California Air Tools CAT-1610A review

California Air Tools CAT-1610A review

California Air Tools CAT-1610A is an oil-free, ultra quiet air compressor with a 1hp motor and 1.6 gallon Aluminium tank. This is the one to go for when you are looking for a small air compressor to be used at home or for light professional work. The 1hp motor proves to be quite powerful for tire pumping or any DIY projects around the home and it is really quiet, which is important for an air compressor aimed to be used at home.


California Air Tools CAT-1610A Specifications:

  • Model – California Air Tools CAT-1610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 1.6-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor
  • Maximum Pressure – 120PSI
  • Horsepower – 1.0 hp
  • Motor capacity – 7.8 A Electric, Low Amp Draw
  • Tank – 1.6 gallon, Aluminium
  • Tank fill – 50 seconds from empty to full
  • Recovery time from 90 PSI to 120 PSI – 20 Seconds
  • Sound Level – 60dB
  • Pump – oil free
  • Output at 40 PSI – 3.8 CFM
  • Output at 90 PSI – 2.35 CFM
  • Quick connector – 1 x1.4” Industrial Connector
  • Dimensions – 17.3 x 14.2 x 14.6 inches, 35 pounds
  • Voltage – 110 Volts
  • Thermal Overload Protector
  • Two pressure control gauges
  • Comes complete with Air Filter

Here we offer the main features of California Air Tools CAT-1610A Air Compressor

    1. 1.6 Gallon Aluminium Tank – The California Air Tools CAT-1610A  is definitely not designed to be an industrial compressor, but sufficient enough for any home DIY work. Due to it’s size and the two piston pump it is equipped with, it only takes 50 seconds for the tank to go from empty to 120 PSI. What is a plus here is the fact that it is made out of aluminium, which helps turning the CAT-1610A into a very lightweight compressor and it also prevents any rust that might occur.
    2. Low maintenance – The California Air Tools CAT-1610A is an oil-free air compressor with a 2 piston direct-drive pump. All this means that no maintenance is required, apart from draining the tank after use.
    3. Fast recharge pump and strong performance – The dual piston pump works with 1hp, which allows air to be replenished quickly. The fact that the pressure builds up in 50 seconds from empty and it takes only 20 seconds to recover from cut in 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 3.8 CFM
    4. Semi-portable – The CAT-1610A doesn’t have wheels, but it is light enough to move it around or even store it on a truck or boat. If you are to store it on a floor space, it will be a great idea to place it over rubber mats, which will improve the sound level even more.
    5. Ultra quiet air compressor –  The California Air Tools CAT-1610A excels when it comes to quiet operation. California Air Tools has developed a range of air compressors which operate at 60 dB and this one is one of them. What is even better in CAT-1610A is the fact that the motor runs at only 1680 RPM, which reduces vibration and helps the quiet operation of the unit.
    6. Thermal overload protector – as you can use the air compressor continuously for up to an hour, this might cause the internal temperature to raise too much. Here is where the thermal overload protector will kick in and switch the unit off in order to prevent overheating.
    7. Low Amp Draw – the motor draws only 7.8 Apm when working, which is great because you can run the air compressor from your standard home outlet and even run other electric appliances (as long as they don’t have High Amp draw) on the same circuit.

Here is a summary of all the PROS for California Air Tools CAT-1610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 1.6-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor

  • Quiet – the California Air Tools CAT-1610A is by far one of the quietest on the market and this is one of the biggest pros an air compressor might have, especially when it is aimed for home use.
  • Fast recovery time and strong performance – due to the combination of powerful motor and dual piston pump. CAT-1610A delivers and even excels, as soon as you are clearly aware of it’s possibilities.
  • Low maintenance – the pump is oil-free and the tank is aluminium rust free.
  • Lightweight
  • 3000 hours of lifecycle guaranteed by the manufacturer for the oil-free dual piston pump
  • Easy to read gauges, controls with a good grip and easy to reach drain valve
  • Excellent customer service and user friendly instructions manual

Here are the CONS for  California Air Tools CAT-1610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 1.6-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor

  • 1.6 gallon tank – not very high capacity
  • Not good for continuous airflow tools
  • Made in China – this shouldn’t really be an issue, as the model has a strong build.
  • Only 1 year limited warranty


Overall, there is near to nothing to fault the CAT-1610A for. It is a great small quiet air compressor to have at home. It will deliver when it comes to inflating or any home DIY tasks. It might seem a little bit expensive, but it pays off with its strong performance, lightweight and quiet operation. The CAT-1610A is exactly what it is advertised to be, so no unpleasant surprises there.

About the author

Thomas Haugen