Harbor Freight Compressed Air Dryer Review

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The Harbor Freight Compressed Air Dryer comes up on many forums and yahoo groups in regards to quality and using it for cooling air that will go through a plasma cutter.  This review is my first hand experience with the harbor freight dryer.

First off the package that the harbor freight air dryer comes in was very good compared to other items I have gotten from harbor freight.  Every valuable part of the dryer was protected in some way.

As you can see from the previous image and this one the cover on top was about 1/2″ thick package material and the air ports on the dryer are covered with an odd hat shaped cap.

This is an overall picture to illustrate the size of the harbor freight air dryer and so that you can get a full view of the item.  It has a retro design, and color scheme.

A close-up of the air dryer front panel.

A close-up of the inlet and outlet air ports and their protection.

A look inside the harbor freight air dryer reveals the components laid out nicely, and all wires zip tied out of the way.  The craftsmanship is much better than some other harbor freight tools.  It seems as if the Chinese may actually use this tool themselves!

The area to the left (small box) is where you will hook up your own power cord as a power cord is NOT provided with this unit. It takes all of 20 seconds to install and run out the back, and cost nothing if you have an old broken appliance and you cut the cord off 🙂

A look inside from the other side of the air dryer.

A close-up of the inside right and drain hose.

The other side close-up (top).

This is a shot of the front panel from the inside. The wires are neatly organized.

Upper half. Front panel is on the left.

I hope the pictures of the harbor freight air dryer aid in your decision to purchase one from harbor freight.

Harbor Freight Compressed Air Dryer – Buy Now

I have been using mine for a couple weeks now and it is not loud at all.  I turn it on when I am going to be using my CNC Plasma Cutter (PlasmaCam) and turn it off when finished.  You CAN plumb it to cool all your air but I only felt I needed it to be used when I run my PlasmaCam machine.  It was VERY easy to install and configure and took all of about 15 minutes to wire the plug, the air hoses install and go 🙂

You can find this on sale for $315, $299, and sometimes they run it on sale for $279 for club members. I think I paid around $304 total with shipping and tax from harbor freight.


  1. Now that you have had it since June 2006, how has it worked out for you?

    Comment by Bob — October 20, 2008 @ 3:44 am

  2. The date above is “June ’06”; is this correct? If so how has the unit worked out for you since then?

    Comment by Bob Johnson — October 20, 2008 @ 8:14 am

  3. I had it this summer only, works great and I can’t even tell it’s running.

    Great machine!

    Comment by admin — October 29, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

  4. Sorry, the Jun 06 is the day not the year, not sure why no year.

    Comment by admin — October 29, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

  5. Thanks for information about Compressed Air Dryer of freight.

    Comment by freight spain — June 25, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

  6. Thanks for the review. We’ve been running this same air drier for a few months on a laser engraver. We’re operating at 50psi although i haven’t had any issues.

    What pressure are you operating the drier at and have you had any issues?

    Comment by Ryan G. — October 22, 2009 @ 6:22 am

  7. Ryan – 125psi.
    No problems so far 🙂

    Comment by admin — October 25, 2009 @ 11:20 am

  8. I have just purchased, what I think is almost the same unit, as yours. However, it arrived DOA! It doesn’t show any power indicator light, run any motors… nothing!

    I bought this to dry out the air from my compressor since it was *Flooding* my laser with water! I’m very surprised that nothing I’ve tried had made this new appliance come on.

    As I said, it’s nearly the same as your model:


    It’s side panels are slightly different. The pressure/temp/reset box is mounted differently. However, it’s essentially the same unit.

    The way it’s acting, it’s like it’s not getting power. I *know* I wired it up correctly. I know, from checking with a meter, that there’s proper power coming into the bus that connected the power leads from the 110/60 source. I don’t see any fuse on the schematic.

    There is unfettered flow of compressed air running through the drain line. I had expected that only to open when the float opens it to drain condensate. I then thought that there might be some sort of shipping lock on the float that keeps it from moving in transit. I have seen nothing that suggests that this is the case in the documentation. I’m sure that this machine isn’t supposed to route as much pressure through the drain as it does the Air Out. Moreover, I’m pretty sure that I should be seeing some sort of activity on the lights.

    Does any of this sound like a familiar issue?



    Comment by Kent Meiswinkel — October 2, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  9. Kent i have the same problem did you ever figure out what was the problem ? Mine doesnt come on as well. No lights no fans it seems like its not working .

    Comment by Geo — October 9, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

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