A reely nice upgrade

I don’t use air tools a whole lot, but when I do, I like to enjoy the process. I have a 2HP/8 gallon Central Pneumatic (Harbor Freight) hot dog compressor, and a manual reel loaded with a 50′ PVC hose. My complaints with this was that I didn’t like the reel, particularly the width due to the handle, and the fact it was manual. The hose itself was a bit stiff, which made the winding worse.

With those complaints, I had in mind an upgrade since Christmas. I settled on a unit from Northern Tool, a 50′ automatic reel loaded with a hybrid hose. I ruminated over this for awhile, and Friday I finally went and picked it up. As soon as I felt the hose, I knew hybrid was the route for me.

This reel has a nice compact footprint, roller guides for the hose with a bump stop, and a bit easier time of mounting it than the old one. I paired it up with a swivel connector, and a 8′ rubber lead-in. For this one, I decided to mount it up in the ceiling to save space and ease of use. I love it. Only thing I have to do is switch out the fitting on the air compressor itself, as the quick disconnect is leaking (and not the threads). It’s leaked for awhile, but since I’m upgrading the experience I’ll finally address it.

The old reel is now down at the house, which will be perfect for the cars and bikes. Perhaps one day I’ll upgrade the compressor and move this one down there as well.

Old vs new

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