Harbor Freight Compressors

Discussion in 'Equipment & Survival Kits' started by Jim1590, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

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    In 1999, I bought one of these pancake compressors (1.5 "HP" and 4.2 CFM at 90 psi):

    [​IMG]

    I think it was $79 with a coupon... anyways, I once ran it for nearly 8 hours straight while porting a set of cast iron cylinder heads with an air die grinder (NEVER again!) and it never overheated or freaked out on me. Almost fifteen years later (in a couple months) it still works just fine.

    I have had three of the 2HP, 8 gallon air compressors they had a coupon available for in every flyer about 6-7 years ago... the first two went back under extended warranty and the third one has lasted about 6 years now. The pressure switch is the thing that failed both times on the first two... the diaphragm tears or something and they then just leak air and never turn off. I don't like how thin the steel is on the tanks (I have seen pics of entire garage walls blown off when a tank blows) but the motor and pump have never done me wrong.

    BTW, the 3/4 electric impact totally kicks A$$!!! The 1/2 drive one is good, too - - but the 3/4 (with a 3/4 to 1/2 impact adapter) is one of my most often used tools. I HATE air impact wrenches, they seem to most often convert air pressure to noise really well and not so great on taking off nuts and bolts.
     
  2. Jim1590

    Jim1590 Annoying pain in the.... knee

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    Good to see yours worked out great. I have no issue with HF themselves, just a high lemon possibility. I was still willing to chance it, I just found a great deal on a craftsman. And at least on a craftsman, you can find parts!

    I love my 1/2 electric impact. The problem is that it is frigging huge! Hard to get into some areas. I will see how well the air impact works. But at least the noise sounds really cool.

    I thought long and hard about getting the 10 gallon HF compressor. It is the bigger brother to yours. It looks good, and I would have gotten it. I will still use a framing nailer and impact from HF though. I also have a old air ratchet and I look forward to seeing what other air tools I can get. Always want more tools after all.

    On that note, anyone know anything decent in sub $100 range to paint walls indoor and outdoor? I prefer air but can do power as well. I hate painting and would rather just spray it.
     

  3. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

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    I like the Snap-On ShockWave. It's the only air impact I ever liked using.

    https://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=1&f=134&t=409689
    http://www.chevelles.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-153469.html


    Have had good luck with this rig, mine was used and very cheap

    http://www.harborfreight.com/air-siphon-spray-gun-kit-96367.html
    http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-gallon-pressure-paint-tank-66839.html

    Lots of folks around here use a pump sprayer that draws from a 5 gallon bucket... I don't know what brand. Very common tool though, I see them often. Pawn shops and craigslist

    http://www.familyhandyman.com/painting/painting-with-an-airless-sprayer/view-all
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

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    when you buy air tools the cheap ones suck big time, a small compressor and a cheap impact = frustration. good quality / good value seems to come from Chicago pneumatic. I have a "snap on" compressor from Costco It works but it is not what you would expect when it says Snap on. It will almost keep up to my 1/2'' CP impact which is capable of loosening budd unimount wheel nuts torqued to 450FTlbs,

    Small cheap compressors are just that. I have a big ancient v4 compressor that is powered by a 4 cylinder industrial engine when I need big air volume and pressure.

    But if you just need air once in a while a small cheap compressor with the pressure turned up to at least 150 psi coupled with a bigger holding tank, works ok. probably for most people an electric impact is a better solution. I find them heavy and slow but they sure beat a ratchet
     
  5. harmonpa

    harmonpa New Member

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    The airless sprayer is a good route if you don't need a very fine finish. If you go the compressor route get a 2 stage 5 horse at least that way you can run a spray gun with it or an air tool or two.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2017
  6. RedBeard

    RedBeard Guest

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    Good choice. Maybe if you want backup go to searspartsdirect.com and enter the model number, lookup a top end kit. It will have a head gasket and new reeds for the head. As long as you keep good oil in it that will be one of the only things you will have to fix. Granted pressure switches and such can go bad but the can be bypassed to force the compressor to work. Head gasket and reeds are a bit harder to fudge and being they are cheap enough handy to have stashed away. Once you get the part # i would go to amazon for best price.
     
  7. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

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    My first harbor freight compressor was/is (still have it - still works fine) little pancake 2 or 3 gallon, direct drive but NOT oil-less. It has run nearly NON-STOP for 8 hours at a time, and has survived. I added a little STP to the oil when I filled it. I bought it in 2001.

    I am impressed.

    I also have several of the 8 gallon, 2 HP ($99) air compressors.
    NONE is newer than 10 years old!
    One of them, the pressure switch went bad, so it is wired through a contactor to come on when another one comes on, if needed, for more airflow. I can plumb all 4 compressors together to provide QUITE a bit of air, if needed.
     
  8. cqp33

    cqp33 Supporting Member

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    I was gonna buy a compressor and nail gun (well new compressor because my campbell hausfeild, spelled wrong I am sure) is over 12 years old and is probably on it's last leg. The noises that come from it when it kicks on make a person seek shelter!

    Anyways I decided to go with a cordless nail gun. Yeah they are pricey but no cord, no compressor and no need for a plug/genny near by. I went with this one:

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Paslode-Angled-7-5-Volt-Framing-Cordless-Nailer-with-Battery/999995972

    By the time I bought the nailer, nails, extra gas cartridges (not needed if you buy nail packs with them in it) I was near $600 deep. However I have built a 30' x 60' barn since then and I love this thing! I am working on the basement using it, again I love it. If you can afford one I highly recommend them but you mention a budget so I will stop there on the cordless nailer.

    I purchased a less expensive model as mentioned previously, it worked just fine and is still working but for how long I don't know. Mine is a 30 gal so i use it for tires, impacts, nailers (finish/brad) so I needed the added size/capability. I would say make sure it is big enough for what you will ask it to do, I have over tasked mine before and it doesn't get pretty (I am on my second motor after using a sander for hours like an idiot). That was 10 years ago though and it is still going, cautiously but still going. There are a lot of things I purchase from HF, no need in shame in it! The best advice I can give you though is make sure you don't use cheap fittings/hoses, they will leak and cause you compressor to over work, get quality fittings and that will make a good difference in the life of your machine. If a fitting starts to leak, replace it. They are a lot cheaper than your tools and compressor!
     
  9. Justaguy987

    Justaguy987 Well-Known Member

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    Gas cartridges? I thought it was battery powered? Please explain.
     
  10. cqp33

    cqp33 Supporting Member

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    It is fired electrically from a rechargeable battery (comes with 2 and a charger) but the driving power is from a gas cartridge.

    http://www.paslode.com/product/cordless-xp-framing-nailer/

    The fuel cells for the driving power are on the right of the nailer in the link above.

    This video link shows the fuel cell being inserted.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=40&v=ZeVX4oGh2Q8

    Hope this helps explain.:scratch
     
  11. RedBeard

    RedBeard Guest

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    You can probably fix that old campbell. Lots of parts for them and cheap too. If you want send me a model number and i would be happy to look it up for you.
     
  12. Jim1590

    Jim1590 Annoying pain in the.... knee

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    I see my post from years back is still going strong. And so is my compressor!

    Since then, I have bought a house and have had a few projects to use it on. Fixing a falling soffet was easy using a framing nailer and air power. Point and shoot.

    It fits in the corner of my shed and is on wheels so I can haul it around my half acre as needed. More recently, I installed a picket fence along my driveway with it.
     
  13. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

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    Thata's pretty funny.
    I wonder how many of us even realized how old this was.
    I didn't.
    Glad to hear your compressor is still going strong.

    It would make life easier if the old posts changed to a different color font after a year or so.
    Probably not easily done.
     
  14. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
    We can learn from old posts as well as new.
     
  15. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    And they can still be added to, one of the problems I've seen with low cost compressors is if they use plastic lines to the pressure control switch, I've seen those get so soft as to fall off of the control, I look for compressors that have metal lines and even then, if the pressure control switch housing is plastic, it could have failures from cracking, that is the problem with the one I got from Auto Zone, that and a blow off valve has become weak and blows off too soon. I use my compressor mainly for airing tires, in consideration that gas stations seldom have free air anymore.
     
  16. Jim1590

    Jim1590 Annoying pain in the.... knee

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    Here in my state (CT) when Sen Tricky Dick Blumenthal was the AG, he made it a point to get a regulation (or law forget how he did it) preventing gas stations from charging. It was worded in such a way that they can put a coin meter on it, some even have credit cards, but if you walk into the store and ask, they have to turn it on for you.

    Only good thing that guy ever did in my opinion.