Best Air Compressors – 10 Picks After Research

Best Air Compressors

We've handpicked the ultimate air compressors, but let me tell you, it wasn't a walk in the park! We meticulously reviewed specifications for 200 units, and only 10 models successfully met our criteria. But hey, finding your perfect match is a breeze! Different tools need different air power, so once you know your project style, picking the right compressor is a piece of cake. Just hit the button that suits your vibe from the table below.

  • diyers
  • Comb0
  •  TIRES
  • carpenters
  • workshop




CFM & Amp

$ Range

Editor's Rating

  • Best overall model
  • Most powerful in pancake section

4 CFM @ 90 PSI
Oil free
79 dBA
41 Lbs
1.3 HP
13.5 Amps



  • Ideal for long lasting

2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI
Oil free
60 dBA
52.5 Lbs
1.5 HP
2.8 Amps



  • Heavy duty & portable

4 CFM @ 90 PSI
Oil free
56 dBA
29 Lbs
1.8 HP
15 Amps



How Do We Select Our Products 

When choosing air compressors to review on our website, we follow a thorough process to ensure we provide valuable information to our audience. Our journey begins by scouring various ecommerce platforms to gauge customer reviews. Understanding the user experience is crucial, as it helps us identify the types of air compressors that excel in the market. We compile a shortlist based on this initial research.

Some compressors start to leak after a few years, so we don't choose those. We also have some cheaper options on our list, even though they may not last as long as the more expensive ones. But many people like them for home use and do-it-yourself projects.

We also go to places like YouTube, Facebook groups, and other social sites to see what people say about the compressors. Sometimes, the compressors are noisier or slower than the company says. Some even vibrate a lot. We want to know all these things before making a decision.

Additionally, we visit online forums to see which air compressors are popular and modern. After doing all this research, we come up with a list of the best air compressors. We also mention which compressors are good for specific jobs. For beginners, you don't need a big compressor, and for a workshop, a small one is not enough. Taking all these things into account, we make a category of the right air compressor for the right job.

Metabo HPT EC914S THE TANK Pancake Air Compressor

4 Best Air Compressors  For Carpenters

Metabo HPT EC914S "THE TANK" Best Overall Pancake Air Compressor

Metabo THE TANK Pancake Air Compressor


  • 6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 1.3 HP Motor
  • Amps: 13.5
  • 78 dBl Noise
  • 4 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 5.1 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • 200 PSI MAX
  • 41 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

Prior to assessing Metabo THE TANK Pancake Air Compressor, we conducted a comprehensive comparison with other budget-friendly pancake compressors such as the Dewalt DWFP55126 and Craftsman CMEC6150K.

Our findings revealed that the Metabo model excels in robustness, making it an optimal choice for demanding woodworking tasks like trim carpentry, remodeling, deck building, light framing, and roofing. While lower-cost alternatives may suffice for basic nailing and roofing needs, they fall short for professional applications.

In contrast, the Metabo THE TANK Pancake Air Compressor is explicitly engineered to meet the elevated demands of professional users. Its construction and performance set it apart, ensuring durability and reliability in scenarios where precision and power are paramount.

A significant advantage is its 25% higher PSI, providing users with increased air pressure compared to basic pancake compressors that typically offer 150 PSI. This additional pressure enhances the compressor's versatility, making it suitable for a broader range of pneumatic tools and professional applications.

In summary, according to our research team, its superior performance and higher PSI make it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a durable and efficient tool for their professional needs.

California Air Tools 10020C- Best quiet Air Compressor

California Air Tools 10020C


  • 10-Gallon Air Tank
  • 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI
  • 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 82.5 Pounds, 70 dBA Noise
  • Oil-Free Pump, 125 PSI MAX
  • life cycles of 500 hours
  • 2 HP Motor, 7.0 Amps, 1680 RPM
  • continuous running 30-60 min
  • 16" L x 15.1" W x 35.9" H
  • ‎1 year limited Warranty

California Air Tools 10020C  emerges as a commercial-grade budget air compressor, equipped with features that elevate its functionality. With a robust 2 HP motor, an oil-free maintenance-free pump, and two universal couplers, this compressor is a standout choice for workshops, framing, trim carpentry, remodeling, and deck building.

We are pleased to note that the 10-gallon vertical air tank allows simultaneous operation of two pneumatic tools, enhancing efficiency on the job. Essential safety features further contribute to the appeal of the California Air Tools 10020C, including a Start Valve for easy initiation at any temperature, a thermal motor relay to control voltage surges, and a roll cage for increased protection.

Despite its commercial-grade design, a notable number of users have expressed concerns regarding the compressor's tendency to generate excessive heat during prolonged operation. This thermal concern can potentially impact the unit's overall longevity and performance.

Additionally, some users reported air leakage problems emerging after the initial 2 to 3 years of use. This issue, while not universal, suggests a durability challenge that could affect the compressor's long-term reliability.

Craftsman HARD CMXECXA0201041- Top Rated Air Compressor


  • 63.1 Pounds
  • 1.8 HP Motor
  • 80 dBA Noise
  • 175 PSI MAX
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • 10-Gallon Air Tank
  • 4 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • 5.0 SCFM at 40 PSI
  • 120 Volts, 15 Amps
  • ‎1 year limited Warranty
  • ‎26.57 x 24.2 x 13.98 inches

Craftsman CMXECXA0201041  is oil-free and maintenance-free which keeps the cost of operating it low and means less time for upkeep.

Craftsman's HARD Air Compressor is perfect for woodworking, home garages, or small shops.  has designed this model with a UMC 1.8 HP motor. The cord on this unit is 6 feet long which makes it more convenient to use.

The Craftsman CMXECXA0201041 is built to handle the most demanding nailing and stapling applications such as sheathing and decking. It is versatile enough to handle the needs of a large trim carpenter crew or re-modeler.

Your air compressor is a true workhorse tool. All contractors require an industrial-grade air compressor for tough job site performance. Make sure this unit is a bit louder at 80 decibels.

Makita MAC210Q - Best Air Compressor For The Money

Makita MAC210Q Air Compressor


  • 44 Pounds
  • 2-Gallon Air Tank
  • 2 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 3 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • 135 PSI MAX
  • Oil-Free Pump, 60 dBA Noise
  • 1 HP Motor, 1,750 RPM, AMPS : 7
  • Shipping Weight : 48.51 lbs.
  • Cord wrap for AC cord storage
  • 65 second full tank fill from empty
  • ‎1-Year Limited Warranty
  • Dimension: 17.52 x 18.31 x 14.76

From our inspection, we found that Instead of some universal low-quality motors, Makita has equipped the unit with a powerful induction motor which ensures extended durability. This is simply a quality compressor.

Despite being an oil-less unit, it outlasts many oil-lubricated compressors. As far as durability is concerned, we are happy to inform you that Makita MAC210Q lasts years after years.

The 1 horsepower motor draws only 7 amps so there is almost no chance of a circuit breaker.

Weighing 44 lbs and featuring a rubber mold handle, this unit ensures high portability. Some additional features like 65 seconds tank fill-up time, lightweight design, and heavy cover will give you some good experiences at the end of the day.

Makita MAC320Q- Best Value Air Compressor

Makita MAC320Q Air Compressor


  • 3-Gallon Air Tank
  • 60 dBA Noise
  • 2.6 CFM @ 90
  • 3.5 CFM @ 40PSI 
  • 135 PSI MAX
  • 52.5 Pounds
  • 1.5 HP Motor, AMPS : 2.8
  • Oil-free Dual Piston Pump
  • ‎1-Year Limited Warranty
  • Cord wrap for AC cord storage
  • 65 second full tank fill from empty
  • Shipping Weight : 56.82 lbs
  • 19.09 x 20.08 x 15.08 inches

The Makita MAC320Q is made by the famous power tools manufacturing company Makita. They sustain their reputation by providing durable products to the consumers and providing the best after-sales service.

Featuring an oil-less pump and built with the quality component, Makita MAC5200 is a heavy-duty industrial-grade unit with increased durability. Makita’s innovative big bore pump can build pressure efficiently at comparatively much lower RPM (1750 RPM) than its class resulting in reduced heat and improved longevity. Its continuous use capacity makes it ideal for professionals.

So far we have found that this big bore pump is only used by Makita. 

It is perfect for running 2 finishing guns or 2 roofing guns spontaneously with no buffering. That is why the Makita MAC320Q is highly favored by remodelers, contractors, cut carpenters, and outdoor deck builders.

The unit can easily operate several powerful tools like impact wrench - 3/8", impact driver 1/2", basic sprayers, air hammers, air ratchet (1/4" and 3/8"), and caulk guns, and pin nailers to roofing guns.

The pump empowered by a 1.5 HP induction motor can build 135 PSI maximum pressure in a 3-gallon tank. The foldable rubber grip handle and large pneumatic tires will give you the best portability.

In brief, if you are conscious of longevity and heavy power, trust us this unit will give you the best performance.

4 Best Air Compressors for DIYers 

DEWALT  DWFP55126- Best Budget Air Compressor

DEWALT DWFP55126 Budget Air Compressor


  • 6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 78.5 dBA Noise
  • 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 165 PSI MAX
  • 29 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 17.5 inches
  • ‎1 year limited manufacturers warranty

The DEWALT DWFP55126 is a DIYer's dream! We scoured the market for the ultimate air compressor, and voila! Affordable, compact, and bundled with a combo package, it's a steal. Our research confirmed its versatility, effortlessly handling staple guns, brad nailers, finishing guns, and even medium-range spray guns.

It can run many tools ranging from a staple gun, and brad nailers to finishing guns and medium range spray guns. You can also fix your flat tires at home saving you from the hassle of going remote garage.

It features rugged construction, with a one-touch automatic shut-off valve for safety and dual pressure gauges for easy monitoring.

DEWALT DWFP55126 delivers 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI which is more than enough for indoor use. It produces 78.5 decibels of noise and weighs only 29 pounds.

The lightweight DEWALT DWFP55126 is a favorite to many DIYers due to its solid built quality, multipurpose uses, and oil-free maintenance-free feature.

Makita MAC100Q

Makita MAC100Q Air Compressor


  • 1-Gallon Air Tank
  • 0.5 HP Motor
  • 1, 750 RPM
  • 58 dBA Noise
  • 1.2 CFM @ 40
  • 0.7 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 27.6 lbs.
  • Cord wrap for AC cord storage
  • Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump
  • Shipping Weight : 29.57 lbs.
  • 65 second full tank fill from empty
  • Dimensions: 14.57 x 15.35 x 12.21 inches

Delivering 3.8 CFM @ 40 and 3.3 @ 90 PSI and designed with some pretty incredible features, Makita MAC100Q is a compact and literally a user-friendly unit for home shop. It is versatile in design and meant for light-duty commercial projects and serious hobbyists.

No other small-sized compressors are as popular as these guys. It is simply the best according to our professionals.

The automatic on-off switch, industrial-grade air filter, an emergency pressure release valve, and a drain valve- all these additional features will give you a good experience at end of the day.

The key mechanisms are carefully protected by engine cover and the steel-built heavy frame makes it protective in your tough job site. Thanks to the roll bar grab handle make it is highly portable and easy to store. As usual, there are two pressure gauges to monitor input and output pressure.

Metabo HPT EC710S-Top Quality Air Compressor


  • 6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 1 HP Motor
  • 120 Volts
  • 73 dBA Noise
  • 2.8 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 3.7 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • 36.5 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump, 150 PSI Max
  • reliable start-ups in cold weather
  • ‎16.5 x 16.5 x 18.5 inches
  • ‎1 year limited warranty

According to customers, Inflating tires, finishing, trimming, small framing, and using a blowing gun and small spray gun are doable with ease. Weighing merely 36.5 pounds, it is easy to carry. 

Powered by an oil-free pump and low Amp 120V motor, the unit can be started at low temperature. The device is fitted with a reliable extension cord and quick connectors for easy access to regulated air.

Mounted on rubber feet, this top-rated air compressor creates less vibration and produces less noise emission at 73dBA.

Having a very solid built quality and being very inexpensive and lightweight, Metabo HPT EC710S is one of the best models having satisfactory consumers reports. Many homeowners are satisfied with this little beast.

California Air Tools CAT 1P1060SP - Best Cheap Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT 1P1060S Air Compressor


  • 1-Gallon Steel Air Tank
  • 56 dB Noise
  • 1.60 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • 1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI.
  • ‎110 Volts, 0.6 HP Motor
  • 29 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • Thermal Overload Protector
  • 12.5 x 14.7 x 14.75 inches
  • ‎1 Year Limited Warranty
  • 50 Seconds Tank fill rate from empty to full 
  • 15 Seconds recovery time from 90 PSI to 120 PSI - 

California CAT-1P1060SP meant for light-duty applications. Featuring all the necessary components (2 pressure gauges, safety valve, 6 feet long cord) and having a roll cage chassis and plastic shroud for protection California CAT-1P1060S is ideal for what it is meant. It is a compact and very long-lasting unit.

We found to unit to have 60 seconds refill time that is exactly claimed by the manufacturers. 

Being a very lightweight 29 pounds unit, it is favored by some DIYers who need a unit to use once or twice a week for small applications.

Before buying a small compressor, you should think very carefully to make sure the unit can meet all of your demands. It is for indoor use and not for carpenter crews, remodelers, and workshop owners.

2 Best Air Compressor For Workshop & Garage

EMAX E350 80-Gallon 26 CFM Stationary Air-Compressor

EMAX E350 Stationary Air Compressor


  • 5 HP Motor
  • 2-Stage Oil-Lubricated Pump
  • 73 dBA, 12 BAR
  • 620 Pounds, 80-Gallon Air Tank
  • 1-year standard warranty
  • Dimension: 42" L x 34" W x 75" H
  • Single Phase, ‎208/230 Volts, 60 Amps

We conducted thorough research on this model, focusing on key aspects such as water storage, pump durability, versatility, noise level, and pressure capacity. The EMAX E350 Stationary Air Compressor has proven to be a reliable and efficient choice for industrial and workshop applications.

One standout feature is the reduced water storage, attributed to a 35% lower operating temperature. This design improvement ensures that the compressor stores less water, promoting a cleaner and more efficient operation. We found this to be a crucial advantage, especially in environments where moisture can be a concern.

The company's claim of a Piston series 2-stage cast iron pump rated at up to 50,000 hours has held up well in our testing. The pump's durability is a testament to the quality of craftsmanship, making the EMAX E350 a long-lasting investment for users seeking a reliable air compressor.

In terms of versatility, the EMAX E350 surpassed our expectations. It effortlessly powered a variety of air-hungry tools commonly found in workshops, showcasing its capability to handle diverse workloads. This makes it an ideal choice for professionals who rely on a single compressor for various applications.

One of the standout features that we confirmed through our research and external reviews on platforms like YouTube is the reduced operational noise. The built-in Whisper 100 technology lives up to its name, providing a quieter working environment. This is a significant benefit for users who prioritize a less disruptive workspace, especially in a garage or workshop setting.

Finally, the EMAX E350's 12-bar air pressure capacity makes it more than sufficient for industrial use. This level of pressure ensures that it can meet the demands of various pneumatic tools and equipment commonly found in professional settings.

In conclusion, the EMAX E350 Stationary Air Compressor stands out as a top-tier choice for those seeking an efficient, durable, and quiet compressor for industrial and workshop applications. Its innovative features, such as reduced water storage, a robust pump, and low operational noise, make it a standout product in its category. Whether you're a professional or a DIY enthusiast, the EMAX E350 is a reliable investment that delivers on its promises.


Emax Model ES10V080V1


  • 12 BAR
  • 15.4 CFM @ 90 PS, 175 PSI MAX
  • 10 HP Motor, 25 dBA Noise
  • 5-Year Reliable Warranty
  • 950 Pounds, 80-Gallon Tank
  • 2-Stage Oil-Lubricated Pump
  • Dimension: 39 x 32 x 75 inches
  • 230 Volt Single Phase
  •  25% reduced operating noise level

The EMAX Yellow, Industrial Series, Model: ES10V080V1, has garnered high praise from customers, particularly for its performance in drilling, air brushing, spraying, and nailing applications. Our thorough examination of the user manual revealed the incorporation of innovative technology, including Flow-Tek concentric disc valves, ensuring maximum performance and longevity.

One notable highlight is the commendable noise reduction achieved by this compressor, as attested by a satisfied customer. Placing it only fifteen feet away from the primary workspace resulted in quieter operation compared to their previous compressor located five times farther. This underscores the product's commitment to delivering a quiet and efficient user experience.

Furthermore, the inclusion of a reliable five-year warranty adds to the overall appeal of the ES10V080V1, assuring users of the manufacturer's confidence in its durability. In summary, this EMAX compressor combines cutting-edge technology, impressive noise reduction, and a solid warranty, making it a top choice for those seeking a high-performance and quiet industrial air compressor.

A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Air Compressor: Insights from Jérome Le Madec

Air compressors are machines that have many uses, and there are different types for different jobs. You might need one without oil or with oil, with one stage or two stages, belt-driven or directly driven, portable or stationary, vertical or horizontal, and powered by an electric motor or a gasoline engine.

 Each type has its own advantages. For instance, if you have limited space, a vertical air compressor is a good choice. Belt-driven compressors are quieter than directly driven ones. So, you have to figure out which benefits match what you need.

To make it easier for people, we made a list of all the types of air compressors. Then, we talked about how each type works, its good points, and its bad points. Writing a guide to help people buy the right air compressor is not simple. Every customer has their own needs. But, thanks to Jérome Le Madec, who runs a shop selling air compressors, and his research team, the task has become much easier.

Jérome Le Madec has been selling air compressors for 20 years. He knows a lot about the different types because of his long experience. When customers come to his shop, he asks them what they need the air compressor for. Then, based on what they say, he suggests models that are perfect for their needs.

Drawing on his two decades of experience, Jérome Le Madec takes the initiative to share his knowledge with the public. Following his steps we have come up with blog site “Air Compressor Agency” to share insights and advice on air compressors. Through this platform, he aims to make the buying process easier for everyone by providing valuable information based on his wealth of experience.

Air Compressors for Car Tires

Tire inflators deliver high pressure making them ideal for inflating vehicle tires and sports balls. Raft inflators deliver a high volume of air. So they’re perfect for air mattresses and wraps. Some inflators can be used for both tires and wraps. So you just want to check the product description. Inflators are powered by various power sources such as 120 volts, 12 volt, and cordless rechargeable.

Air Compressor for DIYers

DIYers do not need an air compressor for a fixed project. They may need an air compressor for varied purposes like woodworking, dust blowing, painting, tire inflating, pumping inflatable toys, and many more. Given that DIYers should go for a versatile air compressor. A pancake air compressor is perfect for that.

Pancake compressors are versatile in nature and usable for a variety of medium-range applications thus making them ideal for homeowners and first-time users.

Pancake air compressors are cheap but powerful with a big 6-gallon tank. They weigh up to 35 pounds. You can easily haul it around at your job site or even you can ride on a ladder carrying it in your hand.

What you can do with a 6-gallon pancake compressor.

  1. You can inflate the flat tires of a car.
  2. You can use a blowgun for cleaning purposes.
  3. You can do carpentry jobs like trimming, finishing, and installing custom furniture or storage.
  4. For small painting projects, you can power paint sprayers.
  5. Last but not least, to pump equipment like inflatable toys, floating playground, inflatable swim buoys, swimming pool, water volleyball court, water blob, floating bucket, gymnastics mats-a 6-gallon pancake compressor is more than enough.

Now you may be wondering about the noise level. All the pancake compressors create less than 82 decibels of noise which is tolerable and quite fit in a confined job site. If you want an ultra-quiet air compressor without compromising performance, California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S is ideal for you. But you will have to spend some extra bucks on it.

At 29 lbs and having only 56 decibels of noise level, California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S is the quietest compressor. It is not designed in pancake style but is more powerful and durable than any other pancake unit.

Air Compressors For Carpenters

Carpenters often carry around their own air compressors that can be easily transported in a backpack or in their vehicle. Before purchasing an air compressor, there are a few things you should take into consideration: cost, weight, and pressure/volume.

For carpenters, air compressors between 200 and 300 US dollars typically work for their needs. Carpenters do not use an air compressor like sanding and polishing for long time. They use it for sometimes and keep it. To meet this demand, you need not to have big and expensive units.

Ease of transportation can also be an important element to consider for carpentry job. You want to carry the units here and there very often. So, it is always better to go for light weight air compressor model.

When the compressor is for big carpenter teams, air compressors having ten-gallon may require to deliver air pressure for two or more tools at a time. A 10-gallon air compressor are heavy and not easy to haul around. In this case, you should go for the models that come with wheelbarrow attachments, allowing you to roll it.

For carpenters, our specialist does not recommend basic pancake compressors. They are meant for intermittent users having limited lifetime. In addition, framing and roofing are quite impossible with these devices.

Air Compressors For Garage or Workshop

When the compressor is for garage or workshop, you should go for the details e.g. PSI, CF, HP, Duty Cycle and so on. Please go through this article, things will be very easy, I promise.


What’s the maximum air volume required is also known as CFM. When it comes to compressors, CFM is king. Air volume produced is measured in cubic feet per minute-CFM for short. Now CFM is the key to choosing the right compressor for the air tools you use. Every air tool you use has its own rating in CFM (just like compressors). An air tools rating is obtained while being tested at 90 psi.

This part is important your choice of compressor is based on the air tool you use with the highest CFM. To give you an example if you had a brad nailer rated @ 2 CFM, an impact gun @ 6 CFM and a sander @ 11 CFM , your required compressor is 11 CFM + 30% margin (11 x 1.3 = 14.3 CFM). Based on that calculation, your compressor should have at least 14.3 CFM. But if you have two airlines in at a time, then it would be the combined total of the air tools plus 50% margin (6+11 x 1.5 = 25.5 CFM).


PSI stands for Pounds Per Square Inch, and in the context of compressors, it functions as a metric for output measurement. When considering its relevance to air tools, placing excessive emphasis on the maximum pressure is unnecessary.

The maximum PSI does not play a significant role in selecting a compressor for powering air tools. The majority of air tools adhere to the industry standard of being test rated at 90 psi.

It's worth noting that the current trend in new compressors reveals a prevalent maximum PSI rating of 120 or even higher. Despite this, the primary advantage of having a higher pressure lies in enabling a compressor with a high PSI rating to hold more air within the tank without necessitating an increase in tank size.

To illustrate, a 2-gallon tank with a 150 PSI rating stores an equivalent amount of air as a 3-gallon tank with a PSI of 100.

Portable or Stationary?

Does the compressor need to be portable, mobile or remain stationary? Mostly this will depend on your primary usage like the air tools you want to power and where they will be used. Being portable is not limited to small carry compressors; it can stretch to larger wheeled ones. Furthermore, stationary compressors can be mounted to vehicles. Portability depends on your definition of portable

Builders, carpenters, mobile mechanics and paint touch-up services usually use portable air compressors while home engineers, woodworkers, mechanics and car detailers often require larger less portable compressors. Many large horizontal compressors have wheels making them mobile. However, some of these compressors can be very difficult to move even with wheels.

Tank size

What tank capacity is required? Our findings suggest that the size of an air tank is crucial, particularly for tools with prolonged usage, such as spray guns or cabinet sand blasters, and its correlation with the compressor pump's duty cycle.

A larger tank provides an extended operational period before the compressor initiates the refilling process. When utilizing high-volume air tools on a small tank compressor, such as with spray guns, it often forces the compressor to run continuously, a scenario that can be detrimental to many compressors.

The tank's size also impacts the extent of pressure drops, which becomes notably apparent when employing high-volume air tools. Large tanks prove beneficial for tools like sanders, spray guns, grinders, and air hammers. Conversely, small tanks are better suited for staplers, brad nailers, certain nail guns, riveters, and tire inflators.


Horsepower is like a big sticker on a compressor, and it's one of the first things you might notice. When checking horsepower (HP), it's essential to look at the running or rated horsepower, not the peak. Although HP is noticeable, it's not the only important thing to consider.

Usually, the higher the HP, the more air the compressor can push out (measured in CFM). The company that makes the compressor will make sure the motor and pump work well together for the best performance.

Horsepower is also a clue about the power needed to run the compressor, even if it's not clearly mentioned. Smaller air compressors with light to medium-duty motors, usually running on a single phase, can work with your regular home outlet. But when you have a bigger horsepower motor, it often requires three-phase power because it's more energy-efficient than a single-phase setup.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is like how long an air compressor can work before it needs a break to cool down. This is more about piston compressors, not the rotary kind.

Imagine a cycle of 10 minutes. If a compressor has a 30% duty cycle, it means it can work for 3 minutes out of those 10 minutes, and then it needs a break for 7 minutes.

A 50% duty cycle means it can work for 5 minutes and then needs a 5-minute break. A 100% duty cycle means it can keep working without any breaks. Some companies might use a 1-hour period for the duty cycle.

Infographic about PSI CFM and HP

What are SCFM, PSI, and HP?

Nowadays, when you're choosing an air compressor, there are lots of options, and it makes you wonder what to look for. First, let's understand how a compressor works. It has an electric motor connected to a pump that pulls in air and pushes it into a tank under pressure. We measure this pressure in PSI, which stands for Pounds per Square Inch.

So, PSI tells us how much air is stored in the tank under a specific pressure. Then there's something called SCFM, which stands for Standard Cubic Feet per Minute. It measures how fast the pressurized air comes out of the tank. It shows the amount of air flowing out in one minute. Remember, PSI measures how much air the tank can hold, and SCFM measures how powerful the air stream is.

Regular air compressors usually have SCFM and PSI ratings ranging from 0.5 to 30 SCFM @ 90-200 psi. Some heavy-duty Rotary Screw Air Compressors, designed mainly for industries, can go up to 5000 SCFM. So, when choosing an air compressor, think about the tools you use or might use in the future.

Sometimes, terms like PSI, HP, and SCFM can confuse beginners. Our experts have simplified it for you. Just find out the SCFM rating of your most powerful pneumatic tool and get a compressor with a higher rating. The best results come when you add 1.5 extra SCFM values to the rating of your highest-rated air tool.

Example: suppose, you do a fastening and framing project and you have several nailers like framing nailer (require 2.5 SCFM @ 90PSI), pin nailer (require 1 SCFM @ 90PSI), and brad nailer (require 0.5 SCFM @ 90PSI). Here the framing nailer is the top air-hungry tool. In this case, you should buy one that can produce 4 SCFM (2.5+1.5) @90 PSI. here the former value (2.5) is for the framing nailer and the latter value (1.5) is to avoid any buffering.

Using Two Tools at A Time:

When using two tools at a time, you need to add the CFM rating of your desired tools and go for an air compressor that can produce a little higher CFM than that. For example, if you expect to operate two framing nailers, you need a unit that can produce 6.5 CFM (2.5+2.5+1.5=6.5) @90 PSI. It is recommended by our specialists to add an extra 1.5 CFM since almost all compressors fail to produce the actual CFM they commit to produce.

Pneumatic tools that are used intermittently like ratchets, nailers, and impact wrench usually require 0.5-5 CFM. Heavy-duty tools that require continuous air flow usually operate at 30 or more CFM.

Now, you decide which air compressor is ideal for you to power all your air tools. Don’t get one that is too small because you’ll never be happy with that.

Horse Power HP:

Horsepower (HP) is a unit used to measure the power of engines. The greater HP, the quicker the tank of an air compressor gets refilled. It is a useful purchase consideration for people who need it for industrial use. For professional use, I would suggest closely inspecting this factor.

A compressor with a large HP will boost the efficiency of your work since it takes less time to replenish. So you need not wait for long to have the tank refilled. HP is not a major concern for hobbyist units.

Manufacturers often do lie as regards the true horsepower of an air compressor. They often attract customers by showing pick HP. So don’t get tangled by the pick HP and go for Real Horse Power (RHP).

Any motorized device that runs in a 110/120 Volt circuit at 15 Amps is not going to be more than 2HP. Another rule of thumb is that a 1HP air compressor can generate 3 to 4 CFM.

If you can’t locate the rating for how many cubic feet per minute the air compressor is going to form, just multiply 3 with the real horsepower and you will get the approximate CFM value.

It is also worth mentioning that between 2 compressors with an equivalent CFM and PSI value, typically the pump with a larger HP tends to outlast.

What Tank Size Do I Need?

What Tank Size Do I Need?

You might be wondering why the size of the tank matters in how well your tools work. Well, it's one of the two important things to think about when buying an air compressor.

To figure out what tank size you need, think about the kind of projects you do. Some tools, like sanders, need a lot of air all the time. For them, you need a big tank that can store a lot of air. Other tools, like finishing nailers, just need a quick burst of air to work.

Carpenters, for example, might use a nail gun to put in 30 or 40 nails at once and then stop. For this kind of job, a medium-sized tank is enough. Just remember, the bigger the tank, the longer you can use your tools.

Some tools don't need a tank at all. These are called 'Inflators.' Tire inflators are good for pumping up car tires because they give out air at high pressure. Raft inflators, on the other hand, give out a lot of air at once and are good for blowing up things like air mattresses, balloons, toys, and sports equipment.

If you want a tool that can do a bit of everything, like inflating tires or using nail guns, a compressor with a 2-gallon tank is great. And, just so you know, the size of a tank is measured in gallons.

For jobs like fixing things or crafts that need tools like nail guns or staple guns, you'll need a compressor with at least 3 to 5 gallons. Some compressors with a 5-gallon tank can even handle heavy-duty tools in a pinch, like when you need to use an impact wrench to take off nuts from your car wheel.

If you have a big workshop or garage and you're doing heavy-duty stuff like sanding, drilling, or using large spray guns, then a compressor with a tank of over 30 gallons is perfect. The pros say, for professional use, bigger is better.

Here's why the tank size matters: if your tank is too small, the motor has to work more, using more electricity. Also, the motor might wear out faster if it's turning on and off a lot.

But if you let the air in the tank cool down and drain out the moisture each time you refill it, it's better. If the tank is too small, the compressed air gets used up quickly, especially when it's still warm and full of moisture. This can mess up a painting job because the air doesn't come out consistently.

In short, a smaller tank means less air is stored, and it runs out quickly, needing frequent refilling. A bigger tank gives you more time to work without needing breaks to refill it. So, if your tool stops because your tank is too small, it's not what you need.


The duty cycle tells us how long a machine can work before it might get too hot and stop working because of overheating.

Imagine a 10-minute cycle, like a short workout, that the European Commission uses to measure this. Good brands always say how long their machines can work without a break.

The duty cycle is usually shown as a percentage. So, if a machine has a 50% duty cycle, it means it can work for 5 minutes out of 10. After that, it needs to rest for 5 minutes to stay safe and not get damaged.

To choose the right machine, think about what tools you'll use. If you're using tools like nailers, impact wrenches, and air drills for short periods indoors, a machine with a 50% duty cycle is enough.

But if you're working in a garage or workshop and using tools like sanders, grinders, ratchets, or big spray guns that need a lot of air all the time, or if you're running two tools together, our specialists recommend getting a machine with a 100% duty cycle. It's a smart choice, and you won't regret it.

Oil Filled VS Oil-Free Air Compressor


Similar to an automobile, oil-filled air compressors require oil to run. Oil-filled machines lubricate the piston when it slides through the cylinder sleeves.

The lubrication system delivers clean oil at the correct pressure and temperature to lubricate all parts of the engine.

The forced oil system lubricates moving parts reducing wear and tear, provides a seal, removes heat, and reduces power loss.

When there is a relative movement between two surfaces, there will be friction, and heat is generated resulting in an energy loss.

If a film of oil is introduced, it will prevent contact and one surface would glide over the other. There would be no direct contact, friction will be dramatically reduced and it will prevent overheating.

If you need a unit for rebuilding and remodeling that includes heavy-duty tools like sanders, grinders, and air hammers, an oiled model is a must for you.

Most of the oil-lubricated models feature a twin-stack tank which means you need less space.

  • Oiled models are two times quieter than the corresponding oil-less model.
  • They generate less heat and have an extended life span.
  • Unlike oil-less units, the piston ring, piston, and sleeve of the oiled compressor are better able to stand up wear and tear since they are lubricated with oil.
  • Oil-filled models release a little measure of oil in the form of moisture. So they are often ignored by those users who power spray guns.
  • The way they are designed requires some additional parts making them heavier and expensive compared to an equivalent oil-less model.
  • They require additional care and maintenance like checking the oil level and scheduled oil changing.


As the name suggests, an oil-free air compressor does not require oil. The piston inside the cylinder is sealed with a long-lasting Teflon ring, which glides over the cylinder walls smoothly without oil. Teflon seal ring protects the cylinder from being overheated.

They generate less heat than they should produce due to continuous friction between the piston and cylinder sleeve.

Oil-less model is ideal for hobbyists who need to power air tools intermittently. Most of the oil-less models have a common motor and a pancake-style tank.

  • The mechanism between oiled and oil-free units is entirely different. Oil-lubricated units are designed very simply that facilitate any kind of servicing or repairing at home without the help of a specialist.
  • Oil-less machines are designed with fewer parts than oiled compressors which makes them cheaper and lighter.
  • The components of oil-free models are made of aluminum instead of cast iron resulting in the lightweight.
  • The piston ring, piston, and sleeve wear down faster than an oil-filled air compressor.
  • We only suggest you buy an oil-less model if you are a hobbyist. They are not a practical choice for continuous use applications.

Single Stage VS Two Stage pump

Single-Stage Vs Two-Stage Pumps

Piston-type compressors are available in two verities: Single-stage pump or Two-stage pump. People often do the mistake of thinking that a one-stage pump is designed with only one cylinder and a two-stage pump with two cylinders.

The fact is Single-stage pump has only one cylinder block and a two-stage pump may have two or more cylinder blocks often in a V configuration. Now each cylinder block may house two more or more cylinders inside it.

The cylinder block is a solid piece of hard material made of either aluminum or cast iron. The upper part of the block houses the cylinders and pistons and the lower zone carries the crankcase and the crankshaft.

The operational function of a ‘cylinder’ is to fill an air tank with maximum pressure. So the larger the number of cylinders, the greater efficiency is ensured to refill the tank. Two-stage compressors can produce more power than a single-stage pump.

When given a choice between single-stage or two-stage air compressors with the same tank size, two-stage compressor stores a great volume of air in the same tank size

The air compressor with a cast-iron cylinder block is heavier than an aluminum-made cylinder block. Some pancake-style models are equipped with aluminum-made cylinder blocks which is why they are lightweight.

The right pick depends on the tools you have to power. If your requirement is fulfilled by a one-stage pump, it is irrational to go for a two-stage pump and spend more money.

Single-stage pump:

The cylinder blocks in a Single-stage pump are more like a motorcycle engine. They contain either one or two cylinders. Usually, 1 to 6-gallon oil-free Single-stage compressors do have one cylinder inside the cylinder block. In contrast, single-stage oiled compressors have two cylinders inside the cylinder block.


A lot of wheelbarrow units and small portable units are usually fine single-stage compressors. They are highly portable and ideal for automobiles and other mobile applications. The single-stage pump is lighter than a two-stage pump.


Single-stage compressors can run one tool at a time. So you cannot power more than one tool from the same compressors. Since they are usually limited to anywhere between 120 and 150 PSI, they cannot power heavy-duty tools that require more than 150PSI. Fortunately, 90% of pneumatic tools operate under the pressure of 150 PSI.

Two-stage pump:

The two-stage pump has at least two cylinders blocks: the main cylinder block is larger and the secondary is smaller. The Cylinder blocks are usually separated in a V configuration and interconnected by an inter-cooler tube. This tube cools the air when passes through it.

However, those cylinders run spontaneously to pump air into the tank in two steps. During the initial step, the first cylinder compresses the air at about 150 PSI and pipes the compressed air through the intercooler to the secondary cylinder. During the second step, the second cylinder compresses the air with more pressure up to 200PSI.

Two-stage and large single-stage stationary units are built for everyday use with high-demand air tools. If you're operating more than one tool at a time, it will keep your tools running longer and with higher operating pressure.


The two-stage pump is more powerful than a one-stage pump. So a great volume of air is stored in the same tank size resulting in higher operating pressure for a longer time. Most of the two-stage air compressors are equipped with two hoses. This is useful when two workers want to operate two pneumatic tools at a time


Because of the extra mechanical processes, a Two-stage pump produces far more heat than a single-stage pump. It especially happens when two heavy-duty tools are powered by the same compressor. That is why they frequently need a radiator.

Vertical VS Horizontal Air Compressor

Vertical Air Compressor

Vertical Air Compressor

Horizontal Air Compressor

Horizontal Air Compressor

You may have heard about vertical or horizontal air compressors. It is all about design and nothing else. There is no difference in performance with the corresponding specification.

Either a vertical or horizontal model can be the best unit for your need. Above I have reviewed some of the top-rated models, you may scroll up to find out the right one.

It is worth mentioning that some items can be run both vertically and horizontally. Because of differences in size and shape, both of the items have pros and cons. Both of them are available either in a wheelbarrow or rubber/iron built feet.

Vertical models have a small footprint. If you have a space limit, you may go for that. Besides, you will get better drainage of your air tank on the vertical model. The drawback is that they are not easy to haul around.

Horizontal units have a larger footprint but take less space vertically. If your workplace has height limitations, this one is the right choice for you. Furthermore, they are well-balanced and easy to carry.

Belt Drive VS Direct Drive

There are two basic types of drive design for an air compressor: direct drive and belt drive. Direct drive compressors use a motor to turn the compressor shaft directly, while belt-drive compressors use a belt and pulleys to transmit power from the motor to the compressor shaft. The advantages of each type of design are different, and depending on the application, one may be better than the other.

In an air compressor with a direct drive, the motor is connected directly to the compressor shaft. This type of compressor typically has a higher power requirement, but is more efficient and can run at a higher speed.

An air compressor with a belt drive has a motor that is connected to a belt that drives the compressor shaft. This type of compressor typically has a lower power requirement, but is less efficient and can only run at a slower speed.

Direct drive air compressors are available in the market in two categories. Firstly, many home-use basic type air compressors are direct drive. The price of these compressors starts from 100$. They are very small and portable.

Secondly, heavy-duty industrial grade air compressors are also engineered with the direct-drive mechanism. These air compressors are monster in size and able to meet the heavy-duty task in industries and factories.   

Here we will compare belt-drive air compressors with only consumer-grade direct-drive air compressors.

learn more about industrial-grade direct-drive air compressors vs belt-drive air compressors. 

Direct Drive Air Compressor

Direct Drive Air Compressor

Direct drive design:

Direct drive means that the pump and engine are connected directly together. Inside the engine lock, there is a crankshaft that is directly attached to the motor.

A piston rod with a piston on the top of it is attached to the crankshaft. As the motor rotates, the crankshaft being fixed with the motor causes the piston to move up and down. The direct-drive pump runs at the same speed as the engine since it is connected by the drive shaft directly.

They will run around 3800 RPM at the same speed as the engine. If you need an air compressor at a reasonable price, direct drive is the sound choice.

  • In a direct drive air compressor, the power required to turn the compressor's crankshaft is supplied directly by the engine. This eliminates the need for a belt or gearbox to transmit power from the engine to the compressor. Thus, a direct drive air compressor is more efficient than its counterpart since there is no loss of power due to a belt or gearbox.
  • Direct-drive pumps rotate for more than a thousand additional cycles compared to belt-drive pumps, so they generate a lot more heat generated by the engines. This leads to early death due to overheating.
  • Because the motor is directly linked to the crankshaft, there are some vibrations. In addition, the heat from the motor transfers to the pumps and adds more heat.
Belt Driven Air Compressor

Belt Driven Air Compressor

Belt Drive Design:

Belt drive models ensure the highest industrial output making it perfect for professionals. They come in big sizes allowing two or three pneumatic tools to run simultaneously.  For jobs such as painting and sandblasting, big belt-drive models are typically used. Some large belt-pull compressors that we see in gas station weighs more than 150lbs.

The most significant feature of them is their efficiency and longevity which tend to last years after years. Some small-size air compressors with belt drive features are also available on the market. If you want a unit that should be both portable and belt drive, there are options too.

  • A belt-driven air compressor allows you to upgrade the PSI (pounds per square inch) of the machine by changing the size of the belt. The larger the belt, the higher the PSI that the compressor will be able to produce.
  • Belt-driven compressors last longer and are more efficient, so they're the better option if you're looking for something less noisy and something that will last longer.
  • Last but not least, they are robust and solidly built with quality components.
  • A belt-drive air compressor transfers power from the engine to the compressor through a belt. This can cause power loss because the belt can slip and the engine has to work harder to compensate. This power loss depends on several factors, including the type of belt, the width of the belt, the type of pulleys, and the amount of tension on the belt. Additionally, the belt can also heat up and wear down, causing even more power loss.
  • Incorrect position of the pulleys can lead to a higher speed and overload the motor. It may also cause it to break the belt. It is essential to check the tension of the pulleys and the belt regularly.
  • Belt-driven air compressors are sensitive to environmental conditions and adverse weather conditions. They will not function well in extreme hot or cold temperatures.
  • The belt is susceptible to wear and tear. It must be replaced periodically, which can be time-consuming and costly.
  • They have the disadvantage of being large and bulky compared to the direct drive air compressors.

Which one is right for you, a belt drive or a direct drive?

Air compressors with direct drive features are usually designed for light to moderate duty projects. They are meant to be compact, lightweight, and highly portable. It is preferred by the carpenters and homeowners due to its portability at their job site.

They are a very compact air compressor for construction. Some models are so light that you can go top up a ladder with them.

As far as a power source is concerned, they normally draw up to 18 Amps at 120 volts. It is recommended to plug your device into a dedicated panel no matter how low the amperage rating is.

You may be thinking of installing a new electric outlet in your garage or on your home wall. No, you need not. Simply, avoid using any other devices in the same outlet when the compressor is already plugged in.

Many people blame the direct-drive units for being extremely loud. In reality, there are many whisper-quiet models which are two-time quieter than belt drive compressors.

Metabo The Tank, Senco PC1010N, Makita MAC 320Q, these air compressors are mostly famous for their quiet operational noise at 55 to 65 decibels.

According to our experts, direct-drive units can cover a wide variety of applications ranging from inflating tires and rafts to building a deck and finishing the roof. From hobbyists to big carpenter crews can be more than satisfied with a direct drive compressor. Buying a belt-pull device would be the sort of unnecessary indulgence for them.

If you're a professional who is mindful of sustainability, then you might think about belt-driven air compressors. Belt-driven units are quality air compressors that are built to last longer than you might think. There are lots of oil-filled industrial-strength air compressors to offer the powerful capability and higher durability.

“Belt drive design is for industrial purposes” as Jérome Le Madec (the managing director of Air Compressor Agency) was saying. It is ideal for the users who have a garage or workshop and need to power several heavy-duty tools like sanders, die grinders, impact wrench, big spray guns and all.

Electric Motor VS Gasoline Engine

Air compressors are powered by either electricity or gasoline. Whereas gas-powered compressors are meant for homeowners, DIYers, carpenter crews, and workshops, gasoline-powered units are for big industries and for places where electricity is not available.

Generally, electric air compressors are equipped with a 2hp motor or less operated at 110 volts to 120 volts. Motors having 5hp or more require 220 volts and a dedicated circuit.

A gas engine offers the same functions as an electric engine does. Gasoline-powered engines are best suitable for builders and remodelers since they are designed for heavy-duty applications and have portability at the job site. They are ideal when electricity is not available at your job site.

Each has its Strengths and Weaknesses that will be discussed thoroughly. We hope it may help you to find out the best peak.

Electric Air Compressor

Electric Air Compressor

Advantages of electric air compressor:

  • Electricity-powered air compressors are available in different shapes and sizes. They are most common and cover a whole range of applications from home use to industrial use.
  • Most Electric motors feature automatic start/stop functions. The automatic stop-start switches power off the engine when the air tank is filled with required air pressure and power it on when the pressure falls below a certain value.
  • They do not produce toxic fumes making them perfect for indoor or workshop use. So you need not have an adequate ventilation system in the workplace.
  • In almost every case, the beginning expense of an electric engine is significantly lower than a fossil-fuel motor with the same HP rating.
  • They don’t require battery service and solidify in below zero temperatures.
  • Since they need no fuel, there is no maintenance of engine oil.
  • Electric air compressors are sturdy, having intensive operative life and minimal service requirements.
  • they’re generally lighter and compact and environmental-friendly and can be used safely in an enclosed room

In short electric models are durable and robust, fumeless, highly efficient, and automated control and maintenance-free.

Disadvantages of electric air compressor:

  • Using high HP motors sometimes ends up in the incidence of pricey electrical demand charges.
  • 5 or more HP motor operates on 240-volt single-phase power that requires a dedicated 15 amp circuit. In that case, you may be needed to install expensive line extensions with a dedicated circuit in the location where you want to use the air compressor.
  • You have to stop work unexpectedly when the electricity supply goes out.
  • Electric air compressors are compatible only where electricity is available.
  • You cannot use an extension cable even If your workplace is distant. Caution: our specialists firmly prohibit using an extension cable. The cable of air compressors should be plugged directly into the outlet. It is recommended to use a long hose.
Gas Powered Air Compressor

Gas Powered Air Compressor

Advantages of gasoline engine:

  • They are often in wheelbarrow style so ensure high portability.
  • If your job site lacks electric power, this is the right choice.
  • They are designed for heavy-duty applications and capable to produce pressure up to 30 SCFM.
  • You do not need to worry about unexpected electricity cut out. They run spontaneously unless fuel run out.
  • Gas-powered air compressors produce high efficiency over a variable range of loads. They are equipped with a good cooling system because of having an exhaust system.

Disadvantages of gasoline engine:

  • Gas engine-driven compressors are more expensive compared to the same Horse Power electric motor.
  • They require additional maintenance like changing the oil and refilling gas. They are highly inflammable which means you have to be cautious during their use.
  • They are bulky and heavy and can weigh up to 250 pounds in some cases.
  • They are comparatively noisy and produce fume which not only smelly, it’s toxic. This means you cannot use them indoors without having an adequate ventilation system.

Portable VS Stationary

A portable air compressor refers to a lightweight unit that allows you to move from place to place. Heavy-duty industrial-grade compressors are stationary. They are usually meant to install in a fixed position. The portable unit is usually preferable to carpenters and home users. The stationary air compressor is ideal for filling stations, workshops, and so on.


When it comes to how easy it is to carry and move around, we recommend getting a portable one. Portable compressors come in different shapes and sizes. Some smaller ones weigh up to 40 pounds, making them light enough to lift off the ground. They are available in either pancake or hotdog style with a tank that holds 3 gallons or less.

These types of air compressors are designed for tasks that aren't too heavy. Besides these, there are other models that don't have a tank. These are meant for things like inflating tires and inflatable products.

If you need a portable unit with a lot of power, there are some big and powerful portable devices. They come with either pneumatic or rubberized wheels so you can move them around and store them easily. These air compressors weigh more than 80 pounds, and the tank size can range from 5 to 20 gallons. A bigger tank means you can use all sorts of pneumatic tools that are available in the market.

  • Built for portability, they are compact and well-balanced.
  • They are cheaper and draw little electric volt.
  • Some portable devices are powered by diesel or petrol which allows you to work in places where electricity is not available.
  • Portable models are limited to 20-gallon tanks which are not enough for many industries or workshops.


Stationary models are robust and heavy with giant tanks and greater HP (Horse Power). They are usually bolted into a fixed place and connected to air tools with a long hose. Most of the stationary units have a belt drive pump powered by a mighty 3- 13HP 240ACV motor.

They are made for industrial purposes where continuous airflow is required and are generally meant to be used for heavy-duty applications.

people often do mistakes by sacrificing performance at the expense of mobility and portability. Remember pancake and hotdog style models are limited to a certain rating of PSI and CFM. It cannot run many air-hungry pneumatic tools like sanders, grinders, impact wrenches, large spray guns, nibblers, and air hammers. It hardly suits industrial proposes. Check top listed large tank size air compressors

  • The bigger the tank size, the greater volume of compressed air is being stored in the tank. So it can produce the required PSI and CFM for a longer period for all pneumatic tools. If you need the device for rebuilding and remodeling, go for it.
  • They are an ideal compressor for all air tools.
  • Stationary devices are not movable at all. They are highly expensive and priced at 500$ to 3000$. If you don’t use heavy-duty air tools, it will be a complete waste of money. It is ideal only for industrial use.

We have reviewed some best models having varied features. One or more may fit your requirement. If you like our buying guideline, why not share it on your social site.

Check some large tank size air compressors: 

  • 3 Top 60-Gallon Air Compressor
  • 3 Top 30-Gallon Air Compressor

List of Air Compressor Manufacturing Brands

List of best air compressor

Identifying the perfect air compressor with less or no knowledge is impossible most of the time. There are lots of things you need to consider to identify a good compressor.

Quality of production, material, ease of use, size of the product, and of course the price impact on the product selection process.

But choosing a brand product can reduce all of the hassles and help you get the perfect product effortlessly. Let’s review a few popular air compressor manufacturing brands that might help you get the perfect product effortlessly.


Among the top air compressor manufacturing companies, you will find Makita listed on the top. They are also the leading brand In the automotive and power tools industry, Makita is founded on March 21, 1915, in Japan, but they operate their factories in various countries to provide the best service for their customers.


One of the leading power tools manufacturing companies is DeWALT. The headquarter is located in America. They started their journey in 1999. Power tools like drill machines, air drills, and air compressors are their most popular products.

They always come up with innovative products in the market. This is the brand that first brought a battery-powered air compressor.


On May 20, 1927, Craftsman started their journey and led the industry with all their quality services and products. They produce hand tools, automotive tools, power tools, storage kits, and lawn & garden equipment as well.

California Air Tools

California air tools is a popular air compressor supplier company that started its journey in early 2002. But they achieved enormous success in the industry as an air compressor expert compared with giant suppliers who are doing business for a long time. You can rely on them for a quality product.


Japanese multinational company Hitachi Ltd has a good reputation in the automobile industry for its quality product and customer support.

Hitachi supplies all major types of automotive systems, construction machinery, defense system, electronic system, power system, and aircraft engines. Hitachi was founded in 1910, in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

Porter Cable

Porter Cable is another reputed company that manufactures both big and small size air compressors. It's a US company founded in 1906 in New York but the present headquarters is in Tennessee, United States. Their PORTER CABLE C2002 air compressor is the best seller on


Husky (tool) popularly known as Husky makes chainsaws, different types of power tools, and storage tools as well. Husky started their journey in 1924 as a hand tool manufacturing company.

Now they are producing many different types of power tools as well. They assemble their products in the US, but they import materials from China and Taiwan.

Campbell Hausfeld

Campbell Hausfeld is a US power tool production company, established in 1836. This air compressor manufacturing company's headquarter is situated in Ohio, United States.

Though they are experts in air compressor production, they manufacture some air tools, inflators, presser washers, and welders as well. They supply both commercial and portable products depending on customer demand.

Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand is an America-Irish joint venture company that makes various types of power tools. They produce various types of club cars, power tools, compressor systems, lifting materials, Thermo kind, and Trane for residential and commercial purposes. They also produce all types of parts and equipment for these products.

Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight is a company that creates and distributes tools, automotive supplies, and hardware. It was founded in 1977 by Rick and Kathy Harbour. The company has since grown to become one of the largest retailers of its kind in the United States. Harbor Freight Manufacturing Company offers a wide variety of products at discounted prices, making it a popular choice for consumers.


Rolair is popularly known as Rolair Systems which produce different types of air compressor, pumps, and accessories. If you are searching for air compressors, you must check the products of Rolair systems. This will help you get the perfect air compressor and accessories for it.


If you are searching for cordless power tools, you may check the products of Ridgid. They are an American manufacturing company that was founded in 1923.

They manufacture all types of power tools like wrenches, hammers, and tubing tools. Their cordless air compressor combo kit is popular and has good customer demand.

Chicago Pneumatic

Chicago Pneumatic is a multination power tool manufacturing company that sells products in more than 150 countries. Most of the products are cordless & electric power. They also sell tools & accessories for those products.

Atlas Copco

Atlas Copco is a giant Swedish tools & equipment production company, founded in 1873. Atlas Copco Group has a hundred plus branches all over the world and their headquarter is situated in Nacka, Sweden. They produce medical gas equipment, air compressor, air dryer, air filter, gas generators, condensate treatment, marine compressors, and railway compressors for large companies.


Sanborn is a hand tool production company that has some amazing hand tools like air drills, air hammers, and powerful impact wrenches.

They ensure the quality of their product that makes them popular. Any kind of hand tool you need, you can rely on them. Most of their tools are electric power and allow you to do heavy-duty work.

Coleman Powermate

Coleman Power mate is a pressure equipment production company who has some amazing products. They assemble generators, pressure washers, and air compressors that have good customer demand on the running market. They gain huge popularity in the industry for the quality of their products.


Emglo builds heavy-duty power tools like air compressors for commercial purposes. They supply heavy-duty equipment and power tools that come with a long-lasting work guarantee. Many different companies produce air compressors, but Emglo has the best features on their air compressors.

Gardner Denver

Gardner Denver is a popular industrial compressor manufacturing company that produces commercial compressors. Gardner Denver was founded in 1859 in America. They produce quality power tools for years. Their current headquarters is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.

Gardner Denver started their journey in 1859 as industrial equipment seller and provided its service with a good reputation. They have multiple branches and dealers available all over the world. Gardner Denver is an American company and its headquarter is situated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.


If you are searching for portable power tools, you must check the products of Sullair for their product quality and the advantages they offer. Sullair is USA based company and its headquarter is situated in Michigan City, Indiana, United States. Their parent company is Hitachi.


Kaeser popularly known as Kaeser Compressors builds various types of vacuum products, rotary compressors, reciprocating compressors, screw blowers, and different types of the dryer as well. It’s a German company and its headquarters is situated in Coburg, Germany.


In our list, Senco is the last power tool manufacturing brand that produces good quality power tools for their customers. If you are searching for pneumatic tools and air compressors, you must check the products of Senco. Because they assure the best customer support and high-quality material on their products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Size Compressor for Air Tools?

The size of the compressor for air tools is usually determined by the cfm (cubic feet per minute) rating of the compressor. This rating is a measure of how much air the compressor can pump out in a minute. So, a compressor with a higher cfm rating will be able to power more air tools than a compressor with a lower rating. Another factor that determines the size of the compressor needed is the air pressure required by the tools.

What tank size do I need?

We think that for carpenters who work a lot, a 3 to 6-gallon expensive model is good. It's great for jobs like roofing and framing. The California Air Tools 10020C is a good choice. It has a 10-gallon tank, which is good for both carpenters and garage owners. But if you're painting or sandblasting, you might need a bigger compressor, like one with a 20-gallon tank or more. That will work better for those jobs.

What air compressor should I buy for home use?

According to our knowledge, the best air compressor for home use would be one that is small, lightweight, and easy to operate. The size of the compressor is important, as you want to make sure it will be able to handle the tasks you need it to. Additionally, you'll want to consider the power requirements of the compressor and whether or not it has a built-in tank.

It should also have a low noise level so that it does not disturb occupants in the home. Some factors to consider when purchasing an air compressor include the CFM rating, tank size, and price. It is also important to consider the compressor's duty cycle, which is the amount of time the compressor can operate continuously before it needs to cool down.

Small compressors are typically better for light-duty tasks such as inflating tires or powering a brad nailer, while larger compressors can handle more heavy-duty applications such as spray painting or sandblasting.

Is a 6-gallon air compressor enough?

According to our research, 6-gallon air compressors are generally enough for most home projects. They provide enough power to run most tools, and they're portable so they can be easily moved from one job to the next. However, if you're looking for something more powerful that can handle heavier-duty projects, then you may need to invest in a larger air compressor.

How much psi do I need for air tools?

Air tools use compressed air to power a variety of mechanisms. The amount of psi required for an air tool will vary depending on the specific tool. However, most air tools require between 90 and 120 psi. This amount of pressure is enough to provide the necessary force to power the tool. The tool may not function properly if the psi falls below this range.

What is the lifespan of an air compressor?

An air compressor's lifespan usually depends on the type of compressor, how it is used and maintained, and the environment in which it is located. The lifespan of an air compressor can range anywhere from five to fifteen years, but the average lifespan is around eight years. The amount of use and the conditions in which the compressor is used will affect how long it lasts.

What makes a compressor go bad?

Compressors can go bad for a variety of reasons. We made a good research on this and what we found most commonly because of a lack of lubrication. If the compressor lacks lubrication, the metal-on-metal contact will create heat and wear down the parts, causing the compressor to fail. Another reason may be that the compressor has been running for a long overlooking the duty cycle. If the compressor is overworked, it may malfunction.

Electrical issues may be Another common reason for compressor failure.  A compressor requires a lot of power to run, and if there is an issue with the electrical system, it can cause the compressor to overheat and fail.

Do air compressors need oil?

Air compressors are of two types: oil-less and oil-lubricated. When the compressor is engineered with a lubricated mechanism, the unit needs oil to keep them running smoothly. The lubricant helps to reduce wear and tear on the compressor's internals and also helps to keep the compressor cool. Without a lubricant, the compressor would overheat and could potentially damage itself.

Oil-free air compressors do not require oil because they use different technology to compress air. This technology does not require any lubrication, so there is no need for oil in the compressor.