Technological advancements have given us a handful of tools for accomplishing jobs. Nowadays, an air compressor is a must for your kit. Whether you are a hobbyist or contractor, the best portable air compressors allows you to do multiple jobs.
Technically, air compressors convert one energy form into another that is stored and used later. Portable air compressors are compact, and you can carry them from one job site to another. They are robust and highly durable compressors irrespective of their small size.
The best portable air compressor is practical and handy, so it can be used for varied applications. These include construction, woodworking, and mechanics, in cars and air conditioners, pumps, and giving power to pneumatic tools.
Portable air compressors are now used widely because of their small size, portability, and versatility. They are lightweight and save a lot of space while working and storing. The device is also quite useful to clean dust or dirt in a gadget by blowing air.
10 Best Portable Air Compressors
- Best Value for Money: Craftsman CMEC6150K Portable Air Compressor
“Top-rated, small size, oil-free pump”
- Best for Tires: LYSNSH Portable Air Compressor
“Powerful motor, pressure gauge, increased performance”
- Best Electric: California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Portable Air Compressor
“Less maintenance oil-free pump, highly durable, quiet air compressor”
- Best Pancake Air Compressor: Bostitch BTFP02012 Portable Air Compressor
“High-performance motor, 6-gallon capacity tank”
- Best for Air Tools: Senco PC1010 Portable Air Compressor
“High-flow regulator, two couplers, robust motor”
- Best for Industrial Use: Makita MAC2400 Portable Air Compressor
“4-pole motor, large automotive-style air filter, roll-cage type construction”
- Best for Car: AstroAI A220B Portable Air Compressor
“Amazing car inflator, heavy-duty cord”
- Best for home: Dewalt DCC020IB Portable Air Compressor
“Cordless compressor, three power sources, ideal for home use”
- Best compact design: PORTER-CABLE C2002 Portable Air Compressor
“6-gallon tank, durable, compact”
- Best portability: Kensun -EHRComp- A58A Potable Air Compressor
“Unique AC/DC switching, portable adapters, portable”
Best Portable Air Compressors
Several brands offer different types of air compressors. So, discarding the average ones and picking the best is not an easy task. It takes extensive research and loads of information. After all, who wants to regret the purchase, especially when you are investing time and money.
The blog contains a list of the ten best air compressors reviews. It will help you choose the ideal equipment for you based on your specific requirements. So, scroll down to read the best portable air compressor reviews to choose one for you.
The Craftsman CMEC6150K is a powerful 6-gallon mini air compressor that is lightweight and compact. It is portable and perfect for home use.
Being the best small portable air compressor, the Craftsman CMEC6150K is an ideal gadget that I came across. It is a 6-gallon capacity pancake that offers power and portability. It is a durable, oil-free pump that requires no or minimum maintenance. It offers 150 psi pressure producing only 78.5 dB noise. The tool is available with a kit of 130 pieces of accessories.
Features and Benefits
- A high-performance motor that also starts quickly in cold weather.
- The Craftsman CMEC6150K works quietly, making minimum noise.
- Two couplers are supporting two users to work at a time.
- Running at 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi allows for a quick time of recovery for the compressor.
- Easy for switching back and forth between various air tools.
- The motor and oil-free pump ensure a longer lifespan, making it a top-rated compressor.
- It offers value for the money as it is an ideal device for home use like stapling, nailing, bolting, and framing works.
Read Full Review : Craftsman CMEC6150K Review
On considering the product price and performance, what else can you look for in an air compressor? The Craftsman CMEC6150K is a durable, reliable, and powerful device. It is an ideal gadget for carrying out small household DIY projects.
- Weighs only 32.5lbs
- Extra 13-piece kit of accessories
- Powerful motor
- Oil-free pump; low maintenance
- Long life
- Not suitable for heavy tasks
The LYSNSH air compressor is a 150-psi tire inflator with a pressure gauge. The gadget is enabled with a digital LCD that reveals the correct unit.
The LYSNSH Portable Air Compressor has a 140W robust metal motor that delivers inflating air at 1.23 CFM. It is the best portable air compressor for tires that can inflate a tire to 30 psi in 2-3 mins. It supports preset inflation pressure that has an intelligent auto shut-off. It gets shut off when it reaches target psi to prevent over-inflating. It has a10ft power cord that easily reaches car tires and bike tires. It is also convenient for ATV tires, jeep, and SUV tires.
Features and Benefits
- The LYSNSH Portable Air Compressor is an ideal tire inflator.
- Large LCD digital display that displays the tire pressure accurately, making it easier to read.
- Contains a built-in tire pressure gauge. The gauge checks and monitors pressure in the tires with 0.5 psi high resolution.
- Lightweight, making it convenient to use.
- It has four pieces of built-in bright LED lights for illuminating darker areas and during emergencies.
The LYSNSH Portable Air Compressor is a must-have device for inflating the tires of multiple vehicles. The gadget includes three adaptors for inflating sports balls, air-cushion, and air mattresses. It is only 5.04 pounds, so I find it convenient to use and carry wherever I want. You can buy the device from Amazon.
- Avoids over-heating
- Powerful metal motor
- Digital LCD
- Bright LED lights for dark and emergency
- 10ft long power cord
- Not useful for HT, LT, and truck tires
The California Air Tools is equipped with a 0.6 hp motor that makes less noise. It has a single-piston pump designed for high performance and durability
The California Air Tools comes with a 0.6 hp motor that operates at 1680 rpm. It creates only 56 decibels of sound that makes it a quiet air compressor. The motor is oil-free and wears less, so it is highly durable with little maintenance required.
The oil-free pump enables using the air compressor in uneven terrains and different temperatures. The air compressor has a 1-gallon steel air tank that is 29 lbs. in weight. So, the device is lightweight and easy for transportation.
Features and Benefits
- The device produces 1.2 CFM at 90 psi with the 0.6 hp motor.
- The pump is a single-piston that is designed to have more than 3000 hours of life cycle before wearing off. It has a long life and offers high performance.
- It is the best portable electric air compressor. The motor is quiet and enables me to work without disturbing others.
- Suitable for garage works, cleaning and inflating beds, toys, tires, and sports balls.
The air compressor weighs only 29 pounds, so that I can carry it easily to the job site. It is a powerful electric air compressor that is useful for carrying out DIY works. The compressor is worth buying as it makes pretty little noise, is durable, and has a long life. You can check online whether it is available for sale or not.
- 0.6 hp robust motor
- Quiet air compressor
- Oil-free piston pump
- Durable and wear less
The Bostitch BTFP02012 compresses air up to 150 psi. A high-performance motor with a 6- gallon tank is attached to the device.
The Bostitch BTFP02012 has an efficient motor with a capacity of 6 gallons. It runs at 90 psi to deliver 2.6 SCFM that enables a long running time. The compressor produces only 78.5-decibel operational noise.
The air compressor has an oil-free pump having long life free and requires little maintenance. The gadget has a high flow regulator for maximizing performance. It is equipped with two couplers to support two users.
Features and Benefits
- Compact and lightweight. It weighs only 29 lbs that makes it convenient to carry and store. It works well with tools like an impact wrench.
- The battery-powered compressor is built in a way that it starts easily in cold weather.
- Best portable air compressor for air tools as it is cheap and delivers optimum performance.
- It enables me to work in a quiet environment producing minimum sound.
- I can perform multiple DIY tasks, and it powers my pneumatic tools for auto work.
It is a robust and durable air compressor. Considering its long-life and maintenance-free feature, one can easily rely on it. It is a suitable gadget for carrying out small projects at home. If you are looking for a cheaper, powerful, and reliable air compressor, then you can go for the Bostitch BTFP02012.
- Highly efficient engine
- Oil-free, durable pump
- Makes lesser noise
- Lightweight and compact
5) Senco PC1010
The Senco PC1010 comes with a 1-gallon capacity that performs with one hp. It is highly portable and makes minimum noise.
The Senco PC1010 is a simple, lightweight, portable air compressor. It has a 1-gallon capacity and performs jobs uninterrupted with one hp on the peak. It runs with ½ hp while running. It is portable and performs an ultra-quiet operation. The air compressor delivers 20-44 drives per minute. The manufacturer allows a 1-year warranty on the product.
Features and Benefits
- A small and simple yet powerful device.
- Convenient to use for filling air into motorcycle and bicycle tires.
- It works well with an airbrush and effectively supports pinners or nailers.
- I find it easy and light to operate while doing a tough job.
- It is a suitable option for home use and to carry out day-to-day activities.
The Senco PC1010 is an ideal combination of simple design and powerful performance. It adds convenience for doing small home works and filling the air. It is the perfect device to work with at home. It is because it operates quietly, and you don’t even realize that a tool is working so close.
- Small and lightweight
- Suitable for home works
- Ultra-quiet operation
- Not ideal for heavier tasks
Makita MAC2400 has a robust 2.5 hp motor with an oil-lubricated pump. With a 2-gallon capacity and a large filter, it works in harsh job site environments.
The Makita MAC2400 has a powerful 4-pole 2.5 hp motor. The motor produces 4.2 CFM at 90 psi for increasing productivity. The pump is oil-lubricated, which reduces wear and runs in cooler temperatures. The air compressor comes with a large industrial,automotive-style air filter for increased air intake and efficiency.
It is built into a roll-cage type construction that helps withstand job site environments. It has a 4.2-gallon tank that is twin-stacked and sustains a 130-psi pressure.
Features and Benefits
- It has a pump of cast iron with a cylinder and piston that offers a faster recovery time for enhanced performance.
- The cast iron construction increases durability under harsh job site conditions.
- The pump runs at a lower 1730 rpm that results in less noise of 79 dB. The low amp reduces voltage drop and tripped breakers instances, preventing premature motor failure.
- A roll bar handle offers portability to the device.
- Convenient to fill truck tires.
- It has an oil drain and oil sight glass, a tank drain for easier maintenance, and a fine tube for discharge for dissipating heat.
Read Full Review : Makita MAC2400 Review
The Makita MAC2400 is an ideal example of the best technology and engineering. It is designed for high output, minor wear, lesser maintenance, and low noise. It is a suitable device for performing heavy-duty tasks that deliver industrial power with higher durability.
- Increased performance
- Oil-lubricated pump
- Higher durability and lesser wear
- Produces lesser noise
- Durable cast iron cylinders
The AstroAI A220B is a fast inflator that inflates at 35 L/min. It comes with an advanced design and an emergency LED light.
The AstroAI air compressor is a great car inflator that can pump your car tires with 35 L/min. It weighs only 2.2 pounds and makes a 36 dB sound while working. The air compressor has a large LCD screen that displays the pressure units among psi, kPa, KG/CM, and BAR.
The air compressor comes with an integrated LED flashlight having an independent switch for emergencies. It has a 10 ft 12V and 120 W heavy-duty lighter cord, making the device easily usable.
Features and Benefits
- Quickly inflate car tires, SUVs, cycles, and motorcycles.
- Best portable air compressor for cars.
- The device has programmable inflation that allows using the ‘M’ button to set the pressure unit. Then press ‘+’ or ‘- ‘to set the pressure level.
- The upgraded cable design makes the pumping of tires stable and quiet. You have two ways to attach to the air nozzle.
- The Air compressor shuts off automatically in reaching the pre-desired pressure level.
- Choose screw rotation or a quick connector to attach to the air nozzle based on convenience.
- A perfect device for the home garage that is always ready to use.
- Useful to inflate balloons, balls, and camping gear.
The AstroAI air compressor is a must-have device for the home. The safety design is an excellent feature where it turns off on reaching the set tire pressure. The lightweight makes it convenient to carry anywhere in-home or garage.
- Faster inflation
- Safety design
- Useful in home and garage
- Emergency LED light
- Not valuable for large volume applications
The Dewalt DCC020IB is a fantastic cordless compressor with three power sources. The digital tire inflator features inflation and deflation modes.
The Dewalt DCC020IB is a cordless air compressor with a high-pressure mode with an automatic shut-off system. It comes with three power sources for job site use: a 20V battery, 12V DC, and 110 AC. The air compressor has a heavy-duty rubber foot and a threaded chuck.
Features and Benefits
- Suitable for use at a job site and on the go.
- The threaded chuck and onboard accessories quickly inflate items like tires and footballs.
- The rubber foot increases the device’s durability.
- Setting air pressure is simple with the help of a digital gauge, and the auto-shutoff modes help inflate precisely.
- The high-volume hose helps inflate mattresses and other inflatables.
- Use LED light for illuminating dark spaces while inflating.
The Dewalt DCC020IB is a helpful device that is convenient to use. It has incredible features that offer value for money. The three power sources, auto shut off, and LED light, enable the compressor to offer quality performance.
- Three power sources
- Rubber foot
- Threaded chuck
- Automatic shut-off
- LED lights
- No brushless motor
The Porter-Cable C2002 is equipped with a 120 V powerful motor that exerts air in a 6-gallon capacity tank. It is a lightweight, compact, and portable device.
The Porter-Cable C2002 comes with a 120V motor with high power and pressurizes air within a 6 -gallon tank up to 150 psi. It weighs only 31.3 lbs and comes with a compact design—the oil-free pancake-style pump results in high durability and lesser wear. It comes with a 13-piece accessory kit.
Features and Benefits
- It has a light design that makes it portable.
- It helps inflate RV tires.
- Work with the air compressor for long hours without any hand fatigue.
- Despite being lightweight, I can pull the compressor for some heavy projects at home.
- Use the air compressor in pneumatic tools for framing nailers, spray painting, and nail guns.
- Multiple functions, effortless operations, and affordable prices make it the best 120volt portable air compressor.
Read Full Review : PORTER-CABLE C2002 Review
The compressor offers multiple benefits at a fair price, making it a worthy product. It provides incredible high-quality performance that you can find in costly models. So, by far, it is among the ideal compressors for DIYers.
- Lightweight and compact design
- User – friendly
- Multiple uses
- Exerts pressure up to 150 psi
- Not valid for industrial works
The Kensun-EHRComp- A58A is equipped with a powerful motor and two power cords. It is suitable for use in home and car.
The Kensun-EHRComp- A58A is equipped with a 120W solid motor with a unique AC/DC switching. It has a 12V light car cigarette plug and a 110V plug for home use. The device comes with an auto shut-off digital gauge. The air compressor has a set of nozzle adaptors with a portable design. It is embedded with a digital screen for display and LED for illuminating darker areas during work.
Features and Benefits
- The powerful motor pumps air at 30 liters per minute. The motor makes tire inflation easy and super-quick.
- The LCD screen has a transparent display that makes it easier to read the pressure readings at night.
- It is an excellent choice for cyclists and car drivers. It is a reliable pump that I can use in an emergency and while traveling.
- A multipurpose device that offers different benefits.
- I use the compressor for pumping balls and swimming pool inflatables.
- I use the device anywhere I am traveling or off-road. Connect the 12V power plug into the socket in the car. Simply preset the pressure and switch it on.
The Kensun -EHRComp – A58A is a premium quality air compressor that delivers high performance. The two power cords, portability, LCD screen, and LED makes it the best 12V portable air compressor.
- Two power cords for home and car
- Powerful motor
- Portable design
- Digital screen
- LED Display
- Auto shut-off feature
- Not suitable for industrial use
Our top pick is the Makita MAC2400 air compressor, which provides ample power with a 2.5 hp motor. It has advanced features that include a cast iron piston oil-lubricated pump that enhances performance. It performs an ultra-quiet operation.
The Makita MAC2400 is a portable air compressor and performs industrial works. It is compatible with work in harsh job site conditions. It is the best portable air compressor so far. If you have a pre-determined budget, we recommend the Porter-Cable C2002. It is a great air compressor that is equipped with a 120 V motor and 6-gallon pancake-style tank. It is an affordable model priced under 100 dollars that work best for car tires and home use.
If you would like to get reviews of other Air Compressors, kindly visit our Guide page.
Portable Air Compressor Buying Guide
Portable air compressors are of immense help to DIYers. They are compact and lightweight, requiring only one person to pick them, move them around, and operate them. Mostly, the manufacturers make small tanks with light-duty motors.
The features offer good portability but sacrifice serviceability and volume. Larger models have vital parts that are easier to access that enhances life span. Before purchasing the best portable air compressor, consider the power source. They run either on gasoline or electricity.
Electricity is a popular source of power for compressors. Electric air compressors plug into outlets and put an electric motor to exert pressure in the tank. They are lightweight and a good choice for home workshops, garages, or minor renovation projects.
Electric motors require little maintenance over a long period. They do not create exhaust so that you can use them indoors conveniently. But these have certain limitations. Electric compressors are not mostly serviceable as the cost of replacing the pump or motor is high.
It is not feasible to use them in construction projects unless you run a heavy-duty generator to supply ample power.
Portable air compressors that are gas-powered use combustion engines internally for pressurizing air tanks. These can operate virtually at any place until there is fuel in the tank. They are a bit heavier than electric models, so they are less portable.
They also require more maintenance as they require oil checking, replacing fuel filters, and sparking plugs regularly. They are ok to use in outdoor construction sites without power but not suitable for use indoors.
What to Look for while Buying a Portable Air Compressor?
Here is a list of features that you should consider while buying a portable air compressor.
A compressor tank’s volume determines the amount of compressed air that the equipment can hold. It also determines the duration for which compressor will run and how often. Nail guns require 4–5-gallon tanks, while impact wrenches, pneumatic saws, and cutoff wheels for wood framing require larger tanks. They have to cycle on and off quite often to maintain tank pressure. So, 20-gallon tanks or larger ones are good.
The power of air compressor motors is measured in horsepower ratings, related to the device’s capability. A more powerful compressor will fill the tank faster with air. Horsepower also determines the maximum pressure a compressor can produce. Ideally, small electric motors have at least ½ hp while gasoline-powered compressors have as much as 5hp motors.
Airflow is known as CFM or cubic feet per minute that explains the quantity of air a compressor can put out each minute and maintaining pressure simultaneously. You need a compressor that maintains pressure as long as it is running.
If you drain out the pressure, then you will have to stop and wait for the pressure to rebuild to start again. Most of the compressors provide CFM at 90 psi. Try looking for compressors that can maintain 2 CFM at 90 psi.
Portable air compressors’ maximum pressure is measured in psi or pounds per square. Some compressors produce up to 120 psi or 150 psi or even up to 180 psi. Most impact wrenches will not operate until they reach up to 60 psi. Some nail guns might require 90 to 120 psi to operate. Most compressors that produce up to 120 psi are ok for carrying projects in workshops or houses. An air compressor needs to be lightweight enough to lift easily to be portable. Generally, pancake models that have round tanks with motors on top weigh only around 30 pounds. These are a great option considering the portability. If you are seeking a portable but high-volume compressor, then check for the wheeled option. They come in horizontal and vertical configurations and contain handle for moving around. Some additional features can help improve durability or improve performance. Built-in roll cages are aluminum or steel frames that protect the compressor. Oil-cooled compressors use oil for lubricating the compressor pump. Other additional features include quick-connect adapters, protection from thermal overload, and petcock drain valves. Sometimes, an accessory kit comes along with an air compressor. The kits have mainly tire inflators, blow-off chucks, and fittings that can connect quickly. Your kit can also have a set of nail guns or air hoses. If your air compressor does not come with a kit, you can purchase it separately, including the essential tools. The best portable air compressor is one that contains all the tools. Air compressors help in the car’s air conditioning unit. A running car produces electricity that the air compressor used for operating. When the car is not running, it gets the power from the battery. So, an air compressor can drain the battery. Air pressure in tires is known as pounds per square inch. Usually, the pressure range between 30-35 psi is suggested for tires. There are many portable air compressors for tires in the market. However, the LYSNSH Portable Air Compressor is among the best portable air compressor for tires. It is suitable for pumping air in cars, bikes, SUVs, and ATV tires. Oil lubricates the piston chamber in an oil compressor. Such compressors are sturdy and run for a long time. However, Teflon pre- lubricates the chamber in an oil-free compressor. These are lightweight and cheap but dry out when Teflon wears out. It is entirely safe to leave air in the compressor.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Can an air compressor drain off the car’s battery?
2) What is an ideal PSI in an air compressor to fill tires?
3) What is the best portable air compressor for tires?
4) What is better; oil or oilless air compressor?
5) What if I leave air in the compressor?
Portable air compressors’ maximum pressure is measured in psi or pounds per square. Some compressors produce up to 120 psi or 150 psi or even up to 180 psi. Most impact wrenches will not operate until they reach up to 60 psi. Some nail guns might require 90 to 120 psi to operate. Most compressors that produce up to 120 psi are ok for carrying projects in workshops or houses.
An air compressor needs to be lightweight enough to lift easily to be portable. Generally, pancake models that have round tanks with motors on top weigh only around 30 pounds. These are a great option considering the portability. If you are seeking a portable but high-volume compressor, then check for the wheeled option. They come in horizontal and vertical configurations and contain handle for moving around.
Some additional features can help improve durability or improve performance. Built-in roll cages are aluminum or steel frames that protect the compressor. Oil-cooled compressors use oil for lubricating the compressor pump. Other additional features include quick-connect adapters, protection from thermal overload, and petcock drain valves.
Sometimes, an accessory kit comes along with an air compressor. The kits have mainly tire inflators, blow-off chucks, and fittings that can connect quickly. Your kit can also have a set of nail guns or air hoses. If your air compressor does not come with a kit, you can purchase it separately, including the essential tools. The best portable air compressor is one that contains all the tools.
Air compressors help in the car’s air conditioning unit. A running car produces electricity that the air compressor used for operating. When the car is not running, it gets the power from the battery. So, an air compressor can drain the battery.
Air pressure in tires is known as pounds per square inch. Usually, the pressure range between 30-35 psi is suggested for tires.
There are many portable air compressors for tires in the market. However, the LYSNSH Portable Air Compressor is among the best portable air compressor for tires. It is suitable for pumping air in cars, bikes, SUVs, and ATV tires.
Oil lubricates the piston chamber in an oil compressor. Such compressors are sturdy and run for a long time. However, Teflon pre- lubricates the chamber in an oil-free compressor. These are lightweight and cheap but dry out when Teflon wears out.
It is entirely safe to leave air in the compressor.