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HF 21 Gal Compressor #4676475
02/24/18 12:43 PM
02/24/18 12:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,337
South Central PA
Delta Offline OP
Delta  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,337
South Central PA
Figured I'd give you guys a quick thought about the compressor I picked up at Harbor Freight. This one. I know you're thinking "you bought a compressor at Harbor Freight, are you nuts?" Maybe, but with online coupon it was only $150 plus tax. It is also oil lubricated, which is also a plus in my book. I've never been fond of the oil free compressors. We use them at work and they perform less than stellar. Instructions on initial start-up is to put a fitting on the end and run the compressor for 30 minutes strait. After which you are to change out the oil. Now I know why they want you to do that, this is the oil after the initial 30 minutes:



Refilled with some Castrol Edge 0w30 I had laying around. Figured it would be easier running during the winter in my un-heated detached garage. I know some of you are going to say I should be using a non-detergent oil, but I've been running Castrol HD30 in my small 2 gallon compressor for years. Under heavy (and abusive I might say) use it still works to this day.

My primary use is a blow gun, and my initial impressions are it does very well. With the regulator set at around 100, pressure feels constant. It does stay running while using the blow gun, but that's to be expected. I'm sure impact use would be suitable for this unit as well. Any long-time use tool such as an air sander I probably wouldn't recommend. Long term longevity is yet to be determined, but as a budget compressor I'm impressed. Figure I'd share in-case anybody is looking for something along this line and on a budget.


'17 VW GTI 2.0T - 6MT - 10K - Edge 0w40
'15 Camry SE - 2.5 - 21K - PP 0w20
'99 S10 - 2.2 5MT - 156K - PP 10w30
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4676503
02/24/18 01:00 PM
02/24/18 01:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 7
NJ
BoxedFox Offline
BoxedFox  Offline
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 7
NJ
I was actually looking at that exact compressor to replace my 8 gal hot dog. How loud is it compared to other compressors?

Also, that photo is nuts. At first I thought it was a picture of a glass measuring cup with a metal bottom. It almost looks like a vial of mercury with some dust in it.


93 Honda Prelude Si prepared for SCCA ITS
Joe Gibbs Racing Driven XP3 and PTH Racing Oil 5w30
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4676509
02/24/18 01:12 PM
02/24/18 01:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,109
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,109
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Delta
Refilled with some Castrol Edge 0w30 I had laying around. Figured it would be easier running during the winter in my un-heated detached garage. I know some of you are going to say I should be using a non-detergent oil, but I've been running Castrol HD30 in my small 2 gallon compressor for years


Every oiled air compressor I own always gets the "crankcase" filled with good, clean used engine oil. I change it every couple years.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: BoxedFox] #4676521
02/24/18 01:26 PM
02/24/18 01:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Originally Posted By: BoxedFox
I was actually looking at that exact compressor to replace my 8 gal hot dog. How loud is it compared to other compressors?

Also, that photo is nuts. At first I thought it was a picture of a glass measuring cup with a metal bottom. It almost looks like a vial of mercury with some dust in it.


We must have the same hot dog filter because mine can wake up the dead.

Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: BoxedFox] #4676536
02/24/18 01:47 PM
02/24/18 01:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,337
South Central PA
Delta Offline OP
Delta  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,337
South Central PA
Originally Posted By: BoxedFox
I was actually looking at that exact compressor to replace my 8 gal hot dog. How loud is it compared to other compressors?

Also, that photo is nuts. At first I thought it was a picture of a glass measuring cup with a metal bottom. It almost looks like a vial of mercury with some dust in it.


It's probably going to be just as loud honestly. It is a little bit louder than my ancient 2 gallon Craftsman hotdog type. I will say it's quieter than the DeWalt 4.5 gal oil-less though. IMO I would go for it, but would follow break-in to the T. Most other reviews shadow the same thing.


'17 VW GTI 2.0T - 6MT - 10K - Edge 0w40
'15 Camry SE - 2.5 - 21K - PP 0w20
'99 S10 - 2.2 5MT - 156K - PP 10w30
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4676680
02/24/18 03:46 PM
02/24/18 03:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,365
Up State NY
SEMI_287 Offline
SEMI_287  Offline
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,365
Up State NY
At first I thought the pic was some metallic gray paint. LOL


2005 BMW 325xi- Delo 400 XSP 5W40, K&N
2008 Mitsubishi Galant- Parts Master 5w30, Wix



Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4676815
02/24/18 06:16 PM
02/24/18 06:16 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 258
WA
DeafBrad Offline
DeafBrad  Offline
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 258
WA
My last compressor was a HF air compressor. I ended up running it low on oil and seized it up. 100% my fault. I don't know if the drain plug is still the same, but mine had a rubber o ring to seal it. My o ring got damaged and the oil leaked out. If yours is the same design just make sure the o ring doesn't deform and crack when tightened. Or, just replace it with a new one each time you drain the oil.


Toyota Echo 250,000 + miles
Geo XFI 50+ mpg
Honda CBR250r 65+ mpg
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4677184
02/25/18 02:05 AM
02/25/18 02:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 12
United State
MrWaker Offline
MrWaker  Offline
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 12
United State
My first air compressor is the Central pneumatic 21 gallon air compressor from https://bestaircompressorstore.com/central-pneumatic-air-compressor-review/. To greatly growing their lifetime working ability it has an oil-based cooling system which won’t let the pump system and motor overheat. It produces 125 psi max of pressure as a great compressor.


Thanks for the discouson

Last edited by MrWaker; 02/25/18 02:08 AM.
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4677314
02/25/18 07:50 AM
02/25/18 07:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,644
Central Maryland
HangFire Offline
HangFire  Offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,644
Central Maryland
Using motor oil, or any detergent oil, in an air compressor will eventually gum up the valves.

If you shop around, ISO100 (air compressor oil) can be had for the same price per quart as any other oil.

If you have a very cold shop and need air at below freezing temperatures, you can even do synthetic non-detergent.

You can extend the change interval of any proper air compressor oil letting it sit for 24 hours, and then draining the water off of the bottom.

https://www.amazon.com/Gallon-ISO-100-Detergent-Compressor-Lubricant/dp/B072LXNYJN

https://www.amazon.com/Miles-Gear-Synthethic-Based-Grade/dp/B010V9P4EG

Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4677367
02/25/18 08:42 AM
02/25/18 08:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,674
Indiana
dlundblad Offline
dlundblad  Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,674
Indiana
I'll probably get one of these when the time comes unless I can find something older and used.

I hear nothing but good things online.


03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 186k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 153k Synpower 5w30 Supertech ST3980 (Ecore)

Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4678604
02/26/18 10:49 AM
02/26/18 10:49 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,530
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
zzyzzx Offline
zzyzzx  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,530
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Non detergent oil in quart containers is cheap at Walmart. I don't see it on their webpage though.

Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: HangFire] #4679342
02/27/18 12:18 AM
02/27/18 12:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,459
CA
user52165 Offline
user52165  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,459
CA
Originally Posted By: HangFire
Using motor oil, or any detergent oil, in an air compressor will eventually gum up the valves.

If you shop around, ISO100 (air compressor oil) can be had for the same price per quart as any other oil.

If you have a very cold shop and need air at below freezing temperatures, you can even do synthetic non-detergent.

You can extend the change interval of any proper air compressor oil letting it sit for 24 hours, and then draining the water off of the bottom.

https://www.amazon.com/Gallon-ISO-100-Detergent-Compressor-Lubricant/dp/B072LXNYJN

https://www.amazon.com/Miles-Gear-Synthethic-Based-Grade/dp/B010V9P4EG


Bought my compressor from from Sears (their "Best") - made by Devilbis in 1980. Never a problem since with near daily use. Been using Mobil 1 10w-30 for about the last 30 years. Gummed up valves??

Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4679438
02/27/18 07:34 AM
02/27/18 07:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,644
Central Maryland
HangFire Offline
HangFire  Offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,644
Central Maryland
Detergent oils + moisture can cause foaming, which gets up into the head and in the valves.

In some more humid areas, it really matters.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4679591
02/27/18 10:57 AM
02/27/18 10:57 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,018
Guilford, CT
exranger06 Offline
exranger06  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,018
Guilford, CT
I have a small Campbell Hausfeld compressor and CH actually recommends Mobil 1 5w30, not a non-detergent oil. It came with a small bottle of SAE 30 oil, not sure if it was non-detergent. It would thicken up a lot in cold weather and the compressor often would not start and trip the breaker in the winter. I drained it out after the break-in period and refilled with Mobil 1 5w30. It now has no problem starting on the coldest days.


2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)
Re: HF 21 Gal Compressor [Re: Delta] #4689983
03/09/18 08:16 PM
03/09/18 08:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,137
NE,Ohio
Rand Offline
Rand  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,137
NE,Ohio
While that is a decent value option.. if you want the real "Hoss"

https://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/...ssor-61489.html

150psi max gives more room for recovery while providing stable air flow at 90psi (or whatever your tools require)

belt driven pump.

etc etc... still a relative value at <350$ when on sale.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
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