Top 6 Air Compressors for the Money

Top 6 Air Compressors for the Money

With all the great compressors available, getting the most value for your money becomes harder when you’re spread so thin with options. Things get a little bit easier when you go through the list and see that a lot of these units share a lot of similar features, with only a few killer features being unique. Take your time going through the list and you’ll come up with the best air compressor for your money.

money 1
  • BOSTITCH BTFP72665
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 16.4 x 20.5 inches
  • Power Source: Not Specified
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturers warranty

money 2
  • PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 17.2 x 18.5 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturers warranty

money 3
  • Senco PC1010
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 10 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturers warranty

1. BOSTITCH BTFP72665 1-Tool and Compressor Combo Kit

Top 5 Air Compressor for the Money 1First on the list is the BOSTITCH BTFP72665 1-Tool and Compressor Combo Kit that conveniently comes with an 18 GA 2 inch Brad Nailer. The 150 max PSI 6 gallon tank can not only power the included tool but has 2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI to keep you running for a long time without waiting for the unit to recharge. The included airline is heavy duty, a ¼ x 15 with fittings and sample fasteners. The price is on the high side but you do get a lot for your money, and they are all high quality materials.

The noise level is 80 dBA so it’s not the most quiet you can get, but it’s also not the worst. Brad nail sizes that can be used range from 5/8 to 2 inches and included a tool-free depth adjustment, easy jam clearing, 360 degree exhaust and molded no-mar pad. As for the compressor it has an impact resistant shroud that is also removable if you need to make adjustments, maintenance free pump and a motor that is capable of starting up in cold weather. For the first unit on the list this is a very good choice from a brand named provider, and is well worth a buy.

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2. PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor

Top 5 Air Compressor for the Money 1The first mid-priced item on the list is this brand named Porter-Cable unit that promises 2.0 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI with a nice 3.5 gallon tank and a max of 135 PSI. That’s a bit lower than the first item, but it is still comparable and lasts just as long on the low amp 120v motor. Maintenance is no frills since the pump is oil-free and requires little manual intervention. At 26 pounds you get great portability without losing too much of the great power it provides.

If needing to start this air compressor in cold weather you won’t have any problem with stalls, as it was built for cold weather start. Access to the regulated air is handled with the quick coupler, which is beyond easy to use. Unfortunately it’s one of the nosiest on the list easily topping 82 dBA, and it doesn’t come with any extra accessories. Works well with jobs involving inflation, blowing and framing and roofing work.  If looking to use an SCFM air tool then it will be fine for a smaller one, but be wary of any tool that may be too power hungry. This is a great unit to have, albeit a bit noisy when compared to the others on the list.

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3. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor

Top 5 Air Compressor for the Money 1Another mid-priced item is this Senco that is not only portably but lightweight with considerable usage depending on the job. At the horsepower peak you’re looking at 1, while running it’s ½ but there is a lot of wait time with only a 1 gallon tank. This particular model works best around the house for home improvement, renovation and blowing up toys and tires. Per minute it delivers 20 to 44 drives and is backed by a solid one year warranty.

The weight tops out at 20 pounds, so it’s only 6 pounds less than the previous item on the list, yet it is significantly less powerful. What you do get for the loss of power is one of the quietest air compressors on the list, if not the best at noise suppression. The lack of power is almost criminal in some cases, so be wary of what tools you attach to it, especially if not using for just a house project. You’re not going to find many compressors this size that are entirely useful for minor to medium projects, so it has that going for it. Depending on what you need, this is a solid compressor that makes up for some shortcomings by being portable.

Read Also: 7 Guaranteed Air Compressors for Home Use

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money 4
  • PORTER-CABLE CMB15
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 13.2 x 20.5 inches
  • Power Source: gas-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturers warranty

money 5
  • BOSTITCH CAP1512-OF
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 11 inches
  • Power Source: electric-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturers warranty

money 6
  • BOSTITCH Factory-Reconditioned U/BTFP02011
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 19.5 inches
  • Power Source: gas-powered
  • Batteries Required? No
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

4. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor

Top 5 Air Compressor for the Money 1This little medium priced beast from Porter-Cable has a 1.5 gallon tank capable of 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI so you’re working rather than waiting for it to recover. The unit sits upright and has rubber feet with an easy to use handle on the top for carrying. The water drain valve is a convenient and easy to use feature, and with a 150 PSI max you’re going to get every bit out of this unit during each cycle. The pump on the inside requires little maintenance since it’s oil-free, a feature that most air compressors use to this day.

The motor is quite fabulous on this unit even though it is the standard portable 120v that starts in cold weather without problems. This is another 20 pounder but it works better as a portable unit than the previous, even with the lapses in real power. Because the design is fully enclosed the parts are protected from damage, and with a 1 year warranty on compressor components you’re covered just in case something gets damaged anyway. Included accessories are a 25 foot coil hose and 8 piece accessory kit to keep you from having to run to the store for extra adapters. This isn’t the best air compressor on the list but it’s the best air compressor for your money by a mile.

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5. BOSTITCH CAP1512-OF 1.2 Gallon Oil-Free High-Output Trim Compressor

Top 5 Air Compressor for the Money 1An interesting unit on the list is this one from Bostitch that can handle 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI with a max of 150 PSI and the ability to handle multiple finishing tools. At peak the HP is 2, while running it’s 1.5 while the motor only draws 12 amps. It’ll start up easy and keep on humming without messing with the circuit breakers. The tank is about 1.2 gallons with the total weight of the unit topping out at 23.5 pounds. It’s still ultra-portable and protected, with the entire control panel being able to withstand damage due to the roll cage.
A clear and easy to see LED on/off switch allows you to eliminate low-pressure misfires due to the compressor not being ready. Another unique design implementation is the on-board tool and hose storage, and if that wasn’t enough bang for your buck you they even threw in a storage pocket for fittings, fasteners and hand tools. It really is a nice all in one unit that simplifies lot of things while on the job. This is well worth the money, and one of the best on the list for getting your money’s worth.

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6. BOSTITCH Factory-Reconditioned U/BTFP02011 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor

Top 5 Air Compressor for the Money 6Last on the list is a brand name that registers 80 dBA so isn’t really as quiet as some of the others on the list. It makes up for it with 2.6 SCFM at 150 PSI and has enough power in it to handle trim and finish applications. One of the best motors on this list is found in this unit, and it’s also one of the lowest priced. It’s marketed as portable but is the heaviest portable unit on the list at 33 pounds, so you might want to keep that in mind when considering this unit. The integrated control panel works well when put in harsh conditions since it’s protected.

This is a multi-user unit with two couplers that has enough power to handle cabinetry, windows/door casings, molding, and even filling up tires. You’ll get a nifty 1 year warranty with your purchase so look to be protected for a while. The tank is a nice tough steel that will take a couple of bumps and bruises, so no worries on if it will be broken while on the job. For your money you get a tough, durable unit that can handle the worst you can throw at it. But to call this unit portable would be somewhat of a joke when comparing to the others on the list. Even if a couple of pounds may not mean much to others, it makes a difference in a long workday when lugging it around. This is a good air compressor but make sure that when you purchase it you take the portable word lightly.

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Summary

There were some interesting choices on this list with a couple of standouts. The last in particular could seem like a bad choice, but weight aside it’s a pretty awesome value for your money. The specs between most of these compressors on the list hover around the same area, so pay close attention to the features. The best air compressor for your money is staring you right in the face, you just have to choose from one of the 6.