Milwaukee M12 Air Compressor Review [as a Technician]

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This year, I added the M12 Inflator to my inventory as one of my favorite tools. It’s a necessity for me as a professional, a homeowner, and an outdoor enthusiast.

Earlier this year, I discovered a nail lodged in one of the tires of my work truck. After the workday was done, I loaded all my tools into the truck and noticed I had a tire pressure monitoring alert.

That is always the best news to receive at the conclusion of a workday. I had ten pounds of pressure in my tire and really didn’t want to have to break out the jack and swap in my spare to make it

to the tire shop.

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These are the situations in which the Inflator excels. It is small and lightweight, easy to store in a toolbox or on a work truck, and performs well.

It is capable of being powered by both standard and extended amp hour 12v batteries.

I was able to inflate my tire from 10 to 35 psi in about a minute and a half, then drive the truck to a nearby tire shop for a quick patch job that had me back on the road in no time.

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Since then, I’ve packed this tool into my truck whenever I’m heading into the woods for camping or out to the lake for fishing; it’s inexpensive insurance that can get you out of a jam. It would also be useful to include in an emergency vehicle kit.

Milwaukee M12 Air Compressor Review

As a homeowner, you’ll appreciate this tool’s portability. Filling bicycle tires, footballs, basketballs, wheelbarrow wheels, and anything else you can think of. The ability to have on-demand air in such a compact package is revolutionary.

The anti-vibration stand is one of the coolest features Milwaukee was able to incorporate into this compact unit. Other inflators suffer from vibration, bouncing all over the place, and you would never consider using them on a tabletop.

You need not be concerned with this design. The ability to place this unit anywhere and begin using it with the confidence that it will stay put helps set it apart from other comparable tools on the market.

Bear in mind that this is not a full-fledged air compressor and is not intended to be used in place of your existing air compressor. If speed is your primary concern, this tool is probably not for you.

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However, what the Milwaukee lacks in speed, it more than compensates for in portability and convenience. To that end, the tool measures 7.5 inches in height, 6.5 inches in length, 6.5 inches in width, and weighs 3.8 pounds.

Milwaukee 2475 Specifications

  • PSI Rating of 0-120 PSI with an accuracy of +/- 3%
  • 0.88 cubic feet per minute at 0 pounds per square inch and 0.63 cubic feet per minute at 35 pounds per square inch
  • A large, easy-to-read backlit display makes it suitable for use in any environment.
  • At the desired PSI setting, the valve automatically shuts off.
  • 26″ hose with a Schrader chuck made entirely of brass
  • ,Resistant to the elements and impact, with a reinforced cage
  • 50% Duty Cycle

Included with the 2575 are the fittings.

(1) Needle for Ball Inflation

(1) Chuck Presta

(1) Chuck Schrader

(1) Nozzle for Inflator

included-fittings-inflator-2475.jpg

According to the owner’s manual (found here), the tool is rated for a maximum of 10 minutes of continuous use and must then be allowed to cool for 10 minutes before being used again.

This is one of the best duty cycles I’ve found in any of the available inflators.

The M12 inflator is protected by built-in temperature protection, which may display a temperature warning when used for an extended period of time or when airflow is restricted.

Allow the tool to cool for at least 10 minutes if the Temperature Protection Indicator illuminates. If the battery is too cold in extremely low temperatures, the Temperature Protection Indicator may illuminate.

Although I have never encountered either of these scenarios, it is prudent to bear them in mind.

As an HVAC service technician, I’m not sure why you’d want to drive around without one of these.

The days of hauling a corded pancake air compressor or nitrogen cylinders to the roof to fill expansion tanks are long gone.

While I recognize that a small air compressor is neither excessively large nor excessively heavy, in comparison to this tool, it certainly feels that way. We already lug around enough heavy items, and I prefer to keep the weight as light as possible.

Space is extremely valuable and limited in my service truck, so the ability to swap out an air compressor for the M12 Inflator is well worth it.

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I’ve spoken with plumbers who also use this tool to air test short segments of plumbing prior to installation. In a pinch, you could probably use this to fill a portable air tank similar to this and use it to power some smaller air tools such as a brad nailer. I may have to give that a try now and see how it goes.

The 26-inch hose with threaded shrader chuck, large backlit display, and rugged impact-resistant cage make this tool an excellent addition to any technician’s tool kit.

The 26-inch hose with threaded shrader chuck, large backlit display, and rugged impact-resistant cage make this tool an excellent addition to any technician’s tool kit.

Milwaukee is not the only manufacturer to release a portable inflator, and I’m sure there are a few of us who would welcome the tool’s release in an M18 configuration.

It would almost certainly increase the cost and size, which is why there is only one version. If you already own a battery system from another manufacturer, it may be worthwhile to investigate the offerings from Dewalt or Ryobi. I’ve never used either of those versions, but I’ve heard nothing but positive things about them.

What would I do differently?

Overall, I enjoy this small tool and believe it is an excellent addition to any HVAC service technician’s toolbox, but if I could make two changes to it, I would.

The first modification would be the ability for them to operate on their 18v batteries. This would have resulted in a slightly larger tool, but I believe a m18 inflator would have felt slightly more robust.

Not only would this reduce fill times, but it would also improve battery life. The 18v batteries come in a variety of amp hour ratings, and I believe that would be an excellent choice.

The ability to operate on an external power source would be the next step. Particularly given that this tool operates on 12 volts, it would have been ideal to be able to plug directly into a vehicle’s 12 volt power source, such as a cigarette lighter.

If this feature had been included, it would have been very simple to include a 110v to 12v power source, allowing this tool to operate from any standard receptacle, providing much greater versatility.

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I’m assuming that these options were eliminated due to the tool’s limited duty cycle and the need to keep the tool’s overall cost, size, and weight low.

Even without those features, I will continue to use and recommend this tool to anyone who works in the HVAC industry.

Alternatives

The Dewalt is slightly larger, but also has the capability to run on three different power sources. Batteries up to 20V MAX, 12V DC, or 110V AC.

SHOP DEWALT ON AMAZON

Again, I wish Milwaukee had included a 12v dc vehicle power source in their inflator, as this could prove to be a very useful feature.

The dewalt DCC020IB has a maximum pressure of 160 psi, but the trade-off is a duty cycle of 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off. More information and current pricing can be found here.

Ryobi also makes their own 18v inflator, which may be worth investigating if you are already invested in that system.

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The power inflator is capable of inflating to a pressure of 0-150 psi, but with a reduced duty cycle of 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off.

This one is also slightly less expensive than the Dewalt and Milwaukee, so if the duty cycle or battery system is not critical to you, this may be worth considering.

How Fast Does the MILWAUKEE M12 COMPACT TIRE INFLATOR WORK?

This is Milwaukee’s first tire inflator, and they already claim it to be “the fastest.” How Quickly?

The Milwaukee cordless compact inflator, on the other hand, can inflate your car tires (from 28 to 35 psi) in less than a minute. It can even inflate your LT truck tires from 30 to 45 psi in less than four minutes.

Additionally, the compact inflator has a maximum pressure capacity of 120 psi. As a result, it is capable of handling a wide variety of high-PSI applications.

This can range from high-performance bicycle tires to low-profile 275/80R/22.5 LRG tires (in a pinch).

The M12 cordless inflator comes equipped with a backlit digital LCD gauge that displays both the target and current pressure readings.

When the target pressure is reached, the auto shut-off feature prevents overfilling your tires. Additionally, it prevents the tool’s motor from overheating.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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