Best Portable Air Compressor 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Best air compressor reviews

Clear by its name, the function of an air compressor is to compress air. It proves to be handy in times of distress and will hold your side when you require it the most. An air compressor is not only useful for the manual building of furniture or construction of things. This machine can also be used for daily chores around the house, which makes them much more relaxing.

Air compressors are manufactured in all shapes and sizes. A significant advantage of the portable air compressors is that they operate at low running noise levels and are of no match when compared to their more prominent models.

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A portable air compressor is just like a regular air compressor only that it is designed primarily to be transported and is available in a variety of sizes that are easy to accommodate in your car either for holidays or for safety. They are sufficient to power car tires but can also be used for smaller inflatables and are a perfect choice for your trip to avoid being stranded with flat bicycle tires.

10 Best Portable Air Compressor 2020

With so many compressors available in the market these days, it is a very hectic job to choose an air compressor suitable for your needs. Therefore for your convenience, here we have compiled a list of top 10 portable air compressors, keeping all the important aspects and features of this device in mind.

Air Compressors

1. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor

The porter cable c2002 has a tank Capacity of 6 Gallon, which is a warrant compressor tank size for a pancake compressor. It has a noise level of 82 dBA and is more noisy than usual. With its weight around 31.3 lbs,its lighter than most ordinary compressors. The Maximum Tank Pressure of this compressor is 150 Psi and works fine with most of the air tools. It requires an electric power source of 120V and hence, runs well with the domestic current-supply. Pump Type of this compressor is Oil-Free; therefore, it inflicts easier maintenance.

Weighing nearly around 31.3 pounds only, the PORTER-CABLE C2002 air compressor is one of the best that you can get in the market.

It’s not just its weight that places this to the best, its overall performance, compatibility with other household air tools, grants it the top position on our list of top 10 air compressors.

Designed and manufactured in the shape of a pancake, it is developed to ensure full stability. And as it requires 120 volts of current to operate, you can continuously use it for household purposes.

The PORTER-CABLE C2002 demands an effortless endeavor. It relieves you from the troubles of changing oil frequently using the oil-free pump that comes along with this compressor kit.

Although, you be a little disturbed by the noise generated by this compressor. It is somewhat a little louder as compared to any other regular compressor.

Therefore, by keeping the noise factor aside, purchasing this compressor will be the right decision for you because of its overall performance, as you can see.

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
  • 150 psi max tank pressure of the portable air compressor allows more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes
  • 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi of the electric air compressor allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
  • 6 gal Pancake style tank of the PORTER-CABLE air compressor is made for stability, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
  • Low Amp 120V motor of the 6 gallon air compressor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • The process of assembly and set up of this compressor is quite simple and easy, including its operation due to the presence of a regulation knob.
  • The portability term is a point on because of the exceptional transportability of this compressor.
  • Works perfectly while powering other devices, for example, a staple gun on wooden surfaces.
  • When not put into use occasionally and adequately, the parts can lose their durability.
  • The noise level is a bit higher.


The Dewalt DWFP55126 air compressor has a tank capacity of 6 Gallons, which is favorable for a compressor. Having noise Levels around 75.5 dBA, they are less noisy than most compressors. Weighing 32.2 pounds, it has a more balanced weight as compared with regular ones. The Maximum Tank Pressure is 165 Psi and can operate with higher-pressure tools. It also requires an electric power source of 120V and is compatible with the electricity available in the house. It has an oil-free pump type, therefore its maintenance is quite effortless.

The performance of any regular air compressor is vastly dependent on its controls. Therefore to protect the authorities, the DEWALT DWFP55126 compressor model has a sturdy console cover over them.

This cover not only keeps the controls protected from external damage, but you can also dissipate the cover efficiently whenever you want to alter up on the controls. With this feature, this air compressor is ranked second in the list of top 10 best small air compressors.

This compressor has two couplers for supporting two users at the same time. Above that, the couplers are catholic, which means you can attach tools having different sizes with the couplers.

Moreover, this compressor consists of a high flow regulator to maximize the air tool redaction. And the lower weight of this compressor makes it very easy to carry wherever you want.

Overall, the DEWALT DWFP55126 is a compressor having some marvelous features as you can see yourself. So, buying this compressor will prove to be a good investment shortly.

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)
  • 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump, enable long tool run time with quick recovery for the portable air compressor
  • High efficiency motor of the electric air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application. [14 ga or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • 75.5 dBA** noise level of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for a quiet work environment
  • High flow regulator and couplers of DEWALT portable air compressor are designed to maximize air tool performance
  • Long life oil free pump for maintenance free operation
  • Suitable for tire inflation.
  • Easy to use and proves to be handy for general DIY enthusiasts.
  • Rubber feet provided on the bottom of the compressor to avoid sliding.
  • The pump should be regularly checked for air leakage.
  • It may be an issue for some, to use industrial connectors for hoses.

3. Makita MAC700 Air Compressor

The tank capacity of Makita MAC700 is 2.6 Gallons; hence, the air capacity of this compressor is below the ideal level. Noise Levels of this compressor are around 80 dBA, i.e., Exalted noise than regular ones. Its weight is nearly 52 Pounds that is a quite heavier weight for portability. The Maximum Tank Pressure of this compressor is 130 Psi, which is the average pressure for any standard air compressor. It requires an electric type power source of 120V, which is standard domestic power. Pump Type of this compressor is Oil-Lubricated and requires some efforts for its maintenance.

To achieve better performance from your air compressor, you need to purchase a compressor that has a lot of cylinder bore and piston. The Makita MAC700 has a huge bore made of cast iron to enhance the performance.

With the Makita MAC700, you will never have to face the frequent failure of the motor. The lower draw of this compressor helps to overcome such problems.

Though you have to lubricate this compressor using oil, there are some features added here that make maintenance of this device easier for you. Oil drain valves are also provided for draining off the oil. An oil sight glass is present to help you monitor the level of oil.

The Makita MAC700 has a roll bar handle that is designed to withstand harsh and severe environments. This compressor is not only user-friendly but also provides higher durability with cast iron construction.

The only thing you need to worry about while working with this air compressor is the noise it produces while operating. Except for this, it is the best 120-volt portable air compressor available in the market.

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
  • Cast iron pump with big bore cylinder and piston, combined with greater bore and stroke, delivers maximum performance
  • Substantially lower noise levels with a large 1,720 RPM pump, enabling greater displacement at lower RPM
  • Low amp draw reduces incidences of tripped breakers and voltage drop that can cause premature motor failure
  • Oil lubricated provides cooler running pump, minimizes wear
  • One-year manufacturer's warranty
  • Operates smooth and quiet, without causing noise pollution
  • Suitable for smaller household jobs
  • Pressure maintenance is good
  • The compressor filling is pretty fast
  • The plastic parts of the machine are fragile and thus need to be handled cautiously
  • Sometimes the product can cycle

4. Bostitch BTFP02012

Bostitch BTFP02012 has a tank capacity of 6 Gallons, which is a perfect size for the tank. Noise Levels of this compressor are around 78.5 dBA and are less noisy than normal. It weighs 29 pounds and is surprisingly lighter than a criterion air compressor. The Maximum Tank Pressure is 150 Psi and is suitable for exalted-pressure tools. It requires a power source of 120V and is compatible with the domestic power supply. This compressor has an oil-free pump type, which implements that it has easier maintenance.

You can enhance the redaction of your compressor using a high flow regulator that is available with the Bostitch BTFP02012.

This flow regulator allows you to monitor and operate the flow of air through the compressor. Therefore, your compressor gives excellent performance.

Transporting this compressor is not effortless because of its lower weight. Moreover, as it operates in electricity, it can be used anywhere according to your convenience.

You take it outside for inflating car tires or use it inside of your home for nailing; this is the best choice for a small air compressor to buy.

But before going for this one, remember that the noise generated by this compressor may be a matter of disturbance for you.

Else you can immensely expect an excellent performance from this compressor.

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)
  • The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free, maintenance-free pump for convenient use
  • 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump enable long tool run time with quick recovery of the electric air compressor
  • BOSTITCH high efficiency motor of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application [14 GA or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • 78.5 dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment
  • 29 lb. weight makes unit easy to carry and store
  • Compact size is one of the advantages of this compressor
  • Mobility is ensured due to the light-weighted compressor body that allows transport even through stairs
  • Even though its body is made of plastic, the metal parts are held at the right positions where they are needed
  • Guarantees excellent performance even after numerous uses
  • The noise levels are a little bit higher; therefore it is advised to be used outdoors
  • The pressure knob should be protected since it is vulnerable to external damage

5. Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV

Having a tank capacity of 3 Gallons, the Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV is below the standard level. Noise Level of this compressor is nearly 100 dBA and is precisely noisier than any regular compressor. Weighing around 21 pounds, this air compressor is extraordinarily lighter compared to other compressors. The Maximum Tank Pressure of this compressor is 110 Psi, which is standard for an air compressor.

It requires an electric power source of 120V and is perfect for household electricity. Having an oil-less pump type, this compressor requires less maintenance.

For an air compressor, keeping track of the pressure level is very important. The Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV has a personal pressure gauge placed conveniently for you to keep a record of the pressure levels.

Weighing only 21 lbs, you can carry this compressor effortlessly wherever you want to take it. Such lightweight places this compressor among one of the best small portable air compressors available in the market.

This air compressor produces an average level of tank pressure that is compatible with most of the air tools. Though some powerful tools may not work efficiently at this tank pressure level.

However, the Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV generates nearly 100 decibels of sound, which is louder than most of the other regular compressors available. Therefore, you need to consider this noise factor before you purchase this compressor.

Apart from this, all the other features of this compressor, like compatibility with home current, easier to maintain and operate, etc. make it a suitable option to choose.

Air Compressor, Portable, 3 Gallon Horizontal, Oilless, w/ 10 Piece Accessory Kit Including Air Hose & Inflation Gun (Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV)
  • 3 gallon horizontal tank and 0.36 CFM at 90 PSI. 110 Max PSI provides plenty of power to tackle DIY projects. Operates on 120 volt house outlet
  • Oil-less pump for maintenance-free ownership and strong, reliable motor output. Motor overheated
  • Equipped with 10 piece accessory kit which includes a coiled hose, blow gun, inflation needles and fittings.dBA @ 3ft:93
  • Conveniently placed gauges are easy to read & this compressor’s compact design makes it easily portable
  • Ideal for tire and ball inflation; it’s also perfect for powering air brushes, air/ brad nailers, upholstery projects and more. Finish your projects faster and easier with Campbell Hausfeld. The Air Power Expert
  • It is affordable
  • It is not very versatile in nature
  • Extremely noisy
  • Generates lots of vibration

6. California Air Tools 5510SE

The California Air Tools 5510SE has a tank capacity 6 Gallons, which is the standard capacity for an air compressor. Noise Levels of this compressor are around 60 dB, which means it is quieter. It weighs approximately 37.5 Pounds, i.e., its weight is less as compared to the regular ones. The Maximum Tank Pressure is 120 PSI, which is quite moderate for exalted-pressure tools. The pump type of air compressor is oil-free and requires effortless maintenance. Power Source required for this compressor to operate is a corded-electric type of 110V and is little less than the standard domestic electricity.

Are you tired of the short runtime of your old compressor? Want a longer and more continuous runtime from a compressor? Then bring the California Air Tools 5510SE air compressor to your home.

With the latest motor of the SP series, this compressor provides a more extended and continuous run time for you. Above that, this motor is capable of increasing the duty cycle without producing a lot of noise. Hence, it gives you a quiet operation as well.

This oil-free portable air compressor has a dual piston pump. Using this piston, either ii is the uneven terrain, or the temperature is variant, the California Air Tools 5510SE will run smoothly without any problems.

For portability, this compressor has an aluminum body due to which this compressor gets lightweight with durability. On top of that, this is a wheelbarrow type air compressor. It means that there are wheels on for smoothly moving it around.

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal
  • Comes complete with Wheel Kit & Air Filter | No hose included | Consider you will need a ¼” Universal / Industrial Male Quick Connector to attach your hose to the air compressor
  • Product dimensions – 26" L x 14" W x 23” H | Max Pressure – 120 PSI | Voltage – 110V / 60 Hz | Min running watts – 2500 | Noise level – 60 dBA | Max Continuous run time – 30-60 min (depending on PSI & CFM) | Low Amp Draw – 8.5 Amps
  • Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs | Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
  • The large 8.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is Lightweight (48 lbs) and the wheel kit makes it very easy to transport
  • The Oil-Free pump allows for use in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrains | This air compressor is ideal for anyone working inside where noise is a major issue
  • Operates fine as an airbrush and runs quiet and can be used indoors
  • Can be used for jobs with smaller sized nails
  • Mobility is increased because of the wheels
  • When not taken care of properly, the motor can show issues of performance
  • It can cycle from time to time

7. VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor

The maximum noise level of VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor is 60 Decibels, which is somewhat less noisy than typical compressors. Weighing nearly 8.5 pounds, this is the lightest weight for portability. The Maximum Tank Pressure of this compressor is 150 Psi, which is standard for powerful tools. Power Source of this compressor is a temporary 12V battery that needs to be changed frequently. It has an oil-free pump type and requires less maintenance.

While working with an air compressor, the overheating of the compressor is a prevalent problem. But, unlike other compressors that are available in the market, the VIAIR 400P has an automatic reset feature to protect itself against overheating.

Problems like dust and moisture will never disturb you again if you buy this air compressor. Its basic structure allows it to restrain both dust and moisture to keep it functioning with excellent performance.

This 12v portable air compressor runs on your car battery rather than using direct electricity. Also, there are double battery clams with an inline fuse holder to maintain the power at a moderate level that is required by this compressor.

It weighs nearly around 8.5 lbs, including the construction of an aluminum cylinder. This type of material is both lightweight and sturdy. Also, the gearless motor available along with this compressor reduces its weight as well.

Hence, features like metal air-filter with dual-stage, carry-bag with double compartments and all the other features given above are the reason behind why this compressor is considered to be the best portable air compressor for cars.

VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
  • 12 VOLT Operated - 150PSI Max Working Pressure, engine must be running during use.
  • 2.3CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI. The air hose length is 25 feet
  • 150 PSI maximum working pressure and 33% duty cycle
  • Direct heavy-duty dual battery clamps with 40-amp inline fuse
  • Includes deluxe carry bag anti-vibration tray and more
  • Quite affordable
  • Highly portable
  • Compatible with most tools
  • Cannot be used in more significant projects

8. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Air Compressor

The tank capacity of this compressor is 1.5 Gallons, which is a minimum size for a compressor tank. The noise level of this compressor is 79 dBA, and hence relatively more noise is produced. Weighing around 20 Pounds, the Porter-Cable is much lighter than regular compressors. The Maximum Tank Pressure is 150 Psi, which is the sampling pressure. It requires an electric power source of 120V and is compatible with household electricity. Pump Type of this compressor is Oil-Free, and hence it demands less conserving efforts.

The water from the compressor must be adequately drained; otherwise, the compressor’s performance will get affected. Keeping this fact in mind, the PORTER-CABLE CMB15 air compressor has a water drain valve in it to drain out the water quickly.

Having around 1.5 gallons of water tank capacity, this compressor is highly compact in shape and also is very light in weight. A sturdy handle on top of it makes it even more comfortable to carry. That is why it is the best portable air compressor for vehicle tires.

Though it generates a moderate level of noise, the pressure that it gives to your tools is extraordinary. Its pressure level is high enough to operate powerful tools and low enough to run a low-pressure tool when plugged.

You can efficiently run this compressor with the electricity supplied in your home. No additional adapter or batteries are required to operate the PORTER-CABLE CMB15.

Also, its motor doesn’t demand any lubrication to run. So conserving its pump is merely effortless.

Therefore, if you purchase this air compressor for your home, you will surely never regret your choice.

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Kit, 1.5 Gallon, Oil-Free, Fully Shrouded, Hand Carry, 25-Feet Hose (CMB15)
  • 2.0 SCFM @ 90 psi of the portable air compressor allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
  • 1.5 gallon tank in shroud of the electric air compressor is easy to carry, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
  • 150 psi max tank pressure of the PORTER-CABLE air compressor stores more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • Low Amp 120V motor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord
  • It is affordable
  • Better mobility
  • Oil-free motor
  • Vibrates a lot
  • Very noisy

9. Rolair JC10 Plus Air Compressor

The Tank Capacity of Rolair JC10 is 2.5 Gallons, which is less compared to a standard compressor. The noise level is around 60 dB and is very less noisy compared to other air compressors. It weighs 42.9 pounds, which is considered to be an average weight to transport. The Maximum Tank Pressure of this compressor is 100 PSI. It is appropriate for small-pressure tools. Power Source of this compressor is electric of 120V and runs mainly with domestic electricity. The Pump Type is Oil-Free; therefore, it delivers easy maintenance.

The tank pressure of your compressor must be kept under continuous monitoring to perform a smooth operation. And if by accident the pressure rises to a very high value, the Rolair JC10 Plus is designed to tackle this situation with the help of its special unloading pressure valve.

While an air compressor is in the function, it vibrates immensely, and thus the floor where you put it also vibrates as well. But this vibration can be annoying for some people. To avoid such problems, the Rolair JC10 Plus is manufactured with a rubber frame.

The frame of this compressor is fully covered with a rubber layer to reduce the unwanted vibrations on the floor. It also eliminates the noise produced by the compressor to some extent. Hence you can achieve a quiet operation with the Rolair JC10 Plus.

Built using cast aluminum, the entire body of this compressor is extremely strong yet exceptionally light in weight. You can carry it anywhere you feel, but also you can rest assured because of its durability.

Overall, if you buy this air compressor, then you will get everything you expected in a portable air compressor. That’s why we recommend you to go with this one if you are compatible with its specifications.

Rolair JC10 Plus 2.5 Gal Electric Air Compressor
  • 2.35 CFM at 90 psi
  • 1725 RPM motor
  • Oil-less design reduces maintenance and downtime
  • 2.5 Gallon tank capacity
  • Cast Aluminum Cylinder
  • The power/noise rate of this compressor is quite impressive, and the noise levels are also deficient
  • During heavy usage, it can recharge itself in about 15 seconds, which is very quick
  • Pressure build-up is very fast, and it is compact
  • The drain valve needs to be replaced frequently after some time
  • Any additional accessories will have to be purchased

10. Senco PC1131 Air Compressor

The Senco PC1131 air compressor has a tank capacity of 4.3 Gallons, which is less than regular ones. It has a Noise Level of 77 dBA, moderately higher compared to other compressors. The weight of this compressor is 60 Pounds, which is quite heavy for an air compressor. Maximum Tank Pressure is nearly 125 Psi and provides average pressure on tools. Electric Power Source of 115V, which is slightly lower than domestic electricity. The Pump Type of this air compressor is Oil-Less and hence, requires negligible effort on the maintenance.

If it comes to performing heavy-duty operations, no other air compressor can be compared with the ability of Senco PC1131. This compressor is manufactured along with an induction motor that is powerful enough to handle heavy-duty tools easily.

Constructed with cast iron, there is no doubt about its durability. It is sturdy enough to operate under challenging circumstances. Because of this, its weight gets a bit higher. So transporting this compressor may disturb you a little.

But it’s not the weight of this compressor that makes it the best portable air pump. It consists of dual cylinders to allow air to flow through without any hindrance. The twin stack design increases its durability. Also, it helps to improve the overall performance of the compressor. This is the fact which takes this compressor to the top of all.

You may require to be cautious about directly plugging it into your house electricity supply as it requires less voltage than regular household supply. Apart from this, you can, without question, trust on this compressor for its exceptional performance.

Senco PC1131 Compressor, 2.5-Horsepower (Peak) 4.3 gallon
  • Direct Drive Motor
  • Cast Iron Sleeve / Cast Iron Head Cylinder
  • Twin Tank Configuration. Heavy duty induction motor
  • Standard equipment includes 1/4" universal coupler regulator, pressure gauge.
  • Delivers 4.3 cfm at 100psi
  • Lightweight and deficient operating noise levels
  • Works perfectly as an airbrush as well as can be used for bicycle or motorbike tire maintenance
  • Almost zero vibrations present, the ones that occur are negligible
  • It can store air for several days
  • Can eject air after you use it once for nail hammering
  • Not recommended for large projects, it is ideal for smaller home fix-ups or DIY assignments

Things to Consider Before Buying

Difference Between an Inflator and an Air Compressor

Inflators are air compressors and are a point of uncertainty for many consumers. The only difference between them is the fact that air compressors that are used for inflating do not usually consist of a tank. They are small and consist of a motor or a pump only.


Portability is a bit of a random term and some times tends to be a bit confusing. Some units emphasize handles, while other groups work on an effective dolly system. However, it is good to know how an air compressor is made portable before purchasing one.

A wheel-and-pulley system used is typically the most efficient way to make an air compressor portable, especially when they are more extensive. However, the best method of transportation may vary depending on your unique requirementf, so you need to search around a little bit.


There are a variety of styles that you are likely to come across while shopping for a suitable compressor. Here are some major design styles:

1.Pancake: All pancake compressors have a flat and round structure. They are placed on high values, mostly for their compact and easy-to-transport dimensions.

2.Hot Dog Compressors: The hot dog compressor is the most common type of compressor that you will come across while shopping. They have a cylindrical shape and are relatively compact and easy to transport.

3.Twin Compressors: The dual tank unit compressor is placed just after the hot dog compressor. The only authentic difference between the two is that you get two tanks in this, instead of one. Therefore, these are more suitable for larger jobs.

4.Wheelbarrow: The wheelbarrow compressor typically consists of two cylindrical tanks that are attached to a dolly-type “wheelbarrow.” These compressors are very portable and compact, which makes them quite popular with contractors.

Power Source

Most modern air compressors are electrically powered. This electric power is a reasonably handy power source, as it does not gives out any harmful emissions and runs noiselessly. Although you are at the mercy of power outlets, at maximum job sites, this is generally not a problem.

There are gas-powered air compressors also available in the market. These compressors are a little bit more powerful, but they have some drawbacks as well. Gas units are very boisterous and let out emissions, harmful to our respiratory health. In some significant states (like California), they are even legally prohibited; therefore, you need to pay close attention to the power source before purchasing a compressor.

Horsepower or PSI?

It can be a little challenging to determine the power of an air compressor. This is mainly due to different brands list specifications using both horsepower and PSI. Therefore which is more critical- horsepower or psi?

Horsepower is the most fundamental physical unit used for determining how much pressure is exerted by an air compressor. The more horsepower you get, the more PSI a compressor will generate. And the more PSI your compressor generates, the better performance of your nail gun, paint sprayer, etc.

Cubic Feet per Minute

Cubic feet per minute is a physical unit used to refer to the amount of air outputted by the compressor. It corresponds directly with the PSI rating of the compressor, so you don’t need to concentrate on all three parameters (including horsepower) to make a decision.

A compressor with a rating of 90 PSI should be able to operate almost all tools. Anything that is beyond this point will improve your ability to manage multiple devices or more substantial duty jobs.

Special Features

Though the air compressor may appear dull to operate, it comes with extra valuable features that improve its overall performance.

For example, some tanks feature more than one connection point that allows you to operate several nail guns or impact wrenches all at once. This will be an essential feature, especially for contractors, but it is usually effective only in very powerful compressors.

There are also self-oiling compressor units, having a weatherproof gear that can withstand up to extreme temperature variations, and tools that consist of a wide range of adjustability options.

You may or may not favor these features according to your requirements, but they can shape your results, so purchase smartly.

Single vs. Two-Stage

The primary difference between the single-stage and two-stage motors is of power. The single-stage engine produces roughly around 150 PSI of power, while the two-stage engine can produce double that output power.

Hence we can state that bigger jobs favor bigger motors.


The different types of air compressors that we came across here today are a bit expensive. This does not mean that you cannot grab a good deal, but in many circumstances, the air compressor is the heart of your entire project. It is worth spending a little bit of extra money on the purchase to ensure the reliability of your product.

Most Frequently Asked Questions by Buyers

What do you mean by CFM?

A: The notation CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) refers to the volume of air produced by the air compressor while operating at a given pressure or PSI.

What does Duty Cycle signify?

A: The duty cycle of a compressor determines the percentage of run time in a full cycle. Full cycle time is determined by adding the compressor run time to its rest time.

A compressor having a 100% Duty Cycle means that I can run the compressor all the time? Can I run a 100% duty cycle compressor 24 hours a day?

A: No, you need to remember that the duty cycle is measured at 100psi at a stable temperature of 72F, but yes, a 100% duty cycle air compressor can operate for much more extended periods than a 30% duty cycle air compressor under similar conditions. A golden rule with compressors is that the lower the duty cycle of the compressor, the faster that compressor operates. However, a 33% duty cycle compressor will never be able to work for as long a period of time as a 100% duty cycle compressor can operate under controlled conditions.

Does a new compressor need to be broken in?

A: No, they do not need to be broken in. Typically after installing, you should power up the system to the cut-off pressure and check for any leaks that may be present on the air tank.

How do you check for leaks in an onboard air system?

A: You can check for leaks traditionally by putting soap and water solutions where the fitting joints are present. If bubbles are coming out that grow in size, then surely there must be leaks.

Does it matter where I install my compressors on my vehicle?

A: The position of the compressor on your vehicle depends on several factors, such as available space, whether the compressor is of a sealed or vented type, or not, as well as personal choices and aesthetics. Make sure to use the rubber insulators provided to keep vibration and noise to a minimum level.

How can I tell whether a given compressor is sealed or non-sealed?

A: Manufacturers will specify if a compressor is sealed or not against moisture and dust, and in most cases, you can tell the difference by merely checking the compressor. If you observe vents, cracks, or holes in the motor, then the compressor is surely not sealed and must be protected from dust and moisture.

Why is it necessary to have a sealed and moisture-resistant compressor?

A: The sealed-type compressor is preferred because, in mobile pneumatics, compressors are more likely to be exposed to the external elements.

Is it possible to mount the compressor sideways? Must it be attached with the cylinder upright?

A: Yes, you can mount your air compressors in any direction or position according to your wish because they are oil-less. The only position that is not recommended is an upside-down mount since the heat produced tends to travel upwards. Therefore never try to lubricate any VIAIR compressor. All VIAIR compressors come with pre-lubricated bearings and have anodized aluminum cylinder walls for a supreme seal and excellent internal damage resistance.

If I mount my compressor sideways, is there anything I should be careful of while doing this?

A: If you mount your compressor sideways to the frame rail, you should keep a periodic check to make sure that your compressor is still mounted securely or not. Use a thread-locking mechanism to keep the screws from loosening off and causing the compressor to un-mount.

Is it possible to hook up more than one compressor to a single pressure switch?

A: Yes, it is possible to use one pressure switch for more than one compressor. You should always use a relay if you want to attach up multiple compressors to a single switch. You should check the ampere draw rating on the switch first, and then you will come to know how many compressors you can plug up to a single switch.


If our list of top 10 portable air compressor reviews proves anything, it is that: Making a decision is not an easy task. If you are facing difficulties in understanding our sorted list, then it may help that you bear in mind a couple of our recommendations. Our first prioritized choice is the PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor. This air compressor will be an excellent option for people who desire the best tool they can acquire for doing their job.

Our best-value-for-the-money choice will be, the Viair 4000P Small Portable Air Compressor. This air compressor, on the other hand, will be a great alternative for consumers who restricted by a fixed budget. Finally, it can be stated that a portable air compressor is a must-have device for every person, even for those who are not trained workers. An air compressor proves beneficial in many household jobs like nailing, etc., and can also help DIY enthusiasts in their creative projects.