Home Air Compressor Guide 10 Powerful 12V Air Compressors

10 Powerful 12V Air Compressors

Finding that perfect portable 12v air compressor can be a bit of a headache if you don’t know what to look for. If you tend to use 12v air compressors a lot, then you might want to specifically look at the Goodyear i5000 Cordless Tire Inflator and 12-Volt Power Pack and Black & Decker ASI500 12-Volt Cordless Air Station Inflator, as they are the only two on the list with built in batteries. There are still other good choices, all with their great features, and some with their own unique set of features. Take a look at the list and without fail you’ll come up with the perfect 12v air compressor for your personal use.

  • Nippon Thsy3075c
  • Product Dimensions: Not Specified
  • Power Source: gas-powered
  • Item model number: Mdl:thsy3075c
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • Kensun YS-205
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 6.8 x 5.2 inches
  • Power Source: Not specified
  • Item model number: Kensun-AirComp-D1002
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • ARB (CKMP12)
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 9.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Power Source: gas-powered
  • Item model number: CKMP12
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • Viair 40040 400C
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 4 inches
  • Power Source: Not specified
  • Item model number: 40040
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

1. Nippon Thsy3075c 12v Air Compressor

At the mid-range in price on the list, this 12v compressor is a pretty good unit that hasn’t gotten as much coverage as it should. This is a 12v 0.79 output air compressor with a max PSI of 120. It’s a small unit that comes with air lines, and just about all of the default items you would expect from an air compressor of its size. As a stationary gas powered unit, it only weighs 11 pounds, and is pretty adequate as far as power goes in that size. The dimensions are small enough to where it can be tucked away and not be noticed, so from a design standpoint it is a really nice buy.

There may be an issue with setting this up if you’re a beginner, even with the included instructions. The air lines that are included are generic, and not of the highest quality. Gas units are expected to be noisy, but this unit is exceptionally noisy to the point where it can be annoying to the buyer, especially in a situation where it is close by. For the asking price there are a lot better units on the list to choose from, many that are much more powerful than this. Nippon Is still a good brand to choose an air compressor from, but this particular one is not one of their hottest picks. But if noise isn’t a huge deal breaker for you, then this is a decent unit that will get the job done.

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2. Extra Fast Air Compressor Tire Inflator Kit

Kensun makes a move with this portable unit, which is one of the lowest priced units on the list. The price won’t scare any wallets, and it’s extremely portable. As one of the most well reviewed products on the market, it has a carrying case and dimensions that make it great for storing. The capabilities of its power include the ability to inflate tires, rafts, mattresses, pool toys, athletic balls, and other equipment in or around the same size. Once out of the box, it’s so easy to operate that a first time user could manage. The instructions are very clear, and nothing is left up to the imagination. The main cord is almost 10 ft, and will do more than just suffice in multiple situations, even emergencies. The included air hose with 3 inflation adapter nozzles is about 2 7/5 ft. in length.

Read Also: Best Quiet Air Compressors In 2016

This is a small, cheap, and efficient 12v air compressor. It can draw up to 15, but that is unlikely and usually not needed. If for some reason the unit fails, it’s not costly to replace. As one of the most versatile units on the list, it still lacks some power, but it handles a multitude of smaller tasks just as well as any on the list. If used within the confines of the directions, the unit won’t overheat or malfunction. The biggest surprise is that the noise level is average, at best. When looking for a portable and efficient unit for home or away then this is a good choice. Users will be surprised with just how much one little unit can handle.

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3. ARB (CKMP12) 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor

As the de facto do it all system on the list, the ARB 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor combines everything you would want in a portable air compressor all in a small, portable carrying case. The case is one of the highest quality ones available on the list, and will rival some mid-range tool boxes. The compressor itself is just as durable, and is sealed to resist moisture and dust, while behind a splash resistant cover is an easy to get to air filter element. The cylinder bore is hard anodized, and the mechanics inside the unit are constructed in a way to reduce friction and prolong the life of the unit. Accessories included with the kit are a 19 foot air hose, wiring loom, battery clips, and other accessories geared towards inflation.

Price on the unit is on the high end, but then again it is one of the better portable units on the list. It’s convenient to have everything you need in a single grab and go box. Weight is fine at about 16 pounds, and it’s as easy to store as your toolbox is. Due to the way it is constructed, it’s a lot quieter than expected, and hums along quite nicely while it handles whatever smallish load you throw at it. It’s also quite fast, which is impressive considering its small stature. All of the necessary tools in one place does have its advantages, and there are few features that are missing from this, other than more power. The power is good, and it does what is needed of the small unit. This is a good system to have with you, no matter where you are in the world.

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4. Viair 40040 400C Air Compressor Kit

This is on the midrange in pricing, but includes a lot of high end materials to complete the package. Features include a 150 PSI MAX, a 2.54 CFM Free Flow at 0 PSI, an oil-less design, and easy mounting. The system is not made for beginners, and is made to be mounted on the vehicle for use in an onboard air system or air suspension system, with the ability to also power air horns. Despite some loss of versatility in overall use, this is still a very durable air compressor. It includes permanent magnetic motors, brush DC, and mounting hardware with vibration isolators. The wiring is freeze resistant, and accessories also include a remote mount air filter assembly, air line for remote mounting air filter, and heavy duty terminals. The entire system is loaded from top to bottom, and you will definitely get your money’s worth.

With all the features included it still clocks in well under 10 pounds, which is a nod toward its portability. This isn’t your normal air compressor, and relies on the onboard air system to be used. This is more for an intermediate to advanced user, even with the manual included. It also limits how it can be used and how well it will function for intended use. For the brave beginner there are numerous help documents and videos online, and to be honest, after using it a couple of times it’s no different than a regular run of the mill air compressor. There’s a 1 year limited warranty attached, but the well made parts most likely won’t need to be replaced anytime soon. This is an awesome pickup for those that have the fortitude to use it.

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  • Q Industries MV50
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9 x 8 inches
  • Power Source: Not specified
  • Item Model Number: MV50
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • Campbell Hausfeld RP3200
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Power Source: Not specified
  • Item Model Number: RP3200
  • Warranty: 1 year limited
  • Black & Decker ASI500
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Power Source: ac/dc
  • Item Model Number: ASI500
  • Warranty: 1 year warranty

5. Q Industries MV50 SuperFlow High-Volume 12-Volt Air Compressor

Another air compressor on the low priced side, the Q Industries MV50 SuperFlow High-Volume 12-Volt Air Compressor has the ability to inflate a tire in less than 2 ½ minutes. The power is adequate, and it’s 120 PSI with a 16 foot coiled hose. A nice storage bag is included with the purchase to help carry the unit. This is one of the lightest on the list, weighing only a 10 pounds, making it hard to beat for portability. The unit is small enough to be tuck away in the most remote place possible, so for users with off-road vehicles this will fit right in with the other equipment. The power cord is massive at 10 ft. while also having access to a 16 foot hose that connects from the compressor to the tire. A built in pressure gauge is available and easy to read, and the unit has alligator clips so it can hook directly to the battery.

Read Also: 9 Ideal Air Compressors for Inflating Tires

Specifications have this built for trucks, SUV’s, 4×4’s, RV’s, Passenger Vehicles and UTV’s. It’s actually handy for a couple of other tasks, so this is really an awesome product. The entire system was made for users of all levels, and it’s one of the easiest to get used to. There are some issues with the fittings being a non-standard type, so in the case where they get damaged you will have to do a bit of searching to find the correct piece. Getting a new hose won’t fix the issue, so unless a buyer wants to modify the equipment to make it fit, they will have to contact the company directly online or through customer service. As air compressors go, this is still a really good bargain for various small tasks.

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6. Campbell Hausfeld RP3200 12-Volt Inflator and Worklight

Campbell Hausfeld RP3200 12-Volt Inflator and Worklight is a good example of an air compressor that people either love or hate. The PSI is a massive 150 for this portable unit, and the novelty in this model is that it has a built in work light for emergencies. How useful this feature will be will depend on the user, as most modern cell phones either come built in with a flashlight or can have one downloaded. The unit isn’t restricted to just tires and roadside emergencies, and is ideal for sporting equipment as well. Accessories include a 3 inflation nozzle, universal adapter, cigarette lighter plug, built-in pressure gauge, and flashing hazard light. The flashing hazard light brings up more of a question mark as the built in work light in terms of actual use.

It still has some great features like only weighing 3.5 pounds total, and incredibly being the cheapest item on the list. It really is baffling why this air compressor is this low, but the price has dropped considerably over time. The electric cord is long at 11 ft. and the clamp on design over the screw on design for the hose is a very nice change.

The bad with this unit is that it is a cheap, ultra-portable unit that may have issues with PSI adjustments. Of course this will require the user to figure out how to properly adjust, and if need be, disconnect and reconnect while playing with the dial to get it to work correctly. Granted, this is not always the case, but for the select few that have to go through it, it can be a baffling exercise in patience. If used as a starter set or as an emergency backup, there really is no reason to turn away from this product. It does what it needs to and at a killer price.

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7. Black & Decker ASI500 12-Volt Cordless Air Station Inflator

One of the more respected brand names enters the list, with the low priced Black & Decker ASI500 12-Volt Cordless Air Station Inflator proving that big things come in little sizes. With a built in battery, this is the first unit on the list that has a cordless option. The battery is of high quality, and fully charges in 4-5 hours.

A range of things can be used with this unit like tires, rafts, mattresses, pool toys, athletic balls and just about any small application that can fit one of the adapters. A digital gauge on the front that reads pressure accuracy is easy to decipher, and very clear to read. Black and Decker made sure to make the unit an all in one solution, and you can see that with the on-board accessory storage. The quick connect hose cuts down on confusion, and on a single charge the battery can inflate 4 full sized car tires from being completely flat.

Versatility is key with the Black & Decker ASI500 12-Volt Cordless Air Station Inflator, which also gives buyers the option of using the 12V portion if the battery is out of juice. It has two settings available for inflation, a low and a high power setting. Use the low setting for smaller tasks, while the high power setting handles all of the heavy lifting like filling a tire. With the ability to preset the PSI and have it shut off when it reaches that setting, this is one of the best on the list. For all tasks this is really one of the top three you can purchase, as air compressors go it is a great one.

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  • Master Flow MF-1040
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 9.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Power Source: Not specified
  • Item Model Number: MF-1040
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • Goodyear i5000
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 11.5 x 4 inches
  • Power Source: Not specified
  • Item Model Number: i5000
  • Warranty: Manufacturers
  • Q Industries HV-35
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Power Source: Not specified
  • Item Model Number: HV-35
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

8. Master Flow MF-1040 Cyclone High Volume Portable Air Compressor

As one of the more interesting additions to the list, the Master Flow MF-1040 Cyclone High Volume Portable Air Compressor is a low priced portable unit that inflates up to 150 PSI, with over 30 liters of air a minute. The power makes it accessible to cars, but can be used on SUV’s and trucks as well. Features are an integrated pressure gauge, coil hose with inflating nozzle, and a really good looking storage bag. The storage bag is really nice, not that it would matter with a portable unit, but for looks sakes it is great to have. But for crown achievements in innovation, the Master Flow can be modified and installed permanently. In the right hands this is a killer feature that if researched properly, can possible be done by a beginner.

There are plenty of helps videos available for the task, whether the individual user will be successful is another story. Of all the units available, the black and decker would be more preferable for this task, but Master Flow is one of the few companies that even allow this with their air compressor. It runs quieter than some of the other products on the list, but there is the issue of it having a screw on adapter rather than a clamp or quick release. Fiddling with the screw on portion can release some hard earned PSI, wasting your time and everyone else’s. This is a really interesting unit as a permanent mod, by itself it’s more on the average side. Still worth a look though, especially if you want something compact and quiet. If the idea of the archaic screw on setup doesn’t sit well with you, then you will definitely want to look into a more modern solution.

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9. Goodyear i5000 Cordless Tire Inflator and 12-Volt Power Pack

The brand names on the list like Black and Decker and now Goodyear prove why they’re the best. This is the second unit on the list to have a built in battery with the 12v option. An entire 14 inch vehicle tire can go from flat 0-28 pounds of pressure in under 4 minutes, an impressive feat in itself. Users have the option of using the battery’s juice or working off of their car power. Unique in this unit is that the onboard battery can be charged by your car or through a wall outlet. Both adapters are included for both household and vehicle user, which saves a lot of time and doesn’t transfer extra accessory cost to the customer. Another unique feature is that it has a built in 12 volt power outlet, so can operate anything with a 12 volt plug.

A lot of these special features really make the Goodyear i5000 Cordless Tire Inflator and 12-Volt Power Pack stand out from the rest, even the Black and Decker version. It is also priced lower than that mentioned air compressor, so that is something to think about if you’re on the fence about which unit to choose. For the adventurous user the battery is also easier to replace on this unit in case of failure, or just to have an extra one along. There are only 5 screws holding it in together, so although not supported, you could theoretically carry as many extra charged batteries with you as you wanted. With that setup there would be a lot of wiggle room in tight situations, so this is really another brand named air compressor that is managing to be one of the tops on the list.

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10. Q Industries HV-35 SuperFlow 12-Volt 140 PSI Air Compressor

Last on the list is the Q Industries HV-35 SuperFlow 12-Volt 140 PSI Air Compressor, a low priced 140 PSI unit with the ability to inflate a tire in less than 3 ½ minutes. With 25 liters per minute of air it’s powerful, but still on the average side when compared to the other units on the list. The carrying bag they include is spacious and sturdy, while the 10 foot power cord should give you enough room to maneuver around any task you see fit. Items the unit can handle are tires, air mattresses, and pool toys. They made a good choice with the 3 foot hose and included adapters to inflate sports equipment. Everything about the unit is average, so it isn’t bad, it’s just not one of the standouts on the list.

Notable missing features are the auto shut off, which is nowhere to be found on the unit. By not including that feature, users are left with a trial and error process, or using separate tools to gauge the current configuration. The entire look of the unit looks cheap, and it is clearly not one of the most high end air compressors available. The price fits what you’re buying, and even the plug that comes with the unit is on the flaky side when used. Simply put, the unit is very fast for what it needs to do but is very cheaply made, to the point it may cause you some headaches in the future. Worth the look if you don’t have a compressor, otherwise move on.

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