15 Best Portable Air Compressors in 2021 [Updated]

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In a Hurry? Check Our Top 3 Picks

  1. Audew Portable Air Compressor
  2. BOSTITCH Air Compressor
  3. DEWALT 2.5 Cordless Air Compressor
Best Portable Air Compressors

Whether you want to save money on car repairs or need to paint faster, the best portable air compressors will make the job easier. This device converts power into energy, which you can then use in a variety of ways. You can spray-paint furniture, use it for your nail gun, or inflate tires easily.

How do you know which air compressor to get? We’re sharing with you our portable air compressor reviews. It will give you an insight into the best devices out in the market today and help you make the right choice.

Here is the List of Best Portable Air Compressors:

  1. Audew Portable Air Compressor
  2. BOSTITCH Air Compressor
  3. DEWALT 2.5 Cordless Air Compressor
  4. EPAuto 12V Air Compressor Pump
  5. PORTER-CABLE Compressor
  6. Kensun Rapid Portable Air Compressor
  7. Ryobi Air Compressor
  8. California Air Compressor
  9. Makita Big Bore Air Compressor
  10. Oasser Portable Air Compressor

15 Best Portable Air Compressors

1. Audew Portable Air Compressor

best air compressors

The Audew portable air pump is a nifty little device that packs a punch. Its compact frame hides the fact that it can easily inflate all types of tires, from bikes, cars, SUVs, and even trucks. It has a 10-foot long power cord for easy access and three nozzle adapters that can be used for balls, toys, and other inflatables.

This digital inflator has an auto shut off feature that you can set at the desired pressure. A backlit LED display screen provides a clear read-out of the tire’s pressure. It’s also a fast worker, with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI and a max operating current of 10A.

PROS

  • Auto shut off features
  • Bright LED lights and display
  • Quick inflation time

CONS

  • Doesn’t have an AC/DC converter

Why You Should Choose

Every truck driver should have the Audew portable air compressor in their vehicle. Its compact design doesn’t take up much space. It’s easy to use and comes with LED lights so you can use it at any hour of the day. It’s powerful and can inflate tires in a matter of seconds.

2. BOSTITCH Air Compressor

small air compressor

The BOSTITICH oil-free tank pancake air compressor is one of the most affordable compressors out in the market today. Coming in at 31 lbs. and with a six-gallon tank, it can power air tools and inflate tires seamlessly. It has a powerful, high-efficiency 120v motor that quickly starts even in very cold weather, definitely one of the best portable air compressors in the market.

This one-of-a-kind compressor is maintenance-free and has a long shelf-life. It’s electrically powered, so you either need to work indoors or have your own generator. A 78.5 dBA operational noise level means it’s quieter than other models. The compressor has plastic parts but remains sturdy even after years of use.

PROS

  • Has a six-gallon tank and high-flow rate
  • Very affordable
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

CONS

  • Quite heavy

Why You Should Choose

This BOSTITCH pancake air compressor is a great choice for those who want a powerful, no-fuss tool. It is oil and maintenance-free, so you can just focus on your work. It’s portable and light enough that you can bring it anywhere, even up in the mountains during winter. The cold is not a problem for this compressor’s high-efficiency motor as it starts easily in all weather conditions.

3. DEWALT 2.5 Cordless Air Compressor

best portable air compressor for car

The Flexvolt 60V has all the convenience and power of its larger counterparts but none of its encumbrances. This is a modified pancake-style compressor that’s cordless and runs on a rechargeable battery. It weighs in at 21.5-pounds and is around 15” x 12” x 18.” It comes with a DCB606 FLEXVOLT Lithium-Ion battery and a fast charger.

Its lightweight makes it a good tool to bring to different work sites. The roll cage that encases the tank and motor safeguards the product and ensures it lasts longer. The battery has enough juice to fill the tank a maximum of five times before it needs to be recharged.

PROS

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable
  • Comes with a three-year warranty

CONS

  • The tank is smaller than other pancake air compressors

Why You Should Choose

If you’re looking for the best portable air compressors that’s unmatched in terms of portability and durability, then the DCC2560T1 FLEXVOLT is for you. It has enough battery power to air two tires in just ten minutes or to run for two straight days doing cabinetry work. It’s very compact and can easily fit in the trunk of your car.

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4. EPAuto 12V Air Compressor Pump

portable air compressor reviews

The EPAuto is a multi-functional and one of the best portable air compressors in the market with a pump that’s a good addition to any toolbox. It can inflate a variety of tires, from bikes to cars and midsize SUVs. It comes with a universal valve connector that’s easy to use. The box also comes with extra adapters, including needles for balls and cones for pool accessories and kayaks. However, the compressor doesn’t work on truck tires.

It has an LED flashlight so you can use it even in the dark. There are four display units that show the PSI, BAR, KPA, and KG/CM. It also comes with an auto shut off feature to prevent over inflation and overheating.

PROS

  • Automatic shut off features
  • Quiet performance
  • Lightweight and portable

CONS

  • Not designed for inflating truck tires

Why You Should Choose

This is a great choice for those who value safety and durability. The EPAuto’s auto shut off features ensures the product isn’t compromised. It’s also made of durable materials and designed with convenience and portability in mind. It’s definitely a good buy for its price.

5. PORTER-CABLE Compressor

best portable air compressors for car tires

The PORTER-CABLE C2002 is a good choice when you need something powerful and portable. This pancake-style compressor boasts of a six-gallon tank for stability and a 150 PSI that can do everything, from firing nail guns to inflating tires. At 34 pounds, it’s light enough to bring to job sites or to lug around the different rooms of a house. It has an efficient, powerful, low-amp 120-volt motor that starts easily even in extreme cold.

What makes the C2002 one of the best portable air compressors is its user-friendly design, reliability, and maintenance-free features. It has an oil-free pump for efficient and clean operations and rubber feet for added stability.

PROS

  • Six-gallon tank for lots of power
  • 120V motor that starts even in extreme cold
  • 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI for fast recovery time

CONS

  • Only uses AC

Why You Should Choose

The PORTER-CABLE C2002 is a wonderful investment for those looking for a durable, all-around air compressor. This six-gallon, oil-free, machine can run on typical household circuits. It also has an induction motor that ensures optimum performance, whether it’s inflating a pool or spray painting a room.

6. Kensun Rapid Portable Air Compressor

best portable air compressor for jeep

Nothing beats the Kensun AC/DC digital tire inflator when it comes to fast inflation. The company’s superb engineering design has imbued this mini but mighty compressor with a 120W metal motor that easily inflates the tires of the usual consumer cars. However, it might take this Kensun motor about 10 minutes to inflate a flat tire. It also cannot be used for commercial vehicles.

This multi-purpose digital tire inflator also comes with a set of needles and chucks for a variety of valve types. It also has a distinct AC/DC switch that allows it to be plugged in either a wall outlet or your car’s cigarette lighter plug. This portable compressor also has a backlit LCD screen that displays current pressure. A gem in the list of the best portable air compressors.

PROS

  • Can be used for 30 minutes straight
  • Comes with a variety of adaptors, chucks, and needles
  • The company offers a 2-year warranty

CONS

  • Cannot be used for commercial vehicles

Why You Should Choose

The Kensun AC/DC inflator is the best portable air compressor for car. It is small and lightweight, making it easy to stash this device under your car seat or in the trunk. It comes with a carrying case for convenience and several nozzles so you can inflate everything from soccer balls, inflatable beds, bikes, and cars.

7. Ryobi Air Compressor

Best Portable Air Compressors

The Ryobi P731 is a powerful tankless air compressor that was developed particularly for inflating tires, sports equipment, and air mattresses. It comes with two adapters – a tapered one and a Presta Valve. It also has a sports ball needle, a main high-pressure inflation hose and a high-volume hose that can easily inflate and deflate pool floats.

You don’t have to worry about over- or underfilling your inflatables or tires, thanks to the adjustable push buttons on the top of the compressor. This is included in the list of one of the best portable air compressors, as it is fast and works perfectly with Ryobi 18-volt batteries. However, batteries are not included in this model. The battery also drains fairly quickly with this tool so it’s best to invest in a spare.

PROS

  • Has a high-volume hose for inflating large items
  • Compact and light
  • Pressure can be set by one PSI intervals

CONS

  • Battery drains quickly

Why You Should Choose

If you want value for your money, then the Ryobi P731 should be one of your choices from the list of the best portable air compressors for you. It comes with a high-pressure hose and a high-volume hose that allows you to switch from low to high setting in seconds. It also comes with several nozzles so you can inflate everything from car tires to soccer balls and inflatable pools. Plus, a simple turn of a switch and you can just as easily deflate and stow everything away.

8. California Air Compressor

best air compressor for home garage

California Air Tools have always been known for their sturdy and quiet air compressors, and the 8010 model continues that tradition. Its 1.0 hp motor runs at 1680 rpm while its dual-piston pump system is designed for durability, efficiency, and optimal performance. It boasts a life cycle of 3,000 hours before wear.

This compressor comes with an 8 gallon, lightweight air tank with a wheel kit that makes it easy to transport even on uneven ground. The 8010 works at 60 decibels, that’s 30% less noise than other conventional compressors. It’s also oil-free for enhanced tool operations.

PROS

  • Quiet performance
  • More compact and lighter than other compressors
  • Longer life cycle

CONS

  • Small tank

Why You Should Choose

If you usually work inside and are sensitive about the noise, you should choose the California Air Tools 8010A. Its 60-decibel range makes it the quietest compressor around. It’s also powerful and fast. You can fill the tank in less than three minutes, and the pressure doesn’t drop even if the machine has been shut off.

9. Makita Big Bore Air Compressor

best portable air compressor for car

The Makita MAC700 is the air compressor you need when there’s serious, heavy-duty work to be done. This oil-lubricated, cast-iron pump runs on a 2.0 HP motor. It comes with a 2.6-gallon tank, a massive automotive-style filter, and big bore cylinder and piston. You can get a maximum pressure of 130 PSI from this behemoth. But for its size, its noise level is quite low.

The MAC700 is undeniably heavy, so you either ask for more hands to carry it around or a durable stroller. The device does come with a roll bar handle for easier carrying and as an extra safeguard when used in a busy job site. It also has an easy-to-connect hose fitting, compressor oil, a foam filter, and a metal air filter casing.

PROS

  • Powerful performance
  • Solid and durable
  • Quiet

CONS     

  • Hefty at 56 pounds

Why You Should Choose

This is the best air compressor for those who work hard and need a machine that can keep up. Makita is renowned for its durability, and it is clearly seen in the MAC700. Its powerful motor ensures it will run smoothly. It might be cumbersome, but you’re guaranteed of a solid performance for years to come.

10. Oasser Portable Air Compressor

portable air compressor reviews

The Oasser pocket size air compressor does the job despite its small stature. It’s made from high-grade stainless steel and has a built-in lithium battery. It’s rechargeable and supports both a 110V AC/DC adapter and a 12V cigar lighter. It takes around an hour and a half to completely charge and when the battery is full, it can inflate bike tires, motorcycles, as well as small and medium-sized vehicles. It should come as no surprise that it can’t handle truck tires.

This mini inflatable pump is the best hand-held pump. It has four types of unit values, a LED flashlight and a backlit LCD digital display screen. You can even preset the tire pressure. However, inflation time should be limited to eight minutes to avoid overheating.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Pocket sized
  • Quick charging

CONS

  • Overheats when used for more than eight minutes

Why You Should Choose

For people who love to travel light, the Oasser compact and portable air compressor is a good companion. You can slip it in your pocket and enjoy your bike ride, secure in the knowledge that you’re prepared for anything. This small but powerful device can handle almost anything with its 150 PSI maximum pressure.

11. TACKLIFE Portable Air Compressor

best air compressors

The TACKLIFE ACP1B should be in the trunk of every vehicle. This multi-purpose, fast inflating compressor comes with a multitude of features. It can be plugged straight to a 12V 10 a power source. It can inflate P195/65R15 tires from 0 to 35 PSI in under five minutes. It has an auto shut off feature to prevent overheating.

The unit comes with a 10-feet long power cord, a 2.5 feet air hose, three different nozzles that could inflate everything from tires to balloons and air beds. It also has an integrated emergency light with three modes – SOS, spotlight, and red light – that makes it easy to see what you’re doing even in the dark. Its accurate digital display also shows you the present pressure value.

PROS

  • ABS fireproof shell
  • Comes with storage for air hose and power cable
  • Two-year warranty

CONS

  • Compressor can’t be used continuously

Why You Should Choose

Every responsible driver should have the TACKLIFE ACP1B in the trunk of their car. This tire inflator is lightweight, small, and can be conveniently carried anywhere. Precision and safety is the hallmark of this air compressor. It inflates tires in less than five minutes while also safeguarding itself from overheating. It’s also one of the best air compressors out in the market today.

12. Senco 1 Compressor

best air compressor for home garage

The Senco PC1010 is a compact tool that does the job despite its diminutive size. This small air compressor comes in at only 20 pounds but is packed with 120 PSI air pressure and a one-gallon tank. Its flow rate of 1 CFM is admittedly lower than other pancake processors. However, it can still provide ample power for framing and nail guns and still inflate tires.

Users love this air compressor’s compact design, as it is considered as one of the best air compressor for home garage because it can be tucked away in the corner of your garage or ensconced in the trunk of your car. It’s portable and you can carry it easily without straining yourself. It’s made from durable steel, so you don’t have to worry about being too careful with this fine machine.

PROS

  • Can easily be carried around
  • Good ergonomic design
  • Quieter than other compressors

CONS

  • Only has a one-gallon tank

Why You Should Choose

DIY enthusiasts will love the Senco PC1010’s power and compact size. It has enough power to handle renovations and home improvement jobs, while gentle enough for crafts and hobbies. It’s lightweight so you can easily bring it to different job sites. It is ergonomically designed to be used comfortably even for extended periods.

13. STANLEY Portable Air Compressor

portable air compressor reviews

The STANLEY J5C09 is more than it seems. It’s an air compressor and a jump starter all in one. This multifunctional machine has 500 instant starting amps and 1,000 peak amps that can be used to either jump start your car or charge your electronic devices, definitely a must-have from the list of best portable air compressors for car tires. It’s designed with an integrated 12V DC outlet and a USB port. There’s also a reverse polarity alarm that will ring out if the clamps are not connected properly.

Aside from its jump-starting capacities, the J5C09 also has a 120 PSI air compressor. It inflates tires with low pressure, so don’t expect it to work fast. It’s also designed with a LED light that can be rotated 270 degrees so you can still work in dark areas. This compressor is also bulky, so you’d really need to make space for it in the trunk of your vehicle.

 PROS

  • Good source of power
  • Reliable
  • Dual function

CONS    

  • Bulky and heavier than other compressors

Why You Should Choose

The STANLEY J5C09 might not be as portable as others, but this dual-function machine is a reliable addition to your arsenal. Your guaranteed power wherever you go and you don’t have to worry about your vehicle losing power in the middle of nowhere.

14. VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor

portable air compressor

Don’t be fooled by the VIAIR 400P air compressor’s compact design. Its small stature hides the fact that it is also a commercial-grade compressor that can inflate large truck tires in just minutes. The VIAIR’s tankless design lets it push out a maximum working pressure of 150 PSI and 33% duty cycle without being cumbersome. However, the same design also limits the compressor to just inflating jobs as it doesn’t have the flow rate needed to power air tools.

The VIAIR 400P is battery powered and comes with heavy-duty clamps with a 40-amp inline fuse. You can clip it directly to your car’s battery. But you have to keep your car’s engine running the same time as the compressor’s. There’s also a deluxe carrying case to keep wires organized and an anti-vibration tray for additional protection.

PROS

  • Commercial grade
  • Comes with heavy-duty battery cables
  • 25’ extended air hose

CONS

  • Can’t run air-powered tools

Why You Should Choose

If you’re looking for a durable, commercial-grade air compressor, then the VIAIR 400P is the one for you. It comes with heavy-duty battery clamps and an extended air hose so you can easily reach all your car’s tires. It is powerful enough to inflate even large truck tires but is compact enough to be placed in a bag, certainly, a must-have as one of best portable air compressor for jeep.

15. Kobalt Portable Air Compressor

best portable air compressor for car

The Kobalt portable air compressor has a unique design that sets it apart. It is the right size to store in your car. This consummate tool inflates bike and car tires, pool floats, and air mattresses swiftly. It can be plugged into either a standard 120 volt or a 12-volt outlet. The product also comes with two sports needles, a Presta valve adapter, and a raft nozzle.

This blue and black tire inflator is a little heavier than other compact models but has the advantage of also being able to draw power from your car’s cigarette lighter plug. However, the cords are quite short so you’ll need an extension cord. The compressor also comes with a digital pressure gauge and an LCD screen that provides the read-out. Buttons around the display allow you to set the pressure.  

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Can run on either AC/DC
  • Quiet and durable

CONS

  • Short cords

Why You Should Choose

The Kobalt inflator is beautiful to look at, but it’s functional as well. This is the air compressor you want in your car. It is flexible and can run on AC/DC so you can use it anywhere. It has numerous adapters that allow you to inflate everything from tires to balls and other inflatables. It’s also quiet and very durable.

Buying Guides: What to Look for in an Air Compressor

When on the hunt for a good air compressor, you’ll quickly find that you’ll be presented with numerous features. And all these options will make it even harder to decide. Here’s what you should consider if you want your compressor shopping go smoothly:

  • Function

How you will use the air compressor is a key factor that you should keep in mind. A single-stage compressor is a popular choice for home use and works well with many applications.  Its engine drives the piston that compresses air and pushes it into a storage tank so it can be used to power a tool.

Meanwhile, two-stage compressors have two pistons. The first compresses the air and pushes it through a valve to the second piston. The air is compressed further and delivered to the tank. This is the compressor you need when you’re doing heavy-duty work or need to power several tools simultaneously.

  • Power Source

Air compressors either run on gas or electricity. The former is more convenient since it doesn’t need to be plugged in. Thus, they can be taken anywhere. They’re also quite powerful. But since there’s gas involved, you can only use it outside or in a well-ventilated room. Meanwhile, electric air compressors are perfect for indoor use.

  • Type of Compressor

There are two main types of air compressors – stationary and portable. Stationary compressors are large machines ideal for use in a garage or shop. They have higher horsepower and come with larger storage tanks for long periods of use. They typically have a vertical share to minimize their required floor space.

As the name implies, portable compressors can be moved easily into different areas. They’re smaller and have wheels and handles. They’re more compact and come in different styles, like hotdog, pancake, twin-stack and wheelbarrow.

What is an Air Compressor? 

An air compressor is a mechanical tool that transforms power into energy stored in compressed air. The device converts the energy using a gasoline engine or an electric motor. While the compressor uses various methods, it essentially forces air into a storage tank and increases the pressure inside it. When the tank hits its pressure limit, it will shut down.

The compressed air is held in storage until it is needed. The energy contained in the pressurized air can be used in numerous industries and applications. It adds air to containers, like tires or inflatable equipment. It can also be used to power tools like nail guns and air drills.

What are the Benefits of an Air Compressor? 

Air compressors are one of the most useful machines to have at home, in your office or car. The best portable air compressor can provide you with so many benefits. Here are the best ones:

  • They’re efficient and reliable. Air compressors are designed with efficiency in mind. Portable compressors can be moved without expending too much effort. This allows you to improve productivity levels and meet job requirements.
  • The device is easy to maintain. Routine checkups on your air compressor will ensure that it will continue to run well and handle a lot of projects for years to come. These checks are very simple, like draining excess moisture to prevent damage or changing the filter regularly.
  • It helps you finish DIY projects faster. DIY enthusiasts can accomplish more projects with a portable air compressor. You’ll cut down on the need to bring numerous tools and miles of power cords. Use your compressor to power your spray gun and finish painting cabinets and walls in a day. You can also save money by using a $50 compressor-powered nail gun instead of a $400 battery-operated nailer.

Related read: Best Affordable Air Purifiers

FAQs:

What’s the Difference Between Stop-Start and Constant Run? 

A start-stop air compressor has a switch to turn the machine on and off. Many small compressors are start-stop. Meanwhile, a constant run compressor has a motor that continuously runs and turns the pump. This machine is best used in industrial shops that require air consistently.

What Happens When There’s Water In My Compressor?

Since compressor tanks are typically made of steel, leaving water inside it will lead to rusting. You can prevent this from happening by investing in an air dryer. But if the rusting is severe, it’s best to call your local service centre.

How Much Air is Needed to Power Tools?

The majority of air tools will need around 70 to 100 PSI. They also use less than 10 CFM. However, you should always check the user’s manual or get in touch with the tool’s manufacturer to get the exact air requirements.

What is an Appropriate Tank Size?

The tank’s size will depend on the air that you need to store. Larger tanks mean the compressor’s motor won’t be starting or stopping as much as a small tank. But if you don’t really use a lot of air, a smaller tank is a more affordable and logical choice.

Consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to air compressors. They range from compact to pocket-sized ones. You also have heavy-duty models and multi-functional units. But you’re the only one who can make your own list of the best portable air compressors is for you. Consider factors like how and where you’ll use it, its features, and warranty

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