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California Air 10020C (or larger)

Discussion in 'Airbrush Compressors' started by Neural, Oct 23, 2017.


  1. Neural

    Neural Young Tutorling

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    Long story short: We're finally moving, and I will have half of a 2 car garage to myself to do both aluminum grinding and airbrushing. (I'm a lot more excited than that sounds).

    I'm looking at buying a new air compressor, as the one I have will not support air tools such as die angle grinders, even at short bursts. Additionally, I'd like to keep noise levels down, ad an electric 4.5" angle grinder is going to make enough noise as it is, I don't need an even louder air compressor on top of that.

    The price is a bit steep on the California Air Compressors like the 10020C, but judging by the various videos on youtube they are shockingly quiet.

    Does anyone here have experience with the larger ones in regards to longevity, and has anyone had to deal with the California Air service/warranty department? Just wondering if they are proud to back up their product, etc.

    This would be around $250+ more than I could spend on a compressor that makes noise, and I just want to get some opinions on the quality of the product.
    Warlock69 and NEMOPa like this.
  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    You should not need a 10 gallon tank if all you are doing is airbrush and possible clear coating . I do all my airbrushing with the Silent Air 50
    http://www.coastairbrush.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Super_Silent_50-TC
    Which has severed me well of the past 13 years,
    But if you are close to a Lowes go have a look at the belt driven air compressor https://www.lowes.com/pd/Campbell-H...Electric-Horizontal-Air-Compressor/1000128209 they also carry the California Air compressor and as them to plug them in and listen to both run.
    The belt drive compressor last for decades , My shop compressor that I use for my car lift , air tools and big jobs is 35 years old and other then replacing the belts for the first time last year I have did nothing to it except drain the tanks once a year.
    Kobalt also makes a quiet compressor https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Qui...Electric-Twin-Stack-Air-Compressor/1000125721
    So if you have the chance go to the stores and have them plug them in to hear them .
    Robbyrockett2 likes this.
  3. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    If you plan on also trying to use air tools, you will want the largest tank you can get! Most air tools use huge CFM's compared to airbrushing, and most small-ish compressors can't keep up with demand. A larger tank will allow bursts of activity without your motor running full time while trying to keep up. If you pause occasionally to allow the tank to become full, and the motor shut off - you can milk your way through a good bit of work without cooking your compressor.
  4. Neural

    Neural Young Tutorling

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    Ok. I'll see what I can do about tank size. I'm mostly curious about the California Air ones for their quiet run. I've heard the comparison, and like it quite a bit, as I will be working in my garage, which is in a residential area. Can't keep the noise down when using an angle grinder, but minimizing as much as possible is good, especially if I'm painting because it would allow me to paint at night.
    The hard part about tank size is even the 10 gallon CA is expensive for starting out. I have found a number of positive reviews on them, and am just searching for more before dropping that much money on something like this.
    @Mr. Micron: thank you for the info/note about the belt drive compressors. I have heard they are a little quieter as well, and have also heard they tend to last the longest (due to the motor being cast iron, as I understand it).
  5. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I use a California Air Tools 4610ac, and love the thing. It started out use here as an air supply for a high speed wood carving handpiece, and got a serious workout for about a year, before I retasked it to run my airbrushes - a leisurely life compared to the one it started out with :). It is quiet enough that it sits right next to my drawing table, basically by my right knee (plus a few inches) - and does not startle or scare me when it runs. Can hardly be heard from another room in the house, except when it reaches full pressure, and shuts off with a hiss.
  6. Basstrack238

    Basstrack238 Needle-chuck Ninja

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    MY California air, 5 gallon, double pump has been great. It's nice and quiet and I drain it all the time, runs great even with small hvlp. I wouldn't run air tools off it though, you want big tank for that and good pump to charge it. FOR airbrushing it's been awesome.
  7. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    yap, draining is a must...


    I don't like compressor sitting at my feet. I moved compressor away from me and put the long hose.. :D
  8. MeeshellMP

    MeeshellMP Goddess Queen of carts Mod

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    I have (for inside my house) the California 6310 LOVE IT!! Its not SUPER quiet, but its quiet for sure. Ive got 3 lines running off it. BUT your gonna need a bigger one to be clearing and such, otherwise, your gonna kill it
  9. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Artist of the Month! Artist of the Month!

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    I second Mr Microns input here. compressors like the lowes one he showed you are perfectly quiet enough to run in a garage in a neighborhood and large enough to occasionally run some airtools. Perfectly suited for hvlp guns and small die grinders and non constantly using impact guns.
    Mr.Micron likes this.
  10. Basstrack238

    Basstrack238 Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Here's mine, the 6310 6.3 gallon. Fits under table where I play. I would not hesitate to get a larger unit for what you want. IMAG0102-800x452.jpg
    MeeshellMP likes this.
  11. Warlock69

    Warlock69 Young Tutorling

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    I have the smaller 6 HP 1 gallon tank, and I live in a nursing home at present. You can not hear it outside the room and although I am very careful of what goes through my gun and noise levels in my room, No one has heard it or even known that I use it. The television is louder than my compressor. I use watercolors and acrylics with my air brush. I has a life expectancy of 3000 hours (probably longer then I have) and I have no signs of wear on the model I have. I have not had the chance to try it out on larger equipment yet ( though I used to do a lot of bodywork with my old one) Sorry I can not be of more help but California Air Compressors has a web site which is very helpful.
  12. MeeshellMP

    MeeshellMP Goddess Queen of carts Mod

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    Um....yours is SO much cleaner than mine lmao!!

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