December 20, 2007

Maxus X-Lite Aluminum Compressor - Review

maxus_front.jpgAn air compressor is essential to anyone who goes beyond the basic levels of the DIY world. With the right attachments, they can serve a lot of purposes; they can power any number of nail guns, inflate anything from car tires to rubber rafts, and even act as a blow gun to get fine dust off of a workplace. There are a few drawbacks though; one is that they tend to be big and bulky items. Over the past few years, smaller 1-2 gallon models have come out, but they're still pretty heavy, although far lighter than the 4+ gallon contractor models. The other issue that the compressor owner is constantly dealing with is the corrosion of the tank. This manifests itself in a blast of rust water every time the compressor is drained (which is supposed to be daily, but we all know how that goes).

To address these two common complaints of compressors, a company called Maxus has recently released the X-Lite line of compressors. The difference between these and other compressors is that the tanks are made of aluminum, thus, in one maneuver, solving both of the aforementioned problems. It's true that hindsight is 20/20, but this seems like a no-brainer. How come no one thought of this before?

It doesn't really matter, because Maxus has thought of it now, and we can say that the results are great. The X-Lite is available in a variety of sizes; 2 gallon, 2.5 gallon, 4 gallon, and a 4 gallon twinstack. The one we tested was the 2 gallon and here's what we found.

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Simply put, the thing is really light. A standard compressor of this size is usually 30+ pounds and sometimes far more than that. The Maxus is a featherweight 22lbs. Because of its weight, the Maxus is highly portable. It can easily be carried from room to room and there's no problem with storing it in the truck, which is where we're always straining our back with our other compressor.

maxus_controls.jpgIn addition to the weight, the Maxus 2-gallon has recessed gauges and a nice handle/roll bar. So, not only is it light, but, the weight is evenly distributed. The compressor is also oil free so there should be no problem with cold weather starts.

If the rest of the Maxus X-Lite series is anything like their 2-gallon model (and there's no reason to think that they wouldn't be), they should prove to be very popular. They're easy to use, lightweight, and there won't be anymore rust stains on your driveway. And this is not one of those technology advances that only benefits the contractor. Because they're so light, these compressors take the intimidation out of lugging around a massive, bulky piece of equipment, allowing compressors to be thought of as something anyone can have and use. In our opinion, Maxus has made a great step forward in the development and use of air compressors.

The 2 gallon model sells for $149, putting it right in the middle of the range for that size compressor, making it a great deal. If you're on the lookout for a compressor, we would definitely recommend looking it the X-Lites.

Other models:

2.5-Gallon, 30lbs, $199
4-Gallon, 55lbs, $349

For a list of retailers, click here.

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at December 20, 2007 5:45 AM

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