Cheap Air Compressor


Just saw this on slickdeals. I have been wanting to pickup a cheap air compressor for taking a stab at cutting aluminum. I am inspired by Kevins success. I noticed he was using an air compressor to keep the chips away from the tool. I was checking out my favorite website today and noticed that they had this 6 gallon pancake compressor on clearance for $30 bucks sure enough I looked and my local walmart had 2 in stock. To see if your local store has any just go to.

and search sku 180744870

They even offer a 2 year replacement for $4 upon checking out. Only downside was they have it wrapped in a metal theft protection thing which the gal at the checkout struggled to get free. Then since it was so large it didnt go over the magnetic thing at checkout there was still something inside that set off all the alarms when I walked out and the wild eyed crazy mary greeting gal they had there came roaring in to check my receipt (so keep it handy when you are walking out). I have not seen where kevin posted his tutorial on his setup anywhere yet but I am guessing this would be more than enough to get the job done.

Hopefully this is useful to someone!


Sweet deal. My neighbor just gave me his old small compressor and it cost me $20 and a few hours to fix the check valve so I agree, amazing deal.

I still kick myself for selling my ‘big’ one.

I never took the time to run 220 for the motor, so I ended up selling it to a friend in Houston. 240V 5HP, 80 gallon, oiled that I only paid $100 for. Barely fit in the back of the wife’s Suzuki XL-7.

Now I just have a 120v 5HP, 25 gallon, oil-less horizontal.

I also have a backup 1.5hp 1 gallon that I used to use with an airbrush when I lived in the apartment.

I wonder if anyone tried those cheap 300psi 12v bike compressors sold for using in car plugs. They are on the 15usd range and can be easilly found on Aliexpress.

It’d probably catch fire. They’re not rated to run continuously.

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Mine gets hot just trying to air one of my truck tires. No way I’d run it longer than 5 minutes at a time.

I have an Industrial Air IL1682066 air compressor. Found it quite versatile and what’s most important - comparatively not to loud (even my wife has noticed this). Much quieter than my previous compressor. Very good addition to a “regular guy” garage. At least, it worth seeng.

Hey James, welcome!

Compressors are cool, they have a side benefit of drowing out the router and vacuum noise. If only they could cancel out.

I have a maximum 4 gallon from Canadian tire, Quieter air compresor I bought it when it was on sale, alternatively costco has somewhat cheap ones with larger capacity, think I notice some deals at princess auto as well.

Thing is, to run one for 30 minutes at any kind of real pressure above a whisper your reserve will be gone and it will start to pump. That is loud, like wake everyone up in the house, and the neighbors house, loud, police at the door, loud. To really use it with a cnc and avoid noise you would need some kind of electronic control of it, which I would be interested in if it were fine control, not just on / off.

I would recommend either extreme large capacity or something with some attempt to be quiet, these things are like jack hammers and with a cuts lasting an hour or two, or longer, you can’t really avoid the noise with constant air output.


Some compressor pumps are actually quit quiet. Much less noise than the bit in the material.

Relative sound levels depend on the proximity of wife and children. :slight_smile:

My old 2 gallon cheapie is 87 db, just starting to put air in it, it gets louder as it tries to max out, it just has a more threatening sound, like something is about to blow up. My shop vac by comparison is 77 db. My larger plunge router is also 87db at whatever speed I last set it to, 4.5 on the dial, not under load. You are most likely right when cutting that is it louder than the compresor alone, especially metal, add all three sounds together and put some ramstein on, party time. :slight_smile:

Wear ear protection, especially since you have to stay in the room.



I have one of these (or a very similar one) and it is very quiet. No joke, my kids aren’t even bothered by it. I think my cordless drill makes more noise. They make them in different sizes, but they are also not cheap. For a slow flow, this could run for a long time, and the noise would not even be noticed:

You would probably need 50 or higher to move aluminum. When I airbrush using my 4 gallon one, I certainly don’t get hours out of it.