Category Archives: Air Compressors

Air Compressor Reviews

Air Compressor Buyer Guide

The good news is that the air compressor models being sold today benefit from considerable improvements in design, manufacturing, materials, and even ergonomics and aesthetics over those of even just a few years ago.

There are very few bad choices available, and it’s hard to make a real mistake.  That said, it’s still well worth a few minutes of your time to choose the model that is best suited for your particular needs.

Before focusing on specific models, you can start by figuring out which TYPE of air compressor is best based on your needs.  Once you’ve narrowed it down it will be easier to choose the specific model that will serve you best.

Separating the Air Compressor Market into Three Segments

Basically, air compressors fall into three groups:  shop compressors, portable compressors, and trim compressors.

In each group of comparable models, there will be a tradeoff between tank size, compressor size, noise, portability, and price.

Some models will have larger tanks and smaller compressors.  These are good for uses where you can work some, and then take a moment while the compressor cycles back up to pressure.  These tend to be better for continuous use tools like drills and sprayers, while still being cost effective.  Other models will have smaller tanks and larger compressors.  These tend to be good for burst type tools, like impact drivers and nail guns.

Shop Compressors

Shop compressors are not intended to be moved.  Generally they have larger tanks such that you can draw a sustained consistent high air supply without emptying the tank.  This is necessary when spraying, grinding, chiseling, or other uses where the air tools will need a lot of air volume over a long period of time.

Shop compressors basically are either vertical or horizontal, which refers to how the air tank cylinder is arranged.

Horizontal compressors have the tank laying flat.  They generally are less tall, but take up more floor space.  Many models will fit under a work bench, saving valuable space in a smaller workshop.

Vertical compressors are made to stand upright.  They will take up less floor space, but will take up more vertical space instead.  Also, the largest capacity compressors usually have vertical tanks, as a big tank takes up less space when set on end.

Shop compressors also may or may not have wheels.  Some shop compressors that have wheels and can run on an extension cord, can cross into the portable compressor line, provided you don’t mind their size and bulk when moving them.

We have organized our Workshop Air Compressor Recommendations for easy comparison.

Quick Recommendations for the Best Shop Compressors

Horizontal Shop Compressor with Wheels: GMC SYCLONE 6310

Vertical Shop Compressor with Wheels: DeWALT D55168

Heavy Duty Shop Compressor without wheels:  Quincy #2V41C60VC

Portable Compressors

Portable compressors are generally medium sized units that are made to be as versatile as possible.  They tend to have larger tanks and compressors so they can serve light shop duty, while having wheels so you can drag them out to the job site too.  If you only have the money or the space for one compressor, and you don’t need the sustained CFM of the big work horses, then a portable compressor will be perfect for you.

You can think of some portables small shop compressors with wheels, while you can think of some others as larger heavier trim compressors that can also work in the shop.

The real deciding factor is how much CFM you need for the kind of work you expect to do.  If you use short burst type tools then the large trim compressor is going to be ideal.  If you use long sustained work type tools, like sanders and grinders and chisels and hammers, then the larger units will be necessary even though they are less convenient to move around.

A lot has changed in the compressor market in the last 10 years, and there are a lot of light, portable, efficient, and even quiet portable compressors available.

We have organized our Portable Air Compressor Recommendations for easy comparison.

Quick Recommendations for the Best Quiet Portable Compressors

In this group we have a couple fantastic units and you really can’t go wrong with either.  It all depends on what your preferences are.

DeWALT D55146

Makita MAC5200

Mini or “Trim” Compressors

Trim compressors are ultra portable units generally used for finish carpentry where the nailers don’t require much air, for airbrushing and spraying on small projects, and for other uses where ultra portability is more important the all out capacity.

While mini compressors represent a relatively recent addition to the compressor market, they are where all the innovation has been, and there is a full crop of highly capable units to pick from.

If you want the maximum portability and flexibility, and are don’t need the sustained air required for continuous use tools, then a mini compressor is an excellent choice.  In fact, I’ve always had big compressors, but when I let my old faithful go along with the sale of a recent project, I ended up replacing it with not one, but TWO compressors… one quiet portable that stays in the workshop, and one ultra-portable that I can take where I want it

The new generation of trim compressors should really give you a reason to stop and reexamine all your assumptions about what a compressor should be.  At an affordable price point, they sure beat dragging 200′ of air hose around!

We have organized our Mini and Trim Air Compressor Recommendations for easy comparison.

Quick Recommendations for the Best Mini and Trim Air Compressors

Three of the mini compressors really stand out as great units, and it’s just a matter of preference for which one’s best for you.

The Makita MAC700 is a little heavier and a little bulkier, but it’s ultra quiet and still has the mustard to drive an impact or a full size nail gun, and it should quite literally last forever.

The DeWALT D55140 is a professional grade trim compressor in a compact format that doubles as a stool.

The Porter Cable C1010 is similar to the DeWALT that it really just comes down to whether you want yellow or red.

So now that you have a short list to choose from you should be able to pick your air compressor with ease.

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Which Workshop Air Compressor is the Best?

Shop Compressors

Shop compressors generally have larger air storage tanks that allow you to draw consistent large air volumes for tools such as sprayers, grinders, chisels, and hammers without emptying the tank. When you use these types of tools you need the larger sustained air volumes and pressures which workshop compressors supply.

Workshop compressors come in one of two air cylinder configurations; vertical and horizontal.

Horizontal shop compressor air storage tanks lie flat and are shorter in height, but take up more shop floor space.  There are also space-saving models that can fit beneath your work bench which can be necessary in small shops, garages, and sheds.

Vertical compressors are designed to stand straight up and down.  They usually take up less floor space than horizontal compressors, but will rather take up more vertical space. Shop compressors with larger air storage volumes tend to have vertical tanks and are designed to save shop floor space.

Some shop compressors are designed to be moved around your work area and will have wheels while others may not have wheels and opt instead to have extra circuitry that allows extension cords to be used.

Recommendations for the Best Shop Compressors

Horizontal Shop Compressor with Wheels: GMC SYCLONE 6310

Vertical Shop Compressor with Wheels: DeWALT D55168

Heavy Duty Vertical Shop Compressor:  Quincy #2V41C60VC

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Which Portable Air Compressor is the Best?

Portable Compressors

Portable air compressors are medium-sized machines that have been designed for maximum versatility and to be useful in a wide variety of applications. In addition to being capable of running many types of tools you can expect larger than usual air storage tanks and higher-powered compressors that enable them to double as light duty shop compressors.

If you don’t run tools with high sustained airflow requirements like die grinders, hammers, sanders, and air chisels a portable compressor will be perfect for you, especially if you are working in a smaller space or have a low budget otherwise you’ll want a larger, more powerful shop compressor or portable contractor compressor to give you the best performance for your tools.

You can think of some portables small shop compressors with wheels, while you can think of some others as larger heavier trim compressors that can also work in the shop.

A lot has changed in the compressor market in the last 10 years, and there are a lot of light, portable, efficient, and even quiet portable compressors available.

Best Quiet Portable Compressors

In this group we have a couple fantastic units and you really can’t go wrong with either.  It all depends on what your preferences are.

DeWALT D55146

Makita MAC5200

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Which Mini / Trim Air Compressor is the Best?

Trim compressors are mega-portable units which are used generally for finish carpentry work and other applications that don’t require much air flow or pressure. Choose a trim compressor when you’ll be doing small jobs with staplers, nailers, airbrushes and small sprayers or just need a unit that you can carry around without being hampered by weight or size.

Mini and trim compressors are the new comers to the air compressor market but have really been driving innovation. You’ll find more than sufficient selection of excellent, versatile, and capable units in the mini market.

As with other portables only buy one if you have low airflow requirements and won’t be using tools like die grinders which require high pressure and sustained airflow. Also consider trim compressors when you have limited space or have a need for a super quiet compressor. Any of the below trim compressors would make excellent secondary units to backup your shop compressor and help you get things done on the go.

Of all the mini compressors that are available these three stand out of the crowd as superb units. Any of these would be great additions to your shop or great gifts for tool lovers you know. Let your personal preference guide which of these you buy.

The Makita MAC700 is a little heavier and a little bulkier, but it’s ultra quiet and still has the mustard to drive an impact or a full size nail gun, and it should quite literally last forever.

The DeWALT D55140 is a professional grade trim compressor in a compact format that doubles as a stool.

The Porter Cable C1010 is similar to the DeWALT that it really just comes down to whether you want yellow or red.

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Makita MAC2400 Big-Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

Makita MAC2400 Summary

Best in class compressor at a price even your cheapskate father-in-law won’t cry about

Product Description

Makita’s MAC2400 big bore compressor is probably the best choice of compressor for a wide variety of applications that homeowners and contractors will run up against. A lot of compressors run often but this one holds air forever and unless you’re running high-speed tools that suck down air like a guy drowning in the river it rarely even runs the pump. The MAC2400 is heavier and larger than you would expect for a compressor with it’s specs but the fact that it’s almost silent, rarely runs, and can keep up with whatever you throw at it I can forgive it that “flaw.”

Makita MAC2400 Specifications

  • quiet operation
  • low maintenance design
  • professional-grade power for the jobsite
  • built to last
  • easy to remove pump makes maintenance a breeze
  • excellent 1-year manufacturer warranty

The Consensus

A definite best buy at its price point. Overengineered but in a good way; provides lots of air and barely needs to run for routine jobs. The MAC2400 provides a professional-quality jobsite compressor that homeowners and do it yourselfers can still afford without dipping into your kid’s college fund. Unless you are running heavy duty tools this Makita will blow you away and leave you with money to buy more tools and materials.

List Price: $299.99 USD
New From: $299.99 In Stock

Posted in Portable Air Compressors, Shop Compressors | Comments Off

Senco PC1010 1HP 1-Gallon Compressor

Senco PC1010 Summary

Workers love the slow recovery times and extra breaks this compressor afford them

Product Description

The Senco PC1010 is probably one of the most portable and well designed mobile air compressors on the market but simply doesn’t have the air storage capacity or pressure output for anything but light trim guns or low volume work. Great for hobbyists, and finish work but of no value for most work on the job site or garage such as framing, grinding, etc. If Senco comes out with a big brother to this compressor with the same design but a slightly larger tank (even with the same compressor) it’ll be a good buy even at a higher price. But skip this one unless you only use your compressor for mobile jobs that require light-duty tools.

2015 follow up

This Senco actually fits one specific need: Easy to carry, lightweight, and can drive a trim gun. The DeWALT is an awkward shape for schlepping up and down stairs and the Makita MAC700 is over 50 lbs. So if you ONLY need a trim gun, and you need it on the run, this might be the one.

Senco PC1010 Features

  • great handle design makes carrying a cinch
  • 1HP compressor pump
  • 1-year warranty
  • small horizontal tank
  • rubber feet won’t mar your floors
  • virtual noiseless


Unless you only do light finishing work you should definitely buy something with a larger tank and higher pressure rating. It’s truly a shame that Senco couldn’t pack more power and air storage capacity into an otherwise superbly designed compressor. Unless you’re buying a secondary compressor for light work on the go pass on this one and wait for them to come out with a larger version of this one. Instead give the Senco PC1131 a shot.

List Price: $149.00 USD
New From: $116.08 In Stock
Used from: $103.62 In Stock

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Dewalt D55151 14 Amp 2.5HP 4-Gallon Oiled Twin Hot Dog Compressor

Dewalt D55151 Summary

Requires your own female connector and an occasional lube

Product Description

The Dewalt D55151 compressor provides the features and power of larger, more expensive compressors in a smaller package and with a lower price. Compressor pumps that use an oil reservoir require a tiny bit of maintenance but generally outlast oil-free compressors. Ideal for nailers, staplers, sprayers, and light grinders. The D55151 is both portable and versatile enough for use on the job site and yet still within the budget of home owners and the DIY crowd.

Dewalt D55151 Details

  • quick recovery
  • good for cold weather use
  • high-flow air regulator increases performance
  • minimal maintenance required

The Conclusion

It comes without a female hose connector which is only a minor inconvenience. The oil-lubricated pump doesn’t freeze up when used infrequently but can be a hassle for people who tend not to change the oil in their tools/cars/etc. Compressors such as the Makita MAC2400 provide a better compressor with less noise, better performance, and less noise but if noise isn’t a huge concern the D55151 is a great addition to any small shop or garage so grab one of those instead.

List Price: $229.99 USD
New From: $229.99 In Stock

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Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 1-Gallon Oil-Free Pancake Air Compressor with Accessory Kit

Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Summary

My grandpa with emphysema has more lung power than this thing!

Product Description

The FP2028 isn’t bad if you only need to fill up bike tires and footballs but simply doesn’t have enough air pressure or air storage capacity to be of use for much else. It can get you buy for finishing jobs with your stapler or nailer and do alright running a hobby airbrush but that’s about the extent of its capabilities. Don’t expect much from this compressor but if you have minimal needs or will only use your compressor in the spring when you’re working on your mower this might be the one for you.

Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Features

  • easy to use
  • 100 PSI maximum air pressure rating
  • comes with a decent accessory kit
  • super light and portable
  • small footprint

The Recommendation

Unless you almost never use your compressor or only have minimal need for one you should shop around for a compressor with a larger storage tank and a slightly higher air pressure rating. The FP2028 is an alright value for it’s price but I’ve found that most people need more air capacity than this thing has. It might be alright for hobbyists who work on the go such as air brush artists at the swap meet or a gym teacher inflating balls at their school but is definitely not for those with serious work to do. Checkout the lower-end Dewalt D55150 and Porter Cable C1010 to get more versatility at only a slightly higher price.

List Price: $72.08 USD
New From: $72.08 In Stock
Used from: $65.00 In Stock

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Hitachi EC12 14.5 Amp 2HP 4-Gallon Oiled Twin Hot Dog Compressor

Hitachi EC12 Summary

Hitachi: Japanese for good deal

Product Description

The Hitachi EC12 is another great portable air compressor offering from a company known for good products at low prices. The EC12 is perfect for staplers, nailers, and more but not well suited for painting. Beware that with oil-lubricated compressor pumps you will want to add an oil/water filter to keep your tools safe from moisture and oil. The intake filter and thermal guard adds additional value and helps keep your compressor running like the Energizer bunny without adding a bunch of additional cost to the unit.

EC12 Features

  • 1-year warranty
  • requires oil and light maintenance
  • 4 gallon air tank
  • robust motor with quick recovery times
  • consistent airflow
  • built to last
  • Hitachi quality engineering and construction

My Recommendation

Hitachi is a trusted tool maker and has provided yet another solid compressor with the EC12. It packs a lot of power and versatility into a compact package. If you’ve had problems in the past with tripping your circuit breakers the EC12 has built-in protection against overloads. For home use and light job site work you can count on the Hitachi EC12 to keep up with you throughout your work day and without interruptions and downtime.  If you don’t grab an EC12 now you’ll regret it when Sears won’t honor the warranty on your Craftsmen compressor so snag one now.

New From: $555.86 In Stock

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Campbell Hausfeld FP209499 3-Gallon Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld FP209499 Summary

B.Y.O.H. – Bring your own hose

FP209499 Air Compressor Overview

When buying air compressors at this price point manufacturers for some reason think that we’re going to buy theirs just because they throw in some cheap Chinese accessory pack. Campbell Hausfeld made this same assumption and then threw in worthless accessories and a brittle plastic hose that you’re gonna want to replace from day one. The quality of the compressor is great and it provides a compressor capable of everything you would want to do around the house with it but don’t expect it to work well witih big air tools like chisels and grinders. Also, don’t be surprised when you first fire up this little compressor and it’s louder than you expect; small compressors sound like chainsaws and that’s a fact you just have to live with.

Campbell Hausfeld FP209499 Specifications

  • great control panel design
  • small tank
  • accessories included
  • compressor pump that runs cool
  • tank absorbs vibrations/li>

The Consensus

While lightweight and portable the FP29499 is packaged with sub-standard accessories (especially the hose) and has a hard time keeping up with tools that require more than 100 PSI of air to be available. This is a good buy if you already have hoses and are just looking for replace an old worn out compressor. Look elsewhere if you need more than a casual home users would need such as the Porter Cable C2002 pancake compressor.

List Price: $80.50 USD
New From: $80.50 In Stock
Used from: $72.86 In Stock

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Campbell Hausfeld VT6275 15 Amp 3.2-Horsepower 60-Gallon Oiled Vertical Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld VT6275 Summary

Campbell Hausfeld trumps their usual cheap Chinese compressors for a change

Product Description

This is a serious compressor for those of us that need to use grinders, air chisels, sanders, and other tools which require higher air pressures and volumes. If you’re only using your compressor for light-duty tasks like roofing work, using ratchets, inflating tires, and such you can get by with a cheaper compressor with less power and a smaller tank.

Campbell Hausfeld VT6275 Specifications

  • sufficient air flow for more air-hungry tools
  • durable 60 gallon air tank
  • 5000+ hour operating life
  • very quiet
  • vertical tank style won’t take over your workspace

The Recommendation

The Campbell Hausfeld VT6275 is truly suprising as they have a reputation for making cheap Chinese junk compressors. It’s dead quiet during operation, of very durable construction, and built with steel rather than aluminum components which is uncommon at this price point. If you’ve been unhappy with Campbell Hausfeld air compressors in the past you might want to give this one a try and reconsider. The only real downside to this model is unlike other compressors that have oil-free pumps that barely ever require maintenance the VT6275 has an oiled pump and does require periodic maintenance but the benefits and features definitely outweight this one small downside.  This small drawback not withstanding it’s a solid purchase that you should make  today or better yet, buy one for yourself and give one to your buddy!

List Price: $851.52 USD
New From: $851.52 In Stock

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Dewalt D55167 1.6 HP 200 PSI Oil-Free High Pressure Low-Noise Horizontal Portable Compressor

Dewalt D55167 Summary

Stow-able in your overhead compartment — well almost

Product Description

Expect a standard Dewalt compressor here at twice the price you would expect. The D55167 delivers high-pressure and reasonable recovery times all in a compact package that you can stuff under your workbench. Extension cord friendly so you don’t have to worry about catching your garage on fire. The handle is conveniently located for wrapping the hose around when not in use but a bit too low to the ground for moving the compressor around much; hence why I leave it under my workbench most of the time.

The D55167 compressor is well-suited for most light and medium tasks such as painting your fence, working on the car, and light grinding but don’t expect this to be useful if you’re a garage metal fabricator or a contractor that requires running heavy duty tools.

Dewalt D55167 Features

  • 200 PSI maximum pressure with quick recovery time after use
  • virtually no pump maintenance required
  • quieter than many other compressors in its class
  • efficient air pressure delivery system
  • extension cord friendly

The Consensus

The D55167 isn’t the cheapest 200 PSI compressor on the market but it’s quiet, portable, and fits under my workbench. It recovers quicker than most other compressors with the same tank size and can do quite a few small tasks without even running the pump. The handles and tank are super durable and are perfect for wrapping your hoses around to keep your shop floor from becoming cluttered. A solid all around purchase but kinda pricy for a compressor of this size.

List Price: $389.99 USD
New From: $389.99 In Stock

Posted in Portable Air Compressors, Shop Compressors | Comments Off

Dewalt D55141 8-Amp 0.5HP 2-Gallon Oil-Free Single Hot Dog Compressor

Dewalt DEWD55141 Summary

Some assembly required: $15 worth of plumbing supplies and you have a compressor that’ll do in a pinch

Dewalt DEWD55141 Details

The DEWD55141 is a great purchase for the budget-minded do-it-yourselfer but requires some modifications to prevent water from destroying your tools. A trip to Lowes and $15 later you have a decent compressor to runs your tools. As far as budget compressors go this isn’t all that bad of a deal but there’s quite a few other compressors out there that are cheaper and actually designed better. I would definitely consider one of the cheaper Craftsmen compressors or even one of Dewalt’s other cheaper offerings before buying this one.

  • fairly quiet
  • roll cage to protect the tank from being damaged if knocked over
  • durable and low-maintenance
  • lightweight
  • designed to NOT trip your breakers

The Recommendation

The DEWD55141 is a quality and portable compressor but tends to dump water into your tools through the header. If you’re not afraid to modify the thing with a few bucks worth of plumbing supplies this is a good purchase but otherwise go with one of Dewalt’s other offerings that has more sensible plumbing out of the box.

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Campbell Hausfeld FP2048 2-Gallon Air Compressor and 8-Piece Accessory Kit

Campbell Hausfeld FP2048 Summary

The “go anywhere” compressor — anywhere with ear plugs that is!

Product Description

The Campbell Hausfeld FP2048 is a small, noisy air compressor perfect for light-duty work around the house and in the shed but don’t expect to be using it late at night or you’ll raise the dead. It’s got a pretty small air tank by comparison but really what do you expect for so cheap? The FP2048 is a decent choice if you just need a cheap compressor for the kids to use, for filling tires, and using your stapler but don’t plan on using this for serious work.

In the box you’ll get:

  • a 25-foot recoiling hose
  • an air chuck
  • an inflation needle, needle adapter, and two nozzles

Campbell Hausfeld FP2048 Features

  • 2 gallon tank holds plenty of air
  • no oil, no muss, no fuss
  • pump motor that runs cool as ice
  • accessory kit included

The Conclusion

A cheap compressor for the handyman we all know who isn’t all that handy. It’s a decent purchase if you have minimal needs such as airbrushing models for the kids, pumping up footballs and bike tires, and blowing out your air filter for your lawn mower but if you need something for more involved work or to run air tools like auto paint sprayers and grinders look for a more heavy-duty compressor such as the Hitachi EC12 which provides a bit more versatility for around the same price point.

Posted in Mini Air Compressors, Portable Air Compressors | Comments Off

GMC Syclone 6310 Ultra-Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor

GMC Power Equipment Summary

Ugly duckling provides power while being whisper quiet

Product Description

The GMC Syclone 6310 is a small, portable ugly little machine that provides solid performance for small air tools while making nearly no noise. Don’t expect this machine to handle heavy duty tools but if all you need is to run an air brush, small spray painting gear, or nailers it’ll do just fine.

GMC Power Equipment Features Details Specifications

  • very quiet operation @ less than 60 db
  • 6.3 gallon tank
  • oil-free, low maintenance pump
  • quick connect system so you can easily switch tools

The Consensus Conclusion Recommendation

This GMC compressor is probably the ugliest air compressor that you’ll ever lay eyes on with it’s garish paint scheme but it’s quite a workhorse for running small tools, sprayers, etc. GMC cut a lot of corners in the manufacture of the Syclone as far as the paint and not grinding down the welds nicely but didn’t skimp where it counts. This is a perfect compressor for inflating car tires, running light tools, home-use painting gear, and blowing the cobwebs out of your shop. It’s a great bargain compressor that you can run at midnight without irritating your wife or neighbors.

Posted in Portable Air Compressors, Shop Compressors | Comments Off

Dewalt D55168 200 PSI 15-Gallon 120V Electric Wheeled Portable Workshop Compressor Review

Dewalt D55168 Summary

Lightweight, portable, and works harder than your boss

Product Description

With 200 PSI of pressure and a pump that can keep up with your tools without missing a breath you can get anything done in your home, garage or small shop without breaking the bank. The D55168 is a great choice for roofing, cleanup, and maintenance on your cars while still being powerful enough to run small grinders and painting gear. This is a definite top 5 for small, light and medium duty home compressors but not well suited for commercial use or when you need to do heavy duty work or use industrial-grade tools.

Dewalt D55168 Features

  • recovers quickly between uses so you can get more work done in less time
  • run your tools longer thanks to a high-pressure storage tank
  • less than 75 db to keep your shop quiet
  • oil-less, low-maintenance pump that can even be used with an extension cord due to low amp usage

The Consensus

The D55168 compressor from Dewalt is one of their best low-price offerings for home and small shop use. If you’re in need of a quality replacement for your aging Craftsmen pancake compressor or need to upgrade to run tools with higher pressure and air volume requirements you should definitely short-list this one.

This is by no means a top-end commercial shop compressor but for most home and small shop use it will be more than enough and unlike many compressors the D55168 can be used with extension cords without worrying about fire hazards due to excessive amperage draw; this is a must-have for me when choosing a compressor as I have a small shop and am always moving things around as I work to make room for my projects.

The only thing wanting is it’s wheel system and the fact that the drain is close too close to the floor. Most people from what I’ve see just build a small stand/ramp to keep it off the ground and so far it’s worked well for me this way. If you want a great value in a portable compressor this is it, order one before you regret it.

List Price: $710.42 USD
New From: $389.00 In Stock

Posted in Portable Air Compressors, Shop Compressors | Comments Off

Quincy QT-54 Reciprocating Air Compressor Review 5 HP 230V Single Phase

Quincy Compressor Summary

More hot air than a senator but without the noise

Product Description

Quincy air compressors have been designed to be a staple of your garage for the long haul. This compressor is built to be super efficient and have a low cost of operation/ownership while producing more compressed air even with a lower horsepower rating. Quincy compressors run cooler than the competition, operate at lower RPM, and have a best-of-industry pump life of over 50,000 hours. Also, for cramped spaces the Quincy’s vertical 60 gallon tank holds plenty of air for running your must used tools without dominating your workspace. Couple all of this with a solid 5-year pump warranty (when you use the recommended maintenance kit) and a 2-year limited warranty otherwise you just can’t go wrong.

With 15.2 CFM of air @ 175 PSI to work with you can run you medium and heavy-duty grinders, painting gear, die grinders, and pretty much any other pneumatic tools that you have in your shop. Although it’s not a super large compressor it’s meant for stationary use and would not be a good buy if you need something portable; go with something like the Makita 5200.

Quincy Compressor Specifications

  • 230v, single phase, 5HP, 21 amp motor made in the USA to exacting standards
  • 175 PSI output to power those heavier tools
  • 15.4 cubic feet/min of air to keep your tools running longer
  • compact vertical tank saves space in your garage while still holding 60 gallons of air
  • cast iron pump with 50,000+ hour life

The Recommendation

This Quincy compressor provides almost all of my must-have features in a compact, low-cost package; quiet, high-pressure output to make my tools run longer, stronger, and more efficiently. After trying other compressors with a three-stage process the two-stage Quincy provides plenty of pressure without taking over my garage and annoying my neighbors with vibrations and noise. When you need a reliable compressor that won’t cost a fortune to maintain and will last a close to forever as a tool possibly can buy the Quincy reciprocating compressor and keep working while your buddies keep having to repair theirs so be the envy of your culdesac and buy the Quincy compressor right now.

List Price: $1,399.99 USD
New From: $1,399.99 In Stock

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Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3HP Air Compressor Review

Makita MAC5200 Summary

This contractor grade field compressor serves double duty in the workshop too.

Makita MAC5200 Product Description

Makita’s “Big Bore” compressor isn’t just marketing drivel. The oversize bore pump is driven at > 3000 rpm and is able to produce big air without making big noise. The cast iron pump is solid, but hefty and durable. For a tool that gets daily job site use, that’s tradeoff you should make every time. You only have to move it twice a day, but it delivers air all day long.

It has the legs to run 2 full size framing or roofing nailers continuously, and you can probably run 3 or 4 under normal “nail a little, cut a little” work conditions. It provides a continuous 6.9 CFM @40 psi… not enough for heavy grinding, drilling or paint spraying, but more than enough for intermittent bursts of grinding and spraying.

Even though (or perhaps because) the MAC5200 is a contractor grade compressor, it’s also perfect for any home workshop. It can be installed under a workbench or in a corner, and with the wheeled chassis it can be easily pulled out and moved to where the work is. Plus, at 14 AMPS you can power it on a normal circuit and extension cord. However, for home workshop use, it’s not as quiet as the DeWALT D55146, but it’s still reasonably quiet, running at 90db.

Makita MAC5200 Specifications

  • 3HP Pump
  • 5.2 gal Tank
  • 6.5cfm @90psi, 6.9cfm @40psi
  • 140psi Maximum Pressure
  • Folding handle for easy storage
  • Built-in storage compartment for fittings and accessories
  • Air hose wrap for 50 ft hose

The Consensus Conclusion Recommendation

You really can’t go wrong with the Makita MAC5200. Both it, and the DeWALT are at the absolute top of our recommendation list.

The general preference seems to be for the DeWALT D55146 over the Makita MAC5200 when ergonomics were more important. The DeWALT D55146 is rated for quieter operation, and the sano ergo design of the DeWALT D55146 looks good in any workshop, and professional at any job site.

But when raw performance is the deciding factor, you just can’t beat the Makita MC5200. The Makita may be slightly louder (90db vs 78db), but it makes big big air. 6.5CFM at 90psi, vs 5.2cfm @ 90psi for the DeWALT. That’s a significant difference when your using tools with high continuous draw.

So buy the Makita MAC5200 with confidence. You won’t be sorry.

List Price: $349.00 USD
New From: $349.00 In Stock

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Review: DeWALT D55146 200psi Portable Compressor with Wheels and 4-1/2-Gallon Tank

DeWALT D55146 Summary

See Long Term Update Below

An amazing compressor that serves shop duty as well as field duty, proving against all odds that one really can almost have it all.

DeWALT D55146 Details

  • 200 PSI max pressure provides 80% more usable air
  • 5.2 SCFM @90psi provides surprising continuous air volume
  • allows the compressor to recover quickly after its initial tank charge is exhausted
  • Unit can be placed vertical or horizontal for maximum flexibility in transport or in use
  • 78 dBA means quiet quiet quiet
  • Even the 10-inch flat proof foam tires strike a great balance between durability and utility.

So Should You Buy The DeWALT D55146?

DeWALT designed the D55146 to be portable, but also built it to be a truly heavy duty air compressor. While it’s a hefty guy (at ~80 lbs), it’s 4.5 gallon tank, 200psi capacity, and cleverly designed chassis w/ wheels and a protective full metal cage and shrouds helps it strike an excellent balance between utility and the ease of hauling and handling. The only downside will be getting it into your truck, but once it’s time to ge to work, you’ll be glad you brought this unit rather than a trim compressor. However, but if ultra portability is more important to you, and you mostly just run nail guns or impact tools, then may want to consider a smaller trim compressor as they are more portable.

It’s also very quiet (for an air compressor, that is) at 78db, meaning your customers won’t complain about the noise in their house and your wife won’t complain about the noise in your garage.

On the power side, it’s a very capable unit, powering several full size nailers or a full range of impact and ratchet tools. With a 200psi capacity, it’s set to cycle on at around 160 meaning you never end up finishing half driven nails by hand. You can spray texture and do some grinding and drilling, although if you do a lot of grinding, drilling or continuous paint spraying you should still consider a full size shop compressor. But for nailer and impact tools this is the best unit in its class.

But for everyone else, homeowner, handyman, and professional alike, this little gem is all you need.

JAN 2015 Long Term Update:

There are two glaring design flaws with this compressor which have become annoying to the extent that we are changing our recommendation.

  • The compressor is connected to the tank with a rubber hose that has to bend and wind in such a way that you can’t get a hose clamp to seal, and you can’t get in to it in order to use a crimp clamp instead. A stupid 50 cent part causes the compressor to hiss, leak, and cycle constantly.
  • The chassis of the compressor has a horizontal support brace that extends below the frame itself causing it to catch on steps when moving the unit up or down stairs. This has resulted in significant damage to stair treads and also to one truck tail gate. Another very stupid design decision.

This unit should be avoided.

Get a Makita MAC5200 if you want something mobile, or Quincy QT-54 for the shop.

List Price: Too Low to Display
New From: Check Amazon For Pricing In Stock

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DeWALT D55140 135psi Trim Compressor Review

DeWALT D55140 Summary

Except for minor trim details this is the same unit as the Porter-Cable C1010. But whether you buy red or yellow, your friends will be green with envy.

DeWALT D55140 Trim Compressor Details

Heavy-Duty, 1-Gallon, 135 PSI Max, oil free, QUIET Trim Compressor. Includes an Air Regulator, guages, and Quick-Couplers, and carries a DeWALT One-Year Warranty

Just because it’s small and quiet doesn’t mean it isn’t mighty. In fact this little unit is anything but flimsy. The opposite in fact turns out to be the case. A compressor with a smaller tank will cycle more often, and this unit is built heavy-duty to last. Plus, it’s also designed to be quiet (operating at 71 decibels) for working indoors, possibly when customers are at home. This unit is ideal for finish carpenters, remodelers, kitchen installers, plumbers (for clearing clogs and pressure testing new runs)… and some people even spray wall texture with it!

Plus, it’s compact design and clever ergonomics not only make it easy to haul and carry, even in the tightest of spaces… but the full cage design and metal shrouding protects the unit from the rigors of daily abuse from transportation and use.

DeWALT D55140 Specifications

  • 0.75 SCFM @90 PSI
  • Compact one-gallon tank and 135 PSI max provide burst power with fast 20 second recycle
  • Maintenance-free compressor is durable and built to last
  • Low 71 dBA for extremely quiet operation
  • 2.6-amp draw conveniently runs on available power without tripping customer’s breakers
  • Built in regulator for professional results
  • Clever ergonomics and compact design for ultra portability and convenience

Should You Buy a DeWALT D55140?

Times have changed… a compressor doesn’t have to be big and bulky to serve almost all of the most common uses.

This compressor is a no brainer. It does nearly everything a trim compressor should and it even does most of what a shop compressor is expected to do. If you don’t need sustained CFM, ie auto body, welding, grinding… then the Porter-Cable C1010 is a home run.

The only question really is if you want yellow (the DeWALT D55140 is red) or yellow (the Porter-Cable C1010 is almost the same exact thing, except in red).

List Price: $292.02 USD
New From: $137.68 In Stock

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