California Air Tools CAT-6310 Ultra Quiet 6.3-Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor Review

There aren’t a lot of air compressors that claim to be quiet. The California Air Tools CAT-6310 goes further than just proving that a quiet unit is possible — this air compressor’s dBA shatters previous records for a unit of its size and larger. A total of 60 decibels is, in many cases, a full 20 decibels quieter than other units; a remarkable feat for a 6.3-gallon tank and 49-pound total weight. The pump is oil-free and will last for years with minimal maintenance provide you correctly perform monthly check-ups. It has a strong 1 HP when running and 2 HP at its peak, which isn’t an incredibly strong motor but works quite well for units of the same size.

The price is somewhere around the middle point for those looking in that range, although you get a lot for what you pay. When transporting, the wheels are very well built and will not give you any trouble getting from point A to B. At full operation you can expect it to only run at 1680 RPM for efficiency and to keep the sound to a minimum. The mechanics of the unit allow it to operate perfectly on uneven terrain and even adverse temperatures, not interrupting your hard, daily work. Excess water is removed from the air through the added water trap, another performance enhancing solution that makes this such a great buy. If noise is your main concern and you need a big air compressor, this would definitely guarantee you get the most out of a unit without sacrificing too much in other areas. As a portable unit that performs great in different conditions, it is a winner in every way.


You’d think with a steel tank that toughness would be a given, but there are some noticeable areas of concern at first glance. The motor and gauges are exposed with no outer casings to protect them from impact. This can prove problematic as it’s a mobile unit, not a stationary one, where just about any hazard that comes its way can damage and render the unit either dangerous or inoperable. The gauges are already inaccurate to begin with, but constant knocking and use over the years without any protection will render them totally unreliable, especially if the unit is transported a lot. There are also exposed hoses, which don’t have a convenient cord-wrap feature to safeguard them. So although the unit itself is portable, any extras that have to be attached to it can’t go along with the unit — at least not as neatly as they should.


It’s easily 20 decibels quieter than any other unit in the market with the same specs, including units half its weight. There is a lot to love about a whisper quiet air compressor that can run without frustrating the neighbors or disturbing your family. And the fact that California Air Tools managed to do this without sacrificing power is a testament to how well it’s built. At just 60 decibels, a lot of customers worry that the mechanics will degrade over time to the point that the unit will eventually be as loud as some of the other machines on the market. That isn’t the case, as customers who have had the unit for a long time have not reported a decline in the dB.

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As long as you follow the regular maintenance guidelines there is nothing to worry about as your unit will be as quiet 5 years from now as it was the day you bought it. If you factor in whatever tools or other items attached to it that makes noise, you have the perfect foundation to build a quiet work space in your garage, for example, that doesn’t interrupt the rest of the house.

Some Key Features

To give you an idea of how solid this can be, when going from 90 to 120 PSI the recovery time is only 50 seconds. From an empty to full tank you’re looking at 130 seconds, not super fast but not bad either. There are worse ratings on other units, and considering it is a 6.3-gallon tank that’s a pretty appropriate time if you do the math. For safety, there is a thermal overload protector and two pressure control gauges so you can monitor the action as it happens. The gauges give slightly off readings but nothing significant enough to worry about.

This is an ETL-certified unit with  a 1-year limited warranty, which is standard, and isn’t worth much considering you’re more likely to need it after a year of use. It has a 0.25-inch universal quick connector and you can expect an amp draw of only 7.6, so nothing that will break your circuit. Heat is handled very well by the overall construction, and dissipates a lot more efficiently than in other models.


A life cycle of 3,000 hours is the hallmark of this great product that shows that not all portable air compressors are alike. There is a lot to love about the California Air Tools CAR-6310 and that isn’t even counting it’s greatest feature of being quiet. You’ll get a lot of work out of this unit, and although the lack of protection surrounding the important parts is disappointing, this is still an ideal solution for someone who wants a good value air compressor.