Opinions on air tools?

Greetings all,

I have been looking to pick up a couple of die grinders, straight and 90 degree, finally going to bite the bullet. I know IR is the top of the line, however I do not use one all day every day. I have been looking at Sioux, Nuline, Florida Pneumatic and Chicago Pneumatic. I have used a Sioux before, seemed like a good tool. I am a bit leery of the Nuline due to the cheap price. The Sioux and Fla. Pneumatic are in the same price range, so I guess those would be the ones I am favoring.

Any opinions/input anyone might have would be greatly appreciated, Jim C Roberts

PS I will be using the grinders for polishing/finishing metals, mostly stainless steel.

Reply to
Jim Roberts
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I've had a Sioux 90 for a few years now and love it. Lane

Reply to

I realize this is a valid point, but I'm always surprised that folks concentrate on CFM so much. I built my own compressor from dumped parts. Probably about 4 CFM into a 20 gallon tank.

I just grind for a minute then go get a drink of water and beat the dust out of my pants as it charges again.


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aaah, guys.... 15 cfm at 90 psi is well within the range of a 3 to 5 hp compressor - I have a 5 hp quincy that is rated at 19.5 cfm at 160 psi (If I recall correctly) - on the other hand, I've seen hardware store type compressors with "5 hp" ratings putting out as little as 3.5 cfm at 40 psi - the thing to watch out for is that cheap motors don't cost very much (to coin a phrase), so these "homeowner" compressors use a small compressor (because compressors are expensive) and a too-big motor - Lots of these units (see the ones at harbor freight, or home depot, etc) that have 5 hp motors would put out almost the same amount of air with a 3/4 hp motor. So, ignore the horsepower and look only at CFM/pressure to get a true picture. (and, I have my compressor on a 20 amp/220 circiut - you certainly don't need 30 amps)

"GTO69RA4" wrote in mes sage news: snipped-for-privacy@mb-m24.aol.com...

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Couldn't agree more with John. I fell victim to the "5HP" Campbell Hausfeld at Home depot. Sure it was the biggest portable unit I could find but for the life of me, I do not know how they measured HP - perhaps at the pump pulley. Anyway, I rebuilt it last week. New head and new motor - 5HP 220V! The motor itself is 3 times heavier than the original motor which has "spl" stamped in the HP rating box on the tag. Stands for special I guess. Anyway you can see it at

As far as the OP's question about die grinder - Buy once, Buy Well.

I spend more time doing the things I need to do to fix the stuff I need to do the job with. :)

Good Luck


Reply to

That is not a 5 HP compressor at the hardware store as you state. It also indeed DOES NOT state it's 5 HP. It most likely states 5 HP "peak" or "max", or "instantaneous" or something to that tune. This is very different from 5 HP continuous. I have a 6 HP "peak" shop vac that plugs into a 110 V outlet. You can do the math. It is not 6 HP continuous and it does not state this. The interesting part is that the instantaneous HP rating is usually in very large easy to read font were the term "peak is usually in small print next to it.

As for air tools. I've used both cheap and quality tools. The better tools usually do use less air to do the same work. Other benefits that I find are that quality tools run smoother with less vibration, are better balanced, have more power, and in some instances, can be much much quieter. Some production grade tools have built in mufflers making use of the tool much more tolerable for long periods of time. Take a look at Dotco tools if you are looking for top of the line. Ebay or second hand shops can yield used ones at more attainable prices.

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Reply to
Stu Fields

On Wed, 5 Nov 2003 23:05:23 -0500, "Jim Roberts" brought forth from the murky depths:

I went with mostly CP when I wrenched for a living. For spares, I got Rodac, etc. and could instantly see the difference: less power, more air consumption. I still have every one of those tools and all still work, 30 years later. (I hardly use them since '85, when I stopped being able to toss transmichigans around. :(

I'd be willing to bet that the FP, Nuline, and Sioux are all Chiwanese tools just like this one for EIGHT BUCKS:

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(Buy eight of them for the same price as the Sioux and get free shipping + $5.95 handling, of course) Or just get 2, one for spare parts.

I have one of these HFT critters but have rarely used it since I got a Makita 4.5" angle grinder, a 1" belt sander, and a good hacksaw blade. It's often quicker to hand saw a piece than to wait for the compressor to fill up. You need a full tank for any air tool other than a nailer or stapler.

and this for $35:

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Why pay more for the same item with a different sticker on it? And since you won't be using them all day, even if they take more air to use, they will still work for you.

My 4¢ (inflation)

-- Friends Don't Let Friends Eat Turkey and Drive --

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Larry Jaques

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David Billington

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