Best Air Compressors Reviews Guide For 2015 – 2016

Selecting the right Air compressor is like picking a needle out of a haystack. Don’t worry though, you have us!

Here’s a look at the top 10 Air compressors available in the market and compare what they have to offer. This way, you can make your buying decision easily.

Makita Mac 2400 big bore 2.5 hp

Makita Mac 2400 big bore 2.5 hp

Product Specifications:

  • Powerful 2.5 HP 4-Pole motor.
  • Can produce 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI.
  • Cast iron pump with Big Bore™ cylinder and piston, lubricated with oil.
  • Pump RPM is 1,730.
  • Produces noise up to 79 dB.
  • Large industrial automotive-style air filter.
  • Removable pump for easy maintenance.
  • Oil sight glass to ease maintenance.
  • Uses a lever-handle ball valve tank drain.
  • Built-in thermal overload for additional motor protection.
  • Copper finned discharge tubing for increased heat dissipation and reduced water in the tank.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • The powerful motor helps improve performance and provides faster recovery time.
  • The pump is made from cast iron and lubricated with oil. This improves durability, reduces wear, cools running temperatures and increases pump life.
  • It produces low RPM. This helps in reducing the noise.
  • The industrial air filter increases efficiency and air intake.
  • The roll-cage construction provides complete protection from extreme jobsite environments.
  • Trip breakers at start-up are reduced because of the low AMP draw.
  • The ball valve tank is an improved version of the standard petcock design. This makes maintenance and air tank release easier.

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

Product Specifications:

  • Cast iron pump with Big Bore™ cylinder and piston, lubricated with oil.
  • Powerful 2.0 HP* 4-Pole motor.
  • Motor produces 3.3 CFM at 90 PSI.
  • Low pump RPM of 1,730.
  • Roll-bar handle.
  • Large industrial automotive-style air filter.
  • Removable pump for easy maintenance.
  • Oil sight glass to ease maintenance.
  • Uses a lever-handle ball valve tank drain.
  • Built-in thermal overload for additional motor protection.
  • Copper finned discharge tubing for increased heat dissipation and reduced water in the tank.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • The pump is made from cast iron and lubricated with oil. This improves durability, reduces wear, cools running temperatures and increases pump life. It also provides faster recovery time for better performance.
  • The pump runs at lower RPM. This helps lower noise to 80dB as well as increase durability.
  • Low draw of the AMP helps cut down start-up issues like trip breakers.
  • The handle helps portability and provides extra safety.
  • The industrial air filter increases efficiency and air intake.
  • The roll-cage construction provides complete protection from extreme jobsite environments.
  • The ball valve tank is an improved version of the standard petcock design. This makes maintenance and air tank release easier.

PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit

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

Product Specifications:

  • Delivers maximum pressure of 150 PSI.
  • Comes with a 6-Gallon pancake style tank with a water drain valve and rubber feet.
  • Delivers 40 PSI air at 3.5 SCFM and 90 PSI air at 2.6 SCFM.
  • Needs running 8 HP power, 120 V and draws 10 Amps.
  • Produces 82 dB noise.
  • Comes with a regulator, two gauges and two universal quick-connectors.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • You can store more air in the tank for runtimes because of higher pressure delivered.
  • The low SCFM helps recover the compressor quickly.
  • The style of the tank is more stable. The valves and rubber feet help ease usage.
  • Because of the Low Amp, you can start the motor easily in cold weather too, even with extension cords.
  • The oil-free pump helps lengthen life and reduces maintenance requirement.
  • Protect vital components with the covers for the shroud, handle and console.

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI Shrouded Compressor

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

Product Specifications:

  • Delivers maximum pressure of 150 PSI.
  • Tank size is 1.5 Gallons.
  • Delivers 40 PSI of air at 3 SCFM and 90 PSI of air at 2 SCFM.
  • Requires 0.8 HP power, 120 V voltage and draws 10 Apms.
  • Produces noise upto 79 dB.
  • Comes with 2 pressure gauges
  • Weighs 20 pounds.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • The Air compressor can recover quickly because of the low 2.0 SCFM
  • The tank comes with a full shroud, water drain valve and rubber feet. This helps you carry it around easily.
  • The shroud also covers all parts of the compressor, providing full protection.
  • The higher pressure means you can store more air in the tank. This helps increase the running time.
  • The pump is oil-free. This ensures cleaner air, longer life and low maintenance.
  • It draws low Amp, so you can start the motor easily in cold weather or with extension cords.
  • The long 25 inch coil hose and the 8 accessories help you inflate different kinds of tools.

Kensun D1002 AC Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator

Kensun D1002 AC (Home 110V)/ DC (12V Car) Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator

Product Specifications:

  • Helps inflate multiple types of auto and sporting equipment.
  • Uses 12V DC or 110V AC voltage.
  • Pumps up to 40 PSI, at the rate of 11 litres per minute.
  • Contains a gauge, which can measure up to 250 PSI.
  • Comes with a 21.7 inch or 55 cm high quality rubber air hose, a 9 feet 10 inch (3m) long cord with a cigarette plug, and a 6 feet 7 inches (2m) long cord with AC plug.
  • It also comes with 3 nozzle adapters for multiple uses.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • The Kensun D1002 model is the 2015 version of the D1001 model.
  • It has been tested on multiple tires, including 33-inch ones.
  • Best to carry the light-weight and easy-to-use Air compressor around than be stuck with a flat tire.
  • Great for all kinds of tires like car, bikes, motorcycles, scooters, SUVs, caravans, or truck tires.
  • Can also be used for inflating sports and camping equipment like balls, rafts, air mattresses, and toys like beach toys, pool accessories, etc.

California Air Tools CAT-6310 Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-6310 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp

Product Specifications:

  • Electric-powered motor with Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System
  • Motor requires peak 2 HP and running 1 HP.
  • Produces maximum pressure of 110 V or 60 Hz.
  • Comes with a horizontal wheel-based tank with a 6.3 Gallon volume.
  • Amp Draw of 7.6 Amps.
  • Pump operates at 1,680 RPM.
  • Takes 130 seconds to fill empty tank.
  • Takes 50 seconds to recover from 90 PSI to 120 PSI.
  • Weighs 49 pounds.
  • Comes with a Water Trap and Thermal Overload Protector.
  • Two pressure control gauges present.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • The Air compressor is super quiet, producing only 60 dB noise.
  • The oil-free pump helps produce cleaner air for better efficiency and lower maintenance costs.
  • You can monitor the pressure using the two gauges.
  • The low weight, wheels on the tank, and the quick connector helps you move the compressor around.
  • Temperature is controlled using the Thermal Overload Protector.
  • The Water Trap system helps remove any water content from the air.
  • Best for low-noise environments.

>> Quietest Air Compressor for home use

California Air Tools CAT-10020 Steel Tank Air Compressor

California air tools CAT -1020D ultra quiet and oil free 2.0 hp 10 gallon steel tank

Product Specifications:

  • Oil-free dual piston pump system.
  • 0 gallon air tank with wheel kit.
  • Maximum pressure of 125 PSI.
  • Requires 110 V or 60 Hz of power.
  • Produces 70 dB noise.
  • Two gauges for pressure control.
  • Two universal quick connectors sized 1/4″.
  • Contains a thermal overload protector
  • Amp draws only 14.0 Amps.
  • Can fill the tank in just 120 seconds.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • The pump system helps increase durability, longevity and performance. The lack of oil can ensure cleaner air.
  • It is independently tested to ensure your compressor runs for at least 3000 hours before you need servicing.
  • The wheels in the Air compressor make it easy to move and store.
  • The Air compressor promises to be quiet.
  • Less maintenance and costs.
  • The universal quick connectors help you use two tools at the same time.
  • You can monitor the air in the tank and at the outlet using the pressure gauges.
  • The compressor delivers a large quantity of air which can be used with multiple tools like nail guns, spray guns, air drills, air wrenches, CNC machines, and engraving tools.

DEWALT D55146 200-PSI Hand Carry Compressor

DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 200-PSI Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels

Product Specifications:

  • DeWALT patented motor and high pressure pump with Efficient High Pressure (EHP) technology.
  • Tank storage of 200 PSI.
  • Pump produces 5.4 SCFM at 90 PSI.
  • Collapsible handle and vertical stand feature.
  • Noise of 78 dB.
  • 10-inch non-flat foam tires.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • With a larger tank storage pressure, you can use 80% more usable air.
  • The pump enhances productivity and offers a quick recovery time after exhausting the compressor’s initial tank charge.
  • You can save space and transport easily by storing the compressor vertically. The collapsible handle and foam tires helps this.
  • Experience a quieter work environment with low noise production.

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

Product Specifications:

  • 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L)
  • 6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump
  • Extension Cord Application: 14 ga or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less
  • 5 dBA noise level
  • Total weight: 30 lbs.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • High efficiency motor makes it easy to start in cold weather
  • Extension cord application
  • Long tool run time with quick recovery due to 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump
  • Maximum air tool performance due to high flow regulator and couplers
  • Maintenance free operation with long life oil-free pump
  • Soft noise level at 75.5 dBA ensures a quiet work setting
  • Removable console cover protects controls and allows for easy repair
  • Two universal couplers allows easy support for two users
  • Quick and thorough tank draining with ball drain valve

Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak Compressor

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

Product Specifications:

  • Electric-powered with peak 1 HP and running 0.5 HP.
  • Oil-less heavy duty induction motor.
  • Air capacity of 1 Gallon.
  • Can produce pressure upto 125 PSI.
  • Can pump 120 PSI in 128 seconds.
  • Output pressure regulated through individual gauges.
  • Weighs 20 pounds.
  • Comes with a ¼ inch quick-disconnect coupler.

Product Features and characteristics:

  • The light weight helps easy portability.
  • The Air compressor is very quiet, producing only 68 dB of noise.
  • 1 HP compressors helps improve performance.
  • Oil-less motor ensure air is cleaner.
  • Comes with a One-year warranty.
  • Best for small-to-medium sized jobs.

Best of the lot:

We’ve now looked at all ten Air compressors. We believe, the best one is the Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air compressor. It has all the qualities an excellent Air compressor should possess like strong power and stable motors. Most importantly, you can use any of the three components—diesel, gas or electricity—to power it. And it is also priced decently at $299.

If not, you can look at the DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 200-PSI Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels as a cheaper alternative. While you may have to compromise on a few specifications, it seems well worth the buck at $190.2-200.

Buying Air Compressor? Keep These Points in Mind

Ever wanted to fill gas cylinders with air or increase the pressure in a device? You’ll want to opt for an Air compressor.

Simply put, an Air compressor allows you to channelize power from fuel (like diesel) or electric motors to force more and more air in a device. This air gets stored as potential energy and increases the pressure within the container. This potential energy can then be put to any use efficiently.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE YOU BUY:

Air compressors are in great demand these days. And with demand comes the supply—there are many options available in the market. You need to choose wisely. Keep these points in mind while considering your options.

1. Select the right type of compressor:

You need to first decide what type of Air compressor you need to buy. Otherwise, it could be an utter waste of your resources.

Air compressors can be classified on the basis of the amount of pressure delivered—low, medium or high. More importantly, though, they are classified on the basis of how they function. It is essential you get this right because it can affect the end-use. Here are the two key types:

– Positive displacement: There are two ways to increase the air pressure. One simple way is to pump more and more air into a container. As the amount of air increases, each individual air molecule’s volume decreases—it can occupy less space. This eventually leads to an increase in air pressure. There are two key types of Air compressors that use the theory of positive displacement.

+ Rotary screw: These are one of the simplest Air compressors in terms of operation and maintenance. They can work at a stretch for hours together. This is possible because the compressor contains a cooling mechanism. This helps reduce temperatures within the compressor and keeps the individual parts operable. As a result, Rotary Screw Air compressors can deliver an output between 7.5 and 100 Horse Power (HP). Some can even go higher.

+ Reciprocating: This is the other Air compressor that uses the formula of limiting the air volume to increase pressure. These compressors can do the job in either a single stage or two stages. They can produce output between 1 and 15 HP.

– Negative displacement: Whenever we take a car on a steep or a U-bend, we can feel a pressure that makes us bend to one side. This is called centrifugal force. If this force is continuously applied, you can easily increase the pressure in a container. Such Air compressors—called Centrifugal Air compressors—are of best use when they are continuously running at full capacity to cause the most pressure. This makes them most effective for operations that need continuous work. These Air compressors can give output up to 100 HP.

Some Air compressors, as we read earlier, can increase pressure in more than one stage. Each stage involves the use of a cylinder. So, more the cylinders, larger will be the number of stages. This affects how you use the Air compressor and to what degree.

– Some Air compressors only contain a single cylinder. These are called ‘Single Stage’ compressors. This limits the amount of pressure the compressor can churn out to 120 Pound per Square Inch or PSI. This makes them low-pressure air compressors. As a result, these are best used for home purposes or to power one single tool in your shop. Since these are smaller, Single-Stage compressors are quite portable.

– Need more pressure? Then opt for multistage compressors containing more than one cylinder. It works this way: The air passes to the first cylinder, where it is pressurized to a certain level. Then it passes to the next cylinder, where it is pressurized even more. So, with more cylinders, the air is pressurized to a large extent. As with any large machine that involves multiple components, Multi-Stage compressors tend to have a heating issue. This is why they require a cooler within the compressor to take off the excessive heat, ensuring a longer life. If you have multiple tools or require pressure over 120 PSI, you can opt for a Multi-Stage compressor.

When you buy an Air compressor, another important factor is how easily you can move them. On this basis, Air compressors are classified into four types:

– Portable: As the name suggests, these Air compressors are meant for easy transport. They are lightweight, allowing you to hop them around, and power your air tools in different work areas. However, Portable compressors are a kind of the ‘Reciprocating’ compressors and produce less power.

– Stationary: These are just the opposite of Portable Air compressors. Stationary compressors are ‘Rotary Screw’ compressors designed for long-term projects in a single work area. You may need to install them by drilling the walls or mounting them, requiring additional effort. However, they are more powerful than Portable compressors.

– Truck-mounted: So you want portability, but also higher power? Then you can opt for truck-mounted compressors. These are essentially Stationary models assembled on a truck which you can move around. They can easily power multiple air tools at the same time through air hoses that run from the truck to the work area. Truck-mounted compressors often use an electric power supply or a motor. This can help you save on fuel costs. But remember, the usage of the hose can reduce the pressure output marginally.

– Towable: These Air compressors are larger than Truck-mounted ones. These are usually found on sites requiring heavy-duty work like construction or forestry. Unlike a truck, these are mounted on large trailers with a strong steel chassis and fully galvanized canopies. They can be attached to any large work vehicle and provide outputs from 14-327 HP and 50 to 1,200 CFM (at 125 psig).

Lastly, keep in mind the power source. Your Air compressors need power to pressurize air. These can be fuel-based like Diesel or Gas or they can be Electric. This can affect how much money you spend.

2. Safety:

It is very important that you buy an Air compressor from professional sources. A high-pressure container can be very destructive if it explodes. This is why Air compressors need to be safe.

The government does not mandate safety compliance for Air compressors. However, industry body OSHA published some safety suggestions. These largely address issues regarding the service and maintenance of the compressors.

If you buy from a qualified seller, each of these issues can be taken care of with routine inspections and maintenance.

3. Get your warranty right:

Another reason to select a professional seller is to get the benefits of Warranty and other service-level agreements. Different companies offer different duration of warranties, but these usually have tenure of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. It is also imperative that you check the parts covered under the warranty. These are the usual:

  • Airends
  • Rings
  • Gaskets
  • Coolers
  • Air/fluid receivers
  • Variable speed drives
  • Suction/discharge valves
  • Drive couplers and motors

Sellers also offer services above and beyond the warranty. These service-level agreements (SLAs), designed around preventative maintenance, are often offered in exchange for an annual or monthly fee. This usually includes taking care of:

  • Traps
  • Valves
  • Coolers
  • Oil levels
  • Air filters
  • Belt tension
  • Electrical connections

So before you buy, ensure that you read the fine print for post-sale offerings.

4. Manufacturing quality:

Companies can only last for years if they produce quality goods and services. This is why when you go buy an Air compressor, look for well-established companies with a long history. Some names are Hitachi, Kaeser, Husky, Campbell Hausfeld, Sullair, Ingersoll Rand and Maxair.

Distribution is another important factor to consider while choosing a manufacturer—they need to have a wide dealership network including your area. Otherwise, they may not be able to provide good after-sale service.

That said, you need not necessarily go for a global brand. You can also check with a local dealer. If the dealer has sold Air compressors for many years and has received good reviews from customers, then you can be rest assured about the quality of service in the years to come.

To wrap up:

Buying an Air compressor is not an easy decision. You need to take a lot of things into consideration not just about the product, but also its make, quality and safety. Not to mention, additional services like Warranty and regular maintenance. This affects the future use of the Air compressor.

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