Getting Rid Of The One Tool I Never Thought I’d Get Rid Of
For anyone who works on cars, the air compressor is a vital tool. Even with tool technology advancing over the years, it was hard to get work done without the use of air tools. When I was a technician, I invested thousands of dollars to own the latest and greatest air tools from big impacts to ¼” ratchets, and when I changed careers, I went out and bought a 20-gallon air compressor at an estate sale so that I could always work on cars when I needed to.
The problem is that air compressors have gotten obsolete due to the advancements in electric tools. I never thought I’d get rid of my air compressor, but that day has finally come. Goodbye, air compressor. Enjoy your new home.
Electric air pump
As an avid Jeeper (not to mention being that neighborhood guy who notices all flat or low tires), I got the biggest use of my air compressor inflating tires especially on my Jeep after a day of off-roading. Yes, there are battery-powered, hand-held air pumps out there, but the ones I’ve used have always taken too long to fill standard car tires let alone oversized Jeep tires. It wasn’t until Slime (the company known for emergency tire repair and tire sealant) sent me its latest product – the Pro-Series Garage Inflation Station, which retails for $159.99 – that I considered finally replacing my trusty compressor.
This electric air pump mounts easily on the wall taking up a lot less space in my garage, and it plugs into a standard 120-volt home outlet. The best part about the Garage Inflation Station is the retractable 25-foot air hose that makes it easy to inflate tires on cars, bikes and golf carts as well as inflatable beach toys and air mattresses. Slime says that this tool can fully inflate a flat car tire in about four minutes, and it made quick work of inflating my Jeep’s 32-inch tires from 25 psi for off-roading to 35 psi for street driving.
Not only is this tool more compact than an air compressor, the hose automatically retracts with a simple pull making it far easier to deal with than trying to coil up than the thicker hose I would use for my air tools. Best of all, it has a built-in digital gauge to get precise measurements for air pressure, and, my neighbor’s favorite part, it is much quieter than my old air compressor.
Electric handheld tools
And speaking of noise, electric wireless tools have been around for several years, but I didn’t start considering them until I needed to do some work on my Jeep one Saturday morning (a little after 8 o’clock) this summer. I was trying to get some parts installed before the Florida sun got too hot, and before I could even get the front bumper off, my nextdoor neighbor sent me a text asking what I’m working on so early in the morning. Even with the compressor being in my garage, it was still loud enough for my neighbors to hear it running. This thing was louder than my house generator!
But it wasn’t even the noise that truly made me want to ditch air tools. When doing a big job such as removing all four wheels, the air tank pressure would run low and I’d have to wait for the compressor to fill the tank back up again before I finished what I was doing. Electric impact tools (like the Craftsman 20V ½” impact I bought) provide plenty of power, and since I have multiple batteries, if one runs out, I can just swap it out really quick to finish the job.
Sure, I could have just bought a newer, more modern compressor for my garage that would be quieter and provide more air, but now I have new tools that are easier to use and more convenient. Advancements in modern tools may have made the air compressor obsolete in my garage, but what tools, if any, have become obsolete for you. If you’re looking for a tool that is irreplaceable when working on modern-era vehicles, make sure you add the FIXD sensor and app to your toolbox!
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals