there so I'd have to be careful in the grip of winter as you can burn the motor out if you fire it up in sub zero temps as the oil gets very thick.

I saw a neighbour do just this when living in Sweden. The trick is to put a fan heater on it for 20 minutes or so to loosen things up.


Hants (North) and Berkshire Area club site here

My racing info site



Edited by - stevefoster on 5 Jul 2004 09:12:56

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I've got a 3 HP with a 50 ltr receiver. It's rated at 15 cfm but this translates into 9 cfm free air volume, IE useable air. It runs from a 13 A plug but draws a lot of amps during start-up making the lights flicker momentarily. If your power supply is at the end of a long spur from the house this might be a problem. It'll drive most tools continuously apart from the grit gun which it struggles to keep up with.


Personally I'd go for a belt driven model if your budget will stretch to this. They run at a much lower speed & dont heat up as much as the direct drive type. If your'e only going to be using small tools like an impact wrench then this may be less of a factor. I bought mine from Halfords & got nearly a hundred quid off because they had two & they weren't selling. At the moment I think they're the thick end of 300 quid.


Plumbing in your air once youv'e got the compressor sited couldn't be easier. The I pipe used is a semi-rigid white plastic. I cant remember the brand name but any pneumatics dealers will have it in stock. It comes in 25 mtr coils in a variety of bore sizes & is joined using re-useable push fit connectors. I used about twenty quid's worth of pipe & fittings to plumb in three outlets. The convenience factor of having the air plumbed in & on tap is worth the extra effort IMO. I bought a cheap set of air tools from Costco & have used them regularly for four years. Impact wrench/Air ratchet/Air chisel/Sockets for the same price as an impact wrench from Machine mart. Its the same stuff as well only painted a different colour. If it ever breaks, toss it out & buy another one


Bear in mind if siting the compressor in your attic that atmospheric moisture condenses in the air reciever & needs draining periodically. This may not be a problem but could easily be overcome by fitting a drain line with a valve at the end in an accesible position.


Hope this helps. D.

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The most important thing to me is one that nobody has mentioned. They're bl**dy noisy! I've got one and a set of air tools and for most jobs I don't bother firing it up I just use the hand tools because the noise is so high and for so long to fill the tank.


I think there are two types, recip and centrif., the latter is at least twice the price but half the noise, not sure of the details though.

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Thanks *thumbup*

My intended use would be impact wrench, air ratchet, drill, blowing up tyres - ie, to use when working on the car in the garage and to blow up the odd childs toy such as ball pools etc.


The 50 ltr compressors get quite expensive, so what are your opinions on the following 25 ltr compressor?


Warrior 30A


Cheers *smile*



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I bought a compressor from a local too show (25ltr, 2.5hp, 9cfm iirc) for about £70 and it's perfect for what I want to use it for in the garage. The main point being un-doing the crank pulley bolt. The equivalent one in machine mart was about £150 ... so if it doesn't last forever, it's not the end of the world.


Remember to get 10mm air hose for the impact driver though or it just won't do the job.



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Agree with all that has been said. Do also bear in mind that if you connect a hose to the compressor the free air and the end of the hose will drop considerably. There is a range of low consumption air tools available that help matters considerably. My 9cfm, 1½ hp 50 ltr. compressor just about copes with a 3/8ths wrench, air nibbler grit blaster and Binks spray gun etc but just isn’t up to an impact wrench capable of undoing wheel nuts. I estimate that I am getting just 5 or 6 cfm at the end of the hose. So the bigger the better. I agree about the noise, especially if you forget to turn the air off and it starts up in the middle of the night!!



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CFM is Normally rated at a Specific PSI.. any piece of Junk can produce Hi CFM numbers.. but only Decent 'worth buying' units can do it at 90psi.. where the operating pressure for Air tools generally lies.

Yes they are noisy.. but most have Wheels.. Move it out side :-)

And a decent compressor can 'fill up' in a v few minutes.. Definitely a "ya gets what you pay for' .


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> Yes they are noisy.. but most have Wheels.. Move it out side :-)


And I have neighbours with whom I am trying to maintain an entente cordiale, thy already live with the constant stream of noisy Caterham visitors, trailers parked outside overnight, our 3 cars. So I moved my compressor into the garage, I can cope with the noise it's worrying about what others think that bothers me. Guess I should move to the country or get a harder outlook on life.


And yes, forgetting its powered up overnight and the pressure just drops below the minimum at 03:00 is definetly the worst thing you can do for neighbourly relations!!!


Although mine is Machine Marts best, perhaps the more professional models are quieter, wouldn't suprise me in the least, you pays your money ......

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Well.. after perusing the supplied catalogue I think perhaps an Airmaster Tiger gives the appearance of a rerasonable unit. It has : wheels, a passably sized tank , a piston type Compressor (cast iron is best) and is NOT oiless..has a good old fashioned and Indestructible Belt drive.

Prices are a bit Hi tho..

Similar prices here in the Americas Will buy a 5 to 10 hp 50+ gallon permanently mounted industrial quality uint... serious Kit.

As for noise issues.. build a box/container and insulate the insides.. will cut noises by at least half.

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Chelspeed said

And yes, forgetting its powered up overnight and the pressure just drops below the minimum at 03:00 is definetly the worst thing you can do for neighbourly relations!!!



Been there, bought the T shirt *eek* 3:30 in the morning for me and I couldn't find the garage key *tongue*


Edited by - Graham Perry on 6 Jul 2004 07:34:01

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