Table of Contents
- Top 6 Best Air Compressors Reviews
- 1. PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor
- 2. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)
- 3. ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ On-Board Twin High Performance Air Compressor
- 4. CAMPBELL HAUSFELD HL433000DI Air Compressor, 20 gallon
- 5. Rolair, VT25BIG, Air Compressor, 2.5 HP, 115V, 130 psi
- 6. California Air Tools CAT-1610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 1.6-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor
- Most important facts about Air Compressors
- How an air compressor operates
- Top 10 Best Mattress Toppers Reviews in 2020
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- Top 5 Best Swimming Pool Steps And Ladder Reviews in 2020
- Types of air compressors
- Types of pumps
- Types of powering the air compressor
- Tank size and shape
- Air delivery rate or CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)
- Maximum pressure
- Maximum power output
- Tank size
- Noise level
When you are on a hunt for the best air compressor that will suit your needs there are a few important facts about best air compressors you have to know before you buy.
Top 6 Best Air Compressors Reviews
1. PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor
The PORTER CABLE PCFP02003 3.5 Gal 135 PSI Pancake Compressor; Air delivery of 2.0 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI pump, with a 3.5 gallon tank and 135 max PSI for longer run time and quicker recovery. It features a durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance. The low Amp 120V motor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord and has a factory installed quick coupler for quick access to regulated air. This unit weighs only 26 lbs. for easy portability. 82dBA decibel level; 2 guages; 1 Quick-Connect coupler. Supports multiple trim finishing nailers, small framing/roofing jobs and all general inflation, blowing and smaller SCFM air tools.
2. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)
DEWALT DWFP55126 6 Gal 165 PSI Pancake Compressor features a high efficiency motor for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application. [14 ga or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]. It also offers a 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump, which enables long tool run time with quick recovery. The high flow regulator and couplers maximize air tool performance, and a long life oil free pump for maintenance free operation. This unit offers a soft 75.5 dBA noise level for a quiet work setting. A console cover protects controls and is removable to allow easy repair. This unit also features 2 universal couplers to easily support two users, and a ball drain valve for quick & thorough tank draining. It has protective rubber leg covers to prevent marring. It has a convenient cord wrap for easy storage, and its 30 lb weight makes it quite easy to carry/store. Please confirm that the drain valve is fully closed before using the compressor.
3. ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ On-Board Twin High Performance Air Compressor
Providing optimum power, the ARB twin motor design delivers class-leading air flow for fast inflation purposes. Constructed of lightweight, high-strength engineering grade materials, it incorporates quality components for quiet operation and extended durability. The twin motors incorporate internal thermal protection against extreme temperature damage while a heavy duty in-line maxi fuse for each motor provides professional circuit protection. Available as either a portable kit with a 4L air tank, inflation accessories and a durable carry case or a vehicle mounted kit with associated wiring loom and mounting hardware.
4×4 air compressors provide truck owners with many advantages regardless of whether you’re four wheeling, camping, fishing or hunting. ARB has a line of models, from vehicle mounted options to a portable air compressor, each suitable for numerous tasks including specific models available for Air Locker activation. Few 4×4 accessories offer as many advantages as readily available on-board air. Considered by truck owners around the world to be a staple accessory for off road travel, an ARB 4×4 air compressor provides an immediate source of compressed air anywhere a 12 volt power source is available. Tires perform best when they’re set at a pressure that’s appropriate for the terrain. While highway use calls for a relatively high pressure rate, lowering your air pressure will dramatically improve your 4×4’s traction in a range of off road environments. Compressed air allows you the freedom to adjust the tire inflation level of your truck to suit the conditions An equally beneficial feature of on-board air is the ability to re-inflate tires that have been repaired – it’s not unusual to get several punctures in one day when 4WDing in extreme off road conditions. In this environment, the value of owning a 4×4 air compressor is priceless. When coupled with good quality tire repair equipment, an ARB air compressor provides the off road traveler with independence and peace of mind. ARB 4×4 air compressors are individually leak tested, current draw tested and flow tested under load at the factory before packaging. And ARB’s after-sales service is second to none with many of the compressor components readily available and easily sourced.
This compact vehicle mounted compressor has been designed to do everything! Activate your ARB Air Locking Differentials, air up a 35″ tire in less than a minute and run air tools. This 100% duty cycle, 6.16 CFM compressor is built to support all of your compressed air needs. The CKMTA12 twin on-board compressor kits were designed to fill the off road markets need for a compact sized yet high-volume compressed air source to suit the high volume airflow needs of most air powered tools, and also to suit the actuation and control needs of the ARB Air Locker, and the harsh and demanding environment of the ARB Air Locker user. Air manifold also available for running air tools or dual lockers.
4. CAMPBELL HAUSFELD HL433000DI Air Compressor, 20 gallon
20 gallon, portable, vertical compressor, 2 HP, 5.5 SCFM @ 40 PSI, 4.5 SCFM at 90 PSI, 125 max PSI, cast iron cylinder, oil lubricated pump, direct drive induction motor, operates from standard 120V, 15A outlet, ideal for garage & workshop applications, includes air filter & oil bottle, 1 year limited warranty. Easy to install and easy to operate. The country of original is China.
5. Rolair, VT25BIG, Air Compressor, 2.5 HP, 115V, 130 psi
Portable Electric Oil-Lubricated Air Compressor, Hot Dog Tank Type, HP 2. 5, 115VAC Voltage, Full Load Amps 13. 8, Free Air CFM @ 90 PSI 6. 5, Free Air CFM @ Max. Pressure 5. 9, Max. Pressure 130 psi, Tank Size 5. 3 gal. , (F)NPT Outlet 1/4 In. , Weight 108 lb. , Cylinder Material Cast Iron, Lubrication Type Oil Lubricated, Motor RPM 3400, Induction Motor Type, Avg. Pump Life 6, 000 hr. , dBA @ 3 Feet 88. 0, UL/CSA Standards, Overall Length 19 In. , Overall Width 19 In. , Overall Height 37 In.
6. California Air Tools CAT-1610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 1.6-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor
The CALIFORNIA AIR TOOLS 1610A Ultra Quiet air compressor is designed to be one of the quietest air compressors in the industry having only 60 decibels of sound. This air compressor makes less sound than a normal conversation (65 decibels). The powerful 1.0 HP motor operates at only 1680 RPM creating less noise and less wear. The Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System is engineered for high performance and durability .The 1.6 gallon aluminum air tank is lightweight (35lbs) and rust resistant making it very easy to transport and store. This air compressor is ideal for anyone working where noise is a major issue
Most important facts about Air Compressors
How an air compressor operates
Air compressors are designed to convert power into potential energy. With the help of an electric motor or diesel/gasoline engine the air compressor forces air into its tank where the pressure increases. Once the pressure reaches its maximum the compressor shuts off until you need to use the energy by releasing the air. Once the pressure drops to its lower limit, the air compressor kicks back on again, in order to re-pressurize the tank. The discharge of the built-in pressure is measured by PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) and the delivery rate is measured by CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). These two numbers express the effectiveness of the air compressor in regards of the application purposes.
Types of air compressors
There are different types of air compressors depending on the way the pressure is delivered, the design and principle of operation and also depending on the application.
We offer you a short description of the basic types in order to help you when choosing the best air compressor.
Depending on the pressure delivered
- Low-pressure air compressors – the discharge pressure is 150 PSI or less
- Medium-pressure air compressors – the discharge pressure is between 151 PSI and 1.000 PSI
- High-pressure air compressors – the discharge pressure is above 1.000 PSI
Depending on the principle of operation
- Piston air compressors
By using the constant motion of pistons, this type of air compressors pump the air into an air chamber. Using a one way valve the air is guided into a cylinder chamber where the air is being compressed.
- Rotary screw compressors
They use two helical screws which guide the air into a chamber, where it gets compressed as the screws turn.
- Vane compressors
Here the air is guided and the volume compressed with the help of a slotted rotor with varied blade placements. This is a type of compressor which delivers fixed airflow at very high pressure.
- The air compressors application starts with supplying air to gas cylinders (for diving), goes trough filling tires and supplying moderate air pressure in order to power pneumatic tools and goes to producing large volumes of compressed air for large-scale industrial processes.
Types of pumps
There are two main types of pumps which the air compressors comprise of: oil-lubed and oil-less. The oil-lubed type of pump requires maintenance, which sometimes can be time consuming and if not executed properly might lead to the units malfunctioning. The oil-less system is more advanced, requires no maintenance, but on the other hand is more expensive and makes the air compressor louder while operating.
Types of powering the air compressor
The two main types of powering the air compressor is by using electricity or by using diesel/gas. The diesel / gas powered air compressors are very noisy and often used in remote areas where there is less or no access to electricity.
Electric powered air compressors are very commonly used in production, workshops and homes. They can operate at 110-120 Volt or 230-240 Volt.
Tank size and shape
The tank size actually tells you how much compressed air you have in reserve. The shape of a tank can be “pancake”,which means small tank, “Twin tank”, Horizontal or vertical.
Now that you are familiar with the most important facts about air compressors, here we offer you a Criteria For How To Choose An Air Compressor
There are many brands which bring a range of air compressors and probably will deliver the best air compressor to suit your needs. You can certainly get a unit, if you just want to check the tire pressure or inflate balls, but if you are expecting the same one to be used for air brushing or to work with any air tools, you will be left disappointed.
The first and most essential thing is to know what do you need the compressor for and what kind of tools would you like to use it with.
When choosing an air compressor you shouldn’t left yourself to be fooled by the brand name. Sometimes no-name air compressors are not bad, although brands established at the market like California Air Tools, DeWalt, Makita, Porter Cable, Rolair, Senco and Bostitch deliver quite a big range of products with quality guarantied. We will be looking at reviews of products by all of this brands, so that you can compare and find the best air compressor for you. However, the brand is not the most important thing. What you should be looking at are the power, air delivery rate (CFM), the maximum and working pressure (PSI) and the tank capacity.
As per the comparisons from our air compressor reviews, there may be major differences in performance. The lowest performance is delivered by battery compressors, followed by the mini-compressors. Battery compressors and mini-compressors really should be used only for inflating car or bicycle tires, balls and lilos. California Air Tools, DeWalt, Makita or Porter Cable offer Larger and mobile piston compressors which are very powerful and can be used for airbrushing or working with air tools. The power is usually measured in Horsepower ( HP) and always comes in the specifications for each model.
Air delivery rate or CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)
In USA the airflow is normally measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute. This value usually shows you the volume of air the compressor is supplying and how fast. Very often the air delivery rate depends on the type of air compressor. When it comes to mini or cordless air compressors the benefits are rather low. However, when we are talking about high quality products offered by California Air Tools, DeWalt, Makita, Porter Cable, Rolair, Senco or Bostitch we expect some good numbers.
What is important to know is that you need pressure for your CFM. In regards of an air compressor specifics, when the pressure goes up, the flow goes down. So when you are looking at air compressor reviews you need to know that the CFM delivered at 90 PSI for instance, will be smaller number than the one delivered at 40 PSI.
Pressure is usually measured in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). When you are looking for an air compressor every time you will see the maximum air pressure it can get to. However, what is important to pay attention to is the combination of CFM and PSI as the CFM rating of a compressor is dependent on the pressure it has been delivered at. Shortly said, you don’t need such a high pressure when it comes to inflating tires, but if you are planning on using airbrushes or pneumatic tools, you will be looking for an air compressor that can build high pressure.
Maximum power output
This is actually the combination of CFM and PSI. It is usually shown in the technical specifications by the manufacturer and this is the most important thing to know about the air compressor. The maximum power output of your air compressor should always match or even exceed the CFM operational requirements of your tools.
Here we offer you a short example for better understanding.
If you want to get maximum performance of a tool which requires 5 CFM at 90 PSI, then you will also need an air compressor with a CFM output greater than 5 CFM at 90 PSI.
The tank is where the compressed air is stored, so this one is easy, the bigger tank, the more compressed air you will have in reserve.
Obviously, the weight is a factor only when you are looking to get an air compressor for your car or a battery compressor without wheels. Usually the portable air compressors are lightweight, however there are some models on the market, which push the limit of the word “portable” and although they are equipped with wheels, they are quite heavy to be carried around.
The noise levels of an air compressor are measured in decibels (dB). Some brands advertise their products as quiet or ultra quiet air compressors, and usually you are able to find in the unit’s specification the decibels it can get to while operating. This is something to look for when you are planning on buying an air compressor to be used around the house or garage.
The most common types of air compressors we are offering reviews for are:
Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor
With technology moving from one level to another, there is no doubt that there is growing demand for portable gas powered air compressor. There are obviously a number of benefits when it comes to choosing this type of air compressor. They are well known for their low noise even when working to full capacity. They run on gas and hence they do not require any electric outlet. This makes it perfect to move it around and it can be used even in remote locations where electricity could be a problem. When one spends some time and finally manages to find the best gas powered air compressor there is no doubt that it could go a long way in making heavy duty application simple and easy. They are also available in big sizes and capacities which can be towed to remote locations.
Electric Portable Air Compressor
As mentioned above though gas air compressors have their own advantages and benefits, it would be naïve to write off the continuing need for electric portable air compressors. Wherever there is a need to avoid fumes and pollution, going in for a good electric motor air compressor is the best way forward. So, when it comes to indoor use, there is no doubt that this type of compressor is the best to go for. They are available in different sizes and capacities and going through some good electric air compressor reviews would probably help you find the one that suits your needs. You could choose lightweight electric compressors weighing around 34 pounds. On the other hand there are large compressors which run on electricity. They work on 120 volts and also have relatively higher noise levels exceeding 78 DB.
Portable 12v Air Compressor
If you are driving a car, there are many reasons as to why it would make sense for you to go in for a portable 12V Air compressor. They are perfectly suitable for those who drive 4×4 cars. They can help a lot in checking air pressure while on the move and when in remote locations. They are very small and portable in size and therefore can be easily transported in the boot of the car. They can also be carried in a convertible or hatchback. When buying a 12v compressor a few points must be taken into account. You should know how to make use of the portable air compressor 12v or otherwise it would be a wasteful expenditure. It does not require even the basics of mechanics to check pressure of your tires using a good quality 12v portable air compressor. It should also be taken in mind keeping a check of car tire pressure helps to increase the life of the tires quite significantly.
Quiet Air Compressor
One of the biggest challenges with air compressors is that they make lot of noise and they are often notorious for being noise pollution creators. However, this problem can be solved by going in for a good quiet air compressor. They help a lot in performing efficiently without making those big noises. The quiet air compressors are available in different sizes, shapes and configurations and therefore it could be confusing when choosing the right one. However, as an end user, it is worthwhile having a few points in mind before buying a small quiet airbrush compressor or even a super quiet air compressor. The most important considerations are power of the compressor, the tank capacity and the motor which it operates with. You could choose between gas operated compressors and electric compressors depending on where they will be used. The features also should be taken into account and the attachments and accessories are also important. These could include inflators and various other fittings.
Pancake Air Compressor
When we talk about a pancake air compressor we are talking about something that is small in size and also very light. The capacity of the tank ranges from around 1 gallon to 6 gallons. The unique thing about pancake air compressors is that they are specially designed with the best of ergonomics and the best of convenience when it comes to moving around and portability. Further on, if you go through some good pancake air compressor reviews you will also find out that they require very little maintenance. This is perhaps because they do not come with any belts. Another benefit is the fact that the pump that is operated is oil-free. They are suitable for small works like inflation of tires and so on. However, they cannot be used for heavy duty purposes.