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that's a nice price for that size compressor.

i just got done building a condensor system for my compressor. it's a looped network of copper pipe to eliminate water in the lines and a pretty fun project. of course if your not painting like said then water really isn't an issue. it's not really going to hurt the tools as long as you keep them oiled which you do by hand. don't buy one of those dual oiler/air filter things cause they are not necessary. just the air side is fine, but you're not supposed to put them close to the compressor outlet, they are for down stream if you had a pipe system in the garage to help separate water. for the average joe you don't need anything special, just a 3/8" regulator and 3/8" hose. never use 1/4 hose for air tools. all hoses have 1/4" NPT fittings (unless you go industrial which are huge), but as long as they are 3/8" internal dia then you are fine. the 1/2" hose is too big for small garage work and it would be too heavy and a pain to use. i had both and like the 3/8". for your 10cfm gun though you won't want to use the standard 1/4" M type fittings. you should look at getting a seperate hose with an 3/8" automotive style fitting for that gun so it will flow the most air for it. the other fittings are too restrictive and will choke it out. NAPA has a good price on the larger automotive fittings and they come in a set. they are big though and harder to pop on and off, so they aren't really for the light duty tools which are fine with the standard fittings. they are still 1/4" NPT but 3/8" internal dia to flow more air, but fit any hose. they can be called, 3/8", type G, true-flate, or automotive style = all the same. there is such a thing as a high flow 1/4" or HVLP, or V type, but they are still not as good as the 3/8".

this is the regulator i have and it works good. you have to search around but i have found it for about $20 elsewhere. from that you reduce it down again to the 1/4" NPT size for your hose fitting.

i have also used the cheapo air separator from northern that you have pictured first and it's garbage. yes it worked for a little while, but soon after the bottom plastic vent thing where you would drain the water stopped sealing and i haven't been able to get it to work right. it wouldn't hold any air and would always leak no matter now much i played with it. i finally threw it out and got a better one.

oh and be sure to drain your tank once and a while at least. they do build up a lot of water inside and it will reduce the air capacity. just after 1 fill up i have a lot of water blow out of mine. if you are doing a lot of sanding or grinding that uses a lot of air then you will have water in the tank. usually the tiny valve on the bottom of the upright tanks is hard to get to and i changed mine out for some more black pipe and a ball valve for easy access.
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