Are you in need of an ordinary home air compressor? Just for those little tasks like inflating tires, basketballs or maybe to do some air cleaning, but you don’t know how to choose from of all those machines out there? Or do you need to provide your much more demanding air tools with some decent pneumatic power? Here at Compressure.com, we compare and deliver the best air compressor reviews so you can select the perfect air compressor for your needs.
Even if you don’t know have any knowledge about air compressors at all, we will help you with an extended buying guide below. This way you don’t have to struggle with all those vague terms mentioned in the air compressor reviews, like SCFM or PSI. We provide you also with a list of extra equipment you might need, so that you are well-prepared to acquire and use your new machine in a proper and effective way.
We divided the air compressor reviews and comparisons intro three categories:
For the people who instantly want to know which air compressor you should buy without the hassle of having to compare a lot, we made a selection of the best air compressors in every category here below:
Best Air Compressor for under $100
|PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor|
2.0 SCFM @ 90 PSI
Best Air Compressor for over $100
|California Air Tools CAT-6310 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 6.3-Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor|
Best Tire Inflator
|Kensun YS-205 (Home 110V)/ DC (12V Car) Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator|
Both 12V DC (car) and 120V AC
If you are already have the know-how, then you can go straight to the air compressor reviews. However, if you want to have a better understanding of how to select the best air compressor for your specific needs, the guide below will help you.
How to select the perfect air compressor:
If you want to buy an air compressor, you need to consider many important aspects first before you make your purchase. If you want your new air compressor to provide you with the performance you require and be happy with it, it’s important to look at the features, parts and specs of various models. To make it easier for you, we already put all these specs, parts and features in the air compressor reviews.
How Air Compressors Work
Piston-type, single-stage air compressors are probably the most common types used in residential homes and offer a diverse range of applications for the home and/or workshop. A gasoline engine or electric motor drives a piston that forces air into the compressor’s storage tank. The air pressure keeps rising as the piston continues forcing more air in. The compressor will shut off when the pressure reaches a certain level. As the air is utilized to power a tool, the cycle repeats and the compressor rebuilds the air pressure again. Two-stage compressors contain two pistons. The first one compresses the air and then sends it through a check valve and onto the second piston that works to further compress it and then delivers it to the storage tank. These types of compressors are generally commercial, heavy-duty models that are made to deliver a significant amount of air pressure (generally) measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). They’re an ideal choice for powering many tools at once or if continuous use is necessary in workshops. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know before you make your purchase. It is wise to understand all these specifications, as they will all be mentioned in the portable air compressor reviews.
Electric vs. Gas Powered
Electric air compressors are extremely convenient for workshop use, and the good ones are durable and reliable. However, some households can’t handle them in terms of the electricity usage and will have difficulties in accommodating the amperage of even a big 110v compressor. Therefore, a 220v or higher-voltage model may be necessary to do some heavy-duty electrical work, so expect to have a high voltage supply if you intend doing heavy-duty jobs.
Gas powered air compressors can be quite handy, powerful, and reliable as well. Also, you’re not tethered to an electrical outlet. However, a gas powered air compressor is usually very expensive and also needs to be vented in a closed-in area. These kind of compressors are generally used for remote places, like in the woods or deserts.
Unless your home electrical system can’t accommodate it or you find a good deal on a gas model, an electric air compressor works better for a home garage.
It should be noted though, that there are electric air compressors (also simply called inflators) that have a 12V DC input. Especially made for your using it in with your car output, makes them ideal for inflating your tires, even if you are in the middle of nowhere. We have portable air compressor reviews for these tire inflators here.
Oiled vs. Oil-Free
An oil-free compressor (frequently called Maintenance-Free) is created for individuals with little knowledge about machinery, parts and tools in general and don’t have the time or interest to learn more. Basically, its only advantage is that it will probably outlive an oiled air compressor model that someone unfortunately neglected. If properly maintained, the oiled model will usually last longer and is more reliable as well as quieter overall. These benefits are even greater if you intend to use a high-grade synthetic type pump oil and you also won’t need to change the oil as much. No air compressor is ever really maintenance-free.In some portable air compressor reviews, however, people have reported that some oil-free compressors can last for a very long time. But yet, you almost always must need to drain any excess water out of the tank every so often (air contains traces of water). If you want only the best, buy an oiled air compressor model rather than the oil-free version.
For more information and oil-free air compressor reviews, click here.
Other Features to Consider
One of the most important things to consider when buying an air compressor is the airflow pressure. This is commonly measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). You can handle any problem that comes your way as long as you buy a compressor that supplies 150 or even just 125 PSI is fine. However, if you intend in using your compressor for light work, like inflating your tires, 40 PSI will do the job.
The amount of airflow by the compressor is generally measured in SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute). This is nothing more than a metric of airflow in standardised conditions. That is why this metric is used in almost all the air compressor reviews to compare the delivered airflow. Note that this specification is always dependent of the airflow pressure. Furthermore, this is an important specification if you are planning to use air tools. If you intend to use air tools including an air ratchet or half-inch impact wrench, then you’ll definitely require 6.0 SCFM@90 PSI. Note that if you’re using an air impact hammer consistently it may not be enough. Other key tools like paint sprayers work at an average of 4 SCFM@90 PSI . In fact, it’s the most important feature to consider if you want a compressor that can give you the performance you require. You won’t need as much SCFM if you’re just pumping up the occasional tire.
As long as you’re getting enough airflow for what you need, the horsepower of the air compressor model is basically irrelevant, consequently in some air compressor reviews you won’t find the produced power. Around 1HP should ideally be enough if the airflow can accommodate your requirements.
• Tank Size:
For any home auto mechanics that use air tools on a regular basis, a bigger tank size is better. For the majority of home mechanics, a 3 gallon size tank is probably enough. One of the smaller ‘pancake’ or ‘hot dog’ style tanks works well for airing up tires as long as the air compressor offers a minimum of 40 PSI. As rule of thumb, the longer your expected runtime will be, the bigger the tank size should be. That’s why for specific air tools a much larger tank will be required.
If you use a lot of air tools and need a durable home air compressor, be prepared to spend a significant amount of money on at least a 6.0 SCFM or higher air compressor that has a 30 gallon tank. On the other hand, if you’re not a professional mechanic or work on autos all the time and just need a compressor to air up some tires, buy one of the smaller (hot dog or pancake) style 2 gallon air compressor models instead.
Other specifications like, recovery time and noise levels, can be mentioned in the portable air compressor reviews too. However, these details are more for the experienced users who are in need of special features.
What kind of additional accessories should you buy:
If you are in the market for an air compressor, then you should keep in mind that, like many other major purchases, there are some accessories that you will need, as well. Some of these are required for functionality, but others can simply make your life easier. Fortunately, a lot of these accessories are included, as you can read in the air compressor reviews.
This may seem like a no-brainer since your air compressor won’t do you much good without a hose and most air compressors come with a hose anyway. However, there are a couple of things that you should remember. These hoses are designed for specific phases, air output, and pressures, and they often come in varying lengths, too. The hose that is included with an air compressor is generally short and meets only the minimum requirements for air output and voltage. What’s more, they are usually made of materials that are not incredibly durable and they will fail in time.
With that being said, hoses should be a mandatory purchase along with your air compressor. You’ll need to consider the power output and air pressure capabilities of the compressor you want to purchase, and you’ll want to make sure that the hose you buy is comprised of durable materials – and this means both the hose itself as well as the fittings. Common materials from which these hoses are constructed include rubber and nylon, but some are even made from PVC. You can also choose retractable hoses.
Adapters and Fittings
If you already have air tools at home, then chances are pretty good that you won’t want to purchase brand new ones for the purpose of compatibility with your new air compressor. Fortunately, there are plenty of adapters and fittings out there that can help you make existing tools work with all different types of air compressors and hoses. Connectors are often made by the same company that manufactured the air compressor, and many even offer up conversion kits. The connectors that are included with the compressor are also mentioned in the air compressor reviews.
When you purchase adapters and fittings, you will want to pay close attention to the materials from which these are crafted, too. Some are prone to corrosion over time, and many can even rust. Anodized fittings are always the best bet in this case because they have the longest lifespan, they are easy to clean, and they are relatively easy to repair, as well.
Hose Reels and Roll Cages
Nothing will destroy a hose faster than leaving it on the ground or on the floor of your garage where it is stepped on, run over, or exposed to the elements. A hose reel is a great way to store your hoses because it is convenient and it keeps the hoses themselves in the optimal position for longevity. You should look for hose reels that have wheels and handles so that you can pull them to where you need them. The best models will retract the hose with a simple press of a button, making cleanup after a project easy.
Another important accessory for your new air compressor is a roll cage, and this serves the purpose of preventing damage to the compressor. It is important that the roll cage you choose has a low center of gravity to prevent it from toppling over, and if you are purchasing an after-market product, you should be sure to read the reviews and ensure that it works with the compressor model that you have chosen.
One of the most often overlooked air compressor accessories is the filter. This is a very important component since it ensures that dust and debris is removed from the air that is pulled into the compressor’s motor. If this filter gets clogged, dirty, or even wet, it puts extra strain on the compressor’s motor and shortens its lifespan significantly. In fact, when left unchecked, it could even cause the motor to go out completely, resulting in the need for a new air compressor.
Bear in mind that there are different filters that are designed for different projects. This means that the filters you’ll need for a compressor used in a wood shop may be much different than the filters you’ll need if you are using your compressor for painting. What’s more, in some cases, you’ll be required to replace the entire filter assembly. Pay attention when purchasing your air compressor and make sure that the unit you choose allows for simple and economical filter replacement.
If you want to get the most from your new air compressor, then it is important that you take the time to do some research regarding the accessories you will need. This won’t be outlined in the air compressor reviews, as this is a personal thing. The accessories listed above are the most common and may vary in style and type depending upon the way in which you will use your air compressor.
How are the air compressor reviews structured?
This website was made with the goal of delivering high-quality reviews and comparisons so you are be able make the perfect purchase. The air compressor reviews are independent and unbiased. We make an overview of what is included, followed by the specifications and the pros and cons. Lastly, we end the air compressor reviews with a verdict suggesting if the particular air compressor is suitable for your needs or not.