11 Best Portable Air Compressors (Comparison & Reviews)

An air compressor, along with portable generators, can be quite an elaborate machine and if you need one it means you are minding some serious business. There is a variety of different air compressors available on the market but it is always good to be able to have a little deeper analysis of the product before the purchase.

Hopefully, this article will ease your choosing process and the selected 11 air compressors will fit every kind of need and taste you may have.

The ultimate leader:

Our Top Pick
calif1

California Air Tools Air compressor

This item is more powerful and less noisy than all the competitors. What is more, this portable air compressor is extremely reliable and marked an an "editor's choice" on Amazon. 

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While choosing a decent air compressor, look for the following criteria: weight, power source, dimensions, noise level, capacity, and of course, power.

Apart from that, there are individual features of each model of the air compressor that might suit your needs specifically. The full list can be found down below.

Other great portable air compressors:

ItemDimensionsWeightPower SourceNoise Output

bostlish1

Bostitch Air Compressor

21.13 x 19.5 x 18 inches41.8 poundsAC

78.5 DBA

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craftsman1
CRAFTSMAN Air compressor

16.5 x 16.55 x 17.88 inches32.5 poundsElectric powered78.5 DBASee Best Price

kensun1

Kensun AC/DC Rapid

11.8 x 4.3 x 6.7 inches5 poundsAC/DCNot SpecifiedSee Best Price

ryobi1
Ryobi Portable power inflator for tires

9.56 x 7.48 x 3.22 inches1.7 poundsBattery

Not Specified

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senco1
SencoPC 1010

20 x 15.9 x 16.7 inches14.0 x 13.0 x 10.0 inches20 poundsUltra-quietSee Best Price

indyst1
Industrial Air Contractor

24.4 x 21.9 x 19.8 inches76.1 poundsGas-powered51 dBASee Best Price

briggs1
Briggs & Stratton Quiet Power technology

20 x 17 x 23 inches60.9 poundsACUltra-quiet performanceSee Best Price

stealth1
Stealth Portable Air Compressor

19.69 x 16.14 x 22.0561.7 poundsCorded electric64 dBSee Best Price

skey1
Air Compressor Tire Inflator by SKEY

10.59 x 10.59 x 3.392.92 poundsBattery-poweredNot SpecifiedSee Best Price

wen1
Portable Air compressor by WEN

13.3 x 11.5 x 11.2 inches24.25 poundsNot SpecifiedNot SpecifiedSee Best Price

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1. Bostitch Air Compressor

bostlish1BOSTITCH cordless air compressors come with a combo kit of air hose with fittings. Those include 18 GA brad nailer that drives 18 GA brad nails from 5/8 into 2 in. 16 GA straight finish nailer drives 16 GA straight finish nails from 1-1/4 into 2-1/2 in. and a heavy-duty crown stapler.

It is a heavyweight compressor but it can run up to 150 PSI and 15 amps. 6-gallon tank and 2.6 SCFM delivered 90 PSI pump allows long tool run time with quick recovery. It is perfect for both interior and exterior finishing or trimming project works. BOSTITCH’ high-efficiency motor enables easy start-up in cold weather.

Why we choose it:

  1. High capacity
  2. 3-tool/ compressor combo kit
  3. Low noise level of 78.5 DBA
  4. 1 year limited warranty coverage

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2. CRAFTSMAN Air compressor by Craftsman

craftsman1The Craftsman 6 gallon air compressor manufactured in the United States poses an oil-free pump that enables maintenance-free operation. While it’s lightweight enough to enable a woman to handle, the UL rating of this compressor is 120 volts, i.e. 10 amps or 60 herts.

It comes with a 13 piece accessory kit for its price. Apart from that, the kit includes: 25′ X 1/4inches PVC air Hose with coupler and assembled plug, tire chuck with plug, blow gun with plug, tire gauge, blow gun with OSHA safety nozzle, rubber tip, three inflator adaptors. Max PSI of 150 that ensures adequate cut-in pressure for a variety of applications.

However if you are looking for an air tank to fill up a few tires without being plugged in, the requirement is to minimize any moisture (air condensate) in the tank to avoid corrosion or weakening of the tank.

Why we choose it:

  • Has 2 couplers which supports 2 users at once.
  • High capacity for long run time and quick recovery
  • Quiet performance at 78.5 DBA
  • Can be set to PSI of 150.
  • 1 year limited warranty

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3. Kensun AC/DC Rapid Portable Air Compressor

kensun1Kensun multipurpose AC/DC tire inflator for car and Home rapid performance air compressor pump can be used for car, bicycle, motorcycle, basketball, and other devices. It is a compact compressor with 12 V and 10 amps. LCD display with Auto Shot Off function and LED light makes it comfortable and safe to use.

Kensun offers unique AC/DC switching: the home plug needs 110 V AC while the car plug uses 12V DC. The item includes a solid metal motor that gives it extra power which in turn eases tire inflation. There are also pieces that come with it include 1 car DC cord, 1 AC cord, 3 types of nozzles, and 1 carry case.

Why we choose it:

  • Multi-purpose AC/DC capabilities (due to 2 plugs, it can be used anywhere)
  • Super light and compact
  • Can be set on up to 100 PSI
  • Manufacturer warranty for 2 years

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4. California Air Tools Air compressor

calif1Here we have a California Air Tools compressor that is an oil-free pump for less maintenance and costs just as Air compressor by Craftsman. However, it has much less capacity – 1 gallon vs 6 gallons on Craftsman. The Piston pump is made to have a life cycle before wear of 3000+ hours while other air compressors have life cycles over 250 hours.

Moreover, it is rated to be one of the quietest air compressors in the industry with only just 56 db making it perfect for anyone working inside where noise is a great issue. Although the tank is made of steel, the weight of the whole construction is just below 40 pounds. California Air Tool compressor is perfect for cleaning tires, beds, toys, and sports balls.

Why we choose it:

  • Ultra-quiet performance 56 decibels
  • Can go to a maximum of 120 PSI
  • Life cycle before wear of 3000+ hours
  • 1-year Limited Warranty

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5. Ryobi Portable power inflator for tires

ryobi1If you are looking for an air compressor for tire inflation only –a portable power inflator by Ryobi is perfect for you. You save money and time on purchasing extra accessories, the Ryobi has 2 high-pressure nozzles, sports equipment needs, and a new onboard digital pressure gauge.

The ergonomic pistol grip handle makes it easy to use and transport. It can inflate not only tires but most of the other small inflatables in your house. But beware that battery is not included, only the power tool.

Why we choose it:

  • Economy on extra accessories.
  • Battery-powered
  • Smaller than most inflators

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6. SencoPC 1010 compressor

senco1Air compressor by Senco is great for a range of home improvement and renovation, for example: inflating small tires, air mattresses, and water pressure tanks. The weight makes it easy to carry from site to site.

Standard air hose allows it to be connected with most available couplers, both ¼ inch or 3/8 inch inside diameter hoses can be used.

For a bigger version, check Senco PC 1130. The DBA is not stated but most reviews recall it for a very quiet performance in comparison to most other analogs.

Why we choose it:

  • Lightweight
  • Ultra-quiet
  • 1-year warranty

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7. Industrial Air Contractor compressor

indyst1If you are looking for something for your business but still want it to be portable and movable or just a more featured compressor for personal use, the air contractor from Industrial Air Contractor is what you need.

Patented two-piece cooling system with increased cooling efficiency extends the life of the low maintenance, oil-free, direct-drive pump.

Despite the heavyweight of over 70 pounds, the Pontoon style tank with two 2 gallon tanks allows for job-site portability. The pump features a regulator, gauges, quick connect, and cushioned handle grips.

Air compressor by Industrial Air Contractor can be used in airbrushing, blow cleaning, bolting, wrenching, brad nailing/stapling, inflation, and many more. Can reach up to 155 PSI being the highest among other listed alternatives.

Honda premium engine provides easy start, smooth engine performance, lower fuel consumption, and therefore lower emission. The engine also provides air throttle cylinder and separate pilot and check valves.

Why we choose it:

  • Patented 2 piece cooling system
  • Honda premium residential gas engine
  • One of the highest maximum PSI of 155
  • 2-year Limited Warranty

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8. Briggs & Stratton Quiet Power technology Air Compressor

briggs1If you don’t want a typical noise accompanying your use of pneumatic tools, this is the right one for you. The Quiet Power Technology (QPT) allows it to perform at a level no louder than a regular freezer condenser.

Although Briggs & Stratton offer a range of sizes and styles, the QPT air compressor has qualified to x3 longer motor life than other Briggs & Stratton air compressors with a standard induction motor.

Despite its weight and dimensions, this 4.5-gallon air compressor has rugged wheels and a collapsible handle for easier transport and storage. A large regulator knob and integrated control panel allow more comfortable exploitation together with a built-in accessory box.

Why we choose it:

  • Ultra-quiet performance
  • Limited vibration
  • Large regulation knob
  • 1-year warranty

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9. Stealth Portable Air Compressor

stealth1Stealth portable air compressor features an easy start even in cold weather and low voltage while allowing tank recovery from empty to full in just 70 seconds. The twin air tank provides quicker refilling It is both durable and powerful, exactly what is needed for professionals.

Despite its weight, it has an upright design, and 6-inch rubber wheels allow quick and easy transport from one site to another as well as taking less workspace. Along with that, you get 80% quieter performance in comparison to standard induction motors. It comes with a 6-inch electric cord. Stealth provides a range of compressors from 1 to 20 gallons.

Why we choose it:

  • Ultra-quiet performance at 64 dB
  • Easy start under low temperature and voltage
  • Limited lifetime warranty

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10. Air Compressor Tire Inflator by SKEY

skey1SKEY portable air compressor is cordless, compact, and rechargeable – ideal for keeping in the car for travel. It automatically measures the tire pressure and pre-set the tire pressure and automatically shuts off as it reaches the pre-set value. The display shows several positions from the current pressure value to the condition of progress.

The bright LED lamp ensures safe work in dark space or emergency situations at night. The availability of USB cord recharge makes it perfect for traveling. SKEY air compressor comes with a carry-on bag and 4 additional nozzles. Not only great for car tires, motorcycles, and bicycles but also balls, inflatable boats and etc.

Beware: it can be powered only by the 20V DC battery, USB cord, or 12V DC Car adaptor.

Why we choose it:

  • Auto shut off
  • Dual power supply
  • Multipurpose display
  • 4 ft air hose as a gift

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11. Portable Air compressor by WEN

wen1This is a perfect compressor for small tasks that don’t require heavily featured compressors. Like most of the other compressors, the pump is oil-free which needs no lubrication and provides a longer lifespan. Together with a 1-gallon tank made with reinforced steel the compressor can reach up to 125 PSI of maximum pressure.

Air compressor by WEN features an easy-to-reach quick drain valve and ¼ inch NPT coupler and 2 pressure gauges. The auto shut down function prevents the compressor from passing the maximum pressure and allows safe and reliable compressing. The hot dog style and rubber foot legs provide maximum stability in use.

Why we choose it:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy-to-reach quick drain valve
  • Auto shut down function
  • 2 year limited warranty

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FAQ for air compressors buyers

1. Can I use each air compressor to fill the tires of my car? 

Not every air compressor is suitable for that. Thus, if you’re planning to use it for these purposes, read the instruction before purchase.

2. Does each air compressor come with a deflator?

No, it depends on the model and configurations.

3. Are air compressors noisy? 

The latest technology in building the air compressor machines allows making them quieter than they were even several years ago. It depends on the technical features and the quality of the compressor, but there are some fine models that make a little noise while working.

4. How expensive it is to repair an air compressor? 

Repair costs vary by part but tend to range in the $125 to $450 on average. General HVAC repairs cost $150 to $550. Some repairs might hit or exceed $1,000 at which point you might want to consider simply upgrading to a new unit.

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