An air compressor isn't one of those must-have tools for the homeowner-that is, until you've used one. This eight-gallon model puts out an average of 4 standard cubic feet per minute at 90 psi, plenty for any task the homeowner or hobbyist has in mind. The HL5501 has plenty of power for a stapler or nailer; imagine how quickly a chair rail could go up. Attach a sprayer and any paint job is a breeze. We like this model because it's compact, sturdy and, with a little maintenance and care, it will last for years and years. It weighs in at just over 75 pounds, but the handle and wheels let you take it anywhere without breaking a sweat. Because it's a smaller unit, its air delivery is lower, so make sure you check the air requirements of the tools you intend to use it with. For its size and capacity, it's a good, hard worker that will serve the homeowner well.--Kris Jensen-Van Heste
From the Manufacturer
Ideal for inflating balls and tires, nailing fences, stapling protective wrap, and more, this 8-gallon air compressor offers a whole new world of around-the-house convenience. The 8-gallon tank means longer runtime and less downtime. An oil-lubricated cast iron cylinder pump offers long lasting, reliable performance. A handle and wheels make this compressor highly portable for doing jobs in the basement, on the roof, and in the yard. You'll get those occasional home repair jobs done more quickly and with less expensive with this Campbell Hausfeld compressor and air tools.
Compared to electric power tools, Campbell Hausfeld air tools save you both time and money. The initial cost of an air tool is significantly lower than its electrically powered counterpart, and the average life is longer. Air tools also deliver more torque and higher revolutions-per-minute than electric tools, helping you complete your jobs more quickly and effectively.
- Large, 8-gallon tank for extra storage
- Oil-lubricated cast iron cylinder pump for long lasting, reliable performance
- Wheels and handle for easy portability
- Delivers 4 avg scfm @ 90 psi
- Delivers 4 avg scfm @ 90 psi
8 Gallon, 15A Cast Iron Air Compressor, Oil Lube Pump With 2.5 Peak 1.3 Running HP Motor, 5.2 SCFM @ 40 PSI/ 4.2 SCFM, 125 PSI.
Campbell Hausfeld HL5501 reviews (4)
Sturdy, portable, cheap oil-lubricated compressor... But noisy!
Pros: Affordable, portable, sturdy, very heavy-duty power cord,
Cons: Noisy (for an oil-lube), poor quality wheel hardware
(could've been an isolated problem on only my unit).
Let me start by saying that I can't live without an air compressor. Those of you who don't have one have no idea how much you'll use it and what an integral part of any household project or repair it will become when you finally have one. That being said, let me explain why I bought this particular compressor and what I think about it thus far.
Until recently, I had an 8-gallon oil-free compressor that was handed down to me from my dad after I bought him a large stationary garage unit about 6 years ago. This thing lasted about 13 years with very regular use with a few repairs over the years. This is absolutely unheard of with an oil-free compressor. It recently started smoking and seized up, causing me to break down and buy a new one.
I am a resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which as you know was largely distroyed by Hurricane Katrina on 8/29/05. Although most of the buildings in my town were totally destroyed, my house only sustained some roof damage. In order to replace the blue tarp roof provided by FEMA with some actual shingles, I will need a compressor to power my roofing and framing nailers. Portability and reliability are important factors in order to assist with the reconstruction efforts of the community once the repairs to my home are complete.
I always try to buy tools that will last a very long time and are as reliable as possible, for obvious reasons. This is why I decided on an oil-lubricated compressor. Although I had great success with the aforementioned oil-free compressor, I do understand that this was more the exception than the rule. It is hard to find an oil-lubed compressor that is both portable and affordable. Although you can find some that are on wheels, most of these units weigh 150+ lbs., making them very difficult to get in and out of your truck/car by yourself, let alone getting them up a flight of stairs. Also, it's not uncommon to pay $400+ for one of these, making it impractical for most home users and do-it-yourselfers. Also, be careful to choose the right voltage input. Many oil-lubed units only run on 240V, so those of us without that luxury have to look for the 120V versions to run in our homes.
There was a little bit of damage to the unit when it arrived. The pressure switch is mounted to a post that is welded to the tank. This post was bent slightly to one side, making it appear crooked. I don't think that this was shipping-related, as I can't see how that could possibly happen in it's packaging. Also, the plastic shroud that covers the motor/pump is slightly cracked because it contacts a part underneath it. This was obviously an assembly issue and not related to shipping. Neither of these issues impacted functionality.
Assembly was very simple. You have to attach the handle using the four included bolts. Next, you have to install the wheels using the included nuts, bolts and washers and two wrenches (1/2" & 5/8", not included). Here is where I had a problem. On one of the wheels, the threads of the bolt completely stripped with very little effort at all. I had to use a tap & die set to cut new threads in order to complete the wheel installation. I may replace both wheels with some larger pneumatic ones for added portability in the future. Finally, you have to add the oil to the pump. This compressor does not come with oil, even though the instruction manual says "only use the oil that was shipped with the compressor." The other thing that you will run into is that it does not come with a coupler to connect an air hose to. Although this is very common for air tools not to come with the required fittings to connect it to a hose, there is one difference here. The threads in the pressure switch to install the quick-disconnect coupler are female. I have never seen a quick-disconnect air hose connector (the hose end that has the sleeve to release the connection) with male threads on it. So, even if you already have the fitting on hand, make sure that you get a male-male adapter in order to make the connection. (a brass pipe nipple for you plumbers out there)
The Campbell Hausfeld HL5501 overall seems to be a very good compressor. If you are looking into this compressor because of the reduced noise level that oil-lubed compressors are known for, then you will be disappointed. This compressor is every bit as loud as any comparable oil-free unit. Maybe this is because it is direct-drive and runs at a higher RPM (as apposed to belt-driven models), but at least you don't have to worry about replacing the belt. The pressure gauge on mine reads 115 psi when it shuts off. The box advertises "125 psi max pressure", so I don't know if the guage isn't accurate or what, but the pressure switch is adjustable so this is easy to fix. The whole unit weighs about 65 lbs., which in my opinion is manageable from a portability standpoint.
I would recommend this compressor to the handy home user that wants the reliability and longevity of an oil-lube compressor, but doesn't want to spend a lot of money. It's easy to wheel around the house or garage and light enough to bring to your buddy's house to help with a weekend project. I would not recommend this compressor if the noise level is a big issue, but be prepared to spend a lot more money for a belt-driven unit.
Good lightweight compressor
I've had the HL5501 for a few months now. Until recently I used it for blowing a workbench clean and filling the cars' tires. About a month ago, the home renovation project I bought it for finally got under way.
Using a Gilmour Handi-Sand sand blaster, it worked pretty hard to sand blast a set of garage door hinges custom built by the blacksmith of the family. Sand blasters are notoriously hungry for volume, and the HL5501 was hard pressed to get the job done. For very occasional use, on small projects, I'll blast with it, but I don't think I'd ask it to do any production sand blasting. Twelve pairs of pintle hinges, each leg 2"x 3/16"x 20", took a long, long time.
Which brings me to my first complaint: during that job, a couple of the fittings under the protective plastic shield vibrated loose and leaked enough air that the compressor couldn't reach shut-off pressure. No big deal to pull the cover (four phillips-head screws) and tighten the fittings, but I don't think they ought to have vibrated loose in the first place.
The second job was powering a Porter Cable palm nailer, driving nails for framing work. For this it worked like a champ. Using the nailer at 100psi, the compressor cycled fairly regularly, but could keep up with the nailer without any trouble. It gets an A+ for that job.
The next tool I have in mind to attach is the Critter spray paint rig. It should work okay. We'll see...
Noisy? Yes, but so is every other air compressor I've ever heard, and it cycles fast enough that for occasional use it's tolerable. For a day with the palm nailer, I use hearing protection.
My only real problem with the HL5501, other than fittings that come loose, is that the air outlet comes off the side of the manifold in such a way that by the time you've attached a water filter and a female quick-disconnect fitting, there's quite a bit of potential leverage hanging out there unprotected. I'm always worried about hitting it, or pulling the air hose too hard, or doing some such thing that bends the manifold, or tweaks the regulator, or busts the water filter.
Oh, and in freezing temperatures, the pressure release valve tends to stick open. Nothing an hour in the heated laundry room couldn't cure, but it makes me concerned about what else might stick.
Excellent for hobbiest use. Adequate for renovation use. Don't buy it for sand blasting. Make sure to site it so that that air outlet is protected.
I purchased this for my mom because she lives alone a few miles outside of town. She doesn't need it to run air tools, basically she'll use it for airing up tires. When I first plugged it in I was very suprised at how quickly it was allready filled up. It should work very well for small around the house type stuff.
GREAT FOR THE HOME PROJECT. THE REASON I DIDN'T RATE IT FIVE IS I AM STILL WAITING FOR A REPLACEMENT GAUGE, AND I THINK THEY SHOULD INCLUDE THE NECESSARY OIL WITH THE COMPRESSOR