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    HomeCompressorThe 10 Best 12v Air Compressors in 2021

    The 10 Best 12v Air Compressors in 2021

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    Best 12v air compressor: A 12-volt air compressor is an excellent choice for people looking for a quiet and portable solution. 12v air compressors, although light in weight and compact in size, are fit enough to manage small tasks such as inflating cars, sports balls, etc. When buying a 12-volt air compressor, air pressure and other factors are essential considerations.

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    12v Air Compressor

    A flat tire is a usual problem for car owners. This situation can be especially annoying if no help is available nearby. Deflation in the car tires can happen slowly and suddenly. In most cases, you have to inflate the tire yourself. Having a 12v compressor allows you to inflate the tire without waiting for any assistance.

    Apart from that, you can also retain the pressure of the tire and maintain its durability with an air compressor. Thus, it helps car safety and efficient fuel consumption.

    People accustomed to long and frequent journeys no longer have to be worried about driving on various surfaces. When driving on wet or loose surfaces, it is crucial to lower the tire pressure. By this means, they can have more surface area for tires. A major concern for drivers is when they will have to return to the tarmac. This problem can be easily resolved by applying a 12v air compressor. Using this device, you can re-inflate the tires to their suitable air pressure for the tarmac.

    Applications of 12v Air Compressor 

    Apart from inflating the tires, a 12v air compressor can be utilized for other purposes as well. Here, some of the ways you can apply a 12v air compressor are mentioned.

     Inflation

    They are suitable devices to inflate camping equipment, flat tires, and sports balls.

    Reseating Tires

    If the car tires are slipped from the rim, you can fix them with a 12v air compressor. This will save both money and time.

    Powering Pneumatic Tools 

    For powering devices such as nail guns, 12v air compressors are suitable.

    Benefits of 12v Air Compressor

    The advantages of 12v compressors that make them attractive to buyers are listed below.

    Free Air 

    In cases that your car tires need air, a 12v compressor can rapidly and easily fill them. So, there is no need for payment for air at the gas station to utilize their pump.

    Emergency Preparedness

    Carrying a 12v compressor in the car is an excellent tool for emergency preparedness. If you suddenly face a tire without enough air, you can fill it immediately.

    Less Effort 

    A 12v air compressor can easily fill your pool toys and floats. Thus, you will spend less time blowing them up instead of puffing.

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    12v Air Compressor Types 

    Three types of large handled, box, and drill are introduced here.

    Large Handled 

    This compressor has a body where the motor is installed and a large handle on top of it. This makes them easier to pick up and carry around for you. A large handle at the top is located to decrease the stress on your hand. The negative aspect of the large handle is that it makes the compressor bigger and harder to store in your car.  These are of the most powerful 12v compressor types.

    Box 

    These compressors are similar to a block or box. So, they are compact and convenient to keep in your car. They are available in a wide range of PSI values, and you can easily find one that suits your needs. A drawback of this type is that they can be a bit inconvenient to carry. They are also usually manufactured with a plastic outer shell, causing them less durable than other alternatives.

    Drill 

    The size and shape of these small compressors are similar to a standard drill. The body of the compressor includes the handle held upright. Rather than a drill bit, there is a small hose with an inflator tip. Although this compressor has the weakest PSI, they are the easiest and the most lightweight model to use. Due to the small size of these compressors, they can fit in most glove boxes.

    Buying Guide for the Best 12v air compressor 

    Some brands are offering durable 12v air compressors. Picking the right model that suits your needs is a bit challenging task. However, you can use the guide provided here to buy an appropriate one.

    Maximum Air Pressure 

    This factor allows you to understand what type of tires can be inflated utilizing the air compressor. It is measured in PSI. When the air compressor does not produce sufficient pressure, it does not work properly. Choosing an air compressor with a higher PSI rating is recommended to avoid any issues like this. For air compressors, the range of PSI rating is from 25 to 150. A Higher PSI rating indicates you can fill all types of tires, from cars to trucks.

    Often, the car tires come with PSI values ranging from 30 to 40 PSI. However, some larger vehicles such as SUVs need higher PSI from 70 to 90 PSI.

    Maximum Air Flow 

    Air flow expresses the total air volume output produced by the air compressor. In other words, it shows the speed of air flow provided by the air compressor. It is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute).

    Generally, a higher CFM rating represents the better performance of the compressor. You should choose a compressor that delivers 1.5 times more CFM than needed.

    Horsepower 

    This factor is the measure of the compressor power capacity that determines the compressor efficiency. If the model you select does not have enough power capacity, it is basically unusable.

    Usually, the models of 12v air compressors come with horsepower ranging from 2 HP to 10 HP. However, few models come with higher horsepower. In the case of compressors using a standard electric power source, it is better to choose a 2 HP rating.

    Power Source

    There are two types of 12v air compressor power sources: clamps that connect directly to the car battery and a 12V socket that plugs into the car cigarette lighter. You can purchase battery-operated versions. However, they are less popular because you already have a fully charged battery in your car.

    Power Draw 

    These 12v compressors use the battery of the car as the power source. Therefore, it is crucial to know how much power is consumed from the battery. If higher power is pulled, there is a risk that the compressor will drain or ruin the battery. A high-quality and safe 12v compressor has a power consumption of 120 watts or less.

    Maximum Tank Capacity 

    If you want to apply the air compressor to run power tools as well, a model with the in-built tank with an adjustable regulator can be more helpful. It seems that a 2-gallon surge tank is enough for inflating the tire quickly. The size of this tank is also proper for putting easily under the seat or in a toolbox.

    Maximum Duty Cycle 

    The air compressor duty cycle describes the time duration it can operate continuously at 100 PSI and a standard temperature of 72°F. It is usually expressed in percentage of ON time. For instance, if the duty cycle is 25%, it means that the compressor can work continuously for 10 minutes and can be restarted after a 30-minute break.

    Determining the duty cycle is very important because light-duty models don’t have sufficient volume in their tanks. So, in the middle of the work, your compressed air will run out. A higher duty cycle rating gives a better quality and efficiency to the compressor. If the compressor runs longer than its duty cycle, its efficiency can be lessened. Repeating this for an extended period can reduce the lifespan of the air compressor.

    Cord Length 

    After connecting the air compressor to the battery or 12v power socket, you must connect the device to tires for inflation. Therefore, to ensure the compressed air reaches the tires without any problems, a proper cord length is essential.

    Typically, power cords for 12V compressors are shorter than those of AC models. This is a big deal for most of the users. But if you want to use them for larger cars, the cord length makes a significant difference in your decision. The shorter cord may make it difficult to reach tires. An ideal air compressor should have a cord length of 10 to12 feet. But, if the air compressor does not have the required hose length, you buy hose extensions for an additional amount.

    Accessories 

    The accessory kit offered along with a 12v compressor gives the compressor more capability. It includes an extra fuse, optional power attachments, a carrying bag, hose extensions, alligator clips, and interchangeable inflation tips.

    Noise 

    No one tends to invest in a device that makes much noise. It not only results in hearing issues but also annoys your neighbors. To prevent hearing problems, it is better to buy an air compressor that produces noise levels below 40 dB or 60 dB.

    Weight and Portability 

    12v air compressors are the best options for light-duty tasks. So, a light-weighted, portable, and compact model is recommended. Compact size and low weight allow easy mobility. As you store the compressor usually in your car, you should also consider its dimensions. If you have a small car, then a compact model is an appropriate choice. However, they may be weak at PSI and CFM levels. The weight of most of the 12V air compressors is about 2 to 6 pounds.

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    The 8 Best Small Air Compressors

    Everything You Need To Know About Different Types Of Compressor

    Best 12V Air Compressors Reviews

    A list of the best 12v air compressors is provided in the following.

    1. Viair 40045 400P Portable Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    Viair 40045 400P Portable Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Vibration resistant
    • ● Suitable for high-volume use.
    • ● Suitable to inflate tires up to 35 inches in off-road and agricultural vehicles
    • ● Available, including a deluxe carry bag for the compressor, air hose, and inflation gun.
    Cons
    • ● Very expensive

    Specifications 

    Weight (lbs) 10.7
    Dimensions (inches) 11 x 4 x 7
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 150
    Maximum CFM 2.3
    Duty cycle 33 (%)
    Powe source Battery clamps
    Maximum Amp draw (Amps) 30
    Cord length (ft) 8
    Warranty One-year limited

     

    General Description

    This device offers an automatic function. The unit includes an onboard pressure switch that enables the unit to operate until the maximum internal pressure is reached, at which point the compressor shuts off. It can inflate a 35-inch tire from 0 to 30 PSI in less than five minutes. By releasing the trigger on the inflation gun, the air pressure is monitored.

    Viair 40045 400P Portable Compressor has a duty cycle of 33% at 100 PSI. This means you can run it for about 3 minutes out of every 10 minutes of rest. This air compressor is powered by a temporary and easy connection to a 12-volt battery.

    2. Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Lightweight and portable
    • ● Suitable for small ATVs, SUVs, trucks, and sedans with tires up to 33 inches
    Cons
    • ● Very expensive

    Specifications 

    Weight (lbs) 4.5
    Dimensions (inches) 6.75 x 6.25 x 10.75
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 120
    Maximum CFM 1.47
    Duty cycle 25 min. @ 30 PSI
    Powe source Battery clamps
    Maximum Amp draw (Amps) 20
    Cord length (ft) 10
    Warranty One-year limited

     

    General Description

    The Viair 88P air compressor is a small portable machine capable of inflating tires up to 33-inch with a battery connection directly with two battery terminal clamps. The pressure of the tire can be monitored utilizing a gauge mounted at the top of the unit by temporarily turning the unit off. For this device, the maximum Ambient Temp is +158 degrees Fahrenheit, and the minimum Ambient Temp is -4 degrees Fahrenheit.

    3. FORTEM Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    FORTEM Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Lightweight, compact, and portable
    • ● Easy-to-read digital display
    • ● Extra-long power cord
    Cons
    • ● Need for cooling down after 8 minutes
    • ● Not suitable for heavy-duty applications

    Specifications 

    Weight (lbs) 1.9
    Dimensions (inches) 7.64 x 6.14 x 2.95
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 150
    Maximum Amp draw (Amps) 10
    Cord length (ft) 9.84

     

    General Description

    To prevent over inflation, this device shuts off automatically at a desired pressure. The set of the FORTEM portable air compressor includes an air Compressor, three nozzle attachments, an extra fuse, and a carrying case.

    4. EPAuto 12V Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    EPAuto 12V Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● auto shut off
    • ● overheat protection system
    • ● The capability of inflating tires and other inflatable items by changing the nozzle
    • ● Easy-to-read display
    • ● Compact
    Cons
    • ● Taking a while to raise the pressure levels
    • ● Not suitable for heavy-duty applications
    • ● Not suitable for truck tires

    Specifications

    Weight (lbs) 1
    Dimensions (inches) 13.5 x 8.1 x 5.6
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 70
    CFM 1.06
    Maximum Amp draw (Amps) 15
    Cord length (ft) 9
    Power source Connecting directly to the cigarette lighter socket of the car

     

    General Description

    There is a problem with the capacity of the EPAuto 12V Portable Air Compressor; It cannot support truck tires, such as light trucks and heavy-duty truck tires.

    The mechanism of auto-shutoff leads to over-inflation prevention when it reaches the desired pressure.

    5. VacLife Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    VacLife Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Inflating objects from a bicycle to a toy using Removable nozzles.
    • ● auto shut-off technology
    Cons
    • ● The need for regular cooling down in the case of inflating heavy-duty tire trucks

    Specifications

    Weight (lbs) 2.16
    Dimensions (inches) 9.72 x 6.5 x 3.82
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 150
    Power source Plug into the power outlet in car
    Cord length (ft) 11.5
    Warranty One-year limited

     

    General Description

    With a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, this strong inflator can meet your inflation needs in a variety of vehicles, from cars to RVs, making the tires filled with air. In addition, due to features such as lightness and portability, it can always be with you.

    6. Helteko Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    Helteko Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Auto shut-off
    • ● Including different nozzle types to be used for any purposes
    • ● Large LCD digital display
    • ● Compact design
    Cons
    • ● No adaptor wall socket
    • ● Not working as fast as most competitors

    Specifications

    Weight (lbs) 2.58
    Dimensions (inches) 10 x 6.5 x 4.33
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 150
    Cord length (ft) 11.5
    Warranty 1.5 years extended warranty

     

    General Description

    With a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, this strong inflator can meet your inflation needs in a variety of vehicles, from cars to RVs, making the tires filled with air. In addition, because of features such as lightness and portability, it can always be with you.

    This auto air compressor has sufficient power to inflate a mid-size tire of a car in 3 to 5 minutes.

    7. Kensun Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    Kensun Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● easy-to-read, bright, large, and classic pressure gauge
    • ● high quality and durable construction
    • ● super-fast and easy
    • ● Multi-purpose to inflate tires of bikes, cars, sedan, and even midsize SUV
    Cons
    • ● It has been reported by some users that this device smokes quickly.
    • ● Noise level bit high

    Specifications 

    Weight (lbs) 4.05
    Dimensions (inches) 11.8 x 4.3 x 6.7
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 120
    Maximum Amp draw (Amps) 10
    Cord length (ft) 9 (DC cord)
    Power source Dual solid metal motors
    Warranty Two years

     

    General Description

    Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor can switch with a 12V car cigarette lighter plug and 110V wall plug for a home outlet. So, this makes this inflator more beneficial because you can use it everywhere. This air tool can work for 30 minutes continuously at 35 PSI.

    8. HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Multi-purpose including cars, bicycles, motorcycles, Jeeps, SUVs, sports balls, and so on.
    • ● Fast inflation
    • ● Easy-to-set tire pressure gauge
    • ● bright LED flashlight
    • ● Auto shut-off
    Cons
    • ● No storage case
    • ● some bouncing around the unit due to lightweight
    • ● Slightly expensive

    Specifications 

    Weight (lbs) 1.8
    Dimensions (inches) 8 x 3.5 x 6.2
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 150
    Cord length (ft) 9.8
    Warranty Three years

     

    General Description

    HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor has a high power engine to deliver super-fast inflation at 35L/min. For example, it inflates a bicycle tire in 10 seconds and a basketball in 30 seconds. It can also inflate the 195/55/R15 car tire from 0 to 35 PSI in 5 minutes. This portable air compressor comes with three additional nozzles, suitable for connecting to front and rear wheels.

    This air tool does not support truck tires, such as light truck tires, heavy-duty truck tires, and any truck tires.

    9. Joyroom Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    Joyroom Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Easy to read tire pressure with a gauge
    • ● Three additional nozzles
    • ● Quick and powerful inflation
    • ● Emergency LED light
    • ● Auto shut-off
    • ● Portable and small
    Cons
    • ● Not much durable

    Specifications 

    Weight (lbs) 2.03
    Dimensions (inches) 8 x 3.5 x 6.2
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 150
    Cord length (ft) 10
    Power supply Cigarette lighter
    Warranty N/A

     

    General Description

    Joyroom Portable Air Compressor is compatible with cars, bicycles, motorcycles, some small trucks, Jeeps, SUVs, and so on. A digital readout makes it easy to view the tire pressure you are running. An auto shut-off enables users to define the desired pressure. So, there is no fear of overinflated tires.

    10. ANNSO Portable Air Compressor

    best 12v air compressor
    ANNSO Portable Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

    Pros & Cons

    Pros
    • ● Easy to use
    • ● Quick inflation
    • ● LED light
    • ● Auto shut-off
    • ● Portable and handy
    • ● Multiple-purpose
    • ● High quality
    Cons
    • ● Not applicable for truck tires

    Specifications 

    Weight (lbs) 1.9
    Dimensions (inches) 6.3 x 3.54 x 8.27
    Maximum air pressure (PSI) 150
    Maximum Amp draw (Amps) 10
    Cord length (ft) 10

     

    General Description

    The ANNSO Portable Air Compressor tire inflator with gauge is not suitable to inflate tires of light trucks, heavy trucks, and trucks. After working for ten minutes, it turns off for 10 minutes. It can inflate a tire at the rate of 35 L/min within 3 minutes or less. It provides easier and more convenient inflation of tires under an emergent situation. Entire metal cylinder structure and premium materials ensure long service life.

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