You can use air compressors for a whole variety of things, from spray painting to working your brad nailer. You don’t even have to be a DIY pro to use one. However, you don’t just have to use them for things around the house. You can also use them on your car as well. In fact, if you want to change a fuel filter, you’ll need an air compressor to do this.
We’ve put together a list of the best air compressors around! This should (hopefully) make it easier for you to decide which one you should purchase. Looking for big, industrial compressors? Try a 20 Gallon Air Compressor.
View the Best Air Compressor For The Money, Below.
- Bostitch BTFP02012 Oil-Free Compressor
- Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP
- PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor
- California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S
- DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor
- California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet
- Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP
- Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 Pancake Compressor
- Makita AC001 Compact Air Compressor
- DEWALT DWFP55130 Heavy Duty
1. Bostitch BTFP02012 Oil-Free Compressor
A Quiet 6 Gallon Air Compressor for Cold WeatherRead Customer Reviews →
This 6 gallon air compressor has a whole load of unique features, making it extra special. For instance, it has a high-efficiency motor that enables the compressor to start whatever the weather. This makes it an ideal tool for any area. Not only that, but it's also oil-free, maintenance-free, and it's guaranteed a long life. It reaches a 150 max PSI and a 2.6 CFM.
You may find that some air compressors can be quite noisy, but with this one, you'll be in for a treat. It actually has a 78.5* dBA operational noise level, making it very quiet. It also features a high flow regulator that ensures it's always providing maximum performance.
We love this product because you can use it in any weather condition. And because it's so quiet, the neighbors won’t complain.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP
A Powerful Air Compressor Build to Last for DecadesRead Customer Reviews →
This air compressor might be a little more expensive compared to others, but it's totally worth the price. A lot of benefits come with this air compressor. One is that it's exceptionally quiet, benefitting you and everyone else around you, too. Plus, it's also ideal to use with nail guns for major jobs and smaller jobs, making it practical for any use.
Not only this, but it will last a lifetime. You won't have to buy another air compressor for decades if you purchase this one. We liked this product because it's a very powerful compressor.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor
Best Portable Air CompressorRead Customer Reviews →
If you want a pancake air compressor that's easy to use, this model is perfect for you. Not only this, but it's also exceptionally strong. Even if you drop a ton of bricks on top of it, this compressor will withstand. It's built from very sturdy and strong materials, making it extra reliable. It reaches a maximum pressure of 150 and runs at 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI.
Another great thing about this pancake air compressor is that you can easily transport it, so you can use it anywhere. It's also very economical for the price you pay. It will easily do the job without any problems, and it won't cost you a fortune.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S
Best Oil-Free Compressor for Less Maintenance and MessRead Customer Reviews →
This 1 gallon air compressor is actually oil-free. This means it makes a lot less mess, is a lot cheaper to run, and requires less maintenance. Like most good portable air compressors, this model features a useful handle attached to it, making it really easy to carry around with you. You can take it anywhere you desire! Even though it's only small, it still has a lot of power.
Plus, this electric air compressor is quiet, only generating noise of up to 56 decibels. It runs 1.20 CFM at 90 PSI, making it perfect for any home garage or on-site job. We liked this product because of how convenient and cheap it is to run, making it very cost effective but also reliable.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor
Best Air Compressor For a Foolproof StartRead Customer Reviews →
There are two different ways that you can use this air compressor. You can quickly start it with its own motor (this also works really well in cold weather, too), or you can use the extension cord to bring it to life. It also has a high flow regulator and couplers, enabling a maximum pressure of 165. With a 6-gallon tank capacity, you can tackle any job in your home garage or shop - it can handle a fair amount of compressed air.
It's also very quiet to use; it won't disturb anyone if you plan to use it at home or work. We liked this air compressor because it is very economical to use; you don't have to pay too much for it, and it will do whatever job you need to get done.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet
Best Electric Air Compressor for Use on Uneven TerrainRead Customer Reviews →
If you're looking for an extremely quiet air compressor, then this one is ideal for you. It only creates 60 decibels of noise and features a low amp draw. It's an oil-free model, making it a lot cheaper to use with a lot less maintenance, too. Because of this, you can use it in a range of temperatures.
You can also place it on uneven ground, and the compressor will continue to work fine. The life cycle of this air compressor is roughly 3000+ hours. Compared to other air compressors, it'll last a very long time. And with an 8-gallon tank capacity, it's perfect for almost all pneumatic tools. It also has a max PSI of 120.
We liked this product because you can pretty much use it anywhere you want, including uneven terrain.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP
A Super Powerful Air Compressor for Any JobRead Customer Reviews →
If you need a really powerful air compressor, this is the one for you. It has a cast iron pump and a big bore cylinder to provide you with an excellent performance. The air compressor is also very quiet, meaning you won't have to hear anyone complaining about noise.
The pump inside is oil-lubricated, meaning it has cooler running temperatures. It also comes with an attached handle, making it easier to transport around, so you can use it wherever you need. It features a 2.5 hot dog tank capacity.
We liked this product because when you use it, you're able to feel how powerful it is. It's also made from very sturdy materials.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 Pancake Compressor
Best Compressor for Use in Old BuildingsRead Customer Reviews →
This air compressor is very cheap to buy and even cheaper to run. This is because it's actually oil-free and maintenance-free. It features a universal pump that provides better tool operation for your job. This air compressor can also start easily in cold weather, making it ideal for any conditions you may face. It's an air compressor best for your home garage or shop.
Not only this, but it's perfect if you're planning to use it in old buildings or in places without a high voltage. This is because the 6-gallon tank has a low voltage startup. The tank size can also hold a lot of compressed air, perfect for use with hundreds of different pneumatic tools.
We liked this product because it's ideal if you want to work in older types of buildings as it can easily adapt to the voltage.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Makita AC001 Compact Air Compressor
Best Heavy Duty Air Compressor for Maximum ProtectionRead Customer Reviews →
This air compressor is extremely lightweight, making it very easy to carry around with you. You can easily transport it to any destination you need to be in. It's also perfect if you want to use it inside in your home garage, as it won't create much noise at all. The lever handle is easy to use, improving the maintenance of the air compressor because you can release the air tank easier.
It also comes with extra protection; the roll cage construction protects the pump and motor assembly. We liked this air compressor because of the extra protection that comes with it. You don’t need to worry about accidentally damaging it.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. DEWALT DWFP55130 Heavy Duty
Best Air Compressor for ReliabilityRead Customer Reviews →
If you're looking for something easy, simple, and basic to use, this is the ideal model for you. It's more suitable if you need to work on lighter projects, as it works very well indoors and outdoors. When you start using it, you'll notice that it's very quiet and doesn't create much noise at all.
It's a portable air compressor, so you can take it on jobs away from home. And if you do need to transport it somewhere else, you'll soon notice just how light it is. It's an air compressor best for pneumatic tools such as nail guns. So if you own a brad nailer, this is the perfect tool for you.
We liked this product because it's very reliable to use and it never let us down.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Air compressors are handy tools to use. You can use them for multiple purposes, from inflating a paddling pool to changing a fuel filter in your car – you can also use them for both. They are becoming more and more popular and a lot more portable too, making them easy to use in your garage or around the house. Plus, many types of air compressors are being made a lot quieter. Gone are the days where your family or maybe even colleagues, can complain about the noise.
However, you may be in a huge dilemma over which air compressor you need to buy. Which one will support your tools? Should you go for a pancake air compressor or something else? What’s the maximum pressure you should be looking for, and what sized gallon tank do you need? Is this model suitable for my home garage and what is a drain valve?
That’s why we’re here to help. You’ll find a whole host of information in our buyer’s guide. We’ll let you know the aspects you need to look out for before purchasing an air compressor.
You may notice that some of the air compressors in the list above are oil-free while some are not. Oil-free options are a lot less maintenance and a lot less mess, making them easier for you to use. Not only this, but they are also a lot more cost-efficient – you won’t have to buy oil or dispose of it at all. Oil in an air compressor might also mean you end up replacing the air dryers, which can also be costly. As another plus, oil-free models have a better impact on the environment than gas-powered models due to the electric power source.
However, there are also some advantages to oil-lubricated air compressors. These are a lot quieter and will last a lot longer than an oil-free compressor. If you need to use your air compressor a lot or need it for more serious jobs, then an oil-lubricated one may be better for you.
One thing you need to look at before you purchase an air compressor is how much horsepower (HP) it has, as this will determine how powerful it is. The only problem is that many air compressors tend to exaggerate how much horsepower they have. You can check if it’s a real horsepower by looking at how much electrical power the compressor uses when running.
For instance, if the air compressor states it has a 5 HP motor, it could draw up to 24 amps on a single phase power (220 volts). For more power, see these air compressors with a much larger capacity.
A gas-powered air compressor might be more powerful than an electric one.
PSI stands for pounds per square inch and relates to the air pressure. Usually, each tool will need 90 PSI to be able to work. You should be able to see how much air pressure the air compressor has on the product description. A model with a 150 PSI or higher is excellent.
Air compressors also tend to have two stages. The first stage builds up to 90 PSI, while the second stage can build up to 175 PSI.
Before you use your air compressor, you should always check that no obstacles restrict the hose. This can stop the air pressure from working to its maximum.
Don’t confuse PSI with CFM (standard cubic feet per minute) which measures the airflow rate.
The tank size isn’t too much of a big deal, as an air compressor only stores the compressed air. Different tank sizes do not limit how much you can use the air compressor. The only difference between tank sizes tends to be the price of them. Models with bigger tanks tend to be a bit more expensive.
There is only one situation where you will need a bigger tank, and this is if you want your tool to run steady. It will quickly produce as much air as the tool needs to run at a steady pace. Smaller air compressors do sometimes have the habit of stopping and starting, so with a bigger tank, you won’t have this problem.
How to Use an Air Compressor
Before you use an air compressor, you’ll need to set it up. You may need to check the oil levels if it isn’t oil-free. You will then need to fix the hose onto the regulator valve. Once you’ve done this, the next step is to attach your power tool to the hose and then plug the main plug into a power socket.
Now it’s set up for you to use. But before you actually use the compressor, you’ll need to see how much pressure it needs. Then you can adjust the settings with the regulator knob. You’ll also have to wait patiently for the air compressor to pressurize before you use it.
What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?
This really depends on what you need to use it for. Every compressor should say the amount of air pressure it holds in the product description; look at the descriptions of the air compressors and see which one would work with your tool.
How Does an Air Compressor Work?
Air compressors are becoming more and more popular. They’re very handy to use for multiple things, and you can easily transport them around. They only have one motor, easily converting electrical energy into kinetic energy. It does this by taking air from all around us, compressing it down, and then storing it. You can then use the air to work a nail gun, for example. When the pressure of the air is released, it’s able to push nails into a wall.
There are hundreds of air compressors all over the internet and in DIY shops, but you need to know what you’ll use it for before you buy one. You need to find out if you need a stationary one, which tends to be used for bigger projects, or a portable one that you can use for simpler things like putting nails into walls and changing car filters. Not only this, but many of the air compressors we’ve listed above come with different features. Some are oil-free, which can create a lot less maintenance for you.
It’s really down to what you need the compressor for. It’s important you use it correctly and follow the directions on both the compressor and the tool you’re using After you’ve finished using an air compressor, it’s always best to drain the leftover air inside it. If you leave the air inside, then it could weaken the compressor.
Did you Know?
There are two different types of air compressors: portable air compressors and stationary ones. Stationary air compressors tend to be a lot larger than portable models.