Home Air Compressor Reviews PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor Review

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor Review

In the ultra-portable category is this low-priced 1.5-gallon Porter-Cable air compressor that is 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI with a water drain valve and rubber feet. The max PSI is 150 so with the already small tank you will have to wait considerably less for it to recover. The pump on the inside of the unit is the standard oil-free version requiring little to no maintenance over the years. Its 20-pound weight won’t break your back and the handle makes it as easy to carry as a backpack. The bonus with this particular unit is the plentiful accessories such as the 25-foot coil hose and 8-piece accessory kit. You’re sure to find the piece you need when it comes to that unique job.

As with many of these units the warranty is only for 1 year on compressor components, so depending on your situation it’s a pretty hit-or-miss warranty. The customer support is still tops, and you won’t waste any unnecessary time getting to the root of the problem if one arises. Noise is a minor issue, although it isn’t too loud at 79 dBa, but it isn’t exactly quiet either. There are a multitude of tasks this air compressor can handle, but be warned it isn’t for air tools or other devices that would require a more steady flow of power. If using this for general inflation duties you won’t be disappointed, especially since it can fit in the trunk of any car. There are few air compressors that come with this many accessories to start you out, and even without the accessories the compressor itself isn’t half bad.

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Power vs Portability

This is a great argument for this particular unit, because its incredible portability really distracts from the fact that it’s really meant more for inflation rather than work tasks. The 1.5-gallon tank is ideal in keeping it at 20 pounds, but I would’ve loved to add in extra 1.5 gallons. Not only is this little bugger powerful enough to handle a 3-gallon tank, but I believe it would thrive in a setting where it has to inflate several objects back to back. The extra tank room would also add the possibility of using the unit for small air tools like a brad nailer.

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This is all wishful thinking, but there really was a good opportunity to add an extra 1.5 gallons and still keep it at about 22 pounds in total weight. At its current capacity, you still have a pretty powerful unit with a 120-low amp motor that can start in cold weather or adverse conditions. The cut in restart is at 120 PSI while the running HP is .8 at a low 10 amps when at full peak. The built-in regulator does a really good job of managing everything and keeping it going without any hiccups, and for such a small unit it’s really efficient. Hopefully, they’ll update this model down the line with a larger tank while still keeping some of the core features of the original.


There have been some questions about the quality of the included accessories, but it still doesn’t change the fact that you don’t have to purchase extra pieces with this product. It’s ready to go out of the box, coil hose and all. The 25-inch coil hose is a real treat as no shortcuts were taken with its construction. The quality is the same as one off the shelf at Home Depot or Lowes. The same can’t be said for the 8-piece accessory kit, which includes a horde of adapters of sub-par quality to the coil hose and the air compressor itself. All of the included materials can easily be replaced with higher grade materials if you choose to go that route, but unless you’re a perfectionist, the cheaply made accessories do a good enough job to be worth keeping them around. The gauges are pretty solid and won’t cause you any frustrating PSI miscalculations, although some caution is necessary.

Noise Level

Like many air compressor units that stand up, this one works best when put on a flat surface so it can’t move around. The 79 dBA isn’t a major noise concern except if you’re in an environment where people are trying to relax or sleep. For example, if you’re using it during a family BBQ there won’t be any complaints at all. Try using it in an RV where everyone is sleeping inside and you’ll have some unhappy campers. The noise level is about average compared to other air compressors, so it’s not too big of an issue to concern yourself with.

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Porter-Cable was gracious enough to include a lot of pieces with this unit to help customers looking for a ‘starter kit’ rather than a new air compressor for a massive project. It’s ready to go straight out of the box, and the manual is very clear and easy to understand. There are some gripes about the tank size, but for what it’s worth everyone thinks the same of any tank size,┬áit could always be a little bigger. You can’t go wrong with this air compressor if you’re looking for an all-in-one inflator, and at the very least it’ll save you spending extra money on accessories.