Ok,alot of you folkes have shops for hobby and income that use air compressors.So i feel like answers I get here should be viable information to use in makeing a choice for a aircompressor for my shop.
Craigs list and other sources offer decent, affordable, second hand, commercial units for fair prices.But not knowing what capacity is best,makes it a harder choice.I know I dont need a 50 hp screw unit but the little Cambel Coughsfeild i bought at Harborfrieght to blow out radio chassis's aint gona cut it either.
I am looking to keep the cost under 1500 if any way possiable.220 volts is fine as the shop will be wired for it.
I would like to be able to use a blasting cabinet or small pot outside for 30 minute intervals once in a while.I also need volume for a 1 inch drive impact wrench to remove tires from my dads dump truck and other stuff.
I also obviously want to be able to shoot some paint.
so with that in mind,what capacity unit do I need to be looking for and are there any brands that are prefered because of good service and parts?
Ive got a 20 year old Black Max 5 HP 60 gallon unit. I bought it at Sams Club. It does everything you would ever want from a compressor. Made in China, fantastic quality and performance for the money. It cost something like $349 back then in 1989, today they run around $499. I have put thousands of hours on it, and it continues to perform.
I have the C518VE1. It does all that you've described. Plus, it's much quieter than comparable models from other manufacturers due to the low rpm compressor. I think I paid around $1,300 two years ago.
Mack,you don't need to spend a wad of money on a compressor. I can do all the things you say you want to do and I run two 5 HP units,,a 30 and a 60 gal tank. You look for the most CFM for the least money. About $400 will usually get one with 10+ cfm and will do. I lost a 5HP moter on one old unit last year and it was cheaper to just go buy a new unit than to replace an expensive moter and put it on an old compressor that would probably not last much longer. I run the heck out of mine and hardly a day goes by when one isn't turned on.
Mack, I went to an equipment dealer to buy some hydraulic parts and while I was waiting for my parts back in the shop I discovered they were an Ingersoll Rand dealer. There were several Older machines there and I asked what they did with them and they explained that they were broken down trad-ins from customers, factories, industry etc. Their compressor mechanic was given these old machines and he would rebuild them after work and weekends and then he sold them on the side. I bought one, An Ingersoll Rand 2 stage 27cfm 175 lbs 85 gal. He replaced the motor with a single phase 220 v. and rebuilt the compressor with IR parts. He even repainted it and put new decals on it. I swear It looked brand new. I've had it 9 years now and it runs like new. I gave $750. for it, new they are about $2500. and it's been one best tools I've ever bought. Where I,m going with all this is if you need a good heavy duty compressor and don't want to spend a fortune, you might call a dealer and inquire about a rebuilt compressor.
Mack, like John mentioned, a two stage compressor is really nice. I think they are much more cost effective in the long run. Buying a compressor is kind of like building a shop, figure out what you think you need , then double it and add five! Dave
Consider putting your compressor in it's own small building on the outside edge of your shop. Three walls built up against your shop wall with a door to get to it, and insulate the walls to keep the noise down. You will have more shop room, the shop will be quiet, and if you ever have a compressor problem you will be safely away from it. I built several garages for fellows who work on cars and they are always pleased that the noisy compressor is out of the shop area. Another thing to think about is while your plumbing your compressor in run air lines around the walls of your shop so you can plug in an air hose anywhere with out using a bunch of hose. Also don't forget to include a water trap/filter
I've been saving for the 60 gallon Ingersol Rand from Tractor Supply. Anybody used this one? Seems like a good price for what you get.
If you are going to restore things and have the antique car "bug" for sure - a good air supply with lots of CFM and no water in it is a must. It is like being a woodworker and shopping for a table saw. I have a 2 stage 5 HP unit that runs every day. If you want to keep the noise down and your floor is not concrete - mount it to the floor using rubber shock absorber mounts. In any event then use a flex coupling hose to connect its output to your piping. Also use a small flex coupling hose at the bottom after a valve and then piping that outside to be able to open the valve and blow off the water outside of the building on a daily basis. None of these items are expensive and you can get everything you need at McMaster Carr for less than $30. I have no quarrel with the import units except the motors tend to be the weak point with them. I was lucky in that I found a commercial US made new 2 stage compressor without a motor on it for less than $1K and a friend of mine worked at Reliance and had a 5 HP 220 Farm Chore Duty motor that he gave me because somebody ordered it and never took it before they went belly up many years ago. It had been sitting in his garage in a box for many years. The main load on any shop compressor is going to be your sand blast cabinet most likely and tank size does not mean beans when doing sand blasting since you will stand there for a long time waiting for a small compressor to "catch up" so you can shoot more sand. You can easily and quickly empty the largest tank when sand blasting. You need to have more air than you can use up if you hold the trigger on full time. I found ultimately most shops end up with a 2 stage compressor or they don't do sand blasting to any extent at all. Check the CFM rating of your proposed buy at 70-100 PSI and see how that compares to the needs of your blast cabinet. I had a 2 HP compressor for a few years and it was a pain when sand blasting. For all else it would have been enough. Think about this purchase since if you buy too small of a unit you will then have to take some loss on it when you decide to get a bigger one. Your mileage may vary.
In the latest 2009 Fall/Winter master catalog from Northern Tool & Equipment they have several pages of Ingersol Rand compressors on sale with free shipping. I don't know how this compares to the pricing at Tractor Supply.
I have a 5 HP 60 gallon Campbell Hausfeld that works well. I would prefer something a little larger in order to keep up with the sand blaster but it fits all my other needs.
I have a C-Aire (made in Wyoming,MN) that is a 5HP, 2-stage, 65 Gal. tank. Works great for sandblasting. Don't know if John would agree but ALWAYS check the motor or literature for a duty cycle rating. Like John said, the cheap offshore units weak spots are the motors. A lot of the time, they're not rated high enough. They can't stand up over time to continuous running which can happen when you're blasting sand.
Mac, I have an old curtis with a 5 horse motor, 80 gal tank that I bought about 12 years ago for 600 bucks, It will stay ahead of my blast cabinet and run any tool I want. I don't think you can go to big in a compressor(within space limitations of course)these old compressors will just keep on running with proper maintainence. Mine is so old it has a mechanical unloader. Have fun, Keith B
thanks folkes.Here is a craigslist link to 1 that I saw last night before asking this question.I reckon I need to ask some questions by email to the seller about cfm's.
On the subject of compressors, something I've done and would recommend to everyone. Whether you have a little portable or an industrial bohemiath. Plumb the tank drain out where you can reach it easily and put a good quality 1/4 turn valve on it so you don't have to stand on your head with a pair of pliers to bleed the water from the tank. I crack mine and drain the water every time I use it. These tanks can also be a very large bomb when rusted out. I've found if it's easy to do, it gets done more often.
Speedaire is Grainger's house name. Grainger is an industrial supply house. Grainger has compressors built by quality manufaturers and labeled with their name. Parts are available from Grainger. The cheap, lower-end ones are built overseas, but all of the bigger ones (5hp and up) are American. The one you're looking at appears to be an older model of very good quality. It looks like it's got a magnetic starter mounted on the side. They don't mount magnetic starters on the cheapies with overrated motors. I would expect it to meet or exceed your needs. If it's in good working order, it is a much beter value than anything that you can get new from Home Depot for the same money. I'd check it out and buy it if it's in good shape.
I would be extremely careful about buying a second hand air compressor. As John stated above, it is very important to drain the tank of any condensed water. In the case of a used compressor, how often was that done, how rusty is the tank, how much of a chance do you want to take? Unless you want to have the tank sonically tested for wall thickness, I would opt for a new compressor.
That being said, I found an Ingersoll Rand compressor in the garbage that works perfectly. It seems to have had very little use. I've used it a couple of times but I'll admit, it kind of scares me to be around it.
Jerry, If you are to worried about the saftey(and there is good cause to be so) I'm sure you could get your states boiler inspector to have a look, I know here in TN they come to every commercial shop every so often to inspect boilers and compressor tanks. I don't know the fees involved, Mine was in service when I bought it and like John says it is plumbed to be easy to drain down. Automatic blow downs are also available. Keith B
Well I came in to check my emails and such,was going to contact the folks on the compressor.Post deleted! I reckon I snozzed to long.But dang,you cant call somebody at 11pm when you read a listing and expect them to be happy about it!
Some good points blokes...
I think the average compressor tank holds a similar amount of energy to that of a stick of dynamite, so they usually have a seam in the tank design that will split without bursting "all at once"
As mentioned, an easily drained tank is a winner!
My mate Matt was looking at cheap chinese compressors. 2hp and 40 litres was cheapest, but prices seemed to climb very quickly as you approached a 3hp 100 litre unit.
His apprach was to buy two cheap ones and link them... 4 hp of delivery, 80 litres of storage for about $250;)
I'd still prefer a locally made Clisby industrial though.
Mind you we have nothing less than 240v 10a outlets here... so it's not as hard to plug two of them in!
Mack;... I agree with Denny, Outside is best. Also from the receiver, run the pipe straight up, then slope down at least 1/4" to the foot till the end of the run then straight down to a drain valve. For the outlets, put the 'T' in with the branch pointing UP. If they are too hi, a couple of ells and nipples will bring the end any where it is needed. This allows the condensate to run on its merry way and collect in the drip leg. The valve I used in drip leg was one of the brass radiator drains where I took a file and cut a groove in the seat. It always leaked, but I didn't have to strain my brain to remember.
Most air compressor tanks have a large reduction fitting for plumbing the air lines out. The reason for this is that you can take that fitting out, and look inside the tank to check for excessive rusting. After after I have inspected, I replace all the fittings, put a vent valve on the uppermost fitting (hopefully at the top of the tank), and then fill it full of water. Since I mess around with steam, I have a small water hand pump, and I pump the tank up with water(I put a pressure gauge on the other side of that vent valve, once the air is vented out) and pump the tank to 1/3 over the maximum air pressure. Then you shut off the valve from the pump, and watch the gauge. It shouldn't change for an hour (if it starts falling, there is either a leak, or a weak spot expanding). If it passes this test, drain the water out, pump some air in, and drain again--you want to get all the water back out. The reason for water instead of air is that it doesn't expand if the tank fails--just leaks water out.
Now I'm no official--so this is just a telling of what I do--I am not responsible for what y'all do after reading this!!
PS my water pump is just a piece of pipe with an inlet & outlet with one way valves, and a rod mounted on a lever so you pump the rod into the pipe, displacing the water. Simple to build-can even be done without a lathe!
Those of you that do a lot of sand blasting.
Have any of you used the gas engine powered compressors? Seems they have the best throughput at the 100 PSI range for the cost but didnt know about operating them in that continuous manner. Anyone have experience here?
I've been restoring a Gordon-Smith/Model A Ford compressor. It uses a Model A Ford engine with 2 cylinders driving and 2 cylinders pumping. I know at least a couple of fellows who use set-up to blast with.
well I spotted this 1 last night and the fellow answered his email.He said a pressure switch would fix it 100%.He did tell me in the email it is a 5 hp.
From what I can tell looking on line this is a 18 acfm compressor.According to 1 website a blast cabinet needs from 9 to 20.So this "should" be ok for occasional use.
It is within a easy 20 minute drive and I would obviously offer 300 before giveing in to 350.
New this machine is around 1400.
Looks like its sold already.
I leave the drain petcock on the bottom of the tank cracked open a tiny bit all the time. I never have to think about draining my tank or having it rusting out. When it's real quiet in my shop, I can hear a faint hiss from the tank and have the satisfaction of knowing my tank is dry.
Well I dug up this thread as this search is still ongoing.
I allmost selected the 80 gallon Kobalt 1 from Lowes for 749 with a free 100 dollar gift card by mail in rebate.
Until I saw the gauges,and regulator and air connections were all screwed into a peice of what looks like POT metal.The electrical switch and everything ties into that 1 peice.
It looks scary to me because a little moisture could freeze and wipe out the whole thing easy.
The best deal I have found is this.
I also found a rebuilt unit "morgan" I think is the name on it,that is the same as the Kobalt from lowes for 599 on this site.
I have called several shops in Charlotte that rebuild and sell compressors and most of them only have BIG units that are way more than I can use.
Any fresh ideas or whatever?Thanks for the help.I did get a blasting cabinet.It had a 14 cfm gun on it but I put a smaller tipped gun in it.So when i git set up,it is ready to use.
This is the other unit I am considering.
Much less money than the others but it is the same machine as the Kobalt I was looking at at lowes.BUT it aint but 499 and tax.
Gee.I may give this 1 a shot.
That looks like a very good compressor. Baldor 5HP motor - 2 stage compressor doing 15 CFM @175 lbs is plenty for anything I ever do and sand blasting will be done at less than half that pressure so it likely will deliver way more CFM at the 50-75 lbs of continuous pressure that you might use for sand blasting. 220V single phase should not be too big a problem for hook up I assume it has motor starter all included if needed so you just plug it in and hook it up. You will want to be able to regulate the pressure lower since many air tools (grinders and drills...etc) have a max pressure of 90 to 95 lbs so figure on a few well placed and plumbed in drop points for your air lines in the shop. I like the vertical tank and I have 80 gal tank and never felt I ever needed a bigger one. My compressor, lathe, and mill run every day and I have an air powered press that I built up from a standard press and that sure saves time. Quincy is a good company with a good reputation. That deal includes free shipping and if you are from out of state then I assume no sales tax either. The only thing I would remind you is that you will own whatever compressor you buy for a very long time so don't use price as your main concern. Figure out what you can afford and then buy the best compressor in that grouping and ignore the price when making that choice. You will likely never regret the purchase of this Quincy compressor but you might have buyers remorse on something that was cheap and looked like a good deal. Tools very seldom actually wear out so they become lifetime purchases if done correctly so why get something that you don't really want when for a few dollars you get what you really want. Buy the right one the first time and never worry about it again. Your mileage may vary.
You need to find the CMF you need to find the compresser you need. My opinion is.
Mack, there is no comparison. Buy the Quincy. It will outlast that Chinese Morgan three to one. The Quincy has 15.2 @ 175 PSI, the Morgan 14 @ 90 PSI. Do a google search for the best deal on the Quincy, Farm King has them for $1099, Northern Tool is not a cheap place to buy anything anymore. You can probably get the Quincy delivered for around $1150, maybe less.
You can thank me later. You CAN NOT have too much air. The Quincy will out pump that Morgan on the same amount of electricity and either one of them will make your meter spin. You'll save some bucks every year with the Quincy because it is so much more efficient.
That Morgan already quit somebody once. You wanna ship it back next time it quits????
Well I myself have a Quincy QT5 two stage compressor with an 80 gallon tank. I am very partial to this compressor for a few reasons, number one they are built right here in my home town of Quincy, Illinois and second my brother works there and he got me one helluva deal on it too.
I have never ran out of air no matter how many CFM's I am using. I have all the climate control rings and I also use a Hanks refrigerated air dryer for any painting I do.
Quincy, Illinois is home of two large air compressor manufactures. Quincy Compressor (also known as Colt/Cotec Industries) and Gardner Denver (also known as Cooper Industries air division)
However, there are still several other air compressors built more for the home shop use that works just as good as the industrial compressors, for the fraction of the money.
For longevity, I would look for one that uses a cast iron block or at least a cast iron sleeve cylinder(s).
I do firmly believe in trying to buy American if I can possibly afford to do so.
Oh before I forget, the last reason is my work does a lot of machine work for both of these companies, so in an affect I benefit too but buying from a home town source.
I have had a Quincy QT5 two stage compressor for seven years. The duty cycle in my shop is low, but it has performed well.
Ron the Coilman
OK short story but true. I was in charge of corporate sponsorship for MTFCI annual tour in July some years ago. I got a dump from Sec of State of IL of all IL corporations sorted by date of incorporation and found that Quincy would be 75 years old same time as our tour. It was 5:15 but usually the president of a corp is there late. I called their main number and since the corp officers were on my dump info, I simply said "Mr. XXXXXXX, please" to the party who answered. Next thing I know I am talking to the pres of the company. I didn't waste his time and knew most CEO's will give you time of day if you are direct and minus BS so....- told him straight up in first sentence "Mr. XXXX, guard your wallet, I am after some of you money but its for a good cause". After a pause he responded "Well.... I am listening" Told him about our tour and said I sure would like to have one of his compressors sitting on our door prize table at our tour" Told him that there was no need to sell anybody on the quality of his compressors - they were well known. Told him we would put his add in our tour book and that at least 250 cars would be on the tour and hoped he might make it for a ride with one of us. He sent us a very nice LARGE compressor and paid the shipping too. It WAS the main prize and we had a drawing on banquet night for it. Great company! My step dad had one of their compressors in his shop which powered every air tool in the place all day long and it worked for over 40 years there. To me the only real choice is WHERE to buy it.
You cannot run a “True” 5HP (or even 2HP) motor on 110/120 Volts.
Most motors will draw close to double their rated running amps when
starting. Putting the compressor in an unheated area during even
mildly cold weather compounds the problem. Remember some
compressor cfm ratings are theoretical (free air) not actual delivery.
Single stage are 70%, and 2 stage 80% efficient when ratings are
not given at a stated psi..
The following is from a electric motor rewinder’s shop wall . .
ELECTRIC MOTOR CHOICE CONSIDERATIONS
An industrial motor is rated by its power at the shaft at its base speed.
If it says 1HP, that's 1 real HP (or 746W) available to you, regardless
of how many Watts is input to the motor.
A cheaper built low-tech motor with low efficiency may consume 2 or 3 times
the power it outputs at its shaft, with the balance transformed into heat.
A good high tech motor may be over 70% efficient.
A somewhat deceptive trend by manufacturers and dealers, is to rate
a motor by it’s input power instead of it's output power. Doing so has
been common practice for decades in the vacuum cleaner industry,
then small air compressors followed the trend.... Nowadays almost
any domestic appliance is rated this deceiving way. Not so with industrial
products. You should divide such fraudulent HP claims by about a factor of 3.
Duty cycle is an entirely different issue. A (real) 1HP motor with 40%
duty cycle may be half the size and weight and price of a 1HP motor
with 100% duty cycle. It would simply burn out if used continuously at
Well,I must admit,the Quincy was bothering me the most last night.I had allready decided on it but that 499 was awful tempting.
I reckon after Christmas I will git 1 ordered.
Where is the place you are talking about Stan?
1 of the reasons air compressor has been a subject for me for so long since this shop project started is simple.
I have a OLD speedaire vtwin thing behind my shed that takes for ever to fill up.1hp I think.But huge tank.
But it makes the lights blink,it sounds like it is about to fly it runs so fast.
And I just dont want to repeat that 100 dollar mistake again,only on a larger scale.
A few years ago I bought a large blasting cabinet to hold wire wheels, T blocks, fenders, etc. I went through 3 compressors before finally getting a good 2-stage on sale at Sam's at the time for around $900. I've been very pleased with it.Don't waste your money on a single stage of any size. You mentioned checking around Charlotte, so, maybe you aren't far from Shelby/Boiling Springs, NC, There's a place there called Biggers Industrial Supply. The daughter is gradually taking over and only wants to mess with new stuff, but, the old man is still around a lot and takes trades and likes to mess with some used stuff. He can often offer excellent buys on lathes, etc. It may be worth a call--you may end up with a nice commercial duty one for less than the price of a Chinese consumer one! Good luck.
Well I stopped at Northern a while ago and they have the Quincy on the floor.So no ordering and waiting and all that.Not that I am in a hurry.I was just hopeing to get it for the sell price.
For whatever reason,the 1199 price is suddenly gone off the website now that I came home to print it off.Says 1299 now.BUT I printed off the page from the store that Stan mentioned and I have also mentioned it was 1199 to the store manager this morning.So I will go saterday morning and git me a compressor.
I need to get a bigger one for my shop and thinking about pipeing.If only to me seems like a cable pull air/water drain off a truck on a drop might be handy?? Bud.
Mack, here is where I'd buy it from unless I had a local guy who could get fairly close--within a hundred or so. This is Quincy direct. Ruralking has them for $1099 but I'd pay the extra $50 to get it from Quincy. They have them on sale for $1149.00
Now I read your post. I didn't realize you had a Northern store close by. We don't have anything like that close here. I'd buy it from them but I'd work on them about matching the Quincy Direct price. Gopherit.
Best thing I did after installing a 5HP 2 stage compressor was to plumb the whole shop, upstairs and down and but put Legacy air hose reels, centrally located with 70ft. retractable hoses up and down. Now I can reach any of 3 bays and get air outside about 50ft, too. Having air available outside the shop is great, without having to "shuffle" stuff inside. Check out those Legacy Retractable reels--inexpensive and good---Paul
Thanks Stan.I printed off the pages from the farm store and the page you just posted.Armed with that and the fact I got the managers card before I left that I had mentioned the net price to,I should be ok price wise.
Looks like to keep the warrente you need to use the factory oil.no bigge.I like to keep 1 serviced anyhow.
Saterday I reckon I will make the plunge.
Well I got it for 1199 awhile ago.
It is in the building.