Have you ever wondered if all those trips to the repair store or garage were really necessary?
Well, for extremely complex issues such as engine failure or a spare part change, you are making the right call going to a professional.
However, when the air in your tires, either on your car or motorbike or even bicycle, are slowly losing air and getting flat you don’t even have to go to a gas station if you get yourself a little helper called the portable air compressor.
That’s right, having your own little compressor can make your life simpler than you might think at first. I have already mentioned the examples of tires, but this machine can do so much more than this. I have prepared the list of portable versions ideal for day-to-day life around the house which is very similar to the list of air conditioners in the previous article.
Best Portable Air Compressor 2018
Do you need to finish some of the furniture that you have been struggling to build for months? No problem, air compressors can be easily used as a power supply to your nail gun. We all know how frustrating it can be, especially for men, when they can’t get something right at the first time.
An air compressor will be your kind helper in times of distress and stick by your side when you need it the most. But it’s not only the manual building of furniture or construction of things that this machine can be used for. Chores around the house can be so much more relaxing.
Take for example a nice autumn windy Saturday afternoon which has, along its atmosphere, brought tons of leaves onto your front lawn. Now in this situation, you would normally have two options. Go outside and gather those leaves by your bare hands and spend 2 hours doing it, or you could patch up your small portable air compressor, connect it to the appropriate gear and create a leaf-blower that will not only save you time and effort, that you can invest into your family, children or friends, but also give your air compressor another purpose.
Nonetheless, what they lack in strength, they make up in compactness, easy operation and versatility for small jobs.
- Fast filling
- Good pressure maintenance
- Runs smooth and quiet
- Fragile plastic parts
- Simple and Easy operation
- Extra stable
- Noise level is a little bit higher
- Compact size
- Pressure knob should be protected
- Low weight
- Can hold air for several days
- Great for smaller jobs
- Not suitable for nail hammering or larger jobs
- Ultra Quiet
- Enhanced movability thanks to wheels
- A little bit heavy and large
- Ultra small and lightweight
- Decent output
- A bit noisier
- Only for smaller jobs
- Extra stability
- Rubber feet
- Flow regulator
- Need industrial connectors
- Sometimes it leak air
- Ultra lightweight
- Tire Inflator
- Slower start
- Not enough air pressure even for light jobs
There are several aspects and features that you must consider while choosing your portable air compressor and I have gathered the 9 best of them to help you with this task. So, sit back and read through the product and choose the one that suits your needs.
1. Makita MAC700 – My Personal Choice
The Makita Mac portable air compressor is the first one on my list. As far as its structure is concerned, it is made of a cast iron pump, bore cylinder and a piston with the aim to deliver the highest performance possible. The noise levels are quite low, and it doesn’t consume that much amp either which helps prevent voltage drop and the consequent motor failure.
In addition, the pump itself is oiled up, so it functions without any hitches. The power comes from a 2.0 HP motor which ensures smooth running and good endurance. The MAC700 was created for the best possible performance with low noise and good output with minimum maintenance requirements and two powerful large filters that are responsible for a greater air intake.
Product Weight: 59.6 pounds
Product Dimensions: 18 x 22 x 10 inches
Voltage: 120 volts
- Runs smooth and quiet, without noise pollution
- Ideal for smaller jobs around the house
- Good pressure maintenance
- The filling of the compressor is pretty fast
- The plastic parts of the machine tend to be fragile and thus need to be controlled
- The product can cycle sometimes
2. PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK – Best Seller
The PORTER-CABLE is equipped with a pancake tank that guarantees stability during usage. The stability is also reinforced by rubber feet on the bottom of the tank. It also prolongs the air tool performance and comes with an accessory kit that provides a 6-gallon capacity.
Thanks to the maximum psi capacity, the tank can collect more air and therefore function for a longer period of time. The machine is assembled beforehand to avoid leakage and additional labor. The motor is easy to handle and also able to start during cold weather.
This pancake air compressor has a 120 PSI cut-in pressure and a High-Flo regulator that hinders big pressure drops. All in all, the C2002-WK contains a nylon hose, blow gun, attachments, tire accessories, a quick coupler and a plug.
Product Weight: 34 pounds
Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 18 x 19 inches
Voltage: 120 volts
- The assembly and set up of the compressor is simple and easy as well as its operation thanks to the regulation knob
- The portability attribute is point on, since the transportability of this product is exceptional
- Works fine when powering other devices, such as a staple gun on wooden surfaces
- When not used properly and occasionally, the parts can lose durability
- The noise level is a little bit higher, but nothing unbearable
Moreover, it is characterized by its lightweight and compact dimensions which add to the overall flexibility and transportability of the product. The product also features flow regulators and dual coupler to created maximum performance while maintaining low noise.
Overall the kit is made of a pancake compressor, with the capacity of 6 gallons, rubber air hose, inflation and blow gun accessories.
Product Weight: 29 pounds
Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 16.5 x 19.1 inches
Voltage: 120 volts
- Great and compact size is one of the most valuable advantages of this compressor
- Movability is ensured thanks to the light weighted characteristics that enable transport even through flights of stairs
- Even though there is plastic involved, the metal parts are positioned at the right places where they are needed
- Solid performance after numerous uses
- The noise level might be a little bit higher and therefore an outdoor usage is advised
- The pressure knob should be protected at all costs since it is vulnerable to damage
4. Senco PC1010
One of the advantages of this compressor is its weight. Thanks to it, it’s easy to transport and offers time and space flexibility which is very helpful during home renovations or for DIY enthusiasts. You can easily carry it in your hands.
Performance wise 1 horsepower is fueling the 1-gallon capacity with an aluminum tank. The Senco PC1010 doesn’t need oil and is fairly quiet during running time, therefore you don’t have to worry about lube stains or noise pollution. You will be able to enjoy your free time and at the same time will not disturb anyone else nearby.
The package of this quiet air compressor contains the compressor itself, a regulator, pressure gauges, universal coupler and an air filter.
Product Weight: 20 pounds
Product Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 10 inches
Voltage: 115 volts
- Low weight and very nice running noise levels are big pluses
- Works great as an airbrush as well as for bicycle or motorbike tire maintenance
- Almost no vibrations present, the ones that appear are negligible
- It can hold air for several days
- Can let out air after you use it for nail hammering
- Not recommended for larger jobs, it is ideal for smaller around the home fix-ups or smaller DIY assignments
5. California Air Tools 5510SE – Ultra Quiet Portable Air Compressor
The fifth place on my list goes to the California Air Tools 5510SE whose key points are maintenance and costs connected to it. In both of these domains, this product scores high on the air compressor reviews and provides lower requirements, such as for example the oil-less dual piston pump that saves time and energy, plus increases durability.
It also features a 5.5-gallon aluminum steel tank as far as capacity is concerned. The new motor, with which it is equipped, enables a better duty cycle and encourages longer performance.
Similarly, to other entries on this list, it produces very little sound and thus has not any disturbing effect which is ideal for inside work.
Product Weight: 54 pounds
Product Dimensions: 23 x 10 x 19 inches
Voltage: 110 volts
- Works fine as an airbrush and runs really quiet, so it doesn’t disturb anyone and therefore can be used indoors
- Also suitable for finishing jobs with smaller sized nails
- Solid air and pressure built-up and
- Movability is enhanced thanks to wheels
- The motor can show issues performance when not taken care of
- It can cycle from time to time
Description This air compressor has a 3-gallon tank that serves as storage for the air that oil-free pump provides. The compactness of this product makes it great for nailing, airbrushing and stapling as well as various other small jobs which may require the use of this small portable air compressor.
The engine is fully closed, so nothing interferes with it during the running time and the outside of the compressor has a handle as well, which makes transportation simpler. In terms of safety, you can find a locking regulator and a thermal overload protection. The package contains the electric compressor and a coupler.
Product Weight: 23.6 pounds
Product Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 15.8 inches
Voltage: 120 volts
- Its small size enables storage in a compartment at home or even in an RV which adds to the transportability
- The assembly and operation are easy if the manual is followed
- For its light weight, it has good performance and power output
- As with other oil-free air compressors, you don’t have to worry about smoke and fumes
- The power restrictions allow the compressor to be used for smaller jobs, no suitable for bigger ones
- A little bit noisier, but nothing too bad
The DEWALT air compressor has a 6-gallon tank with a well-functioning pump and a universal high-performance motor that guarantees simple operation and the start of the product even in harsher and colder weather conditions or with an extension cord.
The assembled machine makes very little noise that doesn’t cause any major disturbances and thus doesn’t affect the surrounding environment that much. The overall performance and durability are enhanced by a flow regulator and universal couplers.
The body of the portable air compressor is protected but the cover can be easily removed to enable repairs. There are no additional motions or movements of the tank thanks to rubber leg covers.
Product Weight: 32.2 pounds
Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches
Voltage: 120 volts
- Works terrific for tire inflation
- Easy to operate and optimal for general DIY enthusiasts
- Rubber feet on the bottom of the compressor are great to avoid sliding
- Should be regularly checked for air leakage, especially the pump
- For some, it may be an issue, but it is recommended to use industrial connectors for hoses, not the automotive ones
8. Hausbell Portable Air Compressor – Best Portable Air Compressor for Car
Portable air compressors can have various parts that they are made of, in the case of the Hausbell portable air compressor you can find a lube-free pump with alligator clips which can produce up to 30 liters in 60 seconds.
The flexibility is provided by the long power cord and a coiled air tube which can be extended up to 8 feet, that makes it a portable cable air compressor. The supplementary pieces for this product are 3 nozzle adapters, so you can choose the one that suits your needs the best, a case in which you can store the compressor, a gauge for monitoring and a hose.
It can be used for bicycle tires, balls, airbeds, toys that need to be inflated or even pools. In case of an overheat, the tank has a mechanism to cool down, which takes more or less 30 minutes. In addition, you should pay attention to your surroundings and use the compressor only in clean and ventilated areas.
Product Weight: 4.7 pounds
Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 8.4 x 3.7 inches
Voltage: 12-volt battery
- This compressor has the appropriate parameters for RV wheel maintenance as well as for inflation of sports balls, airbeds or toys
- The case that comes with it is a welcomed addition and enhances transportability
- The three nozzle adapters make sure that the versatility is big, the pressure gauge also helps to see the pressure in the object you are working on
- At first, it can have a slower start
9. Rolair JC10
The cylinder on this one is made from aluminum and the oil that is missing from this machine sends a clear message about maintenance which is that much smoother.
All of these things make the Rolair one of the best portable air compressors and a worthy entry on this list.
Product Weight: 42.9 pounds
Product Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 15 inches
Voltage: 120 volts
- The power/noise rate is impressive, and the noise levels are very low
- During heavy use it can recharge in about 15 seconds, which is fairly quickly
- Builds up pressure fast and is compact in size
- The drain valve might need to be replaced after some time
- Any additional accessories that you may need will have to be bought
Portable Air Compressors Comparison Table
|Product name||Product weight||Dimensions||Horsepower||Capacity||Operating Pressure||Makita MAC700||59.6 pounds||18 x 22 x 10 in||2||2.6 gallon||max 130 PSI||PORTER-CABLE C2002 WK||34 pounds||18.3 x 18 x 19 in||1||6 gallons||max 150 PSI||Bostitch BTFP02012||29 pounds||17 x 16.5 x 19 in||0.75||6 gallons||max 150 PSI||Senco PC1010||20 pounds||14 x 13 x 10 in||1||1 gallon||max 120 PSI||California Air Tools 5510SE||54 pounds||23 x 10 x 19 in||1||5.5 gallons||max 120 PSI||PowRyte Portable Air Compressor||23.6 pounds||14 x 14 x 15.8 in||0.75||4 gallons||max 135 PSI||DEWALT DWFP55126||32.2 pounds||17 x 16 x 20 in||1||6 gallons||max 165 PSI||Hausbell Portable Air Compressor||4.7 pounds||13 x 8.4 x 3.7 in||-||-||max 140 PSI||Rolair JC10||42.9 pounds||17 x 16 x 15 in||1||2.5 gallons||max 125 PSI|
Best Portable Air Compressor 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
To summarize things up, a portable air compressor is a nice helpful tool that can save your energy, time and nerves. We all know that feeling all too well when we are trying to finish some manual task and it just can’t be done. I agree, there is something magical about hammering nails, pumping your football or hand-picking the autumn leaves by your own hands in the garden.
However, when the time is of the essence or the job is too big to enjoy these little perks and would take ages to complete, a helper that speeds up the process is always welcomed.
As mentioned in the previous lines, these compressors are a jack-of-all-trades that are very versatile in many ways. You can, for example, maintain your car, bike or bicycle tires with it. Some of these models have a gauge mounted in them, so you can see the amount of air pressure in tires. When needed, you can also refill the tires with the compressor, which is one of its primary functions.
Another manner in which this machine is applicable is as a power source for construction tools such as a various nail or paint guns.
When choosing a portable air compressor, there are several factors you should take into consideration.
Product weight is a very important indicator that can be decisive. Why? Well, this directly influences the movability and transportability of the machine. I can assure you, however, that all of these are very light, only some of them are lighter than others, but the weight is compensated by the performance that the compressor can offer. This all must be well thought out.
Another aspect, that is closely linked to this issue, is product dimensions. This is key if you already know where you want to store your compressor. Once again, all of them are compact, but some are of smaller sizes that could fit virtually everywhere, others would need to have a special spot of their own, but nothing too space consuming.
General performance and electricity consumption
The only other two factors that are crucial is performance and electricity consumption. These are immensely important and that is why you should closely compare your favorites and find the one that suits your needs the most. The shape and anti-sliding features are also important, but the essential elements according to which you should make up your mind are stated above.