Quiet air compressor?

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  • Quiet air compressor?

    Two years ago I sold my twin tank 5 gallon HF compressor which was parked in my Dad's garage. Mistake.

    That thing was loud, though, and I enclosed it below my workbench (which I no longer have) Are there any reasonably priced compressors that aren't really loud?

    The biggest thing I can imagine needing it for is a framing nailer as I already have a turbine HVLP.

    Thanks
    Paul

  • #2
    I can't think of any piston compressor that is quiet. My first compressor was a diaphragm type, but very low volume, suitable for an air brush or touch up gun. It was quiet, made sort of a "puk puk" sound when running.
    Jim Frye
    The Nut in the Cellar.
    ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by atgcpaul View Post
      Two years ago I sold my twin tank 5 gallon HF compressor which was parked in my Dad's garage. Mistake.

      That thing was loud, though, and I enclosed it below my workbench (which I no longer have) Are there any reasonably priced compressors that aren't really loud?

      The biggest thing I can imagine needing it for is a framing nailer as I already have a turbine HVLP.

      Thanks
      Paul
      I usually google questions like this but don't often ask the right question in order to get the answers I need. However, I did google this one and here is the Google list:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=Quie...client=gws-wiz

      Hope it helps you.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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      • #4
        Oiled compressors are generally quieter than oilless. But you have to maintain them (change the oil periodically) and oil gets in your air and your hoses and while its good for nailers and such you have to use a oil filter to remove it from the airstream.

        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

        Comment


        • #5
          I've had two compressors for quite some time now. The largest is a 33-gal, 150 psi oil-less, that is so loud that I wear both ear-plugs and muffs simultaneously. After I moved to the city I stopped using it, as even located in the basement it can be heard two houses down the street. The second is a 2-gal, 125 psi oil-lubed portable. Light enough to carry, it is significantly quieter than the oil-less, so much so that I can work within 12 or so feet of it. Mostly I use it with my nailers/staplers and for inflation. I find very little oil carried into the air stream, and it doesn't enough CFM to be used for spray finishing. Perfect for the nailers though. While I monitor the oil level regularly, I only change it ever year or so, so to me it's very low maintenance. Both air compressors were made here in the U.S.; the 33-gal is a DeVilbis and the smaller made by Midwest Air Technologies. Prior to those two compressors I had a twin-tank portable lubricated, made by Ingersoll-Rand's 'Energair' sub-division based in Davidson, NC (it was Italian-made). I bought it as an employee offering when I worked for the Air Power division in Painted Post, NY. It was recalled two years after purchase because the Italian-made tank leaked.

          Generally speaking, lubricated compressors cast-iron cylinders will be significantly quieter than non-lubricated aluminum cylinders will be. The points that Loring pointed out need to be considered however. I haven't noted much in the way of downstream oil contamination of the hoses, but my use is only occasional and not part of shop permanent setup. If I were to make such an installation, I would definitely make the necessary pipe installation following standards, including condensate drainage, filtration, etc.

          CWS
          Think it Through Before You Do!

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          • LCHIEN
            LCHIEN commented
            Editing a comment
            The oil accumulation downstream is slow but steady. Once your hoses and piping are contaminated it is probably not advisable to use it for painting and for blowing on anything that is to be finished or has to be kept oil free.

            The change interval is once a year but my old compressor lasted 25 years. and that's 25 changes and 25 bottles of oil I didn't have to dispose of.
            Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-13-2022, 04:35 PM.

        • #6
          As LCHIEN stated oil lubed are generally speaking considerably quieter than oilless. But yes, if you are going to be using it to drive finishes, or the exhaust will spray against any surface that will be getting a finish, you will need to include an oil and water separator to clean up the air befor you spray oily air on stuff, and oily is a relative term. Honestly I would never run a compressor, oiled, or oilless without some sort of foilter due to miniscule particles that can get into the airflow, such as metal shavings from a compressor that will slowly eat itself, yes they will eat themselves up over the years, it may take 20 or so years, but it will eventually happen... I honestly love my 29 gallon Central Pnuematic, but I doubt you want something that big...
          Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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          • #7
            We use Jun-Air compressors at work that are so quiet but they are also over $2k each for the same capacity as a $120 one. My HF used oil but it definitely wasn't quiet. It was "portable" but less so every year.

            ​​​​​Not wanting to spend a lot on a tool I won't frequently use, maybe I'll just get something affordable (probably not too quiet) and continue to use the portable spare tank in the house, don muffs in the shop or bury it in a cabinet, and not worry about it outside where sound just seems to disappear.

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            • #8
              My current compressor is a 6 gal. Bostitch oiless unit. A pair of Peltor 29 dB muffs seems to solve the noise issue.
              Jim Frye
              The Nut in the Cellar.
              ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

              Comment


              • #9
                Noise is the main reason professional shops put their air compressor outside behind the shop. The bigger they are they louder they are. I located my 5hp IR compressor inside my shop rather than behind the shop under the shed roof to keep it in a dryer atmosphere. After it kicked on and scared me half to death, outside seems like a good place for it!

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                • dbhost

                  dbhost
                  commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That honestly sounds about right. I have the 29 gallon 2HP and it is reasonable, a friend of mine has a 5HP I think it is an 80 gallon Quincy and it is LOUD when it pressures up. He's got a piece of land with a proper shop building and he keeps the compressor in a, well compressor shed for lack of a better term, but basically an enclosure off the back of his shop building. I seriously should have opted for a longer commute when I bought a house!

              • #10
                California Air Tools sells some quiet air compressors. Scroll compressors are very quiet but cost $,$$$

                https://www.aircompressorsdirect.com...RoCmYQQAvD_BwE
                Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison

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                • #11
                  What is reasonably priced?

                  I would agree on the above California Air compressor recommendation and they can be found listed sometimes on a deal of the day site or den of tools video, etc. They use rubber bushings between the compressor and the tank to limit the noise to around 70db. I picked up one in 2017, to replace my dead pancake (nailer compressor), HF compressor, on clearance from Menards. Menards then had them make their Masterforce line I believe (no proof).

                  That said, I picked up a Quincy years ago on CL locally, for $150. It is an industrial model, 2hp, 17 gallon tank that puts out 8.1 CFM at 100 psi. It would in no way be cheap new. (good search term) Pretty sure it is in the high 60 db range.

                  The first one is an oilless compressor and goes against the norm of oiless being more noisy. The second one I just changed the oil on after bringing it over to this house.
                  She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.

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                  • #12
                    The Fortress oilless from HF (6 gallon pancake) is much higher pitched when running than the now defunct 25 year old DeVilbiss-made Craftsman oilless pancake compressor which had a much lower pitched chuka-chuka noise running.
                    The noise is much more annoying when I'm working in the garage shop, but, on the OTOH, the noise doesn't carry nearly as much as the low frequency of the old compressor.
                    I can't hear the HF unit in the house at all when it cycles. But I could always hear the Craftsman faintly in the house when it cycled in the garage. It would remind me to shut if off if I forgot to when I was done for the day.

                    So my comment point is, that noise is relative, absolute loudness numbers sometimes matters less than the frequencies it emits.
                    Same goes for DC vs Shop vacuums.
                    Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-26-2022, 11:31 AM.
                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                    Comment

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