Air compressor recommendations

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Forum topic by Micah posted 02-06-2021 05:06 PM 343 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 322 days

02-06-2021 05:06 PM

I use my existing Bostitch 6 gal. pancake compressor entirely for my various nail guns and also for blowing saw dust off of surfaces. I hate that this compressor is as loud as hell, and it seems that I can only blow dust off of things for a couple seconds before it kick on and tops off the tank again, and again, and again.

Anyone have any recommendations for a compressor that is much much quieter, that will also run for a longer period of time before needing to be topped off?

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11196 posts in 4735 days

#1 posted 02-06-2021 05:16 PM

If I were looking for a new quiet compressor I’d take a look at California Air Tools models. There are pricier makes out there for sure but it seems the CAT compressors have a lot of satisfied users.

View OldBull's profile


364 posts in 382 days

#2 posted 02-06-2021 05:47 PM

I just got the makita 5200 3hp because I thought it was a middle of the road compressor but it doesn’t sound much better than yours. I think a compressor is the one item where “go big or go home” is the right answer. Wimpy compressors always will be wimpy compressors. Buy one with a big tank that can run air tools and be happy / done with it. Others tried to tell me, but I didn’t listen.

Just my 2¢ .

View Kirk650's profile


738 posts in 1835 days

#3 posted 02-06-2021 10:58 PM

I have a fairly large Craftsman compressor in the barn, for ‘big air needs’, and I have a smaller Harbor Freight compressor in the workshop. The Craftsman is really loud. The HF unit is oil lubed and quieter, but still too loud to suit me. There is a compressor that is supposed to be really quiet, but I forget the name. If I could offload the HF unit, I’d get one. I need to look up the name of the quiet one. Fine Woodworking reviewed it a few years back.

View BuckeyeDennis's profile


106 posts in 785 days

#4 posted 02-07-2021 12:11 AM

+1 on California Air Tools compressors. I have a 10-gallon, 2 hp model that has enough capacity for all my woodworking needs, including an HVLP spray gun. When it kicks on, you can still have a conversation in a normal soeaking voice.

My own 6-gallon Bostich compressor is now used only when portablity is a major factor – as in toting it up and down stairs.

-- Dennis 'We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.' Charles Swindoll

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4735 days

#5 posted 02-07-2021 12:24 AM

I recently purchased the Makita MAC210Q quiet series 2 gal compressor and this thing is surprisingly quiet. Really quiet. Quieter than I even expected (and I expected it to be quiet). If you want something small and quiet, I highly recommend this one.

That said , it is only 2 gallons and will cycle more often than the larger tank compressors. I purchased it knowing that, but wanted something small and compact.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MatthewG's profile


94 posts in 3866 days

#6 posted 02-07-2021 12:36 AM

+1 more on the California Air Tools. I have a California Air Tools 10020C. It’s not noisy, so it doesn’t make me jump when it kicks in, It is nicely made and easy to service, and it has the best regulator I have ever used. I like the vertical tank, since my floor space is limited. I have had it for a couple of years and it has been solid so far.

The Amazon link for this model:

-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

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