Compressors

Butch627

Expert
Jan 3, 2012
1,385
63
NWI
I have a Marauder and a 4500lb SCBA tank. I have a couple of sources to refill the tank but I would like to be more self sufficient and do it at home. When I looked into it a few years ago the Shoebox seemed to be what the cool kids were using, I have several home compressors so there would be no added cost there.
Web searches showed up some videos of home brewed setups using hand pumps hooked up to gear reduction and electric motors. I am not opposed to a home brewed thing with a hand pump but I am skeptical long term about how long the hand pump would last when using it to top off a 4500lb tank and the cost plus maintenance plus effort to build it and the space it might take up when not in use. For me cost of building it would be virtually nill aside from the pump and plumbing itself as I have all the other stuff laying around. I don't want to have to oil it every half hour, I would want to turn it on and walk away until the tank is about full. Fill time is not important.

What compressors are you guys using and why?
Has anyone done the hand pump build?

How about plumbing lines from the compressor to tank?
 

tbhausen

Master
Feb 12, 2010
3,882
113
West Central IN
Interesting and timely thread. I just bought my first PCP (Air Venturi Avenger) and have thus been pondering this question for a couple weeks now.

The jumping off point between compressors seems to be the ones that are capable of filling guns or small tanks, vs. those capable of filling big tanks. Also, a big differentiator is 3000 vs. 4500 psi.

Over the last couple weeks, I have ordered a couple of the smaller Chinese compressors, both of which arrived damaged due to inadequate packaging and have been subsequently returned. After much research, I ordered this today:


These used to sell for $1000; now they sell for $1200 and up, so I figured this sale price on Black Friday was probably as good as I’m going to do since it includes free shipping. It’s a pretty penny to spend on a compressor, but I think I’d rather “buy once, cry once” then go through the hassle I’ve been going through the last couple of weeks, or have to rely on someone else to fill my gun or tanks.

An important thing to remember with small compressors like this is that you’re not always filling your bottles or tanks from empty. Once you get down to whatever regulator pressure your gun is set to, that’s the starting point. So I’ll be using this compressor to fill a 180cc gun from 1800 to 4350 psi.
 

tbhausen

Master
Feb 12, 2010
3,882
113
West Central IN
Yes, I looked at that one. I think the Hill is the practical solution for most of us who don’t have high-volume, high duty cycle filing needs.
 
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baranjhn

Plinker
Mar 8, 2021
85
18
Lafayette
I have both a Hill foot pump and an Air Force pump that I use frequently.

As for compressors, I had a Shoebox, those were great, but they are out of business and parts are hard to get. For Christmas this year I got a Benjamin Nomad II and I think it's a great little compressor so far. It uses a 110v outlet or I can hook to a car battery. I've only used a few times so far, but most reviews I read or watched were positive. A years time should be sufficient to form an opinion.
 

BBQ GURU

Plinker
Mar 19, 2010
85
12
North Side of Indy
I looked at the various imported options and DIY-ish stuff, but decided on Benjamin Recharge instead. It's got an oil bath as well as distilled water used in cooling the compressor. It's been great, used with s CF tank and my Marauder rifle.
 

tbhausen

Master
Feb 12, 2010
3,882
113
West Central IN
I just made the last payment (PayPal “Pay in 4” is an evil enabler!), so now I can look at my Hill EC-3000 without it mocking me.
 

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