Best Air Compressor 2018
Looking for the best air compressor? Whether you are a professional or a DIY enthusiast looking for a compressor, our top picks, and air compressor reviews are bound to impress you. These units are some of the most diverse tools in the market that will get your job done in seconds. However, if you are new to compressors, you should know what they are.
What are Air Compressors?
An air compressor is a unit that uses power and converts it into potential energy in compressed air. It first stores air into the tank by compressing it. Then, it uses an energy source, for instance, an electric motor, or a gasoline/ diesel engine. The compressed air is held in the tank to be pumped.
Air compressors can be used in a variety of applications such as:
- To fill in gas cylinders
- To power pneumatic tools such as jackhammers, nail guns, paint sprays etcetera
- For filling tires
- To power air sanders, air nailers, impact wrenches, air staple guns etcetera
Types of air compressors
Depending on the power source, air compressors are classified into the following types:
Electric air compressors are powered through a motor. They are easier to use and are inexpensive when compared to their gas-powered counterparts. They are light and compact and can be easily used indoors. A huge advantage is that they can be easily transported and that they have a quieter operation.
However, they do not run for longer and stop due to their automatic start/stop mechanism. They cannot be used for heavy-duty jobs as they do not perform like the gas-powered compressors. The main disadvantage is that they need an electrical outlet to operate.
Gas or Fuel Powered
Gas-powered compressors use gas to create power. They are perfect to use outdoors as they do not require any kind of electrical hookup. Another distinct advantage is that they work continuously because there is no automatic mechanism which powers up or down the compressor. Mostly, they are used for industrial work where heavy-duty compressors are required.
However, they cannot be used indoors. This is because they create a lot of fumes and noise. Gasoline is flammable as well so there are concerns about safety here. Another drawback is that they are heavy and bulky in size. Transporting them is difficult.
Also, depending on other technical characteristics, there are stationary and portable air compressors. Let’s look at the best models of such compressors in more detail.
Stationary Air Compressor Reviews
Stationary air compressors are normally big and heavy and so they are designed to be fixed at a constant location. Their main advantage is that their tanks have a larger capacity and they deliver much more power.
Best Stationary Air Compressors
MAKITA COMPACT AC001
The Makita has been engineered specifically for those professionals who need a high power compressor but in a compact size. It is one of the best industrial air compressors due to its durability, longer life, lower noise and low maintenance. Its powerful induction motor when combined with the compact size ensures consistent performance throughout the job.
Lightweight design and compact size
The compressor weighs only 23.1 lbs. while it measures 14 x 15 x 15 inches. You can easily carry it from one place to another. In a huge workshop, this becomes an advantage as you can easily transport it.
When you invest in high-quality machines, you need extremely durable machines that will not break down in a manner of seconds. The Makita embraces a construction of roll cage to shield the motor and pumps. This imparts durability and a longer life to the machine.
The best part is that this air compressor works at the minimal noise, about 72 dBA. This makes it easier to use indoors.
The pump is oil-less which means no need for constant maintenance.
Another huge advantage is the low AMP draw which reduces any incidents of tripped breakers when the compressor starts. This makes it safer to use.BEST SUITED FOR: trim and finishes carpentry, case and base installation, cabinet and furniture construction etcetera.
All in all, the Makita AC001 is best suited for the pros who work indoors. Although it might not be powerful enough to blow up your tires, it still is quite suitable for various indoor jobs.
DEWALT DXCMTA 5090412
The DeWalt compressor is the perfect air compressor for those looking for a power-packed performance. It is the best small air compressor due to its powerful engine and portability. This Oil-free Direct drive air compressor allows easier access to all parts of the compressor. This patented design ensures cooling efficiencies and increases the life of the compressor.
The Subaru premium gas engine along with the tough resin overhead cam ensures durability and sturdiness. This imparts a longer life to the engine.
The DeWalt Direct Drive air compressor is extremely small in size, measuring about 24.5 x 21.5 x 20 inches. This makes it easier to move it around the house or the workshop.
Two-Piece Cooling System
Also included is a two-piece cooling system embedded into the system which increases cooling efficiencies as well as lowers temperature. This results in a longer life for the engine and the pump.
The DeWalt is specifically built in such a way that it provides easy access to the oil drain, oil fill, and the spark plug. This makes maintenance easier and increases the efficiency of the compressor.
The uni-block construction design ensures a quieter and smoother performance. The overhead cam also contributes to the overall quietness of the system.BEST SUITED FOR: any indoor work such as furniture installation, carpentry as well as filling in tires.
The DeWalt compressor is one of the best gas air compressors due to its durability, quiet operation and easy access. It will serve professional as well as amateurs perfectly!
Another compressor from DeWalt, the DWFP55130 Heavy Duty Compressor is a hallmark in the world of air compressors. It is powered electrically through a powerful motor that enables the compressor to deliver 3 scfm at 90 psi. The machine is extremely quiet and durable. Its small size and lightweight design make it a certain winner.
The recovery time of the compressor is quick as the pump can recharge 15% faster than regular compressors. Through the motor, it can achieve maximum pressures of 200 psi. This allows more air to be stored inside the 2.5-gallon tank.
One of the biggest advantages of the Dewalt is that it creates minimal noise at all. It features several patents to reduce noise. The noise level rarely reaches 71.5 dB. This allows you to work comfortably indoors without letting noise be an issue.
Another advantage of the DeWalt is that it is durable. The roll cage protects the compressor and its parts from any external damage. The controls are sperate from the frame as well as an added measure for protection.
The device weighs only 36 lbs. while its size is about 21.58 x 17.44 x 13.81 inches. Also included are smooth sides and handles to allow you to carry it easily.BEST SUITED FOR: any trimming work.
The DeWalt Heavy Duty Compressor is perfect for all those times you need a lighter compressor that can get small jobs done easily. Also included is a 1-year warranty which is just the cherry on top!
Portable Air Compressor Reviews
Portable air compressors are one of the best air compressors as they are easy to use, lightweight and feature a compact design. This enables you to move your compressor from one place to another. However, this does not mean that they compromise on quality. They feature high performance and are perfect for beginners or DIY enthusiasts. They feature wheels and a carrying handle as well.
Their capacities are often lower than other compressors.
Best Portable Air Compressors
The WEN 2202 air compressor is perfect for all sorts of jobs. Whether you are a professional in a workshop or an amateur working from his garage, this compressor should be your go-to. It works perfectly for all kinds of pneumatic tools. Its high performance, easy portability, low maintenance are what makes this the best small air compressor. Also included is a two-year warranty so you can rest assured your investment is safe.
With the Wen, you can rest assured you will get only the highest quality performance. It is equipped with a 20-gallon tank and can easily provide with flow rates of 3.8 cfm at 90 psi to 5.0 cfm at 40 psi. Furthermore, the 15 A motor can easily reach a maximum pressure of 135 pis.
Compact size and portability
The Wen air compressor measures about 19.5 x 17.5 x 42 in which is small enough that it can be easily transported from one place to another. Also included are handles and wheels at the bottom that make it easier to transport from your workshop to your garage.
Easy pressure monitoring
Also included on the air compressor are two pressure gauges, one of which regulates the air flow while the other monitors the internal pressure of the tank itself.
The Wen air compressor includes an auto-shutdown function that automatically turns the compressor off, in case the maximum pressure is achieved. This prevents the tank from bursting.BEST SUITED FOR: painting and a variety of woodworking jobs as well as all kinds of hydraulic tools.
The WEN 2202 air compressor is perfect for all types of DIY work around the house. Its high-quality performance is perfect for most pneumatic tools.
While selecting the best air compressor, the Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 air compressor is one of the finest and notable in their world. The compressor is driven by a heavy-duty motor which is designed to deliver 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI for increased productivity.
Furnished with 13.8 full load amps, you can expect powerful execution from this compressor. The versatile electric oil-greased up air compressor has a maximum pressure of 140 psi. A 5.2 gallons tank is incorporated and the pump is engineered with big bore cylinder and piston to provide fast recovery time for improved performance.
The dimensions of the unit are 29 x 19.5 x 19 inches. Rugged wheels and folding handles are installed for job site portability and easy transport.
The cast iron body cylinder reduces its wear and increases pump life. Roll cage protection is provided to pump and motor separately which helps to withstand various environments.BEST SUITED FOR: any day to day compressor job.
The Makita Big Bore Heavy Duty Compressor is ideal for every one of those circumstances where you require a portable and effective compressor to get small jobs done.
CALIFORNIA AIR TOOLS 10020C
If you are looking for a quiet operating air compressor that can be easily used indoors, then the California Air Tools Air Compressor might serve you the best. It is designed to be a quiet air compressor that can run at 2hp. The California Air Tools Air Compressor features a high power motor that is extremely energy efficient.
The California Air Tools Compressor features an ultra-quiet operation, i.e. only 70dBs of sound. This makes it easier to work indoors. The motor operates at 1680 rpm ensuring less noise.
The motor of the compressor is extremely powerful. However, it draws only 7 amperes of current which ensures an energy efficient operation. The motor can easily deliver 6.40 cfm at 40 psi and 5.30 cfm at 90 psi.
The California Air Tools Air Compressor is perhaps the best small sized air compressor as it measures only 16 x 15.1 x 35.9 in. The 10-gallon tank includes wheels as well.
Also featured is a fast recovery time, i.e. it takes 25 seconds to go from 95 psi to 125 psi.
The Easy Start Valve featured in the compressor release only a small amount of air to produce a no-load condition, which in turn means you use less energy to start up.BEST SUITED FOR: DIY projects.
The California Air Tools Air Compressor is perfect for those around-the-house DIY projects. Its powerful engine along with its portability makes it a winner!
Pancake Air Compressor Reviews
Pancake air compressors are much more compact than most vertical compressors. They are lightweight as well. The tank capacity usually ranges from 1 to 6 gallons. This design is perfect for maximum portability. They require very little maintenance as they have an oil free pump. This is a distinct advantage for home users as they do not have to get it inspected by professional often. They are usually better used for small to medium power tasks. They cannot run the larger air tools.
Best Pancake Air Compressors
DeWalt is one of the most essential brands you will find in any repairman’s garage due to its high-quality performance. The DeWalt Pancake Air Compressor is one such compressor that operates perfectly for a pancake compressor. Its high-efficiency motor can operate in any weather and its quiet work setting ensures it can be used easily indoors. It is undoubtedly the best air compressor 2018 on the market.
The energy efficient 10 amps motor can easily deliver a flow rate of about 2.6 scfm at 90 psi pump pressure. It can achieve a maximum pressure of about 165 psi. Apart from that the high flow regulator included in the compressor maximize air tool performance.
The unit is portable as it is small in size, measuring only 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 in. It weighs only 30 lbs. which makes it easier to carry it around. Also included is a cord wrap which makes storage much easier.
The machine works extremely quietly. The noise level is about 75.5 dBs.
The oil-free pumps ensure almost no maintenance is required.
A protective rubber casing on top of the feet protects the unit from any marring. Also, a console cover protects control so that they do not get damaged during the work environment.BEST SUITED FOR: filling in tires and small DIY work.
So, the DeWalt Pancake Air Compressor might have some con, but it is undoubtedly the best pancake air compressor due to its high-quality performance.