Welcome to the The Garage Journal Board forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   The Garage Journal Board > The Tools > General Tool Discussion

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-20-2010, 07:48 PM   #1
biscuit141
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,012
Default Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

I have found a couple lately on CL and the specs seem to blow the newer Craftsman air compressors out of the water. Now before everyone tells me I need to buy a bigger unit, this is my first compressor and I am working with a $100-$125 budget. For the most part right now it will be for airing up tires and blowing off equipment, with occasional impact gun or air ratchet use.

Both compressors I found are older craftsman 20 gallon, oil-lubed units, both $125. one is a 4hp 220volt, the other is 3 hp 110 volt. the 3 hp is rated at 40/90 psi at 8.8/7.7 s.c.f.m (is this different than cfm?) and I saw it printed on the unit in a picture. the 4 hp is 11.2 cfm, according to the seller, no picture.

I know the HP is higher on these older models than the newer ones, does that also mean the cfm should be higher? did the older models typically put out more cfm than the newer ones do? Are these numbers even accurate?

The 3hp 110 model is about 30 min away from me, while the 4 hp unit is over an hour away. Any advice appreciated. BTW, I'm a new member hear and love reading about all the tools as I build my collection.
biscuit141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2010, 08:13 PM   #2
Krusty
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 53
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Sears was sued a few years back specifically for being "creative" with their compressor ratings so you might take a grain of salt with those numbers.

Krusty
Krusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 04-20-2010, 08:25 PM   #3
Joe B.
Senior Member
 
Joe B.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,571
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krusty View Post
Sears was sued a few years back specifically for being "creative" with their compressor ratings so you might take a grain of salt with those numbers.

Krusty
Yeah, those older hp numbers can't be compared to current numbers. It seems as though this has resulted in some of those older models being overpriced. It was not just Sears that was full of BS, it was the whole industry.
Joe B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2010, 08:26 PM   #4
Kev442
Senior Member
 
Kev442's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wi
Posts: 2,625
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Are older Craftsman decent? Yes. Are these HP ratings total BS? Yes. Pay attention to the 90 PSI rating, everything else is a waste of time.
Kev442 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2010, 08:34 PM   #5
biscuit141
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,012
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev442 View Post
Are older Craftsman decent? Yes. Are these HP ratings total BS? Yes. Pay attention to the 90 PSI rating, everything else is a waste of time.
The 3 hp model is what I am leaning towards since I am closer to it. It was rated at 7.7 at 90 psi, that still seems a little high to me for this size, but even if it is lower, it should still work for what i need right? Should 110 vs 220 matter to me as far as output is concerned?
biscuit141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2010, 08:57 PM   #6
Charles (in GA)
Senior Member
 
Charles (in GA)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: 50 mi south of Atlanta
Posts: 11,021
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

CFM and SCFM are used interchangeably. The SCFM stands for "standard" cubic feet per minute. Thats unpressurized, normal atmospheric pressure, cubic feet of air. When you compress air, you can pack lots of SCFM's in a rather small space. The higher the pressure, the more SCFM's will fit.

The one compressor you are describing, a 4 hp 20 gal, oil pump (aluminum, steel sleeves, mine was) is a decent compressor. Bought it used and I used it for several years till I bought a large stationary compressor. Gave it to the Animal Shelter to sell in their auction to raise money. I still have a small, even older Craftsman 12 gal 1 hp iron pump compressor that I keep because it is 120v and can "go anywhere" (yea right, its so darn heavy I have to roll it up ramps into the back of the truck).

Charles
Charles (in GA) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2010, 08:58 PM   #7
harvero
Senior Member
 
harvero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Flemington, NJ
Posts: 225
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

I had purchased "Sears Best" horizontal portable compressor back in the early 80's. I used it to sand blast a 2 story masonry 2 family and I've painted many cars with it. I really gave it a work out last summer with my HF blast cabinet. It finally bought the farm this past Christmas running my die grinder when I was doing the ball joints on my blazer . Even thought the DeVilbiss air pump has a 50% duty cycle I ran compressor for weeks for hours straight.







I could have fixed this unit, but it needs a crank and a rod, the parts still can be ordered from sears, but run about $200.
harvero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2010, 09:39 PM   #8
Kev442
Senior Member
 
Kev442's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wi
Posts: 2,625
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuit141 View Post
The 3 hp model is what I am leaning towards since I am closer to it. It was rated at 7.7 at 90 psi, that still seems a little high to me for this size, but even if it is lower, it should still work for what i need right? Should 110 vs 220 matter to me as far as output is concerned?
There was a popular mechanics or some other magazine article that explained how the manufacturers took the HP ratings to the edge on these units. The 3hp and 7.7 @ 90 psi are actually pretty close on those models to reality. I personally recommend 220v as it seems the motor runs somewhat cooler in that configuration and it's much easier on the garage wiring. As for what it will run, everything up to a sander, then the catch up waiting starts. But as shown above, many of these were advertised as "paint pros", so they knew people were going to run them for an hour or more straight painting/grinding/sanding stuff.
Kev442 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 12:00 AM   #9
biscuit141
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,012
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev442 View Post
I personally recommend 220v as it seems the motor runs somewhat cooler in that configuration and it's much easier on the garage wiring.
Can these be configured to run on either 110 or 220?

Now I'm worried its going to be crap and break like harvero's did. However I dont think I'll be using it quite as much as he did.

Is there a better compressor that fits what I need it to do for not much more money I should be looking at or for?

I attached photos of the compressors. the 3hp 110v is the first 2, 4hp 220v is the 3rd.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG00007-20100407-2003.jpg (99.0 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg IMG00043-20100419-1500.jpg (70.8 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg Air compressor.jpg (138.9 KB, 102 views)

Last edited by biscuit141; 04-21-2010 at 12:12 AM.
biscuit141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 12:58 AM   #10
lwlobo
Senior Member
 
lwlobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: CA
Posts: 780
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

I'd say a consumer grade air compressor that lasts almost 30 years and finally breaks after some really heavy use doesn't qualify as crap!

I have a very similar, if not identical, Sears Best compressor to what harvero had, and it works great. I remember when my Dad got it in the Mid 80's. I snagged it when he finally got a new bigger upright about 7 years ago. I fixed some plumbing and replaced the pressure switch, and now it runs great. I'd prefer it over any newer noisy, oiless Craftsman or Husky or whatever.

Mine is set up 220V, I'd suggest going the same way.
lwlobo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 01:14 AM   #11
Lhorn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,291
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Yeah I'd say a nearly 30 year old compressor used for hard work like sandblasting and for hours at a time owes you nothing. Using for lighter duty like impact guns, etc and it'd probably last a lot longer.

I got a used Sears compressor on CL a few years ago. It looks to be one of their bigger portable oil lubricated compressors and it's held up great.
Lhorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 08:39 AM   #12
biscuit141
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,012
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

the seller of the 4 hp unit emailed me another pictures this morning. I can see the plug in this pic better and it looks to be a normal 110 out outlet plug. Anyone used one of these before?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Air comp 1.jpg (140.7 KB, 132 views)
biscuit141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 09:06 AM   #13
GTO
Senior Member
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NJ,NC,FL
Posts: 2,102
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krusty View Post
Sears was sued a few years back specifically for being "creative" with their compressor ratings so you might take a grain of salt with those numbers.

Krusty
It wasn't just Sears,there was a Class Action Suit settled against a number of compressor manufacturers for inflating(no pun intended) their HP ratings on compressors.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 12:45 PM   #14
wineslob
Senior Member
 
wineslob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Northstate
Posts: 233
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuit141 View Post
the seller of the 4 hp unit emailed me another pictures this morning. I can see the plug in this pic better and it looks to be a normal 110 out outlet plug. Anyone used one of these before?
It cannot be 3 or 4 HP on 110v.

Just for reference using motor name plates (numbers are approx for true HP):

1/2 hp 110 v should be 8 amps.
1 HP @ 110v would be 16 amps.
so you can see that you CANNOT run 3 or 4 HP on 110 v, ain't gonna happen.

Also a good "rule of thumb" for cfm: 3.5 cfm per HP, that is for a decent compressor and not counting the tank volume.
wineslob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 12:55 PM   #15
Major Ramifications
Senior Member
 
Major Ramifications's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: River Ridge, Louisiana
Posts: 4,007
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Either of these would be fine, they were both good units, probably made by Devilbiss. In your price range, you really can't be too picky. I would lean toward the 220V, but condition is important too. Also, can the 110V unit be configured to run on 220? Also, do you have 220?
Major Ramifications is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 01:30 PM   #16
Aberdale
Senior Member
 
Aberdale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 954
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Either would be fine for the use you described. I have a 3hp 220v Craftsman that I bought new in 1981. It was my only compressor for 20 years. About that time, I got a pin hole in the tank from not draining it on a regular basis. I replaced it with a new oilless diaphram Craftsman compressor that only lasted about 6 months. I took the old compressor and motor and put it on the new tank. It's still compressing air, although it leaks a bit at the regulator. Although I now have a new 2 stage compressor in the shop, I keep the Craftsman in the garage to do the types of things that you will be doing. For the use I've gotten out of mine with little or no maintenance, I would say it's been a great compressor, and would much rather have an older piston compressor than any of the newer oilless ones.

Dale
Aberdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 01:54 PM   #17
biscuit141
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,012
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Ramifications View Post
Either of these would be fine, they were both good units, probably made by Devilbiss. In your price range, you really can't be too picky. I would lean toward the 220V, but condition is important too. Also, can the 110V unit be configured to run on 220? Also, do you have 220?
I do have 220 in the garage. I will probably go with the 3hp, it is closer and looks in a bit better condition.
biscuit141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2010, 03:36 PM   #18
Kev442
Senior Member
 
Kev442's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wi
Posts: 2,625
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

They all look like the decent ones, so it's mostly the luck of the draw that it was not abused too badly. That's a pretty honkin motor on the 4 hp, no way that runs on 110. The others are probably rewirable between 110 and 220. Be prepared to put a pressure switch or a back valve on the one you buy, they are pretty crispy after 20-30 years.Good Luck!
Kev442 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 10:43 AM   #19
ihkrawler
Junior Member
 
ihkrawler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cold Springs NV
Posts: 2
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Can anyone tell me the model of compressor shown in harveros pics? I have the same compressor that needs a couple small parts but cannot find a valid model # anywhere, making it difficult to find the appropriate parts.
ihkrawler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 02:25 PM   #20
truckdriver
Senior Member
 
truckdriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Miami,OK
Posts: 969
Default Re: Are the older model Craftsman air compressors any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihkrawler View Post
Can anyone tell me the model of compressor shown in harveros pics? I have the same compressor that needs a couple small parts but cannot find a valid model # anywhere, making it difficult to find the appropriate parts.
What kind of parts do you need? Usually the only thing to go bad is the check valve/unloader combo and that is a usually a CA 12 Load Genie and the pressure switch which you can use any switch with the correct rating.
truckdriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:46 AM.