what's a good quiet air compressor?

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5,987
Location
Houston, Texas
Ok so I have a 33 gallon craftsman air compressor that is isanely loud it's like 3 lawn mowers starting up when it runs. It's an oil free model, Also it seems like it's taking longer to air up now. Are the belt driven type much quieter?
 
Messages
83
Location
California
I'm not sure what your definitions of loud are, but the belt driven oil lubricated compressors are much quieter. Especially ones that run at lower rpms. I would say if you got just a simple craftsman belt drive oil lubricated compressor you would be happy with how much quieter they are. Now.... If you want awesome cfm and quiet then nothing beats the Quincy units that run at lower rpm than most compressors. And yes, you could put a compressor in a "shed" type enclosure. It should be fine.
 
Messages
281
Location
NY
Not sure on who makes them but check into a scroll air compressor. I saw it on speed channel or one of the weekend mechanic shows (like shade tree), maybe truck U, They ran a whole new system with it. basically the same deal as your Refrigerator or A/C and is supposed to be VERY quiet.
 
Messages
444
Location
Nevada
Rotary, scroll, or roots type compressors tent to by much quieter than reciprocating piston in my experience. They are also much more expensive.
 
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11,216
Location
Bad Axe, MI
Originally Posted By: motor_oil_madman
Ok so I have a 33 gallon craftsman air compressor that is isanely loud it's like 3 lawn mowers starting up when it runs. It's an oil free model, Also it seems like it's taking longer to air up now. Are the belt driven type much quieter?
That's your problem oil free compressors are junk and noisy, get your self a nice twin cylinder compressor and you'll be all set.
 

JTK

Messages
13,446
Location
Buffalo, NY
Google "California air tools". I believe someone posted another u-toob video awhile back about another super quiet small twin tank hotdog type compressor. I can tell you my new 21gal vertical tank HFT compressor is as loud as an oil-less and it's an oil lubed, cast iron jug pump. The older HFT units that spin at 1750rpm are much quieter. They all seem to spin at ~3700rpm now.
 
Messages
4,837
Location
Central Texas
An inexpensive way to decrease any noise source like this is to make the sound turn 90°. For example, I have an old small CH single hot-dog oilless compressor. It's not near as loud as a neighbors small pancake that runs at a much higher rpm, BUT it can still be a bit much when frequently used AND it's inside the garage with me when I'm working. During a recent project, I took it outside the garage side door and placed it a few feet away, along an outside garage wall. I slid the hose through the doorway, then closed the door. The main garage door was still open. To reach this opening, the sound would have to travel two 90° angles. As an experiment, I opened the smaller door. It was still rather quiet. Once you walked out the door where you could see it though, it was much louder. Fein uses this technique with their shop vacs. They use a foam-lined hood to dampen the higher frequencies of the fan exhaust and blow it straight down at the ground around the perimeter of the hood. So when you're using it and it frequently comes on, take it outside, turn at least one 90° corner and set it down. Since sound level falls off as the inverse square of the distance, you'll also have this fact work with you. Between both of them, it will result in a significant reduction in noise. You may need another 50' of hose, but that's not too expensive. Yes, belt drive, oil-compressors are quieter.
 
Messages
2,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
Mine's pretty quiet. It's single-cylinder, belt drive cast iron pump with an aluminum head. What makes it quiet is the air filter; it's a small cheezy looking plastic box with a very high density fiber 'chunk' air filter element in one of the multi-chambers of the filter housing. It just clips on, so the seal isn't the greatest; you can probably drop a few dBs by just applying pressure to the housing to 'snug it up'. One could increase the noise by tens of dBs by just unclipping the filter. It makes a HUGE difference
 
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