Hitachi EC119SA Air Compressor Review
The Hitachi EC119SA 4-Gallon Twin-Stack Air Compressor comes with many big compressor features in a compact and portable unit. With class leading power, this unit is ready for action. Featuring a powerful yet quiet 2.5 HP induction motor that runs at 15 Amps with a large metal cooling fan integrated into the assembly. The pump crankcase is oil lubricated and utilizes oversized bearings to ensure a long service life. The compressor head is cast iron and has large fins on the outside to help it run cooler. All this is enclosed in a steel roll cage for protection and also doubles as the carry handles. The control panel is located on the front of the unit and includes separate tank and line pressure gauges, a positive locking line pressure regulator and two quick connect couplers. Both of the two gallon tanks each have separate ball valve drains. A few of the other features include thick rubber feet on the bottom, a manual overload protection button and a place for the power cord to be wrapped up when not in use.
When we received our compressor for review, it arrived in a properly sized heavy duty cardboard box. Even with minimal styrofoam packaging, the compressor stayed put and did not move around during shipping. Also included in the box was the dip sick, an 8-ounce bottle of synthetic oil to put in to the crank case and the instruction manual.
The first thing we did was dump the entire bottle of oil into the compressor crankcase as the manual directed and then we fitted the enclosed dip stick into the fill hole. No addition parts or assembly was required. Next we closed the tank drains and plugged the compressor’s power cord into the outlet and pulled out the power switch. The power switch on this compressor is activated by pulling out on a little red colored button and shutting if off was accomplished by pushing it back in. As with most compressors, we anticipated this compress to run pretty loud but we were a little surprised that it hummed along at a very tolerable noise level. We were able to easily carry on a conversation right over the unit without having to shout. We were pairing this with a HHitachi NR90AE round head 3-1/2-inch framing nailer to see how well it would do in the field.
Another thing that surprised us was how quickly the compressor tanks filled up. The quick fill up can be attributed to the large motor and quality compressor pump. Another feature that sets this compressor apart from other similar compressors like the Bosch CET4-20W is the impressive air volume of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI. This amount of air is sufficient to run a few nailers at the same time without having the compressor running continuously.
To put our compressor to the test, we took it to one of our construction projects where a framing crew was just starting to build a large hip style roof over a new screen porch. The initial response from the head guy was that the small size compress was not going to be able to “keep up” which is a way to say that it would not deliver enough air volume to keep the nail gun shooting the framing nails under continual use. Well much to their surprise they where wrong! This is the little compressor that could! The only draw back that we encountered was that on the cold mornings it has a difficult time wanting to start up and we think it has to do with the fact that the oil is thicker when it is cold and therefore takes a little extra effort by the motor to get it moving until it warms up. Once the compressor was up and running, it was able to run all day non-stop.
The only other complaint we had from the guys was that for its compact size, it is pretty heavy at 64 pounds. What this translates too in the real world that if you have to trek this thing up and down flights of stair to a work area, it can get pretty cumbersome. We ended up getting a 100 ft hose to keep with it so we did not have to move it around much. Aside from that, the Hitachi EC119SA 4-Gallon Twin-Stack Air Compressor was able to handle all the tasks we tried with it which included using roofing nailers, framing nailers and finish nailers.
The Hitachi EC119SA 4-Gallon Twin-Stack Air Compressor’s quality built and heavy duty construction is what will make this a solid performer and it a great addition to any worksite. We feel that the few negative aspects of the compressor are quickly overtaken by the many positive features.