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Need an Air compressor

May 13, 2009
I saw the mitre saw thread and figured I'd ask you guys about air compressors. I've already done some research and want to go oil bath. It will be used for running a 1/2 impact mostly, blowing out the shop, and whatever other air toys I want to add to the stable.
I did buy a speedaire 20 gallon used on craigslist but found it had a hole in the tank as soon as I got it home. I drove right back and got my money back. Now im kinda leary of buying used but not sure if im justified in that thinking? I do have the shop wired for 220 so I can go either way. Should I look used or if new any suggestions? Is this one of those things where I should spend the big bucks or can I get by on a cheap compressor?


Senior member
Jul 11, 2000
If you got the bucks, you can't go wrong with an Ingersoll-Rand or Quincy.


Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2010
I am looking for one too, I pretty much want to go the really cheap route. I don't use compressors enough to justify paying a lot for one. Mostly for painting and running some tools and blowing out the water lines. Hmm and I guess with winter coming I need one sooner rather than later for that.


Diamond Member
Jan 2, 2008
I got so lucky, my mom had a really really old one that she said was broke. I just replaced one of the leaking compression lines with a new braided metal line and it's back to normal.

Getting an air compressor and an air-nail gun literally changed my life. It made all my products look professional and it makes your job sooo much easier.

EDIT: It's a sanborn 3/4 HP compressor. Probably old


Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
I bought a nice craftsman pro one a few years back that was great. Used ones are fine provided they were maintained properly. Really that would mean that the air was all blown out of it after every use. Only way to check is to borescope the inside to see if there is any rust.


Golden Member
Nov 20, 2011
The biggest mistake I see most guys make when buying an air compressor is failing to size the compressor to their intended air tools and the intended frequency of usage. If you're a hobbyist who's only going to fire up the compressor once or twice a month, running just one tool at a time for short periods, then a compressor with a low duty-cycle rating will perform adequately and save you a good deal of money.

On the other hand; if you're an enthusiast or mechanic that needs a reliable air supply, e.g., engine work or farm equipment maintenance, buying a (new or used) compressor with a high duty-cycle rating will save you a lot of money by virtue of the fact that a quality electric motor, compressor unit, fittings, gauges, and tank will last many years longer than a low duty-cycle compressor in the same scenario.

I'm not endorsing Powermate, but they have a nice guide to choosing a suitable compressor that's applicable to any air compressor manufacturer: Choosing an Air Compressor

Nov 11, 2009
Go to sears

I have a hand me down 20 year old Craftsman and it does a great job when I need it (some mechanic work, Blowing gutters/leafs etc)