It might be easy to forget about pneumatic tools as battery power attempts to eclipse all other forms. After all, isn’t it nice to be untethered from an air hose? Sure it is. But keep in mind that pneumatic tools have a few advantages over batteries. Namely, better power-to-weight ratios, lower costs, less maintenance, and a power source that doesn’t deplete with use. Of course, in addition to the hose-tethering, one big disadvantage to pneumatic tools has traditionally been the noise coming from loud air compressors. That’s why we welcome the new, quiet Hitachi 1-Gallon Air Compressor. If quiet compressors sound good to you, then listen up!
Check out our Best Air Compressors article for our top picks across a variety of applications and uses.
Sound and Weight
The Hitachi 1-Gallon Quiet Air Compressor has two really notable attributes. Let’s start with its noise output. It was hard to believe our ears as we turned it on and it purred ever so quietly. With a max noise output of 59 dB(A), it’s easy to hold a conversation, even while standing right next to it. Anyone who’s ever worked in a very loud environment will tell you that high volume increases fatigue. Having the benefit of the Hitachi’s quiet operation makes the workday just that much easier.
Size and Weight
As you might guess, the Hitachi 1-Gallon Air Compressor also impresses us with its size. It has compact dimensions and it only weighs 25.2 lbs. If you’ve ever had to haul out a big, heavy compressor for smaller jobs, you’ll appreciate its size and weight immediately. In the world of 1-gallon compressors, you can find some that shave a couple of pounds off. From where we sit, the durability and noise level that Hitachi delivers is worth it.
The 1-gallon tank fills up quickly, supplying 125 PSI max. We started the compressor and by the time we got our hose and nailer set up, it was ready to go. We started our trim work and nearly forgot about the compressor, both because it was so quiet and because it worked without a hitch. The recovery time on the Hitachi 1-gallon air compressor is particularly impressive even though it doesn’t take much to keep up with a single trim nailer.
Of course, the compressor’s size and weight point to obvious conclusions about its function. Clearly, Hitachi made this lightweight compressor for finishing applications, and asking more from it really wouldn’t be fair. But we did want to see how far we could push it. So, we hooked it up to a big framing nailer. We first built some sawhorses, and then we framed in a small patio that our client wants to turn into an indoor closet.
Guess what? The Hitachi kept up and performed well. You’ll almost certainly outrun it if you are working quickly, building long walls, or some such thing. At least in a pinch, or for some light framing, this compressor actually does the job. Best of all, our client didn’t even know we even had a compressor running just outside the door!
A quick look at the specifications confirms our experience. 0.8 CFM at 90 PSI is better than a lot of the competition in this space. On the max pressure side of things, 125 PSI is right in line with what we expect from this size compressor, though there are a few models that will give you 135 PSI if you really need it.
It looks like Hitachi aims for durability with the physical design. This compressor features an oil-free pump, which extends the life of the product and cuts down on compressor maintenance. We also really like the roll cage design, which not only protects the motor, valves, and mechanics but also doubles as a convenient carry handle.
Both of the gauges on the Hitachi 1-Gallon Air Compressor are well-designed and easy to read. The regulator features a red locking ring, which allows you to set the desired PSI, and then twist the locking ring to keep the pressure set in place.
This compressor features a small air filter that you can access easily. Hitachi’s new compressor also features thermal overload protection to keep it from overheating.
$122.79 puts this model right in line with brands like Makita and Senco. With the quiet noise level and solid CFM ratings, it gives you more than its competition at the same price. However, there are some value brands you’ll find for less if you’re willing to sacrifice some quality.
The Bottom Line
We have a winner with the Hitachi 1-Gallon Quiet Air Compressor. Quiet, light, powerful, and reliable, this thing can punch above its weight and is an addition to your trim arsenal that we can heartily recommend.
Hitachi 1-Gallon Air Compressor Features
- Covered by Hitachi’s professional 1-year warranty
- Ultra-quiet operation at only 59 dB’s: so quiet that a normal conversation can take place while the compressor is cycling and the compressor sound is barely noticeable
- Quiet industrial oil-free pump provides high durability with no maintenance
- Motor thermal overload protection stops the motor in a possible overheating situation
- Factory installed industrial quick coupler for easy one-handed hose connection
- Stainless steel braided discharge hose resists corrosion and remains flexible
- Integrated control panel protects the gauges and plumbing while centralizing the controls for simple operation
- Steel roll cage with rubber grip protects all critical components and provides comfort during transport
- Industrial regulator and gauges allow for easy and accurate PSI adjustments
- Universal quick coupler for fast tool changes
- Compact and lightweight at only 25.2 pounds for easy transport
Hitachi 1-Gallon Quiet Air Compressor Specifications
- Model Number: Hitachi EC28M
- Power Supply: 120V / 60Hz
- Rated Amps: 2.8
- Motor Type: Induction
- Running HP: 0.5
- Max Pressure: 125 PSI
- Air Delivery @ 40 PSI: 1.3 CFM
- Air Delivery @ 90 PSI: 0.8 CFM
- Tank Type: Hot Dog
- Tank Capacity: 1-Gallon
- Pressure Switch On: 90 PSI
- Pressure Switch Off: 125 PSI
- Tank Pressure Gauge: Yes
- Regulator Pressure Gauge: Yes
- Coupling Socket: 1/4″ x 1
- Portability: Hand Carry
- Weight: 25.2 pounds
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Price: $122.79