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Aldi Air Compressor?

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I nipped into my nearest Aldi today, just to check out the offers. it's the other side of the town centre from Lidl so I don't tend to bother with it much unless I know there's a good offer on. Anyway, the basic air compressor they've been doing for the last few years is currently on offer at £79.99, down from £99.99. Apparently it's something like 2.5hp (actually not particularly impressive, that's under 2kw), and with (IIRC) a 24l tank. But it claims to be able to deliver 9.5cfm at 8 bar? They're also doing an air impact wrench with a full set of impact sockets for 15 quid, and a bottle of compressor oil for 2 quid.

I don't actually have a great deal of use for a rattle gun at the moment, but I know from a 2 week stint of work experience I did at a rally team many years ago that they are the business for removing tight nuts and bolts- and £100 is a pretty trivial amount to spend on such a potentially useful bit of kit, even if I don't particularly need it now. And they're also doing a grit blasting kit for another 15 quid- and TBH there are plenty of bits of my shonky old MX-5 that would benefit from a bit of blasting! :ph34r:

So- are they actually useable, or is the tank too small/ motor too weak for practical hobbyist use? Opinions appreciated, as TBH they'll probably be gone within the week. I'm very tempted, but OTOH I've used the MIG welder I bought from them 3 years ago for £140 precisely once, to repair (badly) an exhaust section that could be bought as a pattern part for £35 :rolleyes: .

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I nipped into my nearest Aldi today, just to check out the offers. it's the other side of the town centre from Lidl so I don't tend to bother with it much unless I know there's a good offer on. Anyway, the basic air compressor they've been doing for the last few years is currently on offer at £79.99, down from £99.99. Apparently it's something like 2.5hp (actually not particularly impressive, that's under 2kw), and with (IIRC) a 24l tank. But it claims to be able to deliver 9.5cfm at 8 bar? They're also doing an air impact wrench with a full set of impact sockets for 15 quid, and a bottle of compressor oil for 2 quid.

I don't actually have a great deal of use for a rattle gun at the moment, but I know from a 2 week stint of work experience I did at a rally team many years ago that they are the business for removing tight nuts and bolts- and £100 is a pretty trivial amount to spend on such a potentially useful bit of kit, even if I don't particularly need it now. And they're also doing a grit blasting kit for another 15 quid- and TBH there are plenty of bits of my shonky old MX-5 that would benefit from a bit of blasting! :ph34r:

So- are they actually useable, or is the tank too small/ motor too weak for practical hobbyist use? Opinions appreciated, as TBH they'll probably be gone within the week. I'm very tempted, but OTOH I've used the MIG welder I bought from them 3 years ago for £140 precisely once, to repair (badly) an exhaust section that could be bought as a pattern part for £35 :rolleyes: .

I'll start by admitting I've never used a compressor for anything other than pumping tyres, and that was someone elses.

That said, I was looking at compressors this week. Costco have one with Michelin stickers on it, 24L, 8 bar, for circa £100 (MB24). Seems possible it's the same item. I don't know enough to know what to get, or indeed if it's worth it. I like the idea of air tools, but are they really so much better than some decent mains eleccy stuff?

What little I've been able to ascertain suggests that airtools are very demanding on compressors' free air delivery (FAD), the volume/time you quote.

Seems the place to start is with the tools you want to run, then see what compressor will be up to it. It's possible that, with an underspecced or marginal compressor, you'll experience plenty of stop/start action. A big reservoir is only part of the equation it seems, if the compressor can't replenish at the rate the tools draw out then you'll empty the cylinder regardless. And it seems this happend pretty sharpish with anything useful for removing nuts etc. Apparently compressors are very susceptable to failure due to overheating, and rely on the downtime for cooling purposes, so it seems that you want a compressor which is easily capable of running your tools and then some.

And cheapo ones are apparently very noisy. Something to to with the method of driving the compressor.

Does your work have air tools? Some of those guys must know what's hot/not.

"Soon Not A Chain Retailer/rxe/Buckers" must be a font of good info on this stuff.

PS Has your breaker bar turned up yet? I got a 'dispatched' email, but nowt so far.

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I nipped into my nearest Aldi today, just to check out the offers. it's the other side of the town centre from Lidl so I don't tend to bother with it much unless I know there's a good offer on. Anyway, the basic air compressor they've been doing for the last few years is currently on offer at £79.99, down from £99.99. Apparently it's something like 2.5hp (actually not particularly impressive, that's under 2kw), and with (IIRC) a 24l tank. But it claims to be able to deliver 9.5cfm at 8 bar? They're also doing an air impact wrench with a full set of impact sockets for 15 quid, and a bottle of compressor oil for 2 quid.

I don't actually have a great deal of use for a rattle gun at the moment, but I know from a 2 week stint of work experience I did at a rally team many years ago that they are the business for removing tight nuts and bolts- and £100 is a pretty trivial amount to spend on such a potentially useful bit of kit, even if I don't particularly need it now. And they're also doing a grit blasting kit for another 15 quid- and TBH there are plenty of bits of my shonky old MX-5 that would benefit from a bit of blasting! :ph34r:

So- are they actually useable, or is the tank too small/ motor too weak for practical hobbyist use? Opinions appreciated, as TBH they'll probably be gone within the week. I'm very tempted, but OTOH I've used the MIG welder I bought from them 3 years ago for £140 precisely once, to repair (badly) an exhaust section that could be bought as a pattern part for £35 :rolleyes: .

Check both the pressure and flow. Most windy guns and tools require a pretty big reservoir and beefy compressor to keep up with demand.

Make sure the compressor has enough continuous capacity for your windy gun, also the take note of duty cycle.

You don't want to be running the compressor at 100% to use your tools, it'll wear out in no time, or, the temp switch will cut it off.

Lastly, buy decent whip-checks and avoid risking your eyes/hands and always wear goggles...not safety glasses when using these tools.

whip_checks_prod.jpg

My feeling on these kinds of tools is that if they are 'too cheap' they will be pretty much useless for anything except perhaps a small grit blasting machine or paint gun.

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Got one - and most of the accessories. The compressor seems fine for light use. I use it for adjusting tyre pressures, running a brad nailer and cleaning electronics mostly. The spot blasting kit is pretty feeble and slow. It will get loose surface rust off but that's about it. I wouldn't bother. I've not actually used the windy gun - tried the sockets on my wheel nuts and they didn't quite fit so I put them away again.

The compressor has a very short power lead (about 1M) and the manual has a stern warning about not using extensions since the voltage drop could damage the motor. The compressor 'walks' while running so you need a brick to stop it moving and putting strain on the cable.

I'm not unhappy with my purchase - It gives me some extra useful flexibility and I bought it fully intending to replace with quality stuff if it becomes something I start relying heavily on.

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Yeah, Norm is a god. There are some great youtubers out there too. The trouble is I love adding to my knowledge and skills in all sorts of random directions. One day it's woodworking, the next I'm on to metal casting. Can't keep up with myself.

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If it has a 24 litre tank, then it will remove wheel nuts for the average DIYer. It may take time to recharge the tank, but it will work. Where it will be a dismal failure is for grit blasting, which need a continuous stream of air, and any activity that means you have your finger on the trigger for more than about 2 seconds. So for getting wheels off, fine, for continuous use stripping suspension, forget it.

Duty cycle is important - it will be very low for that price, and you will cook the motor if you run it continuously. It will also be a very noisy, direct drive - my belt drive compressor is a nice bass rumble, this will be ear shattering. Don't use it for painting, the air will be wet and full of oil.

If you fit within the parameters, then it will be fine. It will break very quickly if you exceed its capabilities.

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If it has a 24 litre tank, then it will remove wheel nuts for the average DIYer. It may take time to recharge the tank, but it will work. Where it will be a dismal failure is for grit blasting, which need a continuous stream of air, and any activity that means you have your finger on the trigger for more than about 2 seconds. So for getting wheels off, fine, for continuous use stripping suspension, forget it.

Duty cycle is important - it will be very low for that price, and you will cook the motor if you run it continuously. It will also be a very noisy, direct drive - my belt drive compressor is a nice bass rumble, this will be ear shattering. Don't use it for painting, the air will be wet and full of oil.

If you fit within the parameters, then it will be fine. It will break very quickly if you exceed its capabilities.

Could you give us an example of what you would consider a decent make/model/budget for a domestic DIYer looking to do a bit of work on a car, and maybe some other blasting work e.g. cleaning bike frames etc. Do you find airtools an invaluable addition to your toolkit over eleccy ones?

Much appreciated.

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Honestly, I would not be without my impact gun. I have a cheapo Clarke 1/2" one, and a very nice Snap-on 3/8" one. It completely transforms working underneath cars, and doing suspension work actually becomes fun. Other tools - the blow gun, for cleaning stuff., tyre inflator, air drills, wrenches, all good. But the most important remains the impact.

Compressors are one of the few things that Machinemart does pretty well. I have one of their Industrial "blue" compressors with a 200 litre tank. Good bit of kit. Before that I had a Clarke twin cylinder - 14 CFM (about all you can get out of a 13 amp supply). It was too noisy for heavy use, and I also blew the capacitor several times by running it too hard.

If you have the space, I'd get a belt drive machine (much quieter) with a 100 litre tank £400 - £600 from machine mart, depending on the grunt you want. If you can cope with the noise, get a decent direct drive, Clarke are OK, SIP are better - £250 - £450, again depending on grunt. There are loads on the bay and elsewhere, there may be some bargains out there. Get decent feet for mounting it - otherwise it walks around.

Grit blasting - generally i'd say don't bother with DIY compressors, to do proper grit blasting, you need 20CFM+ and that is 3 phase + big money for the compressor. it is usually quicker to break out the sandpaper. I am building a 60CFM monster out of an old diesel engine at the moment....

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Honestly, I would not be without my impact gun. I have a cheapo Clarke 1/2" one, and a very nice Snap-on 3/8" one. It completely transforms working underneath cars, and doing suspension work actually becomes fun. Other tools - the blow gun, for cleaning stuff., tyre inflator, air drills, wrenches, all good. But the most important remains the impact.

Compressors are one of the few things that Machinemart does pretty well. I have one of their Industrial "blue" compressors with a 200 litre tank. Good bit of kit. Before that I had a Clarke twin cylinder - 14 CFM (about all you can get out of a 13 amp supply). It was too noisy for heavy use, and I also blew the capacitor several times by running it too hard.

If you have the space, I'd get a belt drive machine (much quieter) with a 100 litre tank £400 - £600 from machine mart, depending on the grunt you want. If you can cope with the noise, get a decent direct drive, Clarke are OK, SIP are better - £250 - £450, again depending on grunt. There are loads on the bay and elsewhere, there may be some bargains out there. Get decent feet for mounting it - otherwise it walks around.

Grit blasting - generally i'd say don't bother with DIY compressors, to do proper grit blasting, you need 20CFM+ and that is 3 phase + big money for the compressor. it is usually quicker to break out the sandpaper. I am building a 60CFM monster out of an old diesel engine at the moment....

Thanks for that, good stuff.

I like the idea of being able to do suspension work when required, being able to save on garage expenses would make the tools pay for themselves quite quickly. If it becomes fun to do, so much the better, I think I'd lose the will to live quickly in the face of rusted bolts that just wont move.

Biggest problem I have at the moment is the garage is pretty flimsy, security wise. Both doors would need little more than a tinopener to gain access, and the window is unbarred. I don't have anything of worth in there at present, a couple of hundred quids worth of assorted bit and pieces of fairly low value, mains garden equipment and the like. I'm a bit reluctant to start putting my blossoming toolset in there. Wife will be unlikely to tolerate a compressor in the hallway (unfortunately), and space under the bed is rapidly disappearing.

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If it has a 24 litre tank, then it will remove wheel nuts for the average DIYer. It may take time to recharge the tank, but it will work.

Rather like "very budget" audio equipment, it never lives up the the words on the packet! Toolstation is where you should spend about £200, if you really have a use for air tools!

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Rather like "very budget" audio equipment, it never lives up the the words on the packet! Toolstation is where you should spend about £200, if you really have a use for air tools!

I've had a 25 litre compressor for some years now, good for pumping tyres, blowing tyres on (tubeless) running brad and staple nailers as well as endless cleaning jobs around the place. Buy a 30 foot minimum hose for it, (don't buy the coil type) and be aware, most compressors are very loud. Go for at least a 50 litre tank if your running socket/impact guns or sprayers though.

And from experience, do not do the following when it arrives?

My wife bought me the above compressor as an Xmas prezzie, being eager to give it its first whirl I plugged it in to the socket in the front room (where I opened the box) whilst being sat by the open fire. I plugged in the air line to the socket and let the pressure build up eagerly awaiting the first press of the gun trigger. It built up pressure quite fast, and as soon as it nearly got to shut off point the end of the air line detached from the socket under load (which was directly pointing towards the open fire, about 2 feet away) and emptied 25 litres or so of compressed air straight into the well burning log fire at a rate of about 25 litres per 0.25 seconds. How it never burnt the entire house down I have no idea, I'm not a religious person at all, but I'm quite sure divine intervention visited me that morning. The whole room was instantly filled with tiny red hot embers floating about from the ceiling to the floor for at least a couple of minutes, you have been warned.

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I've had a 25 litre compressor for some years now, good for pumping tyres, blowing tyres on (tubeless) running brad and staple nailers as well as endless cleaning jobs around the place. Buy a 30 foot minimum hose for it, (don't buy the coil type) and be aware, most compressors are very loud. Go for at least a 50 litre tank if your running socket/impact guns or sprayers though.

And from experience, do not do the following when it arrives?

My wife bought me the above compressor as an Xmas prezzie, being eager to give it its first whirl I plugged it in to the socket in the front room (where I opened the box) whilst being sat by the open fire. I plugged in the air line to the socket and let the pressure build up eagerly awaiting the first press of the gun trigger. It built up pressure quite fast, and as soon as it nearly got to shut off point the end of the air line detached from the socket under load (which was directly pointing towards the open fire, about 2 feet away) and emptied 25 litres or so of compressed air straight into the well burning log fire at a rate of about 25 litres per 0.25 seconds. How it never burnt the entire house down I have no idea, I'm not a religious person at all, but I'm quite sure divine intervention visited me that morning. The whole room was instantly filled with tiny red hot embers floating about from the ceiling to the floor for at least a couple of minutes, you have been warned.

Right enough, I've never seen a fire-blower-outer air tool. Sounds like it needs tweaking. You can console yourself with the thought that had you been immolated, the police would have had fun trying to piee together the chain of events.

I'd like to hear Santa's tale from that chimney..

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Got a similar one with 25l tank. I only got it so I could take it to jobs as my other compressor is huge. It will run a rattle gun effectively for a couple of seconds before the motor kicks in, blow air into tyres and that's about it. If you want to grit blast or spray paint - forget it!

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Honestly, I would not be without my impact gun. I have a cheapo Clarke 1/2" one, and a very nice Snap-on 3/8" one. It completely transforms working underneath cars, and doing suspension work actually becomes fun. Other tools - the blow gun, for cleaning stuff., tyre inflator, air drills, wrenches, all good. But the most important remains the impact.

Compressors are one of the few things that Machinemart does pretty well. I have one of their Industrial "blue" compressors with a 200 litre tank. Good bit of kit. Before that I had a Clarke twin cylinder - 14 CFM (about all you can get out of a 13 amp supply). It was too noisy for heavy use, and I also blew the capacitor several times by running it too hard.

If you have the space, I'd get a belt drive machine (much quieter) with a 100 litre tank £400 - £600 from machine mart, depending on the grunt you want. If you can cope with the noise, get a decent direct drive, Clarke are OK, SIP are better - £250 - £450, again depending on grunt. There are loads on the bay and elsewhere, there may be some bargains out there. Get decent feet for mounting it - otherwise it walks around.

Grit blasting - generally i'd say don't bother with DIY compressors, to do proper grit blasting, you need 20CFM+ and that is 3 phase + big money for the compressor. it is usually quicker to break out the sandpaper. I am building a 60CFM monster out of an old diesel engine at the moment....

Here's one direct from SIP, belt drive, 100 litre, 8.5 CFM, 10 bar max. £380 delivered, no accessories though. Says it's 'slow running':

http://www.sipuk.co.uk/tools/info_SIP06260.html

FAD a bit low for for using impact tools perhaps? Or perfectly fine for a home DIYer who won't be putting a great deal of sustained strain on it? I guess the slower speed means less noise.

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Got a similar one with 25l tank. I only got it so I could take it to jobs as my other compressor is huge. It will run a rattle gun effectively for a couple of seconds before the motor kicks in, blow air into tyres and that's about it. If you want to grit blast or spray paint - forget it!

Stands back in manly shed oriented amazement! ;)

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Thanks for the advice folks. Perhaps I'll just buy the rattle gun and stash it while I look out for a higher spec compressor secondhand.

PS Has your breaker bar turned up yet? I got a 'dispatched' email, but nowt so far.

Yes, it arrived with the Halfords kit a couple of days after I ordered it- it appeared that two delivery men from rival firms were sharing a van! Probably a decent moneysaver if business is slack I guess! :D

I meant to post a pic of the Amazon packaging fail in fact, because when it turned up I couldn't figure out what an earth it was, I couldn't recall ordering anything huge. Here's the box with my size 10 feet (and chunky walking trainers) and a small but nontheless adult cat for scale:

Box_zps2cbce663.jpg

Here's the bar looking rather forlorn inside:

Bar_zps53c52095.jpg

?!

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Thanks for the advice folks. Perhaps I'll just buy the rattle gun and stash it while I look out for a higher spec compressor secondhand.

Now you might get a good deal from a garage "cleanout sale", or similar!

The best one I have seen, had a 35 kW 3ph motor and an air tank the size of a bus! You don't want one of those, unless your wife is very understanding! Also you will need ear defenders! :huh:

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Honestly, I would not be without my impact gun. I have a cheapo Clarke 1/2" one, and a very nice Snap-on 3/8" one. It completely transforms working underneath cars, and doing suspension work actually becomes fun. Other tools - the blow gun, for cleaning stuff., tyre inflator, air drills, wrenches, all good. But the most important remains the impact.

Compressors are one of the few things that Machinemart does pretty well. I have one of their Industrial "blue" compressors with a 200 litre tank. Good bit of kit. Before that I had a Clarke twin cylinder - 14 CFM (about all you can get out of a 13 amp supply). It was too noisy for heavy use, and I also blew the capacitor several times by running it too hard.

If you have the space, I'd get a belt drive machine (much quieter) with a 100 litre tank £400 - £600 from machine mart, depending on the grunt you want. If you can cope with the noise, get a decent direct drive, Clarke are OK, SIP are better - £250 - £450, again depending on grunt. There are loads on the bay and elsewhere, there may be some bargains out there. Get decent feet for mounting it - otherwise it walks around.

Grit blasting - generally i'd say don't bother with DIY compressors, to do proper grit blasting, you need 20CFM+ and that is 3 phase + big money for the compressor. it is usually quicker to break out the sandpaper. I am building a 60CFM monster out of an old diesel engine at the moment....

I would agree the clark ones are about the best of the cheaper end I have a petrol one that has been use and abused for years now and it`s still going strong but look for the one`s with cast iorn cylinders as the aluminium ones wont last no time even for DIY use

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Here's one direct from SIP, belt drive, 100 litre, 8.5 CFM, 10 bar max. £380 delivered, no accessories though. Says it's 'slow running':

http://www.sipuk.co.uk/tools/info_SIP06260.html

FAD a bit low for for using impact tools perhaps? Or perfectly fine for a home DIYer who won't be putting a great deal of sustained strain on it? I guess the slower speed means less noise.

There you go http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/categories/search/air-compressors ,look for one that has cast iorn cylinders

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Thanks for the advice folks. Perhaps I'll just buy the rattle gun and stash it while I look out for a higher spec compressor secondhand.

Yes, it arrived with the Halfords kit a couple of days after I ordered it- it appeared that two delivery men from rival firms were sharing a van! Probably a decent moneysaver if business is slack I guess! :D

I meant to post a pic of the Amazon packaging fail in fact, because when it turned up I couldn't figure out what an earth it was, I couldn't recall ordering anything huge. Here's the box with my size 10 feet (and chunky walking trainers) and a small but nontheless adult cat for scale:

Box_zps2cbce663.jpg

Here's the bar looking rather forlorn inside:

Bar_zps53c52095.jpg

?!

Yes, the packaging was pretty outrageous, like you I didn't immediately clock what it was. I thought a poster tube would have been a better idea.

Still though, seems well made, nothing like a shiny metal bar to put a smile on a man's face, I don't know why that is.

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Screw the compressor for bolts.

Use a good quality torque wrenches or torque multiplier, and break them old nasty bolts with a good quality flogging spanner, and impact sockets with massive breaking bar.

If you are really stuck on, heat the bolt or nut with an oxy-propane kit with rosebud.... or bog standard propane bottle.

Windy guns are for lazy mechanics who like to break things.

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Use a good quality torque wrenches or torque multiplier, and break them old nasty bolts with a good quality flogging spanner, and impact sockets with massive breaking bar.

If you are really stuck on, heat the bolt or nut with an oxy-propane kit with rosebud.... or bog standard propane bottle.

Hmmm. So you're underneath a Vectra, stripping out the rear suspension. You are faced with a bolt that defies your spanner. Do you:

1) Put a spray of plus gas on the visible thread and hit it with the impact gun

2) Break out the oxy torch, making sure you avoid the plastic fuel tank an inch from the bolt.

3) Try and thread a giant breaker bar through the suspension, only to find that you can't turn the nut.

:P

Windy gun is the tool of choice for M8 and above where you have lubed the thread, and expect the nut to come off. For properly seized stuff, my tool of choice is a socket mounted in an air hammer - the rust is shattered by impact in the vertical plane, while you gently turn the socket with a spanner on the hammer shaft. If all that fails, and it is safe to use it, then yes, the old 5kW oxy torch is the "final solution".

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  • 243 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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