Traditionally, you have to go all the way to a gas station if you want to compress air in your bicycle, motorcycle, or car. An air compressor, portable or not, is a useful tool for managing our vehicles. A portable air compressor is handy, compact, and a great deal to keep at home, or fit in the tank of your car. With an air compressor, every person can inflate their vehicle tires.
Portable air compressors are available in all sizes and styles. There are different ranges of compressors with various tank sizes and flow rates that can confuse you. To review portable air compressors and make your selection process easy, we have curated a list of 7 top-rated portable air compressors:
Best Portable Air Compressor
||Check On Amazon
||Check On Amazon
||Check On Amazon
||Check On Amazon
||Check On Amazon
||Check On Amazon
||Check On Amazon
This oil-free compressor by PORTER-CABLE is uniquely-structured in a six-gallon pancake shape tank. The pancake-style makes it obdurate with its water drain valve constructed with steel, and rubber feet. All components are shroud covered. And it also features a handle to carry. This compressor works at 3.7 SCFM at 40 PSI and 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. The power source is corded-electric and it contains a 120 voltage motor that is low AMP for easy starting, even in cold temperatures. The product dimension is 19″ L × 19″ W × 18″ H with a maximum PSI of 150. It weighs about 34 pounds. It includes an oil-free pump. The compressor multitasks from filling tires of vehicles to firing nailers, can be said to be a multi-tasking compressor at a fair price. It is among the best rated portable air compressors.
Flow Rate: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI is a flow rate that is one of the highest in portable air compressors. This allows it quick recovery time.
Warranty: The product comes with a one-year warranty.
Low AMP motor: The 120-volt motor gives an easy start in cold temperatures.
Oil-free pump: This allows oil-free operations that make it work effectively and cleanly.
Multiple users: This compressor has two regulated factory-installed air couplers. It supports two users at a single time.
Noisy: This best portable air compressor generates a loud sound while operating.
Excess vibration: When in use, the compressor vibrates more than the other similar air compressors.
Runs on AC: To power the motor it needs an AC outlet. You may require a generator if you work outdoors with this.
This AC/DC Portable Air Compressor by Kensun is super handy and compact. This tire inflator type of compressor is admirable for small inflation. It is corded-electric sourced with PSI 35. The weight is 5 pounds, with the size 11.8″ L × 4.3″ W × 6.7″ H. The compact size makes it the best small air compressor and helps it secure the highest place in our small air compressor reviews. It has two power cords of 110 volts and 12 volts. This compressor is tankless and it comes with a set of chunks and needles along with a bag to store them all safely. It can be used to pump up the sport tires, pool tires, and other toy equipment. This tire inflator is called digital as it has a digital screen with an LED work light. The product has 2-years of warranty. Given its cost and weight, it can be called a cheap portable air compressor.
Lightweight: This mobile compressor is just 5 pounds in weight making it the best portable air compressor.
Long runs: It can work consistently for more than 30 minutes at a stretch.
Ideal for night use: The LCD screen allows you to work at night time.
Auto shut-off: In this air compressor, the target can be preset. It will automatically turn off at your needed pressure.
Accessories: This product comes with a zipped carry bag and a set of nozzle accessories in it.
Low pressure: This compact portable air compressor is great for vehicle tires but it may not be good for commercial vehicles.
Takes longer time: It works well enough but can take up to 10 minutes to compress a flat car tire.
Screen direction: The LCD screen is upside-down and is in the front. It may sometimes be inconvenient.
This is a corded electric-power sourced air compressor from the company California Air Tools which is famous for making lightweight air compressors. The best part of this air compressor is that it is greatly focused on quiet operations. It generates just 56 decibels. This is an oil-free and 1-gallon steel tanked compressor, weighs 29.5 pounds with the dimension of 12.8″ L × 13.6″ W × 15″ H. It also features a handle. This portable air compressor has a maximum pressure of 120 PSI. The built-in motor is 120v, and 0.6 HP that operates at 1680 RPM, and the flow rate for the same is 1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI. The voltage of the compressor is 110. It takes quick recovery time. The product has a limited warranty of one year. It can prove perfect for garages, as well as inflating tires, toys, sports balls, and beds. It is the best among the portable electric air compressors as per our portable compressor reviews.
Considerably quiet: This air compressor is extremely quiet and ideal for working inside.
Easy maintenance: Being oil-free, it is easy to clean and requires less maintenance.
Portability: As compared to other tank compressors, this one is lighter, compact, smaller, and easily transportable.
Low AMP: It has a low AMP draw of 4.5 Amps, thus it can be operated equally well in cold weather.
Multiple-uses: This California Air Tool Light & Quiet Compressor is appreciated for both indoor and outdoor uses.
Low flow rate: It does work well with the air tools, but the low flow rate can limit the types of air tools.
Tank size: The tank size is just one-gallon, so it would often require to re-pressurize and refilling.
Pressure: It has a maximum pressure of 120 PSI, which is less than a standard air compressor.
C2002-WK is another oil-free pancake tank air compressor by PORTER-CABLE, but this time with an accessory kit. The product again weighs 34 pounds with the dimensions of 19″ L × 19″ W × 18″ H. The tank size is six-gallons. Having a six-gallon tank makes it a bit bulky but that doesn’t make it less efficient. The power source for the compressor is corded-electric. This one-year warranted compressor has 120 volts motor with a flow rate of 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI and 3.7 SCFM @ 40 PSI. The maximum pressure handled is 150 PSI. C2002-WK compressor has a factory-installed air coupler and plug. This air compressor comes along with a 13 pieces accessory kit. It is the best among the heavy-duty air compressors and ranked last at our ‘best portable air compressor review’ list.
Weather-resistant: The motor can be used in all weathers.
Highest flow: It’s great to find a 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI in a portable air compressor.
Warranty: The product can be repaired within a year at no cost for all the manufacturing defects.
Fit for heavy operations: The compressor can be used for heavy and outdoor operations.
Tank size: Six-gallon tank can hold intensely compressed air and that makes it run longer.
Runs on AC: This compressor requires an AC to power the big motor.
Bulky: Having 34 lbs weight makes it a bit heavier for carrying around.
Fitting: The chuck may not fit perfectly in different tires.
Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV is a blue-colored three-gallon tank air compressor. The tank shape is horizontal with a decent look. It weighs just 20.7 pounds which makes it convenient to handle. The air compressor dimension is 15.74 × 7.87 × 19. 58 inches. This one is an electric compressor in terms of the power source. The pump of the compressor is oil-free. The flow rate is 0.36 CFM at 90 PSI. Motor manages to operate at 120 volts. This product also features an inflation kit equipped with 10 pieces of accessories such as a blowgun, coiled hose inflation needles, and fittings. It is perfect for tire inflation, ball inflation, upholstery projects, airbrushes, and air/ brad nailers. The product is admirable for DIY tasks and home improvement projects. As per ‘portable air compressor reviews’ from customers, it is the best compact air compressor.
Pocket friendly: Campbell Hausfeld is a basic air compressor that offers the best price on portable air compressors.
Multiple uses: Though it mainly focuses on inflation, it can be used in all types of inflation.
Power: The flow rate and maximum pressure provide consistent flow.
Accessory kit: The purchase comes with an accessory kit with 10 pieces required for varied operations.
Easy to carry: The size and lightweight make it easy to carry around.
Excess vibrations: This compressor vibrates a bit more than competitor products while at work.
Loud: It surely isn’t a silent compressor when running.
Versatility: Although it works very well with a few small-scale projects, it is not as versatile as compared to other air compressors.
This is another oil-free, electric-powered air compressor from PORTER-CABLE: the CMB 15 Compressor Kit. This uniquely manufactured compressor has a plastic body and comes with a 1.5-gallon tank, water drain valve and rubber feet for protection. The size of the item is 15.5 × 13.2 × 20.5. The product has a speed of 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI that rivals the more expensive air compressors. The maximum tank pressure is 150 PSI that is undoubtedly a great measurement. The motor is 120v and supplies a normal ranger of power. It has a 25-feet coil hose and an 8-piece accessory kit. A one-year warranty makes it a deal to steal. It is among the highest portable electric air compressors.
Travel trailer: The plastic body makes it lighter. This makes it easy to carry along.
Small job: For various small inflating operations, it lends exceptional results.
Durability: The oil-free pump makes it more durable.
Quick recovery: The flow rate allows it for quick compressor recovery time.
Long hose: 25 feet is a good go for an air compressor.
Noisy: Ear protection is a must if you’re doing an operation for a longer time. It is a bit noisy.
Small tank: Though it’s a good tank size for small jobs, you may need a more spacious tank for big projects.
Delicate: Since plastic is not as strong and durable as steel, careful usage is advised while using this machine.
Securing its place in the ‘top-rated portable air compressors’, the Senco PC1010 features one horsepower peak to your tool but it is in the half HP range. The compressor comes with a size of 14″ L × 13″ W × 10″ H with a weight of 20 lbs. Senco PC1010 is an oil-less pump & tank air compressor which makes it easy to maintain. Constructed with steel, it features an ergonomic grip on the handle. The maximum pressure for this compressor is 120 PSI. The operational speed rate is 1.0 CFM at 40 PSI, 0.7 CFM at 90 PSI, and 0.6 CFM at 100 PSI along with a 115 volt & 1 HP motor. The flow rates are quite less than a pancake compressor but are still enough for several power tools. It’s an electric corded power sourced that can deliver 22-44 drives per minute. It is the best handheld air compressor on our ‘air compressor reviews portable’ list.
Lighter: Senco PC1010 is lighter than other portable air compressors falling in the same range.
Quiet operations: This is relatively quiet and doesn’t make much noise.
Ergonomic handle: This feature makes it easy to carry around without feeling drained.
Durable tank: The steel tank is durable and manages a longer life.
Warranty: The product secures a one-year warranty for all manufacturing defects.
Low pressure: The maximum pressure is 120 PSI, which might not be ideal for many purposes.
Tank size: The one-gallon air tank would need refilling more frequently.
Limited power: Somehow, the power provided seems limited.
Q1. Are air compressors dangerous?
A1. An air compressor is an appliance that is associated with gas and compressed air. They carry a large amount of air in stranded space. But despite all its uses, it can be dangerous to use them. An air compressor poses a few risks like:
Oil leak– Many compressors have oil in them and an oil-leak is dangerous in any machinery.
Rupture– In case of even slight extra pressure, a compressor vessel risks getting ruptured and it is a common risk in all types of air compressors.
Overheating– The parts of an air compressor are ignitable when contacted with heat or flame. This might also happen in case the unit gets overheated.
Explosion– Oil is flammable and when inside an air compressor, it has the potential to cause a dangerous explosion.
Q2. What do air compressors do?
A2. Air compressors can do a wide variety of tasks. They compress air and supply it into inflatable objects such as tires, toys, etc. These days, they also multi-task by supplying power to operating tools. Some appliances which get assistance from air compressors during their working are nail guns, staplers, spray guns, grinders, drills, sanders, and many more. Apart from these small jobs, compressors work well even with refrigerators and AC units.
Q3. Where are air compressors used?
A3. Air compressors have varied uses. Saying that they can be used inside homes, or even work-shops wouldn’t be an overstatement.
Inside our homes, they make the maintenance work easier and add fun while carrying out improvements. The other uses include adding air to tires of bikes and other vehicles, painting with an airbrush for small projects, painting on larger surfaces, blowing up balloons, inflating pool toys, beds, et al.
In workshops, many companies love to use compressed air as an energy source. For cleaning machinery, an air blow gun is used; pneumatic nail guns come handy for roofing; paint vehicles, and for making snow at ski hills are a few of the uses of air compressors in a business work-place.
Q4. What size air compressors do I need for a paint sprayer?
A4. If you want an air compressor for a paint sprayer, the one with a motor of 1 to 2 HP would do the job. This size is perfect for a paint sprayer. The ideal flow rate for the same is 6 CPM and 30-40 PSI. If you choose an 8 CFM at 40 PSI, this will go excellent. A few of the above-listed air compressors also fit the bill perfectly here.
Q5. What is the working principle of an air compressor?
A5. The working principle of an air compressor is very elementary. When air is compressed, the volume of the air decreases and the pressure presence increases.
In the case of a piston gun, there is a valve head at the top of every compressor. A vacuum is generated in the space above the piston when the piston moves down inside the cylinder. However, different types of air compressors have different principles. But the basic principle mentioned here stays the same.
Q6. What are the three types of compressors?
A6. The common three types of compressors are:
Reciprocating Piston Compressors– This is the most common compressor today. These compressors are those with which most of the people are familiar. They have the lowest initial cost and are suitable for low duty operations.
Rotary Screw Compressors– Currently, rotary screw air compressors are used in various industrial applications. Earlier they were only found in stationary applications. These are famed for high flow energy and longevity.
Rotary vane compressors– These compressors provide a continuous duty and deliver a relatively pulsation-free airflow to tools or equipment. These compressors are rare and least manufactured.
Each type of compressor has its pros and cons.
Q7. How many gallons of air compressors do I need?
A7. For learning how many gallons of air compressor fittings you need, first of all, you need to find out what project you are in. Air compressor sizes start from 1-gallon to 60-gallon. Depending on your operations, you can decide what size you need. If you want to purchase it for petty indoor operations, one-gallon may be enough for you. And if you are going to purchase it for commercial use, the one with more gallons will work effectively. In an industrial world, for uninterrupted operations, you must go with higher gallons. As per portability, six-gallon will be sufficient for medium-load work by keeping the machine transportable. However, if you find the best 4-gallon air compressor in the town, it’d also be a great option.
Q8. Which type of compressor is good for refrigerators?
A8. For domestic use, reciprocating compressors are the best. They work efficiently with the least cost. The initial cost of a reciprocating compressor is less than other air compressors and they are more durable and lubricant. Additionally, they consume less energy. These days, reciprocating compressors are available in a wide range.
The Last Words
To find the perfect air compressor, it is always imperative to assess the needs for compressed air. Given the multiple tasks a compressor can manage these days, portability is a must-have feature. It shouldn’t feel like a burden to carry along. The affordability of the compressor ensures a practical and wise decision.
The above-enlisted air compressors pass all these tests. Additionally, they also happen to be oil-free. So they are easy to maintain as well. Each product has its specialty and benefits along with some obvious cons. The article will help you decide what kind of air compressor is perfect for you and which ones you must steer clear of to make an informed decision.