The Hitachi EC119SA 4 Gallon Dual Stack Air Compressor has many of the features of a large compressor in a compact and portable unit. With top-notch power, this unit is ready for action. Equipped with a powerful 2.5 HP induction motor running at 15 amps, connected to a cast iron pump cylinder with oversized bearings and oil lubricated.
The Hitachi EC119SA 4 Gallon Dual Stack Air Compressor has many of the features of a large compressor in a compact and portable unit. With top-notch power, this unit is ready for action. Equipped with a powerful yet quiet 2.5 HP induction motor running at 15 amps and a large metal cooling fan integrated into the package. The pump crankcase is oil lubricated and features oversized bearings for long life. The compressor head is cast iron with large fins on the outside to help with cooling. All of this is enclosed in a steel roll cage for protection, which also doubles as a carrying handle. The control panel is located on the front of the unit and includes separate tank and line pressure gauges, a positive lock line pressure regulator and two quick connectors. Both gallon tanks have separate ball valve drains. Some other features include thick rubber feet on the bottom, a manual overload protection button, and a place to wrap the power cord when not in use.
When we received the compressor for inspection it came in a good sized heavy duty cardboard box. Even with minimal styrofoam packaging, the compressor won't move during shipping. Also included in the box is a dip, an 8-ounce bottle of synthetic oil to put in the crankcase, and instructions for use.
The first thing we did was pour the full bottle of oil into the compressor crankcase as the manual instructed, then installed the included dipstick into the fill hole. No additional parts or assembly are required. Next, we closed the tank drain, plugged the compressor's power cord into an outlet, and unplugged the power switch. The power switch on this compressor is activated by pulling out a small red button, if off is done by pushing it back. As with most compressors, we expected this one to run loud, but we were a little surprised it hummed at a very tolerable noise level. We were able to easily carry on a conversation on the device without shouting. We paired it with the HHitachi NR90AE Round Head 3-1/2" Framing Nailer to see how it fares in the field.
Another thing that surprised us was how quickly the compressor tank filled up. Fast filling is possible thanks to the large motor and premium compressor pump. Another feature that sets this compressor apart from other similar compressors like the Bosch CET4-20W is its impressive 4.0 CFM air volume at 90 PSI. This amount of air is enough to run several nailers at once without having to keep the compressor running continuously.
To put our compressor to the test, we took it to one of our building projects where a framing crew had just started building a large hipped roof on a new screen porch. The initial reaction from the person in charge was that the small compressor couldn't "keep up", which was a way of saying it couldn't deliver enough air volume to keep the nail gun firing framing nails under constant use. To their surprise, where did they go wrong up! This is the little compressor that can! The only downside we encountered was that it was hard to start on cold mornings, which we believe has to do with the fact that the oil is thicker when cold, so it takes extra effort from the motor to get it moving until it warms up. Once the compressor is up and running, it can run non-stop throughout the day.
The only other complaint we got from these guys is that it weighs 64 pounds, which is pretty heavy for its compact size. This also means in the real world that if you have to trek this thing up and down the stairwell to get to the work area, it can become quite a hassle. We ended up getting a 100 foot hose to carry around so we didn't have to move it around. Other than that, the Hitachi EC119SA 4 Gallon Dual Stack Air Compressor was more than capable of handling everything we tried to do with it, including using a roofing, framing, and veneer nailer.
Quality build and heavy-duty construction make the Hitachi EC119SA 4 Gallon Dual Stack Air Compressor reliable and a great addition to any job site. We felt that some of the negative aspects of the compressor were quickly replaced by many positive ones.