In a comment the other day, someone asked about which air fittings to equip their hose with, to use with a Craftsman 6 gallon air compressor.
To start off, Ben has a good guide to air line quick-connect couplers here.
Generally, for specific questions, it’s always good to refer to your user manual. Not knowing which model the reader was referring to, I pulled up an online user manual to Craftsman’s CMEC6150 6-gallon pancake-style air compressor.
It’s buried in the text, but it does say:
Quick Connect Type 1/4″ (6.4 mm) Industrial
Okay, great, it takes 1/4″ Industrial-type quick-connector couplers.
The commentor also mentioned having a 3/8″ air hose. Most (if not all) of the 3/8″ air hoses I’ve seen, at least those intended for portable air compressor use, have 1/4″ NPT threaded end fittings.
So, I would likely purchase Legacy/s Color Connex 3-piece fitting kit, which is priced at round $6 at the time of this posting. It comes with a quick-connect plug and a socket, both with female 1/4″ NPT threads that screw onto the ends of the hose, and third fitting, a quick-connect plug with male threads that might come in handy for future applications.
(You’ll also need Teflon tape or similar thread-sealing tape or compound for a leak-free fit.)
If you need to equip two hoses, such as for connecting to the two couplers built into the above-shown Craftsman air compressor, you’ll need two of everything. Two of the 3pc sets is still more economical than a 2-pack of plugs and two sockets. Larger sets, such as Legacy’s 14pc set, comes with enough accessories to outfit two hoses and retrofit a bunch of tools, equipment, and accessories (if needed).
You’ll also want to make sure that your air nailer or other tools have an appropriate industrial-type coupler on that end of things, which is why the 3pc set comes with one, just in case.
This is a good opportunity to talk about air compressor kits, and how they can be useful. Over at Lowe’s, they have the Craftsman air compressor for $99. Amazon has the air compressor kit for $119, which comes with an assortment of accessories, including an air hose fit with quick-connect couplers, a tire chuck, air blower with nozzle accessories, and some other occasionally-useful accessories.
These days, I like choosing the hose, couplers, and accessories I use with my air compressor, but my first compressor did come with an accessory kit that I made good use of for a couple of years.
Several brands also do offer air compressor accessory kits, but all of the ones I see on Amazon are from straight-to-Amazon brands I’ve never heard of before. It’s probably all the same stuff, but I try to focus on brands I know and can trust – brands that usually stand behind their products. Air tool and compressor accessories are not an area I like to cheap out on.
Craftsman offers a 12pc accessory set, CMXZTSG1009NB, for ~$15, and I’m sure there are other kits out there as well. It helps simply the accessory-selection process for new air compressor owners, and some of the components will likely still come in handy long after the hose or other components have been upgraded.