18-Volt Air Compressor

Ryobi’s 18-volt line has brought forth some different and cool tools sold through Home Depot.  The new Ryobi 18V Cordless 1 Gallon Air Compressor, model P739,  comes to market at a great price for someone who would like to get into a small air compressor or wants a portable model.  The air compressor is run off one 18-volt battery and Ryobi states it should be a 4.0Ah battery or larger for best performance.  Runtime on Ryobi’s cordless air compressor is pretty impressive with the compressor running 30 minutes total before the battery is discharged.

Initial pump up from 0 to 120 psi is 120 seconds and recovery time is under 27 seconds.  Those times are not too bad when comparing it to other models at that same price point.

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Break In

A break in procedure is very common in almost any air compressor and the Ryobi 18 volt battery operated model is not exempt.  Prior to using the air compressor, charge up at least a 4.0Ah battery pack and insert it into the air compressor.  Flip the unit upside down and open the quarter turn ball valve on the bottom of the tank so the air compressor cannot build pressure.  Set the compressor down on a flat surface and flip the switch to on.  The air pressure gauges should not read any pressure building.  Allow the air compressor to run for 30 minutes or until the battery is discharged.  During this period you will hear the motor tone change.  That is completely normal.  Once complete, your compressor is ready to be used.

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Perfect for Finish Nailers

The main use for the Ryobi18 volt air compressor will be with pneumatic finish nailers.  We tested the compressor to see how many shots could be fired before the tank went into recovery.  With a 15 gauge nailer we could fire 7-8 shots, with a 16 gauge nailer we fired 8-9 shots and with an 18 gauge nailer we were able to fire 9-10 before the compressor would kick on.  That does not sound like a lot, but what made that tolerable was the low noise from the compressor and the quick recovery rate.  This is not going to be a finish contractor’s main compressor, but it does provide a cordless option for completing a small job or punch list.

We know that there are many other uses for this compressor and we wanted to test a few of them out.  People always ask if these small compressors would run an impact wrench.  We show you it cannot.  Also, for filling tires, this unit will help you gain a few PSI, but much more than that and you will find yourself filling the tire and waiting for the air compressor to recover then filling again.  Great for an emergency, but not for weekly or monthly use.


The Ryobi 18V Cordless 1 Gallon Air Compressor should be priced at $99 at Home Depot.  The price is very competitive when comparing this to other battery operated cordless air compressors on the market, albeit only 0.5 scfm at 90 psi.

This is one tool that we expected to be a hybrid tool allowing for it to run off a cord or via battery.  While we see now that it is not needed due to the great runtime with multiple batteries, it still seems like a viable option.