October 21, 2009

Campbell Hausfeld WL6701 26-Gallon Compressor - Review

CH_compressor.jpgCampbell Hausfeld is in the process of releasing a full line of pneumatics for the DIYer. Among the items are a finish gun (our review here), a framing gun, and a brad gun. Since you need a compressor to operate all of these tools, it makes sense that they're going to be releasing some of those as well. Turns out that in their new line, they've got two 8-gallon models and a mondo 26-gallon model which comes complete with some extra goodies for the DIYer. It's this last one that we were lucky enough to test out, courtesy of the fine folks at CH.

First off, the usability is great. the knobs are all easy to use and are very well marked. The on switch is a bright red foot pedal, so even if you've been drinking heavily you won't be missing it. The compressor also comes with a handle and a cool three wheeled bottom which makes it very easy to move even over the uneven and cracked cement floor of our shop. The whole package sort of reminded us of the robot from Lost in Space.

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Usually, compressor space is dead space for anything else, but CH has thought this through and flattened the top of the unit. It's specifically designed to hold other CH air tools, but obviously you can really put anything there.

The compressor also has two different ports for hoses. One, lower down by the foot-operated on-switch, comes hardwired to a coil hose. At the business end of the coil hose is an air gun, and to make things easy, CH has supplied a number of different inflator tools to attach to the gun. So whether it's a car tire, a soccer ball or a bike tire, you've already got what you need. The coil hose is great too. It stretched from the garage all the way around the truck with no problem. After the first stretch, we lost some of the coil tightness, but that's no biggie. The second air port is up by the controls and is the standard female coupling you'd see on a regular compressor.

CH_compressor_3.jpgThe most interesting aspect of the compressor is something called No Wait Inflation. What this means is that the coil hose fills with air first, so if you're just going to just top off the tires, you don't have to wait for the entire tank to fill (which takes a while). Because we're so busy lately, we've become pretty impatient, so this feature is a great addition in our eyes.

CH_compressor_1.jpgWe were floating around Amazon the other day and saw that someone had written a review of the compressor giving it only one star. They said it was loud and that it took forever to fill. Sounds to us like they just described every compressor we've ever used. It's no question though, the CH compressor doesn't fill up in record time, but it's 26-gallons of compressed air. What do you expect? And if you can't wait, there's the recoil hose. That's sort of why it's there in the first place. If you're going to use the tank for a pneumatic gun, just get the compressor started first and by the time you're set up, you're good to go. Or be like everyone else and never drain the thing.

The bottom line is that this would be a nice compressor for anyone who is looking to bring their home workshop to the next level. It costs about $350 so it's a bit of an investment, but it's less expensive than other compressors of similar size and it comes with a number of useful attachments so you can get right to using it. Also the No Wait Inflation is great in a pinch.

More information at CHCompressors.com

At Lowes ($339) and Amazon.com ($459)

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at October 21, 2009 5:00 AM

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Recent Comments

I purchased this compressor based upon this great review, and it looked like it would perfectly meet my needs as a home DIYer, and car enthusiast. Unfortunately, it has done nothing but let me down. The first one I purchase the water vapor drain valve leaked and therefore the tank could not build full pressure. The second one I exchange the first one for, the pipe that runs form the compressor to the tank had a crack and could not build any pressure in the tank. The third one which I ended up keeping also leaked but it was just that the air pressure sensor at the bottom of the tank was loose. I couple of turns with a wrench and all was well, or so I thought. The unit worked great when I rolled it into my house to install new trim, but a couple of weeks later I went to use it on a car project and after about one or two fill ups the cooper line the runs from the compressor to the tank cracked. I contacted Campbell Hausfeld and I had a replacement line within a couple of days. So, I went to use the compressor again on my car projects, and after a half dozen refills of the tank it again was not building any pressure. Checked the new line, and of course its cracked again in the same place. Very disappoint for a compressor of this price.


Posted by: Dan Thomas at February 21, 2010 11:28 AM
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