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Air Compressors- Whats Good?

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Darkness, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Jan 10, 2021 at 11:18 AM
    #1
    Darkness

    Darkness [OP] Allergic to white

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    I have had a pancake Porter Cable for over ten tears. Now that I'm setting up my garage I'm looking for something in the 20 gallon range. I would like something that's not too loud because I like my neighbors and live in a quiet neighborhood. I also would like something that can run air tools, impact gun, a paint gun, things like that where my pancake just won't do. I also don't want to spend more than $400, I won't use the compressor often enough to justify a high expense. Looking to see what the wise Tundra community has to say about compressors and maybe show me something I'm not considering.

    I looked at a few that seem to be nearly identical, same design with different motors. These 4 are around 4 SCFM @ 90 PSI and between 150-175 max PSI and all around 78db.

    This quiet Husky 1.5hp seems affordable, I've never known anybody with a Husky compressor. I don't generally like store brands and believe this is Home Depots store brand. Reviews are either awesome or "this pile of crap was damaged out of the box". I see an alarming number of reports that way on Husky compressors.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/reviews...red-Silent-Air-Compressor-3332013/311273546/1

    Also looked at basically the same compressor but with maybe a stronger motor, 1.8hp and pumps more air than the Husky. Very similar hit or miserable miss reviews. I did read on an article that these carry lifetime warranty, but I don't see that mentioned in the Lowes description.
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Stealth-20...e-Electric-Vertical-Air-Compressor/1000894266

    Kobalt, the Lowes brand, makes a clone of that compressor that comes in black. Same story on reviews, I read one that said parts are impossible to find. This one has the same specs as the Stealth, but comes in 26 gallon and has a lower max psi.
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-QUIET-TECH-26-Gallon-Single-Stage-Portable-Electric-Vertical-Air-Compressor/1001014062

    I thought to myself, my Porter Cable has lasted this long, let's see what they have. They turn out to have cheaper units but seem to have way more bad reviews than good. Apparently obnoxiously loud, reports of parts coming loose from vibrations, and taking forever to reach max psi. I don't really want to get into that, but is it that bad?
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/porter-cable-24-gallon-portable-air-compressor

    And then, I looked at Dewalt. A 20 gallon goes beyond my budget but they have a 15 gallon that fills fast enough to compensate. Mostly good reviews but again, reported to be noisey as hell. Some say the tank is small and causes frequent running. 5 SCFM @ 90 PSI AND 225 MAX PSI advertised as 78db but somebody measures it at 91db.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-15-Gal-Portable-Electric-Air-Compressor-D55168/302918678

    And, just noticed this 30 gallon went on sale and specs blow the rest away at 6 SFCM @ 90 PSI maz 155 PSI but this one is also on the loud side at 88db
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/dewalt-19-rhp-30-gallon-vertical-portable-air-compressor
     
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  2. Jan 10, 2021 at 12:47 PM
    #2
    Nick T

    Nick T New Member

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    The first 3 compressors you listed use the new dual piston silent motors, the last 3 listed all use the older single piston motors which are much louder. All 6 are oil free motors. Of the 6, i would choose one of the first 3, or buy a california air compressor ( which these 3 seem to be rebranded from )
    Is $400 a hard limit? The northern tool 20 gal oil compressor :
    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200518764_2005187
    Goes on sale once in awhile for a bit more than $400.. it looks like a cheaper version of the puma pk5020vp and ingersol rand P1.5IU-A9
    These are oil compressors and about 78db. They are also rated for 100% duty cycle.

    Do you already have air tools? An impact, air wrench, paint gun etc etc? If not i reccomend you keep the pancake and buy a milwaukee fuel impact. No need to buy a 20 gal compressor.
    I prefer using my cordless stuff over my air tools for most situations, the only time i fire up my ingersol rand is when i need to air up tires, wash my car, or clean the engine bay.
     
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  3. Jan 10, 2021 at 12:56 PM
    #3
    bleach

    bleach MEME Fiend

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    I have an older Campbell Hausfield that I bought from CL several years ago. It's a vertical 60 gallon model and runs off 220V. It's an excellent compressor and runs my air tools perfectly. I think they're still made in the US.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Jan 10, 2021 at 1:13 PM
    #4
    CaptainGrumpus

    CaptainGrumpus The Mailman

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    Spend an extra $30 over budget or find a coupon and get this:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/air-t...e-vertical-shopauto-air-compressor-56403.html

    Edit..When I bought my tool cart, I signed up for the HF credit card and got 10% off my order. They also offered me an extended warranty for $79 which I declined so they then asked me if I would be interested in the warranty for $19. I said yes and they took the extra $60 off the price of the cart as well. You may be able to get an extended warranty on it for little $$ if you do a little haggling.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
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  5. Jan 10, 2021 at 1:27 PM
    #5
    AZTundra

    AZTundra No Longer a New Member

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    I have a campbell hausfeld 26 gallon vertical compressor. Bought new maybe 20 years ago for about $300. Still runs like a champ. I know it's not the best compressor out there, but it's served my needs over the years.
     
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  6. Jan 10, 2021 at 2:07 PM
    #6
    Darkness

    Darkness [OP] Allergic to white

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    @Nick T thanks for that, looking at the California compressor and I might just go that route. Their specs seem better than the others and even the 10 gallon might be enough considering how fast it refills. Thanks for that tip.

    I do have some air tools, most of them I got from a neighbor for free when he moved. I have a Miliwaukee impact but every once in a while I could use more power. I'm mostly thinking short term that I will need a compressor to spray bed liner in my truck and potentially paint a car or two in the next few years.

    @CaptainGrumpus that does look pretty good as well. In the past Harbor didn't allow coupons on their jacks or compressors but I'll keep an eye out for a specific sale or coupon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
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  7. Jan 10, 2021 at 2:24 PM
    #7
    41bigdawg

    41bigdawg Let the BIG DAWG Eat

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  8. Jan 10, 2021 at 2:28 PM
    #8
    Nick T

    Nick T New Member

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    None of those oiless will paint your bed, they do not have enough cfm and duty cycle. The oiled ones i listed can paint your bed and if you add a 30 gal air tank, can paint your car... but if you want to paint i suggest going with a 80-120gal 220volt compressor.... try to get a v-twin pump as oppsed to a 2cyl inline pump, or better yet get a 2 stage pump (these are all v-twin)
     
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  9. Jan 10, 2021 at 4:46 PM
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    Rotaryphoneuser

    Rotaryphoneuser New Member

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    I prefer oiled pump. Old school I guess.
     
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  10. Jan 10, 2021 at 5:09 PM
    #10
    Darkness

    Darkness [OP] Allergic to white

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    @Nick T a 220v is something I would rather avoid, an 80 gallon or larger is outside of my range for what I'm willing to spend. The cars I want to paint are VW Beetles so aside from the roof and doors the rest would be a panel at a time. I'm not opposed to oil, sounds like I might have to wait a bit longer and aim for a bigger tank and a v twin.
     
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  11. Jan 10, 2021 at 5:48 PM
    #11
    Nick T

    Nick T New Member

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    There are several things you want to do if you want to paint a car, the most important one is to have your compressor completely isolated from your "paint booth" You do not want the air stirred up inside the paint booth because the compressor kicked on.
    Painting a panel at a time will not give me a result i would be satisfied with. Everytime you mix paint, there will be differences with how much reducer is used, ambiant temperature, humidity etc. Therefore the paint color will always be alittle 'off' compared to the next panel painted. Solid colors are easier to hide any mismatch, black is easiest but get into metalic colors and the flakes never 'lay down' the same.

    Depending on how serious you want to get into painting, i would suggest the northern tool compressor. Add a 30 gal auxilary tank, by the time you have used up the 50 gals of air, you will be mixing your next batch of paint while the compressor runs and rebuilds pressure. Note also most compressors kick on at 90psi while your gun only uses 40psi so you have quite a large buffer once the compressor kicks on

    When I paint a single panel such as a door, i also blend 1/3 of the fender and rear quarter panel so the eye never sees the mismatch AT the gap itself, you would have to look at the fender or quarter panel to see the subtle difference in color and since it is blended in, most people never see it.
     
  12. Jan 10, 2021 at 9:05 PM
    #12
    Darkness

    Darkness [OP] Allergic to white

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    Thanks for the advice @Nick T
    That is part of why I would prefer an easily movable compressor. I have an outlet outside of my garage where I could set up the compressor and just take the hose into the "Dexter kill room booth".

    I won't go into any real metalics or black. I wanted to paint one similar to cement grey but am leaning more to lunar rock now. The other car I've wanted to paint satin navy blue since before it was cool.

    I originally planned to paint the cars at my brothers house. He has a huge v twin compressor with a copper piping radiator and moisture trap bolted to the garage wall. The problem is he will never clean out his garage or set up a booth outside. Even if he set up a booth he lives on an acre of dirt, the slightest wind would be a catastrophe.
     
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  13. Jan 15, 2021 at 8:58 AM
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    Kimosabe

    Kimosabe New Member

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    I think there's some good advice on here already from @Nick T so I will follow that with my personal opinion. I researched quite a bit and I was torn between the California and the Husky. I went with this Husky
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-4...ctric-Portable-Air-Compressor-C041H/206492568
    It met my requirements some of which were similar to yours. It is small and compact, not too heavy, has a high max PSI, and a surprisingly high SCFM, and pretty quiet. For occasional use, and no painting, it's been great. So, I think Husky and California are great options.
     
  14. Jan 15, 2021 at 2:31 PM
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    rock climber

    rock climber New Member

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    Sorry to derail @Darkness thread, but what do you all think of electric paint sprayers?
     
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  15. Jan 15, 2021 at 2:33 PM
    #15
    Darkness

    Darkness [OP] Allergic to white

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    Might depend what the project is. I had pretty good results painting a wood fence with a low end Wagner. Seriously spent more time cleaning it when I was done than I spent painting.
     
  16. Jan 15, 2021 at 2:39 PM
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    speckmon

    speckmon Must. Have. Pow.

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  17. Jan 15, 2021 at 2:42 PM
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    rock climber

    rock climber New Member

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    hmm.. it's my $750 sequoia, I rattle canned it in August and it looks a million times better, but I was thinking about trying to get one more step closer to a decent paint job
     
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  18. Jan 15, 2021 at 3:02 PM
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    Darkness

    Darkness [OP] Allergic to white

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    I have rattle canned a few cars but I also would like to run a real gun at least once in my life.
     
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