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  • A Must Read Before You Buy: Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Air Compressor Review

A Must Read Before You Buy: Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Air Compressor Review

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A little while ago we looked at the MAC2400 2.5 HP compressor from Makita. That was a unit that impressed us with superior CFM output, heavy duty construction, and overall excellent build quality.

Today we will look at what appears to be a similar compressor in our Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 review. With comparable CFM output, a similar design, and a highly trusted brand name, will the P1IU-A9 be the air compressor for all your DIY work? Read on and let’s find out.

Who should use the Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9?

If you’ve read any of the air compressor reviews on Power Tools Ninja you will know already that we aren’t just about straight specifications. Specifications tell you half of the story, but its real world scenarios that will help you to determine the best compressor for your needs.

Any time that you are purchasing a compressor you need to identify your budget, your air tool requirements, and your other needs around things like portability and ease of use. Later on in this review we will delve into the power specifications and the exact tools that one would use with this Ingersoll Rand unit.

Before we get to that though, let’s take a look at the promising features. 4.3 CFM @ 90 PSI is highly commendable.

The Makita that we previously reviewed was able to produce 4.2 CFM @ 90 PSI. Compare that figure to a small compressor like the Senco PC1010 which produces 0.6 CFM @ 90 PSI and it becomes even more impressive. Even a larger compressor like the DeWalt DWFP55126 will only output 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI. All of this information indicates that the Ingersoll Rand is a powerful unit indeed.

That extra CFM allowance will mean that some air-hungry tools will be within the realms of possibility.

However, there is a caveat. This compressor, like the MAC2400, has a relatively small storage capacity. The tank size may limit continuous use tools that require near constant pressure.

At the end of the day, it is a fantastic DIY tool, and professionals doing odd jobs, touch ups, or relatively small projects will be able to use this unit for powering most nailers used for carpentry and trim work. Roofing and flooring jobs will also turn out great when you use this compressor.

So long as no one is expecting heavy duty industrial use, this compressor will satisfy a range of DIY and small-job tasks.

What is the Duty Cycle on this Compressor?

A compressor with a relatively small storage capacity can sometimes be let down, no matter how good the actual power output is.

Thankfully, this powerful compressor doesn’t suffer from a short duty cycle. This compressor is rated with a 100% duty cycle.

That means that you could use this compressor all day, and you wouldn’t be at risk of operating it outside of its tolerances. Compared to most compressors that offer a 50% or 75% duty cycle, this compressor will allow you to work longer with fewer interruptions.

How Portable is this Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Compressor?

There are compressors like the Porter Cable PCFP02003 and Senco PC1010 that weigh less than 30 pounds.

Those are what you would consider to be ultra-portable. The P1IU-A9 can’t compete on portability, but it also doesn’t sacrifice on power or build quality. At 82 pounds, it’s not the type of unit that you will want to move around all day. The built in handle is sturdily built, but again, this is a heavy unit.

It can sit comfortably on the tray of a pickup, or on the floor of your workshop. If you were planning to get around a worksite then using a dolly for transport would be the best way to avoid strain or injury.

Will you need a Special Power Source?

This compressor will run from regular mains power, and should work running off of a circuit with a 15 amp breaker. Although the unit is rated to 15 amps, it will draw less in normal peak operating conditions.

It is important to run this compressor from a circuit that isn’t powering any other appliances. Also consider that more amps will be required to start the compressor in colder conditions.

Like most compressors, a power extension cord should not be used. If you absolutely need to use one, opt for one that is made from a 14AWG (or equivalent) cable.

Performance Rating

At this stage you’re probably itching to know just what this compressor can do. As mentioned earlier, the CFM figures are very promising, so if you’re expecting strong performance from this compressor then you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re unsure about how CFM works, check out our CFM guide for air compressors.

The easiest way to think about CFM is to think of it as a power rating. The horsepower of the compressor determines how quickly and efficiently it can replenish air in the storage tank. The tank of course determines how much air can be stored, and at what pressure. CFM measures how fast and how much air can flow from the compressor while in operation. CFM is important to every single tool that you plug into an air compressor.

Because the Ingersoll Rand produces 4.3 CFM @ 90 PSI, it will be able to power all of the common consumer grade and lightweight professional grade air tools. Some examples include;

  • Any brad nailer, stapler, or framing nailer that requires less than 4.3 CFM (average consumer units range between 0.3 and 2.5 CFM).
  • A small impact wrench.
  • Certain heavier tools like air hammers and chisels. Again, this depends on CFM requirements of specific tools that you own or intend to buy.
  • Riveting Gun
  • Plasma Cutter
  • Airbrush Tool
  • Tire Inflator

Perhaps the biggest advantage to the Ingersoll compressor is the fact that it has a 100% duty cycle.

The likelihood that you will be running it all day is low, but in cases where pressure is continuously being reduced the extended duty cycle will improve performance. For example, light duty air brushing will be achievable, and recharge times when using heavier tools is less of a problem. Inflating tires can be painstakingly slow with some small compressors. With the Ingersoll Rand you won’t need to worry about cooling the compressor down, even if you’re inflating a full set of flats!

The performance is on par with the MAC2400 that we tested previously, however the 100% duty cycle will make this an even more compelling purchase for those who expect to run a compressor for extended durations.

What is the Tank made from?

The two connected tanks on the Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 are made of steel, which is both lightweight and strong.

Unlike aluminum, steel has more risk of rusting, but the paint and sealer used will inhibit corrosion on the outside.

Any risk of corrosion within the tank can be mitigated by ensuring that the tanks are drained immediately after the compressor is used.

How Loud is this Compressor?

While not the quietest compressor in the world, this compressor produces a tolerable 80 db when in use.

This is roughly equivalent to the Makita MAC2400, but quieter than the MAC700, which produces 90 db.

Oil based compressors produce a less abrasive motor noise, so even at 80db this compressor won’t sound harsh in most working environments.

Pump Type & Maintenance Required

The 2HP electric motor is oil lubricated for durability and smooth operation.

This means that there is some slight maintenance required. Oil changes will prolong the life of the unit, as will maintaining a clean air filter.The motor internals are cast iron, so owners should expect this compressor to last many years. Recovery time is achieved in less than a minute, while charge from empty is complete in around 90 seconds.

Is this Compressor Easy to Use?

Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 front view
Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 front view

Even if you’ve never used an air compressor, you won’t have trouble navigating the controls on this unit.

The gauges are reasonably clear and conveniently placed, and there are few settings to tweak.

Connections to your tools are made with standard ¼” quick connecting hose attachments, so this air compressor should be considered ‘plug and play’.It should be noted that if you have difficulty reading smaller text or if you work in a dark environment, you may find the gauges inadequate for your needs.

Is the Build Quality High?

Ingersoll Rand produces some large industrial air compressors, and although the brand is not as popular with consumers, they do have a strong standing in the wider industry.

The construction is solid, and is what you would expect from a compressor in this class. It is comparable to some of the bigger Makita and DeWalt units, however there are some questionable design/construction choices.

An oil sight gauge would be a benefit to users, rather than the manual dipstick that is included. The air filter is particularly noteworthy, featuring automotive grade construction.Other highlights are steel braided lines, heavy duty brass fittings, and copper lines used throughout. The drain valve is a ball type, which also adds to the premium feel.

Accessories Included

The box contains everything needed to get the compressor up and running. All you will need to do is add the oil, and attach the final components such as the dipstick.

There is a startup kit available that comes with spare air filters and oil, but there is no package from Ingersoll Rand that includes tools or hoses. This is pretty much standard in the industry, as most manufacturers leave these choices up to the owners.Three items that will help you get the most out of a new compressor include;

Documentation and Service Support

Ingersoll Rand have invested so heavily in the industrial application market, that sometimes it can feel a little lonely on the consumer end.Because of this, it can be difficult to navigate their website, find spare documentation, or even to get service from licensed repairers.

Some Ingersoll Rand service centers around North America won’t service consumer grade compressors, making it less convenient in the unlikely event that you need repairs.

They’re not a difficult company to deal with, however they don’t have the same level of customer service that companies like California Air Tools or Makita do.The good news is that their customer service hotline can be more than helpful, and will sometimes ship user replaceable parts to you within the same week. It is a pity that customer service has been a mixed bag for consumers.


If you want to get the most out of your compressor, make sure you try out the following;

  • If the gauge dials are too small for you, they can be easily replaced by removing the regulator handle, the protruding regulator piece, and the manifold assembly. This will give you access to the gauges for replacement.
  • Always empty the tank after use. Compressed air can cause moisture build-up in the tank. Always empty the compressor and drain after use, and never store air while you’re not working.
  • Avoid using an extension cable. It’s always better to use a longer air hose than to run a compressor from an extension cord.

Is a Break in Procedure Required?

Whether or not a manufacturer recommends it, you should always go through a break in procedure before using a new compressor. The procedure is simple, and will take less than 30 minutes.

  1. First assemble and check your compressor, ensuring you have lubricated it and attached the air filter.
  2. Plug the compressor in to a power supply, and open the drain valve. Check all fittings.
  3. Turn on the compressor and let it run for 20 – 25 minutes. During this time it will continuously cycle as the air is released from the drain valve.
  4. Close the drain valve and let the compressor build pressure. At maximum pressure, the motor will automatically shut off.
  5. That’s it. You can now begin to enjoy your new compressor. Remember to drain the tank after every use, and tilt the unit towards the drain valve to get rid of any moisture.

What do the Consumer Ratings Say?

This is a unit that has been well received by owners, although it’s nowhere near as popular as some of the more well-known compressors on the market.

From our own experience in our Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 review, we found that even with a few small complaints, we still consider this compressor to be an almost perfect 4.5 / 5.

Is the Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 an Affordable Air Compressor?

At an affordable price,  this compressor competes head to head with compressors in the same price range like the Makita MAC2400.

What you get for the price is high performance, strong construction, and long life from an oil based pump.

Is it Packed Well for Shipping?

Consumer opinions have been mixed, with some reviewers finding crushed gauges inside their packaging.

These cases were apparently assembly faults, because there was no damage to the outside packaging. Hopefully these incidents were isolated.The packaging itself is typical cardboard fare, but everything is packed adequately to protect the unit during transition. The air filter and oil are included in the main shipping box.

Our Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Review: Final Thoughts

For everything that this compressor doesn’t do quite right, it has redeeming features that more than make up.

The 100% duty cycle means that this compressor can be used in professional settings as well as intensive DIY scenarios.

Basically, if you match your tools according to CFM, then it will live up to the job. It is reasonably priced, and the construction is almost up there with the best compressors on the market.It’s cheaper than the next most powerful compressor, and it is easily one of the best performing compressors in its class.

Some things like inconsistent customer service and isolated damaged units do take some points away, however the Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 review has revealed that overall, this unit is an excellent buy.

One word of warning though… If you have no use for a compressor with output higher than 2 or 3 CFM then you can save money by choosing a smaller unit.

If you’re still unsure about what your needs will be, make sure you check out our comprehensive Air Compressor Buying Advice section.

Also, if you want to check out other compressors, don’t forget to visit our air compressor reviews list.

Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Air Compressor Summary Review

-2 Horsepower Oil Lubricated Electric Air Compressor
-Two Hose Outlets
-Built-In Gauges
-Dual Tank Design, 4 gallons total air capacity
-15 amp Draw
-4.3 CFM @ 90 PSI (MAX 135 PSI)
-82 Pounds Unit Weight
-80 db noise level

-Although not overly quiet, it produces a milder tone than some of the competition
-Two hose outlets add versatility
-The power output is amongst the best found in portable consumer compressors
-High quality construction
-Fast recharge times
-Essentially fully assembled out of the box
-100% Duty Cycle

-One of the heaviest consumer grade compressors
-Some owners have experienced below average after sales support
-Some design choices could have been better, such as the manual dipstick

Click Here To Check out More Great Features Of The Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 on Amazon

Detailed Specifications

  • Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 ReviewModel: Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Hand Carry Twinstack 2-HP Compressor
  • Dimensions: L x W x H (in.): 19 x 19 x 18.5
  • Standing Weight: 82 pounds
  • Power Source: 15 amp 120V Electric-Powered
  • Warranty: 1 Year Manufacturer
  • CFM Rating: 4.3 @ 90 PSI – 3.2 @ 135 PSI (lower PSI will yield higher CFM)
  • Motor: 2 HP, Oil Lubricated, Cast Iron Cylinder
  • Hoses: Dual 1/4″ Standard Industrial Quick Connectors
  • Tank Capacity: 4 Gallons
  • Origin: Inspected in the USA. Manufactured using components from the USA, Mexico, and India.

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