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Portable air tank

who sell the best portable air tanks .are they all about the same.

How Is It Going To Be Used ? Will It Be Used Daily Or Weekly Or Only Rarely ?

I have one that I bought a few decades ago that I use about once every five years. I live in the middle of nowhere and when I need one, I need one. It works just fine. For that type use I can’t see spending a lot on one.

If I used one frequently I might opt for a stainless steel tank.

The price difference is probably a factor of 3x - 4x ($35 - $140 ?). The hose, valve, and gauge are probably similar on different models, but you should have a look at them. If you get the regular steel model, get one with an easy to use drain at the bottom.

How often are you going to use it and what are you planning to inflate/blow ?


An air tank without its brother, ‘‘the compressor’’, will barely air up one flat tire.
Unless you have a ready source of refill air, a tank alone isn’t a whole lot of good.

Everything hinges on how and why you want to use it.

i have a portable air compressor that’s served me well since I got it as a christmas present a few years ago. Nice to have when I want to fill my tires up and not have to drive anywhere, and possibly get charged by them to do so.

I have four or five of them around the house and shop. At some point the only one not to begin leaking around the hose and gauge connections has been one I made myself out of an old 50 lb R-12 container about 40 years ago. (When was the last time you saw a 50 pound R-12 container?) They used to sell kits for that. I don’t think the kits are available now since we’re supposed to dispose of refrigerant containers as hazardous waste. My newest one came from Tractor Supply a couple of years ago. At about five gallons, it is much too small. I think it leaked a little bit the first time I filled it. It has a date stamp on one leg that says “Dispose of by…” . I think it will be five years old if and when I toss it. I’m sure the Chinese company that made it knows that rust from the inside is hazardous to the longevity of the container. The date absolves them of some liability.

Since the mid 90s the bulk refrigerant tanks have been required to have check valves to prevent refilling them. Crooks were buying the empties from shops, filling them with butane and selling as freon. Butane is a very good refrigerant but a leak will make a car into a bomb. The check valves cannot be removed without destroying the tank so they cannot be used for compressed air.

I’ve got a converted propane tank at the cabin but you never get the smell out and don’t think they sell the conversion kits anymore. You can get a small portable compressor and tank for about $50 which is far more useful than just a tank though. Its enough to fill tires, run a small staple gun and even run a nailer for intermittant use.

I’d be careful with converted propane/freon tanks, they aren’t built to handle high pressure.

edit - maybe not - propane pressure is about 200 psi at 110 F, R12 about 135 psi.

I’m with Bing. If you don’t need a compressor for air tools, just an electric pump and a portable air tank. Though it is limited, it’s great to have the option of just topping off tires without being tied to a cord or battery. I use mine extensively on the shore for Dolley tire and tube top offs.

Why even bother with an air tank? Sure the cig lighter pump takes a while to fill up a tire on a car, but I have never used it on a car, bikes most often, worry more about why you need one, get the air leak fixed and call it a day.

That is what OP asked about ? There are times when you aren’t near electricity or a car and still need air for tires on trailers, bikes etc, and a tire pump just isn’t that much fun.

Air tanks aren’t very effective, though. You may be able to fill one tire fully. A lot of trouble, if you ask me.
I agree with @Barkydog. Those pumps are cheap and they work, albeit slowly.

If OP is talking about a portable air tank, you are right about filling one tire at a time from flal, and all you work with is car tires. But, try topping of tires quickly on multiple cars.

I may be different, but I just don’t find anything more convienient for a lot of uses. Of course we have a compressor, AC air station and car pumps off battery jumpers…everything has it’s place. But we also have a lot of things with pneumatic tires. Air tanks are FASTER. Try to fill a boat trailer tubeless tire off it’s bead with a slow pump while still on the trailer. I have been able to get it started and sealed with a tank. Saves a trip to a garage station and paying an attendant.

They sell tanks at HarborFreight. They were pretty cheap, around $30, if memory serves.

The OP may be better off getting a small pancake compressor when they are on sale.
They are more versatile. If you’re doing something around the house, you can drag it anywhere you need. I have a large compressor in the basement with a reel on the side of the house so I can drag the hose onto the driveway or into the garage but often just use the small one for its convenience.
I’ve seen the Porter Cable one go for $120. It is a work horse. Stay away from Husky - they are noisy, take forever to charge and don’t seem to last.
The small pancake compressors are the same size as a five gallon so easily fit in the trunk. If you’re out, you can always find an outlet somewhere to charge it with in a pinch.

Home Depot has one for around $35 that is 10-11 gallons and is rated to hold 150 PSI.