An air compressor is a versatile tool that runs on either an electric motor or a gas engine to which provides pressurized air to power up multiple types of equipment such as air tools. The appliance works on a very simple principle of sucking a large volume of air from the atmosphere and squeezing each volume of air in a small space to increase its pressure and then transfer it to a storage tank. Whenever required the pressurized air is then transferred from the tank to run your equipment. You might have seen one at a car garage but since they have become a lot portable that anyone can have one at their home garage.
Air Compressors come in a lot of different designs and functionalities. If you have one in your home garage then not only helps you fill up air in your bicycle, car and other inflatables such as football, and pool tube but also helps you to power up many air tools. It can run your sandblaster, blow gun, spray paint, brad nailer, air ratchet and so on. It encourages you to do more DIY stuff rather than calling a professional for the same. They come in various sizes so you can always have one which can fit in your home garage.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices:
Here is a quick snapshot of our top-rated picks.
10 Best Air Compressor For Home Garage 2020
Are you looking for the best air compressor for your home garage? Choosing the right one for your needs might be a difficult task as there are a lot of options available nowadays with different specs and features but don’t worry. We did all the hard work of filtering through some of the best air compressors out there to find the perfect ones for you.
In this article, we are going to showcase the best air compressor for home garage and what makes them different from one another. We have also included a dedicated buyer’s guide, so you will know what to look for while buying an air compressor. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have enough knowledge to easily choose the best one for your needs.
Here’s a list of the Best Air Compressor For Home Garage we found on the market:
- Constructed with a pancake style tank for optimal stability
- Provides longer air tool performance
- Product dimensions: 18.3 x 18 x 19 inches
- Includes 13 piece accessory kit. Contains a 6 gallon capacity
- 150 psi max tank pressure stores more air in the tank for longer tool run times
This air compressor from the company Porter-Cable is one of the best portable air compressors for home garage you can have in your home garage. It is also very popular and one of the top-rated products on Amazon. One of the best thing about this best air compressor is it very small which makes it easy to carry and store in a small amount of space. It comes in a pancake style base and weighs only 30 lb. so you are likely to move around with your tools, it won’t be an issue. It has a handle on the top adding more convenience. If you are not into heavy-duty tasks and only want something for like filling the air in inflators or something else, it will be great for you.
Talking about some specs, this air compressor has a 150 PSI max tank pressure. The recovery time is also very quick here with SCFM ratings is 2.6 and 90 PSI. The air tank capacity is 6 Gallons and has an oil-free tank which will not only last you long but also doesn’t require much maintenance. The motor here runs on 120 Volts so power source is also not an issue here, it can easily start even in cold weather and you can use also use it with an extension cord. It is very affordable and you also have an option to buy it with an accessory kit and a tire gauge which will save you some bucks.
- OIL FREE: Requires no daily maintenance and eliminates risk of oil stains on work surfaces
- LIGHTWEIGHT: 29 pound weight and narrow tank diameter make unit easy to carry/store
- HIGH FLOW REGULATOR AND DUAL COUPLERS: Maximizes air tool performance
- LOW NOISE LEVEL: 80dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment (**tested per ISO 3744)
- KIT INCLUDES: BTFP02012 Pancake Compressor, 50' Rubber/PVC Blend Air Hose, 10 Piece Inflation and Blow Gun Accessory Kit
Here’s another portable yet powerful air compressor from the company Bostitch. It has a Pancake style base with a handle on top to make it easier to carry around with you. The weight is also less than the previous one, only 29 lbs. This air compressor comes with a high-efficiency motor and a High Flow regulator to give a Max PSI of 150 and maximizes the performance of your air tool. Power is also not an issue here as it can start just with 110V and in cold weather. The air tank has a 6-gallon capacity and can deliver 2.6 SCFM with a 90 PSI pump. It has couplers too so you and your friend can work at the same time and maximize its performance.
If you are looking for something which is very portable and at the same time doesn’t make a lot of noise then this one is perfect for you. The noise level is only 79 dBA making a quiet work environment. The motor is also oil-free which requires less maintenance and adds more convenience to it. This air compressor comes with a very affordable initial price and at the same time, you have an option to choose from various combos such as 2/3 Tool kit which includes nail gun and hose as well as Gauge Brad Nailer and a premium Kit. So, you can save some extra bucks going with the combo you need the most.
3. Senco PC1010
- Lightweight and portable--easy to carry from site to site as you work
- One horsepower peak ,1/2 horsepower runningand one-gallon capacity
- Ideal for a range of renovation and home improvement jobs, as well as for hobbies and crafts
- Delivers 20 to 44 drives per minute
- Backed by a one-year warranty
The next Best air compressor on the list is from Senco. This air compressor comes with a very affordable price and has a peak horsepower of 1 and running horsepower of 1/2. It is also very lightweight and portable. It weighs only 20 lbs. and comes with the Hotdog design and has a handle with a rubber grip to make it easier to carry around. The hotdog design also makes it very stable on the ground as it comes with 4 legs and you won’t feel any vibration while it’s running. The air tank capacity on this one is 1 Gallon which might a con for some as you have to stop a couple of times during your work.
The SFCM output is 1.4 and the Max output is 125 PSI. This air compressor can easily run on a low voltage of 115V. This air compressor for home garage doesn’t make a lot of noise giving you a silent work environment. The motor is also oil-less so you don’t have to worry about the maintenance. This air compressor is great for all the lightweight tasks such as air filling or nailing but it is definitely not recommended if you want something which can run continuously. It will also don’t handle heavy-duty tasks so keep that in mind. This product also comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty which is really appreciated.
- QUIET: The DC080500 air compressor is up to 50% quieter than comparable compressors, producing just 68 dBA which it makes the unit ideal for indoor and outdoor use
- VERSATILE: This compressor is perfect for inflation, hobby painting, stapling, fastening, nailing, and bolting projects
- DURABLE: The compressor's key components last up to four times longer due to its oil-free, maintenace free, dual piston pump
- PORTABLE: Large wheels and a durable, rubber-grip steel handle makes the unit easy to transport from project to project
- COMPATIBLE: Start your projects right away; bundle this unit with a Campbell 25 ft. Air Hose (PA117701AV), 17 Piece Accessory Kit (MP284701AV)
The next one on the list is from Campbell Hausfeld. It is very sensitive, lightweight and portable. It comes in a Hotdog style with wheels on the front and a handle with a rubberized holding area for a better grip. It is also very powerful with a maximum output of 125 PSI. The tank here is also very large, you have 8 Gallons to work on which is great for air tools required for Bolting, Stapling, Fastening, Painting and Inflation. The motor on this one is oil-free and has a dual-piston pump which gives maximum performance requiring little to no maintenance. It also maximizes its overall life by up to 4 times.
This one doesn’t make a lot of noise. The noise level here is very low 68 dBA as compared to some others in this range. It is great for indoor use and you can focus on your work rather than the noise. This can also be a little pricey for some but we recommend you to keep an eye on it as it generally goes on sale for 25% Cheaper. It also comes with a combo where you can buy the best air compressor for home garage and the Nailer kit together to save some bucks. This product also comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Ultra Quiet only 70 Decibels
- Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs
- Powerful 2.0 Hp with Low amp draw - 7.0 Amps
- 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI & 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI. Dedicated 15 amp outlet -14 gauge 25ft cord - Min. 5500 Watt Generator. Maximum continuous running 30-60 min. (Depending PSI & CFM)
- 10 Gallon Air Tank with Wheels.125 PSI maximum pressure
This air compressor from California Tools is also very quiet. If you are looking for one such best air compressor for home garage which doesn’t make a lot of noise yet very powerful then get this one. It comes with a cylindrical design and has wheels and handles which makes it easier to move around. The build quality here is also great it is made of cast aluminium which will last you for years. Taking about some specs it has a max output of 125 PSI and can deliver airflow at the rate of 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI. It can run on 110 V power outlets and there won’t be any issue in case of cold weather.
This air compressor is a little pricey and comes with a high initial price. However, it is one of the top-rated on Amazon and has a lot of positive reviews. It has an air filter that gives clean air and the motor is also oil-free which means you don’t have to focus much on its maintenance. Some other features here are Extra-large Dual Pistons, Teflon Cylinder Rings, Dual Valve Plate Design, Couplers so two people can use it together, Two Pressure control Gauges, and Condor Pressure Switch. One of the best things here is that it takes very little time in filling and refilling the tank. In case of filling it is 2 Minutes and for refilling it is just 25 Seconds.
- Cast iron pump with big bore cylinder and piston, combined with greater bore and stroke, delivers maximum performance
- Substantially lower noise levels with a large 1,720 RPM pump, enabling greater displacement at lower RPM
- Low amp draw reduces incidences of tripped breakers and voltage drop that can cause premature motor failure
- Oil lubricated provides cooler running pump, minimizes wear
- One-year manufacturer's warranty
Here’s another great air compressor for your home garage from the company Makita. This air compressor is made out of cast iron and has a cylindrical design for increased durability however its is doesn’t have a Wheel so to move it to a different place you have to carry it with the roll bar handle. The pump has a large filter to increase the air take and improve efficiency. It can deliver a max output of 130 PSI. Talking about more specs it can deliver airflow at the rate of 3.8 CFM at 40 PSI and 3.3 CFM at 90 PSI. However, the air tank is quite small, only 2.6 Gallon capacity. This one comes with a 1 Year of manufacturer’s warranty.
The pump on this Makita Air compressor is oil lubricated to reduce the temperature but it adds up to the maintenance of this appliance. You will have to change the oil after a period of usage. Some other features here include oil drain and oil sight glass (Makes it easier to look at the current oil level), Tank drain valve, finned discharge tubing that dissipates heat more efficiently. It produces high output by taking low input which makes it very quiet. You don’t have to worry about your neighbours getting disturbed while using this.
- 2.0 SCFM at 90 psi allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
- 1.5 gal tank in shroud is easy to carry, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
- 150 psi max tank pressure stores more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes
- Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance,Pump Lubrication: Oil-free pump design
- Low Amp 120V motor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord
Yet another portable & Best air compressor from the company Porter Cable but this time it is more portable and lightweight from the previous one. This air compressor is very small which makes it easier to carry around. It is a hand carry one and doesn’t come with any wheels. The motor on this air compressor can deliver a max output of 150 PSI and airflow with a rate of 2 SCFM at 90 PSI. The air tank here is 1.5 Gallon and features water drain valve and rubber feet. The pump is also oil-free which requires little to no maintenance. The motor doesn’t require much power and you can use it easily on a socket with 110V output and starting it in cold weather will not be an issue either.
There are a few things you might want to know before picking this one. The body is made out of plastic and there is no Coupler on this one so two people cannot use it together. It is less powerful and only meant for smaller tasks such as filling the air in tires and inflator. You can also do spray painting and nailing with this one but don’t try heavy-duty tasks such as sandblasting because it is not meant for that. You should only go for this air compressor if you want something which is ultra-portable which you can carry easily with you.
- Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for improved performance
- Powerful 3.0 HP* motor produces 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI for increased productivity
- Pump is oil lubricated for cooler running temperatures and reduced wear
- Durable cast iron cylinder reduces wear and increases pump life; removable for easy maintenance
- Folding handle with low profile design for easy storage with handle folded
Here’s another best air compressor from the company Makita. The company has four air compressors in the Big Bore series and this comes in third place. This is very portable but comes with a lot of power. It has a Horizontal Hotdog and Wheelbarrow kind of design and made of cast iron. It has a large handle to carry it around and it is also foldable so storing it away will be easy. It has a built-in storage compartment that can store all the air fittings and accessories. The wheels are also rubberized and can defend some wear and tear. It has a powerful motor of 3.0 HP and is able to produce airflow at the rate of 6.5 CFM at 90PSI.
The air tank here is very large, it is 5.2 Gallons so keep that in mind while buying this air compressor for home garage. You will not have to take a lot of pauses if you are doing something which takes a lot of time, you can run it for long before it requires a refill. The pump is also lubricated with oils for reduced wear and cooler running temperature but it requires more maintenance and you will have to change it after a long period of usage. This comes with some additional features such as built-in thermal overload protection.
9. WEN 2202
- Provides air flow rates of 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI
- 20-gallon tank constructed with reinforced steel for a maximum pressure of 135 PSI
- Features an easy-to-reach quick drain valve, 1/4-inch NPT quick coupler and two pressure gauges
- Onboard handle and wheels make transportation to the job site easier than ever
- Backed by a two-year warranty
Now let’s talk about some heavy-duty air compressors. There will be a lot of people working from their home garage on their car for sandblasting and other such tools and they require a lot of power and air tank capacity. The build quality here is very sturdy and durable. It comes with a large cylindrical and wheelbarrow design. Although it is very heavy, it has a large rubberized wheel and a handle which makes it easier to move around at your workplace. This air compressor has a very powerful motor that can deliver airflow with a rate of 3.8 CFM at 90PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI which is best for using in Your Home Garage. The maximum output on this one is 135 PSI.
The air tank is also very large with a capacity of 20 Gallons so you can keep this running for long before it requires another refill. It comes with many features such as easy to reach drain valve, Couplers so two people can use it simultaneously, and two pressure Gauges. The best thing I liked about this air compressor is it comes with 2 years warranty which is less seen as compared to other air compressors. There are multiple versions of the same air compressor available so you can also choose from lower-end variants such as 6 Gallon or 10 Gallon.
- Heavy duty 2.5 horsepower rated motor
- Long-life oil lubricated compressor with precision machined cast-iron sleeve
- Single capacitor motor with thermal overload protection
- Wheel kit with 6 in. wheels and ergonomic handle for smooth portability
- Oil level indicator window for easy maintenance
The last on the list is a heavy-duty air compressor from the company Central Pneumatic. It comes in a large cylindrical and a wheelbarrow style. This One has a horsepower of 2.5 and can deliver air with 5.8 CFM at 40 PSI and 4.7 CFM at 90 PSI. It has a large air tank of 21 Gallon so in just one refill you can use it for long. The built-in couplers maximize their power because it can be used by two people at the same time. The added dual rubber foot stabilizer helps reduce the vibration and it is designed in such a way you can connect different types of hoses as per your convenient.
This one is very heavy and takes a lot of space, although moving it around the home won’t be an issue but you can’t carry it on different floors. It is only recommended for those who do a lot of heavy-duty tasks and need something which is very powerful and can run for a long duration. You can use this air compressor for all kinds of tasks such as sandblasting, nailing and other such tools. Keep in mind that this requires some maintenance. You have to change the powerhead oil after a long period of usage as well as the motor case air filter and piston rings. It has an oil level indicator so you can keep an eye on it. If you take good care of it then it will last you for years.
How to Choose the Best Air Compressor – Buyer’s Guide
While buying an Air Compressor first ask yourself, what are you going to use it for. Is it for your home garage, to fill up the tires or going to sand up the whole car? Some of the tools you will use might consume a lot of air and the more air they will consume the larger the tank you are going to need, as well as you need more horsepower and input voltage.
If you are just going to fill up the air in your tires which can easily done by any 12v air compressor or fill up a football or a pool float or a home renovation project then a pancake style small air compressor with a small tank is perfect for you. So, there are a lot of factors which can really affect your buying decision. Let’s check out some of them so you can get a clear idea of which air compressor you should buy for your home garage.
Types of Air Compressor.
There are mainly three different types
Reciprocating – These work by reducing the volume of the air by using a piston placed inside the air compressor which results in increased pressure. They come at a very affordable price and are much easier to use because of their simple design. However, their maintenance cost is very high as they come with some moving parts.
Rotary Screw – They have two rotors inside which helps to compress the air. They are also very affordable and come with less moving parts which mean low maintenance. They are heavy duty and can easily work for a longer period of time without any issue. They have coils which are cooled by air coolers and waters which makes them operational for a long time without heating issue.
Centrifugal – These are designed to provide continuous airflow from the compressor and works by transferring the energy from impellers to the air. These have much higher capacity and also comes with a much higher initial cost. These are oil-free and are very efficient with a PSI of 200.
What Tool do you use?
If you need an air compressor for the home garage then you must be between these two types of people. One, who are mainly going to use tools such as Pump Sander, Air Brushing or a Cut off tool while there are some people who are only going to fill up the tires. If you are going to use tools that we stated before then you require a large amount of power so you must be going with more compressor and a larger tank.
A smaller compressor combining with these tools will be very inefficient especially when you take a lot of pauses during your work. On the other hand, filling up the tires doesn’t require much power and a regular small compressor will be more than enough for you.
Size of Air Compressor and tank
The size is usually small but there are also the huge ones which take a large amount of space but a large tank also means that the air compressor will work for long. You have to consider how much space you have and what task you are going to do with it. You also have to make sure there is enough space around for the air to flow. All of them comes with various size and each of them has its own power and tank size.
Pancake – These are the smallest ones and are very popular for home garage. They are flat and rounded and the tank is somewhat between one and six gallons. If you are more into airbrushing, filling the air in tires or football or other DIY kinds of stuff then it’s the perfect one for you.
Hot Dog – Just like the name suggests, they have a cylindrical looking design and has four legs. They come in a lot of different tank sizes. They are also very portable and can easily fit in the corner of your home garage.
Wheelbarrow – These are very portable; the legs are on the back and the wheels are on the front. They also come with a lot of different sizes usually between 8 to 30 Gallons. Although they take up a lot of space but in return, it gives a lot more power as compared to other mentioned types.
Source of Power
In most of the cases, you will be using the air conditioner in your garage and the source of power will be the normal power socket but do you know that not all the power sockets in your home have the same power output? There are many small ones which have 120V output for regular appliances while there are few 240V sockets for larger appliances such as a washing machine or Refrigerator. If you are going for a larger one then you have to make sure you provide enough power to it. In case you don’t have the larger power socket then simply call a technician to fix it for you.
Don’t Ignore the Ratings
While shopping there are few specs you must be looking at:
PSI (Pounds per Square inch) It is the measurement of the force coming out of the air tank.
CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) This is the volume of the air coming out of your air compressor. The Higher your CFM will be, the more efficient your compressor will be and the better your air tools will operate. To measure how much CFM, you will need just add up the CFM requirements of all the air tools you are going to use simultaneously and add 30% More to it. That’s the CFM rating you will need.
SCFM (Same thing but corrected for Atmospheric conditions) This is always higher than the regular CFM. If you look at two air compressors for compassion then don’t get confused between CFM and SCFM. Always compare the CFM rating with the CFM rating on another compressor and don’t compare CFM with SCFM as both data will be completely different.
Piston vs Portable
The two main types of compressor you can buy are piston and portable. The Piston Ones uses pistons to create air pressure. One of the main differences is that they come with an air tank, unlike the portable ones which doesn’t come with an air tank. The piston compressor has 2 main varieties: Single-Stage and Two-Stage compressor. The single-stage delivers less PSI as compared to the Two-stage which as 2 pistons.
The portable air compressor is best for a home garage, they come with a simple design which is easy to use and is portable, they have wheels that help them move. They have a PSI ranging from 100 to 150 which is great for tools such as airbrush, inflators, air spray and much more. If you need more power than simply go with the Piston type which has around 150 to 200 PSI.
How to Set-up it in a Garage
Now that you have done buying the perfect air compressor for your home garage, the next step for you would be to set it up and start using it. So, here are a few things to consider while setting up for home garage. Start by finding a perfect spot. If it’s for the garage then place it in the corner, not sticking to the wall but leaving some space for airflow. Ensure there is enough space around the compressor to work comfortably.
The portable ones don’t require any piping because you can easily move them around but If you are using a large ones like the stationary ones then consider getting some piping. It will help you to reach a longer distance even if the air compressor is stored away from the workplace. Make sure to choose the correct piping as the diameter equally affect the air pressure.
If you have a small one with less power then consider using a small hose as a long hose will make it lose its air pressure. It will also be very difficult to store with a long hose. The size of the hose will determine the air pressure coming out and you can change it according to the tool you are using.
Most Frequently Asked Questions by Buyers
What Should I Look for When Buying an Air Compressor?
There are a few things you must look for while buying an air compressor, the first one is the tank size. You should also look at the type of compressor it is, whether you need a stationary one or a portable one. Lastly, check for extra features such as oil-free pumps, CFM, PSI ratings, etc.
What size Air compressor do I need to run air tools?
If you are going to use some lightweight tools for small tasks then consider choosing a smaller tank. If your work is supposed sandblasting or Cutting then simple choose something which has more power and a larger air tank.
What Size Air Compressor Do I Need for Painting?
Spray Paint is a small tool and can be easily run with any kind of air compressor even if it is the smallest one. It doesn’t require much CFM and if your main task is spray painting then just get the Pancake Style Air Compressor, which will be more than enough for you.
How Long Does an Air Compressor Last?
Depending upon your usage, if you take good care of your appliance then it can last for years. There is no average lifespan for these appliances. You should clean it every week and if you are using an oil-based air compressor then consider changing the oil after every 7000 to 7500 hours of usage.
Do the air compressors need to be Portable?
Yes, what if you needed to move it to the roof for some renovation? Always Check for Wheels on it. Although the wheel’s ones will be portable, they don’t come with a larger air tank.
How big of an air compressor do I need for sandblasting?
Sandblasting tools require more power and a larger tank to keep the work going on. Sometimes you might be sandblasting an entire car so a smaller tank will be very inefficient. Usually, these tools require somewhat 20 CFM so keep that in mind while buying one.
How much Noise does an air compressor makes?
The smaller ones are usually quieter however the larger ones can make a lot of noise. In the day time it won’t be a problem but just to let you know it can make the same noise as a running speed car. If you decide to use it at night then make sure to put it in the corner of your garage.
What Voltage do I need for Air Compressor?
This depends on what kind of air compressor you have with you and what you are using it for. The smaller ones will run on 120 Volts and in case you have a larger one then considers using a higher voltage such as 240 volts or so.
How much CFM do I need?
Look at the tools you are going to use. Check their CFM ratings, if you are going to use multiple tools at once or has a friend to work together then add up their CFMs and add 30% to it to be on the safe side. This is the CFM you are required for the air compressor to have.
Which is better oil or oil-less air compressor?
Both come with their advantages as well as disadvantages. Oil-free air compressors are usually cheaper and require less maintenance as they come with pre-applied lubrication. However, they are not long-lasting as air compressor which uses Oil. The oil Air compressor is durable but costs more than oil-less air compressors.