Need quiet used 185 CFM diesel compressor for museum

by Darrell Burke
(Nova Scotia, Canada)

Hi all,

I run a museum in Nova Scotia, Canada. The museum is a wood working mill that ran on steam ... we recently conducted a test using a rented Mobilair M50 185 CFM compressor. We patched it in to the steam engine and were very pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. It ran the engine which also ran the sawmill. By the way the purpose isn't to cut anything ... just to demo to visitors. We would run maybe 2 hours per day max for 4 months per year. The compressor we rented was pretty quiet, but a new one is out of our budget. We got a few quotes on used 185 cfm compressors that ranged from $5000 for a 2001 to 10,000 for a 2010.

My question is what brands of used would you recommend for quiet running, reliability? And how old an compressor could we buy that had the insulation and overall characteristics that make it quieter than the old, very loud ones?

PS. I know that year doesn't necessarily = hours of use, but I'm guessing you would know what a person could expect in general about X years usually equals about X hours.

Thanks in advance


Comments for Need quiet used 185 CFM diesel compressor for museum

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 08, 2016
185 cfm
by: Anonymous

Thanks Doug, I PM'd you earlier today.

But to publicly answer for the sake of others.

Boiler not an option.

Combination of consultation with others with similar experience, looking at all other options/possibilities for a number of years has lead to the specs and CFM we require.

Now just need to make best/most economical choice re model, age [or hours].

Current plan would run about 20 minutes per demo maybe 4 times per day ... maybe a bit more on occasion.


Apr 06, 2016
sawmill power
by: Doug in

So the boiler is gone/FUBAR?

Have you figured out if you actually need that much air? Would the 2 hours per day be continuous, or just a few minutes per demo?

Answers to these questions might yield a lesser need for CFMs, and therefore a cheaper compressor.

Click here to add your own comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Tow Behind Compressor Issues.