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Considering Harbor Freight Compressor 93274

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HighWall

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#1
It's a 60 gallon 5 horse compressor and I have been looking for a large-ish compressor for my home shop. Problem is, I will be connected to the main building and I'm concerned about noise and vibration. My wife's understanding, but would probably be more so if the plates aren't vibrating off the shelves in the kitchen. I figured that with such a large tank, the pump wouldn't be running all the time anyway.

Anybody have one of these? Any suggestions about others to check? This one is very attractively priced and is supposedly assembled in the US, compressor is Italian, tank is US, motor is US...at least according to one of the reviewers.
 

Andre

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#2
A friend who's shop relies on compressed air to run (micro machines powered by pneumatics), bought one of those. It died almost immediately.
 

nickmckinney

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I have one, its loud, I beat on it in a production setting for over 5 years and finally lost the head. I replaced the head with the cheaper one HF has, and that replacement is the biggest POS on the planet. For under $800 and the 15CFM rating its tough to beat. I might try to get an original replacement head now.
 

darkzero

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#4
The 60 gals from HF are the only ones worth buying from HF IMO. All the other smaller models don't last long at all but we used them at my work, they all died within a few months.

There's 2 60 gal models at HF, I have the less HP one that I got for cheap that I use at home. Yes it is considered American made as most of the components are, well at least they used to be. My tank is made/certified by Manchester, head is IMC (Italian), pressure switch is Condor USA, & the motor is AO Smith. My motor says Made in USA on it, last time I looked at them they still had AO Smith motors but say Assembled in Mexico now. Same as the older ABAC Belair compressors.

For the price they are good compressors but for a little more you can get one that's a reputable name brand if looking to buy new. I only got mine cause I got it for $250 & sold my 30 gal Craftsman/Deville Biss for $200. I added an OEM aftercooler, a Solberg air filter, & run Amsoil in it, never had an issue with it. I even have another 17 gal tank piggy backed off it.
 
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GarageGuy

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#5
Before buying a HF compressor, I would watch Craigslist for a used heavy duty compressor. There are several in my area right now for under $500. A good compressor will put out 175 psi, and run smooth and relatively quiet. It will also last for decades.

I helped replace a timing belt on a friend's mini van last weekend, and he had one of those direct drive Craftsman compressors. It was so loud it drove me right out of the garage. Only made 120 psi too. The 1/2" impact gun was lethargic, at best.

Just my $.02

GG
 

Eddyde

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#6
I wouldn't go the HF route on a compressor. Do yourself a favor and spend a little more and get a quality machine like an IR or Quincy, they will last and hold their resale value way longer than the cheapo compressors, they will run quieter too.
Further on the noise issue, you can mount the compressor on anti vibration pads and install an intake muffler (both available from McMaster Carr), be sure to make all the connections with flexible hose and conduit so as to reduce transmitted vibration. You can also line the wall and ceiling around the compressor with sound absorbing material such as high density fiberglass panels or even acoustic ceiling tiles.
One very useful feature on a compressor is a low oil cutoff switch.
 

chuckorlando

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#7
I have a 60gal husky from homedepot. 14.5cfm and was less then 800 220 single ph. I burnt up the pressure switch contact running it constant on the sand blaster. But it works well for the price and switch was 20 bucks. Been running 2yrs now
 

terrywerm

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#8
If you were in the upper Midwest, I would recommend that you check out Castair in Minnesota. They manufacture compressors there, the compressors themselves are cast iron, none of this aluminum stuff. They do ship to other areas of the country, and they may not be as cheap as HF or some others, but I believe that you would get a better value. They do have a web site, but no prices are posted: http://www.castair.net/index.html

I purchased a 60 gallon 5HP model from them in 1994. If I remember correctly I paid something like $700 for it, delivery and taxes included. I changed the break in oil a few months later, and have changed the oil once each year just to be sure to get the moisture out of it. I have adjusted the belts a couple of times, and I have an automatic drain on the tank so that moisture gets ejected. I also keep the maximum pressure down at 100 PSI, which saves wear and tear as well as electricity. It is still going strong and it fulfills my needs very well.

I may not use it as often as some guys use theirs, but the one thing that keeps the hours of run time to a minimum is making sure that air leaks in my system are kept to an absolute minimum. Additionally, I have a solenoid valve on the tank outlet. It is wired into the garage lights so that the air system is only charged if the garage lights are on. This minimizes the amount of time that the compressor runs just to make up air lost from leaks in the system, and the money spent on the solenoid valve was worth every penny.

As for the Castair compressors, I have no affiliation with them, I am just a happy customer. If I were looking for a new compressor for the garage, or even a commercial venture, I wouldn't go anywhere else.
 
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CoopVA

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#9
I'm curious to see how you wired the solenoid into your lights Terry. That's a great idea!


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terrywerm

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#10
I'm curious to see how you wired the solenoid into your lights Terry. That's a great idea!


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It was very simple.

1. Install a standard 120VAC duplex receptacle on the wall near the compressor. Wire it into the light circuit for the garage (which is already protected by a GFI).
2. The air receiver has two valves on the outlet. First is the 3/4" ball valve, next is the 3/4" Red Hat solenoid valve with 120VAC coil. The distribution line connects to the solenoid valve.
3. I wired a short length of SJOOW three wire cord to the solenoid valve. The other end has a simple three prong plug that plugs into the switched wall receptacle.

Easy as pie!! The worst part of the whole job was writing the check for the valve, as it was about eighty bucks or so, but it has saved it's cost in electricity in the ten years or so that it has been in place. I used to manually turn the air on and off, using the ball valve at the tank. All too often I would forget to turn off the air, and the compressor would kick in about once every six or eight hours or so just to replace the air lost to leakage. It always happened on Saturday evening, after working in the garage all day. The compressor would kick in about midnight and wake up everybody in the house, even though it was out in the attached garage. I quickly got tired of having to wander out to the garage in the middle of the night just to turn off the air. Having worked on industrial compressed air systems, I knew that air leaks cost big money, both in wear and tear and in electricity, so it did not take long for me to figure out that I had to come up with a better idea, and the solenoid valve was the result. If left unused for long periods, the compressor will not run for weeks at a time, even though the compressor itself is always on and will kick in if the pressure in the tank drops too low. The biggest advantage to the shutoff valve is that if the air is turned on all the time, and an attached air hose were to burst while no one was home, the compressor would run steady until someone returned home. Once again, wasted wear and tear and energy. The solenoid valve prevents that.

I am in the process of setting up my machine shop in my basement. There generally is not much call for huge amounts of compressed air there, so instead of running a line from the garage to the basement and having to remember to turn the air on and off, I opted to purchase a small compressor just for the basement shop. It only gets used to run a coolant mister on the mill or to blow some chips out of a blind hole in a part, so a small compressor is more efficient for those purposes. I purchased a small unit from California Air Tools and I love it. It is very quiet, and is oil less. You can sit right next to it when it is running and have a conversation in a normal voice. There is a thread about it here: http://www.hobby-machinist.com/showthread.php/19115-Ultra-Quiet-Air-Compressor Now I only need the large compressor for the big jobs outside, like running an impact wrench, sandblaster, or spray gun.

Did not mean to get off topic, but thought the information above might be valuable to someone.
 

CoopVA

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#11
Thanks Terry!

I'm searching for a 2 stage 60-80 gallon compressor. Won't have the cash for it for a few months, but looking at options. Craigslist may be the way to go...


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HighWall

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Thanks Terry!

I'm searching for a 2 stage 60-80 gallon compressor. Won't have the cash for it for a few months, but looking at options. Craigslist may be the way to go...


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Thanks for the information, folks. I'll keep my eyes open on CL. Didn't see anything that bowled me over, but it's going to be a few months before I'm ready for it. Problem with buying used for me is that I just don't have the background to tell if a big compressor is good to go or on its last legs. A lot of what I see on CL looks more like the latter than the former.

Still thinking about the big HF 93274. Getting that and one of their faultless warranties would probably work for what I need. I'm mostly interested in general home shop/woodworking support with very occasional media blast. Not that interested in automotive, so I'd never have a bunch of airtools running at the same time.
 

Rbeckett

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#13
60 Gallon Devilbis or Ingersol at Tractor Supply 569.00, low noise. Oilless or direct drive compressors= too noisey. I have a Craftsman and it is way way way too loud even in an insulated box outside the shop on the far side, Momma can still hear it run and feel the vibration. Craftsman 549.00 so no money saved, just bought a lot of extra racket to try and dampen and get quiet. My neighbors probably don't appreciate it much either, Just a word of thought on my compressor buying experience when I bought my shop.

Bob
 

JHP

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#14
Any suggestions about others to check? This one is very attractively priced and is supposedly assembled in the US, compressor is Italian, tank is US, motor is US...at least according to one of the reviewers.

I've found these guys to be very helpful in providing all kinds of vibration isolating mounting devices. You might check out what they have that could help you:

International Equipment Components, Inc.2201 E. Willow St, Unit D-104Signal Hill, CA 90755-2142 Phone:562-597-4533,
Fax: 562-498-2275 E-Mail: glides@verizon.net, WEB Site: levelingmounts.com
 
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CoopVA

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Still thinking about the big HF 93274. Getting that and one of their faultless warranties would probably work for what I need. I'm mostly interested in general home shop/woodworking support with very occasional media blast. Not that interested in automotive, so I'd never have a bunch of airtools running at the same time.
That will more than likely be the one I get if CL doesn't pan out. I really want a 2 stage...


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mack318

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#16
good for normal use. as for noise control that was your question. i always use hearing protection when i use mine, or any power equipment. but you can build an enclosure to help dampen the sound. line it with egg crate foam. or anything to help quite it down, fiberglass insulation etc. you wont get rid of all the noise but it will help dont close it off so it cant get air, or that you cant get into it easy. put carpet remnant on the floor and wall behind it, to help deaden sound reflection off surfaces too.

good luck


-mack
 

Getsome

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#18
I have a 60gal husky from homedepot. 14.5cfm and was less then 800 220 single ph. I burnt up the pressure switch contact running it constant on the sand blaster. But it works well for the price and switch was 20 bucks. Been running 2yrs now
I have the same one. Been lightly run for 5 years now with no problems. I do push it pretty hard sometimes running my blast cabinet!
 
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