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Thread: Small quiet air compressor

  1. #1
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    Default Small quiet air compressor

    Lately Iíve been seeing ads for California Air Tools claiming their compressors are really quiet. I have an old 2.5 gallon, 1 hp Divilbiss that is plenty of capacity for my small nailers but itís very loud and will vibrate itself off the bench if not tied down. Anyone familiar with the California Air Tools or recommend another that wonít scare the bejeezus out of humans and small critters when it starts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    I do, but you will have to wait till Monday. / Jim

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    From Taunton Press' '2018 Tool Guide' --

    "Best Value" -- Senco PC1131 $212. At 82 decibels, one of the noisiest.

    "Best Overall" -- Makita MAC 2400 $320. 77 decibels - the quietest in the test.

    Never heard of California Air Tools. Ads where?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post

    Never heard of California Air Tools. Ads where?
    Fine Woodworking mag, I know I’ve seen others but don’t recall right now.

    1hp, 2gal, 60db
    9EF58897-7317-4ED6-837E-EECBFFC60E66.jpeg

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    Also an article in the current Fine Woodworking, “Compressor whispers rather than roars” featuring a California Air Tools 2hp, 10 gallon.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    Hmmm... maybe I don't have the latest FWW. The newest one I have is October. No such article, and no listing of them in the 'advertisers index'. Well... I'm skeptical of new or off brands anyway. Let them build a track record, then I'll consider it.
    Last edited by David G; 09-30-2017 at 09:09 AM.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    Just got FWW today, December 2017.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Just got FWW today, December 2017.
    Just in time for all your Easter shopping!


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    I have both the Makita MAC 2400 (now 5 yrs) and California Air Tools CAT-4610A (now 3 yrs)

    The California Air Tools is quieter as an oil-less machine. The Makita has an oil resevoir.

    Some basics:
    CAT about 40 lbs, Makita almost 80 lbs
    CAT is a 1hp 4.5 gal tank, Makita is 2.5hp 4.2 gal tank
    CAT 3.80 CFM at 40 PSI , Makita 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI

    Carrying the CAT around is easy, not so much with the Makita at 80 lbs.
    For general air tool use, either is great. But if you need more air output the Makita has more. I use the Makita for my plasma cutter and nail guns. The CAT works great with nails guns and travels easy.
    - John

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    David G, California Air Tools has been around for 15 years, you just haven't noticed them. They do have a track record, good build quality and quieter compressors than most other brands. I wouldn't call them an off brand.
    - John

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    Yes... I can be stodgy about brands. Have been disappointed too many times by marketing claims. Thanks for the introduction to CAT.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    The photo above looks like it's a twin oil less compressor. Operating mechanism is different and much quieter than a standard piston compressor. It does have Pistons, rather than a diaphragm and will not be silent, but much much quieter than your standard hardware shop compressor. It will be a generic Chinese built unit, badged to order by whoever California Tools is. Shouldn't cost much. Probably less than a couple hundred US.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    Do these oil-less compressors have any disadvantages from the noisier old mechanisms?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    They rely on a Teflon seal instead of lubricated piston rings. Probably wear out a bit quicker, and very quick if they get too hot.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Small quiet air compressor

    I've had an oil less Porter Cable 2003(or something like that) since 2004.
    It and the one before it,which disappeared,have been flawless,not even particularly noisy.
    With decent tank capacity, it doesn't run very often.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

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