This may well be the best regulator I've seen. If I have one complaint, it's that the gauge seems small. That's no surprise, though. It's integrated into the regulator, and the whole block is rather small. Even so, it's a small complaint. Everything is well-marked and legible, and I am most impressed with everything else about it.
I use a 30-gallon, oil-lubricated automotive compressor to run an airbrush. This is probably overkill, but for 5 minutes of noise, I get 2-3 hours of quiet work time. Unfortunately, my compressor has been eating regulators at the rate of one a year, though the last one only lasted 2 months. They work fine at 40 lbs, and may even work well at higher pressures. But sooner or later, when I run the pressure up to 80 or 90 lbs to fill a tire, the thing fails. As you may know, a regulator usually costs $20 to $60. It's a bother.
The regulators I've bought at the Big Box stores seem really cheap. Their performance has been lackluster with several pounds of pressure loss when I actually start spraying. I've had replacement regulators fail right out of the package, too. Not good! With respect to most of the actual failures, I've since learned that it is extremely important to raise and lower the pressure slowly - more slowly than I've been doing it. Raising and lowering the pressure too quickly puts undue stress on the springs and seals. But the pressure and quality issues are still a bother, and I still needed a new regulator. So, I chose this one because I-R is a respected brand, this looked well-made, and the price was right.
I'm happy to report that this is an outstanding piece of hardware, and apparently bargain priced. Other sites want $40 to $50 for the same unit. First, this has a very handsome, modular design. Second, all the parts seem well-made and fit together nicely. To adjust the inner range band, you do need to carefully remove the front housing, It snaps off and reveals the gauge assembly. Then, you move the yellow arrows as desired to set your pressure range. You pop the housing back into place and all is good. If you want the pressure knob on top, you remove the housing, remove a couple screws, carefully turn the gauge assembly 180 degrees, replace the screws, and replace the housing. Done!
Once installed, I found the regulator has very little pressure drift - maybe a pound or two. Very Happy! Visiting the I-R site, I found that the company recommends putting a dirt & water filter between the air source and the regulator. No stock consumer compressor I've seen has this, and I've noticed buildup of contaminants in a couple of my worn regulators. So, this seems prudent and I will soon install a good filter unit to better protect my regulator.
I recommend this as a very good, bargain-priced replacement regulator. I expect this to perform better and last longer than any other regulator I've tried. I will try to post updates over time. Thanks for reading.
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