Bostitch CAP1512-OF Review – Best Trim Air Compressor?

The Bostitch CAP1512-OF is a 1.2-gallon Oil-Free, relatively high-output trim air compressor. Even so, then the unit will come in handy for DIY light-duty applications.

The model is powered by a 1.5HP motor that is very efficient, drawing only 12 amps.  This easy start-up motor is not likely to trip your circuit while starting it running the compressor.

With regards to performance, the unit delivers up to 150 PSI of pressure and has a flow rate of 2.8 CFM @ 90 PSI. Despite having a 1.2-gallon air tank, this model weighs only 23.5 pounds. 

This, in addition to its compact design, makes it easy to carry around. It features an integrated control panel and a sturdy roll cage for enhanced protection.

Throughout this Bostitch CAP1512-OF review, you will learn what makes this air compressor unique.

Air Compressor Peak HorsepowerPriceAir Tank Capacity
Bostitch CAP1512-OF 2.0 HP$101.551.2 Gallons
Senco PC1010 1.0 HP$119.951.0 Gallons
Craftsman CMXECXA0200141A3/4 HP$139.971.5 Gallons

Bostitch CAP1512-OF Benefits 

  • The Motor is rated 2.0 HP peak and 1.5HP running and draws only 12 amps
  • The Oil-Free compressor pump delivers 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI and can produce up to 150 PSI
  • The 1.2-gallon compact tank stores compressed air for a continued tool used when the pump is off
  • Features a lightweight and compact design, making it easy to transport and move around at the job site
  • Equipped with an integrated control panel for simplified operation and a tough roll cage for added protection 
  • The LED on/off switch helps you know when the compressor is on or off to prevent low-pressure misfires
  • Comes with a convenient storage pocket, as well as onboard hose and tool storage compartments 

Possible Drawbacks 

You may need to wear earmuffs while using this compressor as it is not as quiet, it is rated 89 dB.

BOSTITCH Air Compressor for Trim, Oil-Free, High-Output, 1.2 Gallon, 120 PSI (CAP1512-OF)

$184.32  in stock
3 new from $184.31
2 used from $129.99
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as of June 6, 2023 10:31 pm


  • 1.5 max HP (running) motor of the portable air compressor draws only 12 amps for easy start up and extension cord application [14 GA or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less] without tripping circuit breakers
  • 1.2 gallon compact design of the electric air compressor weighs 23.5 lbs. for easy portability
  • Integrated control panel with roll cage protects gauges from jobsite damage
  • LED ON/OFF switch lets you know when the compressor is on to eliminate low-pressure misfires
  • Integrated cord wrap for improved portability

Why a Trim Compressor? 

A trim compressor is essentially a supplemental air compressor that is specifically designed to run efficiently at part-load.

You can use such a compressor to pick up the extra workload whenever compressed air demand increases beyond the capacity of your main air compressor. 

This allows the main air compressor to remain base loaded, running at their full capacity and pressure.

Operating a compressor above its capacity will likely consume excess power, and end up overworking the machine. This leads to overheating and premature wear and year of the compressor as well.

Rather than incurring such additional costs in maintenance and part replacement bills, you should consider buying a smaller trim compressor to serve as a back-up air compressor when the demand rises.

Additionally, the  CAP1512-OF air compressor may be used for smaller off-site pneumatic applications. 

Features and Capabilities 

Not only is the compressor made of quality materials and components, but it also comes fitted with a sturdy roll cage for enhanced durability. The steel roll cage prevents the dashboard, and other parts from getting damaged at the site or during transportation.

As compared to other air compressors in the category, the Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor has a number of superior capabilities to offer, including: 

Duty Cycle 

The CAP1512-OF air compressor model only has a small air reservoir tank. As such, you should expect the unit to cycle more often than a compressor with a larger tank.

For enhanced durability, it is not advisable to run your air compressor continuously for an hour. In this regard, the Bostitch CAP1512-OF has a duty cycle of 50%.

As such, you should allow it to cool down for about 30 minutes after a 30-minute usage. You may continue using the compressor as it cools down, thanks to the 1.2-gallon air tank that stores compressed air.

In order to get the most from your compressor, you should always match the air volume requirements of pneumatic tool attachments and accessories. 

Convenient Dashboard 

Positioned towards the top of the compressor is the dashboard that features every control and gauges you would need to operate this compressor. The dashboard offers such  controls and gauges as:

Pressure Switch 

This is a control for the activation mechanism that is used to start and stop the compressor. Once the switch is activated, the motor will come one and continue running as long as the pressure switch is on.

When the cut-out pressure—the maximum tank pressure capacity—the pressure switch will automatically switch the compressor off.

When the lower pressure limit, the cut-in, is reached, the pressure switch will automatically trigger the motor to come back on. 

Safety Valve 

The Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor is fitted with a safety valve as well.

This control is automatically activated if the pressure switch fails to stop the compressor at the cut-out pressure point. It is meant to avoid over-pressurization of the air tanks for safety purposes. 

The safety Valve is usually calibrated to activate at a pressure point that is higher than the cut-out pressure. In this model, it is factory set to come on, if the tank pressure happens to reach 160PSI.

If the  Pressure Switch (H) does not shut off the air compressor at its cut-out pressure setting, the safety valve will pop out at its factory preset pressure level. 

Regulated and Tank Pressure Gauges 

The regulated pressure gauge on this model is used to indicate the amount of pressure that is going into the discharge line accordingly. This pressure is controlled using the regulator knob.

The tank pressure gauge, on the other hand, shows the level of compressed air presently available in the reservoir tank.

Drain Valve 

The CAP1512-OF model comes fitted with a ball-style drain valve, which is situated at the lower side of the air tank.

Basically, the compression process of air results in the formation of condensate. It is advisable to drain your compressor tank every day after use. 

Failing to drain your tank periodically will result in the formation of rust inside and the thinking if tank walls, affecting its safety standards. To drain the air compressor tank, you first need to turn the compressor off.

While holding the handle, tilt the compressor toward the drain valve so that the valve is positioned at the bottom of the tank. Now turn the drain valve open and keep the compressor tilted until all moisture has been removed.

Regulator Knob

This knob may be used to adjust the level of pressure within the discharge line of the compressor. The discharge air pressure is increased by turning the knob clockwise and decreased by turning the knob counterclockwise.

This pressure is displayed by the regulated pressure gauge. To decrease the pressure, you should turn the knob in the clockwise direction. It has a range of 7 to 150 PSI.

You need to note that excessive pressure puts the system at the risk of bursting. The Regulator outlet pressure setting must never exceed the maximum pressure rating of the connected tool or accessory.

Power Switch 

The CAP1512-OF compressor model is fitted with an illuminated On/Off switch. This way, you will always know when the compressor is on or off, even from a distance.

The LED light will only come in when the compressor is ready to go. This is meant to prevent any problems with misfires or prematurely attempt to use your compressor.

The power switch on this model features a clear and soft rubber protective cover over it that keeps dust and debris out of the switch.

The illuminated switch glows red to indicate when the compressor is on. Before starting your Compressor, you need to inspect it for any damage and verify that the air tank has been drained.

You should also set the regulator knob to 0PSI, and attach the air hose to the discharge line before starting the unit. 

Starting the Compressor 

To start your CAP1512-OF compressor, you need to push the power switch to the On position.

The switch will light-up indicating that the compressor is on. The unit will then cycle on and off automatically just to maintain the optimal tank pressure.

Now you need to set the pressure regulator knob to the appropriate pressure setting, depending on the tool or accessory you will be using.

After every use, you will need to shut the compressor down by switching the power switch to the Off position. 

Check Valve 

The check valve on this air compressor remains on during operation, allowing compressed air to enter the air tank. At the cut-out pressure, the motor will automatically shut down to stop the production of compressed air.

At this point, the check valve will be closed to maintain tank pressure. 

Universal Quick Connect Body 

The two universal quick-connect bodies on this compressor model are compatible with three of the commonly used quick connect plug styles. It can be used with industrial, automotive, and ARO quick-connect plugs.

It allows for easy one-hand push-to-connect operation. The two couplers allow you to use two pneumatic tools or accessories at the same time.

For the safe operation of the compressor, you need to ensure that the hose is connected properly. To do this, you should grasp the hose firmly to prevent hose whip while connecting or disconnecting the hose.

While grasping the hose at the quick connect plug, push the plug into the quick connect body until the couplers snap in place. Before disconnecting the hose, you need to set the regulator knob to 0 PSI. 

Motor Overload Protector 

The motor on the Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor features a thermal overload protector for enhanced safety. If your motor happens to overheat for some reason, the overload protector will shut off the motor.

If this happens, you should turn the compressor off, unplug it, and allow the motor to cool down before trying to restart it. Once the motor has cooled off plug the compressor into the correct branch circuit receptacle.

Now set the Auto On/Off lever to the Auto position, and allow the unit to power on its own. 


Just as is the case with other Bostitch air compressors, the CAP1512-OF model boasts of exceptional performance. Despite being a small air compressor, the unit is capable of delivering up to 150 PSI of air pressure. 

It is equipped with a very efficient motor that only requires 12 amps of currently to start. As such, it will not trip your circuit as it comes in, even when used at home.

The motor is rated 2.0HP peak and 1.5 HP running power. It should be plugged to a 115V, 60 HZ outlet. During normal operation, the Oil-Free pump can deliver an airflow of about 3.7 CFM at 40 PSI and 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI.

As opposed to oil-lubricated models, the CAP1512-OF compressor runs just fine even on uneven ground surfaces. 

Storage Compartments 

Situated to the rear and left sides of the compressor are handy storage compartments. The integrated cord storage keeps the supplied 6′ power cord stored out of the way when the compressor is not in use.

The compact design of this air compressor features a molded plastic back with a storage pocket for tools, fasteners, and accessories. The compressor is also equipped with a Velcro strap that may be used to hold a pneumatic tool when not in use.

Final Verdict 

Are you currently shopping for a small, secondary (trim) air compressor or are just in need of a small DIY air compressor for light-duty applications?

Either way, the CAP1512-OF by Bostitch will exceed your expectations. 

The LED illuminated power switch will always let you know when the compressor is on to prevent low-pressure misfires scenarios.

The sturdy roll cage goes around the important components and controls to prevent them from damage in the event of a fall. 

The model even features onboard hose and tool storage as well as a convenient pocket for your hand tools, fasteners, and fittings. The unit is fitted with integrated no-marring rubber feet, which holds it in position during operation.

These are just some of the aspects that make the Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor exceptional.

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