Cordless air supply will softly rock your world

- —Tested by Bob Hunter, Tools Editor

18-volt air compressor, no. 2840-20, $350 (no battery or charger included)

It seems there’s always a “yeah, but” attribute for an air compressor, whether it’s the noise of an oil-free unit, the weight of a model built to hold up to job-site use, or the need to be near an electric outlet. Milwaukee’s Fuel compressor addresses all of those. Powered by a single 18-volt rechargeab­le battery, the 2840-20 can be carried and used anywhere. It’s built ruggedly and weighs 31 pounds, a reasonable compromise. And it runs at an astonishin­gly quiet 68 decibels.

The two-gallon tank holds enough air—and the pump refilled it quickly enough when it kicked on—that I fired 2" 15-gauge finish nails without having to stop and wait. Curious about how long the battery could keep this up, I cycled the pump 36 times on a fully charged 6-amp-hour battery pack. If you have two battery packs, you’ll likely never get caught waiting for one to recharge.

I found the hose-pressure adjuster easy to use. And the steel tank’s quarter-turn drain valve opened and closed easily. I don’t see why this couldn’t be my full-time shop compressor.

Milwaukee 800-729-3878, milwaukeet­ool.com

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