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Growing up, I assumed that air compressors were only for working on vehicles or doing construction. I had no idea that they are the ultimate tool.
In case you’re new to these handy tools, they have so many more uses than a simple nail gun and tire pump. The number of attachments available is incredible. You can fix or build anything. Don’t even get me started on the countless DIY projects you could do.
There are spray guns, any type of nail or staple gun, sanders, and a plethora of automotive tools. You can even dust off your workspace when you’re creating a lot of mess or sawdust. So what kind of compressor should you get?
One brand you may have heard of is the Bostitch air compressor.
The type of compressor you should buy depends on your intended use for your air compressor. That includes the tools you want to use or the projects you intend to start. All of those factors will come together to determine which compressor you need. Bostitch air compressors are relatively small, which is what most people want.
If you are looking for the perfect air compressor for projects, a small or mid-sized compressor is much more useful than a large one in most cases. Bostitch air compressors are popular because they are portable.
But which Bostitch compressor model should you consider?
What To Consider When Buying An Air Compressor
As I mentioned, the compressor you should get depends on the job. We will be focusing on a smaller variety (also known as hot dog air compressors) because they are easier to haul around for various jobs.
But there is quite a range of sizes on the market. Some examples of the types of air compressors that you will come across are:
- Pancake compressor
- Portable air compressors
- Hot dog air compressors
- Full-size air compressors (will normally have a tank capacity of 60 gallons)
It is important to note that some Bostitch air compressors will be an compressor combo kit. These will often have an accessory kit or just come with a couple of accessories such as an air hose and nozzles.
If you want to use your compressor around your home and in your garage, a small to mid-sized air compressor should be more than enough. That will give you access to handy pneumatic tools like a drill, nail gun, brad nailer, finish nailer, staplers, ratchets, or impact wrenches.
These small or midsize air compressors may or may not have wheels (some just have rubber feet) but they will have a comfortable handle that will allow you to easily move your compressor kit exactly where you need it to go.
But keep in mind that you will need more of a midsize or large tank for sanders, paint guns, framing nailers, etc. So, if you are planning to do a lot of bodywork on your vehicles, a Bostitch is not right for you because they are too small.
A larger tank will allow for a longer burst of air, which is the kind of consistency you need for a time-sensitive job like spray painting.
So make sure to consider what tools you want to use ahead of time.
A Bostitch air compressor is small, and that makes it ideal for small jobs. So it is perfect for regular car maintenance. It makes jobs much faster because you can use air ratchets, impact guns, air grinders, and many more simple tools.
Since they are air powered, they are much easier to use because all you have to do is fit your tool into a tight space and press a button. No wrenching is needed.
A smaller electric compressor is better for a quiet work environment as well. The larger your air compressor pump is the louder it will be as well. If you are on a job site where noise isn’t an issue then getting and using a larger compressor will work better.
Air Compressor Buying Tips: What Separates The Bostitch Models
The main difference between the different Bostitch compressor models is the size and weight of the tank. That usually determines the power they maintain.
When you are considering which air compressor you need, look at the horsepower (how many HP motor does it have), cubic feet per minute (CFM or SCFM), and max pounds per square inch (max PSI).
The maximum PSI and CFM usually go hand in hand to help you determine which tools you can use, and there are charts to help you decide how much power you need for the tools you mean to use.
Always make sure to check out whether the tools you plan to use are compatible with the amount of power your compressor offers.
1. Bostitch BTFP02012 Review
The Bostitch BTFP02012 is a relatively small air compressor that is perfect for jobs around your house and in your garage. Keep in mind that it is loud, at about 78 dB. But that is average for a Bostitch air compressor of this size.
Each Bostitch air compressor includes a one year warranty from the manufacturer. So they will be able to replace any faulty devices or shipping damage.
The Bostitch BTFP02012 is a very affordable compressor. It can be purchased for a decent price typically between $100-$200. The lower price is for an air compressor without any hoses or nozzles, which is a perfect option for an experienced user who needs to replace a worn out unit.
But the whole kit is much more reasonable if you are a first-time buyer and need the hoses and attachments.
Specifications And Features
The Bostitch BTFP02012 is an electric powered 6-gallon pancake style tank that weighs about 29 pounds. It produces 0.8 HP, 150 PSI, and 2.6 SCFM. There are two universal couplers so that you can run two attachments.
Another notable feature about this product is the fact that it is oil-free and will not require any oil changes or maintenance. For that reason, it is a very reliable unit!
While this Bostitch air compressor is not a very powerful device, it is perfect for small jobs. It is also very lightweight in comparison to other models. I personally love this Bostitch air compressor because it is small, lightweight, and doesn’t take long to fill with air or recharge during use.
This model only takes around three minutes to reach the appropriate pressure initially, and less time to refill during use.
Overall, I love how reliable and well made this Bostitch air compressor is and it is certainly a great choice for your new compressor.
2. Bostitch CAP2041ST-OL Review
The Bostitch CAP2041ST-OL is different from the BTFP02012 for several reasons. It is still small and slightly quieter than the unit above. But I should mention that there was no official listing for the decibels this air compressor produces.
There is a one year warranty on this Bostitch compressor as well.
While this is a more powerful unit, it is also triple the price of some of the other smaller units. I would also highly recommend checking the price for this model in stores as some websites don’t offer free shipping.
And without free shipping you will end up paying $50+ to get it shipped to you.
Specifications and features
The Bostitch CAP2041ST-OL has two hot dog style air compressor tanks for a total of a 4-gallon capacity. While it is smaller than the BTFP02012 6-gallon tank, it has more power. It produces 1.5 HP, 90 PSI, and 4.0 SCFM.
Unfortunately, it is quite a bit heavier at 58 pounds. It is also oil-lubricated (rather than being an oil-free compressor) and will require maintenance. That won’t make a huge difference because it will not need oil very often.
But maintaining the oil levels is crucial so make sure you don’t forget about it.
I love this Bostitch air compressor because it is incredibly powerful for such a small unit. It gets the job done and isn’t too loud. It also fills and refills quickly.
So you won’t have to slow down while working waiting for it to produce enough air.
On the downside, this model is far from the cheapest one out there and at almost 60lbs the weight of this compressor is a concern as well.
So if you are looking for a lighter compressor then this Bostitch model certainly isn’t for you.
3. Bostitch CAP1512-OF Review
The Bostitch CAP1512-OF is the smallest air compressor on this list but it packs quite a punch. It is extremely portable, has an integrated roll cage to protect the gauges, and an LED on/off switch to let you know when your device is running.
There is even a place on the device for hose and power cord storage.
The Bostitch CAP1512-OF comes at a great price especially when compared with the model mentioned above. But it does not come with any hoses or attachments, so you will have to purchase those separately.
Bostitch also includes a one year warranty for this air compressor.
Specifications and features
The 1.2-gallon hot dog style compressor makes this Bostitch model the smallest one on the list. But the size doesn’t account for the power because this unit produces 1.5 to 2.0 HP, 90 PSI, and 2.8 SCFM.
It is also a very lightweight device at 23.2 pounds, so it’s perfect if you need to use it often, for multiple different jobs.
The small size and light weight make this compressor ideal for most jobs. If you are often moving your air compressor around the house or garage for many different projects then this compressor will be a perfect choice for you.
But since it has such a small tank, it isn’t built for big jobs or professional use. So if you are looking for an air compressor to go with your nail gun or other large tools you will want to choose a different model.
It’s much better for short bursts, such as nail guns or automotive work.
However, this model is known for having some issues in regard to leaks, faulty regulators, and more. So make sure when you get it home from the store that you give it a thorough once over to make sure your model doesn’t have these issues.
Bostitch Models Vs Other Brands
All the Bostitch compressor models tend to be on the small side and are great if you need to move it around a lot while working. They are really only comparable to other brands around the size and price so if you need something for a large roofing job or something like that then you will want to choose a much larger compressor.
Bostitch air compressors are just the right size for basic jobs. So they are perfect for fixing a car and doing general automotive work. But I don’t recommend them for bodywork. Most spray paint air tools, sanders, or even impact guns tend to need more power than Bostitch provides as well.
So it is highly recommended for jobs around your house, but it is a little limited when working on cars and doing anything beyond airing up your tires.
Most mechanics prefer larger air compressors. Although they are much more difficult to move, you don’t have to worry about running out of air in the middle of a job.
Below, I will be comparing the Bostitch air compressors to a few other popular air compressors that you can get online or in stores. They are all around the same size and style, and they all come in the same basic package.
So none of these air compressors will typically include hoses or attachments.
But some of them come at multiple price points that contain all the necessary tools. That is a nice feature for many of these air compressors because a lot of people buy these items to replace old units.
But it’s nice to have the extra options in case this is your first compressor.
How I Reviewed These Air Compressors
The reliability of these products can only be accurately tested by people who buy them. If there are any outstanding features or frustrating faults in the devices, that is why it is so important to actually use the product for a few days or weeks before deciding on it.
That is also why it is important to make sure that the compressor that you buy has a long warranty period as often leaks won’t develop until after weeks or months of use.
We also wanted to mention that the products below are not being listed or reviewed in any particular order. I am not interested in convincing you to buy any products. The goal is to give you all the information you need to figure out whether any of these are right for you.
There are a lot of factors that come into play with an air compressor, and you need to make sure you get the right one for your intended project.
California Air Tools 5510SE
If you are looking for a compressor that is quieter than the others on this list, this unit is a great option. The California Air Tools 5510SE produces a very low 60dB of noise in comparison to the other models that made around 70dB to 80dB.
This oil-free compressor has a 5.5-gallon tank, includes a wheel kit for easy transportation, and it weighs about 37 to 58 pounds.
The weight difference depends on whether you get the aluminum tank or the steel tank.
As for power, this unit makes 1.0HP, 3.1SCFM, and 90PSI. That’s not bad for an air compressor around this size. The main thing that many people like about this compressor was the fact that it is so quiet and easy to maneuver.
As you will remember with the first Bostitch air compressor, there are pancake-style tanks. They are typically small and very affordable. The Dewalt DWFP55126 is no exception. It has a 6-gallon pancake tank, it is an oil-free model, and only weighs about 30 pounds.
This Dewalt air compressor puts out 2.6 SCFM, at 90 PSI, however, it is a little loud at 75.5dB.
There are two universal couplers so that you can run two tools at a time. A ball drain valve will help you easily drain the tank after use. It is the perfect size for anyone who needs to haul this around for various jobs.
There is a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty through Dewalt on this product.
Some issues have been reported for this Dewalt pancake air compressor such as leaks and poor quality control but that is a common issue with these cheaper air compressors no matter which brand they are from.
When it comes to these air compressors, Makita is a brand I couldn’t help but recognize. My dad has had one for what feels like my entire life! The Makita MAC700 Big Bore Air Compressor is not the same one we had. But I recognized their signature teal color and logo immediately.
This model is oil-lubricated, has a 2.6-gallon tank, and is very easy to maintain.
It is a bit on the heavier side, at around 55 pounds, and it is a pretty loud machine. But it fills and refills very quickly.
The Makita Air Compressor makes 2.0 HP, and 3.8 SCFM at 40 PSI. But the maximum running PSI is 130. You will also get a one-year manufacturer warranty with this product. Even though it comes at a little higher price, it is well worth it for most customers.
The only real complaint about this product tends to be the weight of the device.
Bostitch Air Compressor Pros And Cons
A Bostitch air compressor is highly comparable to other air compressors of the same size. The main things you need to take into consideration are the quality, the power it puts out, and how convenient it will be for your personal needs. If you plan to use it in many different places for business or projects, you will want a unit that is easy to transport.
That could mean you need one that is lightweight or has wheels. No matter what, make sure your air compressor is going to work with the tools you intend to use. Here we want to go over a few pros and cons that you might want to consider before buying a Bostitch air compressor.
- Bostitch has affordable units
- Durable and reliable
- All Bostitch air compressors have a one-year warranty
- Most will not work with air tools that need more than 1.0 to 3.2 SCFM
- May contain air leaks but can be replaced
- You must pay extra for hoses and basic attachments
Is A Bostitch Air Compressor Right For You?
Bostitch air compressors are perfect for home projects and are a favorite for mechanics. Mechanics love pneumatic tools because air compressors mean tools with fewer moving parts. They also tend to last longer because they don’t wear out as quickly.
Most serious mechanics have large air compressors, but they always seem to want a smaller air compressor when on the go. That makes Bostitch air compressors perfect for many different projects because they are incredibly portable. Whether you work on cars, want to renovate your home, or enjoy do-it-yourself projects, a Bostitch air compressor is compatible with a majority of tools you would need for the job.
Bostitch is only one of the many different brands on the market. Even if they get great ratings from customers, we would love to hear about your favorites.
In my opinion, Bostitch makes the best air compressor when talking about small or mid-sized models that are perfect for DIYers. If you have a shop and want a full size compressor then choosing a large Craftsman or Stanley Black & Decker model will be a better choice.