20 gallon horizontal compressors

by Greg
(Columbia, Mo.)

Hi Bob,


I am thinking about buying a 20 gallon Sanborn compressor from Menards or a 20 gallon Portal Cable from Tractor Supply. They look almost identical and probably made by the same company not sure. They both retail for $349 and are both oil cooled with the v-twin cast iron cylinders. I just need it for small to medium jobs around the house and wanted to know which one is better or if you know of a much better one for around the same price point.
I thought about the Ingersol-Rand garage mate but it is $600 and not sure if it is that much better. Please advise.

Thank you,

Greg Johnson

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Nov 01, 2017
Compressor question - which?
by: Bill

I do understand your confusion about the huge array of compressors that dot the retail outlets, and that's why I've written a number of pages on this site that address those.

In my mind, you have not answered the first question necessary about your new air compressor, and that is, what size do you need.

Tank size does not indicate the capacity of the compressor. It's the output capacity of air at 90 PSI that you'll want to focus on, and relate that to the demand capacity of your higher air-using air tool.

Please see the pages on this site about what questions to ask and get answers for before decided what compressor to buy. They should give you all the direction you need including which brand based on specific criteria.

If you still have a question after, please add a comment here.

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