Best inexpensive compressor?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by decka, May 16, 2012.

  1. decka

    decka Adventurer

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    I have searched but don't see what I'm after. Just wondering what people recommend for a good all around air compressor.
    -setting motorcycle tire beads
    -topping up car and bike tires
    -yeah, that's about it. Not gonna use t for tools

    Any popular favorites from craftsman or home depot?
    #1
  2. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    I have a small craftsman. It has a cast iron cylinder.--- Most small cheap compressors have a plastic piston that doesn't last very long. These are the oil less.--- I have had this compressor for 6 or 8 years and it works as good as the day i bought it. I paid $99. I have seen them on sale cheaper than that. it will pump up to 120 PSI.
    #2
  3. decka

    decka Adventurer

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    Good to know. What's the volume on yours in gallons? My sense is that I don't need a huge tank. Just enough to pop set a tire bead and then from there it's just slow filling etc. 120 is more than enough pressure obviously.
    #3
  4. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    The storage tank volume is what will seat your tires...
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  5. JAB

    JAB Unsprung Weight

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  6. T

    T --------------

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    Yep. Don't go too small if seating tires is on your checklist...
    #6
  7. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

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    Ive got a 21 gallon Harbor freight compressor. 110 volt, stand up, as long as youre not expecting to be rotating your truck tires in under a minute itll run air tools just fine. I use my 1/2" and 3/8" guns and ratchets, die grinder, drill, riveter and a few other things on it, seat moto tires, fill trailer and car/truck tires. Does all of them with varying degrees of efficiency.

    Its served me very well for the last year and half or so.
    #7
  8. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    It's a mistake to buy too small a compressor. Air tools are where it's at.
    #8
  9. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Avoid "oilless" compressors and get something with a cast iron cylinder and oil-filled crankcase. Break it in according to the manual, keep the oil topped up and it will run forever.

    I paid right around $100 for a little 3 gallon 2HP oil-filled unit last year. Works awesome for my minimal needs.
    #9
  10. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Go used.

    Biggest issues are:
    A: Garage Space
    B: Garage Electrical Service
    C: Means of transportation.
    #10
  11. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    Got a recon Porter Cable oilless150 psi pancake for $100 a few years back.

    Great portable compressor for nailguns, filling tires, small garage air tools.

    Don't know about seating beads, though.
    #11
  12. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    The small carpenter type direct drive oil type compressor I got several years ago from Harbor Freight works just fine. Think I paid about $60 for it. I've seen the same one with different names on it like Craftsman for a lot more money.
    #12
  13. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

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    I'll second Nailhead.

    I've used my Porter Cable for framing & trimming, roofing, tires, the occasional air tool since 2005.

    Buy a kit ( HomeDepot,etc) sell the guns & keep the compressor.
    #13
  14. janeuner

    janeuner Get Some

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    Not sure about best, but certainly inexpensive.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #14
  15. decka

    decka Adventurer

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    Exactly what I was after :clap Great input all around. I think I'm going to pay a little more for a good sized oil / steel setup that should cover me for a while.
    #15
  16. Tweaker

    Tweaker ...

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    Little late but I have a small Bostich oil compressor I have used professionally for over 15 years. If I had to replace it, I would look long and hard at where its replacement is made. Nearly all my equipment has slowly gone european..
    #16
  17. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    A wise decision that will pay dividends far beyond your expectations.
    #17
  18. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    So, what size would you recommend?
    #18
  19. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    Something to consider....I got a little twin tank compressor from my dad that didn't work. I took it apart and found the reed valve was broken (this was after maybe 5 hours use?). Because this unit was a cheap chinese/harbor freight model I was unable to get parts, and it ended up at the scrap yard.

    No big deal for me, but I would have been pissed if I had purchased it new.

    Anyone have experience with models where parts ARE available?
    #19
  20. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    Parts should be available for any compressor sold by Sears, at least for several years. All sears power tools I've ever bought come with a parts breakdown in the back of the manual.

    I've had no problems getting parts for HF power tools. Just call their 800# and give them the part number.
    #20