HomeCompressorThe 10 Best Air Compressor for Home Garage in 2021

The 10 Best Air Compressor for Home Garage in 2021

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To choose the best air compressor for home garage a complete guide will be presented in this article. An air compressor is a device that creates a high-pressure region for storing compressed air. Then, at the user’s command, this compressed air is released. It operates similar to a reverse vacuum or maybe a leaf blower, except with many device attachments. These devices control the power of the compressed air and utilize it to do some useful works as follows:

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  • Blowing leaves and dirt out of the garage.
  • Removing wood dust after sanding or before painting furniture.
  • Nailing small nails, brads, and staples into a position.
  • Filling car, bike, and wheelbarrow tires.
  • Sanding or grinding using a pneumatic tool, such as a pneumatic palm sander.
  • Employing grease via a grease gun.
  • Painting with the use of a spray gun.
  • Driving bolts by an impact wrench.

Air Compressors Attachments

Air compressors without attachments (tools) are useless. Some common attachments are as follows:

  • Blow gun (to blow high force air from the compressor)
  • Blow gun with extension
  • Nail Gun
  • Dual-head air chuck inflator in Schrader valves (to fill a tire of bike or car)
  • Angle Grinder
  • Palm Sander
  • Paint Sprayer
  • Impact Wrench
  • Grease Gun
  • Ratchet
  • Air Hammer

The simplest accessory is a blow gun that simply discharges the compressed air. A blow gun may also have its own attachments, like a rubber tip to get under surfaces or a valve to fill a basketball. These attachments are usually sold in kits. Such kits are available in some air compressors but are not found with base-level models or professional ones.

Air compressors can run power tools, such as an air hammer, brad nailer, impact driver, and reversible drill. However, tools such as impact drivers and grinders are usually limited to larger and more powerful air compressors. Thus, you are not able to drive them efficiently with a regular 6-gallon home compressor.

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Air Compressor Parts

A typical setup, such as on the Porter-Cable air compressor model, has just a few components you should know about.

Tank Pressure Gauge 

This component shows the air pressure inside the tank.

Regulated Pressure Gauge 

It indicates the pressure delivered out to the hose, which is less than the air tank pressure.

Regulator 

This is a knob that reduces the pressure from the tank to the hose.

On/Off Switch 

This is a component to turn the compressor on or off.

Safety Valve 

When the internal pressure is too high, this valve opens. It can also be pulled to remove the air pressure from your tank. When a tank is not in use, it should not be left under pressure.

Air Hose Exit 

This part is a quick connector where the hose can be connected.

Drain Valve 

The drain valve is located at the bottom of the air compressor. The tank keeps the air at high pressure, which makes water condense inside. This water is not desired to be gathered at the bottom of the tank, and it needs to be drained occasionally. So the drain valve is applied for this purpose.

Compressor Designs 

There are three main compressor designs. The most common is the piston-powered compressor. There are cylinders with reciprocating pistons in a piston-powered unit to squeeze the air and send it to the tank.

The other two compressor designs are rotary-screw and scroll compressor units which are not found on the home garage compressors.

Buying Guide for the Best Air Compressor for Home Garage

Air compressor buyers usually purchase them because of a specific aim, such as the need for a nail gun due to an upcoming project or to outfit a garage workshop.

The normal purchase that would make sense includes the following items:

  • Air compressor with a pancake style
  • Air compressor with an oil-free design
  • Air compressor with the capacity of at least 5-gallon
  • Air compressor with a maximum air pressure over 120 psi

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing the right compressor:

Power Supply 

There are two choices for an air compressor power supply. The most usual power source is an electric motor driving a separate compressor unit. Mostly, electric compressors for home garage work on 115-volt and 20-amp current. Electric air compressors are common in home garage applications because of the convenience, cleanliness, and quieter performance.

Another alternative for energy sources is gas-powered engines that are suitable options for portable air compressors where the power grid is not available. However, these air compressors are not the best solution for home garage uses. They are noisier and not as clean as electric air compressors. In addition, the exhaust fumes need ventilation to prevent health dangers due to use in an enclosed space.

Air Capacity 

Air capacity means the air volume the compressor can produce, store and refill within a specified period of time. Both air volume and air pressure determine the air capacity of the compressor.

Air volume refers to the volume of compressed air your compressor can provide and store in the tank. Manufacturers measure this parameter in cubic feet per minute (CFM) that is the volume of atmospheric air compressed and released within one minute.

Air pressure is the measure of air squeezed into the reservoir tank of the compressor. This factor is measured in PSI. While CFM determines how long the compressor can drive tools, PSI indicates how much power the compressor generates. Therefore, air tools for proper performance are highly dependent on specific values of PSI.

When buying an air compressor, the simple work is to look for the compressor capacity (in gallons or liters). Then, it can be purchased if it meets your needs. But do not miss checking out the Standard CFM (or SCFM). The SCFM is a measure of air flow from the compressor. A home air compressor typically needs 2-5 SCFM, but this varies greatly depending on what you plan to do.

For a brad nailer, very little SCFM (around 0.2 SCFM) is needed. But, for a persistent tool such as a die grinder, a lot (about 7 SCFM) is required. In the middle range, there are nibblers, impact drivers, and drill tools.

Horsepower 

When you buy an air compressor, you always see a horsepower rating on each unit. The power source must be sufficient to run the compressor unit. But you do not have to worry too much about it. Rest assured that manufacturers like Makita, Campbell-Hausfeld, and Hitachi control their horsepower to suit the compressors CFM, PSI, and capacity. Do not start choosing an air compressor by the horsepower rating. Instead, pay attention to the pressure and air capacity because the compressor manufacturers provide the proper power rating.

Other Considerations

Other considerations include the size, warranty, accessories, noise level, and price. Of course, the price varies greatly depending on the accessories. For example, the price of a well-kitted compressor may be twice as much as a barebones one. Another possible factor could be weight.

Many buyers prefer an oil-free design because of the cleaner air production and fewer emissions when operating. Oil-free design is also mandatory for employment in some professional contexts, especially those indoors. In general, oil-free is the way to use at homes or by light-duty users.

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Top Air Compressor for Home Garage Reviews 

Hereinafter, the best air compressors for home garage applications will be listed along with their specifications, advantages, and disadvantages.

1. Craftsman Pancake Air Compressor – 6 Gallon

Best air compressor for home garage
Craftsman Pancake Air Compressor – 6 Gallon (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Attractive and Long-lasting design
  • ● Portable and easy to carry
  • ● Super 150 PSI rated pressure
  • ● Low noise production
  • ● Longer lasting of oil-free pumps
  • ● Rapid recovery time
Cons
  • ● Not suitable for large garages

Specifications

Maximum pressure 150 PSI (Typical unit load pressure: 90 PSI)
Compressor capacity 6 gallons
SCFM 2.6 at 90 PSI
Weight 32.5 lbs
Dimensions 16.5 x 16.5 x 17.88 inches
Oil-free design Yes

 

General Description

So far, Craftsman Pancake is the best air compressor for a home garage. Its name is due to its style. The rated pressure of the air flowing out of the compressor is standard to meet most of the home garage needs. Thus it is perfect for a home garage. This is a flawless portable compressor. The unit is manufactured in the USA and is well known.

Using this compressor, the user has the possibility to energize almost any object in the garage. It controls air drills, ratchets, impacts wrenches, and many more easily.

The color and appearance of the unit are attractive. Inspired by this unit, some other reputable brands such as DEWALT and PORTER-CABLE are generating similar-looking compressors.

2. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor – 6 Gallon

Best air compressor for home garage
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Pancake style
  • ● Portable and lightweight
  • ● Easy to apply and move
  • ● Available to use of two users at the same time
  • ● Oil-free pump
Cons
  • ● A little noisy
  • ● Leakage of the water drain valve

 Specifications 

Maximum pressure 150 PSI
Compressor capacity 6 gallons
SCFM 2.6 at 90 PSI
Weight 34 lbs
Dimensions 19 x 19 x 18 inches
Horsepower 1
Oil-free design Yes

 

General Description

This unit has the quality and ability to become our top choice. There is not much difference between the two described compressors in terms of quality and performance. There are even some areas where it can defeat the Craftsman compressor.

This compressor comes with a Low-volt motor for simple cold weather starts. Also, it has two regulated air couplers to be used by two users simultaneously.

The C2002 is famous for its stability in pressure production. To add solid support to decrease vulnerability and unnecessary noise, a water drain valve with rubber feet is provided.

This portable compressor has a shroud handle and console cover, which guard the critical parts of the compressor. In addition, it has a low-ampere robust motor. The motor turns on easily regardless of the weather conditions.

3. DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Cordless Air Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Cordless Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Rubber tap the vibration
  • ● high air pressure supply
  • ● Compact and versatile
  • ● Self-regulating features
  • ● 1x fast charger
Cons
  • ● It takes a while to fill up.
  • ● It requires a low battery alarm.

Specifications 

Maximum pressure 135 PSI
Compressor capacity 2.5 gallons
SCFM 1.2 at 90 PSI
Weight 21.5 lbs
Dimensions 19 x 19 x 18 inches
Oil-free design No (little-oil compressor)

 

General Description

DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Air Compressor is able to fire off up to 1220 nails per charge with the use of a DCB606 flex volt battery. Thus, it works without using a power source. The roll case and thick rubber tabs protect the gauges, switch, and battery from damage. In addition, you do not need to worry about safety; it has all the defense tools with it.

You can regulate its pressure rapidly by turning the one-turn regulator knob. It allows you to alter the PSI without waiting for a regulator pressure gauge because it adjusts itself. The 2.5-gallon tank allows being filled for several minutes. So, it seems to take longer than the other compressors because the small pump has to withstand enormous air pressure. Due to its speed-maintaining features, this can operate well in a variety of home garage finish applications.

For this little oil-less compressor, the 79 dB of noise can be considered quiet, but it seems to be loud when used indoors.

4. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Much less heat generation
  • ● less current to start and low maintenance
  • ● Rapid flow rate
  • ● Pretty less noise
  • ● One-year warranty
Cons
  • ● Heavy, but equipped with wheels
  • ● Only maximum pressure of 125 PSI

Specifications 

Maximum pressure 125 PSI
Compressor capacity 10 gallons
SCFM 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
Weight 82.5 lbs
Dimensions 16 x 15.1 x 35.9 inches
Horsepower 2 (with Low amp draw – 7.0 Amps)
Oil-free design Yes

 

General Description

With this air compressor, you can supply devices like air drills, air impact wrench, and air ratchets even without frequent interruptions because of offering a larger air volume with a 10-gallon tank. Although it has a large stainless still tank, its wheels make it easy to transport. It can be filled up in less than 130 seconds.

The level of noise is only 70 dB; so, it is categorized as an ultra-quiet air machine.

Its maximum continuous running is 30-60 minutes. This machine is designed so that the duty cycle is increased for durability. So, it can be used for up to 3000 hours without the need for repair.

Another remarkable feature is its efficient starting, with easy connection to a 15 amp outlet. It would draw only a few amps to start for an excellent running.

5. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Easy to transport
  • ● More lifespan than average
  • ● Drawing few amps
  • ● The ability to check oil level and color through slight glass
  • ● Less vibration due to round rubber feet
Cons
  • ● Noisy
  • ● Relatively heavy

Specifications 

Maximum pressure 140 PSI
Compressor capacity 5.2 gallons
SCFM 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI
Weight 75 lbs
Dimensions 29 x 19.5 x 19 inches
Horsepower 3.0 HP producing 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI
Oil-free design No (Oil-lubricated pump for cooling)

 

General Description

If mobility is the first buyer’s priority, they should consider this powerful air compressor with its compact design as the first choice. This option is provided to the machine due to the wheel kit and folded handle. Cast iron cylinder helps wear reduction, pump life increasing, and easy maintenance. It produces noises as loud as 90 dB.

It is possible to find other air tools at lower costs with a motor containing aluminum or thin copper wire. In the case of the Makita MAC5200, thick copper wire provides supreme performance and extended durability. However, it generates less heat for the same reason. The filling time is less than two minutes.

Due to the oil lubricant feature, this air machine compresses the air more efficiently, and the machine is kept cool. This air compressor seems noisy. But it may be acceptable while comparing with other tools with the same features.

6. California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Light weight
  • ● Easy transportation
  • ● Cost-effective
  • ● Low maintenance costs
  • ● Ultra-quiet
  • ● Oil-free piston system
Cons
  • ● Not appropriate for heavy duties
  • ● No portability without wheels (although it is light weighted.)

Specifications (Heading 4)

Maximum pressure 120 PSI
Compressor capacity 2 gallons
SCFM 3.1 CFM at 40 PSI and 2.2 CFM at 90 PSI
Weight 35 lbs
Dimensions 29 x 19.5 x 19 inches
Horsepower 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) and 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
Oil-free design Yes

 

General Description

The California Air tank model is one of the most durable and quiet compressors available in the industry (producing 60 dB noises). This is equipped with a 1 HP motor operating only at 1680 RPM. Due to its overall output, it may be considered as one of the high-performance portable air compressors.

It draws only 8.5 amps working at 110 volts and 60 Hz. This is the strength of this compressor in terms of power-saving. It includes a thermal overload protector, a longer duty cycle, and a longer life cycle more than 3000 hours before wear.

It takes 50 seconds to be filled up from 0 to 120 PSI.

This air machine has an impressive wheels kit along with two handles. In addition, it is provided with some handy accessories, including two pressure control gauges as well as one universal 1/4 inches quick connector.

7. BOSTITCH CAP1512 Light-Duty Air Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
BOSTITCH CAP1512 Light-Duty Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● No vibration
  • ● Equipped with LED on/off indicator
  • ● Universal quick-connect body
  • ● Leigh weight
  • ● easy maintenance
  • ● It comes with tool storage sections
Cons
  • ● Not suitable for heavy-duty works.
  • ● Noisy to some users

Specifications

Maximum pressure 150 PSI
Compressor capacity 1.2 gallons
SCFM 2.8 SCFM at 90 PSI
Weight 23.5 lbs
Dimensions 17 x 13 x 11 inches
Horsepower 1.5 HP (running) and 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
Oil-free design Yes

 

General Description

Although BOSTITCH CAP1512 is a small air compressor, it can reach a large amount of air pressure up to 150 PSI. To connect operation, it provides the one-hand push easily. Moreover, you can utilize two power accessories at the same time. The noise level is 89 dB.

You can place it in a 1.5 square foot area. This is much less than other horizontally designed air machines. Also, due to its only 23.5 lbs weight, it would be easy to pick up and carry. There is a thermal protector to avoid overheating by shutting the motor off whenever it is going to overheat. Then it restarts automatically when it cools down. Moreover, the rigid roll cage provides more protection for the machine.

The duty cycle is 50%, meaning that after working 30 minutes continuously, you must leave it for 30 minutes to cool down. It needs 50 seconds or less to be filled.

It provides a one-year limited warranty.

8. Campbell Hausfeld Quiet 8 Gallon Air Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
Campbell Hausfeld Quiet 8 Gallon Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Versatile air compressor
  • ● Providing 17 accessories and 25 feet hose
  • ● Relatively quiet
  • ● Easy transportation and maintenance
  • ● Mid-range price
Cons
  • ● Lower maximum pressure

Specifications 

Maximum pressure 125 PSI
Compressor capacity 8 gallons
SCFM 2.4 CFM at 90 PSI
Weight 67 lbs
Dimensions 11 x 23 x 26 inches
Horsepower 1
Oil-free design Yes

 

General Description

Due to the low 68 dB sound output, Campbell Hausfeld Quiet 8 Gallon Air Compressor is a 50% quieter air tool compared with other compressors. It produces 25% more air than other types of 8-gallon air tanks. Additionally, the induction motor gives up to a ten-time, more extended service.

Although the maximum PSI is relatively low, the versatile utilization and accessible maintenance services of the machine are well worth it.

The machine has big wheels for mobility that suits its shape. In addition, the durable, rubber-grip steel handle facilitates unit transport from project to project.

It comes with a one-year limited warranty.

9. Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Portable Twin Stack Air Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9 Portable Twin Stack Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● 100% duty cycle
  • ● High quality construction
  • ● Smooth power delivery
  • ● Portable and versatile
Cons
  • ● Relatively weighted
  • ● Without wheels

Specifications

Maximum pressure 135 PSI
Compressor capacity 4 gallons
SCFM 4.3 CFM at 90 PSI
Weight 77 lbs
Dimensions 19 x 19 x 17 inches
Horsepower 1
Oil-free design No (oil-lubricated)

 

General Description

Twin-Stack P1IU-A9 2 HP 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor can work all day long without difficulty. It has a 100% duty cycle that is not found on other compressors at this rate. You may power two air tools at the same time with its two universal couplers. Furthermore, the device comes with a user-friendly front panel along with an external regulator dial.

The two electric motors are oil lubricated. Thus, it requires some slide maintenance. However, this is the reason why it guarantees durability and smooth performance.

79 dB noise seems to be tolerable, but it is suitable in a home environment.

It is offered in the market with a one-year warranty.

10. Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Air Compressor

Best air compressor for home garage
Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Air Compressor (Reference: amazon.com)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ● Including 10 ounces of oil
  • ● Easy to read control panel
  • ● 100% duty cycle
  • ● Dual outlets for multiple user comfort
  • ● Overload protection to increase motor life
Cons
  • ● Noisy for indoor applications
  • ● Too heavy (but this problem is somewhat solved with the wheels)

Specifications 

Maximum pressure 135 PSI
Compressor capacity 5.3 gallons
SCFM 6.5 CFM at 90 psi
Weight 135 lbs
Dimensions 19 x 19 x 37 inches
Horsepower 2.5
Oil-free design No (Splash Lubrication to ensure long pump life)

 

General Description

Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Air Compressor has the maximum outstanding characteristics to run all your massive tasks with high power performance. An exceptional feature of this compact air tool is its foldable handle. Combined with the large heavy-duty wheels, this gives the compressor easy mobility. However, this is one of the most massive compressors among the others.

This machine draws only 13.8 amps regulated to a regular 15 amp breaker even with this heavy operation.

Ball bearings with the motor reduce friction while the machine operates at high speed. Additionally, this compressor enables you to run it in any outdoor application to have a corrosion-resistant coating.

The time needed for filling the compressor is less than two minutes. It creates 89 dB noise.

Another protective specification is the automatic pressure overload protection to extend motor life.

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