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Best 10 Gallon Air Compressors 2020 – Reviews & Guide

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a 10-gallon air compressor

Whether you are a handyman or just doing jobs at home, you don’t like to waste time doing things manually that can be completed much faster with air tools. You may love what you do, but air compressors help you to zip through your job quickly so that you can get on with your day.

We have reviewed several ten-gallon air compressors and compiled a list of our top five picks for you. We will provide you with the right information about each one so that you can get a complete picture of each product.

Comparison Table (Last updated: 2020)

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
California Air Tools 10020C
California Air Tools 10020C 10 Gallon CompressorBest Overall

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1 Year4.8/5
WEN 2289
WEN 2289 10-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor

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2 Years4.6/5
Central Pneumatic 8 Gallon Air Compressor
Central Pneumatic 8 Gallon Air CompressorBest Value

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1 Year4.5/5
XTREMEPOWERUS 10-Gallon Air-Compressor With Tank
XTREMEPOWERUS 10-Gallon Air-Compressor With Tank

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Pro-Force VLF1581019
Pro-Force VLF1581019

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The Best 10-Gallon Air Compressors

1. California Air Tools 10 Gal. Compressor – Best Overall

California Air Tools 10020C 10 Gallon Compressor

The California Air Tools 10020C 10 Gallon Compressor is our number one pick because it looks and works great.

This air compressor features a 20 HP tops (thermal overload protection) motor that is super quiet. It also has a ten-gallon steel tank that delivers 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI. It has a maximum of 125 PSI.

This is a really nice air compressor to have on hand because it is on wheels, making it easy for you to move around. It also has an oil-free pump that requires less maintenance and uses less energy; it only draws 14 amps. One of our favorite features, though, is that it only takes 120 seconds to fill the tank from entirely empty to its full capacity.

The only issue we found with this air compressor is that the water drain is small, delicate and a little too close to the floor. That is by no means a dealbreaker though. This is a really nice piece of equipment to have.

  • 20 HP tops motor
  • 10-gallon steel tank with wheels
  • 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 125 PSI maximum
  • 120 seconds to fill tank
  • Ultra-quiet (70dB)
  • Oil-free pump
  • Low amp draw (14 amps)
  • Small water drain
  • Drain valve too close to floor

2. WEN 2289 10-Gallon Air CompressorWEN 2289 10-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor

The WEN 2289 10-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor features a 10-gallon reinforced steel tank. It delivers air at the rate of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI.

The WEN 2289 is also an oil-free compressor that requires less maintenance than oil-operated ones. For your convenience, it has easy-to-reach valves and couplers, as well as easy-to-read gauges. It also has two seven-inch “never-flat” tires, and a comfortable rubber-grip handle, to make it an excellent mobile option.

There are a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind about this compressor, though. It takes forever to refill and is extremely loud. You will definitely need ear protection when using it. Another thing to consider is that it does not come with a starter kit or any attachments. They will be an added cost to the price of the air compressor itself.

  • 10-gallon reinforced steel tank
  • 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI
  • Oil-free pump
  • Easily accessible valves, couplers and gauges
  • Rubber-grip handle
  • Seven-inch never-flat wheels
  • Loud
  • Takes a long time to fill
  • No starter kit or attachments

3. Central Pneumatic 8 Gal. Air Compressor – Best Value

Central Pneumatic 8 Gallon Air Compressor


It is important to note that this Central Pneumatic air compressor has an eight-gallon tank, not a ten-gallon tank. However, we have included it in our top five picks as the best air compressor for the money because it rates about the same as the California and WEN air compressors.

The Central Pneumatic 8 Gallon Air Compressor has a direct drive induction motor with thermal overload protection. The eight-gallon tank provides air delivery at the rate of 4.5 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.5 CFM at 40 PSI.

The recovery time for this tank falls in the average category, except for the fact that the compressor can’t restart until the tank’s air pressure is very low. If you are using it for small home projects, this may not be a big deal. If you are using it for more significant projects at work, this can cause a problem because you may find yourself standing around waiting for the tank to refill. Make sure that you have earplugs handy if you are close by the unit, as it is pretty loud.

This unit comes complete with wheels for easy mobility, a carrying handle, and easy-to-read gauges that are pretty simple to put together. It does take a little common sense, since the manual is not as clearly detailed as it could be. The manual also says it only takes about 30 minutes of run time to break this air compressor in. We found that it actually took a couple of hours to get it to run smoothly.

  • Direct drive tops motor
  • 4.5 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.5 CFM at 40 PSI
  • Easily transportable
  • Easy-to-read gauges
  • Compressor can’t restart until air pressure is very low
  • Loud
  • Takes a few hours to break in
  • Manual not detailed

4. XTREMEPOWERUS Air-Compressor With Tank

XTREMEPOWERUS 10-Gallon Air-Compressor With Tank

The XTREMEPOWERUS 10-Gallon Air-Compressor has a cast-iron tank that can go from completely empty to full in under two minutes. It offers a maximum of 125 PSI with 3.5 CFM at 90 PSI and 7.2 CFM at 40 PSI. This compressor works well if you can get past its imperfections.

First of all, the packaging doesn’t protect it very well during shipment. The handle on the unit is made of cheap plastic and can easily get broken without the proper protection.

This compressor also comes with oil to get you started, but it is in a separate bag that doesn’t seal very well. It leaked all over the unit. You may need to clean the whole compressor and purchase more oil before you can begin using it.

We also found that the drain valve isn’t really adequate for the size of the compressor.

  • 10-gallon cast-iron tank
  • 3.5 CFM at 90 PSI and 7.2 CFM at 40 PSI
  • 125 PSI maximum
  • Fills in under two minutes
  • Inadequate drain valve
  • Cheap plastic handle
  • Poor packaging allowing breakage
  • Bag containing oil can leak

5. Pro-Force 10 Gallon Air-Compressor

Pro-Force VLF1581019

The Pro-Force VLF1581019 air compressor features a ten-gallon tank with easy-to-read gauges and an adjustable pressure regulator. It runs off any 120-volt standard outlet, so you don’t have to make sure that you are near a grounded one.

This air compressor will do the job if you can’t afford one that’s a little nicer. You just need to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The housing is made of cheap plastic that can break easily, and according to customer reports, many have been delivered broken due to poor packaging during shipment. It also doesn’t hold air like better quality units do. It will require refilling more often, and that can be unpleasant since this unit is loud.

  • 10-gallon cast-iron tank
  • 120-volt standard plug
  • Pressure regulator and gauges
  • Cheap plastic housing
  • Poor packaging allowing breakage
  • Very loud
  • Leaks air

Buyer’s Guide

When deciding which air compressor will be best for you, know what kind of jobs you will be doing the most and how much money you have to spend. You don’t necessarily need the biggest, baddest air compressor on the market. Keeping within your budget is essential. Getting a job done faster won’t do you any good if you are stressing over the money you spent.


In case you are new to looking at air compressors, let’s quickly give you a few helpful definitions.

1. Pounds per Square Inch (PSI):

Measures the pressure of the air delivered by the compressor. This means that: the higher the PSI number, the more compressed air the tank can hold.

2. Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM):

Tells you how many cubic feet of air is delivered in one minute by that compressor.

What grade is needed?

1. Consumer-level:

Consumer-level air compressors are usually adequate to have around the house. They are used for things like inflating tires, rafts or balls, and for running air tools that don’t have high PSI requirements.

A typical consumer-grade compressor has a maximum of 135 PSI and 7 CFM or lower. These compressors are small, lightweight, and portable.

2. Professional grade:

Professional grade compressors have higher CFM and PSI capabilities and can supply air to multiple tools at once. They are made to handle more wear and tear, so they are used by contractors and tradespeople. These compressors can be portable or stationary.

3. Industrial grade:

Industrial grade air compressors are very heavy-duty and can deliver the largest amount of air for extended time frames. Industrial grade compressors are not used in most homes.

Portable or Stationary:

1. Portable:

Portable units are smaller, and most have wheels, making them easy to move around. These are excellent units to have when you need to take your air compressor with you into the field.

2. Stationary:

Stationary air compressors are not meant to be moved at all once they are set in place. They should be placed in a central location to the areas where the air will be needed.

How much airflow is needed?

All tools have different CFI requirements that are necessary for them to run correctly. Look at your tools, find the one with the highest CFI requirement, and multiply that number by 1.5. This will give you a 50% buffer for any new tools you may purchase.

What size tank is needed?

The size of tank you need is based solely on what you will be using it for. If you are only going to use it to put air into your car tires, you will only require a small tank. It does require more air if you are running pneumatic tools. A ten-gallon tank seems to be a good size for the average homeowner. It isn’t too big, so it doesn’t take up a ton of room, but it also has enough air to be effective at almost any job you ask of it.

Other gallon compressors we’ve written guides for:


Now that we have given you some things to think about while you are shopping for your perfect air compressor, let’s go over our top five ten-gallon air compressors.

  1. California Air Tools 10020C 10 Gallon Compressor – Top Pick
  2. WEN 2289 10-Gallon Vertical Air-Compressor – The Runner-Up
  3. Central Pneumatic 8 Gallon Air Compressor – Best for the Money This air compressor has an eight-gallon tank, not a ten-gallon
  4. XTREMEPOWERUS 10-Gallon Air-Compressor With Tank
  5. Pro-Force VLF1581019

We hope this has provided you with enough background to figure out which air compressor is best for your work. Determine what size you need and focus on that size of unit only. This will narrow the field.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!