We often use trim compressors to do smaller projects because of their compact size, convenience and mobility. The Porter-Cable C1010 1-gallon Quiet trim compressor supports 135 PSI and is all of that and more. Overall weight is a very manageable 24 pounds and there is a protective steel roll cage that also doubles as the carry handle, allowing the compressor to be carried in an upright position. Probably the biggest feature of this little compressor is that it is oil-free and quiet. Normally you can’t say both of those words in the same sentence when talking about compressors. Somehow the engineers at Porter-Cable figured out how to make this little guy maintenance free and you can stand to be in the same room with it when it is running. Our plan was to find out if it really is as good as they say it is.
Porter-Cable C1010 1-Gallon Quiet Trim Compressor Features
When we first heard about the Porter-Cable C1010 1-gallon Quiet trim compressor, we were slightly skeptical because all the oil-free compressors we used in the past had one thing in common and that was the annoying and almost painful loudness at which they operated. To combat this “oil-free-is-bad” stigma, Porter-Cable did a commendable job of delivering an oil-free compressor that operates at levels that are equal or less than their oiled pump counterparts. The reason that oil-free is a great way to go is that, for one, there is no required maintenance other than draining the air tank when not in use. Also, it makes portability and storage easier since there are no problems in how you position it (there is no oil to leak out). The motor has a really low 3.5 AMP draw at start up which makes for easy start-up in cold weather or when using extension cords. There is no fear of tripping breakers with this compressor. The C1010 produces air at a rate of 0.75 standard cubit feet per minute at 90 PSI with a 135 PSI maximum pressure. There is a quick 20-second recovery time, an easily adjustable high-flow regulator and a single quick-connect coupling.
The compact design of the Porter-Cable C1010 is well-suited for contractors that don’t mind carrying their compressor around a work site. At about the size of a small carry-on, it is only 9” wide and weighs 24 pounds. There are thick rubber feet on the bottom and the roll cage carry handle is positioned so that it is easily transported with just one hand. A metal control panel covers the air manifold and surrounds the gauges so that all the critical components are well-protected. To facilitate easy tank draining, there is a 1/4 turn ball valve at the bottom center of the tank.
Testing and Use
Obviously with claims that this oil-less compressor is quiet, we were pretty eager to plug the Porter-Cable C1010 trim compressor in and give it a listen. When the compressor arrived, it didn’t require any set up or assembly. Quite simply, we tore open the box, took out the compressor and plugged it in. Our first impression of the noise is that we were, well… impressed. We were working on a small bathroom remodel project that required all new trim work. This was a great place to use this little compressor because of the tight quarters. Our decibel readings for this compressor, which we measured at our standard 3 feet distance, was a low 75 dBA. Now this is a tad higher than the published reading of 71 dBA which was measured by the ISO3744 standard that sets the measurement distance at 25 feet away. For our own internal testing, we feel that in many, if not most situations, the tool user is in fairly close proximity to the tool so we have been using three feet as our standard. Just to give you an idea of just how impressively quiet this compressor is, here are a few other compressors we have looked at and their noise levels all measured at our standard three feet distance:
- Bosch CET4-20W 4 Gallon Twin Tank Compressor: 80 dBA
- Emglo EM810-4V 4 Gallon Oil-lubed Compressor: 88 dBA
- Hitachi EC119SA 4 Gallon Oil-Lubed Compressor: 93 dBA
Once we had the noise level out of the way, the next thing we needed to check on was the air delivery performance. We had a few different trim nailers in for review, so we tried it out with a Hitachi 15 Gauge angled finish nailer, a Porter Cable Pin nailer and a Paslode 16 Gauge flooring/finish nailer. We found that for these nailers, this compressor was an ideal match. Air delivery was consistent and the recovery time was very fast. Just for fun, we had a few nails to put in with a Duo-Fast angled framing nailer, so we hooked it up and it was able to run this nailer as well, but we quickly found that using the framer with bump fire mode, depletes the little one gallon tank faster than the compressor can keep up. We are not at all advocating that this be used for framing, but in a pinch, when you have just a few framing nails to drive, this compressor can help you out for sure.
The Porter-Cable C1010 1-gallon Quiet trim compressor is a good choice for work in any trim job. We loved the fact that we could talk and actually hear ourselves while the compressor was in-use. Not having to do periodic maintenance or use caution when storing or transporting this compressor are also big features that we liked thanks to its oil-free design. For our Performance Rating, we gave this compressor a high score of 7/10 thanks to its built-in roll cage, sturdy construction and super quiet operation. For our Value Rating, this compressor earned a very high score of 9/10 because it will be hard to find a better value given its low street price and features. Aside from going cordless, or using a larger oil-lubed compressor, this compressor is probably one of the best ways to go for doing trim work.