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Old 08-31-2012, 08:29 PM   #1
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Default What can I do with a pancake air compressor?

Hey guys. My local HF has a deal for a Central Pneumatic 3 Gal 100 PSI pancake air compressor. I have been eyeballing this thing for a while now. The problem is I can't think of all that much to do with it other than using it with a blow gun to clean out my keyboard, electric hair clipper and razor and etc. I was also thinking trying my hand at air brush.

Do you guys think I can run an airbrush from a compressor like this? Can it be used for anything else purposeful?

I do not have any air tools and sadly lack the space for a compressor that can be used with them or an HVLP spray gun.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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Pump up tires. That's the only thing I do with my cheapo hf air compressor.

If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't bother and just got a real air compressor off craigslist that can do real work.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Make really fluffy pancakes?
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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Make a potato gun?
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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Fill the tank with a compressed, stoichiometric mixture of hydrogen and air (roughly 40% gaseous hydrogen by volume) and detonate it to see what happens?
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:15 PM   #6
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I own one, and its probably the exact one your asking about. Its pretty pathetic. You can put air in your tires with it, and you can run an impact wrench for about 20 seconds.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:23 PM   #7
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I have one and use it to inflate tires, and power a trim nail gun. Don't use it very often, but it's handy when I need it. If it's cheap enough, buy it..
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:30 PM   #8
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leakdown test, nail gun, impact, air rachet, pump tires, blow air
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:13 AM   #9
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My dad just bought that same one at Garbage Freight. He pumps tires...that's it.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:11 AM   #10
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It's a pancake, so almost no volume

It's also only 100psi? That's weaksos.

You can air up tires all day long, though - because that's how long it will take you...
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:27 PM   #11
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Seem's to me the consensus is it is pretty limited. Anyone have a recommendation for the smallest air compressor I could buy that won't be a complete waste of money?
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:26 PM   #12
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I bought that HF one. Don't waste your $$. I would start looking in the $200/20+ gallon range if you want something that will run air tools reasonably well.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:43 PM   #13
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Indeed. I have an older model of This Unit and it's just *barely* adequate to run an impact gun for long enough to break a set of sticky lugnuts on one wheel before I have to wait for it to fully charge back up.

My next air compressor will undoubtedly be a 240v unit. HP numbers are subject to fudging and adding up SCFM requirements is enough to drive you mad, but as a general rule, any compressor that requires 240v to operate will be "sufficient" for most household tasks.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:05 PM   #14
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I think the only successful way I've ever seen a pancake used was when I worked as a framer. Nail/Staple guns are relatively low volume
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:25 AM   #15
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240V is basically a must. It is ALL ABOUT CFM!
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #16
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HD has a fantadtic 8gal compressor for $130, it was on sal for less the last time i was in the store. I flows a lot of air when compared to other compressos in the same size category.

Otherwise the 29gal belt driven hf model is supposed to be very good.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:48 AM   #17
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What do you guys think of something like this: 1.8 Horsepower, 17 Gallon, 150 PSI Oilless Air Compressor



It has decent pressure, enough for my gun to snap things.... but do you think I could run a die grinder long enough to do some body work on a 6by6 inch panel? No really doing any cutting, just removing bondo and cleaning back to bare metal before POR-15 goes in.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:37 AM   #18
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Check Craigslist before you buy a compressor from harbor freight.
$100-200 Will usually get you something nicer.

I had a 2 gallon compressor for a long time. It would run a small airbrush ( airbrush compressors are tiny ) but it had to fill during airing up a tire.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:35 PM   #19
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This is the important part of an air compressor:

•Air delivery: 4 SCFM @ 90 PSI (The part about CFM @ 60 PSI is a waste of your time)

Check the chart about halfway down this page (http://www.powermate.com/air_compres...ng_guide.php)- I think 4 CFM is going to leave you disappointed.

Me, personally, I wouldn't buy an air compressor less than 9CFM @ 90 PSI, and I would prefer 12 CFM, but then I would be using it to power sustained use equipment such as sanders, die grinders, and HVLP guns. 4 CFM will do just fine for light household use, but you're still going to be a little disappointed every once in awhile with it.
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