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Best Air Compressor for Your Home Garage 2020 – Reviews & Guide

Last Updated on August 13, 2020

Air CompressorA great air compressor will allow you to perform maintenance on your car while also operating a select range of pneumatic tools. Bad air compressors tend to lead toward nothing but frustration.

We chose the products on this list based on their durability, performance, and overall value.

As such, these 10 products are quite diverse. There are options here for buyers of every budget and intention. So, read on for our air compressor reviews!


A Quick Glance at the Winning Products

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
California Air Tools 8010 California Air Tools 8010
  • Silent operation
  • Oil free
  • Great motor
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Bostitch BTFP02012 Bostitch BTFP02012
  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Constant airflow
  • Third place
    Makita MAC2400 Big Bore Makita MAC2400 Big Bore
  • Cast iron build
  • Steel roll cage
  • Weather protected
  • PORTER-CABLE C2002 PORTER-CABLE C2002
  • Affordable
  • Oil-free maintenance
  • Easy start feature
  • Makita MAC700 Makita MAC700
  • Heavy duty
  • High-quality hardware
  • Well-designed circuits
  • The 10 Best Air Compressors for Home Garages

    1. California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor – Best Overall

    California Air Tools 8010

    The California Air Tools is an ultra-quiet, ultra-powerful tool that is optimal for people who need something versatile. The 1-HP motor can be used for automotive maintenance, as well as with a variety of different tools.

    The pump is oil-free, which means it requires less maintenance than other options. It also features wheels and an ergonomic handle that will make it easier to move around your garage.

    This is one of the more expensive air compressors on our list. However, if you need this compressor for larger projects, it will be a great tool for you.

    Pros
    • Silent operation
    • Oil free
    • Great motor
    • Very versatile
    Cons
    • Quite pricey

    2. Bostitch BTFP02012 Compressor – Best Value

    Bostitch BTFP02012

    The Bostitch is an affordable alternative to our top choice. This bargain buy is a compact pancake compressor that is easy to move around the house or garage. Its portability is further enhanced by a comfortable handle.

    It features oil-free maintenance and operates quietly for a peaceful work environment. There is also a built-in regulator that maintains constant airflow for more consistent results.

    It’s not quite as durable as the top choice on our list, which may be hazardous depending on how you use it. However, if you need something for lighter work, this is a great unit to consider.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Portable
    • Constant airflow
    • Quiet operation
    Cons
    • Not as durable as we prefer to see

    3. Makita 2.5 Air Compressor

    Makita 2.5 Hp Air Compressor

    The Makita is a hyper-durable, powerful compressor that is as suited for the garage as for a construction site. The cast iron base makes it a stable option for virtually any environment.

    The thermal protective components also protect it against extreme conditions, which means you will be able to use the compressor whether it is very hot or very cold outside.

    The Makita even features a steel-plated “roll cage” that will protect it against drops and other adverse conditions. It is specifically made for automotive work but is compatible with a variety of different tools.

    Bear in mind that this is one of the more expensive options on our list. For some users, the higher end features may be more than you need.

    Pros
    • Cast iron build
    • Steel roll cage
    • Weather protected
    • Versatile
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor

    PORTER-CABLE C2002

    The Porter-Cable is an affordable pancake-style compressor that is easy to carry around. It features a maximum PSI rating of 150, which means it works with most pneumatic tools.

    There is an easy start motor feature that can be activated even in very cold situations. Porter-Cable also treats you to oil-free maintenance. But for all this compressor does right, it is not without its shortcomings.

    This is a noisy tool that may be irritating over long periods of use. Durability is also a problem. A spill or shake may cause major problems down the line.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • 150 PSI rating
    • Oil-free maintenance
    • Easy start feature
    Cons
    • Noisy to the point that it may prove irritating over time

    5. Makita MAC700 Air Compressor

    Makita MAC700 Big Bore

    The Makita MAC700 is a heavy-duty cast iron pump that is well suited for worksites and high-volume garages.

    The low-amp interface protects the circuits to ensure a longer life expectancy. It’s also one of the quieter air compressors on our list, which is excellent for ensuring a peaceful work environment.

    Meanwhile, the hardware is made with high-end durable components — including copper, steel, and iron — to protect it in virtually any circumstances.

    This is another pricier tool that may be restrictive for budget buyers. Portability is also a problem. This is a very heavy compressor, which might make it hard to carry around.

    Pros
    • Heavy duty
    • High-quality hardware
    • Well-designed circuits
    Cons
    • Restrictive price
    • Portability is a major problem

    6. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

    DEWALT Pancake (DWFP55126)

    The DeWalt is a six-gallon air compressor with a PSI rating of 165. It is powerful enough to work with most tools while also being portable. The 30-pound weight is about as light as you can expect a tool of this variety to be.

    A regulator moderates airflow for consistency, while the efficiency start function can help you activate the tool even in cold weather.

    It is one of the noisier compressors on our list, which may be irritating during long jobs. Like most DeWalt products, it is also very expensive.

    Pros
    • Very portable
    • Powerful
    • Automatically moderates flow
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Quite noisy

    7. Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor

    Campbell Hausfeld (DC080500)

    The Campbell is a larger eight-gallon unit that includes wheels and a pulley system. Even though the weight makes it harder to take from place to place, this feature radically helps with mobility.

    This is a durable tool that can be used with hoses up to 25 feet in length, making it easy to work with nail guns, pneumatic hammers, etc. It can also be used with tires.

    Unfortunately, some users had negative things to say, with several claiming that their units didn’t last for longer than a year. It is also quite noisy.

    Pros
    • Pully system
    • Durable
    • Hoses up to 25 feet in length
    Cons
    • Very noisy
    • Heavy
    • Some users claim it doesn’t last very long

    8. Excell Quiet Air Compressor

    excell Sac22Hpe Excell SAC22HPE

    The Excell is an air compressor that can operate quietly even during several hours of use. It features a durable steel cage designed to fortify it against drops. The start system is also extremely sophisticated and can operate in weather conditions as low as 16 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The control panel is also easy to use. The layout is intuitive, and the hoses feature regulators that supply a constant airflow.

    The build is mostly durable, but the valves do seem to be on the more fragile side. Some people who use the tool regularly have reported that the motor gets extremely hot, which is troubling. However, it is difficult to say how often this issue occurs.

    Pros
    • Ultra quiet
    • Durable steel cage
    • Great in extreme weather
    Cons
    • Not very durable hardware
    • Some users report it gets very hot

    9. Industrial Air Belt Driven Air Compressor

    Industrial Air ILA188354 ILA1883054

    This air compressor is a durable, 30-gallon twin-cylinder unit specifically optimized for the rough and tumble environment of the job site. It also has wheels that make it slightly easier to take around. There are, however, a few issues that hold it back.

    For one thing, it is a noisy product. It is also expensive and features mediocre hardware. The wheels in particular are fragile and may require regular maintenance and adjusting. Worst case, they may not work at all.

    Pros
    • Huge tank
    • Tough exterior
    Cons
    • Very noisy
    • Fragile wheels
    • Very pricey

    10. Porter-Cable Portable Air Compressor

    Porter Cable PXCMF220VW

    Last on our list is another Porter Cable product. This unit falls on the more affordable end of the spectrum (considering its immense size), making it an enticing choice for budget buyers. Unfortunately, that is about all it has going for it.

    The exterior is not particularly durable, which may be a problem on the job site. It is also difficult to transport by virtue of its size. It is quite a noisy compressor, which can be frustrating during long hours of work.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    Cons
    • Not very durable
    • Very noisy
    • Difficult to transport

    Buyer’s Guide

    Here are buying considerations that will help in your search for the best products on the market.

    User Intent

    Intention is key when deciding on an air compressor. Our list features garage-based air compressors, which means we assume that automotive work will come into play. However, you can find units that can be used both for work on cars and with tools.

    Pay attention to your intentions for the compressor because they usually cannot be adapted to perform different tasks.

    PSI Rating

    The PSI rating is the most important component of any air compressor. The pressure per square inch feature of the tool determines what sort of tires and other accessories it can work with.

    Most pneumatic tools have a minimum PSI rating of between 60-90, and tires will similarly feature specific ratings.

    The higher the PSI rating, the more you will be able to accomplish.

    Tank Size

    The tank size will determine how long a compressor can run before requiring a refill. It is an important feature, but having a small tank is not necessarily a deal-breaker.

    A good air compressor can be refilled quickly. For example, some can go from empty to full in less than a minute.

    It is nice to have a large tank, but if that isn’t an option, the least you can do is to invest in something that refills quickly.

    Weatherproofing

    Air compressors are known to malfunction in extreme weather conditions. You can get around this by getting a unit that has been fortified with thermal cover technology.

    Thermal-proofed compressors will last longer and be able to perform in the most extreme circumstances.

    Air Compressor Blue

    Noise Factor

    Air compressors can also be extremely noisy. You can negotiate this problem by getting a tool with a noise-suppressing build. This feature is typically only found in higher-end units, but it is well worth the money, especially if you intend to use the compressor often.

    Number of Tools That Can Be Used

    Some air compressors can hook up to several different tools at once. This requires a great deal of power and is therefore only found in more expensive options.

    It can, however, be an invaluable feature if you need to do contracting or heavy do-it-yourself work.

    Portability

    How do you plan to move this compressor around? Air compressors tend to be difficult to maneuver, especially those with larger tanks.

    There are several options on our list that have wheels and handles. This accommodation makes it easier to carry around your air compressor.

    Maintenance

    Oil-free upkeep is a great feature because it gives you one less thing to worry about. Fortunately, this is a fairly common component of any compressor. However, don’t make any assumptions. If oil-free upkeep is important to you, make sure the unit you are considering has this feature.

    Conclusion

    It’s time to finalize your buying decision. Fortunately, we can help with this. If you want the best product that you can get your hands on, the California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 HP Steel Tank Air Compressor will probably be the ideal choice.

    If your resources are limited, you may favor our best-for-the-money pick, the Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor.


    Featured Image By: stevepb, pixabay

    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!