Who here uses an AS 186 type compressor



As per the title, just wondering if any regular AB operators use an AS 186 style compressor on a regular basis?

I have one on the way as my first, and wonder about it's durability and lifespan. For my use it will only be used primarily on smaller items under low pressures for short duration's.

I figured at the minimum it was at least one step up above the AS 18 (same unit but without a tank) and should provide an even air flow in the least (ie; no pulsing), and fits my desire of a small footprint due to my operations being mobile on a ute....


I've been using one for three years, it's fine for short duration and should be fine with your Neo, if you use for longer than a half hour at a time, let cool for 15 minutes, this and your Neo will be enough to get you started, but if you arrive at paying customers in the future you'll look the part with something a little more professional, if noise isn't an issue normal DIY store compressors are fine, you just need some fitting to make it suitable for airbrush but the DIY store compressors are also ideal if you do end up getting a spray gun or mini spray gun.
Thanks for that Malky, with a bit more reading i see it is the same as the TC-20 and others,...i did read about the cooling down after use, so when it breaks down, would the AS-196 (dual head) be a better bet? I carry a lot of gear on a short ute bed so the regular 40/50/60 litre (12-15 Gal?) tanks are too big/overkill for my use, i need a small footprint. It occurs to me that two pumps make lighter work and therefore run cooler and last longer (out of my budget range this time around) so less fuss?

The AS-186 is also great if i happen to be doing work in peoples homes as its light, quiet and portable....no fuss. I can see myself buying a new (better?) AB as funds allow, but the majority of intended use of the compressor will be for the one medium and small item coverage (gum-leaves, baby booties, plastic phone covers etc) so no need for high volumes or pressures (unless i get a siphon feed).

My use is 'less artistic/complex' than that which most of you make use of your gear...as long as it provides enough pressure and is quiet enough, i'm happy. IF...once i begin, i find i am interested in 'expanding' my use to include 'art' as a hobby, then i may well have a 'better/larger' unit for home base, but was just wanting to hear how the AS-186 lasts....

How about pancake comp's? Seems they also have smaller footprint than the traditional tanks, but how are they for noise/weight/portability?

I recently bought this one from 'Sydney Tools' (https://sydneytools.com.au/chicago-hush20-aluminium-silenced-20l-air-compressor)
it has the same footprint as a pancake compressor I was looking at,

Its a new range of 'silenced compressors' barely louder (42Db) than my studio compressor & much cheaper than most pancake compressors.
it will happily run the LPH80 and other HVLP guns
FYI this is not the same brand as the American 'Chicago' compressors

and I have to tip my hat to @markjthomson who I was having a PM conversation with one day regarding compressors.... I found a pancake, he found this and once the specs were analysed this one came out on top :D

Thanks JackEb, also read your Pm. Yeah, i think it fits the bill for 'my' needs, small(ish), quiet, good warranty, and sourced locally (Aust.). Seems the pancake versions aren't as prevalent here as o/s, and yeah a much higher price/noise levels.

I will give my little AS-186 a run for now (should have come here BEFORE buying...oh well, my Irish ancestors prevail once again ha ha) and have a look also at the AS-196 reviews for future purchase....

I do realize my unit is a 'budget' item (as is the 196), so if i can get 1.5-2 yrs out of it before upgrading, i can live with that. I did also find a few options here; https://adelaidetools.com.au/air-tools/air-compressors.html ,...reasonable prices, local, but the site lacks info such as noise levels and dimensions, so if anyone can chime in on the smaller versions if they have them, i'd also like to hear about these....the same item you posted JackEb can also be found closer to home for you here; https://adelaidetools.com.au/air-to...0l-platinum-series-air-compressor-594140.html ....and CHEAPER lol lol lol

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He he he....well ya got me, but hey, it also says it's 20kg (ie heavier) so maybe Chicago are being 'liberal' with their specs lol

Though i am puzzled as to where you got the db spec from..(edit...ahh, nevermind, upsize the pic and voila!).
Chicago (13KG) are aluminium tanks not steel :p

next question lollollol

I do love a good 'debate'

. . anyone got popcorn ??

Lol....well, i am a technophobe and rush to post, my bad. However, now i am puzzled as to where it is stated the ToolEx unit is steel?...what am i missing here?....

Debate is fine, as long as it's not a mass debate....:eek:

And i'll have TimTams with my cuppa, thanks :wink
Considering your extended assistance to date, lets call it even :thumbsup:....

I see similar stuff happen in the RC world where a generic product is made in a Chinese factory under licence and companies put their own brand on the item. I believe it's a marketing ploy to differentiate themselves from each other and keep within the 'parameters' of performance, but give stats just different enough to avoid patent laws or some such similar.
the Chicago still wins on the noise level alone, regardless of what the numbers say, the Chicago really isn't that much noisier than my 'knock off' studio compressor.
:)...and i don't doubt your experience, however, have you had a db meter next to it to confirm the stated levels?

Not to be contrary for contrary's sake, but i have an idea that if the two units were put side by side, they would be comparable and hard to tell apart if you were blindfolded. My AS-186 is the same....i have seen at least 5x different sites/companies selling this exact same unit (with their 'own brand' stickers) and in 3x of them the stats are just so ever slightly different( some state 1/6 hp while others read 1/5hp as an eg.). Funny thing is, they all carry the same compliance/product sticker on the side of the pump....an AS-186 by any other name is still an AS-186 (or TC-20 for eg.)

Either way....they both look like they will be candidates for my next unit, or their updated equivalents when i'm ready to purchase.

Glad you passed the info. on....Thank-You.
and if you did manage to get someone in a bricks and mortar store to fire one up for you to hear, it would seem quiet because of all the noise around during the day......
Then that's the best possible outcome we can all live with eh? :cool:
Having partial industrial deafness, i don't imagine i could tell the difference of 8-10 db variance at voice levels...
The ab186 is ok for a short while, i used one on a course. You may not be able to notice the difference between 55 db and 42 db due to your hearing I can tell you 55 is pretty quiet, 44 is almost silent.

Thanks jord001,...to my way of thinking, their both quieter than traditional compressors, so that's a good thing.
The one i have on the way will get me through the basic learning curve at low cost, so i'm OK with that and will run it until it no longer suits my needs, or it dies...
I have a AS186 it's great with a tank fitted. The only problem I have, is that I a habit of getting infrawled in what I'm doing and suddenly find that the pressure has gone due the the thermal switch kicking in. Occasionally I have a fan heater set on cold blowing over it to help keep it cool, which brings me to ask if anyone knows if doing this is going to cause any damage or should I get the timer out to remind me to stop for a few minutes?