Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor

    So i've been using a harbor freight 21 gallon compressor for a few years now. While it has served me well and I have never had an issue with it, I can no longer tolerate the noise. In addition, on paper it is around 1 CFM below the requirements for the plasma cutter.

    That said, I cannot fit much. I keep the compressor up on a mezanine type storage area with a peaked roof in a single car garage. I have around 4 feet of clearance. As much as I would love a vertical 240v compressor I just can't fit it...

    That leaves me with a few options i have found...

    DeWalt 5.3cfm 1.6hp - $640 at home depot. $430 plus shipping from tractor supply. I can probably get creative and get home depot to match it without shipping.

    Kobalt 5.1cfm 2hp - $450 at lowes.

    Harbor 5.7cfm 2hp- $330 on sale for november.

    Speedaire 5.5cfm 2hp- $900 from Zoro.

    Obviously speedaire is the outlier here. I am not sure I can justify that much of a price jump unless guys really really recommend it.

    I am open to any other suggestions this is just the options I could find with a quick search. Part of me wants to just be cheap and pick up the harbor freight but at the same time I don't fully trust their specs on tools... The other part of me is guessing of the bunch excluding speedaire, the dewalt is better made but it also has a lower overall output and DeWalt outsources to foreign manufacturing same as everyone now.
    www.FirehouseFabricators.com



    Lincoln 210mp
    Lincoln SW200

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,830

    Re: Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor

    I have 3 compressors. I use the HF 29gal 2hp compressor in my mobile trailer. It is actually not very loud. I believe the one you have now is their direct drive compressor. That thing will make you go deaf. The only compliant I have about the HF 2hp compressor is that if it gets down around 20degrees or less it does not like to start if it has a full tank. To get it to start I have to drain the tank so their is no back pressure for it to fight. If you are using it in a heated space this is a none issue. I run a 60 amp plasma cutter off of the HF compressor quite often and it handles it with no problem. I also use it to carbon arc from time to time with an arcair 400 torch. It does that just fine also. I really like mine, infact I am considering buying another one for my other garage. Its hard to beat for $330.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    1,889

    Re: Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by thegary View Post
    I have 3 compressors. I use the HF 29gal 2hp compressor in my mobile trailer. It is actually not very loud. I believe the one you have now is their direct drive compressor. That thing will make you go deaf. The only compliant I have about the HF 2hp compressor is that if it gets down around 20degrees or less it does not like to start if it has a full tank. To get it to start I have to drain the tank so their is no back pressure for it to fight. If you are using it in a heated space this is a none issue. I run a 60 amp plasma cutter off of the HF compressor quite often and it handles it with no problem. I also use it to carbon arc from time to time with an arcair 400 torch. It does that just fine also. I really like mine, infact I am considering buying another one for my other garage. Its hard to beat for $330.
    Awesome. Glad the first reply wasn't how horrible every brand listed is

    And yes I have the direct drive, which has served me well up until owning the plasma. Until now it mostly filled car tires or very seldom use of a die grinder. My shop is heated only when I turn the heat on (it triples my electric bill to leave on 24/7) but I keep water bottles and whatnot in there and they are yet to freeze so I am guessing it never gets anywhere near 20.
    www.FirehouseFabricators.com



    Lincoln 210mp
    Lincoln SW200

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,172

    Re: Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor

    Forget about gallons and concentrate on CFM, that's what really matters. If you run most impact tools or a plasma unit, you want at least 6 CFM if not more. I recently stumbled onto a very nice quincy 30 gallon unit with a 3 hp motor and its rated for like 7.3 CFM. You would be happy with it, but the price might be out of your range if you had to buy new. https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...2353_200612353

    If I was in your situation I would look for a decent pump and motor combination, stick it up in the mezzanine, and plumb it into the largest tank you can fit. The pump doesn't necessarily have to sit right on top of the tank. You could buy a used 60 gallon on CL, and mate it with a smaller tank
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
    Purox Metalmaster

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,830

    Re: Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor

    Louie is right about the 6 com. That is the ball park you need to be in. The HF we were talking about is 5.9cfm at 90 psi. It seems to be close enough. I have had no problem using it as I stated in my other post. I am sure many of the others you have listed will be fine too. Of corse more CFM is better yet .The thing you need to access what your future needs will be. You might find yourself in the same situation as you are now with a compessor that does not do what you need done. On the flip side if you have the room to store you existing compressor up in your rafters where you put your new one .you could connect both to the system and only use one 90% of the time but run both when you need more cfm. It would also give you more tank volume. Just a thought!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,889

    Re: Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor

    With the sale and Gary’s review I went to harbor freight and picked it up. It says 6+ CFM at 90 and 25% more air capacity. At 75 psi on the plasma it should be more than sufficient.

    I don’t generally buy their stuff for legitimate tools but to be honest it was packaged very well, and after inspection it appears rather well assembled and smooth.

    It’s definitelt quieter. Even if it isn’t much lower in decibels the sound it produces is far more tolerable than its direct driven counterpart. No clue how I am going to lift it up however to the storage area.

    Building a Franken-compressor would be cool but I don’t have the time to devote to that right now. At $330 plus tax if this thing ****s the bed it isn’t the end of the world anyway.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,172

    Re: Looking for a new 30-gallonish compressor

    Cool, I hope it works out well for you.
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
    Purox Metalmaster

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