Husky 60-gallon air compressors are professional-level tools suitable for extended use on large projects.
If you’ve narrowed your search down this far, you probably have a good idea of what you need and where you want to buy. Now it’s just a matter of selecting the best choice from several fundamentally similar models, and we’re here to break it down for you.
Best Overall: HDC602000
The model with the longest name is also the best choice among Husky’s 60-gallon compressors. It’s also the most expensive air compressor in the set, but it’s not different enough from the other products that there’s a significant change between them.
- Maximum pressure of 175 psi
- Pumps air at 7.6 SCFM
- 84 decibels loud while running (outdoor is best)
- It uses a 208/230V plug
- It uses a 2-stage air compressor pump for consistent airflow
- Faster recovery time than many other models
- Includes an automatic tank drain
- Quieter than some of its competitors
- Oil-lubricated systems work well for long projects
- More expensive than the other 60-gallon Husky models
- It May be difficult to install yourself
- Power cord not included
- Includes a shrouded design to reduce the noise a little
- Durable cast iron tank
If you’re looking for the best model, the HDC602000 is clearly the right choice, and that’s supported by the reviews on the manufacturer’s website. However, expect to hire a certified electrician for installation.
This is essentially the mid-range model for Husky’s 60-gallon compressors. It features a higher air delivery rate, but a lower maximum pressure and slower recovery time than our top choice above.
- Maximum pressure of 155 psi
- Pumps air at 11.5 SCFM
- 84 decibels while running
- 230V/15A plug
- This tank is noticeably lighter than our top model, coming in at just 208 lbs
- Excellent airflow rating compared to other 60-gallon tanks
- Includes an oil condensing chamber for better lubrication
- A high-efficiency aluminum flywheel helps reduce starting inertia requirements
- It doesn’t recover as quickly as the top model
- It only includes a single-stage pump
- A vibration-reduction system helps reduce the shaking
- A sight glass provides instant verification of the compressor’s oil volume
This is an excellent choice if you need as much airflow at one time as possible. While the C602H doesn’t recover as quickly as the top model, it boasts about 150% of our top model’s air delivery rate. That helps if you need as much power as possible.
Backup Choice: VT6314
The VT6314 is the backup choice for Husky’s 60-gallon air compressors. It’s not a fundamentally lousy compressor on its merits, but it’s not quite as good as its competitively-priced relatives.
- Maximum pressure of 135
- Pumps air at 10.2 SCFM
- 82 decibels while running
- 230V/15A plug
- More affordable than Husky’s other 60-gallon models
- It has a cast-iron pump
- The twin-cylinder pump is highly effective
- Oversized gauges make it easier to read
- It uses a durable steel tank instead of cast iron
- Heavier and less powerful than the C602H
- Lower maximum PSI than its competitors
- Includes a protective belt guard
We only recommend this model if you can’t get either of the other two choices. The C602H is lighter, has a higher maximum PSI, and has a faster air delivery rate for almost no difference in price.
As mentioned above, this isn’t a fundamentally bad air compressor. On its technical merits, it’s perfectly good for its size and price. It’s just hard to recommend because the mid-range model is simply better.
Husky Air Compressor FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about Husky air compressors.
What Are Husky Air Compressors?
Husky air compressors are a house brand of the Home Depot, a major home and garden supply chain with stores in every state (including Alaska and Hawaii). The compressors themselves are made by Campbell Hausfeld, a major manufacturer who also sells compressors to Lowe’s, Amazon, Walmart, CPO, and other retailers throughout the United States.
The Home Depot generally doesn’t manufacture its brands in-house but does negotiate with the actual manufacturer on details like the sizes and specifications for tools they want to sell.
What is SCFM?
SCFM stands for Standard Cubic Feet per Minute. This is a measure of airflow through pumps like air compressors, measured in standard conditions of temperature, air pressure, and humidity. Most air compressors list this rating at 90 psi, although some manufacturers will also provide ratings for lower-power 40 psi settings on their compressors.
The psi you’re using does affect your SCFM, with higher pressure generally meaning more airflow. In other words, the number you see on the box is something you’ll only get part of the time. You can expect at least a little variance throughout a workday, regardless of what air compressor you’re using.
If you need your SCFM to be as smooth as possible, it’s better to let the air compressor refill frequently. Using it for too long will frequently reduce your SCFM.
Are There Any Other Options?
As of the time, we wrote this review, the three models above are the only ones that Home Depot is focusing on selling. You might be able to find some older stock if you visit specific stores in person, but these are the models that Home Depot is focusing on for 2021.
You do have more options if you’re willing to branch out from 60-gallon compressors, though.
The HDC802000 is an eighty-gallon tank similar to our top choice but has some hiccups in the manufacturing process that make it somewhat less reliable and harder to recommend than its 60-gallon relative.
Meanwhile, the C304H is only 30 gallons, but it’s well-made and goes back up to 175 PSI at a highly competitive price. It’s more reliable than some other models, so it’s an excellent place to start looking if you don’t need an extra-large tank or want something portable.
Is 60 Gallons The Right Size For Me?
Buying an air compressor is tricky because there are several important factors to consider. Size is one of the least important factors. Here’s what you should consider when you’re going shopping.
When it comes to airflow, higher is generally better. Most systems allow you to reduce the pressure for use with weaker tools, but you can only raise it to the maximum that your compressor allows.
Generally, your air compressor should have airflow at 90 psi (the standard measurement) which is at least 50% higher than what your tool needs. This is a margin of safety that ensures you can get enough performance from your system even when it’s not functioning at maximum capacity
To put it another way, it’s not a good idea to continually run your air compressor at its maximum potential. Using it at a lower setting by having tools that don’t need its maximum airflow rating helps reduce wear and tear while also ensuring you can keep working if your compressor ever slows down a little.
An air compressor’s capacity primarily determines how long you can use the tank, but they also correlate to maximum airflow. Generally, larger tanks with bigger motors can sustain higher airflow, so there are some projects where larger tanks are essential rather than optional.
60-gallon tanks are most suitable for major tasks that involve using many tools for extended periods. These include jobs like automotive repair, remodeling buildings, or industrial production.
To put it another way, average households don’t need a tank this large. If you’re looking for something to use in your garage for casual projects, an air compressor that’s 4-10 gallons is probably more than sufficient.
Manufacturers love to talk about their noise-reduction techniques, but the simple truth is that air compressors, and especially large ones, are loud.
Husky’s 60-gallon compressors generally fall into the 82-84 decibel range while operating. This is roughly between the noise of the inside of an automobile and the inside of a bus. It’s also significantly louder than most regular conversations, which means you’ll have to raise your voice if you want to talk to other people.
For comparison, an electric saw is usually around 100 decibels. However, these compressors are just shy of the 85-decibel threshold that’s especially likely to damage your hearing over time.
This is why the manufacturer recommends these units for outdoor use only. They are loud enough to be dangerous in cramped quarters. Additionally, you should use ear protection while operating Husky air compressors.
Proper headphones will protect your hearing, but they’ll also make it harder to communicate with other people. Consider walking away from the compressor if you need to talk or use signboards or other group project techniques.
Every work environment is different, so carefully consider your needs, then look for solutions that match the situation.
Most 60-gallon air compressors are not mobile. You install them in place, anchor them down, and that’s it. If you want to work further away, you’ll need to get an extension system like a longer hose.
This is also the first size range where fixed-location air compressors are truly common. Most 30-gallon air compressors are mobile instead, which means you can take them much further away as long as you have a suitable power connection.
Pipes help deliver the air once you’re compressing it, including to your tools if you’re extending the output so you can attach your mobile hose somewhere else. Here are the most common pipe options that people use, sorted by their overall quality.
Aluminum is a relatively new choice for compressed air systems, but it has many advantages that make it worth considering. First, it’s exceptionally lightweight, which means it won’t burden systems, and it’s easier to install than many other options.
Second, aluminum is non-corrosive and generally remains leak-free as long as it’s sealed properly. This helps maximize the efficiency of an air compressor. Aluminum is also relatively affordable, so overall, it’s an excellent choice for most air compressor systems.
Stainless steel is a prevalent choice for larger pipes where you need to move as much air as possible. It has outstanding strength and durability, without the same issues of corrosion that black pipes (see below) have.
However, while this is a great option once it’s in place, it does have a few drawbacks. It’s heavy and harder to install than aluminum, which slows installations. It also tends to have problems with pipe threads, which can be quite troublesome during disassembly processes.
As a result, many people use special fittings known as Victaulic couplings, which also see use in areas like fire protection systems thanks to their general efficiency. These couplings work, but they’re much more complicated than many other types of fittings.
Stainless steel is still good material for air compressor pipes, but these challenges mean it’s not quite as good as aluminum.
Copper is another great choice for clean air systems, although it is relatively expensive if you need to lay a lot of it. Outside of its aesthetically pleasing appearance, copper pipes usually require soldering the joints to create a perfect seal. That’s not particularly hard, but it does take a little time.
Notably, copper piping also resists rust and corrosion better than most other materials. This means copper pipes won’t be flinging tiny specks of debris into your tools at over a hundred PSI for extended periods.
Overall, copper is a good choice for any air compressor. Just make sure the pipe itself is thick enough for the air pressure you plan to use.
The Copper Development Association has an excellent industry guide for this topic and generally recommends hard Type L copper piping for pressurized air. Type K is a little thicker than Type L, but it’s generally overkilled for 60-gallon air compressors, and you don’t need to go that far unless you want an excessive safety margin.
Black pipe is a type of iron piping that, despite its name, is actually closer to steel because it’s more of an alloy than pure iron systems. It’s reasonably strong and resists damage quite well, but we no longer recommend it for compressed air systems. Here’s why.
Black pipe is uncoated and will rust over time in the presence of moisture. Air compressors can produce liquid inside of pipes, so damage here is basically inevitable. This rust can get blasted off by high air pressure, shooting into tools and ultimately damaging them over time.
While some people still consider this a viable option, it’s the worst of the pipes that you can truly use for compressed air systems, and you should avoid it unless you have no other options.
Galvanized piping features steel lines that have a zinc coating to protect against rust and corrosion. However, this protection isn’t perfect because the damage will still build up over time. Galvanized pipes are also extremely heavy, which makes it harder to attach and install them.
Given the damage that flakes of metal from the inside of galvanized pipes can cause to both tools and people, we do not recommend these pipes for any air compressor system, regardless of size or power.
PVC pipes are simple plastic, which means they’re highly affordable and easy to install. They’re also a terrible choice for compressed air systems. By terrible, I mean that they can shatter if they get weakened enough, damaging things in the area and possibly hurting people.
In fact, PVC is so bad for compressed air that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration specifically bans it. This doesn’t stop some people from using it because it’s so cheap, but you should never do that. PVC simply isn’t good enough for the job.
How Do I Install An Air Compressor For Regular Use?
Installing an air compressor takes time and effort, and in many cases, may also require help from a certified electrician who can install an appropriate power line. Do not attempt to set up new electrical connections yourself unless you are qualified to do so.
Here’s a checklist to follow for installing it.
- Choose the location for your air compressor. Husky’s 60-gallon systems are generally up to 70 inches tall, and maybe a little over 30 inches wide and deep. Check the specific model you’re buying for more exact specifications.
- Make sure the location where you want to install the air compressor has enough room for you to move around it and use your tools. If it’s too crowded, you may need to remove other things in the area before you start installing it.
- Set down some isolator pads where you plan to install your compressor. These are affordable flooring pads that limit vibrations in your air compressor and can help reduce noise. It will still be loud, but every bit helps.
- Plan your pipe setups. Unlike small air compressors, where people usually attach hoses directly to the compressor and use those, most large air compressors send air to several different outlets around an area, and that’s where you’ll attach your tools. This is far more useful than trying to get one long, stretching hose to pull all over the area.
- Lay down all of your pipes except for the parts that will connect directly to their air compressor. You’ll do these later to ensure you don’t have to make any additional changes to the setup.
- Put your air compressor on the isolator pads you installed earlier. The compressors are mostly self-contained, so in many ways, this is the easiest part of the process.
- Attach the electrical connection. Remember that you may need to buy a power cord separately. If you don’t have a cord and plug to use, this is where you may need to have your electrician set things up and connect your air compressor directly to your home’s power grid.
- At this point, your electrician will probably want to test the air compressor to make sure it’s working. Go ahead and do that.
- Finalize all the pipe connections and fit them into your air compressor.
- Check the pipes for leaks while running the air compressor. If you installed the pipes correctly, the system should be ready to go at this point.
In some areas, you may need to perform additional steps or meet safety criteria. For example, in areas that are at risk for earthquakes, you may need to install straps or other safety guides that can prevent the air compressor from toppling over if it shakes too much.
Check your state, county, and local guidelines for this. Retailers (normally your closest Home Depot store) can help you find the specific guidelines for installing 60-gallon Husky air compressors.
Now that you know more about Husky’s 60-gallon tanks and the considerations for choosing between them, it’s time to make your choice. Our top choice is the best system overall, especially for heavy use, but you can get away with our runner-up for lighter-use scenarios.