IMHO, if you had a very accurate gauge on an air compressor you could use an air compressor. Or could connect the aircompressor and adjust the gauge to the desired pressure.
If you are asking about using just an air pump, you would not know what pressure is in the shock and run the risk of overpressuring it.
It's well worht the $$$$ to buy the shock pump.
i use a normal pump without a gauge... for the front i just pump untill i like how hard or soft... the rear shock what i do is i pump enough so that when i sit on the saddle, it just moves in a touch..
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