An air compressor will serve you well for a full range of DIY tasks around the home. Essentially, they transfer power into pressurized air – which comes in handy during lots of different situations. A lot of people use air compressors when conducting DIY repairs or maintenance on their vehicles, but they’re also used power nail guns and spray painting devices.
The versatility of these products goes above and beyond what’s mentioned above. Basically, if you’re interested in DIY, then it’s always helpful to have an air compressor lying around as you never know what you need it.
So, what is the best air compressor money can buy right now? Well, it depends on your budget and the key features you’re looking for. Don’t worry, your decision will be made so much easier once you read these five reviews of the top air compressors around at the moment:
1. DeWALT D55146
First up, we have the D55146 from one of the most trustworthy brands around; DeWALT. The initial thoughts with this product are that it has a funky design. It comes with a vertical stand on wheels, so you can roll it up against the wall and save a lot of space. It also has an adjustable handle, so you can carry it around with you or drag it along on its wheels. Instantly, you’ll like the practicality that comes with these features.
With the best air compressors, you want to look at the tank capacity and the maximum PSI. The D55146 is a 4 ½ gallon air compressor with 225-PSI, both of which are nothing to scoff at. In fact, DeWALT boasts that this maximum PSI provides you with a total of 80% more usable air than the industry leader! It can also deliver 5 SCFM at 90 PSI, which is useful to know when matching it with your power tools. You should also look at the horsepower of the motor inside, and this one has 1.6 HP. Another critical feature to look for is how noisy the air compressor is. This one has a 78 dBA operational level, and this helps keep things as quiet as possible and negates the need for hearing protection while you’re working.
This is an oil-free air compressor, and there’s hardly any maintenance required at all. As a result, you get a product that will last a very long time and provide excellent value for money. The console area is so simple to use, and everything is clearly laid out for you. All the gauges are easy for you to read, so you will know the amount of air pressure pumping through at all times. It’s simple to use, easy to move around, and has impressive performance figures – what more could you want?
- 225 PSI max tank storage pressure provides a user with 80% more usable air than the industry leader; Tool Length : 33.5 inches
- 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI allows the compressor to recover quickly after its initial tank charge is exhausted
- vertical stand feature and collapsible handle allows a user to save space by transporting or storing the compressor in a vertical position
- 78 dBA operational noise level for a quieter work environment
- HORSEPOWER: 1.6 HP
2. Makita MAC2400
The MAC2400 features a 4.2-gallon tank with a sustainable operating pressure of 130 PSI. The intriguing thing about this is that it’s actually a twin-stacked tank that can deliver 4.8 CFM at 40 PSI and 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI. As such, this means you have enough air to power two nail guns at the same time. So, if you’re working with another person, you can use one air compressor between you instead of paying for two!
It’s a very industrially made air compressor, and this is reflected in the cast iron construction – compete with a roll cage. Everything is well-protected thanks to this design, so you know that your air compressor will last for years on end with pretty much no issues at all. The pump itself is oil-lubricated, and this helps cool down the running temperature as everything glides smoothly against each other, reducing the wear. Yes, this means maintenance is required as you have to change or top up the oil. However, Matika has thought things through as you can remove the pump to make maintenance as easy as can be.
The MAC2400 doesn’t come with wheels, but you can still move it around relatively easy thanks to the handle. When it comes to horsepower, there’s 2.1 HP in this air compressor, which is seen as industrial-standard power! The best news is that all this power doesn’t come with a lot of noise as it has a 79dB operating noise level as well. The dials are clear and easy to use, which makes operating the product a complete breeze.
If you’re serious about air compressors and need to use them with more than one thing at once, then this is a genuine option for you to consider.
- Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for improved performance
- Powerful 2.5 HP 4-Pole motor produces 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI for increased productivity and lower noise
- Roll-cage construction provides complete protection to withstand extreme jobsite environments
- Low AMP draw reduces incidences of tripped breakers at start-up
- Pump is oil-lubricated for cooler running temperatures and reduced wear
3. PORTER-CABLE C2002
This offering from Porter-Cable features a pancake style 6-gallon tank. This flatter style of tank offers more stability than traditional ones, along with a larger capacity. Inside the tank, you get a maximum PSI of 150. Interestingly, this lets you store more air inside the tank, and you get a longer run time when you use tools with this. The 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI is also impressive, and the air compressor recovers very quickly after its been fully discharged.
The motor is electric and powered by 120V. By having an electric motor, this eliminates a few common issues with air compressor motors, such as long starting times in cold weather. You can also use an extension cord to power it, so it will be an excellent option for anyone that needs an air compressor around the house. You’re gifted with two air couplers as well, so you can use it with two different tools at the same time, increasing your productivity levels! Much like the DeWALT, this compressor is oil-free, so maintenance couldn’t be any easier.
That’s all the technical talk, what about the appearance and practicality? It’s not got wheels, but there are rubber feet that protect the surface it’s placed on while adding to the stability. Plus, there’s a big, sturdy handle on the top that’s easy to grip and means you can carry it wherever you want. At just 30lbs you shouldn’t have any issues moving this air compressor around. The console offers straightforward operation with two clear valves – even beginners will be able to handle it. There’s no denying it’s a high quality product, and this might be the air compressor you’re looking for.
- 150 psi max tank pressure of the portable air compressor allows more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes
- 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi of the electric air compressor allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
- 6 gal Pancake style tank of the PORTER-CABLE air compressor is made for stability, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
- Low Amp 120V motor of the 6 gallon air compressor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord
- Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
4. Bostitch BTFP02012
Another pancake-style air compressor, the Bostitch BTFP02012 has some very pleasing qualities. It comes in at an affordable price, and the pancake-style tank gives an impressive 6-gallon capacity with 150 max PSI. So, you’re already getting some stats that stand up with the best in the business, and this is coupled with a 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. Again, more than useful and makes it great with a variety of tools.
Speaking of tools, there’s a high flow regulator in this air compressor that helps you get the most out of your air tool performance. In essence, they work with as much power as possible for as long as possible, delivering the ultimate efficiency. Not only that, but the air compressor can recover fast after use, so you don’t have to wait ages for it to be ready to go again. The motor is corded-electric, and this presents some excellent benefits. For one, it’s very efficient. Secondly, it will start up instantly, no matter how cold the weather is.
This is a 29 lbs air compressor, so it’s effortless to move around and place wherever you require it. It also happens to be quite compact, which helps with storage as well. You’ll find it accommodates two users at once, and it runs without oil. Again, like all oil-free options, this leaves you with less maintenance and prevents any troublesome oil stains. Plus, with a 78dB noise level, it’s one of the quietest around.
- The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free, maintenance-free pump for convenient use
- 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump enable long tool run time with quick recovery of the electric air compressor
- BOSTITCH high efficiency motor of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application [14 GA or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
- 78.5 dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment
- 29 lb. weight makes unit easy to carry and store
5. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S
Lastly, we have an industrial looking option from California Air Tools. It’s funny when you look at it, your initial reaction is that it must be very loud and very heavy. However, this is actually the quietest product on this list. It’s only 56 decibels, which is freakishly quiet for an air compressor! What’s more, it weighs 29.5 pounds, so it feels like a bag of shopping when you pick it up. Granted, the tank is only 1 gallon, but you get 120 maximum PSI, which is still very good.
The quietness is all down to a brand new IP motor with a single-piston pump. It features 0.6 hp and operates at 1680 RPM, which is why there’s less noise than other models. Plus, the motor is designed to create less wear, which helps it last for longer. Also, this means it’s oil-free, so their air is cleaner and there are fewer issues with maintenance. That tank is made out of steel, which is why you get an industrial feel when you look at this air compressor. But, this is a good thing as it makes the tank very durable and robust. Durability is a key selling point here; you can use this air compressor for 3000 plus hours before you see any signs of wear.
When it comes to using the product, it has a 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI, so it works with a range of tools. You can use it for staple guns, nail guns, airbrushes, and inflating tires. This is the type of air compressor you can safely store in your garage and use for a variety of household DIY tasks.
- Ultra quiet only 56 Decibels
- Oil-Free pump for less maintenance & costs
- Lightweight for easy transporting - 29 lbs
- 1.0 gallon steel tank
- Powerful 0.6 HP (rated / running) - 1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI
How To Choose An Air Compressor
Here is a great YouTube video talking about different factors to consider when purchasing an air compressor: