View Full Version : Harbor Freights made in the USA Comperessors

04-23-2009, 09:46 AM
Since, Air compressors have come up more often lately on this forum. and I was thinking of getting an electric motor driven one to replace the gas driven portable I have.
While at Horrible fright They have a 5 HP, 60 Gallon, 165 PSI Two Stage Air Compressor
* Air delivery: 13.5 CFM @ 165 PSI, 15.8 CFM @ 90 PSI, 16.4 CFM @ 40 PSI
* Cast-iron cylinders and stainless steel valves
* Automatic start/stop
* ASME tank with safety valve
* No mag starter required

230 volts, 22 amp, Single phase; Overall dimensions: 36" L x 24" Diameter x 69" H
Shipping weight: 243 lbs.

No country of origin on it. On the label, there was a Mfg.code and a phone number for compressor support.
I called it this morning. The parent company is called Atlas Copco and is a large multi national company. The compressor is made in Rock Hill South Carolina. So H F sells America made compressors

The compressors Item#93274 $849.99(4/23/09)

It looks like a number of other rebranded compressors at other venues for sales at higher prices.:D

04-23-2009, 10:01 AM
The compressor is made in Rock Hill South Carolina. So H F sells America made compressors

Don't count on it. Under US Customs and Excise regulation by the Dept of Commerce all that is necessary to declare an imported product "Made in USA" is to perform some work on it that would change the duty class when imported. As an example, you can have your pipe flanges made in China and if you deburr them in the US they may be labeled Made in USA.

If the US compressor "manufacturer" imports motors, air receivers, valves, regulators, hoses, fittings, screws and bolts, decals and paint and then assembles them they may be labeled "Made in USA".

A.K. Boomer
04-23-2009, 10:07 AM
Don't forget the towns the chineese created called USA and America and also the one called "rock hill south carolina":p

04-23-2009, 10:09 AM
If you want to make air compressors in the USA these days this is where you start:


Check out the company names in the keyword list at the bottom. Want to bet they make the compressors for all those companies?

Air compressor ,
Air compressors ,
Compressor ,
Piston air compressors ,
Rotorcomp ,
Screw air compressors ,
Gardnerdenver ,
Vane air compressors ,
Hydrovane ,
Centrifugal air compressors ,
Atlas copco ,
Medium pressure compressor ,
Compare ,
Hitachi ,
Kobelco ,
High-pressure air compressors ,
Ingersoll-Rand ,
Compressor technology ,
Quincy ,
Scroll compressor ,
Zscrew ,
Air compressor lubricants accessories ,
Filter ,
Oil and gas separator ,
Super-cold liquid,
Sullair ,
Air compressor oil ,
Xinran ,
Mattei ,
Fusheng ,
Kaeser ,
Boge ,
Task ,
Ecoair ,
Bauer ,
Hanshin ,
Air krone ,
Ecopak ,
Ihi ,
Puma ,
Mann ,
Sotras ,
Iwata ,

04-23-2009, 10:25 AM
Well the tank is made in Virgina, the motor are A.O. Smiths and Baldor depending on the size of the compressor. The cast iron pump is made in Italy. And the pressure switch is a US company.

04-23-2009, 10:31 AM
When I was looking at compressors, I learned that one way manufacturers boost output is by "overdriving" the compressor. In other words, the cylinders wear out half again as fast when a compressor is driven too fast, cast iron or not. The compressor section should have an RPM rating as well as the motor. Slower is better. I seem to remember something like 650-750 RPM on the compressor is optimum, but don't take me for word on that. Anyway...

Nice if it is made in USA. I found the Campbell- Hausfeld to be a good match in my shop as well (7.5 HP, 80 gal, 2 stage, pressure lube, made in USA). A bit more than $850 though. Also know that every now and then, HF has a 20% off any one item coupon. Gotta search a little bit to find it, but it's there a lot of the time.

04-23-2009, 11:21 AM
Far be it from me to try to talk you out of that compressor as it may well be quite well made.

I have posted here about the IR compressor I bought at a local Tractor Supply. I determined that I rarely need high pressure air and I don't know that I ever have needed air over 130 PSI. As such, a single stage compressor was plenty adequate. The IR I bought has a cast iron pump with what would appear to be a long stroke. Based on pulley dimensions, it is not run very fast either. Both of those issues in combination with the lower pressure should make for very long compressor life. Between a very capable compressor rated for 100% duty cycle and an 80 gallon tank (making for reduced cycling with most all air tools), this should out-last me. I paid $750 about 3 years ago. It too, is a true 5HP, runs on 220V single phase power and draws 22 amps (as opposed to the 5 "fake" HP compressors that will run on 110-120V power)


04-23-2009, 11:38 AM
The current IR's may be made by the same company. I have to go back and check the tag on them to see if they are worded the same. And have the same compressor support phone number. As they make a lot of rebranded compressors that are sold by a lot of venues. the current batch at the local tractor supply looks like clones of each other that's what started me on this quest.:D

04-23-2009, 12:26 PM
Oops....I hope IR has not compromised their quality standards if they chose to farm the manufacture of their compressors out. I do tend to think that these more consumer oriented compressors were always something of an afterthought for them. The one I have appears to have the same compressor head used on one of their commercial units here at work. The tank, however, is made in Mexico, even at that.

What drew me to the unit I bought was that it offered just what I was after....a large air volume at a lower operating pressure for long life. The compressor itself was far more substantial looking than the typical consumer cast iron compressor head that you seem to see on all the "clone" compressors out there.

I was always disappointed, however, in the lack of on-line sales info on thier compressors. Mine is the SS5L5 and if you looked it up, several sites showed it as having a 60 gallon tank while mine was an 80...leading me to believe that perhaps IR built compressors in different configurations for sale at different stores.....which might explain why now they all look like clones.

Good luck, in any case with whatever you use. I have seen the compressor you posted, at a local HF store and it appears well built.


04-23-2009, 12:35 PM
I am not trying to talk anybody out of anything either. I am pointing out that "Made in USA" doesn't always mean "Made in USA" any more. The so called "50 percent" rule is long gone.

04-23-2009, 12:53 PM
I understand, but I am on a quest to find out about the clone looking compressors and why the tool or equipment made by the same company and rebranded is thought to be better when sold by a different company at a higher price.
Atlas Copco is a pretty big dog in everything from construction compressors to mining and oil drilling equipment.

Heading out to TS to check the IR's closer:D

04-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Atlas Copco is a pretty big dog in everything from construction compressors to mining and oil drilling equipment.

Why don't you phone their sales department and ask a few blunt questions?

04-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Good luck finding more info at your TS. It will really likely have to involve your own powers of observation and not any help from the sales folks.

I remember asking a question about one of the IR compressors and the sales person told me they would probably buy the "Farmhand" brand they also sold because it was also 5HP and cost less. I pointed out that the motor HP rating on compressors was usually exaggerated and noted that the motor drew a tiny fraction of what the *real* 5HP motor on the IR drew. That's not a difference in efficiency, but a difference in the manufacturer's willingness to lie. I also mentioned that actual air delivery ratings are the only useful numbers.

It made the point clear though that this sort of deciet is practiced by companies precisely because it works with so many folks. As my uncle always says: The masses are a$$es.


04-23-2009, 02:51 PM
Well that's why I have asked only one important question at TS other than what isle is such in :D And that's were is the restroom located ;) I took my small camera and photoed the name stickers and compressors. Now have to go back to HF and stop at Highes and Home Despot and figure out if anybody else some to compare!

04-23-2009, 03:05 PM
Keep an eye out for either of these symbols either stamped or cast in the metal. They are symbolic of the lotus and mean Made in India regardless of what it may say elsewhere.



04-23-2009, 03:31 PM
I know nothing of the product that you referenced in the 1st post, but would be wary of the CFM rating. 13.5 CFM is a little light for a 5 HP two stage compressor at 165 PSI. My ancient 5 HP Kellogg-American is rated at 17 CFM at 175.

It's almost that it's not quite a true two stage as it's capability tapers off very quickly.

04-23-2009, 04:24 PM
I am pointing out that "Made in USA" doesn't always mean "Made in USA" any more. The so called "50 percent" rule is long gone.

I don't know where the "50%" guideline comes from, but the Federal Trade Commission regulations state that an item marked "Made in USA" must be "all or virtually all" made in the US. And the FTC does enforce it -- Starrett, Black and Decker, Stanley Tools, and many others have been heavily fined and forced to pull products:

"Made in U.S.A"
Complying with the Made In USA Standard (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/adv/bus03.pdf)

"After a comprehensive review of Made in USA and other U.S. origin claims in product advertising and labeling, the [Federal Trade] Commission announced in December 1997 that it would retain the “all or virtually all” standard. The Commission also issued an Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims to provide guidance to marketers who want to make an unqualified Made in USA claim under the “all or virtually all” standard and those whowant to make a qualified Made in USA claim."

04-23-2009, 05:15 PM
That's ancient Robert. I can't get to the Dept of Commerce web site right now but they have changed how imports are evaluated. If the work done in the USA results in a change in the duty class then it may be labeled as Made in USA. A specific example as I gave above and you probably didn't read is that plumbing castings made in China can be labeled Made in USA if they are deburred in the USA. A change in duty class can be as simple as screwing two parts together.

04-23-2009, 05:36 PM
Check out the company names in the keyword list at the bottom. Want to bet they make the compressors for all those companies?
I bet they don't.

I think they just want people searching for almost any compressor brand to be steered to their site by a search engine. Very common practice. I bet they are thinking that anybody interested in "Quincy" are obviously looking for air compressors and are thus interested in their product as well.

I have a Quincy. Not made in China.

04-23-2009, 05:57 PM
I have a Quincy. Not made in China.

Sorry. From 2003:

EnPro Industries' Quincy Compressor Unit To Open China Facility
December 18, 2003

Quincy Compressor, an EnPro Industries company, announced today that it is establishing a manufacturing facility for air compressors and related products in Kunshan, Jiangsu province.

The new operation, called Kunshan Q-Tech Air System Technologies Ltd., will manufacture energy saving compressed air controls and intermediate pressure controllers as well as rotary screw air compressors. Products and services supplied by Quincy Kunshan Q-Tech will provide the latest in technology in compressors and energy conserving compressed air system design throughout the Chinese and Asian markets. The facility is expected to begin operations during the second quarter of 2004.

Quincy Compressor is an innovative supplier of compressed air systems components and services, including engineering services and products supplied by Air Science Engineering. EnPro Industries, Inc. is a leader in sealing products, metal polymer bearings, compressor systems, diesel engines and other engineered products for use in critical applications by industries worldwide.


I guarantee the China division makes parts for the US division.

04-23-2009, 05:58 PM
While it is getting harder and harder to find good old USA made air compressors I recomend you try to find one. IMO in a home shop a good old USA made compressor with a little freshening up will last most HSM people a couple of lifetimes. I personally have a curtis d96 pump I just went through and expect it to last well beyond my years. I also have a couple of other quality 2 stage pumps that I currently trying to sell if you are interested.

04-23-2009, 06:02 PM
The problem is that you have no way of knowing where it was made. The only thing you can be reasonably sure of is that it wasn't made entirely in the USA.

04-23-2009, 07:03 PM
That's ancient Robert.

The FTC compliance document was updated December, 2008, and Stanley tools was busted for Made In USA compliance in June, 2006. So not only are there still strict requirements for marking an item Made in USA, but they're still actively enforcing it.

The problem is that enforcement is very spotty. Like insider trading, the government tends to enforce high profile cases (like Martha Stewart and Mark Cuban), hoping that it will be a deterrent.

For Release: June 9, 2006
FTC Alleges Stanley Made False Made in the USA Claims About Its Tools
Will Pay $205,000 For Allegedly Violating Previous FTC Order

The Stanley Works, a U.S. toolmaker, will pay a $205,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges it falsely claimed its Zero Degree ratchets were Made in the USA. The claims allegedly violated a 1999 FTC order issued against the company to resolve earlier allegations that it had made false Made in the USA claims. The 1999 order prohibits it from, among other things, misrepresenting the extent to which any professional grade hand tools, including wrenches, ratchets, sockets, and chisels, are made in the United States.

“Many consumers rely on Made in the USA claims when choosing products. They expect those claims to be truthful,” said Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies that market products as Made in the USA must verify information from their suppliers before they make that claim.”

According to the complaint, the Zero Degree ratchets, made under Stanley’s MAC Tools trademark, were marketed as Made in the USA, when the foreign content was actually a substantial part of the product. For a product to be labeled Made in the USA, it has to be all or virtually all made domestically. A manufacturer may still label a product as Made in the USA when the cost of any foreign parts and foreign labor involved in making the item is negligible.

The settlement announced today imposes a $205,000 civil penalty – a significant portion of the profits made from selling the mislabeled wrenches – and prohibits Stanley from violating the 1999 order. By filing this new complaint, the expiration date of the 1999 order is now extended to 20 years from the date the new complaint is filed.

The Commission vote to refer the complaint and consent decree to the Department of Justice for filing was 5-0.

Guidance on how to comply with the Made in USA standard is on the FTC website at http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/usajump.htm.

The complaint and consent decree were filed on June 8, 2006 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut by the Department of Justice at the request of the FTC.

04-23-2009, 08:35 PM
It is nowhere near that clear cut or simple Robert. There is no single policy that applies across the board. The dept of Commerce is using the Tariff Shift rule for many items but even then the exact deemed origin of content is dependent on a host of other conditions such as where the content used to make the content originated and if that content was subject to a tariff shift (duty class change). It has absolutely nothing to do with how much work was done in the US or in the country supplying the content or the country supplying the content to the content provider to the US, only if the work done would shift the tariff class of the product at each step.

The news article you quote doesn't touch on WHY the products were not considered made in the US. That is the heart of the matter and the reporter may have been aware but also knows that the audience would not understand the system.

The bottom line is that it is easy for a corporation to avoid the intent of the rules and produce products that are almost entirely manufactured overseas but still meet the requirements for labeling "Made in USA".