Let Us Help You Find The Best Portable Air Compressor On The Market
You deserve the best possible air compressor, but finding the best model on the market is difficult. There’s a lot of features and specifications that you need to know to make the right purchasing decision.
Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor
Our favorite for 2017
Campbell Hausfeld 3-Gallon Air Compressor with 10 Piece Kit
A very close runner-up
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak
A great compact compressor
We’ve had the pleasure of doing a lot of research for you to find the best portable unit. A few of the features and specs we recommend considering are:
- Maximum PSI: The maximum PSI allow for larger tires or heavy duty power tools to be run. If the PSI is too low, it may not be able to work on your automobile or truck tires, or if used for power tools, it may not power your tool properly.
- Power Tools or Inflation: An air compressor may or may not be sufficient for power tools depending on the design. If you plan to use power tools with your compressor, ensure that there are fittings available and a consistent PSI to allow for safe operation.
- Fittings and Accessories: Unless you already own them, check to see if the unit you’re interested in comes with all the accessories you’ll need for your project. Inflation needles, female coupler, adapters, air chuck, male plugs and a hose are just a few of the accessories to consider.
If you use the information above, you’ll be better able to choose an air compressor for your needs. Of course, there are a lot of models to choose from, and there are a few additional tips at the bottom of this article to help make purchasing even easier.
Reviews of Our Top Picks for the Best Air Compressor
Viair 00073 70P Portable Compressor – The Viair is a heavy duty, portable air compressor that’s able to produce a maximum of 100 PSI. Portable and small, this model includes a carry bag and a brass twist-on tire chuck for quick and easy inflation.
This model is not intended for air tools.
This model is designed for tire inflation and works well with various tire types. Battery clamps are used to draw power from the automobile’s battery for optimum PSI levels. An air pressure gauge is present on the unit for precision inflation.
Lightweight, this model weighs just 5.5 pounds and is the perfect choice for backup inflation or mobile mechanics. The hose is 4-feet long for better inflation rates.
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor – Campbell’s air compressor offers a 3 gallon tank with a max PSI of 110. A 120V outlet can power this unit to allow for long-lasting operation for DIY home projects. The best air compressor for home use, this model is oil-less allowing for maintenance-free ownership.
A 10-piece accessory kit is provided including blow gun, inflation needs and fittings.
Gauges on the unit display the pressure. A 25-foot recoil hose is provided along with an adjustable PSI range for precision inflation. The weight of the compressor is 20.5 pounds. A one year warranty is provided.
This is a great unit for tire inflation, power tools, nail guns and blowing.
Senco PC1010 1-HP Compressor – Senco’s PC1010 is a one-gallon compressor that’s lightweight and easy to carry. This model has a peak of 1-HP and operates at ½ HP. Perfect for home improvement, hobbies and crafts, this model is able to produce 20 – 44 drives per minute.
Tank output is one gallon while maximum PSI is 125.
Pump up time is just 128 seconds to go from 0 – 120 PSI. A safety relief valve is offered along with an air tank valve and a discharge line. Quick discount is provided, too. An air filter is included to ensure maximum filtration of exhaust.
This is an electric-powered compressor ideal for higher PSI demands.
Campbell’s Hausfeld Air Compressor (FP2028) – Campbell offers the FP2028 compressor in a one and two gallon model. Oil-less, this model offers .36 CFM with a .33 HP at 120V and 3 AMPs. At-a-glance pressure monitoring is provided via the on-board gauges.
Maintenance-free, this compressor has a 25-foot hose, 2 inflation nozzles and a variety of other accessories to allow for a myriad of applications. The lightweight design (under 13 pounds) makes transporting this compressor from job site to job site a breeze.
Inflate your car tires, power a nail gun or use this compressor for your staple gun – a maximum of 110 PSI allows for the utmost in versatility when running the FP2028.
Hausbell Portable Air Compressor – Hausbell offers an extremely durable yet small air compressor that runs off of DC12V. Designed for tire inflation, simply plug the unit into your vehicle’s DC12V outlet and it will produce 140 PSI to quickly inflate all of your tires.
There’s a 9-feet power cord and the coiled air tube can extend 8 feet for a hassle-free reach even on larger vehicles.
A carry case is provided for easy transport, and there are 3 nozzle adapters to allow for a variety of inputs. This model can inflate toys, bike tires, automobile tires and more. But this isn’t a compressor that’s meant for power tools.
There is a gauge that allows for pressure monitoring.
Buyer’s Guide – How To Choose The Right Small Air Compressor For You
The right small air compressor is in the list above, but they all seem so good – right? A lot of people make the simple mistake of assuming that each compressor can be used for tires and power tools. This one mistake is the most detrimental because a compressor doesn’t always work for tires and power tools.
You’ll find a lot of units meant only for tire inflation, yet most models that can run power tools will be able to help inflate tires.
So, if you need a compressor to run power tools or work on the construction site, make sure that the description names these specifically.
A few tips that will allow you to pick the right compressor are:
- Weight: Larger units may be impractical if running from job site to job site. Take a look at the weight before making a final choice. There are some units that weigh 5 pounds and others that weigh 20 – a huge difference.
- Oil-less: The introduction of an oil-less unit allows for maintenance-free operation of the compressor. When a compressor is maintenance-free, this means less future expenses and mechanical work needed to run the compressor.
- Case: Is the unit small enough to warrant a carry case? If so, does the unit come with a carrying case? A case protects the unit from dust and debris while allowing it to be stored neatly in the trunk of your automobile or in the closet.
When buying a compressor, reviews and the warranty provided will allow you to ensure you’re making a smart purchasing decision.