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  • New air compressor

    I am thinking of picking up this air compressor from Eaton.

    Their ad makes it seem like they are delivering what they really say versus say something from HF, HD or TSC for the same size price range.

    Can someone give me a more qualified opinion.

    My uses will be limited. Some filling of tires, small spray gun, blowing some wood chips, MAYBE the occasional air tool like a sander (already have electric) but maybe more likely a small nailer.
    Last edited by cuemaker; 09-12-2006, 04:53 PM.

  • #2
    I'm not an expert on the subject but some of the parts on the Eaton look an awful lot like the parts on my HF compressor. At that price, you know it's made in China, probably at the same factory that makes the HF compressors.

    I'm sure it will be fine for your purposes.

    I've had the HF for a couple of years now, used daily in a working shop. No problems except that it is noisy, and a little small for running my blast cabinet.


    • #3
      Yep, it's a generic contractor's type compressor. I have two that are identical, both different brands, Air Mite and something else, but I'm sure they're old enough that they were made in this country.

      At that price your's is likely from offshore.

      Kind of too bad when the name brand compressor people like Eaton get on the bandwagon and start pushing low end stuff.


      • #4
        I have one just like it execpt a different name. I paid $89.00 from a Re-tool store. it was made in China. Mine has worked well for filling a tire now and then and blowing saw dust off everyint in the shop. Mine has not seen heavy use. I woul guess they are all the same except the color and name on them. I would look for the cheapest price. After I bought mine I found the same thing with a Shopforce name on it at another store for $69. It was painted red and mine is blue, it is just a good thing that I like blue better or I would have felt ripped off. HaHa! Gary P. Hansen
        In memory of Marine Engineer Paul Miller who gave his life for his country 7-19-2010 Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Freedom is not free, it is paid for with blood.


        • #5
          That Eaton will probably do all you want in your list except run the sander. Not that it won't run it, but the tanks are too small to hold air capacity for most sander work. The compresser will be constantly on.

          I have the Dewalt version and it is one of the better investments for doing trim work and other furniture related nail activity, portable, handy.

          It does not replace the 5 hp 60 gal in the shop, or even compare.

          Different tools, different jobs.


          • #6
            Naw, get a bigger one.


            • #7
              Unless Eaton is out and out lying or HF it telling the truth, the Eaton delivers more CFM

              Eaton says : It has a CFM Displacement of 7.5 CFM and a Free Air of 6.5 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5.5 CFM @ 90 PSI.

              Motor specs given: unit is 115V, Single Phase, 14 running amp draw

              HF says: Air delivery: 3.8 SCFM @ 90 PSI, 5.0 SCRM @ 40 PSI

              Motor specs given: 1-3/4 HP (rated) motor 115V, single phase


              • #8

                What I really want to do is buy this:

                Use my 5hp rotary phase converter motor to run it and find an old air compressor tank for cheap.

                I don't know what I am getting myself into (beside any potential old tank issues) in doing that.

                It seems like it should work.


                • #9
                  My advice to anyone looking to buy a compressor is to get one that is twice as big as you think you need. You will need the capacity sooner than you think.


                  • #10
                    I have this one:


                    It won't fit in the back of my truck with the cover on so wish I had gotten this one which uses the same compressor and tanks like the one you are interested in:


                    Does the second one look familiar?

                    I would never use this as a main compressor. Do get a bigger one. If you want something for occasional portable use, this is probably adequate. I wouldn't get cought up in an ad with a lot of conversation to make you think what they are selling is special.

                    I bought it for $69 to run a nail gun when putting up my shop building as I was not then set up for 220v service for my larger compressor. It did that job admirably. I now have it in my small basement shop/reloading room for blowing stuff out and you cannot use it for more than about 2 puffs but what it has to run...and it's loud. It draws real close to 15 amps, too. Stay away from a long extension cord. The guys at the store indicated that they have a lot of them returned as dead and the only thing that is wrong is that the motor thermal reset kicked out because they were using 100' of small extension cord and had voltage drop problems. They reset them and put them back out for sale at a discount....I got mine for $69 and have never had a problem.

                    If your air tool use means occasional use with a nailer....maybe. Anything else, forget it. These things are designed for filling tires and running a nail gun. Spray guns can seem like a low-use item....but more often than not, they are not. You need a compressor for painting that does not have to run a lot and has a big enough tank to allow some oil mist and condensation to settle out and the air to cool. You don't want to paint with warm, damp air. A separator is a good answer, but there is no substitute for allowing the air to cool before use.

                    Do stay away from the oliless compressors. In addition to the shorter life, they are *really* loud.

                    Paul Carpenter
                    Mapleton, IL


                    • #11

                      That is the one I gave the specs to in my previous post.

                      Ok, so what about spending $120 for the pump I listed up above, connecting it to my RPC motor and finding a tank?

                      This is my RPC motor: Allis-Chalmers Induction motor
                      1740 RPM
                      230/460 volts
                      13/6.5 amps
                      Last edited by cuemaker; 09-13-2006, 12:21 PM.


                      • #12
                        I have an RPC I use with several pieces of machinery. I have always decided that an air compressor is not a good application for an RPC. The compressor needs to be able to run whenever it wants and has a pressure switch that will allow it to come on whenever tank pressure drops below a certain amount.

                        Your RPC should never be started with a load on it. What happens when you go to fire up your RPC and you find that your air compressor switch was "on" because it leaked a bit since you were last in the shop. If you put a disconnect on the compressor and were religious about using it, maybe you could get around this.

                        RPC's make sense for machine tools that are only ever started by the operator. You can make sure to start the RPC and *then* the tool.

                        Eaton seems to indicate that it will run with a 2HP motor. Why not single phase?

                        You will spend some money buying the sort of tank that compressor merits and then having it hydro tested. You have to buy a pressure switch and an unloader valve etc. I have an Ingersoll-Rand unit with a true 5HP American made motor and a 130 psi maximum single stage heavy cast-iron compressor. It has an 80 gallon tank. It makes a true 17 or so CFM at 90psi. It is rated for continuous duty although I have yet to do anything (including using my blast cabinet) that makes it run continuous . I think I paid $700 or so from TSC. There are good solutions out there that are well under $1000 with no BS factor. You can generally save yourself some money by going with a big, single stage compressor. Most folks never need the 170 psi that a 2 stage will make and the compressor runs much cooler.

                        Do watch for the BS factor in HP compressor ratings and be sure to compare air delivery rates (CFM) at the same pressure. The 90PSI values are most useful as that is around the point you will run many air tools.

                        Paul Carpenter
                        Mapleton, IL


                        • #13
                          OK-- I was dense. I think you are suggesting running it off the motor that *is* your RPC which means a three phase motor on single phase. Even with the loss you take in HP, that would seem adequate although maybe a bit inconvenient. How would you run the RPC if you don't want to run the compressor?

                          I have nothing against building your own, but you may find it harder to find a *good tank* than you think....much less having it tested. A non-air compressor tank will likely not have all the necessary plumbing holes...which may mean some welding.....which certainly then merits hydro-testing. I am skeptical bordering on pessimistic about using a used tank as I tend to think that most folks do not keep them drained and the inside likely looks like the craters on the moon....waiting to rust all the way through.

                          I put a truck pull-type air bleeder on mine so I can give a pull on a cable to drain it. By making this operation *really* easy, I find myself bleeding it pretty regularly. The part was around $5 as I recall. Do not let this freeze however ! My uncle did the same and told me that the water settles into the valve and will take it apart when it freezes! Still, you should not be running a compressor in freezing conditions without synthetic lubricants.

                          Paul Carpenter
                          Mapleton, IL


                          • #14
                            The first compressor mentioned is an oil lubricated compressor per Eaton's web page. Most of the contractors compressors you will find for sale are oil free. There should be a big difference in the life of the compressors because of this. Look at specifications, not just the pictures. Always buy at least twice the compressor you think you need.
                            North Central Arkansas


                            • #15
                              I'd recommend that you look on Craigslist and the classifieds and wait for a 60 gallon 5hp unit.

                              I've worn out or used up a number of oilless compressors. I've had one quit in the middle of painting a motorcycle and had to retrieve the basement compressor to the garage to finish. I've had to rebuild and press bearings in to a Campbell-Hausfeld 'cause I really needed to use my die grinder...

                              No more.

                              It took a year of looking, but I got a 5hp 60 gallon Speedaire vertical in like new condition, used at a small repair shop for a couple years, for $350. I also got a Millermatic 185 Mig with an 80 cu ft C25 tank from the guy
                              for $550, but that's a different story.

                              I ran my bead blast cabinet for several hours last weekend, and painted a set of motorcycle bodywork, and it cycled regularly, but nowhere near continuously.

                              Having suffered through too many years of too-small oilless compressors, I recommend that you buy a big, used, nice, American made 2 stage 220V compressor. You'll be gald you did.
                              "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"