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The Best Portable Air Compressor Reviews & Buying Guide 2020

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional handyman, there are many things that you can do with an air compressor. It can be used for inflating tires, operating nail gun, and woodworking, among others. They can deliver a wide array of benefits, but only if you choose the best portable air compressor. With this, keep on reading the rest of this guide and we will let you know some of the best options available. We looked at portable air compressor reviews and evaluated different models to come up with a list of recommendations.

What is the Best Portable Air Compressor?

ImagePortable Air CompressorFeaturesRatingPrice
Porter Cable C2002 WK Pancake CompressorPorter Cable C2002
  • 150 PSI
  • 6 gallon
  • 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 34 pounds
  • D: 19 x 18 x 20.94 inches
4.6Check
Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air CompressorDewalt DWFP55126
  • 165 PSI
  • 6 gallon
  • 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 32.1 pounds
  • D: 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches
4.6Check
Porter-Cable CMB15 Air CompressorPorter-Cable CMB15
  • 150 PSI
  • 1.5 gallon
  • 2.0 SCFM at 90 psi
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 20 pounds
  • D: 15.5 x 13.25 x 20.5 inches
4.5Check
Bostitch CAP1512-OF Trim CompressorBostitch CAP1512-OF
  • 150 PSI
  • 1.2 gallon
  • 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 23.5 pounds
  • D: 17 x 13 x 11 inches
4.4Check
Senco PC1010 Air CompressorSenco PC1010
  • 120 PSI
  • 1.0 gallon
  • 0.7 CFM at 90 psi
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 20 pounds
  • D: 14 x 13 x 10 inches
4.6Check
Makita MAC700 Air CompressorMakita MAC700
  • 130 PSI
  • 2.6 gallon
  • 3.3 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 59.6 pounds
  • D: 18 x 22 x 10 inches
4.7Check
Dewalt D55140 Air CompressorDewalt D55140
  • 135 PSI
  • 1 gallon
  • 0.75 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 29.4 pounds
  • D: 48 x 40 x 41 inches
4.2Check
California Air Tools CAT-1610A Air CompressorCalifornia Air Tools CAT-1610A
  • 115 PSI
  • 1.6 gallon
  • 2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Corded Electric
  • W: 37 pounds
  • D: 17.3 x 14.2 x 14.6 inches
3.9Check

Essential Factors to Consider

Before we discuss some of the best choices that can be taken into account, let us first briefly go through some of the factors that you should consider before making a decision:

Price

A lot will surely be tempted to go for a model with cheap price. There is nothing wrong with this. However, you need to make sure that the quality and functionality will never be compromised, even if the portable air compressor is cheap.

Reviews

If you have no idea about which one to pick or to help you decide if the model you have seen will be a good choice, consult with what other people have to say. You can go online and read reviews. Their experiences will help you to make a well-informed choice.

Warranty

Make sure that the product comes with extensive warranty. This means that within such period, the manufacturer can have the unit repaired in case any problem is experienced, as long as it is not due to your negligence.

Noise

This is often measured in decibels. Ideally, it should be less than 80 decibels. This means that the unit is going to perform quietly, and hence, there will be no distractions in your work.

Technical Specifications

One of the most important specs that should be looked at would be horsepower or HP, which will be indicative of power output. The higher the HP is, the more powerful the air compressor is. Also, look at PSI or pounds per square inch. If the PSI is higher, this means that more air can be kept in the tank.

Tank Size

The right size of tank will depend on the specific application. If you are going to do small projects, such as light air brushing, a small tank will be more than enough. For portable air compressors, the common tank size generally ranges from one to six gallons.

Ease of Use

There are many features that can make the portable air compressor user-friendly. The controls and the gauges, for instance, should be easy to access. In addition, it should also be a snap maintain and should be easy to bring from one workplace to another.

Maintenance

If you want a portable air compressor that is easy to maintain, you should choose one that is oil-free. There is no oil that will need to be refilled or replaced within a certain span of its use.

Top Picks for the Best Portable Air Compressor

Can’t decide which one to pick? Here are some of the brands and models that we can highly recommend.

1) Porter Cable C2002 WK Pancake Compressor Review

Porter Cable C2002 WK Pancake Compressor
Porter Cable C2002 WK Pancake Compressor

This product comes with 150 PSI, providing it with exceptional pressure that is needed to complete a wide array of applications. The 120-volt motor that is integrated in this unit is also impressive, which allows it to easily start even if it is going to be operated in a cold environment. For novices, this can also be an excellent choice because of the user-friendly features that make it a snap to operate. It is also unrivalled in terms of portability as it is lightweight and has a compact design. Meanwhile, it has an oil-free design, which might require lesser maintenance, but can cause damages to the motor and can be noisy.

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • High Pressure
  • User-Friendly
  • Low Amp

Cons

  • Can be a Bit Noisy
  • Motor may not be Durable

Check Price on Amazon


2) Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor Review

Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor
Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor

With this air compressor, portability is one of the things that you can enjoy. It can be brought wherever work needs to be done since it comes with a lightweight body. The 6-liter tank capacity is also an exceptional feature, which will allow users to operate it for a longer period. In terms of power, it can also be impressive, especially because it has 165 PSI. There is a console cover to protect the buttons. It is also integrated with rubber feet for stability and the prevention of jarring. The oil-free pump is also impressive, making it maintenance-free and long-lasting.

Pros

  • Operates Quietly
  • Lightweight
  • Large Tank
  • Maintenance-Free
  • High-Flow Regulator
  • Rubber Legs

Cons

  • Limited to Small Tasks
  • A Bit Flimsy

Check Price on Amazon


3) Porter-Cable CMB15 Air Compressor Review

Porter-Cable CMB15 Air Compressor
Porter-Cable CMB15 Air Compressor

For the best portable air compressor that is also easy on the wallet, this will be an excellent choice. It weighs only 20 pounds, making it excellent when it comes to portability. It produces only 79 dBA of noise, which makes it fairly quiet. The latter is also because it comes with rubber legs, which also minimizes the vibrations that are created when it is used. The motor is low amp and has 120 volts. This makes it start easily even when you are in a cold environment.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Operates Quietly
  • Compact Design
  • Accessible Controls

Cons

  • Prone to Leakage
  • Some Parts are Made from Plastic

Check Price on Amazon


4) Bostitch CAP1512-OF Trim Compressor Review

Bostitch CAP1512-OF Trim Compressor
Bostitch CAP1512-OF Trim Compressor

This portable air compressor comes with an affordable price, which is already good enough reason to have it chosen above other alternatives. It has a 1.5 HP motor, which is perfectly fitted for a wide array of applications. It is also lightweight, making it excellent in terms of portability. It draws 12 amps, allowing it to start easily, even when you are using it in a cold environment. There is also a LED on and off indicator, which will provide you with immediate notification if the air compressor is turned on.

Pros

  • Easy Start-up
  • Rubber Feet
  • Portable
  • Reasonable Price
  • On-board Storage

Cons

  • Small Tank
  • Loud Noise

Check Price on Amazon


5) Senco PC1010 Air Compressor Review

Senco PC1010 Air Compressor
Senco PC1010 Air Compressor

Budget-conscious buyers will surely be happy with this portable air compressor. While it comes with a price that is easy on the wallet, it does not run out of features that will make it impressive. It can deliver a maximum of 125 PSI and has 4 amps. It weighs only 20 pounds, which makes it portable, and hence, easy to bring anywhere. It also comes with an oil-free design, which is beneficial in terms of requiring minimal maintenance and a major factor that contributes into being user-friendly. It comes with a one gallon tank, which many find to be limited and hence, limiting the tasks that you can do with the use of this portable air compressor.

Pros

  • Quiet Motor
  • Maintenance Free
  • Portable
  • Durable Construction
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Small Tank Size
  • Can Lead to Overheating

Check Price on Amazon


6) Makita MAC700 Air Compressor Review

Makita MAC700 Air Compressor
Makita MAC700 Air Compressor

Power, for sure, is going to be one of the most important considerations in looking for the best air compressor on the market. This model, with 2HP motor, is one of the most powerful that you can ever find. It has 2.6-gallon tank and can deliver maximum pressure of 135 PSI. It also has an oil-lubricated pump, which means that maintenance is required. The main benefit of the latter is that it can make the motor last longer. It is also worth noting that the noise produced is minimal. It is only 80dB, making it one of the quietest air compressors.

Pros

  • Operates Quietly
  • Oiled Pump
  • Durable Body
  • Draws Low Amps
  • Powerful Motor

Cons

  • Complicated Assembly
  • Need for Oil Change

Check Price on Amazon


7) Dewalt D55140 Air Compressor Review

Dewalt D55140 Air Compressor
Dewalt D55140 Air Compressor

The brand name in itself is already enough reason for you to have it chosen above others. While it is made by a company that is trusted for their power tools, it comes with a practical price. Its motor can deliver maximum of 135 PSI and a low 2.6 amp motor, allowing it to start easily even when in a cold environment. It is also worth noting that it comes with 71 dB of noise level, which is silent compared to other models. It has an oil-free pump, which is favored by many because it will require minimal maintenance.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Low Noise
  • Low Amp Motor
  • Durable Pump
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not Built for Tough Tasks
  • Cannot be Used for a Long Time

Check Price on Amazon


8) California Air Tools CAT-1610A Air Compressor Review

California Air Tools CAT-1610A Air Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-1610A Air Compressor

Are you looking for a portable air compressor that comes with an affordable price? This is one option that should not be missed. While it is practical in terms of cost, it is teeming with features that give it a distinct appeal. It comes with a lightweight body, which makes it portable. It also has an aluminum tank, which is rust-free. It is powered by a 1HP motor and operates quietly at only 60 decibels. This means that there will be no distractions in the workplace. It is also impressive that it comes with an oil-free design, which results into being easy to maintain.

Pros

  • Affordable Price
  • Operates Quietly
  • Lightweight
  • Maintenance-Free
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Minimal Airflow
  • Poor Design

Check Price on Amazon


Conclusion

By now, it should be a lot easier for you to choose the best portable air compressor available on the market. Go back to the portable air compressor reviews we have briefly discussed and see which one will match your requirements. Whether it is a simple task at home or a job that you have to do professionally, these air compressors will surely give you a helping hand and the guarantee that every work will be completed successfully.