Alton Stealth Compressor Air Compressor Reviews

Air Compressors

Pro Rating
Final Thoughts

Stealth doesn't have a ton of competition in the 20-gallon vertical compressor category. The closest are less expensive store brands that Stealth easily exceeds in quality. It's more on par with Ridgid's slightly smaller 15-gallon model.  While this Stealth compressor doesn't fit side-by-side with brands like Rolair, I like what you get for the price. By the time you throw in incredibly quiet operation and a lifetime warranty, this is a great fit for DIYers that want a solid compressor for their garage/shop or Pros looking for something to last longer than a budget store brand. 

Overall Score 4.4 Pro Review

Get Yours Online

Amazon

Stealth Compressor Professional 20-Gallon Review


When you don’t see a brand name you recognize, there’s some hesitation about pulling the trigger. Realistically, many well-known brands license their names to other manufacturers for tools they don’t make themselves. Those same manufacturers also make their own brands with the same quality as their branded products. That’s the mindset I started with when our 20-gallon professional Stealth compressor arrived.

Pros

  • Super-quiet operation
  • 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • Vertical tank design
  • Better build than budget store brands

Cons

  • No major drawbacks

Recommendation

Stealth doesn’t have a ton of competition in the 20-gallon vertical compressor category. The closest are less expensive store brands that Stealth easily exceeds in quality. It’s more on par with Ridgid’s slightly smaller 15-gallon model.

While this Stealth compressor doesn’t fit side-by-side with brands like Rolair, I like what you get for the price. By the time you throw in incredibly quiet operation and a lifetime warranty, this is a great fit for DIYers that want a solid compressor for their garage/shop or Pros looking for something to last longer than a budget store brand. 

SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS

A Little Brand Knowledge Goes a Long Way

Our Stealth compressor comes from Alton Industries and this isn’t our first dance with them. They make shop vacuums under the Stanley, Porter-Cable, and DeWalt names along with air compressors under Briggs & Stratton.

Alton Stealth Compressor

The DeWalt shop vacs we’ve used are pretty much the cream of the crop in terms of the quality of their build. You have to move up to jobsite dust extractors to do much better.

Considering our previous experience with Alton, I’m not looking at this Stealth compressor as a bargain bin or budget store brand type of tool. I’m looking for signs of professional quality.

Design

A 20-gallon vertical compressor isn’t a terribly popular one. Brands like Rolair start at 30 gallons for a vertical design and most others at 20 gallons are horizontal wheelbarrow styles. Husky and Kobalt both tackle a 20-gallon as their respective house brands.

When you’re looking to make the most of the space you have, that vertical design is a big help. You need just 20″ x 18″ of floor space with 42″ of headroom. Chances are, you can find or make that kind of room.

I prefer the horizontal models for frequently moving around jobsites and vertical when you’re going to keep it in the shop or garage. However, this Stealth compressor with its wheels and handles is still very capable of jobsite work. It’s just a matter of which design style you prefer.

Air Delivery

The Stealth 20-Gallon Professional Compressor is a little larger than the Ridgid 15-gallon model we also use. Here’s a quick look at how the four closest competitors stack up:

Capacity

  • Ridgid: 15 gallons
  • Husky: 20 gallons
  • Kobalt: 20 gallons
  • Stealth: 20 gallons

Max PSI

  • Stealth: 150 PSI
  • Husky: 175 PSI
  • Kobalt: 175 PSI
  • Ridgid: 200 PSI

Air Delivery at 90 PSI

  • Husky: 4.0 SCFM
  • Kobalt: 4.0 SCFM
  • Stealth: 5.0 SCFM
  • Ridgid: 5.1 SCFM

So this Stealth compressor is on the lower side for PSI and higher for SCFM. It’s great to know those numbers, but what can you reasonably power with it? Here’s a short list to give you an idea:

  • Tire inflation
  • Framing/roofing/finish/flooring nailers
  • Air ratchets/impact wrenches
  • Die grinders/angle grinders
  • Chisels
  • Shears

You can use tools like air sanders and cutoff tools intermittently, but you need more air to run those constantly. Paint sprayers are pretty much out except for low-flow DIY models.

Alton Stealth Compressor

One thing to keep in mind is that this oil-free compressor carries a 50% duty cycle rating. That’s where these other brands are, but higher-end compressors can be as high as 100% duty cycle.

Noise Level

The Stealth compressor line is all about delivering the air you need with low noise. All of the compressors we’re comparing are 120V electric, so there’s no gas engine to add to it.

 

Rated Noise Level

  • Stealth: 69 decibels
  • Kobalt: 78 decibels
  • Husky: 83 decibels
  • Ridgid: 86 decibels

Running 9 decibels quieter than your closest competitor is HUGE! It’s nearly 8x less sound pressure than Kobalt and nearly 64x less than Ridgid. That’s because sound pressure level doubles every 3 decibels, so it’s not a linear measurement.

When it comes to how loud this 20-gallon professional Stealth compressor sounds (perceived loudness), it’s nearly 2x quieter than Kobalt and more than 3x quieter than Ridgid.

Additional Features

  • Semi-pneumatic 8″ wheels
  • Oil-free pump
  • 6′ cord

SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS

Price

You can pick up the 20-gallon professional Stealth compressor for $379.99. That’s in the ballpack of Ridgid and quite a bit more than what Husky and Kobalt offers.

  • Kobalt: $199
  • Husky: $209
  • Ridgid: $369
  • Stealth: $379.99

But here’s where things take a crazy turn. Stealth puts a lifetime warranty on their compressor—something we haven’t seen anyone else do at this point. Like most every warranty, it covers defects, not accidents and normal wear. Stealth tags this model with 1000-hour life cycle. To get the longest life, check out the maintenance tips in this article:

How To Use An Air Compressor

The Bottom Line

Stealth doesn’t have a ton of competition in the 20-gallon vertical compressor category. The closest are less expensive store brands that Stealth easily exceeds in quality. It’s more on par with Ridgid’s slightly smaller 15-gallon model.

While this Stealth compressor doesn’t fit side-by-side with brands like Rolair, I like what you get for the price. By the time you throw in incredibly quiet operation and a lifetime warranty, this is a great fit for DIYers that want a solid compressor for their garage/shop or Pros looking for something to last longer than a budget store brand.

20-Gallon Professional Stealth Compressor Specifications

  • Model: Stealth SAQ 12018
  • Motor: 120V, 12A induction motor (1440W)
  • Horsepower: 1.8 HP
  • Pump: Oil-free
  • Max Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Air Delivery at 90 PSI: 5.0 SCFM
  • Air Delivery at 40 PSI: 6.0 SCFM
  • Quick Couplers: 2
  • Cord Length: 6′
  • Noise Level: < 70 decibels
  • Price: $379.99

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of