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  1. #1

    Harbor Freight/Lowes Air Compressors the same?

    Short answer is yes.

    So I've been shopping for air compressors as evident by a number of threads. Finally started pounding the pavement after being convinced I could in fact use a 220V in my garage. Went to Lowes, HD, Harbor Freight and Sears. Wrote down everything about each of the compressors down to the tank mfg and the motor P/N. In the end I found out that Harbor Freight has a 60 Gal compressor for $397 (regular price) that is identical in every way to the $499 compressor at lowes shown here:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...HFV&lpage=none

    The only difference is that the HF unit is advertised as 130psi Max and the Lowes one is 135. I think it's just a regulator thing though that can be fixed. The motors and tank are exactly the same, everything is the same. The Lowes unit is rated at 78db for noise. BTW, I can't find the HF unit on their website, but its in their stores.

    So with a 20% off coupon I can get this guy for $317! Saved $200 just by paying attention.

    One other thing, the $379 Lowes compressor show here:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...054&lpage=none

    Is also available at HF for $329 regular price. They are identical in every way as well.

    Just thought I would pass this on.
    Larry,
    1990 Range Rover w/ 37" Goodyear MT/R's
    www.lgindustries.net
    I'm was addicted to Bambino's, until I found a hair in one!

  2. #2
    Taz's Avatar
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    And I though I did a lot of checking before buying anything! lol

  3. #3
    Jers79CJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    And I though I did a lot of checking before buying anything! lol
    X2
    Let us know how the HF compressor works.
    79 CJ7 37's 4.88's Locked

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    And I though I did a lot of checking before buying anything! lol
    I started to notice there is only a handful of compressor Mfg's for the low end stuff. It all started to look the same so I just started writing down details a la CSI style.

    I'm planning on picking it up later this week. I'll report back here what I find.

  5. #5
    If you don't mind used, keep an eye on Craigslist. I bought this one on there for $150! 6hp, 60 gal., 220v. Of course, that was a lucky score, and I was the first one there with the cash....

    1956 CJ5
    Stored indoors for last 30 years :D , under restoration.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rondog View Post
    If you don't mind used, keep an eye on Craigslist. I bought this one on there for $150! 6hp, 60 gal., 220v. Of course, that was a lucky score, and I was the first one there with the cash....

    Agreed, I got a brand new craftsman 80gal 220v for 250 from a guy here at work.

  7. #7
    I wish I had some 220V outlets. Bastids!

  8. #8
    Jason's Avatar
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    Run it. I did.

    My garage is detached and I got my landlord to buy all the hardware and I dug the 100ft by 2ft deep trench and wired it. turned out pretty good.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rondog View Post
    If you don't mind used, keep an eye on Craigslist. I bought this one on there for $150! 6hp, 60 gal., 220v. Of course, that was a lucky score, and I was the first one there with the cash....

    Been watching, all you bastids are beating me to them.

    Right now there is one in Boulder that the guy claims is 2-stage for $275. I called about it but decided that's just too far to drive when I can get a new one from HF for a few dollars more and some sort of warranty.

  10. #10
    Scooter's Avatar
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    None of the compressors pictured are a two Stage. I would jump on that one. Two stage compressors have two cylinders, the first cylinder compresses then send it to the next cylinder for final compression. Usually in a V twin setup like a Harley. Most all industrial compressors with be a two stage. Compressors are like a engine in your auto. ie bore x stroke x rpm = CFM (cubic feet minute) but the real industrial compressors are rated by CFFM (cubic feet free air minute). The easy explanation on this is, "What the compressor will deliver if it had no storage tank at all." This is the truth in advertising rating system. I would look for the CFFM rating. This rating system also takes in to account the mechanical loss of the compressor itself, not just bore X stroke.
    Good Hunting!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by lwg View Post
    Short answer is yes.
    I'm pretty sure they're both made by ABAC/American IMC out of Rock Hill, SC.

    I got this one. So far so good...
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...HFV&lpage=none
    1988.5 Zuk - 1.6L 16v, locked F/R, YJ SUA, 4.89:1, 3.73, cage, comfy seats

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mog416 View Post
    I'm pretty sure they're both made by ABAC/American IMC out of Rock Hill, SC.
    Nice catch! Now I know all the specs as HF tends to only give just enough info to sell something.

  13. #13
    Getting deep in here Hardcor4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayT View Post
    I wish I had some 220V outlets. Bastids!
    I have 2 in my garage

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcor4x4 View Post
    I have 2 in my garage
    I wired a 220v, 50amp service from my main panel into the garage, and connected it to a small sub-panel. Then I wired two 220v circuits out of the sub-panel, a 50amp to the welder and a 20 or 30amp to the compressor. Only need one at a time, so I just use the one I need. Turn the compressor off if I'm welding, etc. Both welder and compressor breakers are inside the garage now.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by rondog View Post
    I wired a 220v, 50amp service from my main panel into the garage, and connected it to a small sub-panel. Then I wired two 220v circuits out of the sub-panel, a 50amp to the welder and a 20 or 30amp to the compressor. Only need one at a time, so I just use the one I need. Turn the compressor off if I'm welding, etc. Both welder and compressor breakers are inside the garage now.
    Been thinking about doing the same thing in my garage. In the end it would actually be cheaper than running another 220V line since Copper is so expensive and I'd need about 200' of it...

    I could probably run them both at the same time since my welder only pulls something like 20A, it's a Hobart 175.

  16. #16
    ASCTLC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwg View Post
    ...So with a 20% off coupon ...

    Where'd you get the coupon?

    Andy

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ASCTLC View Post
    Where'd you get the coupon?

    Andy

    There's always one somewhere over on pirate4x4.

  18. #18
    Getting deep in here Hardcor4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rondog View Post
    I wired a 220v, 50amp service from my main panel into the garage, and connected it to a small sub-panel. Then I wired two 220v circuits out of the sub-panel, a 50amp to the welder and a 20 or 30amp to the compressor. Only need one at a time, so I just use the one I need. Turn the compressor off if I'm welding, etc. Both welder and compressor breakers are inside the garage now.
    Who ever owned the house before I did was pretty good at electrical or something. He had an extra 100 amp service run to the house and larger main panel put in then ran power off that to a sub panel in the garage. I have 3 or 4 110 breakers and two 220v breakers on it. Previous owner added the extra power I think for the hot tub and then to run a subpanel to the garage for all his shop tools and stuff. In total my house has SIX! 220v breakers. Dryer, Oven, A/C, Hot Tub, and 2 idle breakers in the garage. Should see how fast that little wheel spins on the power meter when just 3 are running at the same time.

  19. #19

    Thumbs up

    So went down to the HF in Aurora and picked up the $397 compressor today. Wiring it up tonight. After I used a 25% off coupon it costs just under $300!!! I added the 1 year unconditional warranty for an extra $29.

    Here's a link to the thread where I got the 25% off one item coupon: http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=559304

    I'll update everyone on it's noise output once I find a 3-prong 220V plug. Having a hard time finding anything but the standard 4-wire dryer plugs.

  20. #20
    Jers79CJ's Avatar
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    Nice find! BTW I've been using the earthquake impact for about 3 years now no problems and packs some serious torque for a cheapy!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jers79CJ View Post
    Nice find! BTW I've been using the earthquake impact for about 3 years now no problems and packs some serious torque for a cheapy!
    That's what I read over on Pirate. Figured I would give it hell. Actually they sold me the 2 year replacement warranty for $10. I usually don't go for warranties but the price was right on these and they assured me it was as simple as bringing it to any HF and getting a new one.

  22. #22

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    Compressor

    Do you have the part number, I cant find HF compressor with those specs.

    Thank you!

  23. #23
    Getting deep in here Hardcor4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwg View Post
    I'll update everyone on it's noise output once I find a 3-prong 220V plug. Having a hard time finding anything but the standard 4-wire dryer plugs.
    A 3 prong plug is what most ovens/ranges use. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and ask for a range or oven plug.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepjr View Post
    Do you have the part number, I cant find HF compressor with those specs.

    Thank you!
    It's not listed on their website, only in their stores. I noticed that as well. I bought mine from the one in Aurora and I know they have several more in stock. I'll take a picture of it and the model number later today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcor4x4
    A 3 prong plug is what most ovens/ranges use. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and ask for a range or oven plug.
    Nobody carries the 3-prong cords anymore, only 4 prong. So I made one with a 3-prong outlet and some wire.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcor4x4 View Post
    A 3 prong plug is what most ovens/ranges use. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and ask for a range or oven plug.
    All new ranges and ovens are 4 prong now per code and like LWG said nobody carries the old style anymore so one has to be made.

  26. #26
    ASCTLC's Avatar
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    Model 3848???

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ASCTLC View Post
    Model 3848???
    Bingo!


    Basically it is the same compressor as model 661V (Mine is labelled US 660V) in the link that Mog416 mentioned. Click on BelAire Compressors. I am guessing the 660V was replaced with the 661V, but that's just a guess. I'm about 95% sure these guys make this compressor.

  28. #28
    ASCTLC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwg View Post
    Bingo!


    Basically it is the same compressor as model 661V (Mine is labelled US 660V) in the link that Mog416 mentioned. Click on BelAire Compressors. I am guessing the 660V was replaced with the 661V, but that's just a guess. I'm about 95% sure these guys make this compressor.
    I was afraid of that. I just went and laid eyes on it and it is a little 3.5 hp motor. I can get basically the same setup at HD for $399 what HF sells for $397 but the HD (Husky) has a 5hp motor. I wonder if the HF up north has the 3848 with a bigger motor. That'd be strange if they did though.

    Now with the 25% off coupon, that may make the HF compressor a better value at ~300.00.

    I saw on-line that they had the IR 1/2" Titanium impact for $269 and was ready to walk out with that using the 20% coupon. Bastards don't carry it. May have to try to get it on-line if they'll accept the 25% coupon.

    The 20% coupon says it must be used in one of their retail stores. Aaaarg...bastards again! I can't read the fine print on the 25%, but I'll see if it can be used.

    Is your HF pulley and belt encased in a wire cage or encased in a plastic shroud?

    Andy

  29. #29
    crackhead's Avatar
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    The tanks are all made by CH.. I had to get my Husky (Home Depot) tank warrantied cause of shitty welds, and it went to a CH warranty place in Boulder.. Just make sure the pump has cast iron cylinder liners, the SCFM is the amount AND pressure you need and youre good to go..
    '93 Fullsize Bronco
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  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by ASCTLC View Post
    I was afraid of that. I just went and laid eyes on it and it is a little 3.5 hp motor. I can get basically the same setup at HD for $399 what HF sells for $397 but the HD (Husky) has a 5hp motor. I wonder if the HF up north has the 3848 with a bigger motor. That'd be strange if they did though.

    Now with the 25% off coupon, that may make the HF compressor a better value at ~300.00.

    I saw on-line that they had the IR 1/2" Titanium impact for $269 and was ready to walk out with that using the 20% coupon. Bastards don't carry it. May have to try to get it on-line if they'll accept the 25% coupon.

    The 20% coupon says it must be used in one of their retail stores. Aaaarg...bastards again! I can't read the fine print on the 25%, but I'll see if it can be used.

    Is your HF pulley and belt encased in a wire cage or encased in a plastic shroud?

    Andy
    If I'm not mistaken the Home Depot and Lowes Motors are rated wrong. There is tons of information out there about how to properly rate the electric motors. Basically you shouldn't believe what they advertise. What I did was physically look on the motor and find the Amp rating. The Home Depot one is rated at 15 amps, the Lowes is rated at 16 amps ($499 unit, same as mine).

    The pulley is encased in plastic, the Lowes is encased in metal. That is the major difference I can find.


    Regarding the impact, people swear by the Central Pneumatics "Earthquake" impact. If you look closely it looks like a carbon copy of the IR unit, except it's $79 on sale right now. I'm a firm believer in you DON'T always get what you pay for. Everybody sells their name brand products under cheaper names nowadays. The difference is in the service and warranty, usually they're the same product though.

  31. #31
    crackhead's Avatar
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    I bought a used IR-231 on E-bay for like $75 i think and it has never let me down..

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