10 Best Portable Air Compressor Reviews For The Money 2018

An air compressor 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.

It 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 air compressor for home use, you should consider to go through air compressor reviews to get a better knowledge about its functioning and types.

ModelNameNoise Level (dB)Editor RatingPrice 

California Air Tools 5510SE
60 (4.7 / 5)$$Click for Price

PORTER-CABLE C2002-W82 (4.5 / 5)$Click for Price
California Air Tools 10020C70 (4.5 / 5)$$Click for Price

DEWALT D5514678 (4.4 / 5)$$Click for Price
Makita MAC520090 (4.3 / 5)$$Click for Price


​​​#1 California Air Tools 5510SE​

​Editor rating:

  • ​Rustproof aluminum tank
  • ​​Water trap pulls moisture out of air
  • ​​Glued-in fittings can't be replaced

​​#2 PORTER-CABLE C2002-W​

​Editor rating:

  • ​Water drain valve for condensate
  • ​Convenient cord wrap system
  • ​Louder than most same size models

#3 ​​California Air Tools 10020C

​Editor rating:

  • ​​​Large 10-gallon steel air tank
  • ​​​Durable wheels for ease of transport
  • ​​​Quiet at just 70 dB

#4 ​​​DEWALT D55146

​Editor rating:

  • ​​​​Dual connections to operate multiple tools at once
  • ​​​​Easy to transport
  • ​​​​Vertical stand and collapsible handle for compact storage

#5 ​​Makita MAC5200 Big Bore​

​Editor rating:

  • ​Built-in storage for tools
  • ​Handle folds down for storage
  • ​Doesn't run well in cold weather

10 Best Portable
Air Compressor For The Money


​​California Air Tools 5510SE​

The first thing you’ll likely notice when you use this air compressor for the first time is how quiet it is. At only 60dB of sound, this is one of the quietest air compressors on the market, especially when you take the size into consideration. It has a 1.0-horsepower motor and a large 5.5-gallon steel air tank that operates at just 1,680 RPM.

The 120 psi maximum air pressure is good for most small-to-medium size jobs and it only takes a little more than two minutes to fill the tank from empty to full. You will also enjoy the two pressure control gauges to ensure you have the perfect amount of air pressure you need every time.

When used for its intended purpose, there aren’t many air compressors that will beat the California Air Tools 5510SE. It is probably the quietest air compressor you will ever own, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have enough power to get your jobs done.

If you need an air compressor to do some jobs in and around your house, then this is the perfect fit for you. It is so quiet that it probably wouldn’t even awake a sleeping baby, so you can feel confident knowing that you won’t be disturbing your household when using it. And it comes with a very reasonable price tag, so you won’t have to break the bank to get a quality product to complete your jobs at home!


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    ​​Extremely quiet
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    ​​Great for inside jobs where noise is an issue
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    ​​Lightweight for its size at 46-pounds
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    ​​Easy to transport to different job sites
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    ​​Very reasonable price


  • ​​Some design features aren’t desirable
  • ​​Packaging isn’t the best
  • ​​Not suitable for extended use on large jobs



With this pancake air compressor, you will enjoy a six-gallon capacity that can have up to a 150 psi max tank pressure so you can have longer run times. What most people really like about this pancake compressor is the oil-free pump that doesn’t require any maintenance. The compact design makes it easy to transport so you will never be without compressed air.

This product as sold as a kit, so in addition to the high quality compressor itself, you will also receive a tire chuck, tire gauge, blow gun with attachments, quick coupler, 25-foot nylon hose, plugs and Teflon tape.

When compared to other pancake compressors, there are a lot of reasons why the Porter-Cable C2002-WK air compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit is one of the best sellers. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, and the price just can’t be beat.

This pancake compressor is perfect for the average homeowner who doesn’t need a big and bulky air compressor in their shop or garage. It packs enough punch to air up tires and perform other light functions, so it’s a convenient tool to have. And the best part about it is that it’s lightweight enough to be able to put in the back of your truck or in your trunk so you’ll never have to worry about having a flat tire on the road!


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    ​​​Six-gallon capacity
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    ​​​Convenient for home or travel
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    ​​​150 psi max tank pressure stores more air
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    ​​​Oil-free pump for extended life and no maintenance
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    ​​​Lightweight at just 34-pounds


  • ​​​Some of the attachments aren’t built to last a long time
  • ​​​Break-in procedure is time consuming
  • ​​​Noisy compared to similar pancake compressors
  • ​​​Not made for heavy duty use


​Makita MAC2400 Big Bore

Whether you need an air compressor for commercial or residential use, this one has the features to be able to help you get the job done. It has a cast-iron cylinder with greater stroke and bore to give you the maximum performance every time you use it. It is also built to last since it operates at a lower RPM of 1,420.

The 2.5-horsepower gives plenty of power to run up to two nailers, and the 4.2-gallon twin-stacked tank will provide an operating pressure of 130 psi. The pump is oil-lubricated and the oil is included with your purchase so you can use it right out of the box.

If you use an air compressor frequently at your home, or if you need one for different job sites, then the Makita MAC2400 Big Bore air compressor is the perfect option. It is durable enough to handle some tough environments, and is convenient and portable enough to be used in different locations.

The 130 psi sustained pressure is plenty for just about any use, so you’ll never have to worry about not having enough power. And that fact that it is easy to clean and maintain makes it even better. You can generally find this air compressor at a reasonable price compared to similar models, but the quality of this one is unmatched with most of those.


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    ​​​Low noise for its size at 79 dB
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    ​​​Cast iron construction is built to last
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    ​​​Low AMP draw prevents tripped breakers at startup
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    ​​​Perfect for commercial or residential use


  • ​​​Air filter is not the best and sticks out of the side
  • ​​​Packaging from the manufacturer is not the best quality
  • ​​​Replacement parts aren’t usually locally available
  • ​​​Heavy at around 80-pounds


​California Air Tools 10020C

For having a powerful 2-horsepower motor, this is one of the quietest air compressors on the market. It produces just about 70 dB of sound, which is remarkable considering the size and power that it has. The motor operates at a low 1,680 RPM, which ensures it runs as efficiently and as quietly as possible.

The 10-gallon air tank comes with wheels to make it a little easier to transport to different job sites. Since it produces 6.40 CFM at 40 psi and 5.30 CFM at 90 psi, you can be assured that it can handle just about any job that you have to do. It is also equipped with an easy start valve that requires fewer AMPs to get started, meaning fewer tripped breakers and a more efficient running motor.

Whether you are a professional or a homeowner that likes to do projects requiring a lot of air pressure, this is one of the most powerful air compressors that you can find. The California Air Tools 10020C air compressor, 2 HP is designed to last a long time and be able to provide consumers with the ability to complete even the largest jobs that require high pressure air tools.

When you take into consideration the power, capacity and features that it offers, the price is extremely competitive to similar models. And once you hear how quiet the compressor is, you will be amazed at how such a large machine can be so powerful at such a low noise level!


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    ​​Large 10-gallon steel air tank
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    ​​Durable wheels for ease of transport
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    ​​Quiet at just 70 dB
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    ​​Easy to start with low AMP draw
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    ​​Oil-free pump system


  • ​​Very heavy due to the capacity
  • ​​Some design flaws
  • ​​Assembly can be difficult


​​DEWALT D55146 Hand Carry Compressor

Moving from one job site to the next is a breeze when you have this air compressor. Most people appreciate the 10” non-flat foam wheels that allow for easy transportation around your house or any job that you have to do. As far as the functionality goes, this air compressor has a 200 psi max tank storage pressure, which is roughly 80% more than the industry leader.

The 4.5-gallon tank provides enough capacity to support two roofing nailers at the same time, or three framing nailers. As a result, contractors are turning to the Dewalt D55146 to meet their needs.

The convenience of the oil-free and maintenance-free pump is a great feature that most people appreciate. While the noise level is a little loud, the 78 dB of operational noise is a little less than the industry standard for this type of air compressor.

If you are a contractor or a person who uses an air compressor regularly, you will be getting a good quality product with the Dewalt D55146 air compressor with Wheels.

Dewalt is known as a very reputable brand and they manufacture durable products that will last a long time. This air compressor is no exception.

The price is about right when you consider the features it offers and how long it will last. People who just do small jobs occasionally may not need to buy this one, but anyone who needs a reliable air compressor for extended periods of time would benefit greatly from it.


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    ​​​Maximum 200 psi of air pressure
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    ​​​Dual connections to operate multiple tools at once
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    ​​​Easy to transport
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    ​​​Vertical stand and collapsible handle for compact storage
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    ​​​5.0 SCFM at 90 psi to ensure you never run out of air pressure


  • ​​​Slightly heavy at 80-pounds
  • ​​​The drain is not designed properly, which causes condensation to build up
  • ​​​Noisy for residential use
  • ​​​Tank pressure gauge isn’t high quality


​Makita MAC700 Big Bore

Makita’s Big Bore technology allows people to work with an air compressor that has a higher output, less noise and better overall performance. This particular model has a strong 2.0-horsepower motor, but it operates at a low 1,720 RPM to ensure the motor will be stronger and last longer. The reason it can operate at such a low RPM is because of the oil-lubricated pump that allows it to run more efficiently. It may cause you to maintain the compressor a little more, but it is worth it in the long run.

The 2.6-gallon tank may seem small, but it carries a big punch with the sustained 130 psi of air pressure. It has a low AMP draw, which significantly reduces the chances of a tripped breaker and a potential motor failure. It is lightweight at just 52-pounds, but it is fairly noisy for its size as it produces about 80 dB of sound.

Anyone looking for a quality air compressor to keep in their shop would feel fortunate to have the Makita MAC700 Air Compressor. Not only is it compact so you won’t have to worry about it taking up a lot of space, but it is available at a reasonable price and is built for durability. Contractors may not find this to be a sustainable air compressor, but any homeowner should be able to complete random jobs around the house with it.


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    ​Low AMP draw
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    ​Easy oil drain and easy-to-read oil sight glass
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    ​Oil-lube design to increase the lifespan and efficiency of the compressor
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    ​Strong 2.0-horsepower motor
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    ​Sustained 130 psi of air pressure
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  • ​A little noisy, especially if using indoors
  • ​Small tank at just 2.6-gallons
  • ​Not easy to transport
  • Not designed for large jobs


​Senco PC1010 Air Compressor

This air compressor may only offer a 1.0-horsepower motor at its peak, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of handling small-to-medium size jobs. It offers a one-gallon capacity and a maximum psi of 125, which is plenty of power for using a variety of pneumatic tools.

One of the best things that DIYers like is the lightweight design at just 20-pounds. Also, the noise level is much lower than even pancake compressors, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing anyone in your household when you use it indoors. You can expect the air tank to fill up in just over two minutes and will recover completely in around 35 seconds.

When used properly, the Senco PC1010 air compressor might be the perfect compressor that you need in your house or for your business. It is able to handle a variety of pneumatic tools that can help you complete small-to-medium home renovation jobs.

But if you are a professional, then this could be a good quality secondary compressor that you bring along to do some finishing work on projects. Sometimes a larger compressor can be difficult to move around to different job sites, so it is a bit of a relief when you have a smaller one that you can rely on to get the job done. And the best part is you won’t have to break the bank to do it!


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    ​​Lightweight at around 20-pounds
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    ​​Very quiet during use
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    ​​Versatile enough for professionals and DIYers
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    ​​Perfect for small-to-medium size jobs
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    ​​Easy to transport
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    ​​Great as a secondary air compressor
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    ​​Inexpensive price


  • ​​Not powerful enough to be a primary compressor, in most cases
  • ​​Air capacity is small
  • ​​Not designed for large jobs


​Makita MAC5200 Big Bore​

Makita is known for making high quality and durable tools, and this air compressor is one of their most powerful that they manufacture. Its 3.0-horsepower motor and 140 psi maximum operating pressure combine to provide consumers with the ultimate power to get just about any job done.

Possibly the best feature on this air compressor is the large automotive style filter that increases the air intake and allows it to run more efficiently. And speaking of efficiency, the oil-lubricated pump makes it one of the most efficient compressors on the market. It has a 5.2-gallon tank, but the extra size means extra weight. Although it has wheels to make it easier to transport, it is still fairly heavy at around 88-pounds.

The Makita MAC5200 air compressor is one of the most affordable products when compared to similar compressors in terms of size and features. If you have a lot of smaller indoor projects that you need an air compressor for, you may want to look at other options. This one is built for larger projects, and the noise level can be pretty loud for using indoors.

Many professionals turn to this air compressor since it is built to last in even some of the harshest work environments. Beware of the wheels since they are not the most reliable part of the compressor, meaning it can be difficult to transport due to the weight of it. Overall, you will get a pretty good bang for your buck and will benefit greatly if you have large jobs to complete.


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    ​​Powerful 3.0-horsepower motor
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    ​​Lightweight at 35-pounds
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    ​​Large 5.2-gallon tank
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    ​​Durable cast iron cylinder
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    ​​Easy to store


  • ​​Noisy at around 90 dB
  • ​​Not easy to transport
  • ​​Wheels are not very durable
  • ​​Oil-lubricated motor means more maintenance required


​California Air Tools CAT-1610A

If you need an inexpensive air compressor just for airing up tires and using a few air tools, then this is a great option for you. Many homeowners purchase this compressor because it is small at just 1.6-gallons of air capacity and lightweight at about 35-pounds. It’s also oil-free, meaning you won’t have to spend a lot of time maintaining it.

It has a 1.0-horsepower running motor, which isn’t a lot if you are doing heavy-duty jobs. But if you live in a community with noise restrictions, then you won’t have to worry about that since it produces a mere 60 dB of noise. And maybe the best part about this compressor is that it’s constructed with a rust-free aluminum, so you won’t have to worry about it rusting when it’s sitting in your shop or garage.

There really aren’t many bad things to say about the California Air Tools CAT-1610A air compressor. If you need a large compressor to do big jobs, then this is not the one that you need. But if you just need a quality compressor to do random jobs around the house, then you will enjoy having it around. With the noise level being so low, you can use it indoors or outdoors without worry about bothering anyone. As long as you understand your needs and know exactly what this compressor is capable of, then you will be happy with it if it’s a fit for you.


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    ​​Perfect for small or medium size jobs
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    ​​Lightweight at 35-pounds
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    ​​Easy to transport and store
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    ​​Low noise level at just 60 dB
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    ​​Oil-free pump for less maintenance


  • ​​Can’t handle large jobs
  • ​​Not designed for extended use


​Dewalt DWFP55130 Heavy Duty

This is one of the most versatile air compressors on the market for a variety of reasons. Both DIYers and professionals enjoy the 200 psi maximum air pressure and 3.0 SCFM delivered at 90 psi. With that performance, you can easily run up to three finish nailers at one time with ease. The pump will cut in at 165 psi so you will be confident knowing that you will never run out of air. In addition, the compressor will regulate up to 150 psi, which will allow you to use it for extended periods of time.

The oil-free pump is convenient because you won’t have to worry about a lot of maintenance. The noise level is pretty low for its size and power at 71.5 dB. The motor only draws 12 AMPs, meaning you will have easy startups and a more efficient running motor.

Even though the Dewalt DWFP55130 air compressor is known for its durability and reliability, it still doesn’t fare well on larger projects. With that said, if you are a homeowner that needs an air compressor to complete small-to-medium size projects, then this is a perfect fit for you. There really isn’t anything special about this air compressor, but it just consistently gets the job done. And the price tag is pretty reasonable as well, so that makes it even better!


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    ​​Lightweight at just 36-pounds
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    ​​Maximum of 200 psi air pressure
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    ​​0 SCFM delivered at 90 psi
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    ​​Low amp draw to reduce breakers tripping at startup
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    ​​Low noise at just 71.5 dB
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    ​​Easy to store and transport


  • ​​Regulator is known to give people problems
  • ​​Not made for large projects

​How to choose righ​​​​t air compressor?

No matter what your living situation is, chances are you’ve been in need of an air compressor at least a time or two. What holds a lot of people back from buying a new air compressor is not knowing which one they need. There are so many options available that it can be difficult to narrow them down if you don’t understand the concept behind each one. You have to make sure that you get the right air compressor for your situation. Otherwise, you will run the risk of either overpaying for one or buying one that doesn’t meet your needs. In some cases, it’s not a bad idea to have two air compressors that perform different duties. That is generally reserved for professionals and people who use air compressors on a daily basis, though. But the average person can usually get by with just having one good air compressor. So how do you go about choosing the perfect air compressor for you? Here are some important points to consider.

1.Identify the Project You Need an Air Compressor for

If you just want an air compressor to inflate tires, sports balls and air mattresses, then your choice will be pretty simple. However, think about the other projects that you could use an air compressor for around the house.

Some air compressors can help you build furniture, paint, install trim and molding, rotate tires and much more. You may not know exactly what projects you’ll be starting down the road, but if there’s a possibility that you will need an air compressor to complete it, then now is the time to consider your options.

2.Understand the Types of Air Compressors Available

  • Portable – these air compressors generally do not have a lot of power, but they are suitable for airing up tires on your car and other similar jobs. They are available in different power sources, such as 120 Volt, 12 Volt and cordless rechargeable.
  • Tire inflators – these are a type of portable air compressor that delivers a high pressure, so you will be able to easily inflate your vehicle tires and things like sports balls.
  • Raft inflators – these deliver a high volume of air, but not necessarily at a high pressure, so they are great for rafts and air mattresses.
  • Inflation and Fastening – these are a little larger than portable compressors and generally have about a 6-gallon capacity. They are designed to run staplers and nailers to help you do a variety of projects.
  • Large Compressors – jobs like rotating tires, spray painting, sharpening mower blades and other larger projects require a large compressor. This type of compressor is generally between 7 and 30 gallons and is ideal for a variety of household and auto maintenance projects. The specific size of compressor that you need just depends on the tools that you plan to use with it.

3.Know What Tools You Will Use

When you know exactly what tools you will be using with the air compressor, then it’s best to check the specifications of that tool first. For example, if you’re using a nailer, then check the Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM) on the tool’s packaging. Once you have that information, confirm that the air compressor has at least that much power in order to operate the tool.

Also, if you’ll be using a sander or similar tools that require continuous use, you’ll need an air compressor with a larger capacity. Depending on the size of the project, you may need to get a 60-gallon capacity to ensure you don’t run out of air pressure in the middle of the job.

4.Think About How Often You’ll Use the Air Compressor

If your main reason for buying an air compressor is just to inflate tires and other items a few times each month, then you will probably enjoy having a small inflation and fastening compressor. This will give you the flexibility to do small tasks, as well as routine ones like airing up your vehicle tires.

People who will use an air compressor a couple times each week to use air tools and do auto work need a bit larger compressor. These need to have a capacity of larger than six-gallons and be designed for home and auto maintenance.

Using an air compressor every day will require a compressor with a capacity of at least 60 gallon air compressor. Professionals generally use these compressors, so the average homeowner likely wouldn’t need one this large.

5.Check Your Power Circuit

The average house is equipped with 15 Amp, 120 Volt circuits. If you plan on using your air compressor on your house circuit, then it’s critical you confirm that the compressor is suitable for that circuit. The majority of the small-to-medium sized air compressors will have these specifications, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time searching for one.

Since air compressors require so much power, it’s best if you run it on its own circuit. If you have other tools or appliances running on the same circuit, you’ll run the risk of tripping a breaker. This is especially true if you have an air compressor larger than 30 gallon air compressor. These typically require 240 Volt, single-phase power. Compressors with 10-HP and larger operate only on three-phase power.

Sometimes you may not have access to an electrical outlet. If that happens, then you’ll need to have a gas-powered air compressor. Gas compressors operate similarly to electric ones, but you will just have to remember to keep the gas tank full.

As you can see, the list of things to consider when buying an air compressor isn’t too extensive, but it is important to consider each point. If you miss a single step, then you could end up with an air compressor that’s useless in more ways than one. When you take everything into consideration, you will be able to shop confidently knowing that you will end up with the perfect air compressor for your situation.


​How to choose righ​​​​t air compressor?

Types Of Air Compressors

Machines that compress the surrounding air to a specific high pressure and then utilize it to drive power tools like blowguns, sprayer, stapler etc. are “Air compressors”. AC finds its use to a wide level in variety of application not only industrially but also domestically. From inflating tires to painting walls, AC serves many purposes in home-improvement projects. Compressor units present in industries are large in size with a big motor for continuous, heavy duty and more output air flow. On the other hand, those employed in home, labs, workshops, garages etc. are comparatively smaller, lighter in weight with a small motor that fulfills all the needs of a project.

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After you decide to use air compressor in different home projects, is to purchase it . Now it’s your choice to select the brand of compressor. However, a prior knowledge about different brands makes the choice easier and quicker. Therefore, I am here with a blog post on the air compressor brands; these brands offer a wide variety of tools and accessories including air compressors.

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I am sure that next time, when you go to the hardware store, it won’t be difficult for you to decide which company’s air compressor to purchase. If BOSTITCH has experience, ROLAIR has a well-motivated goal of manufacturing air compressors.


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.

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