One of the most frequent questions I get revolves around Prestacycle inflators and how to set them up with a compressor.
This is understandable as there is no one connector for connecting to a hose and an increasing number of people getting compressors now that they are sold in more and more places.
What I would like to do here is give a better understanding to anyone starting out with a compressor for the first time and to better understand the parts and options available.
So let's start with the most commonly asked question...
"How do I attach the Prestaflator to my compressor?"
Unfortunately, there is no one standard when it comes to compressors, but there is some standards that stay the same around the world and that one is the threading for your hose and attachments, and it's fair to say that unless you are operating something industrial the one you see will be 1/4", however and not wishing to confuse things 1/4" is not referencing the thread of the plug but actually the average size of the hole the air passes through, commonly called 1/4" NPT, (National Pipe Thread) these are ever so slightly tapered to create a tight fit and will always be best installed with a few wraps of PTFE tape and just nipped up, if you hear air coming out re apply fresh PTFE tape making sure to wrap it the correct way so it doesn't unravel as you turn the nut and only nip up till airtight.
Now comes the type of fitting being used on your compressor, Prestacycle uses a fitting that is quite common around the world and if you bought a compressor with an accessory kit from the likes of SGS, Hyundai, Screwfix, Lidl, etc, they will typically come with the XF fittings as that's the most common worldwide, so your Prestaflator should work with your compressor right out of the box, if however you have an older unit or bought the hose and connectors separately it's possible you have a different plug than the one supplied with the Prestaflator.
The third plug in the picture is sometimes known as a standard 1/4" and is longer and thinner than the others, almost every car garage in the UK uses them as they have had compressors longer than most of us and as such are still common, but not outside the UK, as such this is why when you purchase some air tools they do not include any plug connector.
So to sum up, if your socket on your compressor hose is XF or you bought the Prestacycle I/M Quick Coupler, the plug included in the Prestaflator box will work perfectly, if however you run the 'standard' style, you can purchase them from many places, Machine Mart is often the best place for compressors and parts as they have a massive range, I use them all the time for my own airline equipment, there is also Halfords and Screwfix that stocks plugs and sockets.
This is my compressor, it's a Hyundai 50L unit, picked because it's the quietest I could find for sensible money and serves us well. It is not necessary to get one so large but as I do a spot of classic car restoration on my days off I found you need as big a compressor as you can afford, air tools like sanders and spraying equipment use lots of air.
I hope this helps explain a little about the differences when it comes to air tools, it can be a little bewildering at first but what I would say is stick with it, perhaps pop to your local Machine Mart if you get stuck as they not only have the parts on the shelf they understand air tools better than most so can get you fixed up in no time, but watch out... it's very easy to get carried away with all those shiny air tools.
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