Review of Campbell Hausfeld 2 HP Contractor Compressor (August 14, 2001)
Recommend this product?
For years I've owned a big 5 gallon tank Sears air compressor. It has served me very well, and it still does. However, one day, a buddy of mine who works for me on the side came by to help me on a renovation project. He brought his Campbell Hausfeld compressor, along with his nail gun. I asked him a few questions about his opinion of the compressor. Overall, he was very satisfied with it - it had lasted for years with no problems.
One day, while shopping at the local Home Depot, I found one of these Campbell Hausfeld compressors for sale. It was marked down as an extra display model, so I figured I would buy it to give it a try. I've been toying with the idea of getting a more compact; lighter weight compressor to tote around, as my 5 gallon tank compressor was a bit difficult to throw in the back of the pick up truck. This one has a nice handle, and although it is a bit heavy, it is a lot easier to lift than the 5-gallon compressor. The 2 horse power motor makes this a heavy-duty compressor, capable of handling 99% of all the jobs I would need it for.
I took the compressor home and immediately went to work modifying it. I added a quick connect plug to the air outlet, so I could easily attach and detach an air hose to it. I made a small base for the compressor to sit on. I attached wheels to the base so I could easily wheel it around instead of lifting it.
The compressor is a bit noisy when it is filling the tanks with air - as are more compressors. I listened for air leaks, and found one at the air discharge plug. I removed the air, removed the plug, oiled it and worked it in and out a bit, and reinstalled it with Teflon tape. Viola! No more leaks! I began using it with my air stapler while I was making some wooden storage boxes. It allowed me to unload an entire cartridge of staples before refilling the air supply. I then tried it on my framing nailer. I was able to unload six nails before it began refilling with air. This was an improvement over my older Sears compressor, which would begin refilling after only three or four nails.
Since I have purchased the air compressor, I have used it with various nail guns from brad nailers to my framing nailer. I used it with a paint sprayer, blowguns, pneumatic saw, sanders, drills, impact wrenches, and cut off tools. It always does a great job. The biggest air-thief seems to be the rotary cut off tool that only works a few seconds before requiring more air. Besides the obvious uses for the accessory tools listed above, the compressor also makes an excellent cleaning tool for blowing dirt off of engines, and sweeping dust off of floors. It also is great for adding air to bike and car tires. There are hundreds of uses!
The unit as a whole is very durable. It is mainly constructed of heavy gauge steel, with a series of plastic parts attached to it, including a plastic cover for the motor housing. I personally hate plastic pieces on heavy-duty tools because they always break on me. Such is the case with this tool - I have a nice long crack in the cover from dropping a toolbox on it. It has two long steel hot dog type tanks that hold the air. The air gauges are logically placed; as are the power switch and the air discharge plug. The compressor has a handy little chart pasted on the housing cover that tells you the types of tools that can be used with the compressor, along with the correct psi setting to use with the tools. I tried to keep this sticker in good shape, but it has paint all over parts of it and part of it ripped off (oh well!) The handle is constructed of a steel pipe, wrapped with a cushioned plastic grip. It is well balanced and comfortable to grip.
The unit requires 115V AC to operate. It has a rather long power cord with a standard three-pronged plug. The cord sometimes gets in the way, when not in use. I wrap it around the compressor when it is not in use, but I would prefer a self-winding reel attached to the unit to suck in the cord. As for the air hose, which I purchased separately, I disconnect it from the compressor and wind it on a reel when not in use. The only maintenance that is really required is to add a few drops of oil into the air plug of the tool you are using prior to each use. You should also discharge any air remaining in the tank when you are finished using the compressor, as the air pressure bears on the seals inside the tank.
I find this compressor to be a very handy tool to have around the house. There are many tools and accessories that may be used with it. However, many of the tools are also available as electric power tools, which I often prefer to use (e.g., cut off tool, drills, sanders, etc.). For this reason, I would not necessarily recommend this to the average homeowner - get the electric power tools instead. As for the handy man type, you will have a ball playing with this compressor. The tools you use with a compressor seem to operate much smoother - especially the nail guns. I find I use my compressor at least twice each month, and I use it on almost every major project I work on. I would also recommend this compressor over most other compressors on the market - Campbell Hausfeld is a quality builder of pneumatic tools and accessories.
Many times compressors may be found for sale as used items. I would recommend being careful when purchasing a used compressor - try it out first and listen for air leaks. If the air leaks can not be easily repaired, do not buy it. Also, on many older compressors, it is not uncommon to find that the seals break down, which lead to expensive repairs. Compressor prices have come down quite a bit over the last five years - you can get a decent compressor for under $300. Tools, hoses, and other accessories usually are purchased separately and for good reason - you should select the tools you want and those you will have a use for. The great thing about pneumatic equipment is that the prices are generally a lot less expensive than their electric counterparts! Thanks for reading my review and have a nice day!