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  • Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

    Hi all,
    I need a small air compressor that I can haul around with ease. I went to HD and they have two that seen to fit the bill. One is a 1.5HP 4 Gal Husky and the other is a 6 Gal Porter Cable. I basically need it to run my brad gun and also framing gun on occasion for small jobs. Has anyone had any experience with either of these? Is one better built than the other?
    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

    I think that Porter-Cable is more reputable, but when faced with the same challenge, I looked around.

    I finally settled on a Craftsman oil-lubed unit which was lighter and much quieter than anything that I could find at Home Depot or Lowes. While the unit that I have is only a 2-gallon, I've had it for over a year now and it drives my nailers easily, has a small "footprint" and is easy to carry and maintain. One of the contractors I had hired for a job, used it with his framing nailer and liked it so much he bought one to use instead of his ear-shattering P-C pancake unit.

    While the 2-gallon is no longer available, Craftsman currently had the 3-gallon version of this compressor on sale for $99.99. The unit is oil-lubed, cast-iron cylinder and piston, 1-hp motor, 125 psi. My 2-gal tank fills in under a minute (from empty). (Catalog #15310)

    Bottom line is of course, that you may well prefer to stick with Porter-Cable (rather popular), but I think the Craftsman is worth a "look-see".

    I hope this helps,

    CWS

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    • #3
      Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

      I've had the Porter Cable pancake for several years. Bought it with a 3 gun set. Homeowner use. LOVE IT!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

        I just recently bought this



        Works great! It has already done two wood floors and some siding/framing.
        The best thing is it only cost $180 plus it came with a hose and a brad nailer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

          Originally posted by RidgidMANJames View Post
          I just recently bought this



          Works great! It has already done two wood floors and some siding/framing.
          The best thing is it only cost $180 plus it came with a hose and a brad nailer.
          Wow. What is that and where can I get one?

          EDIT: Saw it at HD today. $189. Nice.
          Last edited by Frooky; 04-15-2010, 02:05 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

            I've had a porter cable air compressor for years with no problems. I love the thing and would recommend PC products to anyone.

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            • #7
              Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

              +1 for PC. I was able to compare mine to the Bostitch equivelant this winter. Although the bostitch was quieter, it weighed more, was taller, and seemed more susceptible to freezing than the PC. We were running identical Bostitch framing nailers. The PC didn't leave me wanting for anything.

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              • #8
                Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                I got the Ridgid MobleAir and I realy like it. Only used it on two jobs. I also have the porter cable. The porter cable is easier to haul around, but noisy as hell. The ridgid recovers realy fast, and is queit, and having a hose coil on the compressor is pretty cool. I've had my PC for over 2 years and it's still kicking. i'd say go with the PC or Ridgid and leave the husky alone.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                  Read some Makita MAC700 reviews and comparisons to the above. Under 15 amp draw, low noise, oil-filled (2x piston life). It's better than those membrane-based cheapo pancakes.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                    If you have a LSA on the Ridgid that looks good, if not I would avoid it as parts will be hard to come by with these limited run tools that HD promotes. Husky, forget it, no parts will be available when you need them. Have the same basic PC in a DeVilbiss, hate the noise but it has held up for limited work. I would not , today buy any oiless except a Thomas, or Makita. Most any of the oil lubed will work well, if cold weather is an issue use 0-20w synthetic oil.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                      Ridgid compressors are NOT covered by the LLSA and I agree with Andrew M, regarding the number of model changes with the Ridgid line. Of course it could be that I'm not keeping track and there may be a model or two that has been around for awhile; but for the most part the models seem to change faster than the seasons.

                      I'm not crazy about the NL units, as they are extremely noisey. I have a Craftsman 33-gal (made in the U.S.A. by DeVilbiss) that is NL. It's about five or six years old by now and is still going strong... but even with ear protection you can't be anywhere near the thing.

                      And, as I mentioned earlier... I have a Craftsman oil-lubed portable that is comparitively quiet. It is imported by Mid West Air, meets CA standards, and retails between $100 and $119, depending whether or not it is on sale (which is often). Pumps to full pressure in about a minute (mine's a 2-gal) and will run a couple of nailers. With a "Craftsman", most wear parts are stocked and available for a long period of time.

                      (I have a contractor friend who has used a P-C pancake for years... but the noise is alarming. He like my little Craftsman and went out and bought one. Keeps the P-C as a back-up.)

                      For what it's worth,

                      CWS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                        A couple of "rules of thumb" here about air compressors, from someone who has worked on many.
                        1) IF it pumps up over 125 PSI and is very small/portable--it's probably/almost always a non-lubricated piston type. Known for being really noisy. The pistons and cylinder walls on these have a Teflon coating. They are good for a few years before developing tiny fissures in the Teflon walls which = leaks.
                        2) IF it pumps up around 125 PSI--135PSI, has at least a 3 gallon tank, is moderately heavy for a portable, it's probably lubricated. That's good IMO. Much quieter also. Why would you want any more pressure? NOTHING I have is ever ran at that pressure, and I have plenty of pneumatic tools, stuff.
                        I also have a small/portable Craftsman (I'm not preaching Craftsman here) unit with a 2-gallon tank that will operate darn near any of my tools, except some of those in the shop. I/we have operated two (2) framing nailers from this unit. Mind you, we didn't just walk and shoot.
                        If someone has had success with a non-lubed compressor that has lasted a long time, that's good. Just my opinion, David

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                          David,

                          By your description, it sounds like we may have the same unit and I've been very happy with mine. Easy to carry, doesn't take up much room, and has more than enough capacity for a couple of nailers. Cast Iron cylinder, nice manifold design, and easy access condensate drain valve. Also has substantial rubber foot pads.

                          I haven't run across a "teflon-coated" piston, usually it's one or two teflon-like piston rings running in an all aluminum crankcase, cylinder, piston assembly. These are usually higher RPM units and the teflon-like rings do wear out, much faster than a conventional, lubricated ring. Like with and automobile engine, you'll loose compression as a "tell-tale" sign for needed service on an oil lubricated unit. With a teflon-like ring on an NL unit, the thing will usually just sieze, destroying the piston, cylinder, and bending the crankshaft.

                          CWS

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                          • #14
                            Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                            Check out this website Air Compressors

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                            • #15
                              Re: Buying an air compressor. Porter Cable or Husky?

                              Diablo,

                              Thanks for the link and welcome to the Ridgid forum.

                              I looked that the webpage and it is very basic at best and, unless I missed a link somewhere, it gives only details on a limited quantity of "inflators", which really have very limited application beyond supplying air for your tiles and basketballs.

                              While there are literally dozens of brand and model selections out there, it is to some extent surprising the limited number that a applicable and available to the home or small business operators.

                              Just a walk-through any of the lumber, tool, and home-supply stores will show that Porter-Cable and Cambell-Hausfeld are the main players, with DeWalt and Ridgid also in the play. Under house-brands, we of course have Home Depot's Huskey and Lowes's Cobalt series; and of course no-body should overlook Sears and it's Craftsman-branded selections.

                              The latter of course appears to have many problems and the models change faster than the NE's weather.

                              Compressor's selection is often a mystery, as I guess it is not in the common experience of the tradesman and certainly not in the home craftsman. However, it is really NOT all that mysterious either as the criteria for selection boils down to simply understand a couple of designs and their benefits and problems. Most important of course to anyone's needs concern is "getting the job done" and that is simply understanding your tool's particular air consumption and pressure requirements.

                              With the latter, it's a matter of CFM (volume of air required by a particular tool or process and a compressor's ability to produce the necessary volume and pressure to meet and exceed those requirements.

                              I'll follow up with this later this later this evening....

                              CWS

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