When you’re in the market for an air compressor, it is important that you research all of the available brands, as well as the accessories that would be compatible with the models that end up on your shortlist.
If you want a high-quality air compressor that is known for performance and reliability, then Central Pneumatic is one of the brands that you will have to consider.
Aside from the quality of the machines that this company produces, they also offer a range of Central Pneumatic air compressor parts and accessories, which can help you to eliminate any guesswork when it comes to finding compatible items for your new compressor.
Types of Air Compressors
Before we get into this brand and its parts and units, it is a good idea to review the different types of air compressors you can purchase. There are oil and oil-less varieties. There are also three basic types of air compressors, and these include reciprocating, rotary screw, and rotary centrifugal.
When diving further in, you will find that these different types have further specifications including the number of compression stages they offer, their cooling method, drive method, lubrication, and if they are packaged or custom built.
Central Pneumatic air compressors have at least one model that is gas powered, and this brand tends to target smaller workshops, the DIY market, and the automotive repair market. Their largest tank size is 60 gallons.
Let’s take a look at two of their most popular compressor models, as well as a few of the Central Pneumatic replacement parts and tool accessories that are available to buy.
About the Company
Tools under the Central Pneumatic brand were first introduced in the early 1980s by Harbor Freight Tools.
Their goal was simple – they wanted to create a line of air compressors, accessories, and tools that would meet the quality of leading brands like Makita and DeWalt but offer them at prices that would be more competitive and within reach of both home DIY enthusiasts and construction professionals.
More than 30 years later, the company has definitely met their initial goals, and they’re now a trusted name in air compressor technology.
They offer a range of different devices, including pancake compressors, large portable upright compressors, and automotive compressors in the familiar long barrel shape.
Along with their main units, they also provide high-quality air tools that can be used by both professionals and homeowners who want to get the best price to performance on their tool purchases.
Below you can find our reference to two of the most popular Central Pneumatic air compressor models.
If you are interested in learning more, you can also check out our 5 best Central Pneumatic air compressors list as well.
Central Pneumatic 2 Horsepower 125 PSI Air Compressor
Generally, if you’re interested in a large air compressor, particularly one that has a tank capacity of more than 6 gallons, then you’re going to be looking at a fairly hefty price tag.
This is not quite the case with a Central Pneumatic device, which is evident with their Central Pneumatic 2 HP, 8 Gallon, 125 PSI Portable Air Compressor.
This tool is made with a strong iron tank, is easy to transport with integrated wheels and a push/pull handle, and it has the performance that even professionals would be happy with. From a direct drive electric motor, it produces 2 horsepower and can move 4.5 CFM of air at 90 PSI, or 5.5 CFM @ 40PSI.
This compares favorably with units from the leading manufacturers, and at its $200-$300 price range, it exceeds reasonable expectations.
Reflecting the company’s commitment to quality, this device enjoys strong customer reviews, with an average of 3.9/5 on the leading e-retailer.
1/3 Horsepower 3 Gallon 100 PSI Oil less Air Compressor
If you’re not after high power and large storage capacity, then you might be interested in an affordable low power compressor with a smaller tank.
This 3 gal. 1/3 HP 100 PSI Oil-Free Hotdog Air Compressor from Central Pneumatic can deliver up to 1 CFM @ 40 PSI, or 0.6 CFM @ 90 PSI.
Although this is on the lower end of the scale, it’s still plenty for inflating, air cleaning, hobby airbrushing, or using a light-duty nailer or stapler for DIY or hobby work.
Despite a low price point, it is comparable to smaller units from Porter Cable and similar brands.
Central Pneumatic Air Compressor Parts & Tools
One of the most important considerations to make when purchasing an air compressor is how easy it is to obtain parts and accessories. Central Pneumatic replacement parts are easy to come by, thanks to a large dealer network in the United States, and wide availability through online retailers.
In addition to their parts, they also provide high-quality pneumatic tools that have been well received by consumers and professionals alike.
One of the most important things you can do when purchasing any new air compressor is to purchase a 20 Piece Air Compressor Starter Kit.
Central Pneumatic offers a 20-piece kit to accompany any of their portable devices, and it will also be suitable as an accessory and spares kit for any compressor that uses 1/4 inch couplings and fittings.
The starter kit includes an air hose that’s good up to 130 PSI of pressure, as well as a blow gun for cleaning, various adaptors, and nozzles, tire inflation attachments, Teflon sealing tape for attaching permanent connectors, as well as quick connect plugs for ease of use with hot-swap tools.
You can use this kit to get going with your compressor, and because it’s so affordable, you could keep another one on hand for your spare Central Pneumatic air compressor parts.
A starter kit is great for getting all of your tools connected, but if you don’t have tools yet, then you’ll find quality tools from this manufacturer.
One of their most versatile tools is the Central Pneumatic 18 Gauge 2-in-1 Nailer/stapler.
It’s lightweight and only requires 0.5 CFM of operating pressure, which means that it would be compatible even with the company’s smallest compressor. It uses a standard NPT 1/4-inch connector, which means that it will also work with a range of compressors from other manufacturers.
The company also produces individual hardware pieces for their devices, including a Central Pneumatic 5 Piece Solid Brass Industrial Quick Coupler Set, and they even offer individual hardware pieces for custom air compressors or repairs.
One example is the Central Pneumatic 145 PSI 3 HP Twin Cylinder Air Compressor Pump, which is one of the Central Pneumatic replacement parts that has been designed for use with gas powered air compressors.
If you’re performing repairs on a custom gas unit or even one from another manufacturer, then you will often find that you can get high-quality generic parts from Central Pneumatic, at prices that are far below what you might expect to pay for direct replacements from an original manufacturer.
Even for some specialist parts not directly offered from the manufacturer, it will be possible to purchase OEM spares, such as this NYKKOLA Air Compressor Pressure Switch Control Valve 90-120 PSi 240V, which is identical to the air compressor pressure switch Harbor Freight (the part used on a number of past and current Central Pneumatic models).
Parts from one Central Pneumatic air compressor can often be used successfully with other compressor models in this brand. Other more common replacement parts that can be easily found for these air compressors include pressure switches, gauges, regulators, PRV’s, and check valves. Many of these parts are also similar to the parts used on other brands of air compressors.
Plenty of Options for Maintenance and Repair
Whether you want to maintain an air compressor that you already own, or if you just want confidence knowing that there are parts available for future upgrades or repairs, Central Pneumatic air compressor replacement parts are widely available and relatively affordable.
The fact that this company also produces a number of compatible nail guns, die grinders, impact wrenches, airbrushes, and other air accessories, makes them one of the best choices when it comes to a low cost but capable portable air compressor.
Despite not being as popular as some more expensive brands, and lacking the prestige of top brands like DeWalt, Makita, and Bosch, Central Pneumatic still holds a strong and relevant place in the market, which is a testament to the effort, research, and development that Harbor Freight has put into this brand.
To help you even further, here’s a nice video I found on YouTube where the guy explains in detail how he fixed a problem with his harbor freight air compressor. Of course, this particular model was the model number 90234, but you will see that the video is full of golden tips and nuggets of advice that can apply to any harbor freight (or central pneumatics) air compressor. I hope you will find this useful.
For more air compressor buying advice as well as in-depth, objective reviews don’t forget to check out our buying advice section (which includes useful guides such as the portable air compressor guide) and our full reviews section.
Fixing Versus Buying a New Air Compressor
No matter what brand of air compressor you have, you will find that at some point, or another one of its components and parts will fail. Many companies urge you to buy overly costly replacement parts for the air compressor.
However, with Central Pneumatic air compressors, you will find that it might sometimes make more sense to take the opportunity to go ahead and upgrade or replace your air compressor. You can’t say this of other competitors because their prices are often astronomical. Central Pneumatic is a more affordable and budget-friendly brand.
Many find that this line of air compressors is more entry level and you get what you pay for. Therefore, if you use the air compressor daily for bigger jobs, then it may not be as suitable as another more expensive brand. However, it should also be noted that you will not be disappointed with the reliability that Central Pneumatic air compressors offer.
Troubleshooting Central Pneumatic Air Compressors
The following are a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding how to troubleshoot your Central Pneumatic air compressor.
What if my air compressor stops building pressure?
If you find that your pancake, oil-less air compressor stops building pressure, it could be a valve issue, or a gasket has blown out. If you have an oil lubricated air compressor that won’t build pressure and runs continually, it could be a bad power supply, intake valves, pressure valves, gasket failure, or bad piston seals.
Central Pneumatic won’t start; what do I do?
While it might sound silly, you still have to check – is the air compressor plugged in? Before moving on, make sure that it is plugged securely into the wall socket and it has not fallen out. Next, you want to check and see if any breakers have been tripped. If so, you can reset the breaker and change the fuse. If none of this works, there may be another kind of electrical problem and could possibly be a pressure switch shorting out or a failed start capacitor.
Why would my air compressor start to bog down while it is in use?
Always ensure that the air compressor is using power without an extension cord and check the intake filter to make sure it is still clean. If you find that your motor begins to overheat, then it could be other problems relating to the motor, the power supply, the run capacitor, or an air compressor unloader valve that is failing to work as it should.