Portable air compressors are now in high demand; they are effective and convenient to use. There are many air compressor brands in the market, to make the best choice a good approach is to identify what you need to use the air compressor for and check the specifications if the product you are interested in buying is a good match for your needs.
What are the Best Air Compressors to Buy?
In recent times, the introduction of the oil-free air compressors has made them more suitable for different types of projects. The oil-free air compressors are also designed to emit less noise just like the models that still use oil lubricants, which means they can be used for jobs in densely populated environments without causing a disturbance. These are some important features to consider when buying an air compressor.
Also, it is a good idea to confirm that the air compressor you are buying can be easily moved from one location to another. For example, some portable air compressors are fitted with small tires so they can be moved from one place to another easily. Another good feature when using these compressors is a sturdy handle that makes it easy to carry the air compressor from one place to another. Also, to make a choice that will last long, it is best to buy an air compressor that features a tank with large capacity and made from aluminum or steel. The aluminum or steel tanks on air compressors can be used for many years without showing any signs of corrosion. This means you will get more value from your investment after purchase.
Here are 25 of the best air compressors you can consider when shopping online;
25 Best Air Compressor Reviews
1) PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
The Porter-Cable C2002 is designed to be used for many hours when necessary. The air compressor has a large tank shaped like a pancake; this is where its name was formed. The maximum pressure generated by this unit reaches about 150PSI, which is adequate for different tasks which can be private or commercial usage. It is easy to operate and has a quick recovery time while in use; this is achieved with the generation of 2.6 SCFM at 90PSI. The capacity of its pancake shaped tank is 6 gallons, and it runs with motors that require minimal Amp to start spinning. The motors have a rating of 120V, which makes it easy for this air compressor to be used without any issues during the cold weather.
It also features an oil-free pump, which has low maintenance and high efficiency. Two gauges are fixed on the unit to monitor the tank pressure and output; the power switch is located on the upper part of the air compressor where it is visible and easy to use. The upper parts of this unit are covered with hard plastic covering for protection and to make the unit durable.
2) VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor
This is a smaller sized air compressor that can easily fit in a bag. It comes with a portable bag to make it convenient for users who need this air compressor on different project sites. This unit can generate as high as 60PSI, at its maximum capacity. It is also powered by a 15 Amps auxiliary power outlet connected to a source for electricity. At 0 PSI, the free flow value is indicated as 1.26 CFM; it also has an ergonomic design and four sturdy legs that help to keep the unit well balanced during use, these legs make it possible to use the air compressor on smooth or rugged terrains without any problems.
The air compressor can be used during the day and at night; it features a pressure gauge that can be illuminated in the dark, so it is easy to read the pressure. Attached to the compressor of this unit, is a strong handle, its function include lifting or carrying the air compressor from one place to another. Overall, it is an excellent air compressor for private use and offers good value because it is durable.
3) Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor
The Viair air compressor is one of the heavy duty models designed to be durable and portable. The unit comes with a high-quality carrier bag, which also has a handle for easy carriage. The air compressor can generate 100 PSI at maximum pressure. However, it is important to keep the engine running while in use, to achieve and maintain this pressure. There is a gauge on the unit; it shows the pressure level of the tire when the device is in use, to start pumping, the switch on the panel must be turned on, the readings will reflect on the gauge.
To function properly, the air compressor requires about 15 Amps, which can be sourced from the vehicles power outlets; it also has a 12V rating; this accounts for the low Amp requirement for proper functionality. The air compressor is supported by four strong leg mounts at the base, which keep the unit stable when it is in use. In the packaging, the manufacturers have added three extra nozzles for different types of tires; these accessories can be quickly changed when necessary.
4) Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor
The first thing that to be noticed about this air compressor is its pancake shaped air tanks. The tank has the capacity to hold as much as 6 gallons. The air compressor unit is also one of the oil-free Bostitch compressor models. It is designed with an easy start switch; this makes the unit a good choice for usage in cold weather. This air compressor also features an ultra-silent system that generates minimal noise when it is in use, which makes it suitable for projects in quiet environments. The oil-free pump is a commendable feature because it is easier to maintain air compressors that do not require oil to function.
The air compressor also has features such as the high flow regulator and couplers that can be used with different nozzles. The unit has been fitted with two gauges, one for the tank and the other a REG gauge; these gauges help users to monitor the unit while it is in use. The frame of this air compressor is supported by three sturdy legs which have rubber endings to increase balance.
5) Air Compressor, Portable, 3 Gallon Horizontal, Oilless, w/ 10 Piece Accessory Kit Including Air Hose & Inflation Gun (Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV)
This model of air compressor has a significantly higher air pressure output. At its maximum capacity, the air compressor unit generates as much as 110 PSI. And at 90 PSI the value of 0.36 CFM is achievable. It is a complete air compressor with all the major features that individual or professional users will need. The air tank has a cylindrical shape placed horizontally, and it has a capacity of 3 gallons. The motor on this air compressor unit has a rating of 120V; the unit is powered from any domestic power source that has the stated rating or higher.
It is also noted that the motors require minimal Amps to start spinning. This is also one of the common oil-free air compressors, which makes it easier to maintain the unit. With this package, a ten-piece accessory kit has been added which feature an air hose and inflation gun; this means the air compressor can be used to inflate tires, balloons and other tasks on industrial project sites.
6) Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressors
This is one of the average sized air compressors that have all the best features everyone needs. The unit features one big bore cylinder made from cast iron; it also has an inbuilt stroke and piston which function effectively. The pump is oil lubricated; this reduces the chances of wear and prolongs the life of the air compressor. The maximum power generated by this air compressor is 2HP; this is adequate for DIY tasks and minor industrial functions. The system is cooled down during use by the discharge tubing which is made from copper.
The unit also features an oil sight glass that makes it easy to monitor the oil level before and after using the air compressor. It is also a noiseless unit suitable for use in any location. The air compressor features a strong handle with a rubber cover for a firm grip. It is balanced by four suction legs that hold firm to a flat surface, keeping the compressor steady when it is in use.
7) Hitachi KNT50AB Brad Nailer and Compressor Combo Kit, 6 Gallon Pancake Air Tank, 5/8" to 2" Brad Nails, Includes 25' Air Hose
The Hitachi KNT50AB is one of the air compressor models that have the pancake-shaped tanks. It is a heavy duty air compressor, and this unit can be used for different tasks. The capacity of the air tank for this compressor unit is 6 gallons. It also comes with an extra air hose in the accessories kit. The air hose has been fitted with valves that make it suitable for industrial uses; this is also a portable air compressor that can be easily carried from one project site to another.
Other accessories that come with the package include protective glasses and tool lubricant. The bend restrictors on this unit are designed to be flexible; this makes them resistant to extremely cold weather, when the air compressor may need to be used. The unit generates a maximum of 150PSI, which can be adjusted and monitored from the gauge on the system. The 18 gauge Brad Nailer on this air compressor is easy to use and weighs very little, which makes it convenient for all users. The pancake-shaped air tanks are balanced on four strong legs so the air compressor can be used on different surfaces.
8) Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
The Makita air compressor model has twin tanks and a big bore cylinder made from cast iron which is resistant to corrosion and very durable. It can be used to produce a pressure of 130 PSI at its maximum tank capacity, and at 90 PSI, the system generates 4.2 CFM. The air pumps on this model are oil lubricated and enhanced to improve cooling while the unit is in use. To manage the oil consumption and monitor its level, an oil sight glass has been added to this unit, which makes it easy to determine the oil level in the system.
This air compressor also has safety features such as a thermal protector that prevents the motor from tripping if there is an overload. The unit has been designed with a roll cage which covers its components when the air compressor needs to be used on project sites. The motors start with a low Amp draw; this means the chance of the circuit breaker tripping is lower. The control panel also features a high flow regulator and two gauges to monitor the tank pressure and regulator pressure.
9) Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
This air compressor designed by Senco is made for people who need a portable air compressor that works efficiently and has all the features needed in a regular air compressor. This unit generates 1/2 Hp, which is adequate for minimal use, probably owners who need this unit for personal usage. Other features such as the air tank capacity of 1 gallon and simple operational functions make it a reliable air compressor that can get tires pumped to a standard pressure during emergencies; it can also be used for minor home improvement projects.
The unit can be used on flat or rugged terrain because it stands on four strong legs which support its weight. The legs also have suction fittings to hold the air compressor in place while it is in use. The unit is painted to prevent corrosion, this includes the tanks made from aluminum and has a sturdy handle attached to the main frame which makes it easy to lift and carry the air compressor for one location to another. It is also oil-free and requires only 4 Amps to start the motors.
10) DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
The air compressor unit of this Dewalt DWFP55126 model is mounted on a pancake-shaped air tank. The unit features a 6-gallon capacity air tank and can generate a maximum pressure of 165 PSI. This air compressor can be used for industrial projects and other domestic tasks, including inflating car tires or balloons. The rating on its motor is stated as 120V; the system is powered on with an easy starter component which makes the air compressor suitable for use in cold weather.
The unit also features a well-designed high flow regulator which can be used to monitor the pressure output from the valves. There are two gauges located on the top surface of the system to help the user monitor the tank pressure and REG pressure. At the top of this air compressor, is a strong yellow handle that can be used to lift and carry the unit by hand, it is also supported by three sturdy legs which are covered in thick rubber for balance. The legs provide balance when the unit is used on different surfaces. The size, capacity, and low noise emission of this air compressor make it suitable for industrial projects.
11) PORTER-CABLE CMB15 (1.5 Gallon) Oil-Free Fully Shrouded / Hand Carry Compressor Kit with 25' Hose
The Porter Cable CMB15 has a unique design that promotes simple features and well as portability. The controls are mounted on the top surface of the air compressor unit, which also features a strong handle for easy carriage by hand. The other parts of the system are completely covered in with a painted and tough looking body. The maximum pressure generated by this air compressor is 150 PSI at a maximum tank, the capacity of its tank is 1.5 gallon. The air pump is oil-free; this increases its low maintenance value. The motor in this system has a rating of 120V; it is started with the easy starter design, which makes the air compressor suitable for use in cold weather.
The unit also has a water drain valve, and come with an extension cord when heavy duty tasks need to be done. The Porter Cable CMB15 has a quick recovery time; this is possible due to the 2.0 SCFM generated at 90 PSI. This unit is compatible with a wide range of accessories and valves; therefore, it can be used for different projects.
12) California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
If you need a reliable air compressor that generates as much as 2Hp and draws a low Amp rating, this air compressor model will be a good fit. It is one of the oil-free air compressors which have low maintenance value.
The California Air Tools 10020C is also noiseless, so it presents minimal disruption during use. The sound output from this air compressor model is only about 70 decibels; it also features a dual piston pump system that is known to be durable. The gallon attached to this air compressor model is made from steel, it has a volume of ten gallons, however, moving this air compressor around is easy because there are durable small tires attached to the gallon, and the sturdy tires make it easy to use this air compressor in different terrains while executing projects.
It also has a considerably efficient air flow; this is due to the easy start valve which sets the motor spinning at 1680 RPM. The life cycle of this air compressor is about three thousand hours, and it can be used in cold or normal weather conditions.
13) DEWALT DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor
The Dewalt DWFP55130 model is one of the oil-free air compressors within the range of industrial and DIY units. The air compressor generates as much as 200 PSI when the tank is at a maximum level. It also features a silent compressor that emits no noise while the unit is in use. The oil-free air pump on this unit offers low maintenance; it is also durable and reliable. The unit also features a high flow regulator that can be used to adjust its efficiency to match the task that needs to be done.
Regarding the pump speed, this air pump can achieve speed as fast as 2,300 RPM. At 90 PSI, the system generated 3.0 SCFM, an indication of its efficiency. The weight of this air compressor model is stated as 36 lbs. It is easy to move around and can be fitted in the trunk of a car easily. The motor has a rating of 120V; it requires only 12 Amp to start spinning, which lowers the chances of activating the circuit breaker. The unit also features two gauges on the panel which are used to monitor the tank pressure and REG pressure while the air compressor unit is in use.
14) California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver
The California Air Tools 8010 has all the basic features that make it suitable for personal use; however, it can be used for different cars because of its accessories. It is one of the oil-free pump models designed under the California Air brand; it is also easier to maintain since there is no need to manage or monitor the oil level in the system. The output from this air compressor model is stated as 1 HP, which is adequate for personal use.
The system for this air compressor unit has been specially designed to function without causing a disturbance, during operation; it is almost silent and requires very low Amp, only 8.5 Amps, to start the motors running. The maximum pressure that can be generated from this air compressor unit is 120PSI. The air tank is supported with small, sturdy wheels which make it easy to move the air compressor unit around easily. The system comes with other accessories such as the air filter and tools to manage the valves. There is a lever handle attached to the frame of this air compressor which can be held and used to control the unit when it has to be moved. The body of this air compressor unit has also been painted to avoid corrosion.
15) Campbell Hausfeld Portable Quiet Air Compressor, 8 Gallon (DC080500)
The Campbell Hausfeld air compressor is a good choice if you need a portable unit that operates silently. This air compressor can generate pressure as high as 125 PSI at its maximum capacity; it is well known for the low noise emission, which is one of the reasons many people recommend this unit. Other features of this air compressor include the air tank capacity, which is stated as 8 gallons, this size enables the system to function for long hours when it is in use.
The air compressor also has a quick recovery time, made possible because it generates 2.4 CFM at 90 PSI. The unit can be easily moved around with the strong handle attached to the frame and two small tires beneath the unit. There are also two legs that help to keep the air compressor in one position when it is in use. The accessories that come with this unit include an extension cord, and a three-way inflation gun. To get the motor started, the system requires only 7.5 Amps, the portability and eases of use make this air compressor a good choice for private or industrial use.
16) California Air Tools CAT-4620AC Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 2.0 hp 4.0-gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Electric Portable Air Compressor, Silver
The 4620AC California Air Tools air compressor is one of the noiseless models from this brand. The unit features meters to show the pressure in the tank and regulated pressure while it is in use. This air compressor unit is oil-free, which reduces the maintenance costs for the owner. It is also a good choice for people who need a low sound emitting air compressor because the unit generates only about 70 decibels when it is in use.
The air compressor generates as high as 2 Hp; it also features a safety feature that protects the system if a thermal overload occurs. The air tank capacity on this model is 4.6 gallons; the air tanks are made from aluminum, and protected from corrosion. The size of this air compressor makes it portable and easy to use on different sites because it weighs only about 67 pounds when the tank if full. The base is fitted with sturdy legs that keep the unit balanced while it is in use. This air compressor has an easy start valve used to start the motor easily when there is work to be done. For efficiency and portability, this air compressor is a good choice.
17) VIAIR 150 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit
The VIAIR 150 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit generates as much as 150 PSI as its maximum output and ¼ horsepower. This PSI value is adequate for a wide range of functions on the site. The device is portable and has two beams for support at its base. It is also a sealed air compressor specially designed for use when actuating air horns are needed during the project.
Some of its functional parts include the pressure switch which is used to control the pressure generated by the unit, a drain cock, safety valve and fitting for the compressor. The air tank on this unit has a 2.0-gallon capacity which functions with the pressure switch. The motor on this air compressor is the permanent magnetic type; they consume as much as 12V when the unit is in use. It also requires about 16Amps to function as expected. The entire system weighs about 17 pounds and can be used continuously for a period of forty minutes.
The safety features on this air compressor unit include a thermal protector which automatically resets when the programmed capacity is reached. The dash panel on this air compressor unit is illuminated to make it easy for users to monitor the unit while it is in use.
18) Twin-Stack P1IU-A9 2 HP 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor
The Twin-Stack design has features that make it easy for private and commercial use. The air compressor is reliable and has safety features that protect the user from getting scorched while the unit is in use. These features include the installation of a shroud which acts as a protective covering over the air compressor. The unit can generate as much as 2 HP, and it has air tanks with a 4-gallon capacity. The system generates low sounds when it is in use; there are indications that can guide the user to select the most suitable lubricant needed in the system to improve its functionality. The unit has a 2000 hour life span in between each servicing.
The air compressor also features two gauges that show the level of pressure in the tank and the discharge pressure. For users who would like to connect different tools to this air compressor, there are two quick couplers to achieve this goal; the regulator knob is located by the quick couplers for easy accessibility. At the top of the air compressor, there is a solid handle with a rubber covering that makes it easy to grip and carry the air compressor easily from one location to another.
19) Briggs & Stratton 3-Gallon Quiet Power Technology Air Compressor 074027-00
This air compressor designed by Briggs & Stratton is a good choice for users who need a silent air compressor unit when it is in use. The features of this compressor include padded parts that lower noise emission. The capacity of the air tank on this unit is 3-gallons, this is an adequate size for users who want this air compressor for DIY tasks, and it can also be used for industrial projects because of the low noise emission and efficiency.
The system is durable; its motors can deliver as high as 1700 rpm, which is made possible because of the four-pole induction fittings in the motor. The high efficiency of this unit is enhanced with its low Amp draw features which also make the unit suitable for use during the cold winter and other seasons. The air compressor has a high flow regulator and two gauges to monitor the tank pressure and regulator pressure. The frame over this air compressor has two handles for lifting the unit; it is balanced on the ground with four legs, which help to keep the air compressor steady when it is in use. Overall, it is a good choice for people who need an air compressor that can function for many hours.
20) CARTMAN Car Air Compressor, Heavy Duty Inflator with LED Light 12V, Portable Air Pump
This is a portable air compressor that can be powered with a vehicle. To function, this air compressor requires only about 12Volts, which can be sourced by connecting the unit to a vehicle with the use of its 12V DC adapter. For convenience and versatility, this air compressor unit features powerful LED lights; this makes it easy to use the air compressor at night or in places with low illumination. The design for this air compressor also features soundproof parts that reduce the noise emitted when it is in use. On the sides of this unit, a strong handle has been attached, this makes it easy to carry the compressor from one project site to another, and the unit weighs about 4 pounds.
The package for this air compressor unit includes a sports needle, an air hose, and two inflator nozzles. Connecting the unit to a vehicle as its source of power considerably increases the time the air compressor can be used without any problems. Overall, this is one of the heavy duty air compressors designed for big and small projects; it is also easy to use, with an accessible switch on the upper part of the unit to turn the unit on or off.
21) Industrial Air ILA3606056 60-Gallon Single Stage Cast Iron Twin Cylinder Air Compressor
The design of this air compressor features twin cylinders in an upright position. This is one of the portable compressors designed for long-term industrial use. It has an above average gallon capacity, which makes it possible to use this unit for many hours. The air compressor features a large 60-gallon air tank. When full to its maximum capacity, this air compressor can run consistently for many hours. It also features an iron crankcase that measures about 12 inches and a pressure gauge that is used to monitor the unit while it is in use.
To function properly, this air compressor unit requires about 240V for heavy-duty projects. The pump in this unit is oil lubricated; however, the manufacturers indicate the splash type of lubricants as the best option for the air compressor to function at its maximum capacity. The base of this air compressor is supported by tripod legs made from cast iron; these legs make it easy to use the unit in different work environments regardless of the terrain. It has ergonomic features, and the simple operational requirements make this air compressor suitable for different types of projects.
22) Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412 4-Gallon Grade Direct Drive Pontoon Air Compressor with Honda Engine
The Industrial Air Contractor model is one of the top choices for people who need an industrial grade air compressor unit. The air tanks on this unit have a 4-gallon capacity. The motors run on a high-quality Honda engine which is known to be efficient. The air pump system is oil-free, this lower maintenance requirements and costs. For maximum tool performance, this air compressor can generate as much as 155 PSI; this pressure can also be monitored from the gauges on the control panel.
There are two gauges on the panel, on for monitoring tank pressure, and the other helps to check and regulate output. The air compressor unit can generate as much as 5 HP, and it also features a direct drive pump supported by the Honda engine. The low noise emission and superior cooling system make this model highly reliable for different industrial tasks.
23) STEALTH SAQ-11215 Professional 12 Gal Air Compressor
The Stealth SAQ is a reliable air compressor unit with convenient tires for easy movement and a large capacity air tank. The air tank can hold as much as 12 gallons, which makes this air compressor unit suitable for industrial use; it can be used for blow cleaning, hardwood flooring, inflating tires in different vehicle models and other industrial functions.
The unit can generate pressure as high as 150 PSI; this means it can be used without the need for extension cords. The two couplers attached to the system make it easy to use different tools at the same time. The rating on the motors for this air compressor unit is 12V, and it has low Amp draw when started. There are two gauges on the control panel to monitor the tank pressure and regulator pressure; in the middle of the two gauges is the high flow regulator conveniently positioned for easy reach. Overall, it is a low noise air compressor with versatile functions.
24) Briggs & Stratton 3-Gallon Air Compressor, Hotdog 074015-00
This is a low maintenance portable air compressor; it weighs about 20 pounds and can be easily carried about to different project sites. The unit features an air tank which has a 3-gallon capacity; it generates a maximum of 100 PSI and 1/3 Hp. At its base, the unit is fitted with sturdy suction legs that can keep it balanced while the air compressor is in use. The air compressor unit can be moved around easily, when necessary with the use of its short but sturdy handles.
The body of this air compressor has been painted to give it a good appearance; however, the tank is fortified against corrosion. It is one of the oil-free air compressor models that functions with low noise output; this makes it a suitable air compressor for personal and commercial use in different job sites. The suction legs for balance makes it easy to use this air compressor in different terrains without any worries that it may topple over while in use. The on/off switch for this air compressor unit is located visibly above the air tank for accessibility.
25) Excell U256PPE 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor
The Excell air compressor system is mounted on a pancake-shaped air tank, which has a large capacity of 6 gallons. This air compressor unit can generate 1.5 HP, and a maximum pressure of 150PSI. The control panel is located at the upper part of the panel, where the power switch and coupler valves are located. The motors have a low Amp draw; they are rated at 64V. The easy starter system installed in this unit also makes it easy for use in cold environments.
This air compressor model can be used to inflate tires, hardwood flooring, blow cleaning, and other uses. The unit has a handle on the top for easy carriage; it is also balanced by three strong legs designed to keep the air compressor steady while the motor is running.
Choosing the Best Air Compressors
Before making payment for an air compressor, it is important to identify the functions it will be expected to have, for example, if you are going to be doing a lot of industrial work, it is best to buy an air compressor that has a large air tank. Also, the pressure generated at maximum tank matters, if you don’t need so much pressure, you can save costs by buying an air compressor that has a low output but adequate for your needs.
Also, you may need an air compressor with more than one coupler valves, this allows you to use two tools at the same time, if this sounds like a requirement for your regular tasks, then the air compressor models with two coupler valves will be a better choice.