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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
2/16/24 10:28 p.m.

I've got both, but pretty much the only time the compressor comes on anymore is when I'm using the tire machine. And because I have the tire mounting thingie at my shop it means that I'll pretty much have to keep a decent compressor around forever, but I spend more time keeping ducks from making nests under it than I do actually using it.

Caperix
Caperix Reader
2/17/24 9:03 a.m.

I've worked in a professional shop for a little over 20 years, like many have said most of the younger guys are using battery impacts now & they are almost as good as the air equivalents.  But they weigh 2 to 3 times more & don't fit into tight spaces for breaking crank bolts loose.  My air ratchets never get used anymore as the 12 volt milwaukee ones are more convenient without having an airline to work around.  I tried a 12 volt 90 degree impact & it is no more powerful than the 12 volt ratchet & thereis not really an option for a air hammer.  Battery tools are great for the junkyard runs & bringing to the track, but at home/work I still prefer to have some air tools.

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
2/22/24 7:57 a.m.
ShawnG said:

You guys turn your compressors off?

Mine just sits in the shop, ready whenever it's needed. It rarely cycles if it's not being used.

I've seen a few people say this in the thread or just say they leave the tank full and turn off the compressor. I empty the tank after I'm done working.

I was always told not to leave air in the tank because it creates condensation which will rust the thing out from the inside. I ignored that warning for a while at one point and then when I emptied the tank a bunch of dirty water came out which seemed to prove the point. Is there some trick to this I don't know about?

Other comments have made me realize that the air hammer does come in handy at times here in New England. I'd probably keep a compressor just for that.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
2/22/24 8:39 a.m.

In reply to Harvey :

There's always air in the tank and there's always going to be condensation. Even if you let the pressure out.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
2/22/24 8:51 a.m.

In reply to Harvey :

An automatic tank drain will solve the problem. Buy it from Walmart for $30, not Amazon at $85. 

rdcyclist
rdcyclist HalfDork
2/22/24 11:18 a.m.
Harvey said:
ShawnG said:

You guys turn your compressors off?

Mine just sits in the shop, ready whenever it's needed. It rarely cycles if it's not being used.

I've seen a few people say this in the thread or just say they leave the tank full and turn off the compressor. I empty the tank after I'm done working.

I was always told not to leave air in the tank because it creates condensation which will rust the thing out from the inside. I ignored that warning for a while at one point and then when I emptied the tank a bunch of dirty water came out which seemed to prove the point. Is there some trick to this I don't know about?

Other comments have made me realize that the air hammer does come in handy at times here in New England. I'd probably keep a compressor just for that.

I have a fair amount of experience with compressed air systems in shops and cleanroom environments but YMMV of course. I am considered something of an authority on these things but with electric tools which I'm using more than air now, the shop usage is going away.

Condensation is introduced to the tank during the process of compressing air. It does not continue to be generated when air is stored in compression. Emptying the tank when it is not in use only increases the amount of condensation in the tank because the compressor has to run longer to bring it up to pressure. You want to use the tank drain at least once a week if you're using the compressor regularly and daily isn't a bad idea. You only need to run the drain until no water comes out.

Having to bring the tank up to pressure every time you use it also puts more stress on the tank with the constant cycling of pressure. While most compressor tanks are over built, running the pressure from zero to 100 regularly introduces flex stress on the tank and can cause cracks.

And that run time is included in the 24 hours between pump oil changes. Between you and me, changing compressor oil is not high up on exemplary things to do in the shop so I do everything in my power to increase the cycle time between changes.

I have an 80 gallon tank with a big ass 2 stage pump with a real 5hp motor. Real 5hp motors make their power at lower RPM, 1750 or lower, unlike the new 5hp motors which run at 3500. Quieter, easier on the pump but about twice the size of the new motors. It takes about 10 minutes to bring the tank to full pressure of 180psi. While it's quieter it's still kinda noisy and I hate waiting for it to stop so I have one of these on output of the tank and this keeps it at full pressure for weeks at a time if I'm not using shop air:

About 30 clam. A quarter of a turn and the tank is secure. If I'm going out of town or I know I'm not going to be in the shop for an extended period of time, I'll throw the breaker for the compressor. The tank will bleed down to the point of the compressor getting cycled (150psi) in about three weeks with the valve closed. YMMV...

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE UltraDork
2/22/24 11:33 a.m.

I gots both!

Electric versus air is gonna be interesting, because while there's tons of VERY good reasons to go electric- and I have as well- air tools are like the final word in "maintain and last indefinetly" and are far cheaper in the setup before you start running hoses and lines everywhere. But the air tools can't be taken with you to the yard or out of the garage, which is a big negative.

twowheeled
twowheeled Reader
2/22/24 11:41 a.m.

Another case for air: I bought one of these cheapo air jacks and now it's my go-to. It weighs 20lbs or so and lifts a corner of the car in seconds. Way better than dragging out the old hydraulic jack. 

rdcyclist
rdcyclist HalfDork
2/22/24 11:44 a.m.

In reply to twowheeled :

I bin eyeballin' those things for awhile. A pair of those would make lifting the Boxster so much easier. Time to pull the trigger...

twowheeled
twowheeled Reader
2/22/24 11:54 a.m.

In reply to rdcyclist :

They are fast but don't have the best lateral stability. I would only trust lifting one side at a time. 

rdcyclist
rdcyclist HalfDork
2/22/24 12:10 p.m.

In reply to twowheeled :

Got it. Thanks. One of them it is!

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher Emeritus
2/23/24 10:44 a.m.

I am quickly moving that way. Battery powered toola have gotten so much better and air lines are a pain in the butt

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/23/24 1:11 p.m.
Tim Suddard said:

I am quickly moving that way. Battery powered toola have gotten so much better and air lines are a pain in the butt

Battery-powered everything has gotten better in the last 10 years or so. I'm moving the same way with lawn equipment. The only thing left that uses gas is my riding mower.

APEowner
APEowner UltraDork
2/23/24 5:51 p.m.

What are folks using to replace air ratchets?  I haven't looked at what's available in quite a few years.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
2/23/24 7:12 p.m.

Welding repair on a Polaris Ranger in the shop today.

Had a small fire thanks to some dry grass stuck in a corner of the chassis. 

Put the fire out with my blow gun on my air line.

Not sure how a battery would have worked out.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/23/24 8:19 p.m.
APEowner said:

What are folks using to replace air ratchets?  I haven't looked at what's available in quite a few years.

This is what I have:

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD HalfDork
2/23/24 8:26 p.m.
APEowner said:

What are folks using to replace air ratchets?  I haven't looked at what's available in quite a few years.

This is what I have

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
4/10/24 2:01 p.m.

A week or two ago I remembered posting this thread and headed over to Harbor Freight and picked up this guy on a sale.

https://www.harborfreight.com/automotive/impact-wrenches/20v-brushless-cordless-12-in-ultra-torque-impact-wrench-with-friction-ring-tool-only-58887.html

1500 ft lbs of breakaway torque.

The C8 Corvette's wheel lugs are torqued to 140 lb/ft and this thing zips them off without even trying, maybe two taps. It is a big boy though. Probably twice the size of my old Ryobi impact. Worth it!

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
4/10/24 5:07 p.m.

I actually had a sad this past weekend.  Finally ran into a bolt my IR2135 wouldn't spin off that my M18 High Torque didn't even look at twice. 

I still prefer air for most things but its probably just what I am used to.

Maybe my 2135 just needs a rebuild LOL.  

My big dumb van has onboard air, so I was pretty pleased to find a good deal on a used Cornhole 1/2" impact to keep in my toolbox instead of using a lug wrench or keeping a battery tool and its battery in the vehicle.  

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/10/24 6:09 p.m.

I have air at work because the shop provides 150psi free of charge. (Tee hee)

I have electric at home because I don't like making noise and air compressors are noisy.  Plus it makes sense since I can just throw the electric stuff in my trunk if I am going to a rallycross or fix a friend's car in their driveway.  I do have a pancake compressor for filling tires but honestly I think a tall fat bike pump would be faster.

 

What is interesting is that Milwaukee gave us literally one of everything they sell, for one of our technicians to use exclusively, and in exchange they would like us to log that technician's productivity after the switch to all-electric.  I was originally chosen for this experiment, but I reasoned that I had only been there for a couple months so I wouldn't have built up a statistically valid "before".

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/10/24 6:14 p.m.
93gsxturbo said:

I actually had a sad this past weekend.  Finally ran into a bolt my IR2135 wouldn't spin off that my M18 High Torque didn't even look at twice. 

I still prefer air for most things but its probably just what I am used to.

Maybe my 2135 just needs a rebuild LOL.  

My big dumb van has onboard air, so I was pretty pleased to find a good deal on a used Cornhole 1/2" impact to keep in my toolbox instead of using a lug wrench or keeping a battery tool and its battery in the vehicle.  

 

Odd, I have the mega awesome M18 impact (the 1400ft-lb or whatever mammajamma) and it isn't as strong as my 2135 was.  

On the other hand, I used to use a Bauer impact and after the first winter of sitting in my garage, it can't loosen lug nuts if they are torqued to more than 70 ft-lb.  Maybe the humidity does something to the motors, although since the Milwaukee is brushless, I don't see how.

APEowner
APEowner UltraDork
4/10/24 6:30 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

In reply to RonnieFnD :

Thanks guys.  I like the 1/4" drive and if I didn't already own several of these

I might get something like that.

I've got a cordless  impact in the race trailer along with one of the drivers above but with the exception of another one of the drivers I'm all air in the shop.  For me the smaller size and lighter weight mean more than the inconvenience of an air hose.  I also like the durability and chemical resistance of the aluminum bodied air tools.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/10/24 6:35 p.m.

In reply to APEowner :

​​​used to have an aluminum nosed 2135...

APEowner
APEowner UltraDork
4/10/24 6:40 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

That's an impressive amount of carnage!  Thinking about it the nose on my IR231 is steel while the body is aluminum.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/10/24 8:09 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Odd, I have the mega awesome M18 impact (the 1400ft-lb or whatever mammajamma) and it isn't as strong as my 2135 was.  

My M18 was defeated by the FD's flywheel nut, while the IR handled it fine.

 

 

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