Best Air Compressors 2019 – Top Picks & Reviews

Air compressors are essential in any tech and mechanic junkies toolset and are used to convert electricity or fuel into potential energy in the form of pressurized air. It thus holds “compressed” air that can be used at your will. This has a number of applications, ranging from blasting air through space to running many different kinds of machines. In fact, 12% of all the industrial fuel consumption is directly attributable to air compressors! With a tool of great importance comes great care.

Top Five Air Compressors – Top Picks & Reviews

We have thus very carefully selected the best of the best air compressors for you to dig your eyes into. With these models, you can let go of your worries and relax, because they are guaranteed to deliver service of the highest standard, and would not leave you unsatisfied. Let us look through these wonderful models!

PORTER-CABLE C2002

The Porter-Cable C2002 is one of a kind air compressor for your everyday use. With a pancake shape to allow for easy transportability, this power packing beast will be suited for your every need. Newer features in the form of a water drain valve and rubber footing have also been added to make your experience with this machine as smooth as possible. Overall, there is little room for error in choosing this high-end model.

Durability and Quality

While like all other high-power machines this product needs breaks every hour or so, given that such a routine is maintained, this product is bound to not let you down. With a few precautions, this little air compressor can serve you for years to come. Most of the parts are made of high-grade steel, but some plastic parts exist as well and need replacements every now and then.

Cost-effective

This air compressor is very energy efficient and uses low amperage when plugged in, averaging at around 120 volts. The compressor itself is a good value for money as well, ranging at under 100 dollars. At this cost, you also get amazing features such as a water drain, two-user outlet, and a rubber base to ensure no scratches on the floor.

Not very noisy

Unlike most compressors, this model is noiseless when filling in, allowing you to get a smooth experience to hold on to. You do not need to worry about protecting your ears with this machine.

Storage

With a limit of 150 psi pressure-wise and a 6-gallon tank for stability, the storage is more than enough for most users. It can even work on very intensive tasks, despite not being built for them!

Portable

With a handle that serves a dual purpose of portability and protection, as well as the pancake shape, this 30 lb lightweight air compressor is optimized for portability. Carrying your air compressor around doesn’t get much easier than this. While a lot of models tend to be lighter than 30 pounds, they do not offer the same service as the Porter-cable model does.

Oil-free pump

Advertised as the most important feature of this build, the oil-free pump ensures that maintenance is a breeze. You no longer have to worry about potential oil spills or anything on similar grounds since Porter’s pump runs without it.

Warranty

With everything else perfect, a single year limited warranty isn’t too bad a pinch, but we would still wish to see higher warranty periods with better policies for this model.

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • A great amount of storage
  • Very cost-effective
  • Very portable
  • Oil-free pump
  • Durable high-quality model
  • Rubber base doesn’t scratch the floor
  • Not noisy
  • Water drainage valve
  • Can take two users at once

Cons
  • Heavier than many of the other models
  • Not suited for extreme industrial work
  • Very limited warranty

Bostitch BTFP02012 Oil-Free Compressor

A close competitor to our top pick comes in the form of the new Bostitch model. With a very similar pancake style, 6-gallon capacity, and the oil-free mechanism, the differences between the two are menial. Our choice would, however, still be in the favor of Porter thanks to the greater value for money that it provides. All the same, Bostitch is not too far off from crossing the mark!

Durability and Quality

With a solid feel and a nice design, quality should not be your concern with this model. The compressor is made of high-grade steel and should last you for as long as you would require it to.

Cost-Effective

Taking just 15 amperes of power, your local supply should have no trouble running this air compressor. The cost-efficiency provided in terms of savings on the electricity bill is huge. However, it costs a little more than our under-hundred Porter-Cable model, resting at around 120 dollars.
Somewhat noisy
While still less noisy than your typical lawnmower, this air compressor can produce noise within the ranges of 70 to 90 decibels, which are not exactly ideal.

Storage

The storage capacity of the Bostitch model is surprisingly exactly the same as that in the Porter-Cable model. With a 6 gallon tank accompanied by a 150 Psi pressure-limit, the average user should never see a need to not go for this model to satisfy their air-cravings.

Portability

The pancake model follows suit of our top pick in terms of portability as well. Using a handle and weighing at 29 pounds, this air compressor is as portable as it gets when it comes to high performing models.

Oil-free pump

Similar to our top pick, this model runs on electricity through a cord. That means that no oil is used within the process, allowing for easy maintenance, plausibility a smaller carbon footprint, and overall no-grease experience.

Warranty

The model, similar to our top pick (again!) fails to deliver a decent warranty. Only a limited warranty is available for the first year of use, and while that should be sufficient given the high-quality product we receive, it doesn’t hurt to have something better.

Pros
  • Pros
  • High-quality sturdy build
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • High storage capacity
  • Very cost-effective
  • Good value for money
  • Oil-free

Cons
  • Somewhat noisy
  • Very limited warranty
  • Could have been lighter
  • Could have added more features

Campbell Hausfeld DC040500

Campbell Hausfeld promises us a lot of things with this model. They offer us a quite powerful machine that would be lightweight and easy to use. Those things if were offered together would probably have landed this air compressor on the top of this list! Campbell however, fails to meet all the goals that it set for itself and charges a hefty premium to salt that wound. Nonetheless, it is an air compressor worth investing in.

Durability and quality

The quality is as promised, flawless. The product is for the most part very durable, and the steel finish ensures that it would not wear out anytime quickly. There have, however, been some complaints regarding the compressor overheating.

Cost-effectiveness

Taking a 120 voltage power outlet, the cost-effectiveness is as great as it gets in terms of electricity saving. For getting this compressor under your belt, however, you need to pay a hefty 250 dollar sum, much higher than our top-rated models.

No noise!

One of the promised area that this compressor certainly manages to hit home is the no-noise-business. At under 70 decibels, this air compressor is as quiet as they get for the size.

Storage

While the 120 Psi pressure limit and the 4.6-gallon storage tank are not as high as they go, this should be more than enough for most of the home-based users.

Portability

Despite claiming to be a super portable air compressor, this aluminum-based compressor, at 38 pounds, actually weights higher than our top picks. The design also doesn’t suit the purposes of portability all too well.

Oil-free

Like most of our top picks, this air compressor is electricity-based and has no oil-business to bog you down with. Get ready for an eco-friendly experience if you are to opt for this compressor!

Warranty

While the aluminium finish is plenty strong, the lack of a decent warranty is still bothersome. Only a single-year limited warranty is offered to the customers.

Pros
  • Reasonable capacity
  • Somewhat lightweight
  • No noise
  • Enough pressure and storage for most users
  • Oil-free pump
  • Very cost-effective
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Storage could be higher
  • Design reduces portability
  • No decent warranties are offered

Senco PC1010 1-Gallon Air Compressor

Despite having a low storage capacity, Senco’s air compressor stands out for a number of reasons. This lightweight and supremely portable model should be your go-to choice if storage is not your concern. If most of your work revolves around active air compression instead of storage, we can not recommend anything better than this.

Durability And Quality

Similar to the Campbell model, Senco’s model is made of high-grade aluminum and you should find little to no concerns regarding the quality and durability of this product.

Cost-Effective

Taking just 115 volts, this model manages to best our top pick in terms of cost-effectiveness. You should see major savings on your electricity bills. However, this model comes at a surprising 120 dollar price tag, despite the low storage that it has to offer.

Noiseless

With a base of just 20 decibels and topping to 75 whilst running, this model might just give Campbell a run for their money. It manages to almost beat their model at what they claim to have specialized it for!

Storage

With a single gallon available, the storage is far from ideal. However, a high pressure-limit at 120 Psi means that you should have no trouble with this air compressor if you primarily intend to use it actively and not for storage.

Oil-less motor

Following suit to all the major industrial air compressors, this Senco model runs on electricity as well. Going green and removing the haughty maintenance factor that comes to play with the oil-based models is a definite plus.

Portability

With a design that allows for easy carriage and a 24-pound model, Senco knocks out all competition in this department. If portability is what you seek, it can not go much better than this!

Warranty

While the warranty is still limited to one year as with all other models, Senco does not make the warranty limited, so that’s a plus. All the same, we would expect higher warranty periods from these air compressors.

Pros
  • Very cost-effective
  • High quality
  • No noise
  • Lightweight and very portable
  • High pressure-limit
  • Oil-free

Cons
  • Not the best value for money
  • Warranty is limited to one year
  • Storage capacity is just one gallon

Industrial Air ILA3606056

While most of our reviews focused on consumer-based products, there is one industrial product that we think deserves a listing within the top models. The industrial Air model, whilst not built for commercial usage, can be used in a number of situations ranging from home to smaller markets and workplaces. This air compressor is not portable and is a sturdy machine made for a single-place based usage.

Durability And Quality

This iron-made air compressor is built to withstand the toughest conditions and should show no signs of wear and tear under extreme circumstances. The build is as sturdy and durable as they get, and quality should never be an issue.

Low Cost-Effectiveness

In contrast to all the models, we reviewed previously, this particular one requires 240 volts, which though does not require specialized electric output, does mean that the air compressor would eventually lead to hefty electricity bills, so beware! With a price-tag of 750 dollars, it offers good value for money.

Storage

The product excels in the storage department, putting all other stats to shame. With 150 Psi pressure limit and a 60-gallon tank, this should suffice for most of your needs.

Portability

This huge steel model is not built for portability, and the 270-pound weight tag only emphasizes that fact. If portability is what you seek, we would suggest that you steer well clear of this model, since it is made to stick to one place.

Oil-Based

Unlike the other models that we have reviewed, this one is sadly oil-based. Get ready for hordes of metal within the oil that would need to be regularly changed. Maintenance is necessary.

Limited Warranty

For a high-class model, we expected a better warranty. Disappointingly, this model offers only a two-year limited warranty, that could definitely be improved upon.

A Little Noisy

Ranking at around 83 decibels, while this machine makes more noise than we would like, we would give it a clean pass given the sheer amount of work that this giant has to do. For its size, it is remarkably quiet and timid!

Pros
  • Very durable, and made from high-grade iron
  • Relatively low noise
  • Relatively cheap
  • A relatively better warranty than the industrial average
  • A very high storage capacity
  • Can handle extreme pressures
Cons
  • A very limited warranty
  • Not cost-effective
  • Not portable at all

Buyer guide

Having read all of the reviews above, you must be wondering what air compressor you should actually buy. Well, don’t worry, we got you covered! We have listed a number of things that you need to consider while buying an air compressor to ensure that you can find the perfect fit for you.

Durability and quality

While all of the reviewed air compressors are of the highest quality and should not let you down, it is always important to ensure that the model you get is the most durable and reliable one so that you are never let down.

Cost-effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness can be quantified into the buying and usage costs of an air compressor. If you plan to use an air compressor extensively, consider the usage cost more. If you plan to use it only at times, the buying cost should be the greater concern for you

Storage and pressure limits

While most users do not require storage and high pressure-limits, some might. If you wish to store the compressed air or to use the compressor on machines requiring higher Psi, you should go for models offering higher limits.

Portability

If you wish to take your air compressor along with you on trips, it is usually worthwhile to invest in one that is portable. With air compressors having many applications, we recommend you get a portable model unless you need a permanent unit.

Noise levels

While almost all air compressors produce at least 50 decibels of noise, it might be worthwhile investing in one that does not go above 100 to reduce hazards to your health and noise pollution

Warranty

A good warranty seems to be non-existent within the air compressor industry. Nonetheless, if you want to use an air compressor for extended time periods, a warranty definitely helps
Oil vs electricity based
We highly recommend an electricity-based model given that it requires a lower maintenance level and would be more eco-friendly. However, if you buy a high-end air compressor it is usually bound to have an oil-based component.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much warranty does my air compressor have?
Most models offer just a year of warranty, you should check the specific company website for more details.
What kind of warranty is offered?
Most models offer a very limited warranty, and you would only be able to cover up for major manufacturing-based faults. Some models might have a non-limited warranty as well, and it is advised that you check the websites for specific details
How do I find out the maximum Psi that I require?
Consider a list of all the things that you need your air compressor for. A quick google search would tell you that task’s required Psi
Why should I avoid oil-based models?
Other than being very unfriendly to our environment, oil-based models also have high maintenance requirements in the form of oil changes. The oil also tends to erode the air compressor internally. Electric pumps are simply better.
Do I need a double valve?
Only go for a double-valved air compressor if you wish to let two people use it simultaneously. Otherwise, that accessory would frankly come as a monetary premium that you do not require.
How much storage do I need?
Most people that actively tend to compress the air do not require any storage at all. However, if you wish to pump other gases or wish to keep compressed air stored, you would require some storage. Anything above 4 gallons should be more than enough for most home-based users.
Are the compressors US made?
Most air compressors are manufactured in China and branded in the states
Should I buy a steel/iron air compressor or an aluminum air compressor?
If you favour portability over quality, go for an aluminum air compressor. If you want a sturdier model for constant usage, go for a steel model.

Conclusion

Air compressors come in all shapes and sizes, and the ultimate choice for you depends on your specific needs. Knowing how important that usually, a hidden component is within the modern world, we have comprehensively put forth a list of all the things that you would need to consider before buying one in our buying guide. For industrial users, we would suggest models beyond the scope of this review, as we mostly only reviewed models that can be used by home-based users or small shop owners. It is important to always buy a high-quality model because warranties are usually not available. By using our guide to see our top picks and comparing them to your specific needs, we are sure that you would be able to find the perfect air compressor that would both be fit for your needs, not too bulky on your pockets, and would serve you for a long time. Irrespective of if you go for a Campbell or a Porter-Cable, these models will hopefully be all that you ever wished for! We hope that this article would help you find your fit. Happy air-bending! (no, not literally, Aang)

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