Shoebox compressor reviews.


Sep 30, 2005
Lately there have been some pretty inexpensive versions I have seen and was wondering how well they do.

If you have one, I'd be interested what it is, how you use it (what psi/volume are you using/filling) and what you think? Thanks.
I've been using the GX CS3 compressor (amazon carries it). I got this summer of 2020 and use it a lot.

Not sure what volume, I just fill the tube that connected to the rifle, one an Avenger and a Marauder FT, 4350 psi and 3000 psi respectively. I have heard that this compressor is not good for filling a SCBA tank, just due to overheating issues with the large volume.

I like it, but it's slow compared to something like a Yong Heng water cooled compressor. I'd guess that 0 to 4350 takes around six minutes, the Yong Heng will fill in about a minute. The CS3 is a lot quieter and I use the DC power connected to my car's battery sometimes which is a feature I like.

It can leak from various fittings like the release valve and overpressure relief fitting, but that's just from loosening up over time, the compressor does vibrate a lot while in use. Tighten them up and the leaks will go away. In fact, check all threaded fittings and make sure they're tight. You'll know it's leaking when it can't hit 4K psi. I have not had to replace any O-ring yet.

The water separator seems to work very well. I added a secondary separator to it just because I had one laying around. I doubt the secondary actually doing anything, I have not seen evidence that water is getting past the primary.

I disassembled it and cleaned and replaced the grease last winter. I did not notice any change or improvement in performance. The manufacturer indicates that this maintenance is not required and that could be true.

Right now I notice that a Yong Heng can be had for $200 which is an unbelievable deal. But they are higher maintenance, water cooling is slightly annoying and it has to have AC power, but they work great.

However, I still like the CS3 better due to the flexibility of DC power and low noise.
My neighbor picked up a vevor one and fills a marauder .22 to 3000 psi after he got tired of waiting for me to fill from my Bauer/tanks he has had it about 6 months and a dozen or more fills -he loves it. I am tempted to sell one of my big compressors n get one of these for the space I could free up then common sense kicks in :p but I might get one anyway... just because
I have a GX CS3 also and it is a good compressor. I was using it every day and it just kept chugging along filling my Origin and Airforce TalonP
When I got my RTI I used it a lot to fill it also. That gun fills to 4500 psi and the compressor finally gave up after nearly a year of filling that gun once or twice a day every day I was home
. I contacted the company and they sent me a new compressor compressor section. Not the complete unit, but that's fine.

Since then I did get a Young Heng and mounted it on a welder stand with a water tank on the base. I use it for the higher pressure fills
It actually runs much hotter than the GX. Probalby because it runs at a much higher RPM. So I watch the included temp gauge and then usually fill it to 3000 or a little over. let it cool and top off to 4500.
I have a JTS I bought from Pyramyd for $500.
Had it going on two years. I have an air venturi dryer on the output side. I use it to fill an Avenger .177 to 4350psi, a Notos .22, DAR .25, and FX .30 to 3000-3200 psi.
I have no complaints about this compressor, haven't had any issues. It is air cooled, no water to deal with. No oil either. Doesn't get any more simple.