Air assist, what do you think about this Craftsman tankless compressor?

I have this nice Craftsman tankless compressor, it is for use with air tools, and can deliver 3.3C.F.M at 90 psi, or 5.0 CFM at 40psi. It can run continuously and has a built in air adjust from 10psi to 100psi. Would this, along with an adjustable regulator with gauge from Harbor Freight, be ok to use for cutting and/ or engraving? Thanks, I have read a bunch of posts here, and want a simple manual setup, as I am not a commercial user.![image|666x500](upload://Ak K9cBtcmaHSMyjXEWGCjAApptg.jpeg)

Sounds good, I use a max air assist of 45 psi when cutting and just a trickle when Etching as most people do :sunglasses:

What size hole do you have in your nozzle, I ask because with a bigger hole of course, as some people have, for engraving, the higher pressures will be harder to maintain.

A standard nozzle is something in the region of 2mm to 2.5mm and so the air does not escape so quickly. That’s cool, and not having a reservoir will not be as important.

The 50psi setting sounds perfect.

The best thing is that you already have it :grin::grin::tada:

Give it a try and please let me know how it goes



As a general rule, I would not recommend a compressor. They are noisy and even if rated for continuouis use their life is limited. Better a air pump designed for hydroponic aereators. They will run for months at a time, draw very little current and are quiet.

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Many of the chinese CO2 lasers come with one of those “aerators” and I think most of us replace them because they are entirely inadequate for the job if you cut much wood.
Unless you know of one that gives good flow at at least 40 PSI.

When I ditched my aerator for a compressor it made a world of difference in cut quality and maximum speed.

I think folks are confused about PSI vs GPH. With air assist, you’re only concerned with GPH. Think about it for a moment… for an optimum air assist, you’re using a 6/4 poly or silicone air hose and a .6mm 3D print nozzle as your air assist. The max gallons of air per hour you can push with this rig is right at about 600GPH (4.3psi).

This is my setup on the Ortur Laser Master 2, 20W and it works flawlessly:
I bought this 602 GPH Hydroponics Systems Air Pump for $29
These .6mm 3D print nozzles for $4
And this Pneumatic Tubing for $9

I don’t get even a trace of over-burn outside the lines and I can burn much faster, cleaner and hotter. I think people put too much thought into the design of an air assist. This is one time where more isn’t better!

Actually Richard, while your info is really good, many people including me are using either a 4mm or 2.5 mm nozzle on the air assist so the throughout is significantly more than your example.

The other thing is that a large amount of gauges used for us users measures in psi not gallons so our reference tends to be in psi

I do appreciate your point though.



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For some reason laser users do seem confused about pressure and flow rate. I’m guessing that is because they can measure pressure more easily than flow rate. To my mind, flow rate just outside the nozzle is the critical factor, since pressure at that point must be equal to atmospheric pressure (or very, very close to it) and flow rate is what is sweeping away debris, smoke, and fumes from the light beam’s path…

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I think my point Gary was, my 602 @ 4.3 psi was all that was needed to power my air assist. I used to use my shop compressor regulated to 10 psi and it didn’t push any more air volume through the rig as far as I could tell. I did start with a .4 mm nozzle originally, but wound up needing the nozzle for a printer, so I swapped it for a .6 that I had on hand. I didn’t notice any change in performance so I just left it as is.

I’m no expert on this, just sharing what works for me. Since I have 100% debris and smoke clearance, I’m happy, and my work is clean, and that’s what matters to me. I don’t want to cut with the air, just assist with the cutting :slight_smile:

Hi Richard I absolutely take your point and more than that in the schools we do training for they, to the most, don’t have money for a compressor.

Therefore I’m going to steal your idea for the print nozzle so they can use a much smaller pump to get a level of air assist with the K40s they use.
So, thank you :wink: