It probably comes as no surprise that one gallon of air pressure is not going to break lug nuts loose or drive 16 Penny nails. But does that mean the Ryobi Cordless 1-Gallon Air Compressor has no reason to exist?
Of course not. It’s all about knowing where it fits in the grand scheme of things. I’ve been chasing a slow leak in my vehicle’s tire and I’ve started a small woodworking project. Ryobi’s compressor might just fit the bill, or it might be full of hot air. Let’s find out.
- $99 – less expensive than other cordless compressors
- Good for finish nailers and inflation
- Lightweight, compact design is easy to transport and store
- No power cord needed
- Air delivery is too low for most Pro applications
Check out our Best Air Compressors article for our top picks across a variety of applications and uses.
The Ryobi Cordless 1-Gallon Air Compressor delivers 0.7 CFM at 40 PSI and 0.5 CFM at 90 PSI. But what this small compressor lacks in volume, it makes up for in size and sound: it easily sits on a shallow shelf, weighs in at 14 pounds, and produces 78 decibels. That’s not the quietest, but you can easily talk over it.
I’m giving the Ryobi a chance because my pancake compressor takes up far too much room in the garage, especially given how seldom I actually use it. I also like the idea of using this little guy in an emergency roadside situation.
Be sure to break in the Ryobi Cordless 1-Gallon Air Compressor per the manual’s instructions. I filled it to its 120 PSI max, which took just under 1.5 minutes.
Hooking the hose to my neglected tire, I could add about 5 PSI before the tire’s pressure matched the tank’s pressure and it stopped filling. The compressor took roughly 45 seconds to max out again. Needless to say, it will take you longer to inflate with this model.
For my purposes, that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make. On a road trip, I’d be well-prepared if I had a tire plug kit and this compressor in the cargo space. However, the Ryobi P731 cordless inflator is another great option if you just need an inflator.
If tire inflation is your only use for this compressor, I’d probably opt for the P731 or P737. But the compressor also comes in handy with low CFM pneumatic tools, like finish nailers. In a world full of battery-powered nailers, why would you tether yourself to an air hose?
Well, maybe you haven’t purchased those battery tools yet or just prefer the lighter weight and smaller size of pneumatic.
My cordless 18-gauge nailer is at least twice as heavy and markedly bigger than the Ridgid 18-gauge nailer I’m using. I could quickly sink about eleven brads before the compressor kicked on.
For punch lists, overhead work, and tight spaces, using the Ryobi Cordless 1-Gallon Air Compressor with a nailer can let you stick with your pneumatic nailers and still not be tied to an outlet.
- Powered by a single Ryobi 18V One+ battery
- Professional locking regulator keeps the pressure set to the intended PSI
- Metal wrap for air hose
- Rubber over mold on handle
- 1/4 turn tank drain valve for easy maintenance
Price & Value
Cordless compressors are relative newcomers to the battery-powered universe. In this world, the $129 Ryobi P739 (bare tool) is certainly the shortest on air delivery. Its cousin, the 1-gallon Ridgid R0230, has double the CFM, runs on one or two 18V batteries, and retails for $179 bare.
The 2.5-gallon DeWalt 20V DCC2520 air compressor comes in just a skosh over the Ridgid with 1.0 CFM at 90 PSI and retails for $299 kitted with battery and charger.
Those competitors are certainly more Pro-focused than the Ryobi. Still, the Ryobi P739 can handle some light trim work with a finish nailer. For Pros with Ryobi 18V batteries, there might be situations where it’s convenient to use. It’s also much more likely that this has its greatest benefits in the DIY category.
The Bottom Line
Ryobi’s made a handy little tool with the Ryobi Cordless 1-Gallon Air Compressor. For those times when just a little air pressure will do the job, it’s a fine choice for DIY projects and inflation tasks.
Ryobi Cordless 1-Gallon Air Compressor Specifications
- Model Number: P739
- Max Pressure: 120 PSI
- Weight: 14 pounds
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $129
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