PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Air Compressor Review


Do you hate working in your home wood shop and have all that sawdust lying around? Are you tired of having to search your house for quarters when your tires are low so you can go to the gas station and pay for something like air that should be free? Finally, are you thinking about buying an air compressor for your home, yet have no idea what a good model looks like? If so, then you really should consider Port​er Cab​le's C​MB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor. Its wealth of attractive feature might make it exactly what you're looking for.


2.0 Standard Cubic Feet per Minute at 90psi

This excellent air compressor runs at 2.0 SCFM at 90psi. The reason why this is so significant is because the larger the SCFM, the quicker the compressor recovery time. A compressor with quick recover time fills with air quicker and more efficiently. The sooner your air compressor is filled, the faster you can start using. Having such power at 90 psi means that it will recover at even high pressures. In short, this model will help you get to work and will perform consistently enough to ease any effort you put forth.

1.5 gallon In-Shroud Tank

The air tank for any air compressor should be large enough contain as much air as you need, yet not be too large as to carry too much bulk. A large, bulky air compressor is fine for tire shops or industrial work sites or warehouses. But, it might be too much for your garage. The tank that comes with the CMB15 holds 1.5 gallons. This is the perfect size and makes it easier to carry this compressor from part of your work area to another. It also comes a shroud that includes a water drain valve is you need to use reverse suction on wet areas and rubber feet to hold it in place while in use.

150 psi Max Tank Pressure

The max pressure of any air compressor is important as it's a great indicator of how much air it can store in the tank and thus operate devices such as air-powered tools for increasingly extended periods of time. This compressor has a max tank pressure of 150 psi. This means it can store an exceptional amount of air in the tank. Now, you can pretty much use your nail gun or pneumatic drill for a good long while before it runs out of air and interrupting your work time. This means you can finish jobs quicker and with more ease. (Note, it can't run these tools indefinitely like an industrial-grade continuous air compressor)

Durable Oil-Free Pump

Most air compressors use typical motors that require you to oil it in order to maintain it properly and these tend to be quite loud as a result. This model uses an gas-powered yet oil-free pump motor that lasts longer than oil-based counterparts and requires virtually no maintenance as a result. Even better, that means this compressor has a low-noise motor - putting out only about 79 dBA. This means you no longer have to shout at the person next to you when asking for a wrench and won't have worry about that smell that oil-based motors emit.

Low Amp 120V motor

Finally, most gas powered air-compressor have a lot of trouble starting up in colder weather. Like your car, it needs time to warm up before it can properly turn over. This compressor uses a low amp, 120V motor that doesn't' require so much warm up time. Therefore, it will turn over every single time. It comes with an extension cord that plugs into a power outlet to help it start even in the most coldest of climates. You can keep it outside in your shed or garage without ever having to wait before you start using it.


  • Quick recovery time
  • ​Lightweight and easily portable
  • ​Starts in colder weather easily
  • ​Low maintenance
  • High Max Pressure means it stores more air
  • ​Low noise motor
  • Powerful performance
  • ​No oil-based odor emissions from motor


  • Some components are exposed to the elements
  • ​Not as powerful as larger, continuous air compressor
  • ​Won't last as long for air-powered tools as a result
  • ​Best for small, around-the-house jobs

Highlighted features

2.0 SCFM power

Low voltage 120 v. motor

1.5 gallon shrouded tank

Oil-free Air Pump

150 psi. max Tank pressure

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm confused, is this a gas-powered or electric motor?

So can it run pneumatic tools or just nail guns?

What size hose fittings does it use?

Final Verdict

If you're looking for an industrial grade air compressor, then you should look for one. But most home owners don't need such a large, bulky thing in their garage - they just need one that big enough for the kind of DIY jobs they might encounter. If you're looking for a light, easy-to-use air compressor for jobs around the house (and you don't want to spend too much money), there is no better option than the CMB15 Air Compressor from Porter Cable. This is why it gets my highest recommendation.

Mary T. White

Hi everyone, I'm a trained AC service technician who uses several tools in my profession. I created this interactive platform to share experiences and vital information. Feel free to share your views and ask any question.

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