I researched this item carefully, like all of my internet purchases, including the reviews on Amazon, where I eventually purchased the Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Air Compressor. It showed up quickly, packaged well, and was ready to use right out of the box. I did take note of...
I researched this item carefully, like all of my internet purchases, including the reviews on Amazon, where I eventually purchased the Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Air Compressor. It showed up quickly, packaged well, and was ready to use right out of the box. I did take note of the negatives posted by some reviewers, however, some people seem to just whine for not much reason. This compressor is very effective at it''s purpose, which is to inflate your tires. Smittybilt makes off-road accessories, so it stands to reason that this compressor is made for inflating tires on your off-road vehicle. And it does a fantastic job inflating those tires! It''s not without its negatives, which I will cover in a moment, but overall does an excellent job.
First, the Pro''s:
1) It''s FAST! We have 32" tires on our Jeep, so they are not the biggest, and the Smittybilt lets us air up very quickly. Going from about 15 PSI to 38 PSI takes about 1.5 minutes per tire.
2) It''s quiet. I have another portable air compressor that just about blows your ear drums out. I was expecting the Smittybilt to be similarly loud, but it''s not loud at all.
3) Great features, including rubber anti-vibration feet, dust seal over the on/off switch, canvas carry bag, and a few basic inflation tips for air mattresses and such (I have not used those yet).
4) It does not run hot. Contrary to many of the reviews, our compressor does not get very hot. After airing up all 4 tires, it is only warm to the touch. I have never had to use gloves to disconnect the hoses, pick up the compressor, or anything. I really am not sure what the fuss is about.
1) The inline air gauge reads about 8 PSI too high while using the compressor. With the compressor turned off, it reads 5 PSI too low. This makes the air gauge a bit of a joke, in my opinion. When inflating, I just interpolate the extra 8 PSI, and then fine tune with my Jaco gauge, before driving away. I wish there was a way to calibrate the air gauge to be accurate. This is the biggest negative, in my opinion.
2) Other people said the carry bag was big enough to carry everything needed, but the bag that came with mine is not even close to big enough to put the 24'' hose in with everything. However, while some folks said their carry bag was paper thin, ours seems just fine. Time will tell how long it lasts, but it seems plenty thick and sturdy to me.
3) The screw-on fill tip is a bit inconvenient, as you do lose a bit of air when removing it from the valve stem, but since I am fine tuning the PSI after airing up anyway, this is only a minor inconvenience for me.
Overall, we felt that the Smittybilt 2781 was an excellent buy, and works extremely well for airing up after going wheeling. I did not mention the proprietary fittings in either Pro''s or Con''s, because I am not affected negatively by them, but they don''t add any extra value, so I am neutral about them. I may swap them out at some point, but it is not a priority for me, as I bought this compressor strictly for airing up, and the proprietary connectors work just fine for that. We would (and have) recommended this compressor to friends and family, mainly due to the performance/price ratio. ARB is WAY too proud of their compressor, there is no way it is worth almost 4X the money.
The Smittybilt easily deserves a solid 4 Stars rating, and a good strong recommendation.
Update - January 30, 2021: After using the Smittybilt 2781 compressor maybe a dozen times, the in-line air gauge (which was not super accurate when new, see my review above) suddenly started reading very high. To inflate the tire to actual 35 PSI, the gauge read over 110 PSI! I was checking the pressure with a separate handheld pressure gauge to make sure what PSI was actually in the tires. During the air up on my other tires, the gauge started reading even higher. This happened on a Saturday, and Smittybilt''s Customer Service phone line had a message stating that, "To better serve our customers in these times, we have changed our hours to 7AM to 3:30PM, Monday through Friday.", and then it hung up in my ear. (Man, I am tired of hearing companies saying, "in these times". It just sounds like a BS excuse to me.) I will update this review again, once I speak with Smittybilt, since this purchase is no longer eligible for return.