Champion air compressors have a solid reputation and are usually compared to Quincy compressors and those made by smaller companies like Saylor-Beall. 

Champion compressors typically outperform brands sold at big box stores, such as Campbell-Hausfeld.

If you are in the market for a new air compressor. Champion makes a model for every size and purpose. 

Not only can you find oil-lubricated rotary, oil-free, and reciprocating compressors, there is a model for just about every purpose.

To support the compressors, the champion also sells desiccant and refrigerated air dryers and filters, and separators. Electrically timed drains, oil and water separators, and pneumatic mechanical drains support condensate management. Lubricants and piping round up their offerings.

What are some of their offerings, and are the air compressors worth buying?  This guide answers both questions. 




Best Champion Air Compressors

1.Champion HER5-8 – Reciprocating Air Compressor

If you are looking for a quieter reciprocating air compressor, the Champion HER5-8 provides the performance you have come to expect from a Champion with low noise levels.  

The Evolution line of compressors features an enclosure panel with sound-insulating components and a low noise motor-driven fan.

How quiet?  Well, the everyday conversation falls in the 55-65 dB range, and the Evolution’s 5 hp dB is an incredibly low 67.  Even the 15 hp model’s dB of 70 is fifteen decibels below the level at which hearing protection is recommended.

Since the Evolution can be installed in the work environment, space for a dedicated room can serve another purpose.  Eliminating piping reduces pressure drops and saves building and maintenance costs.   

Standard features of the Enterprise include

  • Multi-finned cylinders, large-diameter tubing control, and precision balanced flywheel with cast fan blades provide for lower operating temperatures, extending the engine life.
  • Removable manifolds, convenient sight glass gauge, corner oil fill boss, and large oil drain for easier serviceability.
  • Vibration is minimized with the ductile iron crankshaft with large diameter throws.

Additional standard features include a magnetic starter, air intake pre-filter, and low-oil stop control.   Door modifications won’t be needed, as the unit fits through a standard 36” door. The Enterprise HER5-8 provides 17.0 CFM @ 175 PSI with 737 rpm at 5 horsepower.

Optional Accessories offered with the Enterprise include

  • Vibration isolators
  • Moisture separator
  • Electric tank drain
  • A high temperature shut down

Champion offers a standard warranty that covers parts and labor for three years on the compressor pump and one year for the package.  An extended warranty doubles coverage and includes oil and filters for the life of the warranty.

Specifications

Tank Capacity 80 gallons
Base Mounted Dimension (L x W x H) 40.5 x 31.5 x 31 inches
Horizontal Tank Unit (L x W x H) 67 x 31.5 x 53.5 inches
RPM at 175 psi 734
Displacement at 175 psi 23.3 cfm
Delivery at 175 psi 16.8 cfm
Shipping Weight (approximate) 733 pounds




2. Champion CA-Series—Rotary Scroll Oil-Less Air Compressor

The Champion CA-Series oil-less compressors are designed to meet pure air quality requirements in medical, lab, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and semi-conductor settings.  The CA series scroll compressors are NFPA & CSA code compliant.

Rotary Scroll compressors have been growing in popularity for industrial air compression purposes.  The technology is not new, having been used in refrigerant systems.  Due to their reliability, quiet, and ability to produce oil-free air, air compressor manufacturers added them to their product lines.

The compression chamber in a scroll compressor is created by having a rotating scroll mated to a fixed housing.  The rotating scroll pulls air from the intake and moves it toward the center of the chamber.  Due to continuous rotation, the air becomes compressed into smaller spaces.

This compressed air is then directed to a discharge port.  A significant advantage of scroll compressors is continuous air discharge.  Because the inside scroll rotates non-stop, the chamber is always full of compressed air.

Scroll compressors have several key advantages:

  • No metal-to-metal contact, eliminating the need for lubrication
  • Less maintenance due to fewer moving parts and being air-cooled
  • Noise levels are low.
  • Energy efficient   

Champion CA-Series provide 100% oil-less air.  A 5-micron industrial-grade intake filter and a special tip design further increase air quality.   

Features that lengthen the life of the compressor include the TEFC motor, an integral cooling fan, and an air-cooled aftercooler that includes a separator and trap.  Easy access to the maintenance panel speeds up maintenance and reduces your downtime. 

Up to 4 compressors can be combined for a maximum CFM of 126.4 @116 PSI.  A tank-mounted option with an integrated dryer is also available.  With optional system controls, you will be able to monitor your system remotely using the built-in webserver.  This allows for monitoring from any device with an internet connection.

The system controls include a full-color touch screen, indicators for system capacity, and 26 language options.  The MediTrol-Plus HMI controls include analog inputs for RTDs, dewpoint, and carbon monoxide, as well as redundant transformers for dryer control.

 

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Horsepower Simplex CFM Duplex CFM Triplex CFM Quadraplex CFM
3 9.2 —- —- —-
5 13.9 27.8 41.7 55.6
7.5 22.1 44.2 66.3 88.4
10 31.6 63.2 94.8 126.4

The CA-Series ES provides a sound-attenuating enclosure for the CA-Series compressors.  In addition, you have the option of a tank-mounted receiver in 30, 80, and 120 gallons.  Remote air receivers are also available in tank sizes ranging from 80 to 240 gallons.

Champion can provide a total-system solution to support the proper disposal of by-products as well as prevent damage to the system.  These include dryer systems, piping, and downstream accessories.

Champion CA-Series Scroll compressors can be used for these applications:

Industrial

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Food Processing
  • Laser Cutting and Semi-conductor production
  • Printing
  • Breathing air for paint and cleaning booths
  • Instrument Air

Laboratory

  • Lens grinding
  • Dental Facilities
  • Photo Labs
  • Quality control/testing
  • Biotech

Medical

  • Medical Air
  • Dental Facilities
  • Medical equipment (sterilizers, orbital arms, radiation)
  • HVAC climate control

3.Champion 15 HP Evolution – Two-Stage Air Compressor

The 15 HP Evolution provides the same benefits as the smaller Evolution models with available options, including:

  • Moisture separator
  • Dual controls
  • High-temperature shutdown
  • Electric tank drain
  • Vibration isolators

Key Specs

Tank Capacity 80 gallons
Base Mounted Dimension (L x W x H) 50.5 x 32.5 x 27 inches
Horizontal Tank Unit (L x W x H) 73 x 32 x 70 inches
RPM at 175 psi 1045
Displacement at 175 psi 60.9 cfm
Delivery at 175 psi 46.6 cfm
Shipping Weight (approximate) 1040 pounds

 

4.Champion VP-Series Advantage 5-25 HP Two Stage, Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Compressor

When downtime is not an option, and you need a compressor that comes ready to install, then the Champion Advantage Series is your solution.   The Advantage compressors come with an impressive list of standard features:

  • Multi-Finned Cylinders and Head
  • Integral Cylinder Head
  • Intercoolers for Cooling Between Stages
  • High Flow Disc Valves
  • Tapered Roller Main Bearings
  • Oil-Level Site Glass
  • Centrifugal Unloader for Loadless Starting
  • ASME Code Air Receiver with pressure relief, service, and drain valves
  • Oversized Inlet Filter

To minimize installation time, the following Champion Accessories are included:

  • Vibration Isolator Pads.  By isolating the unit from the foundation or floor, the compressor’s operation is significantly quieter. Also, the pads protect the unit from situations where an out-of-level floor could cause damage from excessive vibration.
  • Air-Cooled Aftercooler.  The air-cooled aftercooler removes up to 65% of the moisture from the compressed air that is discharged.
  • Control Panel.  Provides thermal overload protection.  The transformer ensures low voltage output to the auxiliary components. It comes either mounted or unmounted.
  • Automatic Tank Drain.  Moisture is automatically discharged from the electrically timed drain.
  • Low-Oil Stop Control.   When oil levels are low, the stop control shuts the unit down.  Until adequate oil has been added, the stop control prevents the unit from starting.
Horsepower RPM CFM @175 PSI
5 737 17.0
7.5 949 22.3
10 718 33.8
15 776 54.1
25 776 90.7

Duplex units available for 7.5, 10, and 15 HP units.  CFM values are doubled for duplex units.

The Champion standard warranty covers parts and labor for one year and the compressor pump for three.  A 6-year premium warranty covers the compressor pump for the lifetime of the warranty.  Parts and labor are covered for 2 years.  The premium warranty kit provides oil and filters for 6 years of annual service.

5.Champion LV/LVR Series Fixed Speed Rotary Vane Compressors

The Rotary Vane compressors provide a rotary compressor with a small footprint.  These small units can be installed in undercover areas not suitable for other rotary compressors.  Rotary vane compressors are easy to install and maintain.  

The LV/LVR rotary vane compressors are ideal for woodworking, car body shops, dentistry, laundry, packaging, and machine tools.  

Rotary Vane compressors work by displacing air, simple vane compressors have been in production for a century.  A rotor is centrally located in the cylindrical housing, with rotary blades positioned into slots on the rotor.  

As the rotor begins to turn, the blades slide against the cylinder’s internal surface.  The volume of the cell formed between two blades constantly changes during rotation.  Air enters from an inlet port and is compressed from the centrifugal force.  

As the air is compressed, the pressure inside the cell increases.  Once the pressure in the cell is greater than the pressure in the chamber.  This causes the air to exit through the outlet port.  Exhaust valves stop discharged air from flowing back into the chamber.

Vane compressors become more efficient over time.  As the rotor blades wear in, they produce a nearly perfect seal, which increases power efficiency by 5% to 10%.  Also, vane compressors have an extremely long lifetime—100,000+ operating hours.  This is why Champion can afford to offer an extended warranty that covers the LV/LVR compressors for 10 years.

The highlights of Vane compressors focus on the simplicity of use and easy serviceability:

  • Configuration Flexibility.  Includes airend only, Compressor and TEFC motor combination, Tank-mounted (simplex/duplex), or HYPAC total systems (compressor + tank + dryer).
  • Easy to Service.  Minimized consumable parts, large oil capacity, and filtration extends service intervals.  Spin-on/off oil filter and separator with an easy-access air filter.  Less than 3 ppm oil carryover.
  • Efficiency.  Low energy costs due to a cost-effective compressor.  Start and Stop controls are easy to use.  Vane compressors are ideal for 100% duty cycle applications.

Champion Vane compressors are quiet, with dBA as low as 65.

Horsepower CFM
Airend 5-10 Up to 36.4
Tripod 2 Up to 6.3
Simplex 5-15 Up to 36.4
Duplex 5-10 Up to 72.8

 

6.Champion HV/HR Series Rotary Vane Fixed Speed 15-60 HP

The HV/HR series use the same rotary vane compressor technology but with a lower footprint.  The Hydrovane Series compressors come with an enclosed structure and grouped service components. 

They provide pulse-free air with automatic regulation, air intake modulation, and a reduced energy venting system so off-load power consumption is reduced.

The HR series comes in 5, 7.5, and 10 HP motor, while the HV series includes motors up to 60 HP.  If you want the 100,000+ hours of use with an even quieter compressor, then look into the HV/HR series.

7.Champion L-Series L04-L29 Rotary Screw Air Compressor

The L-Series compressors are fixed speed, single-stage rotary screw compressors.  These compressors are ideal for locations where a quiet, self-contained, integrated system is required.  These self-contained units minimize installation time, saving you time and money.

Outstanding features in the L-Series compressors include:

  • Easy access to service.  Servicing air filters, air/oil separators, and oil filters can be done quickly and efficiently.
  • Automatic Belt Tension.  To prevent loose belts, L-Series have a built-in automatic belt tension mechanism for the 5-30 HP products (30-40 HP models are direct-gear driven).
  • Compact Design.  The compact design minimizes piping and reduces connections, thus reducing potential leaks.
  • Pilot Controller.  The pilot controller’s extensive and yet easy-to-use interface gives you access to important data.  The controller gives the user-programmable inputs and outputs, an advanced fault history log, and a second pressure setting.  The display includes discharge/line/network pressure data.

Key Specs

HP CFM @125 PSI dBA Weight (lbs)
L-04 4 18.2 68 373
L-05 5 24.9 68 373
L-07 7 38.7 71 452
L-11 15 57.9 71 483
L-15 20 83.4 73 739
L-18 25 101.9 74 796
L-22 30 116.5 74 810
L-23 30 129.6 68 1433
L-26 35 148.1 69 1493
L-29 40 176.6 71 1501

Are Champion Air Compressors Good?

Champion has been manufacturing compressed air systems since 1919.  Although they source some of their parts from overseas, Champion compressors are manufacturer in Princeton, Illinois.  

Unlike larger, well-known companies like Ingersoll-Rand, Champion only manufacturers air compressors.  This narrow focus allows them to innovate.  They continually expand their already large compressor line, such as the new fixed speed D Series rotary screw compressors or a new line of energy-saving refrigerated air dryer line.

The best experts are those who use the machines regularly.  You can find many of them posting on newsgroup user boards.  Spend some time reading them, and you will find the consensus is that both Champion and Quincy compressors are excellent products.

Longevity is a sign of quality, and many users tout the age of their machines.  Users talk about machines that are still running after twenty and thirty years.  Many who use both Champion and Quincy prefer the Champion compressor.  

A good way to compare quality is to ask for the dealer’s extended warranty.  Since dealers sell them to make money, a low dealer’s warranty is a sign the dealer expects the machine to last.




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How Do Champion Compressors Compare to Ingersoll Rand? 

Once upon a time, Ingersoll Rand compressors were considered equally good as Champion and Quincy.  But Ingersoll has gotten a bad rap lately.  Why is that?

The most common reason is that as Ingersoll-Rand has expanded, they have put their name on inferior products.   Ingersoll-Rand grew out of Gardner Denver, and has over 30 manufacturing facilities across Europe, the Americas, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific countries.

As Ingersoll-Rand expanded, it swallowed up smaller companies in three fields—industrial, energy, and medical.  At this point, Ingersoll-Rand and Gardner-Denver are part of the Trane Technologies portfolio.

Because the company is so large, components in their compressors are sourced from countries that do not have reputations for superior products.  

This is unfortunate because Ingersoll-Rand was founded in 1859.  The company was an early manufacturer of compressors, and the former parent company, Gardner-Denver, also has a long history.

Although Ingersoll Rand still makes good compressors, many users feel that Champion and Quincy compare more favorably.

How Do Champion Compressors Compare to Quincy? 

Quincy has been in the compressor business as long as Champion and has a reputation for making high-quality compressors.   Champion has more rotary screw, reciprocating and oil-free compressors, but Quincy has expanded their compressor product line into natural gas compressors.

Although Quincy compressors are also made in America, Atlas Copco bought Quincy in 2014.  However, Atlas Copco has not made many changes to the Quincy compressors since they are in a different market.

Ultimately choosing between a Quincy and a Champion will come down to three things:

  • Use.  Champion has a slightly broader range of products, but you should choose one based on your specific needs.
  • Price.  If both are equal, then the price could be the deciding factor.
  • Gut check.  Ask around and see what your friends say.  If you plan on using one for a body shop, see what other shops are using.  

And if something goes wrong with one, Quincy and Champion warranties are equally good. For additional help, contact our experts.