Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 20, 2016

Air compressors are what we’d certainly call a necessity in life. From blowing up the kids pool toys (or pools!) to working on your Mustang project out in the garage after dinner, an air compressor definitely makes life a whole lot easier and simpler for us. For those of us with a few gray hairs starting to encroach our hairline, it’s easy to remember using big, bulky air compressors that sounded like jack hammers banging away inside a steel 55-gallon drum. When these behemoths would “kick in” on the low pressure switch often the whole shop floor vibrated and you just had to give up speaking until the tank was back up to pressure, they were so loud. Over the years we’ve certainly seen improvements, but the typical compressor is still one of the noisiest tools you’ll use and we have many Mustang friends that limit their compressor use as to not wake the kids or disturb the neighbors when doing late night wrenching. Thanks to Campbell Hausfeld’s new line of Quiet Compressors however, you can now use an air compressor at three in the morning if you want!

We recently had the opportunity to test one of Campbell Hausfeld’s new Quiet Compressors, which are currently available as a 6-gallon pancake or 8-gallon hotdog tank configuration. The units feature a new, quieter motor and pump design mounted atop the storage tank in rubber isolators. The oil-free design means virtually no maintenance is required and the sound output is just 68 dBA, which is just a hair under what a normal room conversation would be! Your typical shop compressor can easily hit 85-90 or higher dBAs! We’ve seen a few “silent” compressors on the market, but not only are they often more than twice the price; they often require regular oil checks/changes and have small capacity tanks as well. The model we tested, the 6-gallon Quiet Compressor, PN DC060500, retails for right around $199 at Home Depot. The 8-gallon unit, PN DC080500, retails for the same. You might be quick to pick up the 8-gallon, thinking you are getting more air storage for the same money, but carefully consider your usage, storage location, and so forth before deciding which one is right for you. Other than the tank size and configuration, both units feature the same oil-free pump, 120-volt electric motor, 125 psi maximum working pressure, and CFM capabilities.

When our test unit arrived Campbell Hausfeld also threw in one of their newest air hose designs, a 17-piece air compressor starter kit, and a few air tools to sample so we could hit the ground running with our compressor testing. Since we had the shipping carton sitting in the living room from the FedEx delivery earlier the same day, we opted to unbox it right there on the living room floor after dinner, plug it in, and flip the switch—all while the wife was watching one of her favorite TV shows. The unit was so quiet she didn’t even have to grab the remote and turn up the TV’s volume; impressive to say the least! We tried the unit in a smaller bedroom (where one might be doing some baseboard work or perhaps hobby painting) with similar results. While we know air-hungry tools like die grinders and sanders would never be happy with a smaller compressor tank like this, we played with the new air tools the rest of the evening and for non-commercial use the 6-gallon unit even handled a ½-inch impact gun quite well for something like at-home tire rotation.

While we have a big 30-gallon vertical compressor out in the garage (see our comparison video to hear the difference between the two yourself) our new home for this Campbell Hausfeld Quiet Compressor is going to be in our backyard workshop. The small space doesn’t need much capacity, as we’ll primarily be using it with a blow gun, airbrush, and the occasional blowing up of beach toys, but of utmost concern was the sound level. We didn’t want even a small compressor if it was going to be as noisy as the typical units on the market. The new Campbell Hausfeld Quiet Compressor, while a bit more in initial investment, is perfect for a small shop like ours or for indoor projects where noise is of major concern. You’ll be very happy with one if your desire is to not have headaches at the end of working on your project.

1. Easy to read gauges are supplied for the main storage tank and the included regulator. They’re clearly marked “tank” and “outlet” so you’ll always know if you need more air in the tank (for those remote jobs with no power) and to quickly and easily set your line pressure.

2. Often you will find on lower priced units that a ¼-inch air coupler is not provided, sending you off to a big-box store for fittings. Not the case with Campbell Hausfeld. The Quiet Compressor is fitted with a female quick coupler and is ready for your air hose and tools.

3. The electric motor and pump assembly is fitted to the tank with four large rubber isolators. Between these and the three cushioned feet of the air tank itself, the majority of the unit’s vibrations are mitigated, which aids in the low dBA rating.

4. The only assembly required to make the Quiet Compressor ready for action out of the box is to install the included air filter kit. The metal housing screws into the motor and pump assembly and can be disassembled for quick air filter maintenance by simply rotating the cover a quarter-turn.

5. Of course if you’re going to utilize an air compressor you need to be able to move around with your air tool. Campbell Hausfeld’s new SupraFlex PVC air hoses maintain their flexibility with an operating range of -40 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit! With a 300 PSI working rating you’ll never have any issues using this hose with your Quiet Compressor and the 50-foot length means you can tackle most jobs without having to constantly move your compressor around.

6. You can hit the store for an air chuck or a fitting or two for your air tools, but save yourself the hassle of hunting down each little bit with Campbell Hausfeld’s 17-piece air line accessory kit. Included are a female coupler, male and female threaded air tool fittings, tire gauge, blow gun, and inflation needles.

7. A 3/8-inch air ratchet is certainly a handy tool for working on your Mustang and Campbell Hausfeld’s TL050101AV features 50 ft-lb of working torque at just 150 rpm. The cushioned grip provides all-day work comfort as well.

8. For big jobs a ½-inch impact wrench is often the only thing that will get that bolt free. The 6-gallon Quiet Compressor might be a bit of a stretch for continuous work, but for occasional use we had no issues. The ½-inch impact wrench, TL140200AV, will output up to 550 ft-lbs of torque.

9. The ½-inch impact wrench has a rear mounted direction control with three different torque settings.

10. A bottom mount exhaust on the ½-inch impact wrench ensures that exhausted air won’t be blowing in your face while working.