Thursday, June 4, 2009

Spear & Jackson oil free air compressor

A nice little compressor!

The chief technical officer's latest acquisition is the very neat looking Spear and Jackson oil free compressor. Scoff you may - but it was purchased for a tidy $150 (ish) with the following considerations in mind:

1) A small unit is never going to be big enough
Every online forum discussion about which is the right air compressor to buy leads inevitably to the conclusion that such and such a model is not big enough. Until you get into serious belt-drive models with enormous storage tanks you won't have enough air to run 500 air-tools simultaneously.

2) It is only required for small, intermittent jobs
The air gun will be used for cleaning saw dust off tools, and blasting crud out of the crevices in the back deck. Once in a while, a little bit of nailing and framing, perhaps the odd car tyre or lilo inflation. If these take a few seconds extra while it catches its breathe, its acceptable.

3) We really really wanted one
At this price point, we can satisfy our urge to own an air compressor and have a tidy little unit that won't bleed oil everywhere if we store it upside down on the back seat of the Merc, or get bored one day and cut it open to see how it works.

Extra points were awarded for investing in a half decent hose with well fitted connectors. Plumbers tape was used to ensure a leak free seal all round.

So is this a serious upgrade to the kit, or just a toy? I think there's probably a decent compromise here for people who want to get some air power happening, especially for intermittent or very light hobby use, but who really can't justify the expense and space of a unit with both more capacity and power.