Best Air Compressor Reviews In 2016

Best Air Compressor Reviews If you are searching for air compressor reviews you have come to the right place as we have a list of all the best air compressors to help you find the right fit for you. Choosing a good air compressor is going to come down to what project you’re working on, and if the unit needs to be portable. If a portable unit can handle the job just fine, then you’ll notice more of a preference to that model rather than a bigger, bulky, and hard to handle model. Most of the units on our list of comparison list are small enough to be stored under a workbench, but powerful enough to be used on a multitude of projects. All of the units are also electric powered, so there are limitations to all, but a fair trade off in the long run. If looking for an all in one solution, the PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit seems to be a sound investment, and has just about every connection needed to get you started.

There is a science to picking the correct air compressor that is a good fit for your task, and hopefully this guide will push you in the right direction. As usual there is no wrong choice, but be sure to choose one based on not only your price range, but features. A loud air compressor won’t fare well in a home environment, compared to the ultra quiet ones available today, where the tenants are still present, as a smaller weaker air compressor won’t be suited for a large contract job. The strengths and weaknesses are many for all on the list, but there are so many great air compressors on the market that it becomes that much harder to choose a bad one. If well taken care of though, any of the air compressors on the list will last a very long time. Take your time with this list, and you will not be disappointed.

Top 10 Air Compressors

1
  • California Air Tools
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 13.3 x 24 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: Limited Warranty 1 Year

2
  • DEWALT DWFP55130
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 17.4 x 13.8 inches
  • Power Source: corded-electric
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturers warranty

3
  • DEWALT DWFP55126
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches
  • Power Source: corded-electric
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: Not Specified

4
  • PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 17.2 x 18.5 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1yr limited warranty on compressor components

1. California Air Tools CAT- 6310

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsStarting at around the mid to high price range, this is a good quiet air compressor for anyone looking for a long-term solution for the home. This model is a very quiet 60 decibels and only weighs 49 pounds, in a very easy to transport package. The oil free design is made to cost the consumer less in the long run, and is innovative enough to where it is catching on in the industry. The motor is pretty solid and rated at 1 HP running with a 2 HP peak in its 6.3 gallon steel horizontal tank. There is a lot of room and HP all wrapped into its wheeled frame, and all at a comfortable price. If used as a portable air compressor there is a good chance it will impress other buyers that are in the market for one. As a 110 volt electric powered model it’s not too underpowered and has a lot of great features. The limited 1 year warranty does a decent job of protecting the consumer from bad parts or failing parts from overuse.

Works well when applied to smaller products like air dusters, nail guns, and light spraying appliances. For something of the heavier variety, there is definitely going to be some struggle. But as a portable electronic unit the California Air Tools does an impeccable job of being one of the quietest on the list and still getting some pretty good work done under the current amps. On the bad end is a surprisingly bad smell when in use, which one wouldn’t expect from an electric unit. The aroma is pretty heavy, and although there is no cause for concern, if it’s used indoors it can be a pain if nearby. Refill time is also a bit high, but then again it is not the most powerful unit on the list and made for portability. This is still a handle little portable air compressor to have, and hopefully more will be made in the same line.

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2. Dewalt DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsAt around the middle of the price rack is this air compressor from the famed and trusted DeWalt brand. This is an oil free design with a motor that draws on 12 amps and has a very lax free startup to reduce tripping the breaker. It’s pretty quiet at only 71.5 decibels and is optimized for maintenance free operation. The 90 PSI pump delivers 3.0 SCFM with a 2.5 gallon tank with a maximum of 200 PSI. All of these features are combined into a small 36 pound compressor that can be carried by hand, and is thin enough at 12.5 inches to store in many small places. The design is the standard DeWalt colors of yellow and black, so for a fan of the brand this would go well perfectly with their other DeWalt tools and accessories. Even at the current compact size the recovery time is impressive, and they even included a ball drain valve for quick draining.

As expected with a unit of this size, it is a bit underpowered and can’t be expected to even run at recommended specs consistently. With the reduction in power, users can expect certain applications to be more problematic, if not completely disastrous if it is used for a bigger job. This is a compact, efficient when not overused air compressor made for small to middling jobs. There have also been complaints of overheating with the unit, although a slight cool down period fixes the issue. One of the rare missteps for the company is not included a hose with the unit, which first time buyers may find frustrating. This is still an awesome unit to have, especially due to its portability.

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3. Dewalt DWFP55126 6 Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsDeWalt makes another impressive showing on the list with the DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor, a low priced 30 pound unit with a couple of interesting features. As the third electric compressor on the list, it is listed as another compact unit but packs quite the punch despite its size. It has the ability to start up easy in cold weather or use an extension cord application if needed. dBA tops out at 75.5, but given its size there are a lot of performance gains in this model. This is a very easy to maintain unit that offers just about twice the power of many units the same size. With the inclusion of two universal couplers, multiple users can work with the unit at the same time. In the event where the unit needs to be repaired, the console cover is easily removable.

There may be some confusion with how to break in the unit, as this newer model doesn’t require the similar break in ritual that the same older models do. This really is a slight oversight and nothing major, as using the same older break in ritual will not damage the unit and actually help it. This air compressor fills up very quickly and is easy to drain. It’s considered portable and is, but is slightly more bulky than what would be considered a portable model. Drainage is not a pain like in others, and is one of the better aspects of the device. Considering the PSI of the unit, it will fare well in a variety of applications without being a big burden on the user. DeWalt has proven their ability to stand by the quality of this device, and in the event something goes wrong it will be one of the easier exchanges a buyer has with a big company.

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4. Porter Cable PCFP02003 3.5 Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsAs one of the lowest priced air compressors on the list, the PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor is also one of the lightest, weighing only 26 pounds. The size and shape conforms very well and makes it easy to both carry and store. Even though it is only 135 PSI, the quick recovery time more than makes up for that. With a humming low amp 120v motor it’s quite an impressive little machine that requires low maintenance and puts out good power. Like all the other air compressors listed, it is an oil-free pump that will guarantee a longer life and less troubles. Even in cold weather the startup won’t be a problem in the worst of conditions. The two gauges and quick-connect coupler are some of the more premium features of this small but capable unit.

It’s also one of the nosiest on the list, with an 82 dBA level that is far from quiet. There are no accessories included with the unit, so for first time air compressor buyers there will be some extra costs. The lower cost is based on the parts of the unit, being that they are not of very high quality and are prone to breakage sooner, particularly the plastic in the manifold that helps to hold the pressure. Unfortunately the warranty is not iron clad, and there will be some back and forth when trying to take advantage of it. That part especially, if it breaks, can’t be replaced. There are some DIY fixes online for users savvy enough to follow that should circumvent this problem, and is highly recommended that all buyers check out this information before purchase. This is still a great product for anyone looking for an air compressor, especially if well taken care of.

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5
  • PORTER-CABLE CMB15
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 13.2 x 20.5 inches
  • Power Source: gas-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty

6
  • Senco PC1010
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 10 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? Not specified
  • Warranty: 1 year

7
  • Makita MAC700
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 22 x 10 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? Not specified
  • Warranty: 1 Year Parts & Labor

5. Porter Cable CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil Free Fully Shrouded Compressor

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsThis second offering from Porter-Cable is another low priced and compact model, that’s a bit more powerful than their first. Recovery time is kept to a minimum with a rated 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI, with longer runtimes guaranteed with the max 150 PSI. The large 1.5 gallon tank only weighs the unit down a good 20 pounds, making this one of the lightest on the list. The water drain valve is easy to access, with nice additions like the rubber feet helping with the overall appearance. The unit has a similar 120v motor like the previously mentioned air compressor, and it works just as good in cold weather conditions. The noise level at 79 dBA is tolerable, but could be a bit distracting depending on the environment.

Thankfully for buyers new to air compressors, the included accessory list includes a 25 ft. coil hose and 8 piece accessory kit. This will definitely save on some cost and user frustration. A pretty good one year warranty will cover compressor components, and even though the parts are not of the highest quality, this is still a pretty well-built unit. The accessories however, suffer from being low grade. In the near future a purchase of higher quality accessories may be necessary to maintain full functionality. And as silly as it sounds, the cord wrap is very intuitive and actually works like it is supposed to. A minor feature that usually works against some of the air compressors on this air compressor reviews list, is actually done very well in this case. This is surprisingly one of the better compressors on the list, even if it is lacking on some functions of the higher priced ones.

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6. Senco PC1010 1 Horsepower Peak ½

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsWith all of the low priced portable compressors on the list, this 20 pound Senco doesn’t oversell itself as being anything than it really is. Meant for small jobs and hobbies, it’s not only portable but extremely quiet at 73 dBA. It’s 1 full horsepower at its peak and while running ½ horsepower to get the job done. The oil-less motor with the electric design promises 125 PSI max pressure, with the ability to go from 0-120 in only 128 seconds. That’s one of the faster performing on the list, all capable through the 4 amps running at 115 volts. The accessories included are a ¼ quick disconnect coupler, with other features being individual gauges for the tank and regulated output pressure. A 1 year warranty should give most buyers a warm feeling of assurance, as it seems well backed.

Once again, this is a lot quieter than the other air compressors on the list, especially the pancake models. This could possibly be due to it having a lower air volume, as it can’t keep up with anything too demanding. The lack of power in this model keeps it from being a go to compressor for most people, even with a fast fill up time. There will be a lot of times where the lack of power outweighs the fact that it is an ultra-portable unit. As a secondary compressor for certain jobs this Senco does wonders, and there are few complaints about its durability or problems with hoses. Long term use may degrade the foam around the handle that is used to carry it, but due to the weight it really isn’t a major issue. The craftsmanship on this unit is impeccable, and it will do the job if used correctly.

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7. Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP All In Compressor

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsThis powerful mid-priced air compressor has a cast iron pump with big bore cylinder and pistons, a combination that when in motion gives great performance gains over longer periods of time. Despite that it more than doubles the power of the Senco, the large 1,720 RPM pump is still just as quiet and enables max performance even at lower RPM. Premature motor failure won’t be big concern due to the low amp draw reducing tripped breakers and voltage drops. The one year included warranty will most likely not be taken advantage of, as the design of the unit is made with a cooler running pump that takes care of the unit over the years. The 2.6 gallon tank is labeled for 130 PSI with a pretty hefty unit weight of 52 pounds. The standard ¼ inch universal quick coupler is included, and easy to use.

The manual that comes included with the unit is not for beginners, and is missing a lot of important steps. First time air compressor owners will have trouble setting up the unit for the first time, and in frustration may miss some very vital steps in getting it to perform correctly. This is listed as compact, but it actually is more in the mid-range at over 50 pounds. Refill time is extremely quick at about 20 seconds, so it does have its strengths still. The power is really unbelievable in the size that it comes in, still, and there are only a few on the list that are this efficient. That said, it still isn’t powerful enough to handle certain tasks. It will keep up for the most part, but it still very much is a compact air compressor with the makeup of a larger air compressor. A very worthy buy for certain jobs, and it should last a very long time.

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8
  • BOSTITCH BTFP72646
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 16 x 23 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

9
  • California Air Tools
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 33 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: Limited Warranty 1 Year

10
  • PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 18 x 19 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty on Compressor Components

8. Bostitch BTFP72646 3 Tool Compressor Combo Kit

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsThis is one of the top 3 on the list, with a 6 gallon tank with easy drainage due to a ball type drain valve. It is high priced, but well worth it, and it comes with a straight nailer, brad nailer, and crown stapler all in one package. A maintenance free oil-free pump is used very well for efficiency reasons with this model, and the unit allows quick reloading with a bottom loading feature and an indicator to let users know when it needs to be reloaded. This heavy duty compressor has a dBA rating of 80, but is so well built that it isn’t that much louder than some of the compacts on the list. The durability is tested and ready, featuring an impact-resistant composite shroud to protect from the worst of damage.

The included tools are not limited to using Bostitch brand nails or staplers, which is a big plus for anyone with a supply of their own from a different brand. For buyers who already have these tools, this unit is overpriced as it isn’t any more power than some of the other air compressors on the list, and lacks some of the more advanced functions. The way this is packaged is definitely meant for a beginner, and doesn’t really offer any benefit to other buyers other than uniformity. And as great as the air compressor unit is, the included tools don’t share the same quality. There will be power and durability issues associated with the tools, and in some cases it may be hit or miss. For the rare all in one unit, this is still a killer product for the beginner that wants to get started. There aren’t many air compressor units on the market that come in a set like this one.

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9. California Air Tools CAT – 10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsAt a huge 10 gallons with a strong 2 HP motor, this is one of the highest priced compressors on the list and also sturdy and on wheels. It amazingly remains as one of the more quiet models, even though it is nowhere near as portable it maintains 70 dBA. The easy start valve gives the unit a no load start with a low start up amp draw. With only 14 amps, it can be up and running in no time, not causing a strain to the electric. The motor smoothly operates quietly at 1680 RPM, making sure the unit lasts for years. Even at empty, the entire 10 gallon tank fills in less than 130 seconds, a feat unmatched on this list at the current size. Two ¼ quick release connectors allow simultaneous use of tools, and the unit is power enough to use larger air tools, unlike some of the smaller units on the list.

For such a big beast, the warranty is a 1 year limited that will not cover more of the important parts. This can be a bit frustrating, as this unit is made for heavy duty work and will be used a lot more than smaller compact compressors. The unit is huge at 91 pounds, and very bulky. There may be some storage issues or even transport issues, even with the wheels. It is about 31 inches tall, so depending on where users want to store it the height can definitely be a problem. The wheels can possibly be a problem depending on use, and frequent tightening and loosening will be needed in order to reach job satisfaction. Whether this will be a quality buy depends solely on if power is more required than portability.

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10. Porter Cable C2002 WK Oil Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13 Piece Accessory Kit

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsAs the last pancake air compressor on the list, this is a mid-priced unit with a 150 max PSI for longer running times. This user friendly model has an air coupler and plug that’s factory installed on the air hose, allowing for ease of use for any level of buyer. A water drain valve is included on the 6 gallon tank, and it operates with a low 120 volt motor that works smoothly even in adverse conditions.

Great care went into crafting the oil-free pump, creating a unit that will last for years. Vital components are protected through the current design, and will prove useful in hard working conditions. Although the induction motor gives good power and extended life, it is still compact enough to run off of normal household outlets. The replaceable brushes in the motor are an overlooked feature that extends life of the unit longer, and is a great feature for those looking for a one and done solution.

Of the 13 accessories include, there is a 25 ft. nylon hose, a blow gun and configurable attachments, tire chuck, tire gauge, quick coupler, plugs and Teflon tape. It is a very good kit that is in no way gimmicky, with quality parts and accessories. The main unit is only 34 pounds, and is easy to carry and store in the garage or any small space. There are several reports about breaking in the device before use, as mileage may vary. Actual instructions on this aren’t in the manual, and as such it is up to the buyer to decide if they want to break in the unit. This is a powerful and fantastic compact air compressor that is ideal for anyone looking for a long lasting solution.

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Buying Air Compressors – A Guide

PSI

PSI, or Pounds per square inch is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing an air compressor. The higher the PSI, the less time you have to wait for the tank to refill. Higher PSI air compressors also handle bigger jobs better and faster. A good example would be using an air compressor to fill up the tires on a trailer. An air compressor that meets or exceeds the total PSI for all four tires would be more desirable than one that needed to refill, especially if away from an outlet.

Read Also: Size, Power and CFM of Air Compressors

Since all of the models on this list are electric, the larger the PSI when away from an outlet then the more efficient life will be. There are a lot of smaller air compressors that offer an outstanding PSI with some additional features that make them desirable away from the outlet, so those are the ones to look out for. But even with a lower PSI, there are benefits to the way the unit is built that should make a buyer look closer at the original purchase. Although PSI is extremely important, it is not the only feature that a buyer should be looking at.

Tank Size

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsThis along with PSI decides whether the air compressor is suited for smaller tasks around the house, medium tasks in house and out, or bigger tasks like automotive work and remodeling projects. Tanks are shown in gallons, with obviously the higher being the better one as it holds more compressed air at higher pressures. A high PSI and a large tank is desirable, but as many shift to smaller portable units a balance between the two is still necessary. For larger projects the big tank size will always be a winner, and units with large tanks usually have dual outlets for multiple users at once.

When working on something big, this is a great feature, and it usually won’t be found in units with a smaller tank. Some of the bigger tanks also have the option of replacing the brush in the motor, prolonging its usefulness. When deciding on whether to get a big tank or a smaller tank, always remember that you can never go backwards. The original purchase is going to make a big difference on whether you’re doing small jobs efficiently, or waiting around for the refill while handling bigger jobs.

dBA

The loudness of the unit is a big deal to not only hobbyist, but to professional workers as well. dBA represents just how loud the unit is when in operation, and in many cases the bigger units are no more louder than the smaller compact units. Pay close attention to not just the dBA of a unit, but how it is built. Units with low dBA that are poorly built are just as loud as an 80 dBA unit that is built well. In situations where a construction worker is doing a project for a family that is still in the home, a low dBA unit can really go a long way in customer satisfaction.

With a quieter unit, it’s possible to even use it in a room with a person in the next room not even hearing it. A good unit is also so quiet that a buyer can listen to the radio or talk on the phone with minimal interruption. There’s never going to be an ultra-quiet unit, but you can always take the steps necessary to make sure it is as quiet as possible for your particular needs.

Weight

No one wants to drag around a 90 pound air compressor up a couple of flight of stairs, even if it has wheels. This is where it can get a bit complex, and depends completely on what the user is going to use the unit most with. If the project is one that requires a lot of power, then normally a comparable unit would need to be used of the larger variety. But if the worksite requires a lot of traveling, especially up a flight of stairs, then the larger unit is not the best option.

Smaller, portable, and decently powered units would work better in this case. Granted a smaller air compressor won’t have a lot of the power needed for sustained activity, leading to more refill time, it is still a better solution in this case because it can be carried anywhere on site by hand. The smaller 30 pound or lighter unit is also easy to store, and in some cases has some of the same features a larger unit has like the simultaneous users or quick release valve. Just making the proper decision in the beginning can go a long way to avoiding frustration down the road.

Accessories

Find The Best Air Compressor By Reputable BrandsSome of the air compressors on the list come with standard accessories and manuals. And there is one on the list and literally comes with the unit and the manual, and nothing more. There is another that comes with a set of three tools to get anyone started with using the unit, and lastly there is one on the list that contains a complete hose and connection set, eliminating the need to get extra pieces. The last two have their place, but the thing to remember is that avoiding extra purchases after the initial purchase is desirable.

No one wants to buy an air compressor and a couple of add on gadgets if they don’t have to. The units that come with the extra accessories are usually worth the extra cost, as they go a long way in avoiding the frustration of extra purchases in the future. For units that contain actual tools, however, this may need to be avoided for users that already have them in their set. Having an extra staple or nail gun is not worth an extra fifty to a hundred dollars on top of the original asking price. And a barebones unit with just the manual is more suited for a user that is replacing a broken unit.

Summary

Make an education decision based of  this list of the best air compressors available in 2016, and stick to it. There isn’t a single bad item on this air compressor reviews list that we have assembled for your convenience. That says a lot about the quality of the market, one that continues to grow in favor of the electronic model. Although because of power issues it will never completely replace the gas models, electronic air compressors are here to stay, and are very much the future. The quieter portable models are definitely on the tops of many lists online, with videos showcasing just how quiet they are compared to their gas counterparts. With fast refill times, the lack of power is sometimes tolerable enough to withstand buying a smaller, less powerful unit. There are some trusted brand names on the list, but even the lesser known names have made an outstanding product that is made to run for years.

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