Looking around at today’s market, you start to wonder who doesn’t make a compressor? Where ever you look, some manufacturer has a portable compressor ready for someone to buy it up. Over the years we have seen a ton of different compressors. For the professional, we love Rolair compressors. They are tough, quiet and produce a heck of a lot of power for their size. Since these are made for the professional, they are built to last the abuse of a job site, something a homeowner will never put a compressor through. So if you are a homeowner, why pay the premium when you will never put a compressor through that type of abuse? However, just because you will not be beating on your compressor, you still want all the nice options such as power and a quiet operation. With that said, let me introduce you to the Kobalt Twin Stack. If you are looking for a compressor that has serious power and is very quiet to operate, well read on and check out our Kobalt compressor review.
If you are not familiar with Kobalt products, this is a house brand for Lowes. Kobalt designs and produces a ton of different tools for the homeowner such as cordless tools, hand tools, OPE and more. So when you think of Kobalt, understand this is a large producer of tools and they have the experience of making quality tools that won’t break the bank.
Kobalt Compressor Review – Top Panel
Starting at the top of the unit, you will see a big red button, almost like Rudolph’s nose. This button serves as the ON/OFF switch. Right below the power button, you can see two very easy to read gauges. The numbers are nice and big, so even people with bad eyesight like mine won’t have any issues seeing either the tank pressure or tool pressure. In between the gauges lays the tool pressure regulator. Not only is the knob large, but when you increase or decrease the pressure, there is enough resistance on the knob to make it feel like it’s a quality knob. I can’t say I am a huge fan of the knobs that are extremely easy to turn. When there is a little resistance, it just feels like a quality product. One feature I am glad Kobalt didn’t overlook is the single-handed quick connect coupler. All a user needs to do, is push the air hose on and it will lock into place. No more having to push down on a ring, insert the hose and lock the hose into place. Now it can be done easily and quickly.
Kobalt Compressor Review – Portability
As a homeowner, you might leave this sitting in your garage or maybe you want to take it to the street and fill up your tires. Maybe you want to use this with a framing gun or finish nailer. Whatever way you use this compressor, Kobalt has you covered. This compressor is definitely designed for portability. First, Kobalt designed this with no-flat tires. The tires are a hard plastic, but they are not some cheap plastic tires. I have seen some tires where they are hollow inside and will wear down quickly after using. With these tires, they seem to be a solid, sturdy plastic, which means they should last you a lifetime. Next for portability, is the design of the handle. Again, this isn’t some cheap plastic handle. The handle is a solid metal handle, with a nice top grip when moving it from location to location. Here is another great feature to this compressor. The handle is also retractable when not in use. Each side of the handle has a lever, again a nice metal lever, not cheap plastic. Open each lever and the top handle will slide into the bottom part of the slides. For me, this is a very cool feature.
Kobalt Compress Review – Twin Tank
Kobalt designed this compressor with a twin tank. Personally, I love twin tank designs because they take up much less space since they are on top of each other. The tank can hold 4.3 gallons of air, which is a fair amount for such a small footprint.
Kobalt Compressor Review – Quiet Motor
So far this compressor has hit a home run on all aspects, but what about performance and operation? First, let’s discuss the operation. According to Kobalt, this compressor is 80% quieter than traditional compressors of the same size. I am not sure how they do this, but I can tell you first hand this is one of the quietest compressors we have tested. Now I am not saying you can’t hear it, but let’s put it this way. You can be sitting right next to this compressor, while it’s on and have a conversation with someone else and not even have to raise your voice. Yes, it’s that quiet. You have to love it, no more loud noisy compressors echoing throughout your garage. When my kids were young, they would always get freaked out when the compressor would kick on. If I had this compressor, I am sure they wouldn’t have even noticed. In terms of noise, Kobalt hit a home run.
The motor is powered by 120-volt 1-horsepower induction motor which features two pumps. The unit will pull 7.5 amps. As a note, this is an oil-free pump, so no longer do you have to worry about running a compressor with low oil and burning out the motor. The max PSI is 125 which means you can use this with a framing nailer, finish nailer or brad nailer. I think the sweet spot is a finish or brad nailer. The SCFM is 3.3 at 40psi.
This is a great compressor for the money. The unit is extremely quiet, almost to the point where you have to double check that it’s even on. Both pressure dials are extremely easy to see and read. I love the fact you don’t have to bend over to see either pressure. Considering the unit is portable is a huge plus. The unit rolls easily and the fold down handle makes it a perfect compressor to own for the homeowner. I love how Kobalt didn’t cut any corners with this compressor. The Kobalt compressor seems like a quality compressor that will last for years. With a 1 year warranty, this is hard to go wrong with buying one of these. I think Kobalt did an awesome job with the design and implementation of this compressor.
Looks like a cool compressor and a good value.
I like the handle, wheels, and the quiet operation. This looks like a great replacement for my Bostitch pancake. Nice article Eric. #TIACREW
The wheels make it perfect….
Yes, it helps out a lot.
One thing I haven’t been able to find anywhere are the dimensions. What are they?
18″w × 16″d × 25″h
Cliff, I don’t believe this Hilti one has the floor laser line. People manage ways around it though. If you’re looking for a true laser line for the floor, check out our Bosch 360 review. It projects in an extra plane that may give you what you need. Hope that helps!
Just bought the updated version that goes up to 150psi. Does anyone know of there is a break in procedure? Can’t find info anywhere.
Thanks for a great review. Helped big time.
I haven’t heard that about this model, Dan. Hopefully, it works out well for you!!
Is it good for every day framing job?
Thank you for the review. I just purchased one and love it.
How has this held up over the years? Also it looks like husky makes a similar model thats 5db more but has 33 percent more cfm. Any idea on how the two compare in actuality?
Have one, having a problem with it. Sometimes will cut itself off mid use and maybe or maybe not turn back on. Other times if I turn it off because won’t be using for a bit, then it may or may not turn back on when I turn it on. In that case, O can usually pay it or share it or some wait awhile and it will come back on finally. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how did you fix it? I need it to be reliable!