Best Air Compressors for Home Garage

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An air compressor is one of the most useful things you have in your home garage.

It saves time and effort and helps all your other tools perform better, more efficiently, and continuously.

You might think air compressors are only found on building sites and used for massive machines. But in fact, many of the best air compressors are ideal for homes and garages too. They’re small, sleek, and work quietly – but still pack a punch when it comes to power.

Not only do air compressors power essential DIY tools such as drills and sanders, but they can also be used in a variety of other ways around the home, including inflating tires, spray-painting, and pressure-washing.

How do they work? Essentially, air compressors work by forcing air into a tank and building up pressure. This pressure is stored in the tank until ready to be used, where it is released to power tools.

It all sounds simple, and that’s because it is – air compressors are very straight-forward to use and the best ones require no maintenance at all. But with so much choice on the market, finding the best garage air compressor can be tough.

We’ve picked 10 of the best air compressors for your home garage, to help you make the best decision!

The 10 Best Air Compressor for Home Garage

1. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor with 13 Piece Accessory Kit

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor with 13 Piece Accessory Kit

Our first recommendation is this oil-free pump from Craftsman, which is made for long serve year after year with no maintenance.

This air compressor easily starts up in cold weather, and as such is an ideal piece of equipment for work in your garage. Weighing only 30 lbs, this air compressor is lightweight and easy to move around your home with ease.

Despite being small, it still packs a powerful punch as it can reach up to an impressive 150 PSI which will suit a variety of needs, big or small.

Additionally, a flow rate of 2.6 S SCFM @ 90 PSI allows for quick compressor recovery time!

We’re particularly impressed with the accessory kit included, which contains a 25X ¼ inch PVC air hose with coupler and plug, tire gauge, rubber tip, blow gun with nozzle, and much more.

Overall, this is a multi-purpose air compressor that can fit perfectly into your arsenal of DIY tools.

Things we like:

  • Works well in cold weather and has a limited recovery time
  • 13-piece accessory kit included
  • Oil-free

2. California Air Tools Aluminum Tank Air Compressor

California Air Tools Aluminum Tank Air Compressor

This is another lightweight, high-quality air compressor. Designed for high performance and durability, and is the perfect piece of equipment for all your DIY needs.

With a noise level of just 60 dBA, this is one of the quietest compressors on the market. A powerful 1.0 HP motor (which operates at 1680 RPM) helps reduce noise but also reduces wear-and-tear of the machine.

With a max pressure of 120 PSI, and a continuous run time of 30 to 60 minutes, this air compressor can complete a variety of jobs with ease. It also has an impressive 30000+ hour life cycle, which is drastically higher than other competing units.

As an oil-free pump, this air compressor requires less maintenance and costs, and can work in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrains; rust-free aluminum also increases its durability and ensures long-lasting service.

Lastly, at 38 lbs this is a very lightweight air compressor, which comes with an additional wheel-kit to transport and store easily.

Things we like:

  • Ultra-quiet at just 60 decibels
  • Comes with wheel kit and air filter
  • Oil-free
  • The tank is made from rust-free aluminum

Things to consider:

  • No hose included

3. Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

With high-performance and low maintenance, this air compressor is another piece of DIY equipment you need in your home garage.

Firstly, a roll cage design offers complete protection to this air compressor, even in the toughest of environments. An added roll bar handle also means it’s portable so you can carry it around with no fuss.

Now let’s talk about its design. Made with a durable cast iron cylinder, this compressor works at half the RPM of competing units and so has a fast recovery and runs cooler.

The cylinder can also be removed for easy maintenance. This air compressor also comes with an oil-lubricated pump with a large automotive style filter, which means it can achieve greater air intake with greater efficiency.

Lastly, a low AMP draw reduces any instances of tripped breakers and voltage drop that might cause premature motor failure.

Things we like:

  • Made of high-quality materials which ensure long-lasting service and easy maintenance
  • Works at lower RPM for reduced noise
  • A low AMP draw reduces the chance of tripped breakers at startup

Things to consider:

  • Oil-lubrication may stain surfaces

4. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

Portable and lightweight, this air compressor from BOSTITCH will deliver high performance with quick recovery and reduced noise in tandem.

Firstly, as an oil-free pump, it does not require daily maintenance. This also eliminates the risks of oil-stains on nearby surfaces – an important thing to consider for working at home. Reduced maintenance also ensures the air compressor lasts even longer.

The compressor works at 78.5 dBa, and so is ideal for quiet work environments such as inside homes and garages. With maximum tank storage of 150 PSI, it has a long run-time with quick recovery.

The air compressor has a highly efficient motor which allows for easy startup, even in cold weather. The high flow regulator helps maximize air tool performance, and with two universal couplers, it can easily support two users.

At only 29 lbs, this is one of the lightest units around and so is incredibly easy to store or carry, including around your garage or up on a roof.

Things we like:

  • One of the lightest units on the market at 29 lbs
  • Reduced noise at 78.5 decibels
  • Easy to startup in cold weather or cold temperatures

Things to consider:

  • Does not include a hose of gun kit

5. PORTER-CABLE Hand Carry Air Compressor Kit

PORTER-CABLE Hand Carry Air Compressor Kit

This air compressor is all about being lightweight, portable, and comes with a multitude of accessories for added value to your DIY arsenal.

Firstly, let’s talk about weight. At just 20 lbs, this is one of the lightest units on our list, and so is incredibly easy to carry and move around.

A fully-enclosed design protects the unit from hot or moving parts and ensures it lasts the test of time. Not only that, but the air compressor comes with a 25-feet coil hose and 8pc accessory kit for additional value and variety.

The compressor’s low amp 120V motor ensures that this air compressor starts in cold weather or when powered with an extension cord. The 150 PSI max tank pressure stores more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes, and a durable oil-free pump ensures long life-service with no maintenance.

And with a low-noise motor operating at just 79 dBA, it is an ideal piece of equipment for working in quiet environments around the home.

With 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI, the compressor works quickly and has reduced recovery times. This means the air compressor works faster and for longer – the perfect solution for all your air compressing needs.

Things we like:

  • One of the lightest units on the market at 20 lbs
  • Simple, sleek interface makes it easy to use
  • Comes with 25-feet of coil hosing and an 8pc accessory kit
  • Reduced noise

6. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

Featuring a highly efficient motor that starts up in even the coldest weather, this air compressor from DEWALT is an all-around DIY life-safer.

The first thing you’ll notice is the 165 max PSI 6.0-gallon tank, which offers a higher PSI than competing units.

The high flow regulator and couplers maximize air tool performance and a long life oil-free pump for maintenance-free operation. And with a soft level of 75.5 dBA, it’s ideal for a quiet work setting.

A standard flow rate of 2.6 S SCFM @ 90 PSI ensures quick compressor recovery time. This air compressor features 2 universal couplers, which supports two users. A ball drain valve allows for quick and thorough tank draining.

We love how this air compressive is especially durable. For example, protectable rubber legs prevent marring and increase longevity. A console cover protects the controls and can be easily removed for repairs.

Lastly, at 30 lbs. it’s lightweight and compact, with a convenient cord wrap for easy and safe storage.

Things we like:

  • A cord wrap is incredibly useful for safe storage
  • Higher than normal PSI gives more versatility
  • Durable unit – with protective rubber legs, a console cover, and cord wrap
  • Lightweight at 30 lbs

7. Metabo HPT Air Compressor

Metabo HPT Air Compressor

This is a quiet, industrial oil-free pump which provides high durability with little to no maintenance required.

Working at only 59 dB, this compressor is incredibly quiet, and so is ideal for work environments where noise levels are an issue.

It features an industrial oil-free pump for high durability with low maintenance, and a 2. 8 Amp direct drive induction motor for longer life. The motor is protected by an overload protection circuit that cuts off power in the case of an overload situation.

A steel roll cage with a rubber grip protects all of the compressor’s critical components. As it’s only 25.2 lbs, the air compressor is light and compact and allows you to better transport it when not in use with incredible ease.

Lastly, an industrial regulator and gauge allow for easy and accurate PSI adjustments.

Things we like:

  • Overload protection circuit
  • Incredibly quiet and lightweight
  • Ready to use straight out of the box – no assembly

8. WEN 10-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor

WEN 10-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor

Whether it’s nailers, staplers, spray guns, or other pneumatic tools, this unit has everything you need in an air compressor and is one of the best units on the market.

First, an impressive 10-gallon tank with reinforced steel allows for a maximum pressure of 150 PSI and provides airflow rates of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI

It also has added protections in place, for example, an auto shut-down function turns the compressor off once it reaches its max PSI for safe and reliable compressing.

This air compressor also includes two pressure gauges; one to monitor the internal pressure of the tank while the other regulates the rate of airflow. And as an oil-free pump, the compressor requires no external lubrication or maintenance.

Lastly, this unit comes with a rubber-gripped handle and feet, along with two 7-inch never-flat wheels, making it incredibly portable and easy to transport.

Things we like:

  • Two 7-inch wheels make for easy, simple transport and storage
  • Rubber-grip handle and feet for protection and easy use
  • Two pressure gauges to monitor internal pressure and rate of air-flow

9. Twin-Stack 2 HP 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Twin-Stack 2 HP 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

This unit is one of the best garage air compressors on the market because of how user-friendly and powerful it is.

Firstly, let’s talk about design. It is both lightweight and ergonomic, meaning it is incredibly easy to handle and to store. A simple, sleek interface makes using this compressor very straight-forward.

This air compressor works at 79 dBa and so is quiet; an ideal air compressor for home garages. Two quick disconnect couplers allow you to run multiple tools simultaneously and adds even more versatility to the unit.

The compressor tank fills from zero to full pressure in just 60 seconds, so you can get to work immediately, with a maximum of 135 PSI operating pressure.

An all-season select synthetic lubricant increases the machine’s efficiency, and with up to 2,000 hours of service between changeouts, it will out-perform many competitors.

Lastly, the air compressor is incredibly well-made, with a durable cast iron cylinder, protective back shroud, enclosed frame, and extended pump life.

Things we like:

  • Lightweight, easy to use
  • All season lubricant included
  • Two disconnect couplers for simultaneously use of tools
  • Portable and easy to store
  • Durable design with reduced noise

10. Porter Cable 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Porter Cable 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

This oil-free air compressor is highly dependable and ensures continuous use for even the most powerful of tools.

How? First, it has a 20-gallon tank which ensures longer run times, even on heavy consumption power tools.

With a max PSI of 150, this unit has a 5.0 CFM at 40 psi and 4.0 CFM at 90 psi with 1.5 RHP, giving you great variety in whatever it is you are using for the job.

It has a low voltage start-up, which reduces the current draw and has lass starting torque on the motor.

We love how easy and practical it is to maintain this air compressor. For example, an included pressure switch with on/off options, along with a tank pressure gauge and pressure relief valve means that you can quickly and thoroughly drain the tank.

Not only that, but as it’s an oil-free pump, there’s no need to check and change lubricants, and no belts or pulleys to maintain. Lastly, 7-inch solid rubber wheels offer lots of mobility, and a fully enclosed shroud protects all working components.

Things we like:

  • Low maintenance air compressor
  • Has a pressure switch, tank pressure gauge, and pressure relief valve
  • 7-inch solid rubber wheels help transport the unit
  • A fully enclosed shroud protects working components

Things to consider:

  • At 97 lbs, it’s one of the heavier options

Best Air Compressor for Home Garage Buying Guide

With so much choice for air compressors, you might be wondering how on Earth you’re going to decide on which one?

First of all, let’s go through some of the basic terminology used when talking about air compressors.

PSI stands for pounds per square inch and measures the amount of air which is distributed through the compressor, per inch. Powerful equipment such as pneumatic drills will require a maximum PSI range.

SCFM stands for standard cubic feet per minute and measures the flow of gas under standard pressure and temperature. This is an important rate to check because you will want an air compressor that can deliver enough air-flow to power your equipment.

dBA represents a weighted-decibel level, which in plain terms relates to noise levels. For air compressors, the higher the decibel level, the more noise it will produce. Similarly, the lower the rating, the quiet it works.

Gallon is a measurement of how much an air compressor’s tank can store. The larger the number, the more air it can pressurize!

RPM stands for revolutions per minute and relates to the motor found in your air compressor. Generally speaking the slower the RPM, the quieter your air compressor will work. It will also generate less heat and wear.

Before picking an air compressor, consider the following questions:

What are you using the air compressor for?

First, you need to figure out what your air compressor is going to be used for.

In the case of the most powerful drills and hammers, you should consider an air compressor with higher PSI, a larger tank, and can give a continuous airflow specific to your tools needs. Consult your respected tools manuals for guidelines.

However, if it’s a general-purpose air compressor that you hope will be multi-purpose for small, DIY jobs, your main goal is to find a unit which is maintenance-free, compact, and most of all – easy to use!

Where will it be used?

Deciding where your air compressor will be mostly used can help you prioritize important, useful features that will serve you best.

For example, if are going to use the air compressor on your roof, consider a model that is both lightweight and easy to carry.

Likewise, if you are working in a hard-to-reach place or where space might be limited, your best bet is to pick one which is compact and ergonomically designed.

Lastly, if you are working on uneven terrains, such as outside, try and find an air compressor with stabilized rubber wheels or grips to help it balance and prevent it from tipping.

Do I need one or two-air outlets?

Some of the air compressors we’ve recommended come with an added feature – two air-outlets. This means you can power two tools simultaneously, which is incredibly useful for people working at more complex DIY jobs.

Again, if you are picking a compressor on this basis, make sure that the PSI and airflow of the machine can power both tools efficiently.

To oil or not to oil?

You might have noticed that most of our recommendations for home air compressors are oil-free.

Oil-free air compressors generally are lighter and ideally suited for home and garage use. No oil means no oil changes, and so reduces the amount of maintenance required.

It also reduces the chance of any spills or staining of nearby surfaces!

Conclusion

Whether it’s powering your drills, hammers, sanders, or more, inflating or deflating, air compressors are incredibly useful pieces of equipment.

As our recommendations have shown, the best air compressors are powerful, easy to maintain, and are safe to use. Many are incredibly small and lightweight, making it easy to carry them around your garage or roof and to conveniently store them, too.

Not only that, the best garage air compressors have reduced noise, which makes them ideal for home use.

And as our recommendations have shown, there is a huge choice out there when finding an angle grinder. You should invest some time in researching the benefits to each one to find the perfect match.

With the best air compressor, your DIY work will quite literally become a breeze!