AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/23/20 1:08 p.m.

Like the title says, I want a bigger air compressor. What should I be looking at?


I currently have a craftsman 26 Gal 1.5 HP compressor. I hate it. It's loud, takes forever to fill, and runs down enough to be filling again too quickly. (It is just sitting on the floor inside my 2 car garage.)


I'm mostly figuring on a 60 or 80 gallon, and building a compressor shed onto the outside of my garage to try and keep the noise down. 

  • Is 60 gallons enough, or should I hold out for an 80?
  • How many HP do I need? 
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/23/20 1:09 p.m.

I found this one today not far from me, that looks promising. 60 Gal, looks like 6.5 HP. Not familiar with the brand though.

Patientzero HalfDork
6/23/20 3:42 p.m.

HP isn't really a big factor.  What you need to pay attention to is the SCFM @ 90 psi rating.

You want something AT LEAST 10scfm at 90psi but really something in the 15-20scfm range will do anything you need to do.

With a higher rating 60gal is plently, if you get something on the lower end of the scale an 80 gal tank will help cover up a little.


I remember reading when I bought my new air compressor that basically all of these lower end 60 gal compressor are the exact same thing painted a different color.  I ended up getting an "Industrial Air" 60 gal which is likely the same as the one you posted. 

I've had this for almost 2 years now.  No complaints.  It's rated at 11.5scfm and will keep running if I'm using a cutoff wheel for an extended period of time.  For just a DA sander it works great.

mikeatrpi HalfDork
6/23/20 8:52 p.m.

^ Good advice about the CFM.  Pay attention to the pump RPM too - lower is usually quieter.  Single stage compressors pump to about 135 PSI, dual to about 175 usually.  Not that you run any tool at 175 psi - but it somewhat translates into higher capacity.  

Cactus HalfDork
6/23/20 10:41 p.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

I think that's my unit exactly. I know for sure I didn't pay that for it. Pretty sure it was under $500 brand new from Rural King.


Horsepower matters if you're limited by your circuit breaker/wiring. I've only got 25 amp service in my garage, so I had to keep it under 6000 watts.

frenchyd PowerDork
6/23/20 11:03 p.m.

In reply to AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) :

I bought my 80 gallon compressor back in  1982. About 2010 I had to buy a new  5 hp electric motor for it.  
Keep your small Sears compressor. use it to supliment your big compressor.  

I have a little $50 new in the box 1979  1/2 hp Chinese made air compressor  and when I'm doing high volume work like sand blasting or blowing my sprinkler system out I plug it into the tank and that little compressor adds a fair amount of time before the pressure drops.  

fasted58 MegaDork
6/24/20 12:15 a.m.

In reply to AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) :

That Magna Force compressor you posted looks very similar to the Sanborn compressor I had. Google says Sanborn was sold/ rebranded. I had a 230V 5hp, twin cylinder, single stage, 60 gal. w/ 50 % duty cycle. It ran air tools okay including impacts. Air hogs like die grinders, sanders and media blasting at higher pressure cycled the compressor often... IOW, a lotta breaks. It could paint also, but not a whole vehicle w/o a strategy of painting sections, like splitting up sections on a pickup. There was also a lot of condensate.

Duty cycle is important if you want to work longer or continuously. 

After the Sanborn I bought a Ingersol-Rand 80 gal. 230V 5hp, two-stage w/ intercooler and 100% duty cycle. Never looked back. With the intercooler, condensation is a mere fraction of the old Sanborn. 

Patientzero HalfDork
6/24/20 12:30 a.m.

In reply to Cactus :

I didn't pay that either.  Bought it on Black Friday for $489 I believe.

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
6/24/20 10:01 a.m.

I came to recommend the 60 gallon Kobalt from Lowe's but it appears their current offering is inferior compared to the one I bought in '10.  It used to be 11.5 CFM @ 90 PSI and 155 PSI tank pressure, all for ~$500 new.  Now it's got a higher tank pressure of 175 PSI but a rather pedestrian 7.6 CFM @ 90 PSI.

If you come across the older Kobalt, that'd be a good one to get.

The old version looks like this:


It even fits in the back of a Jeep. laugh


pirate HalfDork
6/24/20 2:27 p.m.

I have one of the earlier versions of the 60 gallon also. The first one received had a pin hole in the weld of the outlet which Lowe's came out and picked up and delivered another. I replaced the drain valve when brand new 90 degree shutoff valve and length of flexible clear tubing just to make routine draining of water easier. Works well with no problems. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/27/20 9:33 a.m.

I think I found one!


Used, 80gal, 12.6scfm @ 90psi, 6.5hp, 220v. Black Max brand. $450 and in the same town as me, so not a big trip to pick it up.


Now... Anyone ever built a compressor shed to keep the noise down?


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/27/20 12:46 p.m.

Never mind, found now I found a 60gal, but 18SCFM.  That should do nicely!

Our Preferred Partners