Categories
A-Check Miscellaneous

Top 3 Best Workshop Cranes in 2020

Engine cranes, workshop cranes, or engine hoists, as you can imagine, are used to carefully lift and remove your car’s engine. Whether you’re an avid vehicle hobbyist or plan on opening your own auto shop, you absolutely have to have one of these hoists in your workshop. There’s absolutely no way you’re going to rebuilt or restore an old engine while it’s still situated under the hood.

Workshop cranes may look a lot alike and come with the same features, but the hidden details matter quite a bit. In today’s article, we’re going to take a look at workshop cranes and find out what sort of things you need to consider when shopping for one. But before we jump into our buying guide, let’s see what our editors claim are the three best workshop cranes you can own today.

Workshop Cranes



3 Best Workshop Cranes

AC Hydraulics WJN5

The first item on our list is a relatively unknown workshop crane from AC Hydraulics. The WJN5 really deserves a lot more love than it receives for its sturdy build and maneuverability. First of all, the WJN5 stands at roughly 5 feet high so its hydraulic pump is always within reach. It comes with an adjustable boom that starts at 37-1/2 inches and extends up to 54 inches from the main frame.

 AC Hydraulics WJN5 Hydraulic Workshop Crane

The maximum lifting height is 92 inches off the floor. The wheels on this badboy make it easy to move around your workshop thanks to the two fitted wheels up front and the two swivel casters in the back. When it’s time to put the WJN5 away, it takes literally seconds to bring the legs in and up, the hydraulic jack to its folded position, and the boom down and out of the way.

ToolPowers

Pro Hoists Commander 1000 Series

The Commander 100 Series from Pro Hoists is a lot different than what you’d normally expect to find in an auto shop, but this doesn’t mean won’t serve a purpose. Built mainly for large construction projects, the FM5122 is built to stand the test of time and take punishment throughout its lifetime. Unlike the AC Hydraulics, the Commander 1000 is a stagnant unit that does not have casters but rather rests on a base that needs to be bolted onto the ground.

1000 Lb Davit Crane Hoist Truck Jib with Winch for PWC or Dinghy

For the average workshop, this may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but if you run an auto shop and have cars parked at a specific spot, then it won’t be a problem at all. This hoist has a maximum load capacity of 1,000 pounds when the boom is fully retracted. When extended to the max, the boom reaches a length of 66 inches with a load capacity of 400 pounds. This hoist comes with a hand-crank wench, but if you’d really like to speed things up, consider picking up the compatible motor (sold separately).

ToolPowers

mymerlove 2T Folding Engine Crane

The third and product on our list is the 2T Folding Engine Crane by mymerlove. The first thing we noticed is the 6 casters that hold the frame up. All 6 of them swivel 390° to help turn and strafe the hoist to wherever you need it. The four rear casters come in handy when the unit is completely folded up for storage as they keep it standing upright without needing wall support.

mymerlove 2T Folding Engine Crane with Balancer Workshop Crane Mobile Car Lifting Tool

The boom can be set up at four different positions. From fully retracted to completed extended, the boom measures in at 41-4/5 to 63 inches and can lift anything between 1,000 and 4,000 pounds. Although the hook found on the end of the boom does not rotate, the actual hoist does, so removing gas engines and most diesel engines can be done with a certain level of grace and without scratching (assuming you know what you’re doing).

ToolPowers

Workshop Crane Buying Guide

If none of the three products mentioned on the list above are available to you or you’d like to do your own shopping, you can use this quick buying guide to determine which model is the best choice. Here are the criteria we used to select our top picks.

Workshop Cranes

Construction Quality

One of the saddest things about workshop cranes is that they’re not all built the same. What we mean by this is that some modes are made of questionable materials that aren’t durable enough to lift what they’re meant, and this can lead not only to buyer’s remorse but also expensive repairs (imagine dropping your car’s engine onto the floor from more than 5 feet up!). Luckily, it’s a lot easier to find steel workshop cranes than aluminum or other less-dense material.

Boom Length and Adjustability

The length of the boom needs to extend over the hood of your car without making contact with the bumper. The ideal length depends on how long the hood. All workshop cranes made for auto shops are built with long booms, or their booms can extend to just less than twice the length when fully retracted.

Workshop Cranes

Leg Length

The less contact the workshop crane makes with your vehicle, the better off you’ll be. This means taking a look at the legs of the crane and determining whether they’ll slide underneath your vehicle without touching your car’s bump and/or wheels.

Weight Capacity

This is perhaps the most important spec to pay attention to. You need to know how much weight the hoist can lift before investing in one. Not all car engines are the same weight and size, so first determine how much your crane needs to lift then find a model based on that figure. Luckily, at least for standard auto shop work, most cranes are made to lift up to at least 2,000 pounds – more than enough for a standard gas engine – but there are several models that can surpass the 2-ton mark.

Workshop Cranes

Maneuverability

As you can see from our list, workshop cranes can either be maneuverable or stagnant. In our opinion, workshop cranes on wheels are the much better choice since they don’t take up much room at all, even when fully extended. In the case of the Pro Hoists Commander, a stagnant crane, you can mount this baby onto anything without worrying about it slipping and sliding around. If you’d like to attach it onto the bed of your truck, there’s nothing stopping you (additional mounting parts sold separately).

Motor Compatibility

Whether you’re happy with working a hydraulic pump or manually reeling in the chain/line is up to you. However, if you’d like to speed things up, then a motor could be the perfect add-on for your workshop crane. Not all cranes are compatible with motors, so before settling on a particular model, make sure that the manufacturer either has motors for sale or other brands can supply a compatible motor.

Workshop Cranes

Foldable

Last but not least is the foldability of the workshop crane. When it’s time to close shop for the day, folding up a crane and placing it in the corner will leave your auto shop/garage looking more spacious and will not become a tripping or bumping hazard. Even the Pro Hoists Commander can be folded up after being removed from the mount.

FAQs

1. I need to pick up [name of object with an awkward shape] that weighs [less than the crane’s weight capacity]. Will this work?

Throughout this article, we’ve focused mainly on using a workshop crane to lift car engines since that’s what they’re mainly used for, but there might be the odd chance of you lifting something else such as a stack of 8 x 6s. Even though the object you’re lifting is far below the maximum weight capacity of the crane, you also need to consider the shape and size. If, for instance, the objects are evenly balanced when hooked to the hoist, then there shouldn’t be a problem lifting them. However, you have to use your own judgment to avoid lifting things up since they may cause the boom to either drop to the side or collapse downward.

Workshop Cranes

2. How long does it take to assemble a workshop crane?

Honestly, even without experience, you should be able to finish assembling the unit in 30 minutes – 60 minutes tops. Putting a workshop crane together is as simple as snapping the pieces in place, tightening a few bolts, and attaching the wheels to the legs. The manufacturer provides online instructions for those who don’t receive a manual in the box.

3. Does the boom extend past the legs?

In most cases, no, it does not. This is done intentionally to maintain the crane’s center of gravity and reduce the risk of tipping forward when hoisting heavy objects. We’re not recommending you do this, but some customers have talked of having specially made extensions for their booms that reach beyond the length of the legs. This, however, completely throws the minimum weight capacity off whack, and the manufacturer will assume responsibility. We won’t either, for that matter. If you’d like to modify your workshop crane, do so at your own risk.

Conclusion

When it comes to lifting and moving heavy objects around your garage or auto shop, there’s no better tool than a workshop crane. In this article, we’ve taken a look at the top three workshop cranes according to our educated editors, and we’ve thrown in a quick guide on the things you need to keep in mind when shopping for an engine hoist. Hopefully, after following this guide, you’ll have a good idea on what sort of things make for a high-quality workshop crane and purchase an excellent model that works best for your situation.




Categories
A-Check Air Compressing Miscellaneous

Best Portable Air Compressor Pumps in 2020

When it comes to road safety, you can never be too careful. For instance, what will you do when your car has a flat in the middle of the night, and the nearest gas station is 50 miles awayWhy risk walking the 50 miles and exposing yourself to coyotes and other nighttime hunters when you could have invested in a portable air compressor to pump your tires back to their former inflated glory

The best portable air compressors should be compact enough to store easily in the trunk or glove compartment of your car while also being able to provide enough airflow volume and pressure to get your tires ready for the long drive back home. In today’s article, we’re going to share a few tips on how to find the best portable air compressor pump in your town. But first, let’s see what our editors have deemed the best of the best.

Air Compressor Pumps



Top 5 Best Portable Air Compressor Pumps

Sunvook 150-PSI DC 12V Car Air Pump

The first model on our list is the yellow-and-black portable air compressor by Sunvook. This 150-PSI model delivers enough pressure to fill up a standard sedan tire up to 36 PSI in less than 10 minutes. When the machine’s motor has run for too long, the Sunvook’s auto-shutdown mechanism will kill the motor, ensuring the unit doesn’t harm itself when used for extended periods.

Portable Air Compressor Pump Digital Tire Inflator 150PSI DC 12V Car Air Pump with LED Light Auto tire inflator for Car, Bicycle, Motorcycle, Basketball and Other Inflatables(Yellow)

This model uses a digital pressure gauge with adjustable desired pressure value to ensure you don’t over-inflate and pop your tires. The Sunvook also comes with a handy emergency LED light to illuminate your work surface and to alert fellow motorists of your location when it’s dark. We absolutely love this compressor’s compact size and super-long 11-plus-foot power cord that lets you work on all four tires of your sedan within pulling the cord taut.

ToolPowers

Xflyee Portable Air Compressor

The Xflyee’s unique triangular shape makes it easy to grip and use. Similar to the Sunvook, the Xflyee also delivers a maximum of 150 PSI when blasting air, and it fills up a sedan’s tire in just under 10 minutes of work (36 PSI). In fact, except for their shapes, the Xflyee and Sunvook are identical. An auto-shutdown system prevents users from overworking the air compressor so its motor will not die from heat exhaustion.

Xflyee Portable Air Compressor Pump, Auto Digital Tire Inflator, 12V 150 PSI Tire Pump with LED Light for Cars/Motorcycle/Bicycle Tires and Other Inflatables

It comes with the same three needs for mattresses, sports balls, and car tires to inflate anything and everything you take with you on your road trip. A digital pressure gauge gives you an accurate reading of how much air has been pumped into the inflatable object, and users can also adjust how much pressure to deliver by tinkering with its buttons. The Xlflyee, however, doesn’t have a very long operating time. For roughly every 10 minutes of work, this air compressor requires about 5 minutes to cool down.

ToolPowers

Autobots 12V Digital Air Compressor

Created by Autobots, this digital air compressor would be something that Optimus Prime would be happy to use (not really). With a maximum pressure deliver of 150 PSI and airflow rating of 30 liters per minute, it goes without saying that the Autobots is one of the quicker portable air compressors, at least in its size category.

Autobots Portable Air Compressor Pump | 2019 Model 12v Tire Inflator With Digital Pressure Gauge | Perfect For Automobiles, Car & Bike Tires | Includes Hose & Accessories

The Autobots shares many of the same features as the previous models, such as the three included needle types, emergency LEDs, and auto-shutoff. One of the only major differences between this and the previous pumps – and not in a good way – is the relatively short runtime. After roughly 8 minutes of pumping, the Autobots requires at least 10 minutes to cool down based on customer reports. Sadly, this means you’ll need to spend more than 30 minutes to pump all four of your sedan or hatchback’s tires.

ToolPowers

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump

Now, we’re entering the realm of the slightly different. The EPAuto is another portable air compressor that draws power from your car’s cigarette lighter port, but it’s able to produce a lot more air pressure than the previous models. With a maximum working pressure of 70 PSI, the EPAuto is able to pump the tire so of larger vehicles and inflatables, though it does take a bit more time to complete the task.

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator

Apart from this, the EPAuto and the previous pumps share many of the same features (auto-shutoff, desired pressure, emergency LEDs, etc.). The main thing to takeaway from this product is that it’s slightly larger motor and efficient airflow/pressure delivery make it a viable option to have around for larger vehicles.

ToolPowers

Kensun 12V DC/110V AC Tire Inflator

Last but not least is the extra-versatile Kensun tire inflator. It delivers slightly less pressure than the rest (120 PSI max) but should be able to handle light- to medium-duty inflating tasks. This handy little machine doesn’t just plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket, but it can also draw power from a standard 110V wall outlet.

Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump for Car 12V DC and Home 110V AC Swift Performance Tire Inflator 100 PSI for Car - Bicycle - Motorcycle - Basketball and Others with Analog Pressure Gauge (AC/DC)

The only thing you need to double- and maybe triple-check is whether AC or DC mode is turned on since the wrong power source on the wrong mode can lead to catastrophic results. Other than this, the Kensun is actually the simplest air compressor of the bunch. It uses an analog pressure gauge so there’s no way to set up a desired pressure level, meaning you’ll have to do everything by eye.

ToolPowers

Portable Air Compressor Pump Buying Guide

The biggest challenge anyone will ever have regarding portable air compressors is selecting the right model from the infinite sea of compressors. This guide will assist you in determining which portable air compressor is ideal for your car in emergencies or for your next outdoor gathering.

Air Compressor Pumps

Pressure

The most important thing to consider is whether the air compressor is up to the task. What we mean by this is that not all car tires are built the same and require the same amount of pressure to work optimally. Take a look at your car’s tires to see how much pressure they need, and your quest to find the best air compressor will become a lot simpler. In general, portable air compressors can deliver a maximum of 150 PSI, but their working pressure is roughly half of that.

Airflow

Airflow refers to how much air the compressor can produce rather than how pressurized it is. A higher airflow rating (measured in PSI, CFM, or LPM) typically means a lower PSI rating, but it also means quicker pumping and less time spent waiting on the air compressor to cool down.

Air Compressor Pumps

Runtime

Portable air compressors aren’t exactly known for efficient heat dissipation, hence their relatively long required cooldown times compared to their maximum operating times. The largest risk of overworking an air compressor is motor burnout. To save yourself the trouble of counting the seconds before giving the tool a rest, an auto-shutoff feature will kill the motor when it reaches a certain temperature, thereby extending the life and usefulness of the compressor.

Pressure Gauge

Your two options are digital or analog, where the former offers an easier-to-read readout without dealing with fluctuating needles. Analog pressure gauges may be harder to read, but they have quicker response times, letting you know how much air pressure is in the inflated object at that exact moment to prevent overinflating and popping. The major downside of analog pressure gauges is that they don’t have pressure setting feature that shuts down the compressor after reaching the desired pressure rating. If you work slowly and carefully, you won’t need to go digital, but it does make work a heck of a lot easier.

Size

When it comes to portability, size matters. A smaller air compressor will be easier to take with you, but it will also feature a tinier motor that delivers less airflow pressure and volume. There’s really no way to determine the “best” size – what matters is that it can either fit in your glove compartment (most likely not) or can sit in the trunk your car without taking too much space (most likely yes).

Air Compressor Pumps

Power Cord Length

The length of the power cord will determine whether the air compressor can reach all four of your tires or not. It’s always better to go slightly longer than shorter, but you can always invest in an extension cord to help solve any length issues.

AC/DC

Last but not least is the compressor’s source of power. The two available options are AC and DC (gas portable compressors aren’t that well-suited for emergency use due to their size). AC-only models aren’t that great for keeping in your car unless you know for certain that your tires will go flat near an available wall outlet. We’d recommend sticking to either a DC model that draws power from your car battery or a hybrid such as the Kensun.

FAQs

1. Can I inflate a [insert inflatable object here] with a portable air compressor?

As long as the object can be inflated and you have to right type of needle, then why notPortable air compressors are made to inflate objects wherever you are, so if you plan on having a beach party and need to fill a ball or mattress with air, then your portable compressor should be able to do the trick. The exception is overly large inflatable objects that need more than 150 PSI since air pressure resistance will work against the air compressor.

Air Compressor Pumps

2. How long can the portable air compressor run?

Runtime varies from model to model. Most portable air compressors can run for longer than 5 minutes, but they’ll need a bit more time to cool down afterward. Portable air compressors, though handy, don’t deal with heat very well, so many come with built-in auto-kill switches to ensure their motors don’t succumb to overheating.

3. How can I extend the reach of my portable air compressor?

You may think that you’re stuck with the 10, 11, or 12-foot power cord that comes with your portable air compressor pump, but oh dear reader, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are several extension cords available online that will help you extend the reach of your air compressor. If you have an extremely long vehicle, consider investing in a handy extension cord to increase your range of movement by several, several feet.

Conclusion

If you’ve ever experienced a flat tire, even in the daytime, then you know how stressful it can be waiting for a friend or AAA to pull you out of a sticky situation. The best thing you could do for your vehicle and for your safety is to invest in an inexpensive but handy portable air compressor pump. You could spend countless hours studying different models to see which one would work best for you, or you could take a look at our editors’ top 5 favorite models above. Drive safe, readers!




Categories
A-Check Miscellaneous

Best Oil Pressure Meters in 2020

Believe it or not, that oil pressure indicator that’s lit up on your car’s actually means something. When the oil pressure light turns on, it means the longevity of the engine is at risk. The longer you operate your car with improper oil pressure, the more severe damage to your car’s engine can become over time. Although your car comes with its own built-in oil pressure gauge, they may not always be as reliable as you’d like. For instance, they can be either overly sensitive or not sensitive enough, and the light indicator will depict an inaccurate picture of what’s really going on under your hood.

Oil Pressure meters for everyday



Top 5 Best Oil Pressure Meters

Auto Meter Sport-Comp 3321

The 3321 from Auto Meter is one of the simplest-looking oil pressure gauges out there. But do not mistake simplicity for functionality – this piece does exactly what you’d expect. It measures all the way up to 100 PSI, but from 0 to 10 PSI, there may be some difficulty gauging the precise readout.

Auto Meter 3321 Sport-Comp Mechanical Oil Pressure Gauge

This mechanical oil pressure gauge does not require any electrical hardwiring to install, so even if you don’t know your way around cars, you can still get the 3321 up and running in no time. Plus, everything you need to install this pressure gauge is available in the box. Around the perimeter of the gauge are incandescent lights that illuminate the analog gauge at nighttime. This, however, is perhaps the weakest thing about this pressure gauge, and we’d recommend replacing these lights with powerful LEDs if you have the time and know-how.

ToolPowers

Auto Meter Ultra-Lite 4321

The 4321 from Auto Meter is a lot like the 3321. In fact, apart from the writing on the face panel and color of the frame, there’s no significant different between the two. The 4321 has a maximum PSI reading of 100 PSI, but the first 10 PSI are crammed within a few millimeters.

Auto Meter 4321 Ultra-Lite Mechanical Oil Pressure Gauge

The installation process is identical to that of the 3321, and it also comes with all of the supplies needed to connect this pressure gauge to your car’s existing gauge harness. The same weak incandescent lights surround the perimeter of the 4321 and won’t do much at making the gauge readable at night (consider swapping them out with LEDs).

ToolPowers

Auto Meter 2604

This last Auto Meter product to grace our list is the 2604, another mechanical pressure gauge that’s easy to install and use. Once again, there’s hardly a difference between this and the two previous Auto Meters except for its frame color and writing. The good news is that whichever Auto Meters gauge you decide to roll with, you surely won’t be left disappointed.

AUTO METER 2604 Oil Pressure Gauge

This meter measures up to 100 PSI and connects to your existing gauge harness with the included nylon lines and fittings. In the box, you’ll find a set of easy-to-read instructions on how to get this pressure gauge set up. Sadly, there aren’t any pictures in the manual that depict how the gauge should be installed, but you can find everything you’ll need from Auto Meter’s website.

ToolPowers

Docooler Digital Oil Pressure Gauge

Now moving onto a cooler-looking pressure gauge from Docooler. Unlike the three Auto Meter models earlier, the Docooler uses a digital display to show how much oil pressure there is. This gauge can read all the way up to 120 PSI, though if your engine pressure ever surpasses the 100-PSI mark, you might be in trouble. Because this is a digital model, you shouldn’t have to worry about the gauge being unable to register pressure below 10 PSI.

Docooler Digital Oil Pressure Meter Gauge with Sensor for Auto Car 52mm 2in LCD 0~120PSI Warning Light Black

The LEDs in the display are easy to read during the day and not overpowering at night so you’ll always know what’s going on. Also, as a newer piece of technology, digital gauges are more sensitive and capable of detecting the slightest change in pressure, but in the case of the Docooler, it only shows pressure at the nearest integer.

ToolPowers

KKmoon Oil Pressure Meter Gauge

The final oil pressure meter on our list is from KKmoon. Looks-wise, we feel that its bright blue face and white frame might clash horribly against the dashboard of most cars, but if have a light color scheme going on, then the KKmoon might actually make a good fit.

KKmoon Oil Pressure Meter Gauge with Sensor

This is another digital gauge like the Docooler, but its reading is limited to a maximum of 100 PSI. Included in the box is all the hardware you need to install the KKmoon in a jiffy. However, there’s one glaring problem that you should be aware of, namely the blue LED backlight. Do NOT look directly at the gauge at night! That being said, this is a pretty reliable oil pressure gauge that’s easy to mount and works like a charm.

ToolPowers

Oil Pressure Meter Buying Guide

Oil pressure meters are pretty simple pieces of equipment, but that doesn’t mean you should purchase the first thing you see. In this brief guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know regarding how to purchase the best pressure gauge for your vehicle.

Oil-Pressure-Meters

Type

The two most widely used types of oil pressure gauges are mechanical and electric. Mechanical pressure gauges such as the models mentioned above are rather straightforward and don’t require much – if any – electrical hardwiring. Electrical pressure gauges, on the other hand, are actually simpler to install, provided you know how to replace the potentially dangerous copper tubing with a simple electrical wire. In terms of accuracy, electric pressure gauges have a very slight upper hand due to the use of sending and receiving electrical signals rather than manually measuring pressure – a process which, if installed incorrectly, can lead to completely inaccurate readings.

PSI Range

Generally speaking, a normal peak pressure reading should be anywhere between 55 and 65 PSI, though readings of up to 75 PSI may be nothing to worry about in older vehicles. It’s a good idea to find an oil pressure gauge that can read up to at least 100 PSI as a reading of 80 PSI or more means your engine is in serious trouble.

Oil Pressure meter

Zero Reading

When your vehicle is idle, the engine should be completely void of pressure. This is why zero readings are so important and why mashing the first 10 PSI within a few millimeters can lead to imprecise readings and diagnoses. To get a true zero reading, your best bet would be to get an oil pressure gauge with a digital interface.

Installation

Whether you’re a car kind of fella or not, installing an oil pressure gauge should be simple enough to do. Depending on the model, it’ll typically come with all the wires and hardware you need to install, but certain gauges (or even your car) may require purchasing additional parts like a sandwich plate.

Oil Pressure meters

LEDs

Regardless of the time of day, you’ll want to be able to see the reading on your car’s oil pressure gauge. Most pressure gauges on the market use bright LEDs, but there are quite a few (like most of Auto Meter’s products) that rely on incandescent bulbs. Whatever the type of bulb is in use, they should illuminate the gauge’s interface enough for drivers to see clearly. The bad thing about LEDs is that they might be way too bright and actually hinder your sight while driving.

FAQs

1. Can the oil pressure meter be mounted onto a sandwich plate?

Yes, you can, but you need to make sure you purchase the correct plate (sold separately) and that it compatible with your vehicle. The main thing to consider is whether there will be enough space for the sandwich plate and gauge sending unit can fit properly. Installing the plate is super-easy, and there are tons of video tutorials to help get it done. You can also follow the manufacturer’s instructions on setting it up.

2. Does the car’s factory sending unit work with a non-factory oil pressure meter?

Whether you can stick to your factory’s sending unit depends on whether it measures the exact same temperature and resistance. You can test it yourself by using water at various temperatures. However, you won’t be able to use one sending unit to run both gauges simultaneously. In addition, the factory sender is most has variable resistance and is calibrated to match its display. To play it safe, install the sending unit that comes in the box of the oil pressure meter.

Oil Pressure meter for vehicles

3. Is the oil pressure meter compatible with my vehicle?

The oil pressure gauges we mentioned on our list of the best models are compatible with most, if not all, types of vehicles – from motorcycles to sedans to large trucks. However, you may be required to purchase additional wires and mounting brackets to get the unit and lights installed properly. Also, there may be some drilling involved to get the gauge to sit flush.

Conclusion

A properly working oil pressure gauge is extremely important for the longevity of your car’s engine. If your car is still relatively young and your mechanic deems the factory gauge functional, then you probably won’t need to upgrade the oil pressure meter (unless your goal is to pimp your car’s interior).

However, if your car has been passed down for multiple generations and you’ve noticed the indicator is constantly on, it may be have become over- or under-sensitive to oil pressure, in which case you need to change the meter as soon as possible. Take a look at our list of the 5 top oil pressure meters, or if you’d like to do your own shopping, our brief buying guide should provide you with everything you need to know to make a smart purchase.




Categories
A-Check Miscellaneous

Top 5 Best Pallet Trucks in 2020: Buying Guide

All it takes is lifting one stack of 2-ton pallets and – BAM! – Your spine is thrown out of whack. You probably should have lifted with your legs, or, you know, not attempted to lift something so heavy with your bare hands. If your business is involved in moving pallets or other such objects hither and tither, you’re going to need a reliable pallet truck to do the heavy lifting for you. The magic sauce behind a pallet truck’s awesome heavy-duty lifting abilities is the hydraulic system. With one of these babies at work, you can literally move tons of products in just a few hours.

Pallet trucks Heavy Duty



Top 5 Best Pallet Trucks

Strongway Pallet Jack – 4400-Lb.

The first pallet jack is the 4,400-pound Pallet Jack from Strongway. Its simplicity is what makes it so appealing, especially if you’re looking for a straightforward tool for lifting and moving heavy objects. It comes with 48-inch forks that rise between 3 and 7-1/2 inches, and the three-function handle works flawlessly in lifting, lowering, and holding the forks in place.

Strongway Pallet Jack - 4400-Lb. Capacity, 62in.L x 27in.W

The forks are made of heavy-duty steel and are coated in an anti-corrosive finish. Below the unit, you’ll find two 6-3/8-inch poly wheels that turn up to 180°, and several 1-7/8-inch rollers that glide the forks where you need them to go.

ToolPowers

SAGA Pallet Jack Scale

One of the more feature-rich pallet trucks on our list is the SAGA Pallet Jack with a digital scale. This unit has a heavy-duty 6,600-pound maximum weight load, and the 46-inch forks can rise to 7-1/2 inches off the ground. The steering wheel can turn up to 220° for easy maneuverability.

SAGA Pallet Jack Scale 6600lb x 1lb, Pallet Jack With Digital Scale Brand New Pallet Truck Scale, FREE SHIPPING! $50 Mail In Rebate!

The thing that separates this pallet truck from the rest is the onboard digital scale which gives a clear readout of how much is loaded onto the forks. The scale can switch from imperial to metric measurement with a press of a button. This jack can use rechargeable batteries that run the scale and the lifting mechanism.

ToolPowers

Pake Handling Tools Heavy Duty Pallet Truck/Pallet Jack

The Pake is a 6,600-pound pallet truck that comes with long 47-inch forks. The forks are made of durable 11-gauge steel that can lift anywhere from 3 to 7-1/2 inches off the floor. The weakest point of a pallet jack is the hydraulic system – the lifting mechanism that uses a single-piston – but the Pake is kept sealed shut with its flawless welding and high-quality sealing kit.

Pake Handling Tools - Heavy Duty Pallet Truck/Pallet Jack, 6600 lbs Capacity, 27 X 48

The worst thing we’ve heard about this product is that it arrived at a customer’s doorstep with skin-deep damage. Thankfully, the chipped paint did not affect the performance of the pallet jack, but it would be nicer if it came with better cushioning and shipped in a more durable pallet.

ToolPowers

Strongway Pallet Jack – 5500-Lb.

Strongway makes a second appearance on our list with the improved 5,500-pound pallet jack model. A full 1,100 pounds greater than the first item on our list, this is for those looking for a heavier-duty pallet for onsite lifting and repositioning.

Strongway Pallet Jack - 5500-Lb. Capacity, 61in.L x 27in.W

In every other regard, it’s almost identical with the first Strongway. Its three-function handle works perfectly, it comes with durable steel that measure 48 inches in length, and it can rise up to 7-1/2 inches off the floor.

ToolPowers

Crown PTH Heavy-Duty Pallet Jack/Hand Pallet Truck

Finally, we have the CROWN PTH pallet jack that can lift a massive 5,000 pounds of product. It features two large 7-inch poly wheels that can rotate up to 200° for maximum maneuverability. Similar to the two Strongways, the Crown features long 48-inch forks.

Crown PTH Heavy-Duty Pallet Jack/Hand Pallet Truck 27x48 5000 lb

There’s a sliver less than 3 inches of clearance beneath each fork, and they can rise to 7-1/2 inches. Backed by a 3-year warranty, it’s true what they say: you can’t go wrong with Crown!

ToolPowers

Pallet Truck Buying Guide

Manual vs. Powered

The two types of pallet trucks available are manual and powered. The obvious benefit of manual pallet trucks is they’re cheaper, but they’re also designed for heavy-duty lifting. Even large-scale businesses can benefit from manually operated pallet trucks due to their high weight capacities. However, if you’d like the shed minutes off of moving large objects, then a powered pallet truck is the better option.

Pallet-trucks

Construction

Like any tool worth investing in, the construction of the pallet truck plays a huge role in how well it will serve you. Most modern pallet trucks are designed to last for several years with regular maintenance. For the most part, a heavy-duty steel pallet truck should work for many years, and a multi-year warranty will just sweeten the deal.

Weight Capacity

You do not want to overload the pallet trucks forks since it can lead to pretty devastating, and costly, damage. Nowadays, manual pallet trucks can lift at least up to 5,000 pounds of stuff at any given time, and powered trucks can carry almost double that. Make sure you don’t surpass its weight capacity, and your pallet truck will thank you with several years of loyalty.

Speed Control

If you get a powered pallet truck, then you’ll want some way to adjust how quickly the truck moves. A full load can easily topple over if you move too quickly and brake suddenly. But if the load is properly secured, then a “high-speed” jack won’t make too much of a difference.

Lift Control

How quickly or slowly the forks lift with each pump is an important consideration if you don’t feel like dropping everything on the floor. Many newer pallet truck models come with several lift features to ensure that lifting is done safely.

Pallet trucks Durable

Wheels

The most widely used material for pallet truck wheels is polyurethane, a type of plastic that does not leave a mark on smooth floors. They also travel exceptionally well on several other types of surfaces. Furthermore, larger wheels are preferable since they provide stability on inclines and uneven terrain.

Steering

Steering is determined by how far you can turn the handles. Most pallet trucks can make a full 180° turn, but some of the handier models can turn past 200°. Generally speaking, the more the steering mechanism can turn, the easier it’ll be to move the pallet truck from place to place.

Fork Height Clearance

The height of the forks varies from model to model. More clearance is ideal for use on uneven and cushiony surfaces since they stay high above the wheels, but their maximum lift is lower than those with less vertical clearance.

Digital Scale

One of the handiest convenience-adding features is a digital scale. This gives the operator a clear idea of how much is loaded onto the forks to prevent overloading and damaging the pallet truck. These aren’t entirely accurate, so it’s always best to go below the unit’s maximum capacity than meeting the exact maximum weight limit.

Pallet Truck FAQs

1. Can pallet trucks run on carpeted surfaces?

Because pallet trucks are “mounted” onto polyurethane wheels, they can travel on many types of surfaces, including carpets and carpeted tiles. However, the pallet truck should only be used on smooth surfaces and ideally on perfectly flat areas since the tiniest incline can make pushing the truck a lot more challenging.

2. How difficult is it to assemble a pallet truck?

Pallet trucks are pretty large tools and come in humungous boxes. Unfortunately, they never come pre-assembled, so you’ll have to put the pallet truck together on your own. The good news is that putting them together isn’t difficult at all as long as you read the paperwork included in the box.

However, the sad thing is that some pallet jacks like the SAGA don’t come with a manual, so you’ll either have to assemble the truck by finding an online guide or by winging it. We’d recommend doing the former.

3. Do the wheels leave marks?

Polyurethane wheels generally do not leave streaks on floors. You might want to consider what color the wheels are since, if they do end up scraping against a concrete floor, they might leave a colored mark on concrete or stone. Luckily, removing polyurethane residue isn’t too difficult, but you may want to refrain from loading the truck with too much product since they’ll push down on the wheels and potentially cause unsightly streaks.

Pallet trucks

Conclusion

If you have a business that requires moving several tons of goods from place to place, then a pallet truck is the tool for you. Even manually operated pallet trucks – those without stands where the operator can ride safely while driving the truck back and forth – can be more than enough for the job. With a maximum load of beyond 4,000 pounds, there’s no reason why warehouses and lumber yards shouldn’t have a handy pallet truck ready on standby.

All of the models we mentioned on our top 5 best pallet truck lists are almost guaranteed to leave you a happy customer. The second truck – the SAGA – is especially worth noting due to its built-in scale. There’s no guesswork involved on how much weight you’ve loaded onto its forks. As for the rest, they’re all made of high-quality materials that won’t fail for several years.




Categories
Buying Guides Guides Miscellaneous Planer

Best Wood Planers in 2020

Wood planers, also known as thickness planers, are handy tools for shaving down materials to the proper size needed for construction furniture. With a wood planer in your shop, you can ensure that both sides of your material are completely parallel to each other. Both professional craftsmen and simple DIY-hobbyists can find value in having a wood planer available since it can make quick work of shaving down numerous boards into a uniform thickness.

WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 6550

In this article, we’re going to briefly discuss the important specs and features of a high-quality wood planer. We’ll also give you our picks of the best five wood planers available today.

What to Look for in a Wood Planer

When researching the best wood planer, there are several features and specs to take into careful consideration.

Feed Speed

The feed speed determines how much time it takes for the wood planer to smoothen the surface of the material fed into the machine. The best wood planers should generate two different cutting speeds: one quick speed for initial dimensioning and another slower speed for a smoother finish.

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP 12

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP



Knives

There are several types of knives used in a wood planer. They can be straight, segmented, or spiral-shaped. They can also either be disposable or sharpened. They each have their own uses and pros, so make sure you find a model that utilizes the type(s) of knives you need for your thicknessing tasks.

Cutter head Speed (CPI)

The cutter head speed, measured in cuts-per-inch (CPI), indicate how many cuts are made on the surface of the material per inch that is fed into the machine. The higher the cutter head speed, the smoother and more prepared the board will be for further processing. In addition, a quicker cutter head speed generally means an increase in feed speed, though it’s always better to prioritize cutter head speed over feed speed.

DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

DEWALT DW734

What Does a Wood Planer Do?

Chip Ejection Port

Like most woodworking power tools, wood planers produce a heck of a lot of debris that could potentially burst into flames when left resting under an overheated machine. One of the most effective ways of eliminating this risk is by getting rid of wood chips, shavings, and dust straight from the source. Make sure your wood planer comes with a chip ejection port which is compatible with your shop vac or dust collector.

Portability

Unless you’re a serious furniture builder who makes a living off of building high-quality furniture in an efficient manner, then you’re most likely in the market for a portable bench-top wood planer. In that case, find a model that’s easy to carry but can be mounted on your workbench without needing a huge amount of clearance in the outfeed.

DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer Package

DEWALT DW735X

Material Support

Although portable bench-top planers are considerably more compact than industrial planers, this doesn’t mean that they can’t support large boards. Some of the best wood planers can support materials of up to 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide. To help support super-long boards, you may need the help of infeed and outfeed tables.

Top 5 Wood Planers

Now that we understand the basics of what makes a good wood planer, the only thing left to do is decide which model to get. As you already know, the market is saturated with wood planers, both good and bad. To help you with your purchase decision, we’ve compiled a list of our picks for the best five wood planers available on the market right now.

5 DEWALT DW735 13-Inch, Two Speed Thickness Planer

Our first pick is one of DEWALT’s most famed wood planers: the DeWalt DW735. Its 15-amp motor is able to deliver cuts of up to 1/8-inch thick in boards of up to 6 inches tall, 12-1/2 inches wide, and 19-3/4 inches in length. It also comes with two cutter head speeds – the first for dimensioning that delivers 96 CPI and a higher gear for finishing at 179 CPI.

DEWALT DW735 13-Inch, Two Speed Thickness Planer

DEWALT DW735

The DW735 comes with a three-blade setup for superior finishes. The blades are disposable but are marketed to last for at least 30% longer than traditional disposable straight blades. This is a portable 80-pound unit that can be mounted to your workbench if needed.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW735 on Amazon >>>

4 PORTER-CABLE PC305TP 12″ Thickness Planer

PORTER-CABLE is another popular power tools manufacturer that produces some of the best wood planers. In our opinion, their best workbench model is the PC305TP. This planer packs a 15-amp motor that delivers 96 CPI for the initial smoothening and 179 CPI for super-fine finishes.

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP 12

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP

This machine comes with the standard dual-blades setup. You can utilize both sides of each blade before needing to purchase and install replacements. The machine can support boards of up to 12.5 inches wide, 6 inches tall, and more than 3 feet long. However, you need to take extra care when setting up the infeed, and outfeed tables since even the slightest wiggle can render several inches from the front and tail ends of your boards utterly useless (snipe).

Check how much you can save, buying the PORTER-CABLE PC305TP on Amazon >>>

3 DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer Package

The third-place spot goes to the DW735X from DEWALT. Honestly speaking, DEWALT’s DW735 is so good that it deserves two spots on our list. The only true difference between the DW735 and DW735X is that the latter comes with infeed and outfeed tables which can support materials of up to 6 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and 33-1/2 inches long.

DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer Package

DEWALT DW735X

In every other respect (motor, cutting depth, cutter head speed), the two are completely identical. Because the DW735X comes with two aluminum tables for supporting longer material, the overall weight of the unit will increase to 95 pounds. If you’re going to get the DW735, do yourself a favor and pay a little more for the X version since buying the feed tables separately will cost you more than getting them in a single package.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW735X on Amazon >>>

2 DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

It’s no surprise that DEWALT makes a third appearance on our list due to their expert craftsmanship and design of their products. The DEWALT DW734 is similar to the previous DEWALT models, but it doesn’t come with a second cutter head speed for extremely fine finishing. Instead, you get a single gear (96 CPI) for both dimensioning and finishing your material.

DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

DEWALT DW734

It comes with both infeed and outfeed tables that support material of up to 33-1/2 inches long, 12-1/2 inches wide, and 6 inches tall. Another unique feature is the four-column carriage lock that virtually eliminates the risk of snipe.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW734 on Amazon >>>

1 WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

The final product on our pick for the best five wood planers is the 6550 from WEN. This amazing machine features a 15-amp motor that produces 96 CPI and 176 CPI for dimensioning and finishing, respectively. It can support material up to 6 inches tall and 12-1/2 inches wide. The foldable infeed and outfeed tables are made of solid granite, meaning that their shape won’t warp over time, ensuring high-quality finishes as long as the machine is functional.

WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 6550

It has a dual-blade setup, and the blades can be reversed to give you twice as much use out of each blade. Adjusting the depth of each cut is simple to do with the help of the rubber handle. A full rotation of the handle adjusts the height of the blade by 1/16 of an inch, and it has a maximum cutting depth of 3/32 of an inch.

Check how much you can save, buying the WEN 6550 on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

Both DIY-hobbyists and professional woodworkers can find value in a wood planer. Wood planers are a must-have tool to have in the workshop if you regularly need to adjust the thickness of multiple large boards. Instead of using a hand sander or a table sander to adjust the thickness of your board – a process which is both time-consuming and inaccurate – feed your boards through the machine and watch as the blades shave fractions of an inch off the top for a clean finish.

DEWALT DW735 13-Inch, Two Speed Thickness Planer

DEWALT DW735

There are several factors to consider when looking at wood planer models. The most important features are feed speed, number and shape of the blades, cutter head speed, chip ejection port, weight and portability, and material support. Bench-top wood planers are limited in cutting capacity compared to industrial-grade machines used in professional woodworking factories, but for the common man or professional furniture builder, a portable bench-top wood planer will do just fine.

WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 6550

In this article, we’ve provided you with our picks of the best five wood planers you can buy today. Three of the five best models are made by DEWALT, which is no surprise since DEWALT basically dominates the power tools industry. However, the best-performing model is the WEN 6550. What sets this machine apart from the rest is that the infeed and outfeed tables are made with solid granite that won’t warp over time and perform extremely well in preventing snipe.

Wood Planer Buying Guide Infographic




Categories
Buying Guides Guides Miscellaneous Power Generators

Best Honda Portable Generators in 2020

A portable generator can be the perfect power solution when you don’t have the means to purchase a standby generator or if you need a source of electricity when you’re far away from an electrical outlet. This machine can supply power to all of your devices and home appliances in the event of a blackout. When going on camping trips, it’ll provide electricity to power up your TVs and refrigerators.

Honda EU2000I Portable Generator

Honda EU2000I

Why Honda

If you’re scouring the market for a portable generator, most likely you’re going to run into more Honda-made models than any other brand. In general, Honda portable generators are the most reliable types you can get, though Yamaha and Briggs & Stratton do give it a run for its money. Normally, Honda-made units will experience fewer maintenance issues and last for several years.

What to Look for in a Portable Generator

Before picking up a portable generator, here are some important specs to pay close attention to.

Power Source

The majority of portable generators use either gas or liquid propane as a power source for providing energy to your devices and home appliances. The more environmental-conscience of us might consider solar-powered portable generators the better option. They both have their pros and cons, so it’s up to the user to decide which fuel source works better for their own unique situations.

Honda EU2200i Portable Generator

Honda EU2200i



Wattage Capacity

There are important numbers that indicate the wattage of a portable generator: the surge wattage which is the maximum capacity at which the generator can kick-start an appliance to life, and the running wattage which shows the total load the generator can support. Generally, we want the two numbers as high as possible or at least able to cover what electronics we plan on plugging in.

Inverter Technology

The most high-end portable generators come with inverter technology which offers cleaner energy for powering up sensitive devices such as laptops, Smartphones, and tablets. These generators are also extremely silent, making them the perfect option if you need a generator to take on camping trips.

Honda EU3000iS Portable Generator

Honda EU3000iS

Low-Oil Shutoff

Nobody wants to constantly or even periodically check on their portable generator to see the oil gauge and how much is left in the tank. The best portable generators should come with a low-oil indicator and automatic shutoff. This feature will prevent permanent damage to your machine, extending its life for many more seasons to come.

Wheels

Even though portable generators are “portable,” beefier machines with higher wattage capacities can weigh upwards of 200 pounds – a strain on the shoulders and back to lift. Some portable generator models may not come with wheels, forcing you to purchase them separately and costing your anywhere around $100. Save yourself the time and trouble and find a model with wheels if the portable generator is too heavy to carry around.

Number of Outlets

Check to see that your portable generator comes with multiple outlets. Most models do, but generally speaking, four outlets is the magic number. The total load is spread out evenly among the outlets, but you should only ever utilize every outlet during emergencies or when you’re far away from other electrical outlets – e.g., camping trips in the middle of the woods.

Honda 7000W Portable Generator

Honda 7000W

Noise Level Production

Another important feature is the noise levels produced by a portable generator. Nowadays, it’s easy to find portable generators that produce less than 80 decibels even when running on a full load. The best Honda-made portable generators take it to another level by releasing only around 60 decibels maximum on high capacity.

Tank Displacement and Runtime

Obviously, we want a machine that uses fuel efficiently, providing more power for fewer fuel costs. Displacement lets you know how much fuel can sit inside of the tank at full capacity (measured in cubic centimeters or gallons), and the runtime indicates how long the machine can provide energy, usually at a quarter- or half-load.

Best Honda Portable Generators

After extensive research and testing, we’ve come up with a list of the four of the best Honda portable generators you can use for both emergency situations and outdoor expeditions. They might not meet your exact requirements, but overall, they operate well, inexpensively, and without fuss.

Honda EU2000I

The first Honda-made portable generator on our list is the amazing Honda EU2000I which is arguably one of the best lightweight and compact 2,000-watt inverter generators available today. It features an eco-throttle system which enhances overall fuel-consumption by limiting how much is used based on the load.

Honda EU2000I Portable Generator

Honda EU2000I

Due to its inverter technology, you can use this portable generator to charge up your laptops and Smartphones on weekend outings with the family without worrying about damaging your devices. It’s also a whisper-quiet machine that has a noise-production range between 53 and 58 decibels. On a single 98.5 cc tank of gas, the EU2000I can provide clean, efficient energy for up to 8 hours on a quarter-load and 3.5 hours on a full load.

Honda EU2200i

This 2,200-watt Honda EU2200i portable generator is another high-quality machine that delivers super-clean energy to power sensitive devices thanks to its inverter technology. The tank only holds onto 0.95 gallons of gasoline, but this is enough to power up many important home appliances for up to 8 hours when running at a quarter-load.

Honda EU2200i Portable Generator

Honda EU2200i

Like the EU2000I, this portable generator can be carried around from place to place due to its lightweight (47 pounds), compact design. It’s also safe to use in the wild since it produces only up to 57 decibels of noise. With two of these devices on hand, you can connect them both using a parallel cord which provides up to 4,400 watts of power. Essentially, the EU2200I is operationally similar to the smaller EU2000I, except it packs 200 extra watts to supply power to more or larger devices.

Honda EU3000iS

As you can already guess, the Honda EU3000iS is designed to supply up to 3,000 watts of power – more than enough for plugging in and running TVs, refrigerators, and charging multiple devices simultaneously. In emergency situations, this portable generator can be used as a standby device for supplying power to your home.

Honda EU3000iS Portable Generator

Honda EU3000iS

Like the other models on this list, this generator uses inverter technology to supply cleaner power more efficiently for charging laptops and other sensitive devices. One amazing feature is its super-quiet operations, producing only 57 decibels maximum, considering its maximum wattage capacity and size.

It lives up to the Honda name by being fuel efficient – on a single tank of 3.4 gallons of gasoline; you can get up to 20 hours of power. If you get this model, you should consider investing in all-terrain wheels (sold separately) since, weight in at 75 pounds, carrying it to and fro might be a little too much to handle alone.

Honda 7000W

The last Honda portable generator on our list is a beast – the Honda 7000W portable generator. Although it’s a portable machine, the wattage capacity means the machine will weigh significantly more than the previous models (250 pounds). Because of the added poundage, this machine comes with its own set of all-terrain wheels and a pull-out handle for easy maneuverability.

Honda 7000W Portable Generator

Honda 7000W

Similar to the previous models here, the 7000W also uses inverter technology for powering sensitive home appliances and electronics. Although it’s a fuel-efficient model, it’s the least efficient on our list – providing 18 hours of power on a single 5.1-gallon of gasoline. However, this is understandable since larger machines require more power to operate and provide greater quantities of electricity.

Honda Portable Generators: Conclusion

Portable generators are handy devices to have during blackouts and taking with you to family outings. If possible, only consider getting a portable generator that comes with inverter technology since it’s the only type that will safely power a laptop computer and charge your sensitive electronics.

Honda EU2000I Portable Generator

There are several reasons why you should choose Honda as your go-to company for portable generators – they’re a market leader, their products are of high quality, and they can last you for many years before experiencing its first maintenance issue. Even though other brands manufacture generators that perform well, there’s very little risk if you choose Honda.

In this article, we’ve provided you with four of Honda’s best portable generators, ranging from a light 2,000-watt to a massive 7,000-watt beast. These two portable generators and the other two in between work flawlessly and deserve a lot of praise for being an excellent emergency and outdoor generators.

Honda 7000W Portable Generator

3 Recommended Portable Generators


SaleBestseller No. 1
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet...
  • 2200 watts, 18.3A, 120V
  • Ideal for TV, DVD, satellite, fridge, coffee pot, and more
  • Super quiet - like a conversation, Lightweight - less than 47 lbs
Bestseller No. 2
A-iPower SUA2000iV Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable...
  • 2000 peak watt/1600 running watt 1. 1-Gal. Fuel tank. Provides up to 7 hours of run time at 50% load
  • A-iPower exclusive "low idle" Technology enable you a 9 hour run time at 50% load and 4 hour run time at 100%...
  • 58 dBA noise lvl ensures quiet operation so you won't wake up your neighbor & wife, perfert fit for camping,...
SaleBestseller No. 3
WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter...
  • Extremely quiet operation comparable to the sound of a normal conversation according to the US Department of...
  • EPA III and CARB-Compliant 79.7cc 4-Stroke OHV engine produces 2000 surge watts and 1700 rated watts
  • Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before...




Categories
Miscellaneous

Best Small Arbor Presses in 2020

Have you ever put on a pair of skates or cruised down the street on a skateboardIf so, or if you at least know of these modes of transport, then you might have noticed that they feature a wheel and axis. Between the two is a bearing which lets the wheel roll/spin smoothly on its axis. Wheel bearings stay intact due to friction, and getting the bearing in place requires a bit of force. By a bit, we mean several hundred pounds of force.

HHIP 8600-0031 Arbor Press

HHIP 8600-0031 Arbor Press

An arbor press is used to apply force to put such components together or take them apart. This tool has several applications like aligning pins, pressing bearings into pulleys, pressing gears into shafts, and even pressing guitar frets into the fretboard. Though these applications can be done with a mallet, an arbor press is much more effective since it evenly distributes a tremendous amount of force across the surface of the object.

There are four types of arbor presses which are classified by their varying power sources. These four types are manual, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic presses. In this article, we’re going to focus on manual arbor presses since they can be used for simple and general-purpose applications without costing you an arm and a leg.

HHIP 8600-0032 Arbor Press

HHIP 8600-0032 Arbor Press



What to Look for in an Arbor Press

Like any tool, arbor presses come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and have various features. The following specs and features are the most important ones to take into consideration when purchasing a good arbor press.

Tonnage

The amount of force (usually measured in tons) is the most important aspect of an arbor press. Although truth be told, unless you’re a professional metalworker or automotive repair guy, you won’t need to actually worry about how much force your arbor press delivers. In general, for manual arbor presses, you should find a model that delivers at least half a ton of force.

Palmgren Arbor press

Palmgren Arbor press

Construction

No two arbor press models are exactly alike in terms of construction. In general, the way they’re designed indicates how many applications they can be useful for. If you need an arbor press for simple pressing jobs, then a light-duty model will suit you just fine. For a more all-purpose tool, select a heavy-duty manual model.

Fine Adjustment

The art of pressing down objects with a ton or tons of force can be rather inaccurate unless you have the right measurements, equipment, and tools. If you need to press objects together with a certain level of precision, make sure that your arbor press has a fine-adjustment system or can be modified to make fine adjustments.

HHIP 8600-0130 Arbor Press

HHIP 8600-0130 Arbor Press

Working Height/Clearance

The working height/clearance measures the distance between the anvil and the base. In general, you should find a model with a deep enough clearance in to allow for larger objects to be placed in the press and squashed together. If you plan on using your arbor press exclusively for small objects like skateboard wheel bearings, then a shallow working height will be adequate.

5 Best Small Arbor Presses

A quick internet search will yield thousands and thousands of manual arbor press models. The only question now is which of those models works best and most comfortableTo help eliminate some of the guesswork, we’ve compiled a list of the best 5 small arbor presses for your small-scale metal shop or automotive repair shop.

5 Klutch Arbor Press

The first item on our list is a manual arbor press model produced by Klutch. This model delivers up to 1-ton of continuous force with the pull of a steel handle. The Klutch-made unit is made of durable cast iron that won’t rust and can withstand multiple falls from your workbench without warping.

Klutch Arbor Press

Due to its construction, stamping accurately every single time is simple to do thanks to the cast iron bar. Although Klutch isn’t a popular or well-known manufacturer, this arbor press is still one worth considering if you need a simple, all-purpose tool for a wide range of applications. It has a maximum working height of 6 inches.

Check how much you can save, buying the Klutch Arbor Press on Amazon >>>

4 HHIP 8600-0130 Arbor Press

The next arbor press on our list is the 8600-0130 from HHIP. This tool is perfect for squeezing, punching, riveting, bending, and a wide range of other applications, making it a useful tool for jewelers, grease monkeys, and metalworkers.

HHIP 8600-0130 Arbor Press

It’s constructed with durable cast iron that won’t rust and can withstand long falls. Although the 8600-0130 can be used in several different settings, it has a tonnage capacity of only half a ton. It has a maximum working height of 6-5/8 inches, so you have plenty of clearance to squeeze thick objects together. You can add all sorts of stamps and punches into the magnetic insert.

Check how much you can save, buying the HHIP 8600-0130 Arbor Press on Amazon >>>

3 Palmgren Arbor press

Palmgren is a well-known arbor press manufacturer of heavy-duty manufacturing tools. Their ½-ton arbor press is a testament to how high a standard this company keeps to ensure customer satisfaction, whether they’re hobbyists or industry professionals.

Palmgren Arbor press

This press is made of extremely durable solid iron that will break a toe before snapping if dropped. Because it’s made of iron, this arbor press is prone to rust if left in moist areas. It has a maximum working height of 4-5/8 inches, so it’s not the largest unit, but it’ll work well in most workshops. The spinning plate has pre-stops every 15°, so users have maximum control in ensuring accuracy.

Check how much you can save, buying the Palmgren Arbor press on Amazon >>>

2 HHIP 8600-0032 Arbor Press

HHIP makes a second appearance on our list with their 8600-0032 arbor press. Like the previous HHIP model, this has a maximum force capacity of half a ton, making it more of an entry-level model than a useful tool in professional workshops.

HHIP 8600-0032 Arbor Press

This unit comes with three different bits – one round, one pointed, and one square-end – though you can add all sorts of punches and stamps into the magnetic insert. It has a maximum clearance between punch and base of 4-5/8 inches. You can set the depth to extremely fine measurements with the accurate depth limiter of the ram stroke.

Check how much you can save, buying the HHIP 8600-0032 Arbor Press on Amazon >>>

1 HHIP 8600-0031 Arbor Press

The final arbor press model on our list is, yet again, another one of HHIP’s reliable units: the 8600-0031. It, too, has a maximum force capacity of ½ a ton. What makes this unit different from the other HHIP models and other brands on our list is the huge working space.

HHIP 8600-0031 Arbor Press

The punch can drop a maximum of 7-3/4 inches, but you can use the space limiter to determine how far to stamp. Like other models, it comes with a four-position anvil that rotates smoothly and provides excellent stamping performance. Its heavy-duty frame will ensure that you can make use out of the 8600-0031 for many, many years.

Check how much you can save, buying the HHIP 8600-0031 Arbor Press on Amazon >>>

HHIP 8600-0031 vs 8600-0032: Heavy Duty Arbor Press Comparison

Conclusion

Arbor presses are simple machines that have a wide range of applications. Whether you work at an automotive shop, a jewelry store, a leather shop, or need to apply tremendous amounts of pressure on objects in your home, the arbor is the tool for you.

Klutch Arbor Press

Klutch Arbor Press

How to Use An Arbor Press for Bearings

Although there are several different types of arbor presses, the type we talk about in this article is the manual version which works well in both residential and professional settings. If you have the financial stability to invest thousands of dollars on a hydraulic press, go for it, but if you’re looking for a cost-effective way of pressing bearings, rivets, and other stuff, then a manual press will be more than adequate.

There are several specs and features to pay attention to, but the most important are the tonnage capacity, construction, the ability to make fine adjustments for meticulous pressing applications, and the working height/clearance. As long as the arbor press can your minimum requirements of each of these aspects, then it’s definitely worth the investment.

In this article, we’ve provided you with our picks of the five best manual arbor presses. Keep in mind that these models work extremely well in a number of applications but are limited in tonnage capacity (maximum of 1 ton). That being said, if we had one brand to recommend, we’d highly suggest you purchase any HHIP-made arbor press since each of their models promises superior performance, the comfort of use, and super-find adjustment-making.

HHIP 8600-0031 Arbor Press

HHIP 8600-0031 Arbor Press

If you want the crème de la crème of small manual arbor presses, you’ll have a difficult time finding anything better than the HHIP 8600-0031. Although it delivers only half a ton of maximum force, it’s large working height durable construction definitely make it a special press to use.




Categories
Miscellaneous

Best Corded Polishers in 2020

If you want to keep your car’s exterior looking as perfect as the day you bought it, then you need to be willing to invest in a good polisher. A reliable polisher will give you the ability to buff the exterior of your car without causing damage to the paint job. Polishers also double as sanders for woodworking applications. Simply detach the polishing pad, attach a sanding pad, and you have a completely different type of tool ready to go.

Makita 9237CX3 7-Inch Variable Speed Polisher-Sander

Makita 9237CX3

If you have a car but haven’t invested in a car polisher, then it might be time to considering purchasing one. Below are just some of the benefits you can get from a good polisher.

Time-Efficient

The traditional method of buffing your car includes using a piece of cloth that you repeatedly rub across the outside panels of your car. This can produce some good, shiny results, but it takes a lot of time and effort to do.

Cost-Efficient

Think back to the times you brought your car to your local auto shop for a waxing. You probably thought that the workers use some sort of magical tool to make your car shine when, in fact, they employ polishers to get the job done. Furthermore, using one is extremely easy and requires no special skills; just a steady hand and patience.

PORTER-CABLE 7346SP 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Polishing Pad

PORTER-CABLE 7346SP

Finding the Right Polisher

A quick search on the Internet will yield thousands of results, making it extremely difficult to choose a good model. Don’t worry. The following segment will inform you of which specs and features should be taken into consideration.

Corded vs. Cordless

The first decision to make is choosing between a corded or cordless polisher. Corded and cordless power tools have their own general set of pros and cons, but when it comes to polishers, we highly recommend getting a corded model. This is because larger motors are needed to reach higher speeds, something that most cordless models don’t feature. You can solve the problem of short power cords with the help of a quality extension cord.

Bosch 6.5 Amp Corded Random Orbital Sander/Polisher 1250DEVS

Bosch 1250DEVS

Speed

There are two numbers that are used to measure how fast polishers can polish. These are RPM and OPM. How fast the buffer spins depends on the motor installed in the unit. The best models should reach a maximum RPM of up to 600 and OPM of around 6,000. Of course, higher speeds translate into a greater loss of control, so it would be great to have some way to control how quickly the unit buffs.

Variable Speed

This is the system that can help you gain control when using a polisher is a variable speed dial, switch, or knob. The best models should allow you to control how quickly the attachment moves, especially since different surfaces require different speeds to prevent damage.

Comfort

Obviously, a high-spinning tool like a polisher will produce tremors up your arm, potentially causing fatigue and pain. Look for a model with a comfortable, rubber handle; is large but a manageable size; and doesn’t vibrate too wildly when running at its highest speed setting.

DEWALT DWP849 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher

DEWALT DWP849

Weight

Like any handheld power tool, the weight of the unit plays a role in determining how easy it is to maneuver. Corded buffers come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. They commonly weight between 5 and 15 pounds. We recommend purchasing a model that’s easy to lift. Maybe a little weight isn’t a bad thing if it helps balance the unit when using it.

What Is a Variable-Speed Polisher and How to Use It?

Top 5 Corded Polishers

Because there are literally thousands of different polisher models to choose from, it’ll be nearly impossible for you to determine which would best suit your car-buffing needs. Don’t fret. We’ll provide you with our picks for the top five polisher models.

5 PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher

The first item on our list is the popular 7424XP form PORTER-CABLE. This polisher features a 4.5-amp motor that can deliver up to 350 RPM. The unit comes with a variable speed dial that lets users adjust the orbiting speed from between 2,500 and 6,800 OPM. The side-handle bar can be removed to accommodate both left-handed and right-handed users.

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher

The unit, fully assembled, weighs only 5.75 pounds, so there’s virtually no risk of fatigue. Upon purchase, you get a 6-inch polishing pad, though the unit can accept attachments of almost any diameter, provided that they come with between 5/16 to 24 threaded spindles.

Check how much you can save, buying the PORTER-CABLE 7424XP on Amazon >>>

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP vs DEWALT DWP849: Variable-Speed Polisher Comparison

4 DEWALT DWP849 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher

DEWALT’s DWP849 is another great option. It packs a beefy 12.5-amp motor that is fully adjustable using the speed dial. Users can choose how quickly their polishing pad spins to up to 600 RPM and 3,500 OPM. The touch-sensitive speed trigger adds extra control to users who want to work with a range of different speeds that is capped off at the chosen speed setting.

DEWALT DWP849 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher

The large spindle-lock button makes it easy to detach and attach different polishing and sanding pads to the unit, so there’s less time needed to make changes. The unit weighs only 6.6 pounds, maneuvers well, and the side handlebar can be attached to either the left or right side of the unit.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DWP849 on Amazon >>>

3 Bosch 6.5 Amp Corded Random Orbital Sander/Polisher 1250DEVS

The 1250DEVS from Bosch is an easy-to-use orbital sander/polisher that comes with a wide range of features. The unit comes equipped with a 6.5-amp motor that delivers up to 600 RPM and 6,500 OPM. Using the variable speed dial, you can set up how quickly you want the unit to spin and orbit depending on the material you’re working on.

Bosch 6.5 Amp Corded Random Orbital Sander/Polisher 1250DEVS

The 1250DEVS comes with two modes: a normal mode for regular sanding and polishing and turbo mode for an aggressive first-sanding on rough stock. This model also has a dampening system which applies a bit of moisture when sanding to prevent leaving marks on the surface of your materials.

Check how much you can save, buying the Bosch 1250DEVS on Amazon >>>

2 PORTER-CABLE 7346SP 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Polishing Pad

The next item is another one of PORTER-CABLE’s beauties: the 7346SP. This 6-inch model comes with a 4.5-amp motor that delivers up to 350 RPM and 6,800 OPM. The unit weighs only six pounds and is easy to navigate along surfaces. It also features a variable speed dial to help users control how quickly the sander or buffer should work.

PORTER-CABLE 7346SP 6-Inch Random Orbit Sander with Polishing Pad

The 6-pound proprietary balance attaches to the pad, making it easier to control while locking the attachment in place. The side handle can be moved from left to right, depending on the user’s preference. It also comes with a wide range of different sanding and polishing pads so you can use it right out of the box.

Check how much you can save, buying the PORTER-CABLE 7346SP on Amazon >>>

1 Makita 9237CX3 7-Inch Variable Speed Polisher-Sander

The final product on our list is the Makita-made 9237CX3. This is a 7-inch orbital sander/polisher that delivers up to an astounding 3,200 RPM and up to 6,800 OPM. The high-RPM speed should only be used for sanding applications when going over rough stock.

Makita 9237CX3 7-Inch Variable Speed Polisher-Sander

Despite the high-speed rotation, the ingenious pads included in the kit helps in preventing fling-off of any polish, paste, or wax. Starting the polisher up is also a smooth experience that doesn’t cause the unit to vibrate too crazily. The rubber loop-style handle is also an ingenious feature which won’t scratch your car or wooden board.

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita 9237CX3 on Amazon >>>

Final Remarks

Polishers are great tools to have if you want to reduce the amount of time you spend rubbing wax on and off your car. If you enjoy making furniture or fixtures with wood, you can also benefit from a polisher which can double as a sander. No longer will you have to run your hands back and forth over wood stock to get it to your desired smoothness.

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP

When looking for a polisher, there are several aspects to consider. The first thing to consider is the speed. Looking at the unit’s motor could give you an indication of how quickly the unit spins and orbits, meaning that you’ll spend less work on sanding and polishing applications. Controlling the speed of the unit is important, and with a variable speed system, you have total control over how quickly or slowly you want the polishing/sanding pad to rotate and orbit. Also, you should look for a model that’s comfortable to grip and won’t weight your arm down.

In this article, we’ve provided you with our picks of the best five corded polishers. We would highly recommend any one of these units, but the model we favor over everything else is the Makita 9237CX3. This 7-inch model can reach the highest RPM speed out all the units on our list, making it the perfect solution for high-speed sanding or low-speed polishing jobs. It’s also extremely comfortable, won’t cause fatigue, and the rubber loop-style handle won’t cause any unwanted damage to your car’s paint job or your wooden boards.

Makita 9237CX3 7-Inch Variable Speed Polisher-Sander

Makita 9237CX3




Categories
Miscellaneous

Best Roll Groovers in 2020

There are probably many of us who have never heard of a combination roll groover. This is understandable since the tool is used specifically for certain applications that not many hobbyists or even DIY home renovators find the need to do themselves. However, if you feel like stepping up your game and creating your own threading on steel pipes, then a combo roll groover is the go-to tool.

Ridgid 25638 975 Combo Roll Groover

Ridgid 25638

Combination roll groovers let users roll-groove pipes with the help of driving machines (sold separately). These tools can also be placed on an end of a pipe that’s already in place. The purpose of this handy tool is to create consistent even grooves on the pipe. It’s the best tool to use for installing brand-new pipes and fittings in a wide number of applications.

Combination Roll Groover Buying Guide

A quick search on the internet for combination roll groovers will yield very few results concerning the different types or different things to look out for when searching for a roll groover. The following segment will focus on the most important specs and features to pay attention to if you’re considering purchasing your own.

Pipe Dimension Capacity

Not everybody works with the same sized pipes and not every combo roll groover is designed to groove on every pipe. Make sure you find a model that fits your needs. Many of the best models can make grooves on pipes as small as 1-1/4-inch schedule 10 pipes and as large as 6-inch schedule 40 pipes.

Ridgid 975 Combo Roll Groover

Ridgid 975

Depth Adjustment

One of the most important aspects of grooving pipes is the ability to set how far into the pipe to groove. Obviously, you don’t want an adjustment that’s too shallow that will render the pipe virtually useless. Be sure to keep an eye out for the adjustability of depth to ensure that it meets your requirements. Most tools are designed to adhere to basic piping principles, including the ability to set the appropriate depth.

Pipe Material

Pipes come in all sorts of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, PVC, and even copper. The best models can handle most of these materials, but there are a few that can’t do stainless steel or copper. This might not be an issue if you work exclusively with light-duty PVC pipes, but hardcore plumbers should be aware.

Steel Dragon Tools 916 Roll Groover

Steel Dragon Tools 916

Portability

Lightweight combo roll groovers are essential if you plan on grooving in-place pipes. Being lightweight increases its overall portability, as you can take the tool to wherever it’s needed. There are models as light as 30 pounds and some as heavy as 60 to 70 pounds.

Mounting

Combo roll groovers are operated by cranking the handle which then peels away thin strips of the pipe to make threads. Although the best models are easy to use, employing the help of a driving machine can further simplify the task. Many combo roll groovers can be mounted on power machines, even some machines produced by different manufacturers. Be sure to read the specs of the combo roll groover to see whether it’s compatible with the driving machine you own or plan on purchasing.

Ridgid 975 Combo Roll Groover

Ridgid 975

Top 4 Combination Roll Groovers

There aren’t that many manufacturers of combination roll groovers out there to choose from, so there’s very little research time needed to find the right model. However, since there is a limited number of models, it’s still important to make sure that the one you get fits your specifications. The following segment will supply you with our picks of the four best combo roll groovers available.

4 Ridgid 48307 916 Roll Groover

The first item on our list is the popular 48307 from Ridgid. It’s designed to tackles pipes sized between 1-1/4- to 6-inch schedule 10 and 1-1/4- to 3-inch schedule 40. This tool can create grooves in steel, stainless steel, and PVC pipes. It only weighs 33 pounds, so there’s hardly any issue with installing the unit on the end of an in-place pipe.

Ridgid 48307 916 Roll Groover

The depth adjustment gauge is separated from the feed mechanism so users can create repeated grooves at a consistent depth. The 48307 is made of heavy-duty cast iron that’s rust-resistant, making it safe to use outdoors and in wet conditions indoors. Furthermore, this tool is compatible to be paired with the 1822 threading machine by the same company.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ridgid 48307 on Amazon >>>

3 Steel Dragon Tools 915 Pipe Roll Groover

Steel Dragon is the lesser-known but still noteworthy manufacturer of the 91 Pipe Roll Groover. Although the company has had some issues with some of their roll groover models, the 915 and 916 are notable exceptions. This tool can be used to roll grooves on pipes as large as 6-inch schedule 40 pipes.

Steel Dragon Tools 915 Pipe Roll Groover

Unfortunately, this tool cannot be used on stainless steel. If you have a Ridgid 300 power drive, then you’ll be happy to know that this tool can be mounted to it. It can also be used on the Steel Dragon 300 Power Drive if you’re loyal to the company. The tool alone weighs 34 pounds, so it’s easy to carry and attach onto in-place pipes. The 915 can even be used on thick 12-inch pipes, provided that you purchase the roll set (sold separately).

Check how much you can save, buying the Steel Dragon Tools 915 on Amazon >>>

2 Steel Dragon Tools 916 Roll Groover

If you’re looking for a Steel Dragon roll groover that can be used to slice grooves on the end of stainless steel pipes, then the 916 is the tool for you. You can attach this tool onto pipes between 1-1/4- to 6-inch schedule 10 pipes or between 1-1/4- to 3-inch 40 schedule pipes. The tool can be used on steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and PVC pipes.

Steel Dragon Tools 916 Roll Groover

It a bit heavier than the 915, weighing in at around 51 pounds, but it’s still rather lightweight, and users shouldn’t have problems lifting this unit onto the ends of in-place pipes. The tool mounts perfectly on the Ridgid 300 and 1822 Power Drives for optimal, effortless grooving. The 916 is made of heavy-duty cast iron that’ll break your toe before denting when dropped.

Check how much you can save, buying the Steel Dragon Tools 916 on Amazon >>>

1 Ridgid 25638 975 Combo Roll Groover

The final and best combo roll groover, in our opinion, is the 256388 from Ridgid. Basically, Ridgid is the go-to manufacturer for combo roll groovers. The 25638 can create grooves in 1-1/4- to 6-inch schedule 10 stainless steel pipes, 1-1/4- to 2-inch schedule 40 stainless steel pipes, and 1-1/2- to 4-inch schedule 80 PVC pipes.

Ridgid 25638 975 Combo Roll Groover

To be able to roll grooves in copper, you’ll need to purchase 2- to 8-inch copper roll change (sold separately). This roll groover can be mounted onto the Ridgid 300 Power Drive to cut down time and energy when creating grooves. The 25638 is made of ductile iron for better durability compared to cast iron. One of the most impressive things about this unit is that it weighs only 26.1 pounds.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ridgid 25638 on Amazon >>>

Final Remarks

Not every handyman will need to invest in a combo roll groover. In fact, you can purchase pre-grooved pipes from local retailers or through the Internet. However, if you plan on selling pre-grooved pipes or you need such a tool to help with contract jobs, then consider investing in a hand-operated groove driller that can be mounted onto a power driver.

Steel Dragon Tools 915 Pipe Roll Groover

Steel Dragon Tools 915

There are several important features and specs to consider when looking for a roll groover. These include how big a pipe the tool can groove, the various materials that the tool can groove, how far the tool can groove into the pipe and be set to do repeated work, how lightweight it is for threading in-place pipes, and which power drives the tool can be mounted onto.

Truthfully speaking, there really aren’t that many manufacturers and models to choose from, but that doesn’t mean that every model is identical. In this article, we’ve recommended two Ridgid and two Dragon Steel combo roll groovers to look at, but we highly, HIGHLY recommend sticking to Ridgid products.

Ridgid 48307 916 Roll Groover

Ridgid 48307

The best hand-cranked combo roll groover, in our humble opinion, is the 25638 975 Combo Roll Groover. It’s an easy-to-set-up and easy-to-use tool for cranking out threads in no time. The process of creating grooves can be tedious, but with this tool, you can feel confident that you’ll get the job done flawlessly every time. Make life easier by investing in the Ridgid 300 Power Drive to automate the job.

Ridgid 975 Combo Roll Groover

Ridgid 975




Categories
Air Compressing Miscellaneous

Best 2 HP Portable Air Compressors in 2020

Professional craftsmen and DIY-ers can both find value in air compressors. A good compressor delivers all the power you need for pneumatic tools like brad nail guns, paint sprayers, staple guns, just to name a few. The right air compressor depends on the sort of tasks you work on regularly, but going for a portable machine is oftentimes the best choice.

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC Electric Portable Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC

What to Look for in a Portable Air Compressor

Like so many other tools out there, there’s no single air compressor that will work for every situation, but there’s a science behind choosing the right portable air compressor. If you’re currently looking for an air compressor for your workshop, then you should consider the following specs.

HP Rating

For air compressors, the power of delivery is measured by horsepower (HP). Generally speaking, the higher the HP rating, the more powerful the unit is. For light tasks such as airbrushing or powering your brad gun, the perfect HP rating should between 1 and 1.5 HP. Heavy duty tasks at construction sites might require an even more powerful HP rating of at least 2 HP. In this article, we’re going to focus on 2 HP portable air compressors since this is the sweet-spot for many professional and DIY craftsmen.

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

Makita MAC700

Tank Size

The tank size has a direct impact on the total recovery time – the total time needed for the air compressor to re-pressurize air in the tank. The common rule is that the larger the tank, the more time needed to recover. Most residential-grade air compressors should have a tank size of at least 1 gallon, but there are also 8-gallon tanks out there for use at home.

Flow Rate

To make use of pneumatic tools like nail guns or paint sprayers, your air compressor should offer enough pressure so they can work properly. Take a look at your tools in the workshop and see their required CFM (cubic-feet-per-minute), SCFM (standard CFM), or PSI (pounds-per-square-inch) before purchasing a portable air compressor.

California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor

California Air Tools 10020C

Tank Draining

Compressed air leads to moisture condensation within the tank. If it’s left uncared for, then the condensed water droplets can cause rusting or corrosion to the tank. To eliminate this problem, air compressors should be drained every so often. Make sure the draining process of your air compressor is easy to do.

Ultra-Low Noise Level

An air compressor can be extremely loud and become a nuisance to your neighborhood. We suggest being friendly with your neighbors before purchasing an air compressor or finding a model that doesn’t produce a lot of noise. Some of the quietest portable air compressors produce around 70 decibels of noise – about the same volume as normal conversation sounds from 5 feet.

Ingersoll-Rand Twin-Stack P1IU-A9 2 HP 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Ingersoll-Rand P1IU-A9

What is a Portable Air Compressor Used For?

Weight and Portability

Of course, a portable air compressor should be able to be transported from place to place with little to no issues. However, even portable air compressors can be heavy – more than 100 pounds – but they should come with wheels and a handle to help drag the unit to and fro. Find a model that’s lightweight and/or easy to maneuver with the help of wheels.

Which 2 HP Portable Air Compressor to Get

Now that we know the basics of what to look for in a portable air compressor, it’s not time to decide which model works best for our unique needs. No one single model is a blanket solution for every person’s needs, but our pick of the top 5 best 2 HP portable air compressors should help you in making a purchase decision.

5 Ingersoll-Rand Garage Mate Model# P1.5IU-A9

The Garage Mate by Ingersoll-Rand takes the fifth spot on our list. It’s an excellent air compressor, but its 200-pound build makes it too heavy to load and unload from a truck without pulling a muscle. This unit is a 4.6 CFM at 90 PSI machine features a 20-gallon tank.

Ingersoll-Rand Garage Mate Model# P1.5IU-A9

Ingersoll P1.5IU-A9

The unit comes with pneumatic wheels and detachable handle to navigate the unit horizontally, but vertical movement is a slight issue. Unlike many other models on the market, the Garage Mate comes with two air filters for its dual-piston setup. When running at full power, this air compressor produces roughly 80 decibels of noise – equivalent to the sound of traffic from inside your car.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ingersoll P1.5IU-A9 on Amazon >>>

4 Ingersoll-Rand Twin-Stack P1IU-A9 2 HP 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

The fourth-spot position goes to another one of Ingersoll-Rand’s models – the Twin-Stack. This unit is a small-reciprocating compressor mainly used for small, light-duty applications like finish nailing and filling up your tires. This 82-pound model comes with a carry handle situated above the tank to help users lift and move it.

Ingersoll-Rand Twin-Stack P1IU-A9 2 HP 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Ingersoll-Rand P1IU-A9

The Twin-Stack features a 4-gallon tank and delivers up to 4.3 CFM at 90 PSI. Some users have complained about leaky hoses which cause the unit to recharge when not in use, but you can simply detach the hose to prevent wasting pressurized air. This unit produces up to 80 decibels of noise when running at 100% duty cycle.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ingersoll-Rand P1IU-A9 on Amazon >>>

3 California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor

The 10020C by California Air Tools is an 82.5-pound portable vertical-standing air compressor. It might seem a bit heavy, but you’ll be glad to know that it features two pneumatic wheels and a handle to let users drag the unit around.

California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor

California Air Tools 10020C

This is a versatile compressor that delivers 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI – enough pressure for all your home workshop power tools. It comes with an enormous 10-gallon tank so it’ll provide pressurized air for a long time though it’ll take a while for it to fully recover. It’s a super-quiet air compressor that produces around 70 decibels of noise at full capacity – not enough noise to drown out conversation.

Check how much you can save, buying the California Air Tools 10020C on Amazon >>>

2 Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

Makita’s MAC700 is a 52-pound portable air compressor with a top handle that lets users carry the unit wherever they need pressurized air. It delivers 3.3 CFM at 90 PSI or 3.8 CMF at 40 PSI so it’s fit to attach to a wide range of pneumatic power tools. While running at full power, the 12.4 amp motor produces around 80 decibels of noise, making it one of the loudest units on our list, but it’s still relatively quiet compared to other air compressors on the market.

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

Makita MAC700

Makita MAC700 vs Ingersoll-Rand P1IU-A9: 2 HP Portable Air Compressor Comparison

The MAC700 features a 2.6-gallon “hot dog” tank. Although it has a maximum pressure of 130 PSI, many users have described the unit’s inability to consistently deliver more than 100 PSI.

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita MAC700 on Amazon >>>

1 California Air Tools CAT-4620AC Electric Portable Air Compressor

Finally, the number one spot on our list belongs to the CAT_4620AC by California Air Tools. This electric-powered portable air compressor features rust-proof twin tanks that have a collective capacity of 4 gallons. This air compressor weighs 67.2 pounds and comes with a handle and rubber grip for easy carrying without causing cramps.

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC Electric Portable Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC

The CAT-4620AC delivers 6.4 CFM at 40 PSI up to 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI. The 14-amp motor only produces around 70 decibels of noise which is super quiet for an air compressor, and it features two quick-connect outlets that let users hook up two power tools to the compressor simultaneously.

Check how much you can save, buying the California Air Tools CAT-4620AC on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

Portable air compressors can be an invaluable addition to your workshop, especially if you frequently use pneumatic power tools like brad nail guns, paint sprayers, and grinding machines. If you’re considering purchasing your very-first portable air compressor, there are several things to take into account.

Ingersoll-Rand Garage Mate Model# P1.5IU-A9

Ingersoll P1.5IU-A9

The HP rating determines how powerful the unit is, and for most home and commercial workshops, at least 2 HP is enough to power up all kinds of tools. The size of the tank – measured in gallons – determines how much pressurized air can be contained. The larger the tank, the more air it’ll hold, but the longer it’ll take to fill back up with compressed air. The air compressor’s flow rate lets you know how much pressure it delivers.

Before you purchase a portable air compressor, make sure you know all of the CFM and PSI ratings of your power tools to ensure you choose the right air compressor. The tank draining system and noise-production levels are also important in choosing the right air compressor for your work since you don’t want to be troubled with having to constantly drain the tank to ensure that there’s no corrosion on the tank’s inner lining, and the level of noise can be a disruption to you and your neighbors.

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC Electric Portable Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC

We’ve also offered our top 5 2 HP portable air compressor picks to help you in choosing the right model for your work, but in the end, it’ll depend on how much power you need and how much power your future air compressor can deliver. Out of all the models we’ve looked at, we highly recommend getting the California Air Tools CAT-4620AC since it delivers more than enough power for a wide assortment of commonly used power tools, it’s super quiet when running at 100% duty cycle, and it’s lightweight to boot.