California Air Tools CAT-10020 review

California Air Tools CAT-10020 review

California Air Tools CAT-10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 2.0 HP 10.0-Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor is a powerful electric air compressor, which stands out with a big 10 gallon steel tank, the possibility to be moved around on its wheels and the fact that it is one of the quietest air compressors in its class. It is aimed not only for home, but also for professional use. It comprises of two 1.4” Industrial Connectors, which allow running two tools at the same time. The Oil-Free Dual Piston pump is maintenance free and fills up the tank in less than 130 seconds. The delivered air is 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI and in combination with the big capacity of the tank means the unit can be used with some bigger tools which require continuous air flow. The California Air compressor 10020 is a great choice if you are looking not only for a unit to be used for pumping tyres or home DIY, but also for shop owners and professionals working on bigger projects.

California Air Tools CAT-10020 Specifications:

  • Model – California Air Tools CAT-10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 2.0 HP 10.0-Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor
  • Maximum Pressure – 125PSI
  • Horsepower – 2.0 hp
  • Motor capacity – 14 A Electric
  • Tank – 10.0 gallon, steel
  • Tank fill – less than 130 seconds
  • Sound Level – 70 dB
  • Pump – oil free
  • Output at 90 PSI – 5.30 CFM
  • Quick connector – 2 x1.4” Industrial Connector
  • Dimensions – 17 x 16 x 33 inches, 88 pounds
  • Voltage – 110 Volts
  • Ball drain valve
  • Thermal Overload Protector

The main features of California Air Tools CAT-10020:

  1. 10 Gallon Steel Tank – The California Air Tools CAT-10020 is aimed for professionals and that is why the tank capacity is big enough. The tank is made of steel, which speaks about quality and durability. As per California Air Tools, the tank takes 130 seconds to go from empty to 125 PSI and it really does, due to the two piston pump and the 2.0 HP motor. It is also a plus that the motor runs at 1680 RPMS not causing a lot of vibration, which helps the quiet performance as well.
  2. Low maintenance – The California Air Tools CAT-10020 is an oil-free air compressor with a 2 piston direct-drive pump. Apart from the usual emptying of the tank through the big ball valve, no additional maintenance is required.
  3. Fast recharge pump and strong performance – The dual piston pump operates with 2.0 hp, which allows the quick air refill as soon as the pressure drops under 90 PSI. The CAT – 10020 can be used for some continuous flow tools and accessories. The quickly built up pressure makes any light automotive jobs possible. It is also great for pumping tires, airbrushing and can be used with any tools requiring up to 5.30 CFM which is outstanding.
  4. Semi-portable – we say semi-portable because although it comes with a set of wheels, the unit is quite heavy at 88 pounds. The handle that has on top helps the ability to pull it around, however this is not the model’s best feature. What is great tho is the fact that even for a vertical air compressor, it is only 32” inch tall and would fit under a workbench and definitely helps the easy storage of the unit. This is not an item to be carried around in a truck or a boat.
  5. Ultra quiet air compressor – the CAT-10020 is advertised as ultra quiet, and it is one of the quietest in its class. It is operating at 70 dB, which is quite a decent number for the powerful motor and tank capacity that this model offers. At 70 dB you don’t need to worry that you will be disturbing your neighbours and also you can easily use it in enclosed spaces.
  6. 2 Hose Connectors – comes very handy when you need to run two tools at the same time. However, do not forget that the pump will kick back on when the pressure drops under 90 PSI. Still, the recovery time is only a few minutes.
  7. Thermal overload protector – if you are working on a big project and you are using powerful tools you will have to run the unit for extended time period. This is when the thermal overload protector comes as a great feature in order to prevent your compressor from overheating.

Here is a summary of all the PROS for California Air Tools CAT-10020:

  • The 10 gallon capacity of the tank makes the CAT-10020 in an outstanding oil free air compressor for professional and home use. The delivered air flow and pressure levels are impressive when demanded in bigger projects.
  • The dual piston pump combined with 2.0 HP motor assures the quick refill of the tank and the continuous airflow required for bigger tools for professional use.
  • Low maintenance – nothing more than emptying the tank after use, which would also allow your unit longer life. California Air Tools promises 3000 hours of pump durability, which is no way near the competitors have offered so far.
  • Portable and easy to store – we have decided that this is one of the PROS for the CAT-10020. However, you need to bare in mind that with its 88 lb it is quite heavy despite being equipped with wheels and handle for an ease to be carried around. But this can be compensated in a way with the fact that it’s only 32” tall and allows easy storage.
  • Quiet – an absolute gem with impressive 70 dB while operating and for the taken in mind motor power and tank capacity. It also comprises of a quick start valve designed for a non loud start. Here is a video which gives a good idea of how loud the CAT-10020 is compared to other brands
  • 2 Hose Connectors
  • Fast recovery time – it takes only few minutes to fill the tank from empty.
  • Easy to read gauges, controls with a good grip and easy to reach drain valve

Here are the CONS for California Air Tools CAT-10020:

  • Questionable wheel set – very much like the CAT – 6130, the wheels for this model seem to be of a poor quality. Another downfall is that you have to assemble the wheels yourself.
  • Heavy – the 88 lb definitely are not a plus, but this is what we need to compromise with when we talk about a 10 gallon tank.
  • Made in China – in most cases this means poor quality. However, with this model we think think only the wheels can be at fault.


California Air Tools CAT-10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 2.0 HP 10.0-Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor is definitely a competitor. It is aimed for professional use and it delivers. Powerful motor, high capacity tank, impressive airflow, quiet, low maintenance and all this on wheels…excellent choice for a fair price.

California Air Tools CAT-10020

Buy it now

About the author

Thomas Haugen

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