Author Topic: Portable air compressor recommendations?  (Read 1142 times)

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Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 230
Portable air compressor recommendations?
« on: February 21, 2020, 07:36 PM »
I'm looking for a quiet and small air compressor for home renovation work - I know there are several California Air models that seem to have good reviews. I've considered an Rolair AIRSTAK as I love the idea of putting it on top of my CT33 vac, but am disappointed by its 70 dB "ultra quiet" spec, whereas the California Air models are rated around 56 db. I'm pretty sure that's a huge difference. Speaking of huge difference, the AIRSTAK is priced around $475 while the California Air models are just over $100.

Figured this was pretty much a no-brainer, but just thought I would see if anyone has feedback/thoughts on the California Air models?

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Online GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1004
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 07:43 PM »
I have a little 1 gallon California Air compressor: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYHYHEA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_kGhuEbZ1NX2JT.

I was previously using Porter Cable pancake air compressor. That thing was heavy and super loud!

I love my California Air compressor. It is extremely quiet and lightweight and easy to move around.  Its capacity might be on the small side depending on what you're doing. I've only used it to blow air and shoot 18 and 23 gauge nails. It cycles more frequently, but I don't mind since it's quiet.
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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2816
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 07:43 PM »
I've been very happy with the Rolair JC10 - 60db and a small footprint.  Works great in a small shop.  Fast recovery.  And relatively light weight.

https://www.toolnut.com/rolair-jc10plus-oil-free-2-5-gallon-1-hp-ultra-quiet-60db-air-compressor.html

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 230
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 08:55 PM »
I love my Makita AC001.  Super light and quiet, it's great for trim.  Quiet enough I can have a normal conversation standing next to it while its filling up. 

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 21
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2020, 09:11 PM »
I have a little 2 gallon Kobalt Quiet Tech compressor from Lowe's. It's about 60dB when running at full tilt, quiet enough that it doesn't really interfere with conversations when it's running. I've been quite pleased with it, especially for the $160 price.

I considered getting one of the California Air Tools compressors, and still might if I wind up needing something large, but for my minimal needs (nailguns and cleaning out dust), this works great.

Offline xedos

  • Posts: 311
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2020, 09:23 PM »
Not exactly a compressor, but my go to now is co2. 

It 's hands down the the quietest air source around, and if you get the 9oz. bottle - it's the smallest too.  The 20oz. bottle is a better compromise between size, and duration. 

https://www.toolmarts.com/interstate-pneumatics-wrco2-k2-co2-regulator-and-paintball-tank-recoil-hose-and-coupler-kit

JacPac and Kobalt used to make a more consumer friendly package , but they are discontinued now.

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 60
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2020, 09:36 PM »
I'll second @neilc 's recommendation of the Rolair JC-10. Mine has a been a great compressor for finish trim and shop work. The best thing is that it is amazingly quiet. Although it's relatively lightweight, I made a caster base for it which makes it easy to move around the shop.

Offline infer

  • Posts: 77
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2020, 11:30 AM »
In my search for a very quiet compressor that fits in a systainer I modded my Sparmax TC620x with a 75 PSI valve and dropped it in a sys 3.
Around 40-45 db in use and very light weight.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 209
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2020, 01:22 PM »
One more Rolair JC10 user here. It has worked out well for me running nailers, a bit of dusting, and mounting motorcycle tires. The noise level is good, it’s light enough to move around easily and compact.
Not long after I bought it, I had a problem with the cutoff valve, a quick phone call to Rolair got a new part on its way.

Offline Pnw painter

  • Posts: 216
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2020, 06:36 PM »
I’d also recommend the Rolair J-10 for general purpose renovation work. It’s an excellent combo in terms of tank size, CFM and quietness for this application.

Rolair also has an excellent reputation for customer support and you’re more likely to find spare parts locally compared to many other brands.

Makita is also coming out with a line of quiet air compressors in 2020 that are probably worth checking out.
https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2020/01/02/quiet-and-capable-compressors


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Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 717
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2020, 09:08 PM »
The Max AKHL1260E is about as good as they come when it comes to portability and performance, but at ~$1,300 it's also a bit spendy for home gamers.

I've retired my Makita MAC700 to weekend work around the house. It's overkill, but it's a solid compressor. It will keep up with a single framing nailer doing stick framing, and is plenty for running a flooring nailer, millwork guns, and blowing out tools. At ~$200, it's tough to beat. Only downside is that it want to tip over in transit....

Regarding the dB specs, they can be a bit deceiving, as some compressors have a lower dB rating but have a harsh pitch, or the motor is quiet but the pressure relief valve screams. Best to run several head-to-head in a store to decide for yourself. Of course, this would preclude the oil-lube units which are shipped "dry". I think the MAC 700 is rated something ~ 68dB, but it's a deep rumble and not unpleasant to be near. The Max compressor has a "quiet" mode that reduces the motor rpm.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 09:12 PM by Tom Gensmer »
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Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 225
    • Compass Custom Creations
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2020, 10:20 PM »
+1 for the California Air compressors.

I have a California Air 2 gal compressor.  I mainly run Finish and Pins with it.  I have used it to run a framing nailer and it kept up with me just fine.  I'm not thinking it would do well to run two framers simultaneously though.  There will often be a collection of pancake compressors on the job site but folks like running my California compressor because it's quiet and light weight.
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Offline Kevin C.

  • Posts: 143
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2020, 11:47 PM »
 I have had a Senco 1010 in a systainer for 5 years now. Runs almost everyday and it was like a hundred bucks. If it died tomorrow, I would order a brand new one immediately.

Offline cubevandude

  • Posts: 69
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2020, 08:58 AM »
If you look at the CFM, the Rolair JC10PLUS wins hands down.  Depending on what you do, the roll cage is important to protect the various parts of the compressor.
https://www.rolair.com/products/air-compressors/hand-carry/jc10plus

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 880
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2020, 09:17 AM »
Ryan, I got the small Senco last year and think it's a good combination of price and noise level. I only use it for brads and trim nails so capacity isn't an issue.

Offline jeffinsgf

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 273
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2020, 09:26 AM »
I gave my brother-in-law my small Senco when I had 3 or 4 compressors and he had none. Big mistake...I missed it immediately and often. I keep waiting for them to have another promotion where they're "giving" the compressor away with a pinner or stapler.

Offline TSO_Products

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  • Posts: 225
    • TSO Products LLC
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2020, 04:44 PM »
the ROLAIR AIRSTAK (in a SYSTAINER) we sell at TSO came in handy during a recent project in the confines of an occupied residence during an install.
It is not only compact with a manageable noise level but also completely "clean" on the outside. Nothing to soil home furnishings if you touch anything while carrying the unit around under the watchful eye of the homeowner. Just don't forget to wipe your hose before taking it out of the truck into the jobsite.

The thing to keep in mind about noise: are you going to be running air tools non-stop or just a relatively modest number of fasteners? But No, it won't run our SATA Jet paint guns or supplied-air hood [wink]

Hans

Offline xedos

  • Posts: 311
Re: Portable air compressor recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2020, 05:02 PM »
while we're on the subject,   does anyone know what ever happened to the Cadex Systainers compressors ?

Seemed like they had much better spex than just about everything except noise level.  And they were delayed from shipping many times ?