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California Air Tools compressor recommendations please

Miles Weaver

Grumbler
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
33
I am narrowing down my search for the perfect air compressor for my Mitre Mite VN-4 v-nailer and I am hoping some of you with more experience can help me make a choice. It'll just be used for the v-nailer for now, but could possibly add some other small pneumatic tools in the future. No plans for a CMC any time soon. I am currently home based in my condo so I need a silent type compressor. I am trying to keep the cost relatively low and I am looking at four different models from California Air Tools. All four are 60 dBA, 1 HP, oil free, and 120 max PSI. The main differences are the weight (aluminum vs steel but it won't need to be moved anyway) and tank size (2 gal, 4.6 gal, or 8 gal). All are pretty close in price ($178-$205). Here are the four I am looking at. Thanks in advance!

California Air Tools 8.0 Gal. 1.0 HP Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Electric Air Compressor ($178, 8 gal, 54 lbs)
California Air Tools 4610S Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 HP, 4.6 Gal. Steel Twin Tank Electric Portable Air Compressor ($191, 4.6 gal twin tank, 56 lbs)
California Air Tools 2.0 Gal. 1.0 HP Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Aluminum Tank Air Compressor ($204, 2 gal aluminum tank, 35 lbs)
California Air Tools 8.0 Gal. 1.0 HP Aluminum Air Tank Ultra-Quiet and Oil-Free Portable Electric Lightweight Air Compressor ($205, 8 gal aluminum tank, 38 lbs)
 

Frances M.

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
364
I was very happy with my first one, the 8 gallon Ultra Quiet, which was perfect for 4-5 years. When it started needing attention, I had it worked on and decided to use the original for backup and buy a new one. I chose the aluminum version which works fine but seems louder when filling an empty tank. The wheels seem to rattle quite a bit. It serves my purpose but I think my first one was a bit better.
 

wpfay

Comfort Badger
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 1, 2000
Messages
11,025
If you are going to do faithful maintenance and drain the tanks daily, then the tank can be either aluminum or steel. If you want less maintenance, go with aluminum. The tank size is related directly to the time between refills and to the length of time the motor will run to fill the tank. V-nailers and pneumatic brad guns use more air than a CMC mainly because of the frequency of use differential. A V-nailer uses one unit of air per V-nail, and a CMC uses one unit per mat.

Look around for rebranded California Compressors. They used to be common and generally run a bit less that the branded version. I got one from Costco over 10 years ago for my Wizard and it is still going strong. It does have some shortcomings, but the only repair I've done with it is to replace one high pressure line.

There were a couple instances reported here of units catching fire when a hose blew and the unit overheated from running constantly. A solution is to put a timer on them so they are off when you aren't present.


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Miles Weaver

Grumbler
Thread starter
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
33
Thanks for the information. Just what I was looking for! Definitely planning to maintain the compressor as best as possible. I've seen others recommend draining the tank weekly, is it better to drain it daily?

Also is there any advantage of having the twin tanks of the 4.6 gallon compressor linked at the bottom of the original post?
 

wpfay

Comfort Badger
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 1, 2000
Messages
11,025
That is the model I have for the Wizard. It sits on the floor directly below the CMC.

The twin tanks make for greater capacity with a smaller footprint.
 
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Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
18,959
California Air compressors are much quieter than most oil-free units, but they are not nearly as quiet as a "silent" compressor like a Silentaire, JunAir, etc.
I'm on my second one, and it is not as quiet as the first one was.
:cool: Rick
 

Joe B

PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
5,182
In my opinion they are all far inferior to a JunAir or Sil-Air. I have a JunAir that was put in service in 1984 and it is in my shop feeding air to my ITW Amp still today with minimal oil usage and running perfectly. Myself, I purchase the best I can afford, if you can afford a JunAir or Sil-Air I would recommend purchasing one. Other than that, I believe you choice won't be wrong but I would purchase the aluminum tank, but that's just personal choice.
 
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