View Full Version : Help picking a home air compressor

09-30-2011, 11:21 AM
I recently found out I had some credit card reward points that I was unaware of... that was nice. These points equate to about $400 of gift cards that can be used at Sears, Home Depot, and or Lowes.

I have been looking into a home air compressor to run a few air tools, maybe a spray gun, and general shop/home projects. I am considering the following, a Craftsman Pro series, Engersoll Rand, and a Campbell Hausfeld.

All are roughly 3hp, 135psi max, 220v, 60 gallon vertical tanks. The Cman and CH would both be about $100 bucks out of pocket but the ER would be about $400 bucks out of pocket. Here are the links to the compressors...

Campbell Hausfeld (http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=102750-1126-VT6275&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=1205531&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1) $479

Craftsman Pro series (http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_00916476000P?vName=Power+Tools+%26+Equipment&cName=Equipment&sName=Compressors+%26+Air+Tools&prdNo=8&blockNo=8&blockType=L8) $499

Ingersoll Rand (http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=337413-28309-SS3L3&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3354166&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1) $779

The Campbell Hausfeld has glowing reviews, the Cman... not so much. I have never heard a bad work about an Engersoll Rand, but it is WAY more expensive than the other two options.

FWIW, I will be storing this outside in a shed behind the garage and run a line into the garage to seperate the noise from the work area. :thumb:

09-30-2011, 02:18 PM
I've had my Cman compressor for 8+ years and it is similar to the one pictured but red so I guess not a pro mode...I don't use it a lot but it has held up well.

It does just fine for airing up tires, running air tools, etc. I also use it to blow out my sprinkler system each year. The one negative is mine doesn't put out enough CFM to blow out the sprinklers in one shot. I have to usually let it fill up the tank twice for each sprinkler zone.

IMO a bonus with the Cman is Sears is usually pretty good about fixing stuff that goes bad...

Anyway, I'd look for one with the best CFM rating you can afford if you are planning to use a lot of air in a short period of time and need the compressor to keep stuff running even when the tank is empty.

Air Randy
09-30-2011, 04:15 PM
If you buy any of the uprights from either Lowe's or Home Depot you will be happy with them considering the price you paid. They are all campbell-hausfield as far as I know. Thats what I have and it works great. Just make sure you get one that requires oil in the crankcase versus the "oil less" ones. If you were using it commercially then it would be worth spring for the ingersoll-rand unit.

IMHO if you buy from Sears you get the same stuff you get from lowes or HD but at a higher price.

09-30-2011, 05:01 PM
I have a 20 gallon cambel hausfield I've been using for like 10 years now. It's a tank. But just dosnent have the CFM I'd like. I have Painted cars and done tones of air tools. It really sucks when you need to really hammer on something and don't have the tank reserve to keep up.

What I want. is a upright 60 gallon with max psi of 175 or higher.
I'll yell you it dosent really matter what you get, it will all work.
The larger the tank is nicer but not required. It's the CFM that counts.
If you had a huge tank but small compressor it will work great till it ran out then take for ever to air up. When you can also have a 5gallon tank with a compressor twice the size and never run out ( medaforcially ) but it will always be running.

I like the 55gal at homedepot strictly on price.
I also would get a belt drive pump. They seam to be more efficient. Most 55 + have belt drive

09-30-2011, 06:44 PM
I was looking closely at these 60 gallon models recently and, if memory serves me correctly, the Campbell Hausfeld, Kobalt (Lowes), Husky (Home Depot) and Sanborn (Menards) were all the same.

Campbell Hausfeld is located in Harrison, Ohio and I found a Cincinnati area service center that buys their new (and under warranty) scratch and dent stock. They are advertising the 60 gallon model for $300 so I will probably snag one for my smaller building. I have a Kaeser rotary vane compressor in my bigger shop.

Not sure if you have Tractor Supply stores out there (TSC) but they have the 60 gallon Ingersoll on sale for $599 right now and the 60 gallon Campbell Hausfeld for $419.

09-30-2011, 07:11 PM
Any reason not to choose the Campbell Hausfeld? Seems like a solid deal if I can score it for less than a $100 out of pocket.

Thanks- Drew

09-30-2011, 07:40 PM
i bought from lowes ten years ago and they carried porter campbell. i've been very happy with mine. i don't use it alot per se, but i do abuse it (i finally topped off the oil for the first time two months ago...yeah, it was way low. and i've never changed the air filter)...hasn't let me down yet. it was barely under $300 then, so i'd guess under $500 now

09-30-2011, 09:08 PM
I had a 500ish dollar husky brand one at my old shop. I bet that campbell hausfield one would work just dandy. Just having a cast iron belt driven pump is nice and that one fit's the bill.

Air Randy
09-30-2011, 09:29 PM
If anyone is interested, I have a cast iron twin cylinder air compressor with 5hp electric motor, but it has no air tank. It works fine, has the mounting plate for everything, you just need an air tank to mount it on.

If anyone is interested, come look at it and make me an offer I can't refuse.

10-11-2011, 02:53 PM
I would go with the IR for the quality. I have a Craftsman that is OK for Harry Homeowner but isn't up to pro standards. I have had to rebuild it 4x in 11 years and it doesn't make enough CFMs for sandblasting, sanding or cutting continuously. I have owned some CH air tools over the years and as they have worn out I have been replacing them with IR. The IR tools really are much higher quality so I am sure their compressor is too.

10-11-2011, 09:07 PM
Thanks Jeff, I am going to go with the Engersoll Rand, since Lowe's price matches, and it is on sale at Northern Tool and Tractor Supply. The difference is about $90 and their reputation is unmatched in home use.

10-12-2011, 12:45 PM
If anyone is interested, I have a cast iron twin cylinder air compressor with 5hp electric motor, but it has no air tank. It works fine, has the mounting plate for everything, you just need an air tank to mount it on.

If anyone is interested, come look at it and make me an offer I can't refuse.
Dad gum ya... where were ya a month ago when I practically gave away a DeVilbiss that needed a full rebuild??? LOL Your pump woulda fixed me right up.

I bought a Husky oiled that looks to be a fine unit. Haven't had a chance to plumb it yet though so I dunno. Sprung for the extended warranty just be case.

05-14-2012, 01:07 PM
My garage compressor died over Christmas, and I'm looking to get it replaced finally. For the longest time, I had my eye on the Kobalt belt driven 30 gal unit that had a ton of good reviews.

Kobalt 30 gal (http://www.lowes.com/pd_53661-1126-VT6361_4294795216_4294937087_?productId=3370354&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Basic%2BAir%2BCompressors%2BInflators_4294795216_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=)

But I guess it's been redesigned a bit, and quality has deteriorated - more plastic, cheaper materials, and more issues reported.

Would you guys consider buying a unit online? Besides getting raped by shipping charges, I'm concerned with warranty issues if I would need to deal with any problems. Northern Tool has a couple of decent units of similar spec:



Morgan Recondidtioned. (http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200396622_200396622) I've heard this might be the same compressor as the old Kobalt unit.

Reviews of both units above are good. I think I've seen Puma's sold locally somewhere (can't recall where though), and I know the 12v units have good feedback on Mud. I'm probably overanalyzing this stuff, but I want something that I can keep for a while. My specs are basically a 115v unit (230v is a nice option but not required) with around 5 cfm or more. That should be more than adequate for 90% of my needs.


05-14-2012, 10:02 PM
I need the same thing! My Craftsman is just over a year old of light use, but it is rattling like it is about to blow up. Serves me right for buying an oil-less unit.

05-14-2012, 10:40 PM
I'm glad you guys discovered the Kobalt. I bought one 2 years ago to replace a cheap ceased unit. It kind of fell in my lap, I found it on sale as an open box buy for 30% off. After using it 3-5 times weekly, I would not hesitate to buy it again. It's quiet, and i mean quiet! For how much air it is pushing, i would describe it as a smooth purr. and runs any tool I can feed it. It's no 100 gal 20HP unit but works great for mild daily use. Highly recommended.

I change the oil once yearly and call it good.

I noticed the photo of the 30 gal compressor you linked jacket looks like a 1 cylinder unit? Mine is a twin which I think really contributes to the recovery speed and quietness.


05-15-2012, 07:59 AM
I have a Kobalt 60 gallon that works very well, smooth and quiet.

FWIW, I went to Harbor Freight and priced a similar size, printed a copy of the add and went to Lowes. I was astonished that they matched the price of the HF unit, which was of lesser quality. You might try that.