The 10 Best Air Compressors ​Of 2021

Air compressors can be used for a whole variety of things, and you don’t have to be a pro in DIY to be able to use one, in fact, it can even be your first time. There are a whole variety of things that air compressors can be used for, for instance, they can make spray painting easy for you or if you use a nail gun then you will need an air compressor unless it is battery run.

However, they don’t just have to be used for things around the house, as you can also use them on your car as well, in fact, if you want to change a fuel filter then you will need an air compressor to do this. Therefore we’ve put together a list of the best air compressors around, to make it easier for you to decide if you need to purchase one.

1.Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 Air Compressor

A good, useful air compressor is one that will get the job done whenever you need it. The best isn’t necessarily the one that’s expensive or packed with the best features. It is the most reliable. The electric Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 fits this position perfectly. With an 8-gallon tank and 125 max psi rating, it is capable of holding and flowing air almost immediately. Large wheels and a rubber grip also make the compressor portable if you want to move it around the garage or outside.

One of the best features of this compressor is its durability. Campbell Hausfeld has designed this thing to last, with several key components lasting up to four times longer than the competition. It is also up to 50 percent quieter than other compressors, meaning you can use this one around the house or in the evening without bothering your neighbors. With its large tank and reliable build, you can confidently use it for projects requiring repetitive tasks like inflation, painting, or power nailing and stapling.

2.Porter-Cable C2002

The Porter-Cable C2002 wins the first spot in my list of air compressors reviews. This user-friendly model weighs only 31.3 lbs and comes in a compact mold, making the air compressor one of the lightest designs available in the market. Effortless operations, plenty of functionalities, and affordable price point- I think these 3 specs of the Porter-Cable C2002 made me put it in the first place.

 

It is equipped with a high power 120v motor, which pressurizes the air within the 6-gallon pancake-style tank up to 150-psi. I’ve used this oil-free durable model to finish my different kinds of projects. But it worked best for car tires.

It works with high precision and for long hours without causing any hand fatigue. In my opinion, Porter-Cable C2002 is the best air compressor for tires available in the market. Despite its lightweight, it could easily pull off heavy home projects.

3.Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor

For the best air compressor, look no further than the Industrial Air’s 20-Gallon Electric Air Compressor. It offers the perfect combination of reliability and power. And if you have to move it, the 159-pound unit has handles and wheels to make transporting it not an impossible task.

It’s also an effective compressor, with 135 max pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure and rugged cast-iron construction for the body. The pump is oil-lubricated (which cuts down on noise), and while the motor is wired for 120-volt power, it can be converted to 240-volt if necessary.

Customers also give props to this Industrial Air unit for its quiet operation, made-in-the-USA tank and price tag that won’t ravage bank accounts. All in all, it’s enough to make Industrial Air’s model our top overall choice.

4.PORTER-CABLE Compressor, Oil-Free, UMC Pancake

This model operates using a low voltage, 120V motor. The motor can run even through adverse conditions making it useful when the temperatures plummet since it will always start with ease. The plug and coupler are factory installed which makes it effortless for anyone to use it.

We can agree that the simplified design is one of the reasons Porter-Cable C2002 is a top seller. You will love that it is crafted with an oil-free pump that keeps it in good condition for a very long time.

What’s more, you get an accessory toolkit to get you started on a project if you don’t already have the tools necessary for your first job. You will get a blow gun, 25ft hose, tire gauge, quick coupler, configurable attachments, Teflon tape, and a tire chuck.

5.Air Compressor, 1 Gallon, Pancake, Oilless Pump, 110 PSI

 Functions on 120-volt house present. 110 Max PSI, 0.36 CFM @ 90 PSI to address your DIY requires An easily put meter permits surveillance of air pressure at a glance. The oilless pump means maintenance-free possession for a much longer unit. Includes 25-pin recoil, needle, needle adapter, 2 blow up nozzles, air chucks, plus onboard storage space A lightweight pancake layout (under 13 pounds) as well as a company grip that makes it comfortable and simple to lug. Suitable for the rising cost of living, brad nails, stapling and airbrushing applications. Complete your tasks quicker and easier with Campbell Hausfeld. Electricity Professional Functions on 120 volts family present. 110 Max PSI, 0.36 CFM @ 90 PSI to address your Do It Yourself requirements (Tuner available – part number CV223900AJ) A conveniently located meter that permits to keep an eye on atmospheric pressure at a glance. Oilless pump suggests maintenance-free possession for a much longer unit, including 25-pin recoil, needle, needle adapter, 2 blow up nozzles, air chucks, plus onboard storage for keep all the accessories organized: Lightweight pancake design (under 13 extra pounds) and company grasp make it easy and comfy to lug Perfect for inflation, brad nails, stapling as well as air cleaning applications. Complete your tasks quicker and easier with Campbell Hausfeld – Air expert

6.Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP

This air compressor may be a little more expensive compared to others, but it is totally worth the price that you invest in. There are a lot of benefits that come with this air compressor one is that it is exceptionally quiet, so it benefits you and everyone else that is around you. Plus, it is also very ideal to use with nail guns for major jobs that you may have on and smaller jobs as well, making it practical for any occasion.

Not only this, but it will last you a lifetime, and you won’t have to buy another air compressor for decades if you purchase this one.

We liked this product because it is actually a very powerful compressor and it will last you years and years so you won’t need to replace it.

7.Makita MAC700 2.6 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

  • RPM to reduce noise, friction and increase durability of the pump.
  •  
    The pump is made with a single cast iron housing with a big bore cylinder and piston designed and engineered so that the tank fills up fast and recovers quick.
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    The pump is oil-lubricated so it runs cooler and more durable.
  •  
    You get a 2.6 gallon hotdog cylinder to store the compressed air.
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    Maximum pressure produced is 130 PSI
  •  
    Net weight is 52 lbs. Can be carried easily by one person.

Although the Makita MAC700 is one of the smallest air compressors you can get your hands on in terms of tank size, it certainly has its pecks.

You’re going to find it very useful as long as you’re not going to be powering air-hungry tools like impact drills, sandblasters and so on. It fills up fast, recovers quickly and will do just fine with low air-demand tools like nailers and staplers.

8.Hitachi KNT50AB Air

We were thoroughly impressed with this compressor for a number of reasons! Fitted with a 6-gallon tank that offers 150 PSI of working pressure, the device runs for long and achieves a high degree of oil-free efficiency. This makes it perfect for tough duties such as carpentry and finishing projects.

What further adds to its aptitude for such tasks is the inclusiveness of the kit that enables it to tackle a stunning variety of tasks with ease. Included in the kit are a 2-inch 18-gauge finish nailer, a hybrid hose, and pneumatic tool lubricant. Together, these items enhance the operational efficiency of the compressor to an impressive standard.

9.CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor

  • Equipped with an oil-free pump for long-lasting durability and minimal maintenance,

  • Provides up to 150 PSI for a range of tools and accessories.

  • Features 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI for a quick compressor recovery time.

  • Includes a 13-piece accessory kit to get started.

  • Features a lightweight design at just 30 pounds.

  • Made in the U.S.A.

10.CRAFTSMAN 20 Gallon Air Compressor

The Craftsman 20-Gallon Air Compressor is our obvious choice for the best overall 20-gallon air compressor. It combines big power, reliability, and portability at a decent price point. This is a single-stage air compressor that is capable of producing 175 PSI, giving you an airflow rate of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI. 

 

It’s powerful enough to run impact wrenches, spray guns, grease guns, hammers, nailers, air brushes, and more. The best part is that it comes equipped with a dual quick coupler set-up so that you can run two tools simultaneously. It’s also equipped with a maintenance-free, oil-free pump for ease of use. 

 

A strong handle and durable rubber wheels make it easy to move this air compressor wherever you need it. It comes backed by a one-year warranty, which is a far cry from the lifetime warranty Craftsman used to provide, but we’ll take what we can get. It also runs a little on the loud side compared to some other models on the market.

TYPES OF AIR COMPRESSOR

Though they might look very different from the outside, air compressors can be broken down into a few basic types:

  • Electric- or gas-powered.

  • Oil lubricated or oil-free.
     

All of the portable air compressors we selected are powered by electricity, and can be plugged into an ordinary household outlet. Larger electrical models may have more demanding requirements, but these are normally stationery, and more suitable for professional workshops and factories. Gas-powered air compressors are often big, powerful units used in commercial environments or construction sites, as well as situations where an electrical supply is unavailable.

The majority of air compressors are lubricated with oil, particularly the more powerful models. Oil level should be checked regularly, and changed periodically. It’s a quick and simple maintenance routine that ensures a long working life. Indeed, these compressors are known for their long-term durability.

Oil-free air compressors have Teflon-coated cylinders that don’t need lubrication. There’s virtually no maintenance, so it’s no surprise they are popular.

The drawback with oil-free models is that the Teflon lining will eventually wear, and cannot be replaced. There’s no solution other than buying a new compressor. While it sounds drastic, it’s a slow process, and a high-quality, oil-free portable air compressor should last many years.

AIR COMPRESSOR SPECIFICATIONS

To understand portable air compressor performance, you need to understand the terminology, and how important each aspect is.

Air compressor specification sheets should supply you with four figures:

  • Horsepower (hp)

  • Cubic Feet per Minute (cfm) or Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (scfm)

  • Pounds per Square Inch (psi)

  • Tank Sizes (gallons)

The horsepower rating tells you how hard the motor can work. The higher the horsepower, the quicker the compressor will get to working pressure, and the faster it will fill the tanks – and refill them while in use.

CFM is a measure of airflow, and the most important characteristic of any air compressor. You can have low horsepower, and the pressure will build up eventually. If you have low airflow, some tools simply won’t work – there isn’t sufficient power to drive them.

If you only need a compressor to inflate tires or blow up an air bed, low airflow doesn’t have much impact. If you’re using a nailer, grinder, or impact wrench, then the right output is absolutely vital. All air tools have a cfm rating. If your air compressor doesn’t match or exceed that rating, the tool will not work.

The reported airflow for an air tool or compressor should be measured at 90 psi. The figure is used to give a standard for comparison, rather than meaning the tool must be used at 90 psi. Beware of cfm numbers quoted at different psi levels. It can be used as a way to make the compressor appear more powerful than it really is.

Check the air tools you expect to use before buying a portable air compressor. A brad nailer can have an airflow as low as 0.5 cfm at 90 psi, but a framing nailer might require 2 to 2.5 cfm, and a 1/2″ impact wrench could need 4 cfm.

You can always turn the pressure of a big compressor down, but you can’t turn a small one up beyond its stated cfm rating.

PSI is the actual air pressure generated. In theory, a 3-gallon tank full of air at 150 psi has 30% more air in it than the same size tank at 100 psi. So, psi could be used to compare how long two compressors would run between refills.

In practice, even the smallest, cheapest portable air compressors will generate 100 psi or more. Anything above that should be more than adequate for DIY and small workshop use.

Whether tank size is important or not will depend on the kind of work you do. If you’re only looking for a compressor for general inflation duties, you probably don’t even need a tank.

If you run a selection of air tools, a tank gives you the advantage of creating an air reserve: the compressor fills the tank to a pre-set pressure, then stops working until the pressure drops. It makes for a quieter working environment, too.