Please advise if you have any recommendations and good experiences with
small light weight inexpensive 1-2 gallon portable compressors and the
brand name. I have a large compressor in the shop but want to keep a
small one in the house for light duty. Thanks
I bought one for portable use also.
For this size you are about in the $100 range.
So you can get just about anything. For me
the shape was important for storage. Also it
needed to have high enough pressure for the
tires I'd need to fill, if necessary.
Mine is a 3 gal Sears, not the pancake one.
So far it has been pretty good, but I don't
have a lot of 'miles' on it.
I was about to say be sure you hear it run before you buy it.
I hate to suggest Sears, but a couple years ago they had a small
compressor on display that was advertised as being quiet. It was about
the size of a fat briefcase, and I believe it said it had an oil reservoir
A lot depends on what you want to do with it. Nail guns don't take a
whole lot of air, running a DA or spray gun will. Sears has some small
ones that would be suitable for dusting and tire filling, not much
else. I had an oil-less Sears that I used for such things. Noisy but
not messy if it got tipped over.
I have a small binks compressor that I use for air brush and similar work -
output is about 30 psi and it is quiet and easy to move around - maybe that
kind of thing will meet your need - cost me a dollar at a swap meet because
the vendors were all abandoning it due to rain.
Light duty, just about anything will do - but don't expect more than
2K to 3K running hours without a rebuild, or scrapping it when you
find out it's a Chinese Copy of a Russian design and the repair parts
are not available.
If you want one that will live a long time even with moderate duty,
get an oil-lubricated pump from a major maker. I hear good things
long term about the DeWalt/Emglo and Hitachi portables - when the
cheapie portable I inherited dies, that's where I'm spending my money.
How far is it from the shop to the house? If the house is attached,
or it's only a 50 foot trench away, consider running a 1/2" Type L
Copper pipe (the heavier weight) from the shop compressor to the
house, and put an air quick connect in a convenient hall closet.
Use either Copper or Black Steel pipe for air. Copper comes out
cleaner, and soldering is a lot easier than threading. And whether
the air line goes underground or overhead in the attic, remember to
slope the pipes and put tees with condensation drain valves at all the
low spots. Underground drains can be in a plastic sprinkler valve
handhole. Water can freeze in the winter, you want to get it out of
the air lines periodically.
WARNING: NEVER USE PVC PLASTIC WATER PIPE FOR COMPRESSED AIR - it
shatters rather easily if impacted or disturbed while under pressure
and the fragments act like a hand grenade, with similar results. You
don't want to be there - then again, you are probably the source of
the disturbance, so you will have a front-row seat...
(They do make a special green CPVC pipe that is safe for compressed
air, it's meant for chemical plants with corrosive atmospheres.
Copper is both cheaper and easier to get than that stuff.)
Either that, or consider that hose is cheap. You can buy a lot of
hose for the cost of a good portable pancake compressor - and it has
the added bonus that you don't have to listen to that compressor
wailing away right next to you.