Pros: Light weight, easy to use, auto shut off, lighted dial.
Cons: Just barely powerful enough.
This is an air compressor by Black and Decker. This actually replaced by old Air Station from 1995. It still pumps but the hose broke so I replaced it with this model. I have not attempted to fix the old unit and I'm not sure it can be fixed because the break is right on the face of the unit.
There are quite a few upgrades with this Black and Decker Air Station, and one major downgrade. The first thing I noticed was the pumping power was not as high as my old one. I am estimating that it is about half the power. But it is still powerful enough to pump my truck tire up, just a little more slowly. And yes, it is more powerful then my combination jumpstarter/light/12V outlet/compressor unit I reviewed last year (‘08). That unit was not powerful enough to pump up my truck tire so I was forced to buy this, and I am glad I did.
One of the upgrades is that it can be powered by AC current or by a 12V plug in your car. So you no longer need to drag out your extension cord to run this, just plug it in the car. One thing I discovered by accident was the unit pumps at a higher level when the car is on. I have not noticed any difference in power when comparing the AC mode vs. the 12V mode (with car on.)
The second upgrade is really sweet. It has an auto off feature you can set. It is a dial on the cylindrical pressure meter. You just twist it to the pressure you want it to stop at and it will stop pumping at the set pressure. So I just set my tires to 40, connect it, turn it on, and walk away to do another task. I just come back at my convenience and do the next tire. So even though it is less powerful, it consumes less of my time since I don't have to be next to it monitoring it.
The third difference is the gage is back lit now so you can see it in the dark without a flashlight. The only issue is you have to have it on for the light to work. So if your setting up the auto off feature you will need a flashlight to do that first. Or I guess you can turn it on then set the automatic off feature after that. Also the gage does not wiggle as much as the old one did.
The AC plug is your typical 3 prong plug and is permanently attached to the unit. It is stored in a small compartment in the back-top of the unit. This is the same compartment the air hose is in. There is also a third cord for the car adapter. It connects to two prongs in the back of the unit and the other end plugs into the car adapter (cigarette lighter plug). It is fairly long and I have no problem with length, I even have some length to spare. While I don't have a long bed pickup (just an Avalanche), I do believe it is long enough for a larger truck since I have length to spare.
I have used this on my vehicles, my bicycle, and a rubber ball. I have had no problems or major complaints at all as of this posting. You use it like you would any other pump, just push it into the air inlet and snap the lever back.
To turn on the pump you have a rocking lever on the back. Push up for A/C and down for D/C. If the auto-off feature is used you will have to reset this to turn it back on. I've accidentally pushed it for the wrong voltage and it just refuses to turn on, no harm done.
This is a benefit as well as a con, it is made primarily of plastic. And if it fell from an 8 foot shelf, it will most likely crack. But because it is plastic it has two benefits. No hot metal plate exposed to burn your hand on and it is lighter in weight.
Ergonomics and ease of use.
The only real ergonomics is a curved impression on the back that lets you carry the unit more easily.
There are three attachments on the bottom. You have a pin for filling up a rubber ball. A small mouth for filling up a small mattress. And finally a big mouth attachments for bigger jobs (like big mattresses). All three of these are clipped onto the bottom of the unit very securely.
Other than a simple wipe down with a damp cloth, there is nothing to clean.
The dial and psi
It goes up to 200 but is rated at 160 psi on the documentation.
Other than it being plastic, I don't foresee any issues. Remind me in a year and I'll give you an update. But in these first 6 months I have not had any problems or concerns.
No internal battery present. Must be plugged into AC or DC outlet.
Weight and dimensions
Weight: 4 lb, 12 3/4 ounces
Length: 11.5 inches
Width: 6 inches
Height: 7.5 inches
Length of AC cable: 17 inches
Length of DC cable: 122 inches (10 feet)
Length of air hose: 27 inches
Summary This is a great little pump that handles both AC and DC outlets. It is strong enough for my truck tire, but it probably can't do a whole lot more than that. For small things like balls and air mattresses it is perfect.
© Common Loon Productions
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