At 500 psi, Max's 2.6 gallon twin-pontoon tank holds more air than the author's standard 9-gallon compressor (at left), but it doesn't refill the tank as quickly.
At 500 psi, Max's 2.6 gallon twin-pontoon tank holds more air than the author's standard 9-gallon compressor (at left), but it doesn't refill the tank as quickly.

I was introduced to the Max PowerLite high-pressure pneumatic fastening system in 2007 while testing framing nailers for Tools of the Trade magazine. A Max 400-psi tool was included in the mix, and the company's AKHL1050E 400-psi compressor arrived along with it. Max had introduced the world's first 400-psi system in Japan back in 1994 - and brought it to the U.S. in 2003 - but I had never seen anything like it. Built for efficiency and ease of operation, the system was compact, lightweight, and extremely powerful.

The oilless compressor drew 15 amps, weighed just 51.7 pounds, and had a 2.6-gallon twin-pontoon tank that held as much air as a standard 8.3-gallon tank at 100 psi. It also had two standard and two high-pressure outlets with a separate regulator for each pair so it could operate both types of tools simultaneously.

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