Air compressors as the names indicates, are the appliances that compresses air in order to make use of its energy in performing various tasks that need extreme power delivered frequently in order to perform various tasks ranging from inflating objects or cleaning the surfaces to the complex operation involved in using firearms.

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In fact, air compressors are the appliances that have a wide range of applications. The basic function of an air compressor is to turn or convert the electrical energy of a compressor to the kinetic energy of the air being compressed inside the compression chamber.  The compressed air inside the chamber possess a great amount of energy that depends upon the compression being applied. This energy can be used by releasing the air and utilizing it to perform a wide variety of tasks. A best rated air compressor for the money provides you with an opportunity to carry out various functions  and can be helpful in creating a powerful thrust of air that can be utilized to run machines and other appliances or can be used directly for any purpose like cleaning surfaces, running engines or at smaller levels for operating guns. An air compressor can be of great help no matter if it has been used in appliances to run the internal function or used directly to perform various tasks though applying the compressed air. In order to know what would be the best for you, you should consider to go through air compressor reviews to get a better knowledge about its functioning and types.

Top Rated & Best Air Compressor Reviews For The Money 2016

#1. Makita MAC700 Air Compressor

This air compressor delivers maximum performance to the users utilizing a cast iron pump with pistons and big bore cylinder, in combination with greater bore and stroke. Due to this heavy duty built, and a greater bore and lower RPM capacity, it delivers a higher level performance with a minimum maintenance requirement. The pump has an RMP value of 1,720 while it is surprisingly quiet in its operation. This allows for greater displacement at lower RPM. In order to avoid premature motor damage, this motor uses low amp draw which effectively reduces incidences of voltage drop and tripped breakers. It can easily start up using low voltage inputs to have a better and consistent running all the way during the work. The structure and design features and handle to carry the compressor easily and a four feet support to place the compressor in place without having a chance of slipping or getting tripped. In order to minimize wear, oil lubricated pump is used which also provides better    The oil sight glass has been put in a way that makes it convenient and easy to know the oil level from time to time. It has a quick  setting coupler for a wide variety of applications.This also comes with 1 year warranty.

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#2. Makita MAC5200 Air Compressor

This has a lot of useful features for many customers. This device uses a 3.0 HP engineered pump which can deliver high quality performance. This one has a big bore and high power compression for heavy duty function. The overall structure is made of cast iron body, giving it a strong and sturdy body. It has been designed to fulfill all the needs to make its use even easier. There is an adjustable handle that can be adjusted high and low according to the required  The device is also rather portable by utilizing wheels which are very easy to pull and move the compressor where ever you need to take it. It also comes with storage compartments which can store air fittings or any other accessory. The pump used is oil lubricated which helps the compressors to work under low temperatures and get to work easily. The cylinder is made of cast iron, which reduces wear and tear quite effectively. It can also be easily stored in any type of congested places due to its compact design and has lightweight too.

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#3. Senco PC1010 Air Compressor

This is a compact air compressor which is perfect for small jobs at your home. It has a tank size of 1 gallon. Its peak is one horsepower, and half a horsepower running. This a compact, lightweight and easy to carry and place compressor that can be used for small tasks at home and useful for both professionals and beginners. It can deliver between 20 to 44 nails per minute. It takes about only 2 minutes to get to full power and 30 second recovery phase. If any job requires contact air flow, then this may not be advisable because of its small engine and size. Its pump is rather easy to maintain since it uses no oil. This compressor is surprisingly quiet too.

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#4. PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor

This is a pancake compressor with rubber feet for enhanced stability. It can be carried easily having a compact and lightweight design for better portability options. If we look at its built, it has the perfect deign to keep it stable while  working by using the rubber feet that provides it a great hold on the surface where it has been placed. The motor is rated among the best ones and it has a low amp of 120 Volts. This means it can be used on normal power outlets. It will require no special power outlets to get started. Rather, it can easily be used anywhere  when needed. It only weighs 26 pounds for maximum portability options. The pump needs no oil for maintenance, saving cost and assuring long life. You can stay worry free and can work without having any problems for a  long period of time and this perfect little pan cake compressor would never let you down. The tank is 3.5 gallons which is quite modest for this size. It also features 135 max PSI for linger running time. This also enables quicker recovery and somehow offers hassle free maintenance and running of the equipment. You can also find a coupler that is very easy to connect and help you out when you need to supply  double appliances and functions.

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#5. PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Pancake Compressor

This is a pancake air compressor which ships with a 13-piece accessory kit to make your life hassle free. Due to this fully loaded package you will not have to find all the useful accessories for your compressor and its already included along your compressor. To ensure longer tool run times, this tank has 150 psi max tank pressure, which allows for more air and hence more pressure being developed for storing more energy for better performance. In order to prevent leakage, plug and air coupler has been factory installed on the air hose.  Due to this you will not have to add on the couplers yourself, rather it has been installed already to reduce your efforts and increase  the efficiency of your compressor. This also saves labor as well as the time. The tank is a 6 gallon unit which features rubber feet and water drain valve for increased stability. You can place it without any problems anywhere you need it. The pancake shape also aspires to accomplish this and makes the compressor even more stable and sturdy to withstand any hard to stay surfaces and places where it has been placed or will be placed. Console, shroud and handle are used to protect the vital components of the unit, also making it easier to carry.

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#6. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor

This pancake air compressor uses a large 6.0 gallon tank and 165 max PSI value to deliver 2.6 standard cubic feet per minute. It has a 90 psi pump which enables longer tool run with quicker recovery capabilities. This compressor can work in cold weather, because of a highly efficient motor. Also, it is rather quiet for its size, at 75.5 decibels. This enables it to be used in a quiet work setting. Due to this this compressor has a greater preference over other because it does not provide extra noise around the working area. It ensures maximum air tool performance by using a high flow regulator and couplers to provide support to another user also. A console cover is also used over the controls which protects them and allow easy and fast repair. It even uses protective rubber legs in order to prevent marring. It also weighs only 30 pounds, which makes it portable and easily storable.  Due to the fact it is a very easy to manage and function air compressor that is safe to be used by anyone who has it, it can be of great help for a wide variety of tasks where you need high power and pressure to run your tools. It also comes along with couplers to provide the user with an opportunity to support more that one user and hence can be utilized easily without any issues.

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#7. DEWALT DWFP55130 Quiet Trim Compressor

This is a rather lightweight option for an air compressor, weighing only 36 pounds and has some lighter weight too as compared with other competitive products. Having a light weight body and a compact and easy to handle design makes it a great portable version of a powerful air compressor. Furthermore, it is only 12.5” thin. This helps in carrying the compressor around for use wherever desired. In addition to the compact and sleek design it functions quietly without having any nasty noise around the working area. It is a very quiet compressor, producing only 71.5 decibels of sound. In order to support easier start-ups and reduction of breaker tipping, it uses a low 12 amp draw motor to be used on normal outlets. In this way it can get started easily without needing any extra effort to get it to work when required. The tank used is 2.5 gallons. It starts to refill the air chamber after the air pressure come below 165 Psi, that makes the compressor able to get a considerable buffering time and the user will not have any out of air situation and the work will go uninterrupted.The compressor  work at is 200 psi and delivers 3.0 standard cubic feet per minute that provides greater pressure and higher performance while working.

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#8. California Air Tools CAT-6310 Air Compressor

It is one of the quietest compressors on this list at only 60 decibels. Though you should not consider it silent but the sound has a negligible value that is too low as compared to other compressors having the same capacity and power. The overall  structure and the design has been manufactured by keeping in mind the needs and requirement that a user might have while using it on the go, it has a well designed handle to pick it up easily and also has  wheel kit for better portability and moving it from one place to another. It allows the user less maintenance cost by using an oil free pump, so you don’t have to worry about the oiling and maintenance issues for a better working compressor. There is also a separate water collector than makes it easy to separate out excess moisture from the compressed air easily and hence increasing the performance of the compressor. The tank is made of durable steel and can hold 6.3 gallons without any issues. Not only that, it is also lightweight, further enhancing its mobility, and can be carried wherever it has to be used. The motor is rated 2 HP at peak and 1 HP at running. This sturdy motor operates at 1680 RPM to deliver you exceptional compressor performance at way less sound and minimum wear.

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#9. California Air Tools CAT-10020 Air Compressor

It is designed to be one of the quietest air compressors in the market by having an incredible 70 decibels of sound. So, it specializes in a way where you need to work having a low level of noise and calmly. The motor is extremely powerful, at 2 Horsepower, and 1680 RPM value efficiently minimizes wear and tear and increase the efficiency and power of the unit. The overall structure of the compressor is well built with a strong and sturdy tank made of steel and it has been designed to give the maximum portability and ease while using it. It is very easy to move as it has a pair of wheels below it that would help you move it anywhere you need to take it to work. This translates to its excellent durability and a great design that enables the user to move, use and place it easily anywhere he is working. The pump is also oil free and you can use this in uneven terrains and different temperatures with no issues regarding the maintenance and repair of the compressor. This compressor  also features a large tank of 10 gallons for all your needs. You can use normal 15 amp outlets for this because it has low amp draw of 14 amps.

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#10. BOSTITCH BTFP72646-Tool Compressor Combo Kit

It is a very capable compressor having a compact design that is very easy to carry along where you need to work with it. Its pancake design and sturdy metal used makes it even more reliable and easy to use. In addition to the compressor , this combo kit consists of three working kits for a wide variety of nailing and stapling tasks. This one comes with one finish nailer, one heavy duty crown stapler and one brad nailer gun to enable the user to cater to various needs of the task being performed. The tank is a large one; 6 gallons  to provide larger capacity and hence greater power. It has a ball type drain that provides an easy drainage. Another perk is the pump which is both maintenance and oil free so this minimizes hassles and you will not have to keep an eye on its wear and tear issues. The brad nailer features an over molded no-mar pad, tool-free 360 degrees exhaust with a trigger lock-off, a tool free depth adjuster and a tool free jam clearing feature. It has a low fastener indication when you need to reload the kits in order to have an interrupted supply  of the nails while working.  All in all, this tool kit comprises of everything that you may need, and any problem that you could encounter.

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Types of air compressors:

According to the mechanism involved

According to the mechanism involved to produce the required level of air compression, there are basically four types of air compressors. Following are brief description of each of these three types:

Reciprocating

The reciprocating compressors are the most commonly used air compressors for a wide variety of tasks. These are are also called piston type compressors that use positive displacement to compress air and store its kinetic energy.

Rotary centrifugal

The rotary centrifugal air compressors use the mechanism of dynamic air compression through impellers and diffusers to accelerate and decelerate the air alternately in order to create the compression.

Rotary screw

A rotary screw compressor is the one that fills in the space between the two of the installed helical screws where the compression is created by displacing the screws closer. Such compressors use oils and air to fill in the spaces and requires to drain out the oil in order to release pure air when needed.

Rotary vane compressors

Rotary vane compressors are those that use positive displacement to create the pressure and consist of a 8 blades, a rotor and  a stator. It also fills in oil in the spaces between the air that has to be separated out before the air has to be released.

According to its shape and designs:

According to the shapes and designs there are the following types of compressors:

Pane cake compressors

This type consists of a compact pancake shaped tank and is very lightweight and easy to handle compressor kit

Hot-dog shaped compressors

In this design the compressor consists of an elongated hotdog shaped tank and is a bit bulkier than the pancake compressors

Wheelbarrow compressors

Such compressors come with a trolly shaped structure with wheels under it, for better mobility and easy handling design.

Twin stack compressors

Twin stack compressors as its name indicates, have double tanks adjusted to each other for heavy duty tasks.

How to choose right air compressor?

Air compressor is a device that converts power from gasoline or electric mother into energy stored in air tank. The pressure is released when carrying different tasks such as fast inflation of tires and powering pneumatic tools like drills and jigsaws. Because of air compressors diverse uses, more people want to own them for home use, industrial and even related business purposes. However, selecting the right machine has not been easy for many people because of the fast rising number of brands and designs in the market.

The following is a comprehensive buying guide for the best air compressor.

1.Consider your range of project tools

The tools you plan to use with air compressor are very crucial when picking the devices. Because the machine is designed to work with a range of tools from cutting equipment to drills, understand at what level you will be operating. If you will be using the air compressor for industrial purposes like heavy duty painting, cutting metal, and nailing hard surfaces, an electric motor design will be ideal.

However, if the compressor will be mainly used with home DIY tools such as pumping tires and driving nails through soft boards, a single stage piston type compressor will be ok for you. The compressor should match the anticipated difficulty level. If you are unsure of the nature of tools the machine will be used for, or anticipate to change over time, it is advisable to go for an electric model. Take tr cime reviewing the machine that will work perfectly well with a wide range of tools.

2.Determine the frequency of use

The air compressor you buy should be ideal for your type of work and frequency of use. If you plan to use the compressor for common brad nails as well as tires, go for the 1 gallon portable air compressor. However, for people who need to complete sanding tasks, a bigger air compressor will be necessary. For instance, to run an average air sander, a compressor with 5 CFM at 90 psi will be required.

However, if your work involves drilling and sanding, or using other tools that need continuous air for longer periods, a compressor with 7-8 HP will be ideal. Though even a compressor with 5 HP might do, chances are that you will have to contend with short air bursts and waste a lot of time waiting the tank to fill. Note here that it is not the tank size, but the rate at which the compressor motor refills the tank.

3.Know your source of power

While many users are mainly interested in the type of work the air compressor will be involved in such as tires inflation, spray painting or pneumatic operations, a lot of attention should be paid to power supply before one can pick the machine. For most small air compressors that run on 12V, it can run on vehicle power accessory comfortably. For others that require 120V to 240V, a single phase power supply will be ideal.

However, for commercial 2-stage compressors with 10HP and more, you will require a 3 phase power supply to sun them. Because the electric compressors are corded, the range within which you can operate from the power socket is limited.

If working away from areas with electricity, think of picking a gasoline powered air compressor. This is because a tank of gasoline can be carried anywhere away from the power mains. Notably, because they run on gas, PSI is usually higher and can be as reliable as the electric models that are stationary in many industrial settings.

PSI and CFM:

PSI: Each pneumatic tool comes with individual rating for PSI (Pounds per square inch). A good example is the spray gun that requires about 50 psi. A nailer on the other hand requires 90 psi to operate. For most single-stage compressors, the total combined psi is usually 135 psi that is considered sufficient for most workshops and garages.

CFM: This is the most important thing to factor when choosing an air compressor. It is rating in cubic per minute (CFM) since it determines how many tools can be used at any single moment and total power capacity. Because every tool that is connected on the compressor has its individual CFM rating, it is advisable to pick a compressor with optimal CFM rating.   This will guarantee ability to run a wide range of tools including those that have high CFM demand such as grinders and others that need to run continuously.

Tank size

1 stage vs 2 stage air compressor

The tank sizes of many air compressors can be categorized into either one stage or two stage designs.

In a single stage air compressor, all compression is achieved in just one cylinder stroke. Most small air compressors use this model. However, a two stage compressor is designed with one cylinder that only compresses air partially and sends it to next cylinder for further compression. Therefore, it is two strokes just like a motor engine.

Most 2 stage compression models are able to provide constant supply of pressure more effectively compared to the single compressors. If your work is light and only comes once in a while, consider going for the one stage design. However, people with heavier duty tasks such as industrial cutting or regular modelling works, a two stage tank compressor will be ideal.

Air compressor features

The features in any compressor determine ease of use and even maintenance. They can make movement easy or difficulty and will determine the nature of projects you can work on. The main projects to look for include;

  • Oil-free pump: A compressor with oil free pump helps to bring down maintenance costs. Besides, there is no risk of having air get into the compressor tank and compromising the machine operations.
  • Belt run system: When you get a belt run air compression system, you can be sure of enjoying quieter environment compared to the direct-drive type.
  • Thermal protection system: This feature is very critical because the machine senses overloads and stops to avoid damage and losses.
  • Adjustable exhaust: If working with a gas air compressor, an adjustable exhaust is useful because the operator can direct it away from the working section.
  • Multiple couplers: While working in the workshop where one requires using varying tools, having multiple couplers allows you connect several tools without disconnecting others.
  • The tools and accessories sold together with the air compressor: When you set out to pick a specific air compressor, additions such as blow guns, nailers, and hoses are crucial because they bring down cost.

Read reviews

The best way to compare all the necessary features and possible functions and utility of any compressor is to read through a lot of air compressor reviews to get a better view of what you are going to buy. In order to get a best rated air compressor, you need necessary information beforehand. Here we have discussed and explained a complete set of information along with the top best products you can compare in order to get your best one easily. You can now make your decision quickly and easily and you will not be disappointed no matter which compressor you choose from the list given above.