The idea of a quiet air compressor seems like a fantasy to a lot of people, and back in the day it used to be just that-a fantasy. Now some air compressors are built from the ground up to not only be quiet, but to do so without losing any of their efficiency. This is a big improvement over the older models that were so loud they could wake the neighbors. Now with the creation of quiet air compressors, things got a little more interesting in the industry when it came to deciding what the best option for home and commercial use is.
There are a lot of options to choose from so it was very hard to narrow down the list to 6, but the below air compressors are considered to be the quietest currently in the industry by far. If you decide to buy any of these, rest assured that they are at least 50% quieter than what you’re used to. Beyond the great reviews from both users and websites are the fact that all of these are competitively priced to move, as a show of gamesmanship with the makers in order to get the market moving towards the reality that all air compressors don’t have to be loud anymore. Below is a list of the best 6 air compressors to get that are rated as quiet.
- DEWALT DWFP55130
- Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 17.4 x 13.8 inches
- Power Source: corded-electric
- Batteries Required? No
- Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty
- California Air Tools CAT-1610A
- Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 14.2 x 14.6 inches
- Power Source: electric-powered
- Batteries Required? No
- Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty
- California Air Tools CAT-4610A
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 20 inches
- Power Source: electric-powered
- Batteries Required? No
- Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty
- DEWALT D55167
- Product Dimensions: 39.6 x 16.5 x 30 inches
- Power Source: gas-powered
- Batteries Required? No
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- 1 Dewalt DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor
- 2 California Air Tools CAT – 1610A Ultra Quiet and Oil Free 1.0HP 1.6 Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor
- 3 California Air Tools CAT 4610A Ultra Quiet and Oil Free 1.0 HP 4.6 Gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Air Compressor
- 4 Dewalt D55167 1HP 200 PSI Oil Free High Pressure Low Noise Horizontal Portable Compressor
- 5 SL – 40 Noiseless & Oil Free Dental Air Compressor
- 6 California Air Tools CAT – 6310 Ultra Quiet and Oil Free 1.0 HP 6.3 Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor
- 7 DeWalt vs. California Air Tools
- 8 How to Choose the Best Quiet Air Compressor?
- 9 Things to Consider When Making a Purchase
Dewalt DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trim CompressorStaying with the mid-price range is this popular DeWalt branded compressor, a small but powerful little machine that has a lot of interesting features. It has 3.0 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump, all while loaded with a 2.5 gallon tank with a 200 max PSI. With so many moving parts they lowered the chance of anything going wrong with the operation by using an oil free pump that grants maintenance free operation and extended use under heavy loads. This is a little louder than the first unit, and it operates at 71.5 dB, which is still low by air compressor standards but loud by this lists standards. With a higher amperage it draws 12, but in doing so the motor starts up easier and it prevents breaker tripping.
With dimensions of 21.6×17.4×13.8 it only weighs 40 pounds, and with the cage having an easy to use handle it is one of the more portable units on the list. The horsepower is pretty consistent with this one, and it steadies at about 1.10 with enough throughput to handle medium and some large tasks. All of these factor into its quick recovery time, so even though it is a little louder than some of the others on the list, it does have one of the fastest recovery times you can get, quiet compressor or not. With the ball drain valve and built in cord wrap this is one of the most convenient and portable air compressors you can have, and all at an incredible price. With a 1 year limited warranty and the roll cage design to protect the important functions of the unit, this is one you don’t want to miss if you need a quiet air compressor. This is one of DeWalt’s best, and one of the better ones on the list to have.
California Air Tools CAT – 1610A Ultra Quiet and Oil Free 1.0HP 1.6 Gallon Aluminum Tank Air CompressorAnother California Air Tools product on the list that made the cut is this medium priced 1610A, a smaller, more compact offering than their first but one that is just as quiet. It remains at the infamous 60 decibel limit set by the first unit, and has the same oil free pump that keeps it working at high volumes without degrading the parts. Buyers can depend on the 1.6 gallon rust free aluminum tank to last them for years and not be a burden. That same construction that makes the tank durable also makes it light, and at 35 pounds it is one of the lightest on the list for carrying around by hand. A rated 1 HP motor with a peak of 2 HP will keep you giving it more and more projects are you realize just how efficient it really is.
Dimensions for this great little unit is 17.3×14.2×14.6 so it can be stored virtually anywhere without taking up too much space. It operates on 110 volts with an amperage capacity of 8, so it won’t suck too much power while in full operation. Everything comes with a 1 year limited warranty that is backed by their email and phone support that is more times than not quick and extremely resourceful. Buying this air compressor would be a smart decision, especially since it is from a company that knows how to make quiet air compressors. It only takes 1 minute for it to reach the max capacity, so not only is it small and quiet, but it is fast! The 1610A comes in as one of the best options on this list to purchase, a feat considering that it is the second one from the same company to be so highly recommended.
California Air Tools CAT 4610A Ultra Quiet and Oil Free 1.0 HP 4.6 Gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Air CompressorStaying with the same company and the same medium price range is the 4610A that retains the same champion 60 dB rating that has yet to be beat and the familiar durable construction that keeps the unit purring along for years without problems. However this particular model comes with a larger tank, one that is a 4.6 gallon rust free aluminum twin tank. The way that it is built makes it run a lot faster than the others on the list, and the power behind it is pretty underrated. With a weight of only 44 pounds it’s not going to break your arms, and is light enough for just about anyone to carry around. Power behind the machine is the typical 1 HP rated with a peak of 2, stats that have become the norm for CAT. On the control panel consumers will notice 2 ¼ quick release connectors so that you can use up to 2 tools at the same time, so no waiting for your buddy to finish with the nail gun. It is a very convenient feature and surprising that this little thing is this strong, all within dimensions of 17x17x20. This is a top rated air compressor and good if you need something with a little more size and power behind it. As the 3rd installment from CAT it comes highly recommended.
Dewalt D55167 1HP 200 PSI Oil Free High Pressure Low Noise Horizontal Portable CompressorDeWalt aims to show it is still the best in the business with the first high priced air compressor on the list that operates at 78 dB, so still not quite as quiet as the California Air Tools options. Where it lacks in that area it makes up for by being the most powerful on the list with a 200 PSI max pressure output so you have longer tool run time and a lot less recharges. The unit has 4.8 SCFM at 90 PSI so that when it does have to go through recovery time it is quick and to the point.
Spend less time waiting around and more time working if you decide to go with this marvelous piece of equipment. While being as powerful as it is, importance was put to the parts of the unit and it is rated as EHP efficient using high pressure technology so it runs longer at higher operation. This is in no way a small portable unit, and is a big boy at 104 pounds with dimensions of 39.6×16.5×30. The handle doubles as a hose wrap for convenience, but it’s more convenient that they put wheels on it which are actually pretty high quality so it is easier to move. Consumers can also look forward to a high-flow coupler and air regulator along with easy to read gauges on the unit itself. Although not the quietest on the list, this is clearly the most powerful. For those that want the perfect balance between noise and power, this would be the unit that does the job.
SL – 40 Noiseless & Oil Free Dental Air Compressor
Last on the list is a very specialized air compressor meant for dental students that has actually found some fame in the industry for other practical purposes. This high priced air compressor is the quietest one on the list by at least 12 decibels, operating at only 48 dB. It soundly beats any other air compressor on the list and is virtually noiseless, so can be used in a room with a sleeping baby without waking the baby up. That is incredible in its own right, and all without costing you too much money. Max pressure is 115 PSI, so where it falters is going to be on the power side.
This was not meant for heavy duty or even medium tasks, and will only be the most efficient if doing light tasks that doesn’t task the tank too much. It is portable and has a 2.5 gallon attached to it, but make no mistake in that it will be lacking for power if you try to overuse it for applications that it has no business doing. At 110 volts it won’t use much electricity, and the entire unit has dimensions of 19x7x19 so if you do a lot of work on a counter it will actually fit quite nicely without being out of place. Many consumers that don’t plan on doing heavy work with their air compressors should consider this unit. It doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to having the lowest rated noise possible, and a deal like this is sure to catch on when people consider its other uses. Buy this one as soon as you get the chance, as it is tops on the list by far.
California Air Tools CAT – 6310 Ultra Quiet and Oil Free 1.0 HP 6.3 Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor
Starting off at the medium price point is this big one from California Air Tools, the 6310 that is rated as ultra-quiet and more than lives up to its name as one of the quietest air compressor on the market. At only 60 decibels it can be placed in a room next to a sleeping baby and not wake the baby up, and all while having an oil-free pump that offers a nearly maintenance free operation and lower costs overall. It has a nice hefty 6.3 gallons available for use in its steel horizontal tank, and it’s easy to move around with the large wheels. Buyers will be at ease moving around the 49 pounds of this air compressor and not even realizing that it weighs that much. Transporting on both flat land and on bumpy materials won’t be a problem due to the way it is constructed.
Performance wise it is rated at 1 HP for running and peaks at 2 HP, so you will get plenty of performance in this unit. A good idea of how quiet 60 decibels is would be to compare it to a normal human conversation which is 65 decibels. This is a remarkable achievement that one would expect from California Air Tools, with this being their biggest yet. Operating at 1680 RPM, the quiet operation of the unit won’t affect how powerful it runs at all. The last feature to mention is the water trap tray that removes excess water from the air, making this an all-around efficient beast. Dimensions of the unit are 23.6×13.3×24 with an amperage capacity of 8. For the first unit on the list this is also one of the top units to get, so let’s see if the others can hold up to the high standards the first put out.
DeWalt vs. California Air Tools
The dominant brand on the list when seems to be California Air Tools at first glance, as they have the most models operating at 60 dB. But when considering the most powerful air compressor on the list, DeWalt comes in first but isn’t nearly as quiet as the competition. Deciding between these two is tricky because the one that you’ll choose will simply be based on do you want a quiet recreational air compressor that can do light and medium tasks, or do you want a somewhat quiet compressor that can handle both residential and some commercial tasks?
That’s going to be the big question to decide whether either brand is fit for you over the other. In DeWalt’s defense, it is more powerful than California Air Tools is quieter, if that makes a difference. Some people just want to be able to use their air compressor without annoying the neighbors or anyone in the household. Some people just want an all in one device that they can use at home, and use in an office environment without sacrificing power or recovery time. If you can’t decide between the two, then remember that the quietest unit on the list was actually an air compressor meant for dental students.
How to Choose the Best Quiet Air Compressor?
Weighing the pros and cons of each device with your individual needs is the best way to start with the process of choosing the best quiet air compressor. Everyone has their own individual preferences, so it is never a good idea to go by what other people told you was perfect for them. Take your own thoughts into consideration when deciding on the best purchase method, but also be open to suggestion by others. Keep an open mind, but keep the final decision with what works for you best. If going for the quietest possible air compressor, understanding dB and how lower is better is a good way to figure out just what level is most comfortable for you. Once you find a cutoff level to let you know what is considered too high for your personal needs then you will have a good idea of the minimum dB you can tolerate in an air compressor. This isn’t something that is specific to a brand name, as even DeWalt sometimes beats California Air Tools in noise suppression tests. Also make it a point to know the peak operating HP, and if the dB stays the same. A machine that is quiet during normal running but loud during its peak will be completely useless to you as a long term solution.
With all of the choices available for low dB air compressor, this list serves as a way to take the complicated part out of the process by introducing you to the best air compressors in the quiet class, all so you don’t have to sift through pages and pages of information to get what you want. These are the best of the best when it comes to quiet operation and efficiency, and since there are over a hundred products on the market that make that claim, this is much more than a simplification of that list. With air compressors ranging from low price to even in the high grand, finding suitable candidates that had the best features but wasn’t a killer on the wallet was no easy task. Any of these on the list can be used from the comfort of your own home, without worrying about the neighbors complaining that you’re being too loud. If you have a new baby and still have a lot of projects to finish, this can make a difference between getting a good night’s sleep and getting the project done.
Brand names are not really big on this list, so try not to get too wrapped up in the DeWalt vs. California Tools war, since the lowest noise actually comes from an off brand item. Every brand has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s up to you as the consumer to try and figure out what best fits both your budget and your needs. With only 6 models to choose from that becomes infinitely easy, and if you have any other questions about the air compressors that you wish to purchase from this list, there is plenty of information available. With many of the items on the list coming with elongated warranties there is no need to worry about them breaking down from extended use. Both the large and small air compressors are built to last, and even if only used for light duty tasks, are built for heavy duty use. So you can use and abuse it for years and still get the same great operation out of it thanks to the oil free pumps installed in all of the products.
Things to Consider When Making a Purchase
If you get hit with a lot of information at once it can seem a bit disorientating at first, so here are some categories to break down so you have a better idea of what specific features you’re looking for. These next few categories are a prime example of some of the things consumers should consider when making a purchase from this list. This blocks out a lot of the confusion, and makes it easier for everyone when making a final decision.
Start with deciding if a portable unit is important to you or not. Portable units will automatically be weaker than the bigger stationary units. But a portable unit can be put on a desk, carried in a car seat, put on a shelf, and even hidden behind a desk if you just want to run the hose through the top. Some jewelry and hobby shops use air compressors and opt for the portable kind, since the bigger ones would be overkill. They can place the small portable unit on the counter and not even disturb the store if they make the right choice. There is no way to upgrade an air compressor to make it stronger, so once you purchase a portable unit and decide that you need something stronger, then it will be back to the drawing board. Then again, there is no rule that says you only have to purchase a single air compressor!
Are you going to be close to a power source and is it reliable? There are safeguards built into air compressors to keep them from tripping the breaker, so oftentimes more than not you’re safe on that level. But if you are not in comfortable range of an outlet things can get a little hairy. Running wires all around your workplace is a good way to get yourself in some serious danger. In this case you want to invest in hoses that art a good length, and are nice and sturdy.
This way you can keep your air compressor by the wall outlet while still having access to your work area. Keep those wires away from the work area, and things will go a lot more smoothly. For consumers that are going to use extension cords for more out of the way projects, then try to use a high rated one rather than a cheap one from the dollar store. Remember that even with some of the high operating voltages, air compressor aim to suck up as little electricity as possible, with the bulk just going to a smooth startup.
Not all warranties are created the same, so don’t think too hard on them. This is the big one, since air compressor warranties are so short, usually only coming with a 1 year limited warranty. This may scare away a lot of potential customers, but if you look at the warranty close enough you’ll realize that it is just as good as any available on other products. You get full customer and technical support, and in some instances they even allow you to extend the warranty. The reasons the warranties are short starts with it being an electrical product, and ends with it usually being transported as much as a cell phone. Think about that for a while, that most people move an air compressor as much as their cell phones. Anyone with a cell phone can tell you that is a lot of traveling, so with a 1 year limited warranty with possible extensions customers are actually getting a bargain. Besides the product is easy to maintain, and with an oil free pump it’s rare to ever have an issue with a breakdown.
Hopefully this list will help you decide what quiet air compressor to purchase for your needs. As a way to bridge the gap between the complicated lists that have found their way online and the many options available to purchase, this list serves as a way of combining both into an easy to read format with only the most relevant information and useful products. Don’t let buying an air compressor be intimidating when it is actually one of the easiest things in the world that you can purchase.