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What air compressor are you using?

I am considering buying an additional small air compressor for the shop. I am mainly looking in the 17-24 cfm range, (I have an engine powered compressor for blasting). What brand are you guys using daily with good service in your shops? I have been reading reviews and burning up google, but as expected getting mixed reviews of most everything out there. I am just looking for some feed back from you guys that are in a similar position as me and use these things daily. This compressor will mainly be used for painting and occasionally for sanding and a die grinder. Thanks in advance for any input you guys can offer.

We use a speedair, works all day 6 days a week. Painting, air tools, blowing out the shop, and a medium sized sand blaster, 9 years old and going strong with regular oil changes
I have a Champion advantage series 5hp with an 80gal tank. It's about 10yrs old and going as strong as the day I bought it. Mine has the disc valves which are far better then the reed type. If I had to do it again I would have sprung for the 7.5hp with the 10hp pump and a 110gal tank but I didn't have the extra cash at the time.
I have a Saylor-Beall 707 driven by a Baldor 7.5HP 3-phase motor. For a two man shop, it's plenty. With two tanks totaling 140 gallons, there is also enough reserve air capacity to smooth over times of high consumption.

P.S. With a 7.5 HP motor, the pump runs slower and delivers less than the max capacity listed on the website. It runs about 600 RPM.
Thanks for the replies guys. That's the kind of info I am looking for. Anyone know anything about the Eaton compressors that Polar Air sells? I noticed they have disc valves, replaceable rod bearings, and steel rods. What I have read seems pretty decent, but paper will ay there and let you write anything........

I haven't heard much about Eaton's except they were desient when I was looking and getting my learn on. How they are now I can't say and can only comment on the Champion brand and my experience has been outstanding. I also have experience with Campbell Hausfeld's 7.5hp air-boy unit (not the T-30) and in a shop atmosphere it blew reeds all the time atleast every 2mo. The T-30 is their better unit but with a couple years of trouble with the other I was not interested in the brand anymore and swore off reed valves. I really liked the design of the Champion's disc valves and the piston's (high performance) slower rpm speed and built like a tank. Champion does have a cheaper unit that does have the reed valves and every dealer I've talked to said they are bullet proof but I will still pay the extra little bit for the discs. That would come down to where your budget is.

You want the pump to run as slow as possible and deliver the cfm needed for the demand. So while you are looking and comparing brands look at those features. There are some quality units and I'm sure no one here will steer you wrong so look into those also. Also a tank big enough to give you a reserve for those times you have heavy demand. I would like a bigger tank if I had the room for it, I previously said 110gal but it was 120gal.

I have talked with Pacific Air (link below) and they know their stuff and they are plug and play some even come plumbed with an after cooler real nice option to be built on the unit.

Let us know what you deside.
i have an eaton. a 7.5hp. its going on 8 years now. it does run 7 days a week. some days light some really heavy like when im blasting. i also have one of their refrigerated dryers. i have no complaints with it. it has run great and they are a good company to deal with. i think they are still using weg motors. i have called them a couple times over the years and i can still get the owner on the phone. kinda reminds me of spi a little.
Oh, yeah, a refrigerated dryer is a must for trouble-free professional results, and I bought mine from Eaton. Even though it is clearly an overseas unit, it has gone 9 years now with no problem.
Thanks again for the added input, and thanks Jim and Crash, for the Eaton reviews. That's the information I was hoping to confirm from a source I trust. I have read similar reviews online, but anyone could be writing those. I hope to be adding (or mainly replacing) a new compressor in the next few months depending on how things go. My current compressor is doing okay, but I am seeing the minor problems arise more frequently and the motor went out Thursday. I am going to put a new motor on it and keep using it for now, but my master plan is to get a new one to replace it, and let my current one be a back up/stand by unit in case something happens to the new one, or I need a little extra air. Jim, How does the 7.5 keep up with your blaster? What size blaster and are you blasting large panels or smaller pieces? I am currently considering a 5 HP 19 CFM @ 90PSI unit because I use a gas powered 100CFM unit for blasting, and 11-12 CFM is max draw on any tool I use on the electric compressor. However if the 7.5 keeps up reasonably on medium panels (a door for example) I may consider making a few changes and going that route. As always, thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate your time and effort in helping all of us here on the forum.

If you are in this for the long haul, and if you have the budget, buying a setup that is slightly too much for your current workload won't hurt you at all. In fact, it will let your compressor run cooler and less often, and will mean you won't have to worry about it for a long, long time.

Just my 2¢

P.S. In a pinch, we sandblast with our setup, and are able to do medium size panels or multiple suspension parts without taking a break.


Trying to be the best me, I can be
I'll probably get hammered for saying this but.....Ingersoll Rands' T30 series are still good compressors at a fair price. The one in the shop I work at has been in use since 2001 with no real issues. It gets heavy use 5-7 days a week. 14 years. I got the same version in my Shop at home 7.5 hp handles anything I need to do including media blasting. Retrospect I would liked to have bought an American made compressor but I got such a good deal on this one 2 years ago from Northern Tool ($1599 including shipping!!!) I really couldn't pass it up.
Certain Ingersolls are good. They are a venerable name that had a big part in the construction of the Hoover Dam, for example. But they are also an example of a company that gave into the lure of allowing their name to be used on a lot of lower end equipment as well, so it just takes some homework to make sure you get what you want.
I understand (and agree) with what you are saying Crash, that's why I was looking at the 19 CFM@90PSI compressor. Painting probably pulls the hardest of anything I use the electric compressor for (I use Sata RP guns, and normally use an electric DA), and my current compressor is a 15 CFM that has been in use since 1989. It keeps up with everything fine, it's just showing it's age and getting tired, and I would like to make it a back up unit so I'm not down should anything happen, or in the rare case I need a little more air. The 19 should be a little bit over kill (very slightly), but I would spend the extra for the bigger one if I could blast some with it, and only use the big compressor if I needed to blast an entire car or something large.
Chris, I am not against the IR compressors, just trying to get other people's experiences with their brand compressor from a source I trust. I trust others in the business (that's why I am asking you folks here) a LOT more than I trust what I read in a google search, or on a manufacture website. I have been reading specs and comparing one to the other, and the Eaton just seemed the most reasonably priced, and built more like the old compressors used to be with the disc valves, steel rods, and slow RPM. Also, I am just a 1 man shop, with a few guys that help part time.

Here is a link to the one's I was looking at from the Eaton line, they seem very reasonably priced if they are a reliable unit. They also sell a "premium" version of the same models, but the only difference I can find is a choice of color and an auto drain, they even share the same part and model numbers.

Since 1995, Ingersoll-Rand T-30, 5 hp, 80 gallon, 6 days a week, one man shop so some days it is not used much and other days it runs a lot. Regular oil and air filter maintenance
and an occasional belt adjustment. Have replaced the belt 1 time. The last 3 years I have had to keep a light bulb (100 watt...until our governmental friends got involved, now 75 watt)
layed next to the compressor side and wrapped up overnight in the winter because it doesn't like to crank up when it is cold. It will throw the breaker in the fuse box. I know I should
have it fixed but it still works fine.
That may help after it gets going, but I believe the motor is just getting worn after all those years and it doesn't have that initial 'kick' at first like it used to. If it is not warm, the motor
will just hum like it is trying to start but just can't quite turn the compressor over. Once it does turn it over, after the first 'chug', it operates like it should. Kind of like the way I feel on
cold winter mornings...
I was a compressor junkie for a while. Buying/repairing/selling older quality units. I think Quincy QR series are the best reciprocating compressor available. I like saylor beals and Kellogg American, curtis. Haven't messed with Champion but their good line looks nice.

Currently have a 7.5 hp Quincy 340 and a 3hp Quincy 325 slowed down to 425 rpm's for daily use. Nice and quite and I turn the bigger one on if I need more. I pieced it together to my specs. To low on cfm's to blast but painting and air tool work it's fine. I craigslisted the 325 pump on a tank minus the motor for 300 bucks. The pump was new (backup for a dry cleaner). Paid 300 for my 340 on craigslist. It was tipped over and the endplate on the motor was broke. I repaired the motor and overhauled the pump and have around 700 into it. I'd take any of the old stuff over the new if you can do it. They are simple critters.

Ok, heres my Eaton story. In sep of 09' I bought a 10hp single phase with the 15hp pump on a 120 gallon tank. Changed the oil with Quincy synthetic compressor lube ever 4 months. First pump went out just under a year. Started knocking and the oil was shimmery with crankshaft glitter. 2nd pump lasted a little longer than a year with the same maintenance schedule. 3rd pump lasted 2years give or take. (I didn't care at this point, it knocked for a long time before I replaced it). 4th pump lasted at least a year before it was knocking, still under a warranty but I ran it til the 5 years was up. Wasn't going to drive back to Ohio this time. I parted it out a year or so ago. Kept the tank, sold the motor and controller, loaded the Eaton pump onto the scrap trailer and dumped it for scrap. Friendly company and good service but pure junk. For the time lost and aggravation a $1500 more for a name brand would have been well worth it.

Now I just piece together my favorites from craigslist. That 340 setup would be in the 3-4k range and I have 700 bucks plus labor into it.