View Full Version : Compressed Air 1/4" or 3/8" Hose Reel Line?


floyd
03-16-2010, 07:30 AM
What size line do you guys run for hobby use? I'm looking at Reelcraft hose reels with a 35' length hose. I don't have any air tools yet. I have a 6hp, 60 gallon single stage compressor. Hose reel will be ceiling mounted in the center of a 30X40 shop. Thanks!

HIRISC
03-16-2010, 09:13 AM
I'd run 3/8" if I were you.. future proof yourself for larger draw tools.

I have a 2 stage 60 gallon 5hp and run 1/2" copper to the reel, 3/8" on the reel (cause I don't like 1/2" hose inflexibility).

bdog
03-16-2010, 09:29 AM
I wouldn't use 1/4" hose for anything except maybe a roofing nailer. I use all 1/2" hose but I have some large tools. I would consider 3/8" a minimum for normal shop use. Here is a chart showing recommended sizes. http://www.airtxinternational.com/recommended-air-hoses.htm

chevelle67
03-16-2010, 09:32 AM
3/8" the price difference is negligible.

floyd
03-16-2010, 09:44 AM
Thanks to all - 3/8" it is.

BioHazard
03-16-2010, 09:53 AM
1/4" air hose is for little girls to clean off their makeup. :lol_hitti

sberry
03-16-2010, 10:03 AM
yes, the 3/8 for common shop work.

Charles (in GA)
03-16-2010, 10:12 AM
At work we use 1/4 inch for almost everything. There is some 3/8 hose floating around in the hangar, but you don't want to use it unless you really need the flow for high demand items, the hose is difficult to manage being large. Shop air pressure runs 120 psi (I had occasion the other day to operate some test equipment and noted the inlet pressure at 120) We run die grinders, 1/4 palm drills, air hammers/rivet guns, impacts occasionally, screw guns, and the system probably leaks more air than we use, and even with 100 ft of 1/4 hose on a angle grinder, it works fine.

There is a time and place for larger hose, but I don't often need it at work. Where it becomes noticeable is running a 3/4 impact (which is a rare once or twice a year occurrence) and you can see a huge difference between a 1/4 hose and a 3/8 hose, even with the same 1/4 air couplings, and even better is two hoses Tee'ed together supplying that coupling, works even better.

Charles

gary300
03-16-2010, 07:42 PM
At work we use 1/4 inch for almost everything. There is some 3/8 hose floating around in the hangar, but you don't want to use it unless you really need the flow for high demand items, the hose is difficult to manage being large. Shop air pressure runs 120 psi (I had occasion the other day to operate some test equipment and noted the inlet pressure at 120) We run die grinders, 1/4 palm drills, air hammers/rivet guns, impacts occasionally, screw guns, and the system probably leaks more air than we use, and even with 100 ft of 1/4 hose on a angle grinder, it works fine.

There is a time and place for larger hose, but I don't often need it at work. Where it becomes noticeable is running a 3/4 impact (which is a rare once or twice a year occurrence) and you can see a huge difference between a 1/4 hose and a 3/8 hose, even with the same 1/4 air couplings, and even better is two hoses Tee'ed together supplying that coupling, works even better.

Charles

Bought a 25" 1/4" coil hose (Kobalt from Lowes) and it wouldn't even begin to run my Sears cut off tool. Used my 50' 3/8" rubber hose and the cut off tool worked liked a champ.

:beer:

Joe69
03-16-2010, 08:27 PM
My 3/4 impact won't run right with anything less than a 1/2" hose.

Joe

DIC
03-17-2010, 12:35 AM
Gotta be 3/8 unless you have some air hungry tools...........:rolleyes:

BioHazard
03-17-2010, 04:34 AM
Bought a 25" 1/4" coil hose (Kobalt from Lowes) and it wouldn't even begin to run my Sears cut off tool. Used my 50' 3/8" rubber hose and the cut off tool worked liked a champ.

:beer:

Yeah, I have a few of those coiled hoses in 1/4", I just use them with blow guns and for airing up tires. Even with small crappy HF tools like a die grinder I can tell a difference in performance vs 3/8" hose.

jwith68
03-17-2010, 09:02 AM
I agree, 3/8" is the best compromise for normal shop work. I have a super nice 1/2" x 50' Reelcraft setup (that was essentially free!) NO shortage of air, but it is a pill to work with the relatively stiff 1/2" hose.

zr52002
03-17-2010, 12:46 PM
Yeah, I have a few of those coiled hoses in 1/4", I just use them with blow guns and for airing up tires. Even with small crappy HF tools like a die grinder I can tell a difference in performance vs 3/8" hose.

You'll notice the difference more with "small crappy HF tools" than with good tools. The cheaper tools are less efficient with air, so need a more air to get the job done than higher-end tools.

NewShockerGuy
01-14-2011, 01:15 PM
I'm trying to get into the air tool world and picking up a compressor here shortly...

I wanted to go to 3/8" hose but why are all the connectors 1/4NTP? Wouldn't that restrict the flow.. I am browsing hoses now and most of them are 3/8" inner diameter but come with 1/4" fittings?

I couldn't find the answer but your average air ratchet and 1/2" impact gun use what type of fitting on the bottom of them? Why wouldn't there be a 3/8"NTP fitting on a 3/8" hose?

Sorry for the simple questions I just want to make sure I get the right stuff for my 30/60 gallon air compressor...



-Nigel

jam0o0
01-14-2011, 03:49 PM
1/4" npt is NOT 1/4" diameter. it's much bigger. all average air tools have 1/4" npt threads and will work best on 3/8"ID hose.


edit:
1/8" npt= 1/4" ID
1/4" npt= 3/8" ID
3/8" npt= 1/2" ID

NewShockerGuy
01-14-2011, 04:23 PM
1/4" npt is NOT 1/4" diameter. it's much bigger. all average air tools have 1/4" npt threads and will work best on 3/8"ID hose.


edit:
1/8" npt= 1/4" ID
1/4" npt= 3/8" ID
3/8" npt= 1/2" ID

Thank you so much!

You just made it completely easy for me! for some reason no one could give me that answer.... and i've been on 3 forums so far..lol

Thank you!!
:-)

-Nigel

Steevo
01-14-2011, 04:29 PM
I use the black Goodyear 3/8" hoses from Harbor Freight. They work good on my reels, but are a PIA to handle if not on a reel, because they are hard to coil.
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-hoses.html

bill9860
01-15-2011, 12:20 AM
Ran 1/2 line to my ReelCraft reel that has 50' 3/8

blazsawgras
01-15-2011, 04:38 PM
3/8 hose need plenty of volume especially if you use sanders or you use a spray gun.

bchee
01-16-2011, 01:46 AM
1/4" npt is NOT 1/4" diameter. it's much bigger. all average air tools have 1/4" npt threads and will work best on 3/8"ID hose.


edit:
1/8" npt= 1/4" ID
1/4" npt= 3/8" ID
3/8" npt= 1/2" ID

Something about these numbers doesnt add up. I just measured the ID of a barb fitting and it was more like 3/16.

Joe in PA
01-16-2011, 12:45 PM
I would suggest looking at the fitting on your compressor and going from there. If the compressor has a 1/4" outlet, no need to run anything bigger as that is already the bottleneck. If it is 3/8" or larger, then I'd go with the 3/8".

baubau
01-16-2011, 01:02 PM
always go bigger and have smaller radius hose if you use air tools that consume less volume of air.

i run 1/2 large hose in my shop but i have smaller 1/4 size hose that i attach to my sanding air tools, 6" orbital sander and similar tools...it is much less weight, easier on hands and u dont get fatigued easily..it makes a big difference in ergonomics after few hours of constant use..

but if i use big air grinders, impact gun or spay guns, then its back to 1/2...

rodm1
01-16-2011, 05:35 PM
Something about these numbers doesnt add up. I just measured the ID of a barb fitting and it was more like 3/16.

Pipe threads are based on old technology from the 1900s when pipe had a 1/4 hole and a 1/4 pipe thread. Technology has advanced enough that the thick wall pipe isn't needed any longer sow they reduced the wall thickness and keep the 1/4 thread designation.

Thats wy pipe threads don't make any sense.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pipethreadsizing.html

Vicegrip
01-16-2011, 07:00 PM
1/4 fittings on 3/8th hose is what we use in the auto shops at work.

rob domzalski
01-20-2012, 06:43 PM
does anybody have a picture or words of wisdom on how to connect rigid 3/4" copper air line to 1/4" inlet/outlet of air regulator to 1/4" inlet (female threads for all) air hose reel. I'm to the point where I'm fixing to have to connect rigid line to this set up and needed some advice. Thanks anybody!

premierplayer
01-20-2012, 10:02 PM
does anybody have a picture or words of wisdom on how to connect rigid 3/4" copper air line to 1/4" inlet/outlet of air regulator to 1/4" inlet (female threads for all) air hose reel. I'm to the point where I'm fixing to have to connect rigid line to this set up and needed some advice. Thanks anybody!
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Hex-Bushing-5P513

LennyTheLizard
01-20-2012, 10:27 PM
Take a small coffee stir straw and try to blow through it. Then, take a big fat McDonald's straw and blow through that. If you were an air compressor, which one would require more work?

Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between tubing and hose. Hose (rubber) is measured by the inside diameter. Tubing is usually thinner wall and measured by the OD (Nylon, polyurethane, teflon). Most of the self coiling hose is actually tubing, so the 1/4", most of the time is not really 1/4" ID - it's more like 3/16".