Oil Free Compressors...


Old 02-25-01, 07:33 PM
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I have a 15 gallon Sears compressor that is oil free. To be honest, I was shocked to find what the setup is after having trouble with it. I thought the compressor was enclosed and ran on sealed bearings but the cylinder and piston are open. I had it on a job spraying with it and also there was a good bit of drywall sanding. Does this mean that when creating fine dust and overspray powder I would have to keep it in a different room? That will not do....Mike
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Old 02-26-01, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
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I run a Campbell Hussfeld and have in it that kind of environment for years and never any problem. Never thought about it. It is tough to beat a Campbell air compressor.
Old 02-26-01, 04:08 PM
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Jack the Contractor, Is your compressor an oil free model or have enclosed crankcase with oil in it? I to have a couple of conventional compressors that I haven't had a minutes problem from but I am puzzled by this oil free business. It defies all I have ever learned about engines and power tools to have the internals exposed to the elements around it.....Mike
Old 02-27-01, 10:43 AM
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The reason for oil free, is to keep the costs down for the large retailers. Years ago you couldn't touch a compressor for what you can now. Also, in order to make it easier for the average Joe hobbyist (err, no pun intended..lol), they have eliminated maintenance like oil lubing compressors requires. They are also cheaper to manufacture, and they burn out (in theory) quicker, so replacements are cheap and you're forced to buy a new one. Obviously, people like us are pretty handy and can get them working in a jiffy by ordering a few new parts and installing them ourselves.

Also, with oil free compressors, they have been able to make them run at more RPM, and pump out more air, than if they had to supply a bigger motor. Any compressor you can plug into a household outlet is really not making more than 2 real HP. I have a great article home on compressor choices. A friend that was in the air tool business sent it to me (from the Trans Am newsgroup actually) when I was considering the 18 gallon I have now. The price was too good to pass up (60 bucks for a brand new 4 HP, 18 gallon unit). Would it be my choice if I were buying a new one? No, but for the price, it was virtually free.

I too have an oil free, 18 gallon 4 hp Sears model. I'll bet my 1998 model is the larger, newer replacement for yours. DeVilbiss makes both of ours.

I thought I read in my Sears manual that you should keep dust away from the compressor if you can. This might include paint fumes/smoke. Be sure to order and keep extra filters on hand for such "dirty" jobs.

To my knowledge, most of the oil less compressors have GE motors. You can bet the big guys that make Oil less ones (DeVilbiss/Sears, CH) are buying GE motors. I think the better ones (oil lubed) use Emerson motors which tend to be better.

They are easily fixed if you have trouble though.

Hope that helps, Mike.
Old 03-20-01, 09:24 AM
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I use my 5 HP 20 gallon Devillbiss Charge Air Pro for everything. Never have had the slighest problem with. It is oil-less and I would not trade it for anything.

They make the Sears compressors.

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