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.
Table of Contents
- 1 Essential Factors to Consider
- 2 Top Picks for the Best Portable Air Compressor
- 2.1 1) Porter Cable C2002 WK Pancake Compressor Review
- 2.2 2) Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor Review
- 2.3 3) Porter-Cable CMB15 Air Compressor Review
- 2.4 4) Bostitch CAP1512-OF Trim Compressor Review
- 2.5 5) Senco PC1010 Air Compressor Review
- 2.6 6) Makita MAC700 Air Compressor Review
- 2.7 7) Dewalt D55140 Air Compressor Review
- 2.8 8) California Air Tools CAT-1610A Air Compressor Review
- 3 Conclusion
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
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.
- Compact Design
- High Pressure
- Low Amp
- Can be a Bit Noisy
- Motor may not be Durable
2) Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor Review
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.
- Operates Quietly
- Large Tank
- High-Flow Regulator
- Rubber Legs
- Limited to Small Tasks
- A Bit Flimsy
3) Porter-Cable CMB15 Air Compressor Review
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.
- Operates Quietly
- Compact Design
- Accessible Controls
- Prone to Leakage
- Some Parts are Made from Plastic
4) Bostitch CAP1512-OF Trim Compressor Review
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.
- Easy Start-up
- Rubber Feet
- Reasonable Price
- On-board Storage
- Small Tank
- Loud Noise
5) Senco PC1010 Air Compressor Review
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.
- Quiet Motor
- Maintenance Free
- Durable Construction
- Small Tank Size
- Can Lead to Overheating
6) Makita MAC700 Air Compressor Review
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.
- Operates Quietly
- Oiled Pump
- Durable Body
- Draws Low Amps
- Powerful Motor
- Complicated Assembly
- Need for Oil Change
7) Dewalt D55140 Air Compressor Review
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.
- Low Noise
- Low Amp Motor
- Durable Pump
- Not Built for Tough Tasks
- Cannot be Used for a Long Time
8) California Air Tools CAT-1610A Air Compressor Review
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.
- Affordable Price
- Operates Quietly
- Minimal Airflow
- Poor Design
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.