A great little compressor at a very reasonable cost

  • Advertise with us
Review by Jofa posted 08-10-2013 02:42 AM 13921 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A great little compressor at a very reasonable cost No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For the past ten years I’ve been using a Harbor Freight, 21 gal. compressor and it’s served me well. In fact, I really didn’t take care of it and surprisingly it lasted as long as it did. I believe the original oil was in it. (yikes!)

Of course, when I started my little business I started using the compressor on a regular basis and it started showing signs of failure. Blowing the breaker at startup, running slow and eventually not starting at all. I figured it was time to replace this behemoth with something a little more portable. However, I still wanted more capacity than a pancake.

I work part time at Home Depot in their tool rental department so I have the opportunity to learn more about some of the products than most folks. More importantly, I’m able to pick the brains of some of the guys in hardware to get their take on certain items. My co-worker spoke very highly of the 8 gal Husky so I grabbed one.

Compared to the 21 gal, this one is tiny. Small enough to roll under my workbench and very easy to carry in and out of the shed. The wheels are sturdy and the handle height is comfortable for rolling it around for a guy of my height (5’10”). It really freed up a lot of space in my shop.

The motor is much quieter than the HF but it’s a compressor and it’s still loud enough to where I don’t want to run it too far into the evening out of respect for my neighbors. However, the fact that it’s quieter is a welcome feature.
The motor runs relatively cool when the tank is refilling and it cycles in a predictable manner. Once it gets down to about 90psi, it switches on and shuts off at 125. Refill cycles only take about a minute at most.

The regulator is very accurate and easy to dial in. On the former compressor, I don’t believe the regulator ever worked so believe it or not, this was a new concept to me. It takes about three counterclockwise turns to get the pressure to start dropping but its easy to fine tune where you want to be. Of course, the machine cycles less frequently when the output pressure is lower so I can shoot many finish nails before it has to fill up again.

This was my only negative. A shut off valve for the air wasn’t included so this is an additional cost. I used the one from the old compressor but someone buying the Husky as their first will have to keep this in mind. (not sure if all compressors come sans valve).

Overall, I’m absolutely thrilled with this compressor. Sure I would like to have more capacity but I think it’s a good tradeoff for someone with limited shop space. Haven’t tried it with a framing nailer but the manufacturer info says it can handle this. I’d also like to get into spraying with it but I need to investigate the right way to go. Never did that before.

If you’re looking for a good, low cost compressor with a good warranty, the Husky should be on your list.


-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 2605 days

7 comments so far

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3282 days

#1 posted 08-10-2013 10:51 AM

I have a 30 gallon 5HP (peak) Coleman that I bought back in 96’. I pulled it out of a Sam’s Club for $300. It fills quickly and runs all my air tools, from impact wrenches to air brushes. I dread the day I have to replace it, looking over the current pricing for air compressors.
I’ve seen this unit and was not impressed, but it looks like I was wrong. Looks like you got a decent deal.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View klassenl's profile


206 posts in 3426 days

#2 posted 08-10-2013 12:51 PM

I have the same model but mine is red. I agree it’s a little loud. I have even done a certain amount of spraying and as long as my project isn’t too big it will keep up.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3561 days

#3 posted 08-11-2013 01:36 AM

Thanks for the review. I have the Husky 20 gallon. So far so good.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3016 days

#4 posted 08-12-2013 04:58 PM

I also have a husky 20 gallon. It’s nowhere near as good as the Craftsman professional 33 gallon I replaced, but it’s ok. My 33 gallon would fill and cycle in half the time the Husky does. The trade off is the Craftsman really should have been 220v. It tripped 20 amp breakers like that’s what it was designed to do. Other than the earth shattering noise, the husky doesn’t make itself known that it just fired up.


View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 2605 days

#5 posted 08-12-2013 05:48 PM

Joe, yeah the HF that I had would sometimes trip breakers as well. You could almost see all the lights in the neighborhood dim when I turned that thing on! :)

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View ScrapHeap's profile


22 posts in 2403 days

#6 posted 07-13-2014 01:25 PM

I liked my Husky until yesterday. I’ve had it about a year now. Yesterday, I put it in the wheelbarrow and took it from the shop to the garage. I figured it would be temporary, so I left it in the wheelbarrow at about a 10 – 20 degree angle (dumb). I was filling my portable air tank and the compressor kicked the breaker. I used to have the compressor in the garage, and this happened a lot, so I ran a cord from another exterior outlet to the compressor. Now the compressor will start and run for about 5 seconds and then the motor stops turning. The motor hums. I unplug it at that point. The extension cord is probably 14ga wire. Apparently, when the compressor builds pressure the motor can no longer turn it over. It will run fine if I unscrew the pressure switch at the top of the compressor. Basically with very little load.
I am wondering if running at an angle could have precipitated this?
I haven’t tried the compressor today yet, but I was hoping it was something like too much oil in the wrong place.
I will take it back to the shop where I have 20amp outlets and see if that makes a difference.

Up ‘till now, the compressor has served all my needs well.

View ScrapHeap's profile


22 posts in 2403 days

#7 posted 07-13-2014 09:08 PM

Follow up. Took the compressor back to the shop and plugged into 20amp outlet.
Worked fine.

Seems like these are engineered for specific volt/amp input and anything less will show up pretty quickly.
Jofa, thanks for the time and effort in publishing this review.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics