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Old 10-13-2009, 08:22 PM
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120v air compressor. Seeking advice, purchasing my first one.

Hello gentlemen, from a new member. I need to purchase my first air compressor and would appreciate current market advice. I've read a lot from the board's Knowledge Base. Can someone please recommend quality models that are 120v, largest tank, highest cfm, oiled, belt driven, and portable? What are the pros and cons about horizontal models vs upright models? Which is easiest to occasionally transport ---- a vertical model or horizontal model? If I choose a vertical one, can I lay it down for 10 or 15 minutes and take it to a friend's house? I can't afford the very best. My budget is around $400. Thanks !

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Old 10-13-2009, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph4
My budget is around $400. Thanks !
Are you going to be limited to 120 volts? If you will have access to 220V then for $400 you can get a lot better performance than than you will with 110 volts, a lot better! Personally I find that moving a horizontal compressor is a lot easier than a vertical model, no tipping problems and easy to move around, but it is (usually anyway) a bit more wasteful of work space. Most 110 volt compressors will be portable, that is mounted on wheels and with a tow handle, but unfortunately a lot of them are of the oil-less direct drive type which I would not recommend at any price. A 110 volt machine is going to be very limited in power, there is just no way around it, and because of this it will have a low CFM capacity (in spite of what it might claim) so what to recommend would depend a great deal on what you will mostly use it for.




If you do have to lay a vertical compressor on it's side be sure and give the oil time to drain back into the crankcase after standing it back up and then (before hooking up the power!) turn the pump a couple of times by hand to make absolutely sure that it will turn freely before turning on the power.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:11 PM
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Whatever you do, do not buy an oil less direct drive compressor. The noise will drive your neighbors nuts.

Vince
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:18 PM
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What brand air compressor is 120v, 9 cfm at 40 psi and 7.5 cfm at 90 psi?

Thanks, oldred. Unfortunately, I'm limited to 120v, and so is the friend I'll be sharing the compressor with. It will be used for automotive hobby work inside a garage. The most demanding tool would be the rare use of a paint sprayer. If I could use a 240v unit, which I understand yields higher cfm, which one would you recommend in my $400 budget range?

Someone named Kevin45 posted on 9/30/02 1:26pm a useful quote from another site. Does anyone know what brand of air compressor he is talking about when he says the following?:

"I use a 2-HP 2-cylinder belt driven compressor mounted on a 20 gallon horizontal tank on wheels that fits nicely underneath the workbench. This puts out 9.0 CFM at 40 PSI, and 7.5 CFM at 90 PSI, and it does everything I need quite nicely. Except that I do only occasional air grinding (30 second trigger and 30 second wait), and I don't own a sand blaster (yet). If I would buy a sandblaster I would have to limit it to one that works with 7.5 CFM at 90 psi. Incidentally I chose this unit specifically because it does do 7.5 CFM at 90 PSI, which is about the best you can find with only a 2-HP motor. This is (slightly) better output that the current "5-HP" direct drive 120 volt units sitting on the vertical 30 gallon air tanks."

Thank, guys. Ralph4.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:36 AM
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There really is not a lot to choose from since most of the 110 volt compressors are of the very noisy, poorly performing, very fragile and mostly useless direct drive oil-less models. Most of the more well known outfits do offer 110 volt units of the conventional type however they can be a bit spendy, for example the little Ingersoll is nearly $600. Champbell Hausfeld has one that may be just what you need however, the power claims look to be fairly reasonable (for a compressor that is ) and for 110 volts the performance is not bad at all at around 5.5 CFM@90 PSI. I looked at one of these things at Northern Tool a few weeks ago and thought then that for a small compressor it could be very handy since even though it is a vertical model it is portable being mounted on wheels and having a cart type handle. It is a completely self contained unit, that is just plug-and-go, and for tools like an impact wrench, air brush and light duty paint spraying it should work just fine however for a die grinder or cut-off tool it will run out of air quite fast-for sandblasting it would be almost useless except for spot blasting but then that would be true of any 110 volt unit.

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...7773_200357773
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
Whatever you do, do not buy an oil less direct drive compressor. The noise will drive your neighbors nuts.

Vince
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Thanks, Vince. I'll avoid those, for sure. What part of North Texas are you in?
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:45 AM
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Oldred, thanks again. Do you have any idea of what brand of 110v compressor puts out 7.5 cfm @90 psi? A fellow was talking about that in an old 2002 message posted on this bulletin board. He didn't say what brand it was. Meanwhile, I'll take a look at the two you mentioned --- Campbell Hausfeld and Ingersoll. Wow, the $600 Ingersoll sounds a little steep. Is it worth so much more?
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:57 AM
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I have a HF compressor. 10 gallon, direct drive but it's an oiled compressor. ran me $120 on sale.. puts out 5.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI ( 110 PSI cutoff ).. less than $400, buy 2 and tie them togther with a regulator, which would yeild over 10 SCFM
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph4
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Thanks, Vince. I'll avoid those, for sure. What part of North Texas are you in?
About 30 miles north of Dallas off 75.

Vince
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
I have a HF compressor. 10 gallon, direct drive but it's an oiled compressor. ran me $120 on sale.. puts out 5.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI ( 110 PSI cutoff ).. less than $400, buy 2 and tie them togther with a regulator, which would yeild over 10 SCFM
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Thanks, matt167. I sure appreciate your reply because that's a model I strongly considered a few weeks ago. How loud is it? Is it adequate to run air ratchets and do a little painting? How long is the recharge time? I'm concerned that this model would cycle on and off a lot and be so loud it would bother neighbors. Ralph4
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:22 AM
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[QUOTE=302 Z28]About 30 miles north of Dallas off 75.

================================================

Vince, I'm in Denton. Are you in McKinney?
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph4
Do you have any idea of what brand of 110v compressor puts out 7.5 cfm @90 psi? A fellow was talking about that in an old 2002 message posted on this bulletin board.

He is a regular here and will probably chime in when he sees this. The important numbers I see there are 2002! Back in '02 those little 110 (and most 220 volt models) were wildly over-rated to say the least, so much so that they were the target of a class action law suit which they lost. The results were that the claimants got nothing of any real value but the compressor makers were slapped with some fines for mis-representation and in effect told to clean up their act, which they have done to some degree. The point is those figures from even a couple of years ago don't mean anything and unfortunately 7.5 CFM@90 PSI is just not realistic for a conventional 110 volt compressor even if you do find one that claims that much, 5.5 CFM is quite decent for a unit that in that power range. The thing is that it takes a certain amount of power to produce any given amount of CFM@PSI and 110 volt appliances are quite limited by code to how much power they can draw from a residential power source. Not long ago at all it was easy to find 110 volt compressors with 4, 5 or even 6 HP motors the trouble was these HP numbers were pure frau.......err fantasy and some of them that claimed multiple HP were actually fractional HP. That has gotten some better now but the bottom line is don't believe any figures you see on an older 110 compressor and be somewhat skeptical of even the newer ones.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph4
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Thanks, matt167. I sure appreciate your reply because that's a model I strongly considered a few weeks ago. How loud is it? Is it adequate to run air ratchets and do a little painting? How long is the recharge time? I'm concerned that this model would cycle on and off a lot and be so loud it would bother neighbors. Ralph4
it is a little loud, but oil-less is deffinetly louder.. 5 mins recharge approx. I painted my '51 Chevy with a HVHP gravity feed gun from Campbell Haussfeld and it kept up just fine..
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by oldred
He is a regular here and will probably chime in when he sees this. The important numbers I see there are 2002! Back in '02 those little 110 (and most 220 volt models) were wildly over-rated to say the least, so much so that they were the target of a class action law suit which they lost. The results were that the claimants got nothing of any real value but the compressor makers were slapped with some fines for mis-representation and in effect told to clean up their act, which they have done to some degree. The point is those figures from even a couple of years ago don't mean anything and unfortunately 7.5 CFM@90 PSI is just not realistic for a conventional 110 volt compressor even if you do find one that claims that much, 5.5 CFM is quite decent for a unit that in that power range. The thing is that it takes a certain amount of power to produce any given amount of CFM@PSI and 110 volt appliances are quite limited by code to how much power they can draw from a residential power source. Not long ago at all it was easy to find 110 volt compressors with 4, 5 or even 6 HP motors the trouble was these HP numbers were pure frau.......err fantasy and some of them that claimed multiple HP were actually fractional HP. That has gotten some better now but the bottom line is don't believe any figures you see on an older 110 compressor and be somewhat skeptical of even the newer ones.
===============================================
Thanks again, oldred. Yes, I see what you mean. I've been running into that. It makes it difficult for a fellow to understand them and compare them ----- especially when it comes to noise. Many of the places I've shopped (on line and in local stores) don't have all the information on their compressors. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some kind of standard industry tag? It could plainly list all the important things. Raloh4
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph4
. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some kind of standard industry tag? Raloh4


You bet it would! That's what we have wanted to see for years but we are still at the mercy of the manufacturers and for the most part they tend to be extremely reckless with the facts. The only real way to evaluate a compressor is to just use one like the one you consider buying. As a rule though I would strongly suggest avoiding any direct drive and/or oil-less compressor, the oil-less outfits are simply a bad joke and only fit for airing tires while the direct drive oiled models are better the fact is the pump simply has to turn too fast, much too fast, and this causes a lot of noise along with heat and a shortened service life. A belt driven separate pump running at about a third of the motor RPM has major advantages in just about every respect.
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