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compressor for shoebox

June 15 2017 at 11:57 PM
ray in wi  (Login bob.22)

As my large compressor is quickly dying.... I need to come up with a smaller unit to run up stream of my shoe box. I was looking at the Harbor Freight models and was wondering if anyone has used these with any success?

3 gal. 1/3 HP 100 PSI Oilless Pancake Air Compressor

Central Pneumatic® - Item#61615 Only: $54.99

As it written, let it be done, you bring the pellets I'll bring the gun

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(Login student19462)

Re-compressor for shoebox

June 16 2017, 1:37 AM 

If noise matters,think about California air tools compressors.Much quieter than most and mine has an aluminum tank,no rust.

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AirTanksForSale.com 714-907-0067 8AM4PM Pacfc
(Login n6yyo)

+1 on the California Compressors

June 16 2017, 12:37 PM 

That seems to be the recommended compressor from Shoebox. Best bang for the buck, and the unit we also recommend when people purchase a Shoebox from us.

To receive notifications of the latest Airgun and How-To videos, and discounts and updates on my products, please "Like" my FaceBook page at

Joe Brancato 714-907-0067

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(Login garczar)

Harbor Fr(e)ight..................

June 16 2017, 12:49 PM 

A buddy bought one of these to finish building a deck. Two of these pieces of junk died in the same afternoon; bought one and it lasted about 2hrs. Second one lasted about 45min. HF was easy to deal with as far as the refund(s) was concerned. Steer clear of these things.

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(Login crowpopper)

My HF compressor is going on 4 years now

June 16 2017, 2:59 PM 

Works good. Isnt the quietest but it doesnt constantly run either.
I use it for shoebox and my air ratchet

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ray in wi
(Login bob.22)


June 16 2017, 6:34 PM 

Thank you all for the responses!

I had not thought much about the noise but a quiet compressor would be nice..and the aluminum tank is a bonus.

And Joe B. giving the second to them makes the decision easy.

I have bought a few items from HF..... kinda hit or miss quality wise. But for the price that is where I was heading. My son and I do buy quite a bit from them.

In the end I will order the California Compressor. Quiet is why I originally got into airguns.. then the savings on the price of ammo compared to PB's. Not saving anything overall now because of too many airguns!! But I just keep slinging more money at this air gun stuff LOL

Thank you all for the help!!! I really appreciate it!!


As it written, let it be done, you bring the pellets I'll bring the gun

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Calin Brabandt
(Login calinb)

Good choice! The cheap HF pancake compressors burn up their

June 17 2017, 2:08 AM 

piston o-ring, when run continuously for very long at all. At least that's been my experience. Usually the nylon-looking piston ring survives, but the silicone looking o-ring under it deforms and then the compressor fails to build pressure. As someone mentioned here, this can happen in one afternoon of heavy, but not even close to fully continuous, on the job use. The cheap HF pancake compressor only holds up for very intermittent use. Sometimes they put them on sale for $40 so you can't expect much from them. HF sells no replacement parts; they are destined for the landfill instead!

On the other hand, I was able to resurrect my dead HF pancake compressor by stretching two very tight mil-spec Viton o-rings into the piston groove under the nylon ring. It now seems to handle longer run periods, but I don't think I'd ever trust it to feed a Shoebox.

This message has been edited by calinb on Jun 17, 2017 2:21 AM

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Frank C.
(Login bandmiller2)

Noise pollution

June 17 2017, 6:26 AM 

I can't handle the irritating din of those pancake compressors, my old Quincy cast iron just keeps trucking cachunk,cachunk,cachunk, will probably outlast me. Quality matters with air guns and machinery.

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(Login scottgg)

Oil lubed compressor vs. Oilless...

June 17 2017, 8:05 AM 

Oil Lubed compressors are so much quieter it's not funny. I gave away my oilless 24 gallon compressor because I just couldn't stand the noise. My 60 gallon Home Depot special takes oil and sits on the garage floor with 2" rubber blocks under the feet. I added 18" of coiled 1.5" rubber hose to the intake nozzle, and it runs quieter than the dishwasher in my kitchen. Quiet is nice. happy.gif

For portability and quiet, I have a 8 gallon oiled compressor from Home Depot. That's what I'd recommend for the Shoebox.

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(Login BigTinBoat)

scottro - not a good idea - Tom K says "Oil-less shop air compressor required" nt

June 17 2017, 10:38 AM 

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Calin Brabandt
(Login calinb)

Oil compressors have been discussed in the Yellow, despite being not recommended.

June 19 2017, 11:20 PM 

I think they must be worried about rings leaking and oil getting into the ShoeBox, resulting in detonation. Too bad, because I've found oil-less compressors to suck (even the more expensive ones), for the reasons stated here. Plus, the small oil-less compressors don't put out the required 1 CFM (125 psi and 3 cubic fpm output for the Freedom8 model).

I was looking at the Makita MAC700 today. Sure looked good. The oil-less AC001 also looked very good, but not enough output. Makita is made in Japan, which I greatly prefer to any other tools of Asian manufacture!


This message has been edited by calinb on Jun 19, 2017 11:21 PM

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(Login charlie9g)

porter cable pancake

June 17 2017, 8:21 AM 

hundred buck compressor, proven in the field, noisy. builders would run these things flat out all day to supply nail guns. most pancake compressors will burn out on you. these wound up lasting and are some of the gems that can be had from china. it ain't all junk.
small caliber joy

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