I must have hit the Hitachi lottery. I’ve not only been able to do several Hitachi tool reviews recently, but they’ve all been high-performers. Just a few months ago, I put the Hitachi 8-gallon wheelbarrow compressor through its paces and found it to be excellent. Now I have what I hope is an equally excellent companion piece: the Hitachi 10-gallon Reserve Air Tank. With an 8-gallon compressor supplying two couplers that my crew couldn’t outrun, why in the world would I need a reserve tank? Great question. Let’s get to work.
The Case for a Reserve Tank
There re many reasons to choose a reserve tank. Suppose you don’t have access to power, or the electricians need to cut the power for a while. With a reserve air tank, your work doesn’t have to stop. If you need to have several guys framing and another one finishing, the regulator can adjust for the tool requiring lower pressure. If you’ve got an electric compressor, you can use its cord to plug into a power source and use the air hose as your extension cord. Finally, a reserve tank effectively turns smaller compressors (that you can easily outrun) into larger compressors by giving them a 10-gallon head start. You’ll be able to work more efficiently—and with a nicer atmosphere.
The 175 PSI ASME-certified tank has 1/4-inch coupling sockets. Designed to provide consistent, sufficient air pressure, these sockets support up to five pneumatic tools operating 200 feet or more from the compressor. Four of the couplers are 3/8-inch NPT and regulated by the compressor while one 1/4-inch NPT coupler has its own regulator. The 40-pound tank can be taken a lot of places (like a roof!) that the 158-pound compressor cannot. That also means that the compressor’s loud motor can be moved away from the job site for a more pleasant environment—provided you like your coworkers!
The horizontal barrel features a handle that creates a roll-cage design. It protects both the tank and regulator pressure gauges. It also has an input shut-off ball valve, a safety release valve, and a 1/4-inch industrial plug. The tank sits sturdily on two steel legs. All the components look well-built, and the gauges are easy to read. It all adds up to a promising tool that I hoped wasn’t full of hot air!
A Ten Gallon Hat Only Holds Three Quarts
I decided the real test of the Hitachi 10-gallon Reserve Air Tank would be to couple it with our old pancake compressor. That seemed a better fit over the Hitachi 8-gallon wheelbarrow compressor. We couldn’t outrun the Hitachi compressor with our typical two-guns-at-a-time workflow, but we often outran our pancake compressor. This experiment would really test the mettle of the reserve tank. We let the pancake fill up the reserve tank and got to work. Our experiment, however, was interrupted. Unbeknownst to me, my brother unplugged the compressor to plug in the planer and forgot to plug the compressor back in. We fired him immediately. Just kidding. We used two finish guns for over an hour—just on the pressure from the reserve tank—before we realized what happened. It turned out to be a better experiment than I had planned! It revealed a benefit of the reserve tank that might not be immediately apparent. It’s not uncommon to be working concurrently with electricians who need to cut power to get their work done. Having the reserve tank means that our work doesn’t need to stop when the power does.
The Bottom Line
Knowing what I know now, I would have purchased a Hitachi 10-gallon reserve air tank a long time ago. It doesn’t hurt that Hitachi’s quality and attention to detail makes this tank another win in a lengthening line of wins. It’s a 175 PSI ASME-certified tank with five 1/4-inch coupling sockets. Four have 3/8-inch NPT regulated by the compressor and one is a 1/4-inch NPT with its own regulator on the reserve tank. It’s designed to run up to five pneumatic tools 200 feet or more from the compressor. It’s components and design are solid. We love the roll cage-shaped handle which protects the regulator. Easy-to-read gauges and steel legs round out what makes this a solid choice. At 40 pounds, it can also go where larger compressors cannot.
There’s not much to talk about with a tank, and Hitachi joins other companies who produce well-designed products in this category. The more you use a reserve air tank, the more likely you’ll wonder how you made out without one. Keep that noisy compressor at the edge of the job site instead of in the middle of it.
I can easily recommend the Hitachi 10-gallon reserve air tank to you. At $139, you get lots of benefits at a great value—and that’s not a lot of hot air.
Hitachi 10-Gal Air Compressor Tank Specifications