Porter Cable 30-Gallon Air Compressor Review

When it comes to air compressors, you might find it hard to find a compressor that packs power and is easy to use. However, the Porter Cable 30-gallon air compressor has conveniently changed the game! With a 30-gallon tank, the porter cable compressor allows you to use it in the most heavy-duty applications.

And that’s not all! The product is as portable as it is powerful. The vertical design saves space in your workshop. Plus, it comes with a cart, which makes it easier to transport from one location to the next.

With iron-cast durability and easy-to-use features, the Porter Cable 30-gallon compressor can perform the toughest jobs around the workshop. It can run most air tools such as bolting, nailing, and air spraying. The ease of use makes it quite attractive for beginners as well as hobbyists. However, professionals will also find many uses for this unit.

It has a running horsepower of about 1.6 and a maximum pressure of 135 pounds per square inch (psi). So, if you want to unleash the true power of the Porter Cable 30-gallon compressor, read ahead and find out if the 30-gallon compressor is what you need!

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Features and Specs

The Porter Cable is jam-packed with a number of different features. Each feature contributes to the functionality of the compressor in one way or the other. These features include:

Powerful Induction Motor

The Porter Cable compressor includes a heavy-duty electric induction motor that provides power to the pump. The induction motor ensures the maximum efficiency and performance of the pump. The motor provides the compressor with about 1.6 horsepower, which is sufficient for most air tools.

Furthermore, the motor can be easily wired for 120 or 240-volt operation. Plus, the electric motor includes an overload protector. This ensures that the motor does not burn out due to over-heating. The protector automatically shuts down the motor in such cases.

Durable Oil-Lubricated Pump

The compressor also includes a single-stage, oil-lubricated pump. The pump construction includes cast iron that lends to the overall durability of the unit. The pump is thermally stable as the aluminum head allows for better heat dissipation so you need not worry about the unit over-heating.

Furthermore, the ball bearings ensure a smoother operation. You might think that maintaining the oil lubrication is hard. In reality, the pump comes with an oil-level sight glass that shows you when the oil levels are running low. In fact, you can easily access the oil fill.

High Pressures and Air Flow rates

The compressor offers a maximum pressure of about 135 psi. The standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) at 40 psi is about 62 while the scfm at 90 psi is about 5.3. The high pressure and air-flow rates ensure you can use the compressor in a wide variety of applications.

Portable Tank

The compressor is equipped with a 30-gallon ASME air tank with durable construction that is leak-free. You can rest assured that your compressor will run for a longer time due to the higher capacity. What’s more is that the compressor has pneumatic tires on the bottom. This allows you to take the compressor anywhere without having to lift it.

Conveniently Placed Controls

Moreover, the compressor is quite easy to use and control. This is because all the controls are conveniently mounted at the top. You don’t have to bend yourself in half trying to find the controls. Plus, the tank has dual gauges. These allow you to easily monitor the tank as well as the tool pressure. The gauges are easy to read as well.

Apart from that, the 0.25-inch air outlet can be secured to the hose in minutes. Plus, the on and off switches saves you from excessive wear and tear on the power cord.

Dimensions and Weight

The compressor is not as bulky in size as you would expect a heavy-duty compressor to be. The dimensions of the product are about 24 x 23.5 x 48 inches. On the other hand, the compressor is not light as it weighs about 165 pounds. This makes it harder to carry around. However, since it does come with wheels, the heavy weight is not a deal breaker.

Our Review

Specs and features are great to know. However, the main consideration is how they perform. So, naturally, we put these features to the test. Below is a detailed review (read detailed reviews of other models here) of what we liked and what we didn’t about the Porter Cable 30-gallon air compressor:

What We Liked

  1. Higher Capacity

Most hobbyists and amateurs would consider the 30-gallon capacity to be quite high. You can use the high capacity to run most air tools you use at home. The best part is that since it can hold more air, you can use it for a longer time before it needs a refill.

  1. Portability

The first thing we like about the compressor is the portability. Yes, we agree that the compressor is a bit heavy. However, the pneumatic tires on the bottom make it quite easy to transport. We also like the small size of the compressor. It’s not too bulky, so it saves a lot of space on the workbench.

  1. Performance

We were glad to find out that the compressor performs well in most applications. It is able to provide sufficient power for most tools. The heavy-duty motor, as well as the pump, ensure the highest power. Also, we found that it provides sufficient pressure as well as air-flow rates.

  1. Ease of Use

The Porter Cable Compressor is quite easy to handle. If you’re already familiar with compressors, then you can get straight to using it. The top-mounted controls make it quite easy to monitor and control the operation of the compressor. What we absolutely love is that the compressor uses an electric start. You don’t need to gear it up or anything!

  1. Durability

Another plus is the durable cast iron construction. We found that the compressor is quite sturdy and strong.

  1. Quiet Operation

What’s more is that the compressor works very quietly. The noise rating of the unit is 71 decibels, which is quite low. This ensures that you can easily work with the compressor at home without disturbing your family.

What We Didn’t Like

  1. Oil Lubricated System

We usually do not like oil-lubricated compressors since they tend to add to the overall maintenance costs. You might need to change the oil often. Plus, the oil can get contaminated quite easily.

  1. Heavy Weight

Although the wheels make it portable, the heavyweight tends to be quite a drawback. You cannot easily carry it up the stairs. Any lifting in general is going to be tough.

  1. Takes Time To Fill Up

Since the capacity is quite large, it takes a lot of time to refill this air tank. We found that the compressor takes about 30 minutes to fill.

Where Can You Use The Porter Cable 30-gallon Compressor?

The 30-gallon capacity air compressor has a large number of uses for air power tools. The high capacity ensures you can easily use it for airbrushing, bolting, brad nailing or even stapling. In fact, you can easily use it with framing nailing, finish nailing and even roof nailing. It is perfect for most woodworking tools.

However, it cannot be used for very heavy-duty applications such as heavy-duty metal drilling, cutting, sanding or grinding. This is because these applications normally require more pressure. This is still sufficient and you can use it for most applications at home or in your workshop.

Who Should Buy This?

Well, since the product is quite easy to use, we recommend that beginners consider this product. It doesn’t have much of a learning curve. Those familiar with compressors can easily use it. The compressor is perfect for medium to heavy-duty jobs. Amateurs and hobbyists can buy this for their home workshops. Plus, it is quiet as well as portable, which are bonus points for using it at home. However, it can also be used by professionals in industries where not much power is needed.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What parts does the Porter Cable 30-gallon compressor have?

A: The Porter Cable 30-gallon compressor consists of the following parts:

  1. An electric motor
  2. Pump
  3. Air tank
  4. Pressure switch
  5. Airline outlet
  6. Gauges and controls

Q: What warranty does it have?

A: The compressor oil-lubricated pump comes with a limited warranty of 2 years. Apart from that, the rest of the parts are covered by a 1-year warranty.

Q: How often does the oil need changing?

A: You should change the oil after every 100 hours of use. However, you should keep a check on the oil through the sight glass provided with the compressor. If the level is low, then fill it up. Also, you should change the oil if it gets contaminated.

Q: How many stages does it have?

A: This is a single-stage compressor, which makes it faster than double-stage compressors.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Porter Cable 30-gallon air compressor is one of the best compressors for home use. The heavy-duty motor allows you to use it for all kinds of heavy-duty applications. We found it compared quite well and stood out against other 30-gallon compressors. What makes this compressor unique is its ease of use.

You will certainly find that the compressor will last long. In case it doesn’t, you always have the 2-year of warranty to all back on. It is efficient, durable and portable! At under $600, it’s not a bad deal at all. Despite its cons, it continues to amaze users, averaging a 5-star review.

Don’t you believe us? Check it out yourself!