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 plenty of other good choices all with great, sometime unique, features.

Take a look at the list to find the perfect 12v air compressor for your personal use.

Best 12V Air Compressor

  • 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 price range, this 12v compressor is a pretty good unit that hasn’t had 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 for a unit that size. The dimensions are small enough so that it can be tucked away unnoticed, 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 included air lines are generically made 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 an annoyance, especially if it’s sitting close by. For the asking price, there are many better units on the list to choose from that are much more powerful than this one. Nippon is still a good brand to choose an air compressor from, but this particular item is not one of their hottest products. However, 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 joins the competition with this portable unit, which is one of the lowest priced units on the list. The price will fall within most budgets and it’s extremely portable. As one of the best reviewed products on the market, it has a carrying case and dimensions that make it great for storing. It can be used to inflate tires, rafts, mattresses, pool toys, athletic balls, and other equipment around that size. Once out of the box, it’s so easy to operate that a first-time user could manage easily. The instructions are very clear and nothing is left to the imagination. The main cord is almost 10 foot long — more than sufficient for most situations, even emergencies. The included air hose with 3 inflation adapter nozzles is about 2 7/5 foot long.

Read Also: Best Quiet Air Compressors

This is a small, cheap, efficient 12v air compressor. It can draw up to 15, but that is unlikely and, usually, unnecessary. 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, 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 rivals some mid-range tool boxes. The compressor itself is just as durable and sealed to resist moisture and dust, with an easy-access air filter element behind the splash-resistant cover. The cylinder bore is hard anodized and the mechanics inside the unit are constructed to reduce friction and prolong the life of the unit. Included in the kit is a 19-foot air hose, wiring loom, battery clips, and other accessories geared towards inflation.

The cost of this air compressor is a little 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. It weighs an acceptable 16 pounds and it’s as easy to store as a toolbox. 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 — impressive considering its small stature. Having all of the necessary tools in one place does have its advantages, and apart from a slight lack of power, there are few features that this unit is missing. The power is good, though, and it gives as much as you could need from the small unit. This is a good system to have with you, no matter where your project takes you.

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4. Viair 40040 400C Air Compressor Kit

This unit is in the mid price range 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 intended for beginners and is designed to be mounted on the vehicle for use in an on-board 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 with features from top to bottom so you will definitely get your money’s worth.

Despite all these added features, it clocks in well under 10 pounds, which is a testament to its portability. This isn’t your normal air compressor and relies on an on-board air system to be used. This is more for an intermediate to advanced user, even with the manual included. Its uses are also limited as is its functionality. 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 high quality parts most likely won’t need to be replaced anytime soon. This is an awesome option for those that have the means 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 end of the price scale, 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 has a 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 10 pounds, making it hard to beat for portability. The unit is small enough to be tucked away in the most remote places, so for users with off-road vehicles this will fit right in with the other equipment. The power cord is a massive 10 foot long with additional 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 connect directly to the battery.

Read Also: 9 Ideal Air Compressors for Inflating Tires

The specifications note that this is built for trucks, SUVs, 4x4s, RVs, passenger vehicles, and UTVs. It’s actually handy for a range of other tasks, so this is really an awesome product. The entire system was designed with all levels of user in mind, and it’s one of the easiest to get used to. There are some issues with non-standard fittings, so in the case where they get damaged you will have to do a bit of research to find the correct replacement. Getting a new hose won’t fix the issue, so unless the 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

The 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 of this model is that it has a built-in work light for emergencies. The usefulness of this feature will depend on the user, as most modern cell phones either come with a built-in 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-mode inflation nozzle, universal adapter, cigarette lighter plug, built-in pressure gauge, and flashing hazard light. The flashing hazard light also raises the question of how useful it will actually be, but it doesn’t hurt to include it.

Other great features include the minimal weight — 3.5 pounds total — and incredibly it’s the cheapest item on the list. It really is baffling why this air compressor is so low priced, but the price has dropped considerably over time. The electric cord is long at 11 feet and the clamp-on design for the hose is a very nice change.

The negative aspect of 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 necessary, disconnect and reconnect it 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.

This unit can be used for a range of things like tires, rafts, mattresses, pool toys, athletic balls, and just about any small application that can fit one of the adapters. The digital gauge on the front that indicates the pressure accuracy is easy 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 makes the process straightforward, and on a single charge, the battery can inflate 4 full-sized car tires from completely flat to full capacity.

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 for inflation: low and high power. Use the low setting for smaller tasks and the high power setting to handle heavy jobs 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 air compressors on the list. For all tasks, this is really one of the top three units you can purchase.

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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 per minute. The power makes it useful to cars, but can be used on SUVs and trucks as well. Features include 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 aesthetic reasons, it is great to have. The greatest innovative achievement is the Master Flow that can be modified and installed permanently. In the right hands, this is a killer feature that could possible be done by a beginner if researched properly.

There are plenty of helpful videos available; whether or not the individual user will be able to successfully follow them 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 its 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 with a permanent modification, by itself, it’s 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 for a more modern solution.

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

The brands on this list like Black and Decker and Goodyear really speak for themselves in terms of 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 to 28 pounds of pressure in under 4 minutes — an impressive feat. Users have the option of using the battery’s juice or working off of their car power. A unique feature of this unit is that the on-board battery can be charged by your car or through a wall outlet. Adapters are included for both household and vehicle user, which saves a lot of time and doesn’t transfer extra accessory costs 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, including the Black and Decker version. It is also priced lower than the Black and Decker 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 in this unit if it fails. There are only 5 screws holding it together, so although not supported, you could theoretically carry as many extra charged batteries with you as you wanted. That setup gives you a lot of wiggle room in tight situations, so this is another brand-named air compressor that tops 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 a capacity of 25 liters of air per minute, it’s powerful but still on the average side when compared to the other units on the list. The included carrying bag is spacious and sturdy, while the 10-foot power cord should give you enough room to maneuver around any task you see fit. The unit can handle tires, air mattresses, and pool toys. The 3-foot hose was a good decision and the included adapters to inflate sports equipment are also really beneficial to the customer. Everything about the unit is average, so it isn’t bad, it just doesn’t stand out.

Notable missing features are an 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 are faced with using separate tools to gauge the current configuration. The unit looks cheap and it is clearly not one of the most high-end air compressors available. The price reflects the quality, and even the plug that comes with the unit is on the flimsy side. Simply put, the unit is very fast for what it needs to do but is cheaply made, to the point where it may cause you some headaches in the future. Worth the look if you don’t already have an air compressor, otherwise move on.

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