An air compressor is a tool that suctions surrounding air into it to mechanical squeeze it in a pressurized manner through internal moving parts, which in turn results in a usable force for use in pneumatic drills, impact wrenches, paint sprayers, and pressure washers. This harbor freight air compressor pump review or article intends to showcase harbor freighter air compressors and what they bring to the table. To be clear, this shouldn’t be confused with Harbor Freight Tools and their line of compressors.
Are harbor freight air compressors any good? Yes, they are. They’re especially dependable in large-scale construction projects, industrial-level compression, and commercial settings. They’re in fact among the best of the best in the market to date.
Top 5 Harbor freight air compressors reviews in the market today
|Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5|
|Central Pneumatic HA67847|
Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon
|Central Pneumatic HA95275|
|DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor|
As for the more detailed harbor freight air compressors reviews themselves, here they are as follows:
1. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
- Oil-lubricated pump
- Refillable compressed air
- Enough power to operate two nailers at the same time
The highly rated Makita MAC2400 has a lot going for it. Its 130 max PSI might pale in comparison to the DeWalt DWFP55126 compressor’s 165 max PSI, but this refillable compressed air can harbor freight device more than makes up for it with its cast-iron big bore cylinder and piston that’s made to provide faster recovery time for air suction. What you’ve lost in about 35 PSI of extra pressure you’ve gained through faster, more efficient operation that doesn’t have as long a wait time. It’s pretty impressive for the 2nd heaviest compressor on this list at 81 pounds.
A fortress air compressor wishes it could have the Makita MAC2400 compressor’s low amp draw that decreases the risk for tripped breakers when you start the device up. It furthermore delivers 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI and 4.8 CFM at 40 PSI. This is at least enough power to operate two nailers at the same time. The pump for this product is oil-lubricated to ensure reduced wear and cooler running temperatures. The motor also has additional protection with its built-in thermal overload feature. Alas, unless you’ve got a 30 gal air compressor tank or 60 gal air compressor tank instead of a 6-gallon one, the promised quick recovery isn’t as quick.
- Oil-lubricated pump
- Big bore cylinder and piston makes recovery time faster
- Heavy-duty size allows for superior max PSI and CFM output
- Less portable and slower recovery if the tank size is less than 6 gallons
2. Central Pneumatic HA67847 2.5 Horsepower, 21 Gallon, 125 PSI Cast Iron Vertical Air Compressor
- Rubber foot stabilizers
- Central pneumatic air compressor 21 gallon manual included
- Heaviest compressor on this list
As for this harbor freight 21 gallon air compressor review, it’s mostly concerned about The central pneumatic 21 gallon air compressor comes complete with an oil-level indicator window for easier maintenance, a heavy-duty 2½-HP motor, rubber foot stabilizers that reduce the vibration from the machine, and an air delivery rate of 4.7 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.8 CFM at 40 PSI. It even has a central pneumatic air compressor 21 gallon manual included to answer all your troubleshooting and operation questions in one go. It’s the heaviest compressor on this list at 97.7 pounds.
While the central pneumatic air compressor 26 gallon version probably offers you extra gallons for faster recovery, usually the 21-gallon HA67847 is mostly enough gallons for a large amount of applications so you don’t need to shell out extra for those extra 5 gallons. Customers have commented on how well it powers various air tools like the air hammer and grinder in particular. However, there’s a concerning recurring complaint among both the positive and negative comments in regards to the quality of the HA67847 compressor’s pressure gauges. It’s the most common complaint regarding the unit, so it might not be just a quality control issue but a design flaw.
>>> See more relate article: Compressor Shopping 101: What’s The Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor Out There?
- Exclusive rubber foot stabilizers for vibration reduction
- Heaviest compressor allows for decent PSI and CFM output
- 21-gallon tank is enough to fulfill many commercial-grade applications
- Recurring complaints regarding faulty pressure gauges
3. Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor
- Separately sold gun kit
- Can start at cold weather
Yes, this item doesn’t include a gun kit or hose that are sold separately, but that’s okay since that’s the case with the rest of these harbor freight tier compressors. The Bostitch BTFP02012 compressor’s main claims to fame include operating oil-free and having a 150 maximum PSI or the second best max operating pressure on this list next to the inimitable DeWalt DWFP55126. It’s also the second lightest air compressor on this list (weighing in at 29 pounds) next to the Central Pneumatic HA95275 (which weighs 21.2 pounds).It even has a high flow regulator and couplers to maximize its performance.
It’s therefore kind of impressive to get 2.6 SCFM or CFM delivered by this compressor at a 90 PSI pump, especially one with a high-efficiency motor that can do cold weather start-ups and an oil-free pump that’s easy to maintain. For something so lightweight and portable, it was able to get almost as much SFCM at 90 PSI as the DEWALT product. It’s not a 21 gallon air compressor but a 6 gallon one, so that’s high-quality CFM comparable to one of the best brands in the industry. It also operates at a noise level of 78.5 decibels, which also trails only slightly from DeWalt’s 75.5 decibels. Bostitch proves that good things do come in small packages.
- 2nd lightest air compressor on this list at 29 pounds
- 2nd best maximum operating pressure on this list at 150 PSI
- Oil-free pump and high-efficiency motor that can start at cold weather
- Quality control issues, like some units breaking down within 3 days of use
4. Central Pneumatic HA95275 1/3 Horsepower 3 Gallon 100 PSO Oilless Pancake Air Compressor
- Comes complete with thermal overload protection
- Small size
- Built-in accessory storage
A husky 2 gal air compressor wishes to have as much horsepower and CFM performance as the lightweight and portable 21-pound, 3-gallon, and ⅓-HP Central Pneumatic HA95275 Air Compressor. The difference is more than just the extra gallon too. This oil-less pancake compressor comes complete with thermal overload protection, an easy-to-read pressure gauge that can reach its maximum operating pressure of 100 PSI, and built-in accessory storage. It’s typically bought for use with air tools made for household tasks like finishing nailers.
Its smallness (it’s the smallest compressor on this list) means it’s obviously not reserved for industrial-grade applications you’d expect from a 21 gal. 2.5 hp 125 psi cast iron vertical air compressor. You also don’t need central pneumatic air compressor oil to run various central pneumatic air tools on this oil-less pancake air compressor as well. In other words, the air compressor is low maintenance because it’s designed to not need oil. Its 3-gallon tank even comes with a drain valve for good measure. It’s made to save shop space but falters in terms of performance because it can only deliver 0.6 CFM on a 90 PSI pump and 1.0 CFM on a 40 PSI pump.
- Built-in accessory storage
- 3-gallon tank comes with a unique drain valve
- The lightest and most portable air compressor on this list
- Probably the loudest compressor on this list too
- Performs worst among those on the list in terms of CFM delivered
5. DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
- 165 PSI maximum operating pressure
- Easily start it up even when it’s cold
The harbor freight gas air compressor is a quality pancake compressor because it has the telltale signs of excellence that customers have come to expect from the DeWalt or DEWALT brand, like the fact that it has a maximum operating pressure of 165 PSI that’s the highest on this list. It can even deliver 2.6 CFM or Standard Cubic Feet Per Minute (SCFM) at 90 PSI and 3.7 CFM at 40 PSI. What’s more, it’s a portable air tank harbor freight compressor due to its 30 pounds of weight that’s only beaten by the Central Pneumatic HA95275 Air Compressor.
It also comes complete with a high-efficiency motor that allows you to easily start it up even when it’s cold as well as an extension cord application. Its universal, high-efficiency motor is 10 amps, 60 hertz, and 120 volts that can take 14 gallons of air or larger as well as 50 feet of cord. Just remember to place the oil lube air compressor about 12 inches away from the wall or other obstructions because the air flow can get blocked by them. It’s also quite quiet at 75.5 decibels. Furthermore, harbor freight air compressor parts for replacement are relatively easy to retrieve thanks to the popularity of the brand.
- Relatively portable at 30 pounds
- Easy-start universal engine even in cold weather
- 165 PSI maximum operating pressure that’s the highest on this list
- Quality control issues regarding air leakages and inconsistent operating pressure
Buyer’s Guide for Harbor Freight Air Compressors
While Harbor Freight Tools or harbor freight air tools in Calabasas, California is a dependable equipment retailer that makes their own brand of air compressors, the commercial harbor freight air compressors on this list cover different brands such as DeWalt, Bostitch, Central Pneumatic, and Makita. From them, you can get quality industrial-grade compressors like the 100 gallon air compressor that can cover factory work or large-scale construction projects.
You can also get your hands on high PSI compressors such as a 125 psi air compressor or 150 psi portable air compressor. These brands can even provide you with many other types of quality compressors such as the New “Ultra-Quiet” Harbor Freight Fortress Air Compressor. You can even get portable compressors like a 1 gal air compressor or a 2 gal air compressor in case you’re using the products for simple tasks like powering a sandblaster to sandblast your rusty gate before repainting it. With that said, here are the benefits of using air tools powered by compressors:
- Air tools last much longer than other tools
- Air tools have variable speed and torque control
- There are no contaminants released by accidental air leaks
- Air tools don’t generate heat when in operation so they run cooler overall
- Air tools have no fire hazard risk and no electric shock potential compared to electronic tools
- High ratio of power to weight in air tools contributes to operators getting tired or fatigued less
FAQ for Harbor Freight Compressors
1. Should You Buy a Gas-Powered or Electric Air Compressor?
An air compressor can be powered by either a gas or electric motor. Which one should you choose? It depends on where you plan to use it. The gas engine compressor can be used anywhere, even in places without an electric socket or extension. There are some compressors that run on batteries too in order to solve the socket issue but they’re not as strong as the gas-powered ones. Gas is simply more convenient and flexible, but they’re not designed indoors and are more expensive. Go with an electric if you’re doing work inside the house.
2. What’s the Difference Between Single-Stage and Two-Stage Compressors?
The stages refer to the compressor pump type, whether it’s a two-stage/twin-stage or one-stage/single-stage. The pump sucks the air into the compressor for compression. Single-stage pumps deliver up to 155 PSI and CFM ratings below 100 PSI in order to directly compress the air into the tank in one stage. Two-stage pumps compress the air in the 1st stage then pass it unto the 2nd stage for a second compression. Know your air requirements for the job to know which type you need.
3. How Large of a Tank Do You Need?
Tank sizes are measured in gallons and depend on the capacity that your compressor and/or air tool can handle. Therefore, your 25 gallon air compressor should have a 25-gallon tank and so forth. A smaller tank size is preferable for air tools requiring intermittent bursts of air like in the case of nailers. If you require a sustained blast of air fro longer time periods like with a grinder or air sander, you need a larger tank. For example, 6-gallons is enough for the nailer and 21-gallons might be required for the grinder. Also take note of your compressor’s deliverable CFM at a specific PSI rating (usually 90 PSI).
The best to worst harbor freight air compressors as ranked by user reviews on Amazon.com are as follows. There’s the Makita MAC2400 in 1st place, Bostitch BTFP02012 in 2nd place, DEWALT DWFP55126 in 3rd place, Central Pneumatic HA67847 in 4th place, and Central Pneumatic HA95275 in 5th place. To our surprise, DeWalt isn’t the number 1 harbor freight air compressor on this list but instead the number 3 one despite having, as usual, some decent specs. It’s the median bar of excellence for these top 5 compressors. The Makita wins despite being outdone in certain specs because it has the most consistent performance without weighing a ton or having quality control issues.
Both of the 2 central pneumatic air compressor products are in last place because they’re second-class to third-class compressors compared to household names like Makita, Bostitch, and DeWalt. Regardless, the heaviest compressor on the list is Central Pneumatic HA67847 Air Compressor at 97.7 pounds while the lightest compressor is the Central Pneumatic HA95275 Air Compressor at 21.2 pounds. The unit with the highest maximum PSI, meanwhile, is the DEWALT DWFP55126 Air Compressor. Finally, the unit with the best CFM at 90 PSI is the central pneumatic air compressor 125 psi at 4.7 CFM while the worst is Central Pneumatic HA95275 at 0.6 CFM.