The Pros and Cons of a Tankless Air Compressor
As with any decision in life, there are advantages and disadvantages for everything we do. When it comes to the decision to buy a tankless air compressor, we need to discuss the good and bad aspects before making a decision. Actually, when it comes to choosing an air compressor, there is a bit of a paradigm around the air storage tank.
Most air compressors have an air tank!
In fact, the air tank is often an integral part of the design of an air compressor. The pancake air compressor, hot dog compressor and vertical compressor are all named after the configuration of the air tank. Furthermore, the structural design of an air compressor is often based around the shape of the air storage tank. The roll cage and the protective shroud are welded directly to the air tank as part of the integral structure. Even the pressure gauges and connectors are often attached right on the top of the air tank.
The advantages of a tankless air compressor
Although it may seem strange at first, it is possible to buy a tankless air compressor. Many of the smaller 12 volt tire inflators do not have an air storage tank. There are some ultra quiet air compressors that do not have an air tank. And there are even some heavy duty gas powered air compressors that are designed as tankless air compressors. There are some good reasons to buy a tankless air compressor.
A tankless air compressor doesn’t need certification
An emerging issue these days is the certification of the compressed air tank. When it comes to ongoing safety management, the regulatory statutes may require an inspection regime for compressed air vessels. This can be a hassle to maintain a properly certified compressed air device. With a tankless air compressor, you never have to worry about having the machine tested and certified.
Tankless air compressor – Lightweight and portable
The biggest advantage of a tankless air compressor is the lighter weight. Most air storage tanks are made from heavy materials such as cast iron or stainless steel. Even a small air tank tends to add a lot of weight to an air compressor. A tankless air compressor can save a lot of weight, and make it much more portable. Not only is a tankless air compressor more portable, but it is generally smaller also. Small size is always an advantage when it comes to storing a tankless air compressor when not in use. But a small tankless air compressor is also much easier to handle, and carry around wherever you need to go. A small tankless air compressor is much easier to transport in the trunk of the car, or the truck.
Tankless air compressor – instant air flow
Another advantage of a tankless air compressor is that you get instant air delivery. There is no need to wait around for the air compressor to build up to operating pressure. With a tankless air compressor, the air is delivered directly from the air outlet, at the desired air pressure. As soon as you turn on the electric tankless air compressor, it is ready to go! It is also possible to buy a gas powered air compressor without an air tank. But it is wise to let these machines come up to operating temperature before starting work.
Disadvantages of a tankless air compressor
Whenever we try to go against the flow, I ask myself, why is everyone going the other way? In the case of a tankless air compressor, we should ask, why do most air compressors have an air tank? Without a doubt, the air storage tank serves an important purpose for an air compressor, but do we need one?
An air compressor tank saves power
The key role of an air storage tank on an air compressor is a reservoir for the compressed air. When the air compressor pump has filled the air tank to the maximum operating pressure, it simply shuts off. Not only does the automatic shut off save power, but it also saves wear and tear on the machine. The benefit of having a reservoir of compressed air is that you can draw down on the air supply. This means that you can continue to use air powered tools and accessories without the air pump running continuously. When the operating pressure drops below the threshold, the air pump automatically cuts in, and recharges the air supply. This means that you can buy an air compressor with less horsepower than you really need. The additional power can be supplied from the air storage tank for the times when you really need it.
An air compressor tank saves maintenance
When it comes to maintaining an air compressor, the amount of running time is important. The maintenance interval depends on the number of hours that the machine has run for. The good news is that when the air compressor shuts off automatically, then there is no accumulation of running time. When the running time is reduced, there is less wear on the air compressor, and less need to do maintenance.
A tankless air compressor runs continuously
The disadvantage of a tankless air compressor is that the air pump has to run continuously. There is no air supply unless the motor and the air pump are switched on. This means that the device is drawing energy at all times, and the components are working continuously. Even if you are not using the compressed air supply.
An air tank acts as a pressure regulator
The benefit of an air storage tank is that the air supply is regulated by the size of the tank. For example, the fluctuations and irregular flow of air from the air pump are smoothed out by the air tank. Any pulsations or fluctuations from the air pump are absorbed within the air storage tank. When the air is discharged from the reservoir, the compressed air is smooth and regulated at the desired operating pressure. There are no peaks or spikes in the operating air pressure, just a steady air supply at a regular air pressure.
A tankless air compressor may suffer from air fluctuations
The disadvantage of a tankless air compressor is that the air supply is subject to fluctuation in the air flow. Depending on how fast the motor is running, or whether the air pump is driven by a piston. There can be noticeable fluctuations in the air pressure when you use a tankless air compressor.
Where to buy a tankless air compressor?
Even though there are many disadvantages to buying a tankless air compressor, there are some useful device on the market. We have provided a list of the best tankless air compressor reviews. Hopefully you can find a tankless air compressor to suit your requirements.
1. Iwata-Medea Studio Series Ninja Jet Single Piston Air Compressor
The first tankless air compressor on our review is a contender for the smallest air compressor. In terms of performance, this small tankless air compressor is limited to functions such as air brushing or tire inflation. However, it is very small and lightweight, and takes up very little space. The Iwata Medea Studio Series Ninja jet air compressor is a great choice for studio artists. This small tankless air compressor is light enough to move around the studio with no problems and is quiet to operate. With an oil free air pump, it requires very little maintenance, and provides enough compressed air for all your studio projects.
Iwata Medea Studio Series Ninja jet tankless air compressor
- Oil free piston design
- Low maintenance air compressor
- Full metal shroud for protection
- Built in carry handle
- High pressure hose compatible with Iwata airbrush
- Built in airbrush holder
2. Silentaire Scorpion IW-C 1.5 horsepower Air Compressor
Silentaire have a reputation for producing unique and different air compressors. The Silentaire range of tankless air compressors is impressive for many reasons. The first is that these air compressors are virtually silent when running. The Silentaire Scorpion is certainly impressive because it has no air tank, and is very lightweight. With a maximum operating pressure of just 55 psi, it is not a high pressure air compressor. But if you only have a requirement for lower pressure supply, then the Silentaire Scorpion 1W-C is a great choice. Weighing in at just 10 pounds, this tankless air compressor a great choice for many applications. This mini air compressor is easy to use, easy to carry, and easy to store away when not in use.
Silentaire Scorpion tankless air compressor
- 1.5 horsepower
- Virtually silent air compressor
- Oil free pump
- Maintenance free
- 55 psi maximum operating pressure
- Flowrate 1.05 CFM at operating pressure
- Dual voltage supply – 110 volt or 230 volt
3. Silentaire Scorpion II Tankless Air Compressor
The next option for those looking for a tankless air compressor is the Silentaire Scorpion II. This machine is the latest design from Silentaire, and offers greater performance over its smaller cousin. The Silentaire Scorpion II comes with a double piston air pump, which provides greater air supply, at 55 psi. The Silentaire Scorpion II is a clever design with automatic shut off when not in use. It also has protection in case of overheating or over pressure and will shut down automatically. The automatic shut off feature saves wear and tear on the machine by reducing the time the machine is running. This tankless air compressor also comes with a moisture trap to eliminate condensation problems in the air lines.
Silentaire Scorpion II
- Dual piston air compressor
- Tankless Air Compressor
- Oil free, low maintenance air pump
- Output compressed air: 1.1 CFM
- Maximum Operating Pressure: 55 PSI
- Quiet to operate
- Compressor dimensions: 10.0 x 4.5 x 7
4. Gast DOA-P701-AA Oil less Air Compressor
The Gast tankless air compressor is a novelty design of air compressor which utilises a diaphragm air system. This innovative design reduces the number of moving parts in the machine, and requires less maintenance. It also provides the advantage of reducing the amount of weight. This is a very lightweight air compressor, because it does not have an air tank. Nor does this air compressor rely on a heavy metal air pump.
Gast DOA-P701-AA tankless Air Compressor
- Current requirement – 0.8 amp
- Voltage – 110 v
- Duty Cycle: Continuous
- Diaphragm compressor pump
- Air Flow Rate – 1.1 CFM
- Maximum operating Pressure – 60 PSI
5. Silentaire Super Silent 20-a Whisper Quiet Air Compressor
The Silentaire range of quiet air compressors are truly whisper quiet to operate. With a noise level less than a normal conversation, this handy air compressor will not cause any distractions. The Silentaire Super Silent 20-a Air Compressor is an innovative machine with built in moisture trap and line pressure regulator. It also comes with a safety release valve, air filter and automatic shut off for protection. The Silentaire Super Silent 20-a Air Compressor can deliver up to a maximum operating pressure of 85 psi. The flowrate is a very handy 0.7 CFM, at operating pressure. The pressure has a variable control setting and is regulated anywhere between 55 and 85 psi.
Silentaire Super Silent 20-a Air Compressor features:
- Fully automatic
- Output: 0.7 CFM
- Max Pressure: 85 PSI
- Operating Pressure: 55-85 PSI
- Noise Level: 30 Decibels
|Model||Max Pressure||FlowRate||Tank Size||Weight|
|35 psi Max||Low Flow|
IW-C 1.5 hp
|55 psi Max||1.05 SCFM |
@ 55 PSI
|Silentaire Scorpion II Tankless Air |
|55 psi Max||1.2 SCFM |
@ 55 PSI
|60 psi Max||1.1 SCFM |
@ 60 PSI
|Silentaire Super |
|55-85 psi||0.7 SCFM |
@ 85 PSI
Which is best – Tankless air compressor vs air compressor with tank?
The lesson is to do the research to discover which is the best tankless air compressor for your application. Then you can choose the best type of air compressor to meet your expectations. If you need an air compressor with a tank, then click here to check out our list of the best small and portable air compressors.
If you think your needs can be satisfied by a tankless air compressor, then we hope we can help you find the best one for you. Please drop us a line, we would like to know what tankless air compressor you recommend also!