Metabo Nailed It with This Cordless Air Compressor
Experience the freedom of running air tools without being tied to a wall with this Family Handyman Approved cordless air compressor.
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Every tool has a battery powered counterpart, or one being introduced on a near daily basis. But there are a few tools for which I thought we’d have to wait for battery technology to catch up though, like job site table saws, pressure washers, and air compressors. I was wrong; these tools are becoming available faster than ever.
I know from my background in trim carpentry and cabinetmaking the trials of dragging around an air compressor and nail gun from outlet to outlet nailing up moldings, casings, and trim. When I saw that Metabo was set to release a 36-volt cordless air compressor, I was eager to see it’s stamina and power.
What Is the Metabo Cordless Air Compressor?
The Metabo HPT 36v MultiVolt 2-Gallon Cordless Air Compressor is a 36-volt, battery-operated air compressor that outputs a max 135 PSI (pounds per square inch) and 1.6 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at 90 PSI. The green and black, milk crate sized compressor can either be powered by a single 36-volt battery or a work all-day AC adapter, when wall power is available (both sold separately). The Metabo 36v Cordless Air Compressor is designed with a sturdy metal roll cage for added durability and equipped with a strong, oil-free, brushless motor that’s nearly maintenance free. It features a quarter-inch brass industrial coupler, and weighing less than 30 pounds, with the battery, it’s lightweight and easy to haul.
How We Tested It
With only a loose flooring transition strip to re-adhere and a few feet of baseboard to install in my newly finished hallway, there wasn’t much on the to-do list that will test the capabilities of the Metabo 36v Cordless Air Compressor.
However, I had plenty of 18-gauge and 15-gauge nails, a 25-foot air hose and plenty of scrap wood, so I started shooting some nails to put it through the ringer. Metabo boasts that it can shoot 1,000, 18-gauge nails on a single charge. I wanted to test that claim, as well as seeing how it functions when shooting larger 15-gauge nails. I also wanted to see how loud this compact compressor’s brushless motor is.
After charging up the 4-amp hour battery and setting the PSI to 90, I pulled out my 15-gauge nailer and a box of two-inch nails. I laid a scrap of ¾-inch floor underlayment across a set of sawhorses. And started popping away, testing the compressor’s might.
I nailed on, shooting a nail every second or so, until the compressors motor kicked onto replenish its tank. With the 15-gague nails, this happened every 8 to 10 nails and took between 16 and 24 seconds to refill, depending on power left in the battery. I kept shooting, stopping, finally, when the battery didn’t have enough juice to fill the tank and there wasn’t enough air to set the nail heads below the plywood’s surface. I drove 153 15-gauge nails on a single charge. Not Bad.
Next was the 18-gague nail test. I again charged up the battery and emptied the air tank to start both tests on a level playing field. Same process as before, I shot a two-inch, 18-gauge nail once per second, roughly, pausing for the tank to refill. With the smaller nails, the tank refilled every 18 to 21 nails, and did this 21 times before the battery died. All in all, that was 412 two-inch, 18-gauge nails before the battery was dead and the tank was too empty to set anymore.
The two tests also opened my eyes to how loud the brushless motor is. Having to listen to its blaring hum, 40-plus times, through my OSHA approved, Spotify connected, earmuffs, I was hoping for something quieter. I downloaded a decibel app on my phone. As a comparison tool, compared the reading between the Metabo and my ancient plug-in compressor. I was surprised to find nearly identical 78 and 78.1 decibel readings, respectively, which is a bummer when you consider the quiet compressor technology of today.
After all those nails, the to-do list was a walk in the park. The portability of the Metabo cordless air compressor is the real hero. Maneuvering it through rooms and up and down stairs, without having to find an outlet or run an extension cord is a welcome game-changer.
I utter some form of this spiel every time I discuss a battery-operated tool. A large chunk the value of battery-operated tools is tied to the battery and charger itself. Personally, I think this is a top-notch tool, worth every penny of the $300 price tag, but I already own a Metabo battery and charger. If you have to figure in the additional costs of these items, it will cost almost $120 more. That makes it a little harder pill to swallow.
Reliability and Durability
The Metabo 36-volt cordless air compressor feels solid and well-made. The heavy-duty tank and cage will protect and keep this unit in good working order for years down the line. I’m also an advocate of Metabo brand tools overall. Metabo, previously Hitachi, has a long track record of making quality power tools, and this cordless air compressor follows that.
Ease of Use
Modern compressors are user friendly machines, and this Metabo is no different. It functions using a single on/off switch and a dial to adjust air pressure. It’s also nearly maintenance free, due to its oil-free, brushless motor. Just stay on top of draining the condensation from the tool’s tank so it won’t corrode over time.
Why You Should Buy This
Firing off as many nails as I did made for a respectable showing for this battery-operated compressor. It’s lightweight, durable, user-friendly, well-made and powerful. It’s Maybe not as stout as it claims, but strong enough for any trim project. I do wish the compressor was quieter, but I’d deal with a few extra decibels rather than hassle with climbing over a pile of extension cords on the job site every day.
Where to Buy
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt 2-Gallon Cordless Air Compressor is available at Amazon and Lowe’s.