Recommendations for an air compressor

Hi, I was looking at purchasing an air compressor for use with the pneumatics system, but I’m not really sure what I should get. Does anyone have a recommendation for this?

Bicycle pump - seriously best and most portable solution.

Bring a noisy air compressor to competition, you will annoy a lot of people.

Added benefit, it helps develop upper body strength.


+1 for bicycle pump.
Works just fine, and chances are, someone on your team has one already. It only takes a few seconds to get 2 tanks up to 100 psi, faster than most portable air compressors I’ve seen.


Ryobi battery powered portable handheld compressors are pretty commonly used. They pump up really fast and are small and easy to trasnport.


+1 for this. As a referee I was able to watch teams inflate their system at the field and confirm the PSI on the display. It worked pretty quick and I don’t think the team had to charge it during our event.


Do you have a link for this? I found a couple different models, but I’m not sure which one it is.

This is the one we have:

Though it does appear that there are some newer models with digital gauges that might be worth getting instead.


I found the digital model here. The reviews are mixed but mostly positive. It is returnable until Jan 31, so I will try this one out. It seems like I will have to purchase the battery separately though.

Our team uses a bike pump and it works well. Its nice that its quiet.

Note: The only downside is I am the only one able to pump it up to full pressure (100 psi) because my teammates are not heavy enough.

Just make sure you somebody weighs a bit over 100 lbs to pump it


hmmm. why is it you can get mechanical advantage with a level, but that does not work with pumps (general, not specific to bike pumps)… Maybe a different style pump can get you quiet and 100 psi :slight_smile:

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We use this compressor.


You might want to think about getting one of those bicycle pumps with a foot pedal instead.

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we have one of these, works amazingly

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Remembers our scuffed biking adventure

I purchased the Ryobi cordless inflator for our organization several years ago. It functions well but the Ryobi line of tools lacks durability compared to better brands. Over several years of competition, we’ve burned out/replaced one inflator and two battery packs. A couple of our teams stick to hand pumps.

Unfortunately, none of the pro/prosumer brands (Dewalt, Milwaukee, etc) make inflators, so we’re stuck buying a consumer product, and suffer the associated lack of durability.

Next time our inflator burns out, I’ll probably go to Harbor Freight and get theirs ( …at least I can get a better warranty. There is also potential (I’ve read about it, but not done it myself) that Dewalt batteries can be used on Bauer tools.

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It looks like DeWalt does make an inflator ( It might be better, but I haven’t handled, let alone used the device in question.


That DeWalt inflator did pretty well in Project Farm’s testing, looks like the Ryobi did okay too.

Worth noting that he’s testing those pumps by inflating car tires, which is a different application to VRC pneumatics (higher volume, lower pressure), not sure if that would make a significant difference in the relative performance of the pumps.

The DeWalt model is way more expensive though – if longevity is the concern, at current prices you can buy 2 or 3 of the Ryobi pump, have 1 or 2 spares handy, and still spend around half the cost of the DeWalt. If the Ryobi lasts 1 or 2 years on average before dying, I’d probably take that deal. That’s not including the cost of batteries and chargers which seems to be a bit higher on the DeWalt side as well, although if you are already invested in one of the ecosystems that’s a factor as well.


I tried inflating a single double acting pneumatic reservoir with this air compressor- however, after reaching about 60 PSI, it slows down and takes forever to change at all, let alone reach 100 psi, which is the max legal operating pressure.
Has anyone else with this compressor experienced this issue?

I have this version and it works really really well. About a 5 sec full Fill up time for one reservoir. ($144.97)

We love this little guy. Super quiet, size is manageable, but does need power.
California Air Tools Light & Quiet 1P1060SP Portable Air Compressor

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