Small Compressor Versus an Air or CO2 Cartridge

      A cheap one-gallon compressor wins the voice vote for job-site convenience and reliability. August 30, 2011

I hate lugging my compressor into a house just to shoot a few nails into something. Does anyone know of an air cartridge that can be used to power just a few shots from a nail gun? Something resembling a refill would be nice.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor M:
A Jack Pac works on CO2. Lowes has the same thing under the Cobalt brand as well. I have one and would buy the smallest compressor I could find before buying another Jack Pac. Seems whenever you really need it, its empty. In fact I am planning on buying the smallest cheapest compressor I can find for just that reason.

From contributor D:
I bought a one gallon Craftsmen compressor just for these reasons. Itís turned out to be a little beast. It might weigh 10 lbs. It was $150 and it came with a 18g nailer/stapler.

From contributor T:
I use an air tank for thirty nails or fewer, double that for a pin nailer.

From contributor G:
I use pasloades for that type situation. A little expensive on the initial outlay, but can run paint grade trim all day on one battery and gas cartridge. Iíve made a lot money with these guns by saving a lot of time.

From contributor V:
I don't see them much anymore but I still have a tankless compressor. They are great for punchout. Mine is a Craftsman. It has a 10' air hose attached. Turn it on and you have instant pressure, shoot a few nails, and turn the unit off. They are not made to take any amount of volume. Actually I think you are not supposed to use them for more than five minutes at a time. It is good for punch outs or installing toekicks and scribe on the top floor.

From contributor H:
I got a Porter Cable just for this purpose. Smallest one I've ever seen. Pumps to 135lb. Easily carried in one hand. Now it's the only one I unload, if I'm only installing cabinets. Trim install gets the Hitcahi twin tank for two guns.

From contributor A:
I use the little Senco. Itís light, small, quiet, and does a great job. I've had mine for about four years and still works great. I had to replace the drain valve about a year ago. Also, it only pulls four amps so no worries about tripping a breaker!

From contributor H:

Correction on my compressor. It is also the Senco and I'll second Contributor Aís comments. I must have laminate trimmer on the brain.

From contributor I:
Yet another vote for the Senco - small and light. I've had it for a few years and haven't had reason to look for something else. Only a 90 day warrantee on it, though, which is odd.

From contributor R:
I had a small twin tank Senco a few years back. Nice compressor but it blew the cylinder and head off one day. I suppose I should have done the pre-flight inspection as the manual recommends but who really expects it to blow up because the head/cylinder bolts might actually vibrated loose? Honestly, I am sure this was an isolated incident.

From contributor J:
I had the Senco for a while, but it could barely drive a 15ga finish nail. I have a Thomas now - hot dog style, weighs 26 lbs so it's easy for me to carry around a job - very quiet. Thomas invented the oil-less compressor and, unlike everyone else, theirís is designed for continual cycling. Quality is worth the money.

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