Best Air Compressors 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Having a wide range of uses is one device called Air Compressors. A staple of your work tool collections, air compressors are furnished to store potential energy by converting the power in the form of compressed air. The stored compressed air can then be used wherever required, whether it is a DIY work-site or for any professional use.

Air compressors have varied functions like supplying air at controlled pressure for filling up the tyres, or gas cylinders, or air tanks, for forcing the valves to keep functioning, facilitating spray painting, or a nail gun usage, up to carrying out extensive industrial projects.

This equipment being a must have, requires a wise decision in order to be able to grab the best budget air compressors or the best portable air compressors for home use. To guide you through the buying process and help you take the purchase decision, we have curated a list of 15 best air compressors for use:-

Top-Rated Air Compressors Comparison Table

Last update on 2020-07-08 at 09:00 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Also, click here to check frequently asked questions on air compressors below.

The Best Air Compressors In 2020

best air compressors

1. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S – Ultra Quiet Operation

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  • With a weight of only 29.5 pounds, this air compressor is light-weighted, making it easy for anyone to move it with the help of a handle.
  • The upper limit of pressure being 120 PSI, the machine houses a steel tank of 1 gallon capacity of air.
  • Airflow rate produced is 1.20 SCFM on a pressure of 90 PSI.
  • It has been engineered in a way so that it creates less noise and delivers more efficiency. This is why the motor performs at maximum limit of 1.2 HP.
  • Running at 56 decibels, the equipment has the ability to refill quickly.
  • Some non-intensive jobs can be efficiently performed like airbrush painting and some gentle carpentry.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Motor is efficient and less noisy.1. Tank capacity is less.
2. Refill speed is commendable.2. CFM is only 1.2.
3. Dual gauges are present.3. Heavy tasks cannot be performed.
4. Motor does not turn hot due to prolonged usage.
5. Maintenance is easy as the pump is oil free.

2. Dewalt Dcc020ib 20v Max Inflator – For Maximum Versatility

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  • This Dewalt air compressors come with adjustable air pressure settings by a rotating the wheeled button.
  • Being 5 pounds in weight, the unit is light enough to move with battery being easy to place and trouble free navigation of menu.
  • Inflation and deflation modes, both are easy to switch between.
  • Working in dark areas is not a problem; there is onboard illumination through LED lights.
  • It has durable and strong rubber feet for enduring the operations, cutting off the risks of accidents.
  • This is a bare tool featuring 0.5 SCFM pressure and 15.2 Volume SCFM.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Air capacity is great.1. Pressure ejection is low.
2. Versatile enough to gain power through three sources.2. Can break down easily.
3. Easy to start by pushing a button.3. Not comes with Li-ion battery.
4. Heavy duty tasks can be supported.
5. Cordless operation is supported.

3. Porter Cable C2002-Wk Oil-Free Air Compressor – Highly Portable

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  • Keeping stability the primary concern, this is designed in a pancake style giving longer performance.
  • The tank capacity is of 6 gallons.
  • Maximum limit of air tank pressure is 150 psi to facilitate more air storage so that tool can run for a long time.
  • Airflow rate is 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi.
  • To avoid leakages and labor, plug and air coupler are installed by default on the hose.
  • For easing out on maintenance, oil free pump is provided.
  • Protection of components is done by the console cover.
  • Operating on 120 volt motor, the unit is among the best portable air compressors.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Good tank capacity.1. Equipment is noisy.
2. Smartly constructed.2. Prone to rusting.
3. Light in weight with easy portability.
4. User friendly with good stability.

4. California Air Tools 10020c Air Compressor – High durability and performance

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  • For keeping cost and after care in check, the air compressor comes with an oil free pump.
  • It operates on 70 decibels being extremely silent.
  • Resting on wheels, the air tank capacity is of 10 gallons.
  • Both battery and electrical dependencies are supported.
  • Motor operates on 1680 RPM.
  • Dual piston for pumping is given for optimum performance.
  • It is usable in both, warm and cold climates.
  • Motor while in function can rotate freely due to least amount of air being released from the pump, due to low amps used by the machine.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Optimum performance with great functionality.1. For heavier usage, tank capacity is unsatisfactory.
2. Drainage valve is present for trouble free draining.2. Not resistant to scratches.
3. Low power consumption.3. Weighing 82 pounds, the unit is heavy.
4. For draining, the frequency and duration can be set manually.
5. Wheels facilitate easy transportation.

5. Dewalt Dwfp55126 Pancake Air Compressor – Quick & Maintenance Free Operation

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  • Having an air storage capacity of 6 gallons, this pancake air tool from Dewalt weighs 30 pounds.
  • With an airflow rate of 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi, it produces a noise of 75 decibels.
  • Running on 120V power, it has an output of 165 psi.
  • For cutting out on maintenance, the air compressor comes with an oil free pump.
  • Console cover protects the parts of this machinery having ¼ inch hose couplers.
  • To prevent corrosion, the tool needs to be drained out completely so that blockage doesn’t occur due to condensed air buildups.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Large capacity and long operations.1. Limited application- cannot be continuously used for a longer time.
2. The unit is not noisy at all.2. Level of pressure reduces in long term.
3. Cost and maintenance is cut out.
4. Very easy to carry it around.
5. Construction is of high quality.

6. Makita MAC5200 3.0 Hp Air Compressor – High Output With Less Noise

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  • Bearing high flow rate and capability, this air tool is built of iron having a large cylinder.
  • At 90 psi, the air compressor delivers an air of 6.5 CFM.
  • The tool is equipped with wheels and handle for effortless mobility.
  • Air pump is moisturized with oil making it less weary and noisy which also makes maintenance easy.
  • The motor is quite commanding at 3.0 horsepower.
  • A large sized piston is fixed for easier functioning.
  • Boasting of a great body build and performance, this surely gets a spot among the best budget air compressors.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. To manage the heat, tubes are made of copper alloy.1. Heavy In weight.
2. Output can be maximized over least duration due to the bore cylinders having 2 stroke mechanism.2. Generates noise up to 90 decibels.
3. Wheels and foldable handle facilitates easy transportation and compact storage.3. Needs maintenance over a longer period of time.
4. Construction is of good quality.
5. Ideal for heavy tasks like woodworking and construction.

7. California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor – Powerful, Silent, & Easily Portable

Last update on 2020-07-08 at 09:00 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Tested to be one of the quietest ones in the world of air compressors, this air tool generates a sound of only 60 decibels, delivering 3.0 CFM at 40 psi.
  • Packed with 1.0 horsepower motor, this tool is amongst the best portable air compressors.
  • This Ultra quiet air compressor operates at 1680 RPM, delivering a great performance.
  • The shelf life of this tool is longer due to the presence of dual piston pump which is completely free of oil. Precisely, it will not leave your side until it crosses 3000 plus hours, in comparison to other similar tools.
  • It can be used in different temperatures, without having to worry about oil spills.
  • The air tank weighs 54 lbs, segregating it to the lightweight category.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Silent yet sturdy and powerful.1. Ergonomic improvements can be done.
2. Tank refills is a quick task.2. Unsuitable for taller ones.
3. Maintenance is of low cost.3. Valve material is of poor quality.
4. Cleaner air is produced since the air pump is oil free.
5. Pressure regulator is adjustable.

8. Vaclife DC 12V Air Compressor – Easy To Use With Auto Shut Off

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  • A staple for car owners, this air compressor from Vaclife is a high speed inflator having a digital display, rendering it to be one of the best budget air compressors.
  • Outlet is of 12V DC with 11.5 ft. long cable for greater reach and 4 nozzles helping to inflate varying kinds of tyres like that of an SUV, car, bike and even sports equipments like basketball, soccer, etc.
  • Safety first, the compressor automatically shuts down on reaching the maximum limit of pressure, to avoid over inflation.
  • For unproblematic working in low lighted or dark areas, the compressor hosts an illumination facility in the form of LED lights.
  • The unit hosts a pressure value of 150 psi, which is its upper limit.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Four nozzles enable the tool to inflate many other devices and tyres.1. The equipment is noisy.
2. Shuts off automatically on reaching the upper limit of applicable pressure.2. Piston of the compressor is not that durable.
3. Easy to put into function and transport.
4. LED light enables the users to even work in darker areas or at night.
5. Not required to unplug the device every time for usage even at an area far from the power socket.

9. Epauto Portable Air Compressor – Best Digital Tire Inflator To Prevent Over Inflation

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  • It is the best budget air compressor.
  • The inflation speed of this air compressor pump is 1.06 CFM.
  • Its maximum working pressure is 100 PSI.
  • PSI, BAR, KPA and kg/cm are the four units of display can be read on the digital gauge.
  • It comes with a feature of auto shutoff after reaching the desired air pressure.
  • Additionally, it has a protection from overheat which shuts the compressor off automatically after it overloads.
  • It inflates the tires of bikes, cars, midsize SUVs and sedans.
  • HT, LT and truck tires are not supported by this compressor.
  • It is CE certified and comes with a carrying bag.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. It is one of the most popular and highest rated compressors.1. It does not support the tires of truck.
2. It is easy to carry because of the small size and lightweight.2. The length of power cord is just 9 feet long.
3. It is comparatively quiet.

10. Craftsman CMEC1KIT18 Air Compressor – Combo Kit ( +1 Brad nailer )

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  • It is a 6-gallon compressor.
  • It weighs 36 pounds.
  • Its dimension is 20.2*16.2*18 inches.
  • It comes with an oil free pump which makes it easy to operate and maintenance free.
  • One brad nailer is included with this compressor. The nails driven by this 18GA brad nailer is 18GA from 5/8in to 2in length.
  • This nailer is perfect for molding shoes, baseboards, small trim, etc.
  • It can be used for small and light duty work.
  • It is recommended to drain the tank after use.
  • The tank is of good quality and can hold the pressure for days.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. It is one of the most portable air compressors and is lightweight too.1. It has a short cord.
2. It is easy to use.2. It is not a very quiet device.
3. It has a flexible air hose.

11. Kensun Portable Air Compressor – Durable & Multipurpose Device

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  • It is one of the most portable air compressors.
  • It makes the tire inflation fast and easy because of its dual solid motors that provides excellent power.
  • You can use this Kensun’s air compressor anywhere, be it your car or home because of its AC/DC switching capability. It is the best air compressor for home use.
  • It is a multipurpose compressor that inflates the tires of bikes, cars, midsize SUV and sedan.
  • It comes with a large and bright pressure gauge along with a unit conversion. It measures till 100 PSI.
  • Kensun compressors are highly durable and are of good quality because of their rigorous testing.
  • It can work continuously for 30 minutes at 35psi.
  • It has an air flow rate of 18DC/20AC litres/min.

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. It has a simple design.1. It has a short air hose.
2. It comes with a long and strong cable.2. It has a screw type hose connector which leaks at times.
3. It is built with high quality materials.

12. Viair 00088 88p Air Compressor With Alligator Clips – Best For Small Trucks & SUVs

Last update on 2020-07-08 at 09:00 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • This air compressor possesses 12 volt and 120 PSI maximum working pressure.
  • At the time of use, the engine should be running all the time
  • This air compressor is portable and effective device
  • It is best budget air compressor
  • This air compressor is powered through alligator clamps straightly with battery
  • It has LED and Power indicator
  • It has 10 feet cord and is better for small ATVs and trucks
  • It has 16 ft Air hose and 3 pc inflation tip kit
  • It has dual battery clamps
  • It has solid brass twist on tires chuck
  • It has 9 feet power cord

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. The alligator clips are well constructed.1. Some issues observed at connection points.
2. The electrical leads are long enough to reach battery.
3. Lower noise level.
4. Item weights of 4 pounds and it acquires small area to settle.

13. California Air Tools 2010A – Second Best Extremely Quiet Air compressor

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  • This air compressor is best budget air compressor with extremely quiet tool of just 60 Decibels
  • It possess oil free pump and so requires low maintenance and costs
  • This air compressor has 2.0 gallon aluminum tank of rust free nature
  • It has 3.10 CFM at the event of 40 PSI
  • It has 2.20 CFM at the event of 90 PSI
  • This air compressor weighs about 35.3 pounds
  • It is silver colored item
  • This air compressor has voltage of 110 volts
  • It arrives with 1 complete year warranty
  • Corded electric power source in this item
  • Prepared with aluminum material
  • No batteries needed

 

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Better than standard portable compressors.1. Appears awful in certain cases.
2. Extremely quiet.
3. Balanced carry handle.
4. Long life.

14. Makita Mac700 Electric Air Compressor – Maximum Performance & Minimum Wear

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  • This Makita air compressor dissipates more heat due to its copper-finned discharge tubing.
  • You will get a 1 year limited-warranty on this compressor.
  • It has oil lubrication which offers cooler running pump as well as minimizes wear.
  • This device has low amp draw which diminishes events of tripped breakers and voltage drop.
  • The feature of low amp draw in this device helps in preventing premature motor failure.
  • It has less noise subsequently.
  • It has large 1,720 RPM pump which enables larger displacement at low RPM. This enables lower noise, i.e. 80 db.
  • This devices is imposed with iron pump, piston and big bore cylinder which increases its durability.
  • There is blend of stroke and bore.

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. Longevity feature.1. Heavy compressor.
2. Durable and compact.
3. Smooth performance.
4. There is big difference due to the big bore installation.

15. Astroai A220BL Air Compressor – Best Cheap Tire Inflator For Small Cars & Bicycle

Last update on 2020-07-08 at 09:00 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • If you are searching for an affordable compressor or tire inflator for small purposes like inflating football, basketball or small bicycle/car tyres then you should definitely go for it whitout any hesitation.
  • But, if you are searching for an inflator which can easily inflate your bigger tyres of your truck or SUV then you can buy the product number 11 in this list, i.e. Kensun inflator, just by spending a few more bucks.
  • It has advanced accuracy.
  • It is made up of high quality material.
  • Astroai compressor has professionally calibrated to offer back reading within 1.5% of the pressure of the tire.
  • Once the desired pressure is set, the air compressor on its own gets turn off when arrived at pre set pressure.
  • After one click, the pressure gets customized among the KG/CM, BAR, kPa and PSI.
  • This device has large white backlight LCD.
  • The LCD in it helps user to easily read even in dark surrounding.
  • This device has integrated LED flashlight.
  • It is best air compressor for home use.
  • There is switch control for emergency usage.
  • Convenient and practical for usage.

PROS & CONS :

PROSCONS
1. This best air compressor for home use is effective and affordable.1. Issues related with auto pressure function are seen.
2. Performs better for keeping tires at right pressure.
3. Powerful little unit.
4. Decent and valuable.
If you have selected your air compressor then you can also check few more articles which I have written on top 15 nail guns, best cordless drills, top rated cordless leaf blowers & top gas weed eaters for your garden.

If you still haven’t selected your compressor then check the buyer’s guide below. I have mentioned few points which you should look for before purchasing an air compressor.

Air Compressors – Buyer’s Guide 2020

When hunting for best portable air compressors you need to examine certain factors and then consider the product. It never happens that two machines are all the same. And each machine handles a particular spectrum of aimed works. Following is what to brainstorm at:

Airflow:

The PSI (pounds per square) inch of pressure of any air compressor machine is serious issue. This factor leads in understanding the strength of item. Stronger units act perfectly for larger jobs and little less raw power proves to be efficient for small homely advantages.
Finally, it is up to you. However, always remember that very less or lot of pressure is an awful matter. Without sufficient PSI, you probably execute danger of not completing the work at hand. With too much, there might be risk of product damage on which you were executing.

Tank Size:

Are you accomplishing your task at home or commercial place? It will be sensible to use portable model for homely functions however, larger tanks can grip over more air. It means it will be ideal to use model with increased tank size while dealing with pneumatic tools.

Oil or Oil-Free?

Try to pay attention on oil checking and oil changing in order to maintain the correctness of oil based variety. Many models consist of distinct purposes to maintain their performance which turns them hassle free and light in weight.

Power Supply:

Relying on what you will utilize your air compressor for; you require gas powered or electric appliance. Mostly, portable and larger electric models are for home purposes like connecting to car batteries or plugging into outlets.

Compression Stages:

You can pick any option among single stage or double stage model while finding best budget air compressor. Single stage machines draw air into one or two tanks. Double stage machines draw air into both first and second tank.

This metric can insert to the PSI of your machine and associates in a same manner. How much power do you require this machine to generate? Think for this.

Safety Features:

The important safety features of an air compressor are pressure gauges and thermal protection. One must select the best air compressor for home use after checking out these features as they are very essential issues.
You must have observed that machine models we listed above differ in style and design. All air compressors actually perform same thing. Still, certain facets can customize the whole matter of performance.

The Pancake:

These machine models get stability due to their complimentary design as it mostly permits them for a maximum PSI. However, this even proves difficult to store them as they acquire larger space. They are prominently advised for large industrial works. Still, it will prove beneficial for home applications too.

Twin Stack:

The air compressors which have two horizontally stacked tanks are twin stack. It boosts the capacity level and save the space. It is built in storage friendly manner and it offers enhanced performance.

Hot Dog Style:

Air compressors with this feature are single with cylindrical tanks which align in horizontal way. Being easily stored, this machine model arrives with little cutback in performance. Remember this while utilizing it for work.

The Wheelbarrow:

This version of air compressor arrives with two tanks fixed in it. These machine models are slightly bigger and stay incredibly mobile. They prove to be excellent choice for work applications which needs a larger space.

 

Frequently Asked Questions On Air Compressors

 

Q1. What size air compressor do I need for a paint sprayer, nail gun & impact wrench?


When you want to start your work with the air tools like nail guns, impact wrenches and paint sprayers you will require to use a perfect air compressor to run these tools. As this air compressor will provide power to all these tools you have to make sure that the air compressor should be of the right size. These things have to be considered before you decide the size of air compressor:

What types of air tool you are using?
What type of project you are undertaking?
Kind of power source?
Is space available for the tools?


The tank size of the air compressor works for less than 1 gallon-60 gallon. Generally, a tank size of 1 gallon-6 gallon is used. For small tools like a paint sprayer, nail gun and impact wrench 1 gallon are preferred.

Q2. What’s the best air compressor for painting cars?


Choosing the best air compressor for painting your car can be a complicated work mainly when we know that there are countless brands available in the market. If you will choose the small tank air compressor, it will not provide enough air volume i.e. CFM. So, choose that air compressor that will help you to paint your entire car at just one single slot such as DEWALT Dcc020ib 20v max inflator.

Q3. What is a good psi for an air compressor?


One of the most important things to consider while having an air compressor is its capability is what amount of air pressure it can deliver. We can measure this using Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM). Always search SCFM at 90psi when you compare the rating for SCFM. Small tools mainly need SCFM between 0-5 while large one needs 10 or more on the scale.

The air pressure generated by the compressor in the tank usually measured in Pound per Square Inch in short PSI. PSI varies according to the weight of the compressor like for compressor of light-duty 90psi is sufficient while for powerful compressor 150 psi is enough.

Q4. How much psi do I need to fill tires?


For smooth, long-lasting and safe rides tires, it is crucial to have the right pressure for filling the tires. You can see on the sidewall of your tire written in bold letters “MAX Press 35 PSI” that is located just below tires. This number will indicate to you what is enough cold pressure you require for your tires to carry maximum loading.
Generally, maximum tire pressure for cars is between 30-32 PSI.

Q5. What is the difference between PSI and CFM? Is higher CFM a better air compressor?


PSI or Pound per square inch is the unit for measuring how much pounds of pressure you need to have on a single square inch. 100 psi is equal to 100 pounds of pressure applied per square inch whereas, CFM or Cubic feet per minute is the unit to measure the volume used which indicates the output rate of the compressor. Generally, a higher air compressor is used in industries with 200 HP. For small work compressors that are used give 2CFM of air pressure. So, it all depends on the area where you are using this tool.

Q6. How many gallon air compressors do I need?


This is the most common question among contractors and many hobbyists. There are different types of air compressors available in the market with different gallons of the tank.

To smoothly run your air compressor, it should provide a good airflow rate. It depends on the tools for which you are using the air compressor. Gallon air compressor depends on the tool to tool. Some of the tools with the required PSI are:

Nail guns- around 2.8 gallons.
Air gun- around 155.85 gallons.
Air hammer- around 4.6-5.195 gallons.
Air Impact Wrench- same as for air hammer.
Air ratchet- same as that for air hammer.

Q7. How long do air compressors last?


Generally, air compressors are a very durable tool. This comes in different types such as:

Rotatory screw- ranging from 7.5-100 hp or more.
Reciprocating- ranging from 1-15 hp.
Centrifugal- about 100hp.

It is predicted that the rotatory compressor lasts for at most 40,000-60,000 hours. This is equal to operating for 20-30 years. If you maintain an air compressor on a regular basis it will last long for at least 10-15 years.

This post was written by

Hi. I am Alex and I write informative & unbiased review articles on power tools/garden tools or anything related to DIY. All the hard work is done by me, my sister Daisy & my elder brother James who is a professional woodworker. My sister helps me to publish the articles & all the top 15 tools are picked by James according to his experience.