If you’re looking for a machine that can ease your work, a garage air compressor is probably one of the best. An air compressor can be used with different air tools that are designed for specific jobs. It is the machine that uses air pressure to convert power into potential energy for operating various tools. Some can be used with spray paint guns, nail guns, ratchets, air hammers, staple guns, and so much more. Thus, it’s really a handy machine that you can easily whisk away from your garage whenever you need it. It will not help you finish your work in record time but also with a professional look.

8 Best Garage Air Compressor Reviews 2019

#1. Porter-Cable C2002 (Editors Choice)

Leading as the Editor’s Choice, this Porter-Cable air compressor is built with a pancake style tank. This design allows it to be stable and handier with a water drain valve and rubber feet. Its higher pressure allows its air tool to perform efficiently for longer run time. It has an oil-free pump that prevents its oil from mixing into the compressed air inside. Thus, you can use it for years without spending too much time on its maintenance. Most importantly, it packs a lot of air and power then recovers with 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI.best garage air compressor

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 30 pounds with 19 x 19 x 18 inches full product dimension
  • Pancake style tank with a water drain valve and rubber feet that give it stability
  • 6 gallon tank capacity makes it perfect for filling vehicle tires
  • 150 PSI max tank pressure allows its tools to run longer by storing more air in the tank
  • 6 SCFM at 90 PSI allows the compressor to recover quickly per ISO1217
  • Low Amp 8HP, 120V motor starts right away with an extension cord even in cold weather
  • 82 dBA oil-free pump requires no maintenance to last for years

When it comes to portability and user-friendliness, this air compressor that selected as our Editor’s Choice is a winner. It has the perfect weight and size that can easily take the job of filing vehicles’. It is also built with automatic thermal overload protection which helps it run efficiently even in cold weather. Another thing that we like about this is its replaceable brushes and included extension cord for ease of use.

Pros:

  • A shroud handle and console cover protects its vital components
  • Hassle-free to maintain and includes a cord wrap for an easy storage
  • Connects quickly with just 2 couplers
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around for transportation
  • Supports two users with two regulated factory installed air couplers

Cons:

  • Creates too much noise when operating which is harmful to your hearing
  • The pop-off safety valve can go fail sooner than its other parts over time

#2. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC (Best Twin Tank Garage Air Compressor)

People say that two is better than one and this fits as the Best Twin Tank Garage Air Compressor. This air compressor is built with twin tanks that are made from aluminum to ensure its durability. It is built with a user-friendly start valve that allows it to start up with less consumption of Amps. Its start valve also produces a “no-load” condition that allows its motor to spin easily. This condition makes it handy and easy to use in cold temperatures. Most importantly, it works more quietly with cleaner air that operates its tools better.

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 64 pounds with 19.1 x 16.7 x 19.7 inches full product dimension
  • Twin aluminum air tank serves as an ideal machine with durable construction
  • 6 gallon tank capacity makes it more convenient for personal and commercial use
  • 125 PSI max tank pressure allows its tools to run longer by storing more air
  • 40 SCFM at 40 PSI – 5.30 SCFM at 90 PSI allows the compressor to recover quickly at 1760 RPM
  • Draws only 14 Amps with a 2.0HP, 110V/60Hz powerful motor
  • 70 dBA oil-free pump requires less maintenance cost

As our Best Twin Tank Garage Air Compressor, it is ultra-quiet which makes it comfortable to use for long hours. It is designed with a thermal overload protector that helps it function efficiently even in cold weather. We are also satisfied with its fast speed to fill up its empty tanks in just 60 seconds.

Pros:

  • Takes 60 seconds only to fill its empty tank
  • Produces less heat which dispels faster
  • Easy to transport with two quick-connect outlets
  • Operates with an increased duty cycle and continuous run times
  • Creates less noise and less wear over time at only 1680 RPM

Cons:

  • Poor internal packaging lacks enough cushioning that cause damage to its powder coating
  • Some arrive with loose bolts in frame’s main mounts

#3. Dewalt DWFP55126 ( Runner Up)

Get ahead of the game by utilizing this Runner Up air compressor at an affordable price. It is built with a rerouted outlet tube that prevents it from being caught point. Its 6 gallon tank capacity also makes it handy with nail guns, tire inflators, staple guns, and more. Even though its size is not enough to finish huge projects, it makes a perfect garage air compressor. Its motor is easy to start up and allows a longer run time as well as a fast recovery. Most importantly, it performs efficiently with a high-flow regulator.

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 30 pounds with 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches full product dimension
  • 165 max PSI tank pressure enables its tool to have a long run time
  • 6 gallon pancake style makes it convenient for personal use
  • 6 SCFM at 90 PSI – 3.7 SCFM at 40 PSI allows its pump to recover faster
  • 5 dBA oil-free pump requires a maintenance-free operation to ensure its long life
  • Universal motor powers it with 120V and 60Hz with 10 Amps
  • 2 universal couplers help it to support two users at the same time

Coming from a well-known brand, this air compressor really deserves to be Runner Up in this list. Even though it is far from being a quiet machine, it does a great job on being versatile and efficient. We can move it to different locations without marring the floor and its legs thanks to its rubber leg covers. We also recommend it since it’s lightweight.

Pros:

  • Easier to store and transfer to different working areas with a handy cord wrap
  • Performs better using its high-flow regulator
  • Prevents marring is legs with a protective rubber leg covers
  • Drains the tank fast and thoroughly

Cons:

  • The tank is too small to be utilized for big projects and commercial use
  • Undersized ball bearings inside the fitting causes leaks

#4. WEN 2287

Run by a 120V, 60Hz powerful motor with a steel tank, this air compressor works like a pro. With 125 max pressure, you can use it with different tools from sawdust blowers to nail guns. It also has a built-in handle, wheels and a rubber covered leg which makes it easier to be moved around.

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 57.3 pounds with 23.6 x 13.8 x 22.8 inches product dimension
  • 6 gallon hot-dog style tank with 95 PSIG cut-in and 125 PSIG cut-out pressure
  • 125 PSI max tank pressure allows longer tool run time
  • 2 SCFM at 90 PSI – 4.2 SCFM at 40 PSI allows it to recover fast

Pros:

  • Perfect for DIY and small tasks
  • Allows easy transportation with its built-in handle and wheels
  • Draws less energy but does 50% better duty cycle
  • Requires less maintenance with its oil-lubricated motor

Cons:

  • The check valve cap can break sooner
  • Produces a loud noise
  • Slow refill and recovery time compared with other compressors

#5. Bostitch BTFP02012 (Budget Pick)

If you are looking for the most affordable air compressor that you can buy on the market, check this out. This is a great Budget Pick that we recommend if you are in search of a quality product without breaking the bank. It’s oil-free and uses high flow regulator that guarantees its efficiency.

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 29 pounds with 17 x 17 x 19.2 inches product dimension
  • Max 150 PSI 6.0-gallon tank and 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI pump allows its tool to run longer with fast recovery
  • 5 dBA produces operational work level with 2 universal couplers
  • Electric pancake compressor operates with an oil-free pump

Pros:

  • Capable of supporting 2 users at the same time
  • Uses a high flow regulator and couplers to boost its performance
  • Easy to start up in cold weather or with extension cord application

Cons:

  • Some find its produced noise level as too loud and disturbing in the working environment
  • The tank takes longer to fill

#6. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore

If you want a bigger air compressor that is designed for bigger tasks, this might be the one you need. It is built with a cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston that allows a faster recovery time. It compresses more air on every stroke that also results in increased efficiency and lower RPM.

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 77 pounds with 20 x 18 x 18.8 inches product dimension
  • 6 gallon twin tank produces a max pressure of 130 PSI
  • 5 HP 4-Pole motor produces 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI guarantees productivity
  • Runs at 1,730 RPM that produces 79 dBA
  • Oil-lubricated pump reduces its heat and wear

Pros:

  • Delivers industrial level power
  • Draws low Amp which reduces the tripped breakers’ rates when starting it up
  • Designed to withstand extreme working environments
  • Reduces water in the tank and increases heat dissipation

Cons:

  • Its entire construction is too bulky which is not ideal in small a room
  • Very expensive compared with other compressors

California Air Tools CAT-10020

This air compressor from California Air Tools has one of the most powerful motors with 2HP. It operates at 1680 RPM only which allows it to get the job done without making a harmful noise. Its design also allows it to run longer with increased duty cycle and productivity.

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 82.5 pounds with 17 x 16 x 33 inches product dimension
  • 10 gallon steel tank with a wheel kit for easy transportation
  • 70 dBA, Oil-free pump with condor pressure switch allows a hassle-free operation
  • Draws 14 Amp to run with up to 125 PSI max pressure using 110V, 60Hz motor

Pros:

  • Requires less maintenance
  • Takes only 25 seconds to recover and 120 seconds to be filled
  • Includes a complete wheel kit and two air filters
  • Produce less heat which dispels easily

Cons:

  • Starting it up creates a loud hissing sound for the first 20 seconds
  • Expensive and requires tilting to drain it thoroughly

California Air Tools CAT-5510A (Best Quiet Garage Air Compressor)

As the Best Quiet Garage Air Compressor, it operates at 1680 RPM only which creates 60 decibels. Thus, it’s perfect for any working environment especially with its oil-free pump that produces cleaner air to improve tool operations. It uses a powerful and energy-efficient 1HP motor that draws low Amp.

Features and Specifications:

  • Weighs 37.5 pounds with 25.5 x 11.5 x 21 inches product dimension
  • 60 dBA oil-free pump requires less maintenance
  • Uses two pressure control gauges for efficiency
  • 5 gallon aluminum tank with a wheel kit for easy transportation
  • Draws 8.5 Amp to run with up to 120 PSI max pressure using 110V, 60Hz motor

Pros:

  • Includes a complete wheel kit and air filter
  • Lightweight and hassle-free to move around
  • Produces less heat that dispels easily
  • Takes 40 seconds to recover and 120 seconds to be filled

Cons:

  • Requires extra muscle power to push hard when attaching its hose with male quick connect
  • The wheels arent designed for heavy-use

Types of Air Compressors

Before you underestimate the power of air compressors, take note that it is not only used in painting jobs. An air compressor can be used in other industries as well and be used in constructions, and welding. Depending on its type, it can also be used in automobile plants and even in ships. But to know the difference between each type and to find the best garage air compressor for your needs, read on:

  • Reciprocating Air Compressor

This type of air compressor is a positive displacement machine which is quite common in the industry. As a kind of machine with positive displacement, it increases the air pressure by reducing the volume it releases. The air compressor takes in a huge volume of air that is kept inside a tightly closed container. This way, the air inside the container elevates into a higher pressure. This air compressor uses a piston inside a cylinder which serves as the element that compresses and displaces air.

  • Rotary Air Compressor

This type of compressor is another kind of positive displacement machine. However, it is not designed with a reciprocating function which is why it does not have any crankshaft and piston. Instead, this type of air compressor has vanes, screws, and scrolls together with other rotating devices that compress the air. Thus, the rotary air compressor is also divided into different kinds: the vane-lobe, screw, and scroll.

  • Centrifugal Air compressor

Compared with the previous types above, this air compressor is a kind of dynamic machine. This means that it depends on the amount of energy that a rotating impeller transfers into the air.  A centrifugal air compressor also produces high-pressure of discharge by altering its angular momentum transferred by the rotating impeller. This air compressor executes this process by rotating at a higher speed which is faster than other types.

It is also designed for higher capacity because it allows a continuous airflow through the compressor. However, its inlet guide vanes can be adjusted or closed to control its capacity.

  • Axial Air Compressor

This air compressor has a similarity with the centrifugal air compressor since they are both dynamic machines. However, its airflow is axial since its blades are attached to the hub of the compressor and in turn to the shaft. This means that the compressor sucks in the ambient air to compress and direct it axially for other purposes. An axial air compressor is also called an axial flow fan which is typically used for domestic purposes.

Buying Guide of Garage Air Compressor

Before you buy an air compressor, be sure to consider first that there are a lot more to consider. Whether you like or not, you have to be critical when it comes to finding the best garage air compressor. But unlike other compressors that have a wide range of use, a garage air compressor is commonly smaller. Thus, it is commonly used for personal use to take up small to medium tasks. But depending on the task, others also use it for commercial use.

So, these are the things to consider when buying the best garage air compressor:

  • Types of Air Compressor

Still can’t decide on the kind of air compressor that fits the job you need? In that case then head back to the previous topic above and analyze which type really suits your purpose. Identifying the right type of air compressor is not that hard if you already examined and tried each personally. This way, you can have a better idea of how each type really works through hands-on experience. It’s also best to seek assistance from a highly trained employee once you started looking around.

  • Power Supply

Almost all garage air compressors nowadays are powered by electricity so it’s best to check its power supply. Compared with the old models that are powered by gasoline, electric-powered air compressors are more convenient to use. This is because they require less maintenance and attention to stay in a good shape. Electric air compressors also produce less noise which is a plus point if too much noise distracts you.

  • Air Tools

Aside from the machine itself you also need to consider the powering tools that you have to use. Considering these tools will help you determine where you can use it in case of emergency. Depending on your needs, you can stock up your garage with ratchets, impact wrenches, and rotary tools/grinders. Furthermore, you can also use it with air hammers/chisels, nail and staple guns, and paint sprayers.

Depending on the air tool you need to use, there are also required air volume and pressure to operate it. Make sure that the air tool and air compressor you want to use matches or else it will not function. For safety, get the 50% of the required CFM then add them up to get the total CFM you need. Then, check its required PSI and find an air compressor machine that matches its PSI and CFM.

  • Features and Specifications

When it comes to purchasing products, these two are often the first things that customers check. After all, this also includes the required CFM and PSI of the best garage air compressor. Its features and specifications can also help you determine the right model to handle the job. For instance, a belt-driven air compressor system allows the machine to operate quietly than a direct-driven compressor system.

The product’s features should also include the exact type of air hose that meets the air compressor’s requirement. At the same time, the specification includes its HP, CFM, SCFM, and PSI.

Conclusion

An air compressor can be used for different purposes depending on the tools you match it. You can use on paint sprayers, air hammers, nail and staple guns, and so much more. Depending on the kind of job you want to work on, you may also need to consider the tool requirements. Meeting the tool requirements will help you make sure that your tool and air compressor can work on harmony. It also makes shopping so much easier since you already have a guide on what you need to buy. In case you missed something, feel free to go back to the previous topics.

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