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      Hi Eric, I bought a air impact wrench off of amazon, because I almost hurt myself by loosening a bolt on my lower control arm. My question is what kind of air compressor do you recommend that will do the job. I’m looking for the least inexpensive. Thanks Eric for all you do. From a ohioan to another ohioan. 🙂

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      Third GearThird Gear

        Well, as with all tools you get what you pay for. I’m not sure how much you plan on spending, but it’s quite easy to spend a few hundred bucks. Tools like impacts and air hammers LOVE air. I would say buy something with at least 2hp. Compare the specs of your air tool to a compressor your looking at. If it uses 5 CFM @ 90psi, and you compressor’s max output is 2 SCFM @ 90psi, then it will be constantly running. If your budget is really tight, then you might want to look on craigslist for someone getting rid of a compressor that’s in good condition.

        Basically you want to get the most HP and CFM for your money. I have a sears compressor that is 6HP 220 volt and sometimes that thing will be constantly running if I’m using impacts and air hammers a lot.

        EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

          This question would be better in the ‘tools’ thread as this one is for service and repair. To answer your question however I would say a 20-30 gallon air compressor delivering 90cfm would work well for the ‘weekend warrior’, it won’t be that great if you’re grinding or painting something but it works just fine for running air tools.


            There is already a thread i started on the Tools forums on compressors. Check it out as there’s alot of good info there C8-)


              i’m about to buy an impact gun and air commpressor
              for DIY jobs on my car only , timming belt, wheels… etc
              is there a minimum requirement – threshold ?
              torque wise speeking for the gun and capacity for compressor tank?

              Sang Kimskim3544

                Several things you want to look at
                What is compressor powered? Gas or electrical? Electrical ones are getting popular, but they do suck up 15 amp. So you are going to need dedicated power outlet and most garages are not really designed to have this.

                Compressor should be about 20 gal. 30 gal+ if you need to run air sanding grinding
                Each air compressor has CFM. Most air tools are powered by 90 PSI so you want to look at what CFM it gives at 90 PSI. You want it to give you 4 CFM or more – this is what most impact wrenchs require and if air tank cannot deliver least 4 CFM the air tank cannot keep up and it can burn out the compressor motor.

                Air hose – no longer than 25 feet, longer it gets, more air power you would lose. if you need to run longer, then you want to attach air line to a metal pipe to reduce the rubber/polyerthane hose run.

                Air impact gun – look at CFM and find the one that has good balance of air efficiency (low CFM) and power. Generally most of top ones are made by IR. Most of the cheap wrenches are also powerful enough but terrible air waster

                I run Sears 33 Gal compressor with IR-2135Ti. I can work comfortably without tripping the power or burning out compressor. Using a grinder, the air compressor kicks in every 2-3 minutes so it is not really good for doing body work but gets the job done.


                  Another option that just came on the market is I/R’s cordless impact that rivals their best 1/2″ drive air powered gun. Quite honestly, if I was just starting out and saw this at a good price I’d buy it and skip buying the compressor + air impact. They claim 780 ft/lbs in reverse – that smokes 90% of air impacts on the market.

         … -impactool


                    thanks skim,very helpfull
                    i think i will go cheap on the gun and spend on compressor
                    hose doesn’t have to be long
                    john, coordles electrical sounds good too for the DIYer
                    and saves a lot of space…
                    price will be key


                      Do yourself a favor and get an oiled compressor. The maintenance-free ones are WAY too loud. I have a Craftsman Professional 27-gallon upright and love it. The thing is quiet as a mouse, fills the tank quickly and works for quite a while before the compressor kicks in. Compared to my Porter-Cable 6-gallon pancake compressor, which I use for carpentry work, it’s enough of a difference that I use hearing protection when the Porter-Cable is running and don’t with the Craftsman oiled compressor.

                      Also, I agree with what Skim said above, you need a dedicated circuit to run a bigger compressor. I was tripping my 15-amp GFCI outlet (it’s connected to all the bathroom outlets in the house) every time I ran the big compressor. I wired up a new 20 amp GFCI circuit next to my tool box to run the compressor off of, and it’s given me no problems whatsoever. It isn’t as hard as you think to run a new circuit, assuming that the breaker box is nearby. I was lucky, I just had to go through a ceiling and one wall, and with a fiberglass rod to fish the wire through, it only took me about two hours to run the circuit and patch everything up.

                      As far as the air tools go, don’t go too cheap. I got one of those $30 Craftsman jobbers and it lasted me 3 months before it bought the farm, which coincidentally was the warranty period. Oh well. I ended up biting the bullet and got a Craftsman Professional 1/2″ impact wrench (model 00919865000). I get 710 ft. lbs. at 5 SCFM, which the compressor handles without a problem. It cost about $150 on sale, but I learned real fast that with air tools, you generally do get what you pay for.

                      I have an Ingersol Rand air hammer and love it. Also have an Air Cat 3/8″ impact wrench and cut-off tool and am amazed at what they can do with so little air. I also like my Craftsman butterfly impact wrench for tight spaces and my Craftsman Professional 3/8″ air ratchet wrench. Neiko makes some decent cheap stuff, and if you go with Harbor Freight, their Central Pneumatic Professional line isn’t too bad.


                        I have a campbell hausfeld compressor ( 20 gallon tank and 3.5 horse motor ) bought it 30 years ago from montgomery wards ( us older guys remember monkey wards ) this compressor just keeps going and going. I just picked up a 1/2 drive earthquake gun from HF ( rated at 700 ft pounds ) gave it some pretty severe tests and it never flinched ( 70.00 bucks w/coupon out the door ) very impressed with the power. time will tell how long it lasts. my 500 ft pound husky gun from homedepot lasted 4 years of daily use and 4 years of weekend use. if this HF gun lasts as long I will be very happy.

                        John B KobberstadJohn B Kobberstad

                          Look for the tools you want to use with the compressor first. Find out what the air consumption is for each at the recommended air pressure for each. Then look for a compressor that will provide the right amount of air that the tools need to operate them properly. If you buy the compressor first and find that when you buy the tools the compressor can’t provide the air to operate the tool you’ll find that you will have tools that will not operate correctly and you’ll probably be very disappointed in the purchases you made. CFM (air consumption) at PSI is the key.


                            Wal-Mart carries a good line of Cambell Hausfeild stuff that whould be great for at home stuff and Harbor freight also has some decent stuff for diy air tools.


                              My impact gun is an IR231C $130 from a catalog, good durable tool for the money. Most compressors are made by Campbell Hausfeld under many names. I am an Amsoil dealer and I recommend using their compressor oil, it runs cooler and lasts longer than regular ND motor oil.

                              Most tools are rated at 4 cfm and that is conservative, impact guns will consume 12-20 cfm under load, die grinders, sanders and a few tools will run your compressor to death. This is why I suggest the synthetic oil in your compressor.

                              Keep your tools well oiled or they will be trash before long. I tried the lucas air tool oil and I think its good stuff, I used to use the napa brand and I had good results.

                              20 gal air tank will do a lot of work, I use my pancake compressor for occasional jobs at home, but it fits in the closet or the trunk of a car haha

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