A quiet compressor for the shop.

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Review by HankLP posted 04-19-2019 04:18 AM 2898 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A quiet compressor for the shop. A quiet compressor for the shop. No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

The Fortress compressor was on sale at Harbor Freight for under $200, and they had one set up in the store to demonstrate how quiet it was. With the HF return policy it wasn’t even a gamble to take one home.

I’ve been using the Fortress compressor for a few months now. It’s as quiet as most dishwashers, and goes from zero to 130 psi in just 45 seconds. It holds pressure very well, however the quick disconnect is a bit touchy. If the connected hose is pushed to the side you can hear a leak, but if left alone there are no leaks at all. It stays plugged into the hose reel, and there has been no problem as there might be if a hose with a direct connection to a tool were used. I thought of replacing the disconnect, but decided not to fix something that works.

I’ve had a 6 gallon Porter Cable pancake compressor for years. It is small enough for the shop to not be in the way, but every time it turned on I would jump out of my shop apron. The noise was deafening, and the run time to come up to pressure was quite long and very annoying.

View HankLP's profile


128 posts in 1236 days

9 comments so far

View Noel's profile


91 posts in 541 days

#1 posted 04-19-2019 03:42 PM

A quiet compressor? That’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one! I’m actually curious abut your hose real – what’s the make/model? I like how compact it is.

-- Just make the cut

View sepeck's profile


440 posts in 2875 days

#2 posted 04-19-2019 08:55 PM

What do you use yours for? I have a very old 20 gal one from a big box store and I use it occasionally but kind of hate it. It’s loud, takes up a huge spot in the garage, etc. Got it for a much larger house painting thing and only now use it for a couple of small/mid size finish nail guns, bike/car tires and going to try small scale paint gun for some projects, wondering if it or the 4 gal version would work for that.

-- -Steven Peck,

View HankLP's profile


128 posts in 1236 days

#3 posted 04-20-2019 12:03 AM

sepeck, I use this one for pin nailing and blowing dust around the shop. I’m sure it can do more like inflating tires, but I am keeping the 6 gallon for any kind of framing and blowing out the water lines in the trailer.

Noel, I got the hose reel at Harbor Freight five or six years ago. It has 30 foot of 3/8” hose, and still retracts easily. It gets a fair amount of use.

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 2746 days

#4 posted 04-20-2019 01:57 AM

Nice Hank. That dual pump really is quite. I need air after the kiddos are dozing. I’ll keep this in mind. Any moisture to speak of yet?

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View HankLP's profile


128 posts in 1236 days

#5 posted 04-20-2019 02:41 AM

woodcox, Haven’t noticed any moisture, but the drain valve is on the front and easy to get to. With the 45 second recovery time I leave the valve open until have a need for the air, and then hope I remember to open the drain valve at the end of the day.

View nkawtg's profile


296 posts in 1985 days

#6 posted 04-24-2019 04:44 PM

It’s nice, however the California Air Tools 2010A compressor sells for $185 at Home Depot.
And with your veterans discount take another 10% off that.

View HankLP's profile


128 posts in 1236 days

#7 posted 04-24-2019 06:34 PM

Good to see some price competition out there. The Fortress was $168, so with the discount the price would be about the same. Our Home Depot doesn’t stock the CAT compressors, but you can purchase them online with free delivery. Maybe someone will post a review for them.

View Fallon's profile


96 posts in 3862 days

#8 posted 05-02-2019 04:03 AM

Nice Hank. That dual pump really is quite. I need air after the kiddos are dozing. I’ll keep this in mind. Any moisture to speak of yet?

- woodcox

Moisture is a function of compressing any air that has humidity in it, not the compressor itself. If you compress x cubic feet of air to y pressure, it will drop out an equal amount of water no matter the machine. Even here in really dry Colorado you get a lot of water in the tank. You need a dehumidifier of some sort if you want dry air.

View GaryCN's profile


475 posts in 4668 days

#9 posted 05-26-2019 09:41 PM

I have this California Air Tools Compressor, HomeDepot has is listed at $112. it is very quiet.

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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