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Sparmax Arism Compressor Review

About the Author

About Matthew Lenton (firstcircle)

Earliest model memory is a Super Sabre my grandmother bought for me in around 1972. We cut the pieces off the sprue with an ivory handled butter knife. Have always dabbled in painting and making things, and rediscovered doing that with plastic in 2008. Vowed then to complete the 30 year old stash...


Nicely made by the looks of it...BUT...that air bleed valve and moisture trap look a bit dodgy to me in terms of comfort. Not to mention the constant on and off of the compressor. Sorry, but I'll take my old Medici compressor that's over 15 years old and the only sound you hear is the little "puff" when the max pressure is reached. Admittedly it DOES have a reservoir built in so the comp. is not always firing up, but even when it does you CANNOT hear it even from 3 feet away...? It's a totally different design based on a fridge style oil bath compressor, so it's not a fair comparison i'll grant you, but if you are someone like me that's REALLY into his hobby, the extra cash for a unit like this is well worth the rock steady reliability AND the super quiet design.
SEP 30, 2015 - 01:06 PM
Hi Laurie, Some similar comments were made on YouTube. I am not at all trying to dissuade folks from giving their honest feedback, but from my perspective and experience it seems like a lot of you are missing the obvious feature for this compressor. Sure it's probably less expensive to manufacture (which may be why they went this route), but it is also highly portable. I seriously doubt Matthew would want to try to move that tank-based compressor around much. And while a lot of you are working in a fixed setup workbench wise, and would likely never want to move your compressor around, this one is for those that might. Thus... feature/benefit. Cheers, Jim
OCT 01, 2015 - 05:10 AM
Thanks Jim, yes, you probably saw my response to someone on YouTube who asked why they might want to replace their existing compressor with this one... well, I have no idea why, unless your existing compressor is taking up too much space. Perhaps I should have made it plainer, but of course the selling point of this unit is its very small size, and I think it is pretty small, and light, so yes it is very portable. Perhaps portability isn't a big deal for most modellers, although you might still like the fact that you can stash it away in a small space if you happen to live in a small flat. Obviously one market for these things is people doing nail art, and they may be more likely to be mobile. So taking the small size I guess I focussed on what you get and how it works. I agree, and did point out the issue, over the moisture trap; I guess it was designed this way in order to keep the unit size down to the minimum, and perhaps the same is true of the bleed valve. So I did also make the point that this unit comes out well in terms of performance figures, at any rate, when compared with one of its direct competitors from a well known brand, and by that I mean another similarly small sized portable non tank compressor. Hope that makes things a bit clearer - but, yes, feedback is good.
OCT 01, 2015 - 05:52 AM
Yes you are very correct Jim with the "portability" issue. I know my Medici is SERIOUS heavy when I have to truck it to the workshops at local IPMS meets. In that regard I sometimes use an older model scuba tank to go portable because it holds a ton of air, needs no power, and is dead quiet. When it comes time for a refill, the air that gets put in is absolutely dry because of the process used for filling scuba tanks. It HAS to be because you can't have moisture seizing up your regulator in cold water diving. Many chaps from the club and others wanting to get into the hobby are always asking me for advise on what/where to get a compressor that won't break the bank. This unit seems like a good deal as the "Silent" types can be anywhere from $400 to $600...! Anyhoo, thanks for the article, it helps add another outlet for "noobies" to get on board.
OCT 01, 2015 - 12:46 PM
I have an older model sparmax that's a similar size but more normal compressor in looks, it runs at a similar noise level due to vibration BUT if you put it on a folded up towel that absorbs the vibration its is much quieter. As for portability? I find that useful as I regularly port it round each computer (7 of them) in the house, connect the airbrush, crank pressure to the max and give them a good dusting.
OCT 01, 2015 - 11:23 PM
Yeah, it didn't occur to me while shooting the video, but it was done in a garage with concrete floor and metal door, with it sitting on a hard desk with a melamine wall at the back and the camera mic was pointing right at it... So I was definitely doing nothing to damp the noise down. Actually at some point you can hear an airliner flying over as well, just to add to it! Good idea on the PC dusting.
OCT 02, 2015 - 12:11 AM
Hi there, I had an opportunity to see a demo of this compressor at a LHS recently and the noise level is much lower comparing to my bigger sparmax compressor TC-610H. The obvious advantage with the bigger compressor is the airtank which reduces the duration that the compressor is turned on. As to the size, weight and portability of this compressor, it does appeal to me because my workbench is barely 2' x 3'. It can be moved around or hide away when not in use. Paul
OCT 02, 2015 - 12:28 AM
Haveing seen the review, think their are alot of better options out there ,the price of this bit of kit, is well expensive,some will and some won't but i think they have got a chinese comp dressed it up,and are trying to take the p... just my opinion,regards too all
OCT 03, 2015 - 05:26 AM
well thanks for letting me know which compressor not to get. That thing is way to loud. i will just stick with my 8 gallon construction compressor. i can fill it up during the day and as soon as the kids go to sleep i have enough air built up that I don't have to turn it on at all.
OCT 05, 2015 - 03:26 PM
Thanks for your observation James. I assume you have something that looks a bit like this: Have to say the thing in the picture is a great price, in fact unbelievably cheap really. But as I said above, this Sparmax compressor is really only going to appeal to people who want something very small and / or very portable. I notice in fact that this Husky is described as "Portable" - well it has wheels I guess. If you have the space, why not?
OCT 06, 2015 - 10:13 AM
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