air compressor recommendation

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Forum topic by JohnEinNJ posted 08-28-2015 07:18 PM 2054 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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94 posts in 3268 days

08-28-2015 07:18 PM

My crummy little tankless 2HP Sears compressor (919.152340) just gave up after many years of decent service. Motor stopped dead in the middle of inflating bike tires. I want to get a portable tank compressor for light to moderate duty: stapling, brad nailing, dust blow-off, tire inflating, and so forth. It will not be used on a daily basis, just as needed when working projects (or going for a bike ride). I might step up to a heavier duty nailer or to a ROS at some point, but that’s not a major consideration. Recommendations?

11 replies so far

View Richard's profile


1944 posts in 3610 days

#1 posted 08-28-2015 07:43 PM

For what you say you need to do with it I would go for something like this one from HF. or Porter Cable and a lot of others make similar sized compressors.
I have had one of the HF compressors for several years now and it runs all my nail guns fine including a framing nailer although the framing gun will cycle the unit more than any of the others since it uses more air.
You mention going to a ROS at some time , if you use an air powered ROS your going to need a compressor with quite a bit larger CFM rating than something like this unit as well as for a lot of spray guns that will need more CFM. Stick with an electric ROS unless your using it in an auto body shop, but then you would most likely have a Big compressor anyway.

View altendky's profile


169 posts in 3130 days

#2 posted 08-28-2015 10:36 PM

I got one of these on sale. I don’t have much air compressor experience and I haven’t managed to use this one but a couple times yet, but it’s as quiet as everyone says. I did a fair bit of research and it seemed to generally be well reviewed. Small, light, and quiet. Just what you need for low CFM jobs I figured. Went with Milton safety disconnects and Flexzilla hose. Then found a ‘deal’ (time will tell) on a 50’ Kobalt reel with hybrid hose for $50 on sale.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 3563 days

#3 posted 08-28-2015 11:55 PM

If you plan on using it for spraying make sure it has a high enough CFM recovery to handle your spray gun.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View Ted's profile


2877 posts in 3131 days

#4 posted 08-29-2015 12:28 AM

I’m considering the Ultra Quiet as altendky suggests. My Porter-Cable pancake compressor works quite well but I’m really getting tired of how loud it is. I’ve had many different brands of portable compressor… Dewalt, Senco, Campbell-Hausfeld, Ridgid and a few others. Cheaper ones are the loudest but pricier ones are not much quieter. To me, the higher cost of the Ultra Quiet is money well spent.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4151 days

#5 posted 08-29-2015 12:37 AM

I have a PC 6 gallon compressor. Not good for spraying but it runs the air nailers just fine.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View a1Jim's profile


118145 posts in 4497 days

#6 posted 08-29-2015 12:57 AM

What I have found is as time passes you find you may want a compressor that can do more than what you described.
haveing a larger tank will give you more volume that will help if you want to spray later on.


View marc7101's profile


23 posts in 1988 days

#7 posted 08-29-2015 10:47 PM

Definitely a very good choice to go with the CAT ultra quiet, but I would suggest to rather go for the 6-gallon 6310. Amazon selling it at the moment for $199, making it only $5 more than the smaller CAT. We had a post on air compressor reviews and comparisons earlier this year. The CAT 6310 received the highest ratings from consumers.

-- Marc-

View MinnesotaMarty's profile


131 posts in 2138 days

#8 posted 08-31-2015 01:30 AM

i have ran Rol-air compressors since 1978. They are well built and a basically construction compressors. I believe you can go to their website and the site can give you a list of their dealers.
here is the site:
I currently own 3 or them and probably will be selling one to get the small stationary for my shop. I just don’t use the big gas one much anymore.


-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3683 days

#9 posted 08-31-2015 01:37 AM

California-air: QUIET, made in America!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View altendky's profile


169 posts in 3130 days

#10 posted 08-31-2015 01:44 AM

I considered Rolair as well but ‘cheaped-out’ and went with the California (on-sale plus discount gift-card). At least the Rolair JC10 is an ultra-quiet along the lines of the Californias, perhaps Rolair has others as well.

View altendky's profile


169 posts in 3130 days

#11 posted 09-05-2015 06:22 PM

In case you’re a Costco guy…

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