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California Air Tools CAT-10020C Review

An Absolute Monster of a Compressor!

Personally, I think air compressors are impressive tools because the amount and type of work they can complete is staggering. However, fixed units are heavy and make a lot of noise, so for the average DIY’er it’s not really an option.

Luckily though, you can still rely on their portable cousins without compromising on power plus, portability is something that’s always kept in mind. You also benefit from being able to attach pretty much any kind of air tool to them (much like fixed compressors), so you can still complete jobs both professionally and personally.

If you’re looking for a portable compressor, there are lots of different models to choose from. In fact, there are so many I had to dig for weeks until I was able to come up with a list of some I think are worthy of your hard earned money.

This time around, I am going to review a compressor that tips the scale in favor of power and portability (although portability might not be as good as some other models I’ve reviewed for you). I am talking about the California Air Tools CAT-10020C Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free 10.0-Gallon 2.0 HP Air Compressor with Steel Tank.

Basic Information, Features and Specs

This air compressor features some of the most impressive specs I have come across on portable units. In addition to being massively powerful, it’s also one of the quietest air compressors you can currently buy since it clocks in at just 70 decibels.

The compressor features oil-free lubrication, a dual-piston pump system for extended life, and the motor works at just 1680 rpm which also contributes to longevity and durability. Right off the bat, you’ll notice its large 10-gallon stainless steel tank which can fill up in a little less than 130 seconds.

The device comes equipped with 2 1/4″ connectors with a quick release action making it possible for you to hook up 2 air tools simultaneously. The delivery rate is 5.3 CFM at 90 psi which is phenomenal, and means you can attach some pretty powerful tools to it (or several less powerful tools all at once). This compressor is ideal if you have a workshop that connects to a store, and you don’t want to put your customers off by making too much noise.


Although the CAT-10020C falls into the category of portable air compressors, it is really pushing that label since it weighs almost 83lbs which makes it pretty heavy. Mind you it does come with wheels for easier transportation but still, it is anything but light.

CAT-10020C Design

The unit resembles heavy-duty compressors which is reasonable since there is no elegant design solution that would turn this particular model into something inconspicuous, especially with that huge 10-gallon tank. I quite like the design because it’s a case where form follows function, not the other way around.

The pressure gauges are easy to read and the controls provide good grip. You will notice the device comes with a handle on top, but it’s not meant to be carried around that way. Instead, it’s meant to be pulled or pushed around using the handle. On the practical side, this compressor comes equipped with dual outlets and a low amp starting feature.

Another feature that sets this air compressor apart from the competition is the brass twist-on tire chuck which effectively makes this compressor air-tight in order to provide maximum efficiency. It also has an LED light which lets you know if the unit is on or off.


Considering all the bells and whistles it comes with, I think this air compressor is an absolute bargain. If you are looking for a handy tool that help’s with home repairs it might be overkill, but it’s not meant to be used for that anyway. It is aimed at professional users, hence the extra features and the heavy-duty design.

The Verdict

I know I sound hugely in favor of this machine, but I think it’s an absolute beast! Yes, it is portable (sort of), but it is as close to a professional fixed compressor as you can get. All that power, yet it’s so quiet you can have a conversation right next to it.

Personally, I absolutely recommend it and I think all of the online reviewers will agree with me too. If you want to find out more, I suggest you visit Amazon. You never know, if you do decide to buy one you might get some great discounts on price!

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