SmittyBilt Air Compressor #2780

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eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
Toquerville UT
Small air compressors are extremely useful for airing up after a weekend of wheeling...while larger/more powerful options exist, a small reliable oil-less compressor is easy to carry around and takes up little storage space (and is easy to pass off to friends when they need to borrow it). tested out the Smittybilt 2870 while on a recent trip to Colorado and then put the stopwatch on.

The Smittybilt 2870 is a nicely designed kit...the compressor has an insulating handle (which is cool enough to hold even with the cast fins are 250 degrees)...the base is double-isolated for vibration...the coiled yellow hose can be bypassed for short connections...the air gauge is at the chuck end (where you are monitoring the tire pressure) and includes a pressure release on the back....considering the MV50 compressor I also have, this was definitely an improved design.


A few things come to mind when dealing with small 0il-less air compressors...speed of inflation, duty cycle and compressor heat. So, all of those were put to the test. Testing was on a set of 315-75-16 Goodyear MTR's...inflation range was 15psi to 45psi on all 4 tires....pausing only to change the chuck from one tire to the next.

First, air down to 15psi...


Next, I took a reference temp on the cast compressor fins....81 degrees to start


Set the stopwatch, and air the first tire from 15-45 - time elapsed, about 7 minutes.


And then, record the temperature of the cast fins on the compressor....200 degrees, not bad.

Continue with all four tires....well, almost...



With the compressor in the sun and about 27ish minutes into the process, there was 40psi on the 4th tire...and the compressor shut off. Completely.

So, out comes the manual...hmmm...hey, look...there's an Overheat Protection Circuit...I guess 240-250 degrees is the cutoff point for this. I allowed the compressor to cool down to a gun-confirmed 100 degrees (about 15 minutes) and it fired back up to complete that final tire. Just for good measure, I aired down one tire again and aired it back... no issues.

(note to self: place compressor in the shade during use)

For a small portable compressor, this worked perfectly. I would be "more than surprised" if it had the volume to seat a bead, but it DID do a fine job of airing up a plugged tire from flat to 30psi.

  • 1/3 horsepower oil-less direct drive motor
  • 30 amp inline fuse
  • 2.54 cfm
  • Easy twist screw-on brass inflator top
  • Quick release 16-foot coil hose.
  • Anti-vibration rubber feet
  • Can be permanently mounted and hard-wired
  • Auto-thermal cutoff switch -- protects motor against damage
  • Built-on cleanable airfilter
  • Storage bag included
  • Maximum airflow - 72 liters per minute
  • Maximum voltage - 13.8 volts
  • Maximum amperage draw @ 120 psi
  • Maximum restart pressure - 150 psi
  • Maximum operating temperature - 140 deg F
  • Minimum operating temperature - 67 deg F
  • Maximum continuous cycle time (Duty cycle) - 40 minutes @ 40 psi @ 75 def F
  • Storage bag included
  • Integrated 150 PSI - Easy to read pressure gauge

Current Pricing (2013-07-25 - Amazon): $79.99

Also, if you are looking for the "big brother" to this compressor, the SmittyBilt 2781 doubles the CFM rating...but also increases the price to $149.99
No, the truck was shut off at the time...tried it later with it running tho and the compressor sped up and pumped more air...suspect that would pump the tires faster too :D

It's similar in design to the MV50 compressors that have been out for years...just better components for hose connections and a better mounting/damping system. I've had no complaints with the two MV50's I've got now, other than breaking off the hose fittings and discovering they aren't a normal thread size.

I'd like to see how much faster the bigger model is...someday :)
I know this is a older post but, something I learned about these small compressors and the heat they generate, is every three to four uses I take them apart and smear a wet finger full of prolong engine super lube to the walls of the cylinder under the piston. This product seeks and migrates towards heat and really helps with the temp and speed and longevity of smaller units. When I first got one of these smaller units I had a lot of concern about the heating issues, especially where the hose fitting connects to the body of the pump, since using the Prolong, not so much anymore. I have had one for, I guess about four years now and still going strong although mostly used by friends as I have legit onboard air in my ZJ (converted AC pump) and Co2 now in the CJ for the ARBs and airing up.
Good tip :)

I mostly air from wheeling pressure to expedition 16-18 up to 25-30...then finish off with a full compressor...but this one has held up well!
I actually have this specific Smittybilt model, but never used it yet. Its good to know that its really dependable and reliable.

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