How good is the Silverline DIY Air Compressor? We put it to the test in this review!
No professional mechanic worth his salt doesn’t have a huge compressor and a whole stack of air tools lying about. They’re just an industry standard nowadays, almost important as a set of spanners or the ability to suck air through your teeth and say “that’s gonna cost you luv”.
But although air tools are becoming more and more of a staple for many of us who regularly work on our cars too, who’s got the 500-quid upwards to drop on an industrial-size compressor? Or the space to store one for that matter?
Well, that’s where smaller, more DIY-focussed items can be our savour. And here’s one of the most affordable versions on the market…
IN THE BOX
Although it’s designed as a basic bit of kit, this new compressor from Silverline has everything you need for the vast majority of mechanical jobs.
Tank size is the main consideration when it comes to compressors of course, professional items for garages, spray shops and factories will have a capacity of anything from 100-500 litres, sometimes even more, because they often need to run their tools constantly, all day, every day.
Obviously, we don’t have that problem with the majority of automotive tasks. So, as it’s rare that we need to use our tools for extended periods, it stands to reason that a smaller tank will do the job nicely. In this case the capacity is 24-litres and, assuming you’re not going to be painting a whole car every couple of hours, that’s plenty.
Topping up that tank is a reliable 2 horsepower motor, which (having a little more power than our Jules’ new Beemer) fills the tank to 116psi in no time at all. It then cuts out ready to re-start when it needs a top up. Crucially a safety pressure valve and thermal cut-out are included in the compact design to ensure nothing can go wrong. It may sound like a small point, but not having these is the reason some unbranded items can become little more than a ticking time bomb.
This unit also comes with adjustable flow and a duo of Hi Flow EURO connector outlets, and hving two is always a bonus. The standard threads also mean these are easily swapped should you prefer using Standard/Type19 fittings with your tools.
FAST CAR’S VERDICT
The Silverline DIY Air Compressor certainly not the biggest compressor out there, but think of that as an advantage. The small stature makes this one infinitely portable and that in turn makes it more useful, negating the need for miles and miles of air-hose every time you need to do a job. It’ll fit in the boot of your average hatchback with no trouble whatsoever too.
Yes, it has wheels, and that makes it great for scooting around your drive for changing wheels and the like. As long as you’re not feeling lazy you should be able to lift it to wherever you need.
Of course, the main question here is if a weenie 24-litre tank will be enough. But, for the most part at least, I’d say it is. You wouldn’t be able to run any tools for more than a few minutes before you drained the tank and run out of pressure, but there’s not many cases when you need much more than a short blast anyway. To give you some idea we used one to run two impact guns on the Davanti Tyre Challenge all day long at Japfest and it didn’t miss a beat. It even had the grunt to lift an industrial air-ramp, so that should tell you all you need to know. In fact, I might not bother sending this one back.
In a nutshell: Decent built quality, amazing value, a great budget buy.
Price £81 (list price)
1500W, 2HP air-cooled motor
Single stage pump
116PSI Max Working Pressure
Includes 2x 3-in-1 quick connectors
Safety valve and thermal cut out.