Portable Air Compressor
Top rated and best selling portable air compressors.
We’ve put together a great selection of best portable air compressors that you can get right now and we’ve listed them down below. We consider these to be the best portable air compressors.
Here’s our pick of the best portable air compressors you can buy right now.
We consider Makita MAC5501G to be the best portable air compressor from our best air compressors list. Learn more.
Best Portable Air Compressor Buyer`s Guide
Choosing the best portable air compressor may not be so straightforward, especially if you are buying for the first time. Just a first glance at come models in a hardware store can overwhelm you with statistical specifications such as 3.2 cfm, 2.8 hp, and 90 psi. However, there is no need to get distracted by these numbers. With meticulous examination and basic knowledge, it becomes easier to choose the right model.
Portable air compressors deliver compressed air for using it in a variety of projects, whenever required. Although they are used in automobile and construction fields, they have a reliable role to play in domestic applications. As a buyer, you need to know that there is a trade off when choosing a portable air compressor in terms of amount of output they can supply.
With this basic idea in mind, it is worth comparing the features and specifications of best portable air compressors. Let us explore them.
Following are the types of portable air compressors:
- Pancake: Feature the highest stability in terms of design, as they occupy minimal space and have round and flat tanks underneath. Choose this one if you crave for lightweight and portability.
- Hotdog: Feature a relatively more horizontal design and contain a cylindrical-shaped tank. They are yet small enough to save much space.
- Twin-Stack: Feature twin horizontal and cylindrical tanks put on the top of each other. They offer more air capacity.
- Wheelbarrow: Feature two cylindrical tanks and a wheelbarrow design that delivers mobility.
Air compressor motors run on either electricity or gas. Of the two, electric motors perform their job quietly and demand least maintenance. It is an ideal option for those who work indoors. Another recommended feature of a motor is its oil-free working. Or else, you will keep changing oil recurrently.
Power and Pressure
You should ideally check for power output in terms of horsepower (hp) and power supply in terms of volts. The former represents the power to the application, while the latter indicates the supply to the motor. Higher horsepower indicates higher air pressure (PSI). More PSI signifies that a compressor is capable of holding more air in the tank so that the air tools can work for a longer time.
Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
CFM indicates the speed at which a portable air compressor propels air. CFM and Standard CFM (SCFM) denote the volume of air rendered at a specific PSI level. Both are indirectly proportional. CFM rises if you reduce the PSI output. Models with a higher CFM rating are capable of giving more air and are perfect for heavier applications like framing nail guns. In case of portable air compressors, 90 PSI is ideal. This information is usually labeled on the package.
Most models with a tank capacity of 1 to 6 gallons. They are sufficient for a variety of tasks. It is better to choose a higher tank capacity, as it would store more air and demand occasional refilling. At the same time, there is no need to refill it in the midway of your work.
Comparing the aforementioned factors help you in choosing the best portable air compressor in terms of performance.
Best Portable Air Compressors You Can Buy Right Now
Makita MAC5501G 5.5 HP Gas Air Compressor
What if you are looking for a high-end gas, air compressor made by cooperation of the best manufacturers? Then this Makita MAC5501G portable air compressor is just right. It is actually the best portable air compressor in its class.
V Twin style pump
The heart of this gas air compressor is V twin style pump. It is more efficient than conventional units and it is capable of producing 12.5 CFM at 100 PSI! At the same time, this design makes the entire system cooler while operating and keeps lower temperature eve at heavy-duty applications. The pump also features a larger piston and cylinder, needed for better and faster recovery time!
If you are wondering if the engine in this unit superb, you will soon have the answer. Yes, it is one of the best units ever implemented in gas air compressors. The GX160 engine is a 4-stroke unit capable of running perfectly even in extreme situations. There is no need in telling that reliability is the best you can get at the moment. In addition, the engine is smooth and fuel-efficient.
10-gallon twin tanks
Air tanks come in symbiosis here. There are two of them, with a total capacity of 10 gallons. Together, they are sufficient for the most demanding operations and supplying multiple nailers without any complication. Using air-demanding tools is possible thanks to this feature.
Advanced recoil starter
Starting the engine is possible via superb recoil system. First of all, it features an ergonomic grip, suitable for those who will use it daily, for all operations they have in mind. Recoil starter itself features industrial grade, so it will last, definitely. The model in question is one of the portable air compressors which comes with a rope made for demanding users. You won’t have to replace it while working hours! Learn more.
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 Hp Air Compressor
The Makita MAC2400 is one of the most interesting and the best portable air compressors in the class. It is small but powerful and sufficient for most users. Regardless of the size, you won’t have any issues with it and you will be a satisfied user.
Big Bore cylinder
The pump features cast iron construction with Big Bore cylinder and piston. What it means is that it can withstand more demanding operations and can last for a longer period of time without any repairs or etc. Also, this means that the recovery time is shorter, so you can use the full potential of the air compressor in less time than usual.
Yes, the pump is lubricated by oil, but it comes with a compartment with a glass piece on it. As the result, it allows for the user to monitor the oil levels and to know when fresh oil is needed. These models do require more maintenance, but they are smoother and last longer.
Roll-cage on this model is one of a kind and probably the best you can get. It moves all around the air compressor and it protects all crucial elements. For on-site operations and for heavy-duty applications, this cage will protect the air compressor and make sure there are no damages to the any of the important components. Nevertheless, the total weight isn’t significantly higher than other air compressors have.
Industrial-grade air filter
The filter here is capable of increasing the air intake and allowing to the air compressor to access more air over a shorter period of time. In other terms, your unit will get more air which will be converted into pressure. These filters also reduce the intake of dust and other particles, compared to conventional filters which can be found in some air compressors. On a job site, they can make a difference. Learn more.
DEWALT D55168 200 PSI Portable Air Compressor
DEWALT D55168 is the most suitable air compressor for workshops and those who are looking for practical and small, yet powerful unit. It comes with powerful characteristics and a high level of practicality.
Max pressure of 200 PSI
Despite the fact this isn’t the biggest air compressor, it is capable of producing up to 200 PSI at all times. The secret is in the electric motor, the 15-gallon tank, and the amazing pump. In addition, the pump is oil-free, so the maintenance is significantly reduced. This amount of pressure is sufficient for most tools used today in workshops and garages.
As you can see, the air compressor is made to be as easy to use as possible. Two wheels are suitable for great maneuverability and they are heavy-duty units, so regardless of the terrain, they will still provide ultimate maneuverability. The rest of the unit is well-balanced, so it is easy to move around.
EHP efficient pressure
The set of features allow for this unit to maintain and keep the pressure on the optimal regime at all times. This is essential for more precise and demanding tools. At the end of a day, this unit will work perfectly even for professional requirements, without any issue possible.
Only 78 dBA of noise
If you are looking for a quiet air compressor which can still produce 200 PSI, this is the one. According to the ISO3744, it produces only 78 dBA, which is under the average for air compressors of this power. There is no need in telling you that you can use it for operations which require less noise than usual and for usages where this advantage is truly mandatory. The pump, which supports all of this is maintenance free, so all you have to do is to use it, nothing more. Learn more.
Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor
Here we have a heavy-duty, unit, made by Makita. It is already known as one of the best portable air compressors on the market. As such, it has something new and interesting to offer. On the other hand, some features are standard for Makita.
Cast iron elements
The pump, cylinder and a few more, inner components are made from cast iron. As the name suggests, this material is strong. In the other meaning of the word, they are so strong and durable that the entire air compressor will last longer than most, other models you may come across. This is actually a standard feature for all Makita products. Let’s not forget rugged wheels for superb practicality.
Compartment for small items
Another feature which reveals the true nature of this model is the compartment for tools and etc. Obviously, in a small air compressor, you cannot expect too much, but there will be enough space for the essentials. The compartment is easy to reach and won’t compromise the functionality of an air compressor.
When you need practicality, you can use foldable handles to make the air compressor easy to move across any terrain. Wheels which we mentioned also have a huge role here. On the other side, when you need space, handles can be folded, so the unit will occupy as less of space as possible. Folding takes just a few minutes.
Oil lubricated pump
These pumps are more professional ones. Yes, they require some maintenance, but they work at lower temperatures and they can withstand higher, more demanding operations. In addition, they also work smoother, meaning that the entire air compressor has a lower noise than usual. Combined with cast iron construction, this means that you will have and be able to use this air compressor for a longer period of time, without any issues. Learn more.
Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 3.7HP Portable Air Compressor
Long lifespan, even better durability and high level of practicality are the best features of this Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 air compressor. These are also the main reasons why we rated it as one of the best portable air compressors on the market today. And yes, it truly has a lot to offer.
Lifespan of 5.000 hours
As we have mentioned, this air compressor has one of the longest lifespans among all air compressors on the market today. It is well-made and it uses latest technologies which will ensure the lifespan of 5000 hours. This feature only made the unit perfect for more demanding and more professional applications. As such, we will recommend the unit for semi-professionals and for professionals. In addition, the tank has ASME code for superb safety rating. The main reason, why it is so durable is in the B-10 bearings inside the unit.
3.7 HP motor for sufficient power
The motor in this air compressor is a 3.7HP unit, capable of operating even at 240 volts. This is another reason why we believe it is more focused on professionals. As you may know, the motor is strong enough for all operations you have in mind and thanks to long-lasting durability, it will stay operation in the years that come.
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor comes equipped with features which made it useful for a variety of operations. At the end of a day, you can use it for grinding, sanding, brushing, nailing and etc. In general, you can use it for almost any operation needed for construction and related businesses.
Most models of this class have 10-gallon tanks, which is sufficient but isn’t great. This one has a 30-gallon tank, which is 3 times more than others have. Obviously, this advantage allows you to use the unit 3 times more and for more demanding operations than other air compressors. Learn more.
California Air Tools CAT-10020 2.0 HP Air Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-10020 is rated as the quietest steel tank air compressor of the latest generation. Perhaps the design doesn’t look like this, but this is actually one of the most sophisticated products of this type. And yes, it also comes with plenty of needed features.
70 decibels noise
At the beginning, we must reveal that this portable air compressor comes with the lowest noise rating among all products of this type on the market today. It is only 70 decibels loud, which is significantly lower than other models have to offer.
Just to add, there is no lack of power or functionality due to this feature. It is achieved thanks to the usage of the latest technologies and the sophisticated elements. This advantage made it superb for operations where noise isn’t an option!
The electric motor is probably one of the reasons why this model is so desirable. It produces 2HP, which is sufficient for most of you. Yes, it isn’t the top choice, but it is one of the most efficient and the most desirable motors of today. On the tests, the unit performed well even under high loads and there were no severe complications. The electric motor is appreciated due to low energy consumption.
The pump in this unit is one of the best we have encountered. Yes, it is still capable of meeting most of the demands, but there is no oil in the system. Some of you may know that this makes maintenance much, much easier and allows for the beginners to use the compressor without reading the instructions or any, additional steps regarding the maintenance of the units. Just to add, the lifespan of the pump isn’t compromised due to the fact in question. Learn more.
Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412 Air Compressor
Small, yet powerful portable air compressor are the best words that describe this model. In the lack of a better word, it is an appealing, different choice among air compressors available today on the market. So yes, it has a few advantages as well.
Simple usage with low maintenance
A pump uses the oil-free mechanism, which reduces maintenance significantly. Then we have the direct drive pump system, which makes it an even more suitable for demanding operations. Combined, all of that allows you to own a superior air compressor of the latest generation, with small dimensions and impressive performances. Additionally, you will want to know about the two-piece cooling system, which prolongs the lifespan of a pump.
155 PSI of max pressure
The max pressure, this unit can produce is 155PSI. The amount has been carefully chosen due to the fact it is perfectly capable of meeting all demands you may have on your mind. In other words, all tools you want to use will be compatible with the CTA5090412 model. Additionally, this is one of the best portable air compressors thanks to Honda, OVC engine. All of you should know that it is durable, powerful and efficient.
2-gallon tanks perhaps don’t sound impressive, but they are actually more than just sufficient for the operations we would recommend this model for. As you can see, it is small, practical, yet sufficient enough for operations which require a high level of portability. So yes, you can carry it anywhere you want, but still, use it for more demanding operations.
Regulator and additional elements
In the package, you get a regulator, a pressure gauge, and a quick connect mechanism. All of them are essential if you are planning to use the air compressor at any given moment, anywhere you want with the ultimate simplicity! Learn more.
Tips for Choosing the Right Portable Air Compressor
Portable air compressors are small devices performing big jobs in several industrial and domestic applications. Choosing the best model is essential for all those who love working on projects in a specific industry or around the house. The biggest benefit of a portable air compressor is the freedom to move with it anywhere. Its users are not confined to a fixed place while working on a project, which simply adds to productivity.
However, the probable users seem to confine themselves to a specific category when it comes to buying the best portable air compressor. This is because of the bewilderment that arises by looking at diverse models, each being different from the other in terms of size, features, and price. Well, you should choose or confine to the right category of portable compressors only if it fulfills your requirements. Likewise, there are some more tips for making the right selection, which are as follows:
- Consider the area of application. It is essential to decide who you will use a portable air compressor before buying it. Are you going to use it for small tasks such as filling up tires? This can help you save a lot while choosing a model.
- Choose only as per your requirements, as all models have different power levels to provide air to project appliances.
- Select the right size, as not all portable air compressors are of the same size and weight. Least weight and small size means less powerful motor. Such compressors are ideal for light jobs. On other hand, maximum portable size and weight means more powerful unit.
- Check CFM, as it says how fast the air reaches the desired tool. A high CFM number is not for a spray-painting job. It is only required for heavy-duty tasks. Do also recall the tools with which you are going to use the compressor. Both should be compatible in terms of power.
- The best portable air compressors are those that have shrouded moving parts. This tip ensures safe use regardless of the tools in use.
- Go for oil-free parts so that you do not have to look after lubricating moving parts.
- Consider choosing a compressor that comes with a drain cock. This accessory significantly limits the moisture accumulation inside the tank.
- Do not spend just because the model meets the job-related requirements. You need to ensure that it is durable, has a warranty, and has parts that are easily available.
We believe Makita MAC2400 to be one of the best selling portable air compressor in the world. Learn more.