CAP1512-OF Compact Air Compressor
Features There’s a whole lot to like about this compressor. It’s fully enclosed in a simple roll cage that comes up to form a toolbox-style handle, and carrying it around feels about the same as toting a semi-loaded toolbox. The dials and gauges are on a metal panel on the face of the compressor, with easy access, good sightlines, and a backlit on/off switch. A built-in pocket at the back of the compressor holds small hand tools, accessories, or racks of nails. There’s a cord wrap and a Velcro strap to hold tools or hoses, and two welded sections protruding from the face of the compressor for coiling an air hose. The compressor has a quick fill up and recovery time, with high operating psi and cfm, and it can handle running multiple tools without much problem.
Flaws This model is a little louder than other comparably sized compressors in the review, and it also vibrates across the floor when it kicks on —a pet peeve of mine after once losing a compressor off the edge of a deck. The tank-pressure valve has a hair trigger, and more than once while carrying the compressor, I accidentally drained the tank and gave myself a good jump. My biggest concern with the compressor I tested was a noticeable burnt-electronics smell coming from the motor when the tool was being pushed hard.
Bottom Line This tool is light, is portable, has plenty of capacity and power for small and even medium jobs, and is stable and compact. It was teetering on the edge of being best overall for most of my testing, but I couldn’t talk myself out of worrying about the smell coming from the motor and what it might indicate about the tool’s longevity.