Compressors - will this one do?

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Essex Barn Workshop

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UKW Supporter
11 Jul 2020
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Loughton, Essex
Having missed out on an ebay bargain on a 24L unit, this one from SGS came up: tech spec, to save you clicking the link, is as follows:

50 litres · 2 hp
Introducing NEW Air Compressor from SGS - with vertical 50 Litre receiver tank. This compact design makes it ideal for operating on sites with limited space. Transport and manoeuvrability is simplified thank to the large wheels and integrated carry handle. This compressor is ideal for DIY and trade applications with 8 bar maximum working pressure, it offers a fantastic combination of performance, safety and value for money - keeping you working. The powerful 2 HP motor is capable of delivering up to 4.3 CFM. The 50 litre tank is ideal for spraying, nailing, stapling, sanding, drilling and cutting. Boasting a quick-connect air outlet, pressure regulator and gauge. Fitted with safety valve and pressure regulator with gauges for controlled air pressure. Fitted with long-lasting oil-lubricated heavy-duty cast iron pump. Runs quietly with minimal vibration. Fitted with euro quick release connectors. This compressor is fitted with a standard 13A UK plug. SGS is a British company; our air compressors are hand-built by our expert engineers to the highest standard of quality and are European CE marked and German GS certified for product safety. Parts, spares and consumables such as oil and air filters are available from SGS. Specifications: Engine Size: 2HP Power: 1.5kW kW Voltage: 230 V @ 50 Hz Rated Speed: 2750 rpm Air Displacement: 4.3 CFM Sound Level: 97dB Motor poles: 2P Current: 7.5A Discharge Pressure: 125 PSI Tank Capacity: 50 litres Air Outlet: 1/4" BSP to Euro Coupler. The fitting can be swapped for PCL fittings, please check Fitting & Couplers section.

I want to use it in my workshop for the usual - a nail gun, possibly a bit of spray painting, pumping up my van tyres etc.

I know there are better, more expensive models out there, and that isn't really my question. My question is will this one do?
Thanks in advance.
4.3 cfm displacement (no idea what that would be in free air delivery FAD but it will be lower) is going to struggle spraying anything of any size but all ok for low air use tools like staple / nail guns.
Based on specification, low cfm and I wouldn't think 97db would be classed as quiet.
Maximum Recommended Noise Dose Exposure Levels
The table below gives guidance on how long it is safe for someone to be exposed to different noise levels without wearing hearing protection.

Noise Level dB(A)Maximum Exposure Time (in an 8-hour working day/shift)
858 hours (Wearing hearing protection in the workplace is mandatory)
884 hours
912 hours
941 hour
9730 minutes
10015 minutes
1037.5 minutes
1063.7 minutes
109112 seconds
11256 seconds
11528 seconds
11814 seconds
1217 seconds
1243 seconds
1271 second
130 - 140Less than 1 second
> 140NO EXPOSURE TIME (Threshold of pain)
Note: Maximum exposure time halves with every increase of 3dB(A) - this is the exchange level used in Europe. In the USA a 5dB exchange level is used
As others have said, if it really is such low cfm, you'll be disappointed. Once full, you'll 'maybe' get a 500mm kitchen door sprayed with one coat before the compressor is recharging..... with a higher cfm you can keep going, but at those figures, it wont keep up with more continuous spraying. It might run a small sander
As said above, not suitable for spraying anything bigger than a cupboard door. 4.3 cfm is displacement at 14.7 lbs (atmospheric pressure) not at working pressure. I had one with similar noise level and even for nailing it was just too noisy so sold it off and bought one of these just for nailing, blowing off and car tyres - Low Noise Silent Air Compressor 9L ( For spraying large items or continuous use, look for 14 cfm or larger.
I've heard a number of not so good reports as to the longevity of the sgs compressors. They are very cheap though, so...

One of my compressors is an ancient airmaster one, which I think was some machine mart traded one. Possibly connected with Clarke. They seem to have a better rep.

Bare in mind direct drive are noisier and have less possibility for repair. I would always buy a belt drive.

(I have one of each, and only really use the belt drive unless I have to run them both)
Thank you all. Whilst primarily I would be using it for tools, I would like the ability to spray paint so will leave this one (a bargain at £90) and look elsewhere, taking more careful note of the CFM which appears to be one of the deciding factors.
Thank you all. Whilst primarily I would be using it for tools, I would like the ability to spray paint so will leave this one (a bargain at £90) and look elsewhere, taking more careful note of the CFM which appears to be one of the deciding factors.

Maybe the best way of arriving at compressor size is to decide what paint/finish you're likely to be spraying then look at spray guns to see what pressure and CFM they need. A large receiver can offset waiting time for pressure to rebuild with small compressors. As said above, belt drive are generally much quieter than direct drive oilless and usually last for many years. My last "proper" compressor used for spraying cars was similar to this - Clarke Boxer II 14/150 O/L 14cfm 150Litre 3HP Belt Driven Air Compressor (230V) - Machine Mart - Machine Mart
I run a SGS machine and it is fine, plenty of flow/pressure for nailers, inflating tyres and such but nowhere near big enough for sandblasting. If you have any questions just phone SGS as they were very helpful with me and can soon sort your issues.

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