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Land Rover Monthly - - Upfront -

About 12 years ago I bought a small por­ta­ble com­pres­sor on wheels from a well-known chain of DIY stores. I seem to re­call it cost me £189. Made in Italy (the main source of cheap power tools back then), three-horse­power mo­tor, belt drive, 50-litre tank. Af­ter a few months the wheels dis­in­te­grated, so I bodged up some re­place­ments. And since then it has been used just about every work­ing day, and ab­so­lutely noth­ing has gone wrong with it. It is still on its orig­i­nal drive belt, and I have never changed the lu­bri­cat­ing oil in the pump, be­cause I wasn’t ex­pect­ing the thing to last more than a cou­ple of years any­way. (I take the same hands-off ap­proach to main­tain­ing cheap ro­tary lawn mow­ers.)

Sadly, last week the pipe be­tween the tank and the pres­sure sens­ing switch frac­tured due to metal fa­tigue. The switch it­self had been play­ing up for a while, the quick-re­lease air cou­plings are worn out, and I can’t help feel­ing the me­chan­i­cal bits are on bor­rowed time. So I have gone out and bought a shiny new Chi­nese com­pres­sor, with a larger tank, for a few pounds more than I paid in 2005. I won­der whether it will last as long as the old one?

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