Twin-stack air compressors are a mainstay of modern residential construction. For this article, associate editor Patrick McCombe gave nine twin stacks a workout and a thorough examination. He focused on air delivery, cold-weather starts, design, ergonomics, and quality of components. A comprehensive chart shows specs, performance, and price at a glance. Individual write-ups describe the pros and cons of each model.
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Corrections: The Hitachi EC12 puts out 4 cfm @ 90 -- not 3. Also, you'll rarely find it retailing for more than $229; you quoted a vague $301 "price" (what is that? retail? MSRP? list?). The Makita's "price" is always higher (usually much-higher) than Hitachi's -- not the other way around.
Also, FYI: Hitachi makes multiple twin-stacks. One of which, the EC119, puts out 4.4 cfm @ 90, and protects its components with the cage and shield you so highly covet.
Also, FYI Part 2: A Jenny but no Ingersoll Rand? C'mon, man.
Patrick, I'm not sure what article you read, but Rol Air was featured in the article linked above. In fact, it was one of my favorite compressors.
I was very surprised to see Rol-Air omitted. I've used the same unit for 30 years. Recently replaced a few parts and it's as good as new. That said, I bought a second because I particularly like the 100% duty life on the motor . . . and the fact that it's made by a U.S. company.