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Forum topic by Tedstor posted 08-29-2012 02:52 PM 3000 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1678 posts in 2781 days

08-29-2012 02:52 PM

I currently have a Craftsman Evolv series pancake compressor. Its a cheap POS I bought 3-4 years ago for a household flooring install. I paid $50-something for the compressor and it came with an ok 18g nailer as well as a hose and inflation kit. All in all, the compressor was a GREAT buy. Paid for itself 10x over as I have used it mercilessly since purchasing it. However, its performance is starting to noticabley degrade. The noise the pump makes has always been terribly loud, but now it worse since the pump takes longer to fill the tank and it cycles on more often. I actually avoid using the compressor sometimes due to the noise/performance issue.

SO- I’m in the market for a new, small compressor. Prolly something in the 4 gallon range. Given that noise is an issue for me, I’m pretty dead-set on an oil/lube compressor. Right now I’m tempted to go with an Emglo. Amazon and Lowes are selling it for $224. Seems like a good fit for me. Main applications for a compressor are finish nailers, general inflation, and occasional clean-up. I want something that will fill and recover reasonably fast. Above all else, I’m hoping to get into a compressor of reasonable quality, that will last a decade or longer.

Any thoughts on this product??

Oil lubricated pump with cast iron cylinders provides over 1500 running life hours
4.0 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump, 4.0-Gallon tank and 125 max PSI enables more nails to be fired and provides quicker recovery
Dual soft start valves assist in cold weather start up
Universal push-to-connect coupler for ease of operation
Utilizes Emglo’s 50 years of expertise in air compressors

23 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5072 posts in 4108 days

#1 posted 08-29-2012 02:55 PM

The oil lubed ‘pressor will be more quiet. My trusty PC pancake just keeps on cookin’, but if it ever tanks, I’ll buy an oil filled.
I don’t think that you’ll go wrong with Emglo.


View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2613 days

#2 posted 08-30-2012 01:47 AM

Soon, I too will need a new compressor. I have the HF unit that looks just like the Emglo you posted. It is mostly a POS, but has served its purpose. I read (here on LJ somewhere) that Cambel Hausfield has a 200psi unit that looked promising. I like the fact that it charges to 200psi, which will give you longer runs before re-fill.
I’ll keep my eye on this thread to see what you end up with :)


-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2911 days

#3 posted 08-30-2012 02:18 AM

My money is on Quincy – made right here in the USA in Quincy, Illinois. I used to sell ‘em, so I know how good they are.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View felkadelic's profile


218 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 08-30-2012 02:22 AM

I have a Rolair JC10 that’s very quiet, although it’s not oiled

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8431 posts in 2725 days

#5 posted 08-30-2012 02:25 AM

I’ve used the above pictured emglo for a long time and it still works
and it’s served me well.

Not one problem with that compressor. I’ve run a Hitachi framing nailer
and a Senco finnishing nailer all day with it.


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2387 posts in 3695 days

#6 posted 08-30-2012 02:31 AM

We have sure had our share of small compressors, wore them all out for one reason or another. Some was user error though.

Things I consider:
1. Needs to be oil lubed pump as you have listed.
2. weight and portability, I always enjoyed the pnuematic wheels on some compressors, saves on the back.
3. The 4 cfm at 90 PSI should be sufficient.

If you do this professionally and use a compressor you might spend a little more for a better compressor. However, if you do this for fun or on the side, then the compressor you are considering should be a good option if it is an oil pump. Just stay away from the oiless pumps and you should be fine.

Things I have done in the past that have shortened the life of the compressor: (things not to do)
1. used my portable compressor to clean off shop equipment, allowed motor to run excessively without a chance to catch up. Even if you get a compressor with a high pressure output, such as 200+ PSI, but the tank is only 4 gallons, then your compressor can run too much to keep up.
2. Ensure no leaks in any of your connections.
3. If the compressor shuts off, look for a reset button.

-- .

View hamburglar's profile


42 posts in 2247 days

#7 posted 08-30-2012 02:31 AM

I would suggest this compressor Makita MAC2400

I have one and it is the cat’s meow. Looooooowwww noise level which is great because my shop is the sidewalk out in front of my apartment and I try not to piss off the neighbors too much :D

We have it’s big brother at work (MAC5200) and it’ll run two framing nailers no problem. This MAC2400 will run two framing nailers if not shooting that hard. If I start laying down sheathing though and blow and go with some 8d’s then it struggles to keep up. (Bostitch F21PL nailer)

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2725 days

#8 posted 08-30-2012 03:11 AM

My money would go on the Rol-Air JC10 mentioned above. That thing is amazing.
I’m grabbin one in a few days as a second compressor.

Toolbarn has the best price I’ve found at $199 shipped.

I have the MAC2400 too and it’s a great compressor; not so much if you need to carry it around. It’s a beast!

I run mine in the kitchen and it doesn’t bother my wife sleeping in the next room over.
Don’t run your compressor and toaster at the same time…

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2568 days

#9 posted 08-30-2012 03:24 AM

Rollair jc10, made in the USA, small and fairly light, very very quiet. It will be my next portable compressor hands down. Perfect for running nailers in the house putting trim up, etc

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

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2387 posts in 3695 days

#10 posted 08-30-2012 04:32 AM

I certainly agree the Rol-Air is the way to go for similar money. That should be a better built product. We used to own a Rol-Air also. I do disagree with the model recommended since it is oiless. No way the longevity of an oiless product can be on par with a oil lubricated model.

Toolbarn does have the next model up which is the Rol-Air FC2002 which would be super value at 239.00 shipped to your home. I do believe it is an oil lubricated pump and likely will serve all your needs for many years to come as long as it is used properly.

-- .

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2387 posts in 3695 days

#11 posted 08-30-2012 04:41 AM

Toolbarn also has another Rol-Air similar to the model I recommended installed on a small dolly cart for easy moving around. The shipped price for that one is 257.00. Very good deal. I do understand you have a budget and these models might be stretching your budget, I’m not sure. But if you can swing it I would go for the Rol-Air. And as mentioned before they are American made.

-- .

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2725 days

#12 posted 08-30-2012 11:20 AM

Jerry, both of the other rol-airs you mentioned have a piston speed of 3400 rpms. They’ll both be a lot louder than the JC10, which is even quieter than my MAC2400, which is considered quiet by compressor standards.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3695 days

#13 posted 08-30-2012 12:05 PM

Yes, that may be correct.

I guess it is just a thing I have with a bad experience. I purchased the dewalt, it featured 5.2 CFM at 90 psi, I think had a 4.5 gallon tank on a fixed dolly with max PSI at 210 lbs. I paid around 400.00 brand new. And it was a great compressor but when it was 15 months old it gave up on me. So if there is such a thing as a bad buy, that was it. No way should anyone have those kinds of issues with any compressor in 15 months. In hind sight, I know I could have probably used a rebuild kit for the pump and got the compressor working again. But how often would I have been faced with rebuilding an oiless pump on the dewalt?

I do think if you only plan to run an occassional nail gun, you are probably going to be fine no matter what you buy. But we sprayed with our compressor and we needed to be able to depend on the compressor. Now we use an 80 gallon, 7.5 up SpeedAire, but it is not very portable. ;)

-- .

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2445 days

#14 posted 08-30-2012 01:09 PM

You got maybe 4 years of service out of a $50 compressor INCLUDING a gun and accessories! You say it was a POS but has been great and paid for itself many times over. You could go look for another deal like that and save the $174 for another tool. Just saying…

I don’t believe Quincy makes small compressors, so I wouldn’t look there. My craftsman was made be DeLaval, who makes milking parlor compressor systems and it’s a very good unit.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2781 days

#15 posted 08-30-2012 03:51 PM

Well; it leaks, takes forever to fill, the regulator has never worked particularly well, and it’s noisier than hell.
It was a good value, all things considered but I’m not sure it belongs in the compressor hall of fame. All that said, I feel I got my money’s worth and it’s time for an upgrade.
Apologies if I offended you by insulting my compressor. Lol.

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