Central Pneumatic Air Compressor Reviews

16. Central Pneumatic

Central Pneumatic compressors are sold by Harbor Freight. Central Pneumatic owners need to have a certain approach to their air compressors if they’re going to have any hope for success. You’ll find that there are some very positive experiences with this brand, but there are also some very negative experiences. Some people say they’ll never buy anything from Harbor Freight because it’s cheap junk. Others say that they know they can save money there and get a great tool.

What about our Central Pneumatic air compressor reviews? We’ll take you through the good, the bad, and the ugly of this brand.

Here’s the Good News about Central Pneumatic Air Compressors

If you aren’t sure about your need for an air compressor, then Central Pneumatic is a good brand to consider. This brand features entry-level quality components that are designed for basic uses. If you find that you can benefit from owning an air compressor, then you can invest in a top quality commercial model or one better suited for your specific needs. If not, then you didn’t waste much money on this tool.

When you use a Central Pneumatic air compressor for light duty work, then you’re going to find that is works like a champ. It’s pretty reliable on light use, has a good recovery time, and the flow is pretty consistent.

Here’s the Bad News about Central Pneumatic Air Compressors 

Let’s just say there’s a reason why the warranties are so limited on these air compressors. If you use a Central Pneumatic air compressor for anything but light use, you’ll find that it will wind up in the shop for quite some time. We used a portable CP air compressor as an alternative to leaf blowers for lawn projects over the course of one landscape maintenance season, or about mid-March to Mid-October. We had to take it to our service center 7 times for repairs in just one season.

We also used a Central Pneumatic air compressor in a woodshop for roughly the same period of time. It did a good enough job cleaning off debris and dust from the finished products, but couldn’t stand up to the dusty environment or heavy-duty end of day cleanup needs. Even when set outside the workshop area, this air compressor brand struggled to keep up with our needs.

Here’s the Ugly News about Central Pneumatic Air Compressors 

You need to have a local Harbor Freight available to you if you want to get the most value out of your air compressor. There is an in-store no questions asked replacement policy, so you can replace a burnt out CP air compressor just by taking it into the store if you’ve purchased access to this replacement policy at the time of the sale. You just walk in with your compressor, show a representative the damage, and then pick up your replacement unit.

If you don’t have a retail outlet close to your home or business, you may have a service center. You can often have the parts replaced for free and labor is covered while the product is under warranty, but the amount of time that the air compressor is in the shop can be quite lengthy. Repairs averaged 10-14 days per incident.

Should You Purchase a Central Pneumatic Air Compressor? 

Some people have had really good luck with Harbor Freight products. The fact that you can save $100-$400 on an air compressor purchase makes Central Pneumatic a brand that you’ll want to take a look at. If you’ve got a local retail outlet, then be sure to invest into the replacement policy if it is available for your unit so you can protect your investment.

If you’re thinking about an online purchase from Amazon or another site for your Central Pneumatic air compressor, we highly recommend taking a look at the verified purchase reviews of the product. Independent retailers that represent Harbor Freight products are the only ones allowed to sell this brand. If the company doesn’t have a strong reputation and the user reviewers are 3 stars or less, then we would recommend looking at a brand like Porter Cable, Makita, or Campbell Hausfeld for your air compressor.

These Central Pneumatic air compressor reviews are based on personal user experiences and may not be reflective of your experience or the experiences of others. Use this information as you shop to make certain your investment is one you can be proud of making for years to come.

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. DAP

    I just bought Air Compressor #3 from Harbor Freight. My experience has been mostly positive. First unit was the vertical 21 Gallon 2.5HP oil motor @ 125 psi. It was fairly lightly used, but had plenty of CFM to blow out my sprinkler system and ran the occasional air tools when needed. I had it for 5 years and sold it to a neighbor when I moved for $100. I then bought a smaller vertical unit that ran well for about 6 years, was used quite a bit, but would not keep running when I needed it recently, so out to the curb it went and I bought another 21 Gal vertical unit. If I can get 5 or 6 years of reliable service out of a $150 dollar compressor it’s a win in my book. When this one dies, I will likely replace with another HF unit (assuming I get 5-7 years out of it).

    1. yvon couvrette

      Good day
      Not such a luck with mine, lasted a bit over 1 year, with less then 10 hours run time. Unit run but do not build pressure Cannot recommend the product extremely low quality,


      Yvon Couvrette

  2. Ed overbey

    I bought a 100psi 1/3 HP 3 gal compressor . Used it three times and the piston crank broke off the motor shaft. Didn’t get the extended warranty and can’t get the new part. The only solution is to go to sears now

  3. Bill

    At first the 21gl 2.5 hp compressor woked enough to air a car tire, then it quit. The next day i ran it for 30 min. Today it won’t run, what is wrong, the first one same thing, this is 2nd in two months after exchange .it tries to run but fails

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