The Best 10 Portable Air Compressors of 2020

The Best Portable Air Compressors

Portable air compressors are useful devices because you can carry them from one place to another when you need to.

The air compressor reduces the volume of the air by rising air pressure.

The air compressors operate using different technology, but the primary principle is that the more pressure is stored in the tank, the air pressure is higher.

They require a power source to operate.

If you are looking for an air compressor, check our list of top ten portable air compressors.

Highest Rated Portable Air Compressors (by Customer Reviews)

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal
California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal See prices on Amazon.com
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor, 3-Gallon Horizontal Oilless
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor, 3-Gallon Horizontal Oilless See prices on Amazon.com
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit See prices on Amazon.com
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver See prices on Amazon.com
Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor
Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor
Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
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1

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
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This portable air compressor from Dewalt is lightweight and has a convenient design.

You can remove the upper console cover if you need to repair it.

Otherwise, it serves as a protective cap.

The device is quiet and operates with a noise level of 75dB.

It features a high flow regulator and two universal couplers, which improves performance.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Tank capacity – 6.0 gallon
  • Quiet operation
  • Two universal couplers

Cons

  • Undersized ball bearings may cause a bit of air leak
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This Dewalt air compressor comes with the 1-year manufacturer warranty.

It has some additional features such as couplers for easy use.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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2

Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor

Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
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This Senco air compressor weighs only 20 pounds.

It is suitable for use for home renovating jobs.

The Senco air compressor can deliver 20-44 drives per minute.

Other features include 1-gallon tank capacity and one horsepower peak.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Suitable for home usage
  • Small and compact
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Small tank capacity
  • Not very powerful
Jake's TakeJake's Take

If you are looking for a compact air-compressor to have in handy when you do some household improvements, this Senco device can be a suitable solution.

The price is affordable and the compressor won’t take a lot of the space when stored.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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3

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
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This air compressor from Porter-Cable features water drain valve and rubber feet for protection.

The unit comes with a long-lasting oil-free pump, that requires no maintenance at all.

The motor can easily start working during the winter, and it is a low amp 120V motor.

The air compressor is straightforward to use because of the user-friendly controls.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Simple controls
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Not-very balanced compressor, may fall down
Jake's TakeJake's Take

People looking for a portable air compressor on a budget will enjoy this air compressor from Porter-Cables.

It runs flawlessly, you just have to pay attention to find him a suitable position.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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4

California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal

California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal
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This air compressor from California Air Tools operates at 60dB which makes it one of the quietest air compressors on the market.

It comes with a large steel tank and a wheel for easier portability.

The motor is powerful with one horsepower peek.

The compressor has an oil-free pump which life cycle of  3.000 plus hours.

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Pros

  • Quiet performance
  • Steel tank of 8 gallons
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • A bit heavier
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This California Air Tools compressor with the 8-gallon tank operates flawlessly.

Though it might be heavier for carrying it around, it has a wheel for easier moving.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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5

Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor, 3-Gallon Horizontal Oilless

Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor, 3-Gallon Horizontal Oilless
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This air compressor from Campbell Hausfeld comes with useful accessories such as glow gun, coiled hose, fitting, needles, etc.

It is easy to use and suitable for balls and l tire and ball inflation, for powering airbrushes, air/ brad nailers.

Also, you can use it for upholstery projects.

Due to the compact design, it is easy to carry around.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Suitable for DIY projects
  • Comes with the 10-pieces accessories kit

Cons

  • A bit louder
Jake's TakeJake's Take

If the noise doesn’t annoy you, this Campbell Hausfeld unit will be perfect for your creative projects.

Also, it comes in handy when you need to pump up tires.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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6

PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit

PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit
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This Pancake compressor from Porter-Cable comes with the built-in air coupler and plug to prevent air leaking.

The compressor is suitable for long hours of performance.

It comes with a tank capacity of six gallons and a 13-piece accessories kit.

The product is made of plated steel for durability.

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Pros

  • 13-piece accessories kit
  • Long-lasting
  • Stable

Cons

  • Louder than some other pancake compressors
Jake's TakeJake's Take

If you want a stable compressor with a decent tank capacity and quick recovery time, look no more.

This Porter-Cable one has it all and is reasonably priced.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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7

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
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The California Air Tool compressor model CAT-1P1060S is lightweight and durable.

Its made of steel and features durability and user-friendly commands.

You can use it on the uneven terrain and still expect high performance.

The compressor is ultra-quiet and works on 56dB.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Ultra-quiet
  • User-friendly
  • Fast recovery time

Cons

  • Small tank capacity
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This air compressor from California Air Tools is perfect for air-brushing, pumping up toys and balls.

Every household can get great use out of it.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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8

Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor

Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor
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This air compressor from Bostitch operates at 80dB which makes it suitable for the work environment.

It is a small and compact device.

It features a convenient design and it is stable because of the firm legs.

The high-flow regulator serves to improve air performance.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Easy start-up during extreme temperatures

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a hose or a gun kit
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This stable air compressor has a high-efficiency motor and it is a reliable ally during cold temperatures.

You can always buy the hose separately.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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9

PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
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The Porter-Cable C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor features stability and high-performance.

It has 150 psi max tank pressure and can store more air when running for long hours.

The compressor is oil-free and comes with the water drain valve.

The product has a handle for easier portability and weighs 34 pounds.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • User-friendly design
  • Durable pump
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • Heavier
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This Porter-Cable air compressor is simple to use, durable, and powerful.

On top of everything, it comes with at an affordable price.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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10

Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor

Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor
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This Kensun air compressor unique AC/DC switching with 12V car cigarette lighter plug and standard wall plug for household outlets.

You can use it for home needs, or carry in the car to easily solve issues about flat tires.

It works flawlessly with the bike tires, balls, tools or anything needing inflation.

The compressor features an auto-shutoff gauge and bright light for use in any situation.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Auto-shutoff when the pressure is reached
  • Two plugs
  • Multi-purpose product

Cons

  • Slower performance at the beginning
Jake's TakeJake's Take

If you want something you can use in your household or your car over and over, get this Kensun air compressor.

It is durable, and the features are high-quality.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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Portable Air Compressors Buying Guide

Every household can get a lot of benefits from a portable air compressor.

You can use it for tires, nail guns, mattresses, or else, so most people look for small and compact units that will do what they need without any fuss.

Professional workers may need something more powerful, but for personal use small air compressors are perfect.

However, there are many models with different features on the market, so we are here to help you to decide.

First of all, let’s talk about the technical details.

Portable Air Compressors Most Common Types

The air compressors come with different features, sizes, form, performance, etc.

However, for personal use, there are two most common options to pick – pancake and hot dog air compressors.

Pancake Air Compressors

You can recognize a pancake air compressor for its design.

The pancake design features a flat shape with a round tank.

At the top of the tank, you can see the pump.

Sometimes, the pancake air compressors come with the handle on top of the unit for easy carrying around.

The standard tank size is six gallons. A person can easily lift them and carry where they need.

They are suitable for lighter tasks, such as brad nailers.

Some of them use oil, so the maintenance includes oil removal only.

The price varies, but the pancake air compressors are affordable and suitable for personal use.

They come with an electric motor and operate using electricity.

Hot Dogs Air Compressors

Hot dog air compressors feature cylindrical, short and rounded tanks.

The tank design is how they got their name.

Like pancake air compressors, the hot dog type is portable and lightweight, so it is suitable for household use.

In general, the tank capacity in the hot dog air compressors is higher than in pancake.

So you can even find the hot dog air compressors with the 12-gallon tank capacity for air storage.

They are stable and don’t take a lot of space in your garage.

compressor-

Technical Specification

Portable air compressors come with the technical specification which can tell you how powerful the device is.

The numbers to pay attention to are horsepower (HP), pounds per square inch (PSI) and Cubic feet per minute (CFM).

HP

Horsepower is one of the essential ratings for determining the capacity of the air compressor.

It determines how much air can an air compressor output. In simple words, HP refers to the motor capacity.

So, the higher the HP, the more powerful your air compressor is.

It also affects other factors, both PSI and CFM.

However, newer models can do more with the less HP and therefore, can be an energy-saving option.

PSI

When you the numbers after PSI, you should know that it refers to the amount of pressure the air compressor can provide.

Simply speaking, it is the force of your air compressor.

A PSI of 90 is suitable for the majority of household works.

You can find industrial and professional air compressors with a PSI higher than that.

CFM

The last technical specification you should look for CFM refers to the air compressor flow rate.

The CFM determines how much air on the specific pressure level your device produces.

So the larger CFM, the more capable your air compressor is for larger surfaces.

Features to Look for in an Air Compressor

There is a mix of features that a portable air compressor offers to be seen as a useful and valuable household tool.

Oil-free pump

Old-fashioned models came with the pump and motor that used oil.

Even though they had a decent performance, the oil pumps needed maintenance occasionally.

Newer models are oil-free and are something to look for in a portable air compressor.

Furthermore, there are no additional costs for oil nor leaking risks.

Therefore, the oil-free devices are easier to store, run and maintain.

Power Supply

Portable air compressors work on a standard household electrical outlet.

Therefore, they can work indoor when you have an electrical outlet nearby.

Sometimes, the air compressors have dual power supply and are suitable for use in the cars.

If you need such a device look for AC/DC label in the specifications.

The AC refers to the indoor use with an electrical outlet, and DC for a car cord.

Those air compressors are digital devices that come with a digital screen and a switch.

Noise

Air compressors must produce some noise.

However, the technology has improved to almost perfection so you still can use an air compressor and have a conversation.

For comparison, full-size vacuum cleaners produce noise level from 70 to 80 dB.

Air compressors have noise outputs from 50 to 100 dB.

However, smaller and portable devices are usually less noisy.

So, you can find the models with noise outputs of 50dB and 60dB.

Those are suitable for home use and considered as quiet air compressors.

The air compressors with CFM from 2.5 to 5 are louder and can be as noisy as the vacuum cleaner.

However, you might not need it for your house works.

Duty Cycle

If you start researching on the portable air compressors, you are most likely to find terms such as “quick recovery time”.

These terms are related to the duty cycle.

The duty cycle means how much time an air compressor can work without stopping.

So for example, if you see a duty cycle of 20 minutes, it means that you can use your air compressor for 20 minutes before it has to rest.

In that case, the recovery time is what is left to a full hour – 40 minutes.

Portable air compressors usually come with the smaller duty cycle.

However, for household operations, that would be enough.

Also, you can inflation your tires with an average duty cycle of these small units.

tyre pump

Accessories Kit

The basic accessories you would probably need with your air compressors are air hose, blow gun or pins for inflation of tires, balls or mattresses.

Not all air compressors come with accessories.

Sometimes you have to buy them separately.

Therefore, look for an air compressor that comes with the basic accessories kit.


Conclusion

Portable air compressors come with different features.

However, for the majority of the household work you can pick the pancake or hot dog type.

The air compressors that come with the accessories kit are worth investing in due to their practicality.

It is because more accessories will ensure that you can use with for a variety of things such as tires inflation, airbrushing, balls inflation, etc.

When buying an air compressor, you should look for an oil-free device for less maintenance and AC/DC plugs for car use.

What's your take on Portable Air Compressors? You think they're just a luxury or a must-have item? Don't hesitate to share your comment below with your opinion!


Highest Rated Portable Air Compressors (by Customer Reviews)

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal
California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal See prices on Amazon.com
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor, 3-Gallon Horizontal Oilless
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor, 3-Gallon Horizontal Oilless See prices on Amazon.com
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit See prices on Amazon.com
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver See prices on Amazon.com
Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor
Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor See prices on Amazon.com
Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor
Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor See prices on Amazon.com

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About the Author: Jake

Hey! I'm Jake, I LOVE doing research online to find the best products. Join me as I review the top 10 products in various categories and help you find what you want to buy.

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