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Discussion Starter #1
I need a new portable air compressor, my 8 year old Porter Cable pancake compressor finally crapped out. I looked into repairing it but the parts cost nearly as much a new one.

What I'm looking for is reliability and portability.

Whatcha got?
 

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Old School
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I need a new portable air compressor, my 8 year old Porter Cable pancake compressor finally crapped out. I looked into repairing it but the parts cost nearly as much a new one.

What I'm looking for is reliability and portability.

Whatcha got?
You might evaluate what you will be using it for. You already are familiar with the output and capacity of a small compressor. You might look for whatever tool you might be using or spray gun, and look at the CFM requirement.

In any case I would opt for an oil lubricated cast iron cylinder or cylinders. There are many threads on this exact question. Here's one.





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Sawdust Wrangler
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I have had my porter cable pancake forever. For cheap maybe the bostitch pancake. If you want to step it up a oil type would be nice and quite. The makita big bore looks good.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since you really didn't define your needs, this one should cover most of the bases
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200431254_200431254
:yes:
HAHA! but i guess you're right, i didn't give up many details :)

I use it almost exclusively for finish work on the job i.e. trim, doors, paneling etc… I've got one in my garage/shop I use for spraying and blowing off tools and the like.

I think I paid $180 for the Porter Cable a bunch of years ago, so it's done a good job. But I also have many friends who've had the same machine crap out in a year or two.

If I could get a guarantee I'd get 6+ years out of another I'd jump on it, but it looks like the long life of mine was the exception, not the rule.
 

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Sawdust Wrangler
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HAHA! but i guess you're right, i didn't give up many details :)

I use it almost exclusively for finish work on the job i.e. trim, doors, paneling etc… I've got one in my garage/shop I use for spraying and blowing off tools and the like.

I think I paid $180 for the Porter Cable a bunch of years ago, so it's done a good job. But I also have many friends who've had the same machine crap out in a year or two.

If I could get a guarantee I'd get 6+ years out of another I'd jump on it, but it looks like the long life of mine was the exception, not the rule.
I have a porter cable pancake that I purchased as a package with several nail guns many many years ago, mine is still going strong.
 

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John
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HAHA! but i guess you're right, i didn't give up many details :)

I use it almost exclusively for finish work on the job i.e. trim, doors, paneling etc… I've got one in my garage/shop I use for spraying and blowing off tools and the like.

I think I paid $180 for the Porter Cable a bunch of years ago, so it's done a good job. But I also have many friends who've had the same machine crap out in a year or two.

If I could get a guarantee I'd get 6+ years out of another I'd jump on it, but it looks like the long life of mine was the exception, not the rule.
I've had the Porter Cable C2002 for about 4 years, I think I paid a little over $100 for it as I got it off the reconditioned market. It has been a pretty good little portable compressor but lately has developed some idiosyncrasies. I think the valve plate is getting sticky.
I also have a main shop compressor so it sounds like your requirements and mine would be similar. Since I have the shop compressor, my main requirement would be portability/weight balanced with CFM and psi. While an oil lube has a longer expected life, that, for me is offset by the increased weight and need to keep it relatively level. Not sure just what your budget is but Makita has a couple of dolly mounted, oil lubed compressors that may fit your needs. The MAC 700 at $200 (http://www.cpooutlets.com/makita-ma...c700,default,pd.html?start=2&cgid=compressors)
and the MAC 5200 @ ~$400 (http://www.cpooutlets.com/makita-ma...200,default,pd.html?start=12&cgid=compressors)
Neither would work well for me. The 700 only goes to 130 PSI and only has a 2.6 gallon tank. That would work fine for most 15 gauge and smaller tools but my framing nailer would be constantly looking for air as it wants 120 psi and kicks my 6 gallon/150 psi C2002 on in about 3 shots. At 88 lbs the 5200 isn't something I want to be tossing in the back of my truck on a regular basis.
The link mobilepaul provided looks like a pretty good place to start shopping. Another option would be to repair the the one you have. Compressors aren't all that complicated and parts for most of the Porter Cable compacts are readily available.
http://www.ereplacementparts.com/porter-cable-compressor-parts-c-129_1662.html
:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys, I think Emglo is the right answer for me. It's a bit heavier, but IIRC it's nearly indestructible.
 

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I bought a cheap air compressor from Harbor Freight. It light weight, portable and I have been using it for about 8 years now. The biggest fault I have with it is its very noisy, other then that it is holding up just fine and cost me less then 80 dollars. I also have a HD compressor in my work shop that is about 45 years old which gets used daily but is too big to move.
 

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Rolair! The wheelbarrow type. Heavy but portable. Needs a 20 amp circuit.

My 20 year old Rolair has see many pancakes come and go still outperforms every other portable in air volume and reliability.

Not cheap but will last forever.
 
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