California Air Tools 5510SE Review


California Air Tools are well known for their near-silent range of air compressors and related air tools. The 550SE is a brilliant addition to their range. The extra-long duty cycle ensures that contractors are offered long use of pneumatic tools such as nailers, staple guns and riveting tools. Here we take a closer look at exactly what makes this portable compressor one of the best available.

At-A-Glance Specs
California Air Tools
Tank Size:
5.5 Gallons
Peak HP:
Max Pressure:
120 PSI
Pump Type:
60 dB
(1-5 stars)


>> Check Current Price of the 5510SE <<



When looking at portable compressors, this offering from California Air Tools has one of the larger tanks in its price range. The entire unit is fairly compact when taking into consideration the 5.5 gallon tank. It’s hefty 46 pound weight is easy to transport thanks to the wheel kit which has been included. Two conveniently placed handles make moving this compressor a breeze.


The large tank provided fills quickly, taking but two and a half minutes to reach full pressure from empty. The 5.5 gallon tank carries a great duty cycle. The 5510SE takes just one minute to refill the pressure once it drops below 90PSI. This speedy recovery time gives you minimal interruption when working with your choice of pneumatic tool. It draws just 8.5 amps which is nowhere near enough to risk tripping a breaker.

Pump Type

The pump provided is oil free and is known to be extremely reliable. The unit requires no maintenance other than occasional cleaning and is durable enough to last for years of service.

Noise Level

The California Air Tools 5510SE runs at just 60 decibels. This is on par with the volume of an average conversation, making this compressor perfect for use in even dense, urban areas. There are very few air compressors of this capacity that come close to the quietness of the 5510SE. It runs without any vibration and gives near silent functionality, quieter than even the most compact portable compressors available.

Additional Considerations

If you happen to live in an area that suffers from frequent high humidity levels, then you will want to buy an additional water separator as one is not supplied.


  • 60 Decibel Noise Level
  • On/Off Switch
  • Low 60 Second Recharge Time
  • Highly Affordable


  • No Water Separator
  • Poor Packaging

Final Verdict

In terms of portability, affordability and ultra-quiet operation, the California Air Tools 5510SE over delivers. The only minor grievance is the packaging. Many customers frown upon the low-cost packaging that this compressor is shipped with. This is fortunately the only place that sub-standard quality is found. The compressor itself benefits from a steel tank, sturdy construction and a well-honored guarantee. For an electric compressor that you can barely hear, look no further than this compact offering from California Air Tools.


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