Building towards a solid set of tools for your workshop and/or household is an amusing task. Nevertheless, the amount of competition in this field is vast, and choices are plenty. Deciding whether a tool is adequate for you is a somewhat hard and tiresome job.
A lot of info needs to be learned and checked: PSI, tank capacity, SCFM etc. We decided to grab California air compressors, at least the three most popular models, and test them in various situations. Besides the general specifications of the models themselves, we also considered checking on warranty policies, the community around the brand and finally, the brand.
So, stay awhile, and let us pass all this knowledge to you in these California Air Tools air compressor reviews, covering things from the basic to more advanced and interesting facts.
- California 5510SE Air Compressor
- PRICE: $$
- Size (inches): 25.5 x 11.5 x 21
- Weight (pounds): 54
- Warranty (years): 1
- California 2010A Air Compressor
- PRICE: $$
- Size (inches): 18.5 x 14 x 13.5
- Weight (pounds): 35,3
- Warranty (years): 1
- California CAT-4620AC Air Compressor
- PRICE: $$$
- Size (inches): 19.1 x 16.7 x 19.7
- Weight (pounds): 67,2
- Warranty (years): 1
California Air Compressor Reviews
1. California 5510SE Air Compressor
We have the single tank, hot-dog shaped unit to begin with. This modern-looking model prides itself on being ultra-quiet, which hot dog shaped units usually are. Mounted on a 2-wheel system, the 5.5-gallon steel tank makes the foundation of the unit`s housing.
The model is able to exert 2.2 SCFM at 90 PSI, and at 40 PSI that number goes to 3.1 SCFM. The beauty of this unit will reveal itself once you plug it in to charge. The extraordinarily low 60-decibel noise is barely noticeable in the workshop.
An oil-less motor powers the unit and it belongs to the SP Ultra Quiet series of compressor motors. This allows the air compressor to recover more quickly than other similar models in this price range. Additionally, the motor is equipped with a Thermal Overload protector, keeping it from overheating and prolonging its lifespan.
When it comes to maintenance, being that it is an oil-free unit, all you have to do is drain the tank after use, so the condensed water can not damage it.
2. California 2010A Air Compressor
Next up, we have a unit similar in specifications and power, but with slight differences. This hot dog shaped model is stationary. Even though the compressor is not mounted on wheels it is quite light, weighing about 38 pounds. The manufacturer meant for the unit to be mounted near the working station.
With a 1 HP electric oil-free motor, the unit can exert 2.2 SCFM at 90 PSI, and 3.1 SCFM at 40 PSI. This usually means that all of the standard air powered tools will cooperate adequately with the unit.
Furthermore, the motor is backed by a 2.0-gallon aluminum air tank, which has a heavy-duty handle for carrying the unit around if needed. This California unit is also packed with an Ultra Quiet SP motor system, enabling the compressor to barely make 60 decibels while being operated.
2 onboard gauges enable you to control the input and output pressures of the compressor, making it adjustable for multiple tools.
3. California CAT-4620AC Air Compressor
Last on this short list, but certainly not least, is a bit more powerful model. This unit differs in power, tank number, tank capacity and some other features as well. It is a class above the others when it comes to power and price.
This medium to heavy-duty compressor has a dual tank system, with each air tank having the capacity of 2.3 gallons, making it a total of 4.6 gallons for prolonged sessions. This system, combined with a 2 HP oil-free motor, exerts a stunning 5.3 SCFM at 90 PSI, and 6.4 SCFM at 40 PSI. This makes the unit quite powerful in its price range.
Additionally, on-board, there are a couple of pressure gauges, to control and modify the input and output pressures. These enable you to adapt the unit to match the tool you want to use.
This model is easy to maintain and keep in a working state for a long time. As long as you use the provided built-in valve to drain the tanks out, ridding it of any possible condensed water, the unit will stay fine.
California Air Tools as a Brand
A relatively young company, California Air Tools was founded back in 2002 by a team of industry professionals and engineers. They gathered to not only make solid machines at affordable prices but also machines never lacking in quality. The fact that they indulge in building air compressors only is giving the company extra credibility and builds additional trust.
The company dedicated its expertise and experience to manufacturing long-lasting, mainly stationary, compressing units to help hobbyists and professionals alike. The peak of their engineering skills lies in creating a low-noise motor system, which all these units utilize. This feature makes a great commodity in environments where noise is a problem.
Warranty Policy, Customer Support, and Community
This company has a trusted community built around it, and we think it is thanks to the fact that it is made of engineers and professional tool users. This helps out new users a lot because the engineers tend to make their tools simple and easily accessible to everyone.
You are able to get support through several standards and modern channels, ranging from telephone to email and website support. The website looks tidy and is quite easy to maneuver around, providing the users with all the necessary information, like how to videos and similar data.
The units we reviewed come with a 1-year limited warranty policy, with California Air Tools promise that they will replace any damages made in the manufacturing process.
California Air Compressors
As you have probably learned from our guide (link to the main page here) the noise plays an important role when picking a unit. Well, besides all the solid features these units have, we were amazed by the low noise they produce. This is quite rare when it comes to power tools because it is often an overseen specification.
The units feel reliable and sturdy, regardless of low noise, which makes their performance quite surprising. Additionally, the tanks mounted on the units are made of aluminum or stainless steel, providing extra sturdiness, and fewer worries.
Units we tested seemed ideal for small workshops and hobby stations, but do not limit yourself. The first two reviewed units are somewhat light to carry around, weighing around 30-50 pounds, which make them quite fine to work with inside the house. You can even put the unit inside a cabinet or cupboard and muffle the sound even more.
Last, but not least, all of the mentioned units are oil-free, meaning they require little-to-no maintenance. The only thing needed of you is draining the air tank after use, in order to empty the water that condenses on the bottom of it. This will keep the unit dry and rust-free for a prolonged period of time.
|California 5510SE Air Compressor||25.5 x 11.5 x 21||54||1|
|California 2010A Air Compressor||18.5 x 14 x 13.5||35.3||1|
|California CAT-4620AC Air Compressor||19.1 x 16.7 x 19.7||67.2||1|
There you have it, an honest review of these hot-dog shaped air compressing units. They can match most of the popularly used air-powered tools. If you are looking for a solid, well-built and before all quiet power source for your tools, California is the way to go.
From airbrushing to stapling, you can cover it all, and the modern metallic design only helps you fit the unit inside your workshop. So, we would recommend them to beginners and intermediate users primarily.
We hope that we have covered all of the essentials, from tech specs to warranty and design, in these California Air Tools air compressor reviews. If, by any chance, we have missed a question you had in mind, feel free to ask in the comment section and we will provide the answers.