5 Best Air Compressors, Lightweight, Compact & Portable

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Air Compressor Buying Guide

There is an air compressor for pretty much every task you can think of in a modern auto garage, from top-end professional compressors to dedicated home mechanic.

Choosing an air compressor that will meet your hydraulic needs isn’t an easy task. It depends on so many different factors and also how you want to use it, the tools you have, how spacious your garage is and the frequency of use.

You do not need a licensed contractor to know which air compressor will best fit your needs. Instead, you can pick the ones that users have given a good review, and we have compiled them all in a list for your ease.

Today, every major air-compressor manufacturer offers compact versions that are lightweight and portable but powerful enough to drive most air tools. And while many of these models are designed for professionals, their small size, quiet motors, and low price make them ideal for DIYers.

Air compressors are one of the essential tools in any workshop. These powerful machines can be used for various purposes, such as inflating tyres, performing minor repairs to engines and air conditioning systems and cleaning up grease and oil spills. In this article, you will learn more about what they are and what tasks they can do.

What are Air Compressors?

An air compressor is a machine that applies high pressure to air and forces it into narrow passages. This creates a strong flow of compressed air, which is then used for different purposes, such as powering tools and appliances, providing oxygen supply in emergencies, and so forth. Air compressors are used in all kinds of applications. They are most commonly used in automotive environments, in construction such as building walls and floors, and in everyday life, such as hospitals and homes. They are also used for dedicated hobbyists, afterall, airbrushing isn’t just for Hollywood. It is a powerful and efficient machine that makes the job easier.

What Are Air Compressors Used For?

Air compressors are used for many different things like blowing up balloons, inflating tyres, blowing out candles, inflating pool toys, and so much more. There is a range of tools, from low-cost options to those with high-end features. For those wanting to buy an air compressor, there are many options available. The pressure required for the air compressor varies depending on the type of machine. An air compressor is a tool that will be used repeatedly, and the end-user needs to buy a product that has a long life span. This is because the air compressor will be used regularly, and it is vital to get the best product that will last for several hours.

Best Air Compressors

Take a quick look at some of the best air compressors, then scroll down for buying advice and more in-depth reviews of these models.

Benefits of Air Compressors

A new air compressor will let you work more efficiently and not spend as much on electricity. Air compressors can also help maintain the room’s humidity levels and clean the air in it. In addition, they can also be used for storing and transporting air. They are easy to use and can be used by people of all ages with little training. In addition, air compressors are very effective and require less maintenance.

Why Are Air Compressors Important?

Air compressor tools are more than just tools. They’re also a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to other power tools. Whether you need to do some serious carpentry work or put up a new shelf, an air compressor is your best friend. With the right air tool, you can literally DIY and save a lot of money.

One major importance of these tools is that they can be used for various purposes. With the right compressor tool, you can turn your DIY projects into fun and enjoyable experiences. For example, you can use an air compressor to put up shelves, hang pictures, paint things around the house, and do other home tasks.

Bostitch BTFP02012 Review

Exceptionally lightweight air compressor designed for portable use in any location.

Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 Psi Oil-Free Compressor, Yellow/Black
10,510 Reviews
Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 Psi Oil-Free Compressor, Yellow/Black
  • The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free, maintenance-free pump for convenient use
  • 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump enable long tool run time with quick recovery of the electric air compressor
  • BOSTITCH high efficiency motor of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application [14 GA or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • 78.5 dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment
  • 29 lb. weight makes unit easy to carry and store

When you are not required to use air compressors regularly, we recommend buying a 6-gallon pancake compressor, and the Bostitch BTFP02012 is perfect in this consideration. This air compressor has two versions, Bostitch BTFP02012 and Bostitch BTFP02011. The former is exceptionally lightweight and is portable, designed to be less noisy and has a small diameter tank.

The compressor comes with a 15-amp motor which means your home socket can quickly provide power to it. Both versions have almost the same features, but the company has made some small changes to the Bostitch BTFP02012 to make it more user-friendly. This air compressor has a beautiful design, and the best part is, it is oil-free.

DeWalt Pancake Air Compressors Review

If you are looking for the perfect combination of quality and affordability, DeWalt has to be the brand of choice.

If you are looking for an on-budget air compressor, the DeWALT DWFP55126 has to be your ultimate pick and the perfect air compressor for home use as it’s easy to carry and quiet. If you are using the air compressors to their full potential or just using it generally, it will give you total productivity in both cases. The high-quality regulators and couplers ensure a good flow of air. This air compressor is best to be used regularly. The only drawback is that this can only be used domestically and is not suitable for larger projects.

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Review

As the name suggests, this air compressor gained popularity due to its portable size and being lightweight. You can carry it around without seeking anyone’s help. The compressor generates 150 PSI which means it can easily power two of your tools. This one is best suited for powering small to medium tools. If you live in an area where the temperature remains cold, you can easily use this as its motor is designed to start instantly, even at a lower temperature.

VIAIR 450P Air Compressor Review

Viair compressors are fast being recognised as a brand delivering good quality and affordability.

VIAIR is a company that has been getting great reviews from customers globally and is being recommended for its amazingly productive air compressors. The 450P compressor comes with great features; automatic turn-off and shutting down that happens when it is not being used for some time, making it an energy-efficient tool. It has a wide range of additional features that makes it a fantastic tool. It is reliable and lasts longer if used carefully.

California Air Tools Compressors Review

Powerful, air compressors built to last for wide range of use.

California Air Tools 2010ALFC Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free & Lightweight 1.0 hp Industrial Air Compressor, 2.0 Gallon
  • Ultra Quiet  -  Only 60  decibels 
  • Oil-Free Pump - Cleaner air for better tool operation; Less Maintenance and Costs; Use in Cold Temperatures
  • 4.00 CFM at 40 PSI & 3.00 CFM at 90 PSI; Max 125 PSI
  • The MP100LF motor/pump is tested for a minimum life of 4000 hours before wear; At least 30% longer than other brands
  • 110V 60 Hz - 7.6 Amps - 2.0 Gal. Aluminum Tank - 35 lbs

California Air Tools are affordable and offer excellent efficiency, making two features that are perfect for explaining this air compressor. The California 10020C is an air compressor that is powerful and comes at a very reasonable price. It gives you the horsepower that no other compressor would with the same price range. It is oil-free and effortless to maintain. It gives you a noise-free environment to live in. It is suitable for traveling and is recommended for those who want to use it once in a while.

In addition to the above ait compressors, we also have reviews on the Hyundai 24 litre Ultra Silent Compressor and the Hyundai 50 litre Silent Air Compressor.

Advantages of Using Air Compressors

Many people use air compressors and the associated air tools to make their lives easier, but not everyone knows the advantages. Many tools are made specifically for some jobs, like using an air compressor for cleaning up concrete. Another good way to use an air compressor is to clean your windows or do some light sanding. Also, they are very handy when it comes to taking care of home projects, like painting.

Types of Air Compressors

There are a wide range of compressors that exist in different models but there are three main types:

  • Reciprocating
  • Rotary Screw
  • Centrifugal

Reciprocating Air Compressors

Reciprocating air compressors raise the pressure of the air by lowering its volume. Essentially, the machine takes consecutive amounts of constrained air and elevates it to high pressure. A piston contained within the cylinder aids in the working condition of the compressor. These air compressors are available in air-cooled or water-cooled versions, lubricated or unlubricated, and various pressures and capacities.

Rotary Screw Air Compressors

The rotary screw compressor is another type of air compressor. Rotary screw compressors are positive displacement compressors. The single-stage helical or spiral lobe oil flooded screw air compressor is the most popular rotary air compressor. This type of air compressor is made up of two rotors that are enclosed in a casing and compress the air inside. These devices are oil-cooled, with no valves, and the oil seals the internal clearances.

Centrifugal Air Compressors

The centrifugal air compressor is a different compressor, unlike the previous two in that they operate by energy transfer from a revolving impeller to the air. Due to the constant flow through the compressor, this compressor is intended for increased capacity. Centrifugal air compressors operate without oil, and the oil-lubricated running gear is isolated from the atmosphere by shaft seals and atmospheric vents.

Air Compressors Key Features

Air compressors are typically designed to provide an even amount of air pressure to all areas of their machine. This ensures that the ideal flow rate is available for your tools, no matter where you are.

Durability: Compressors should be able to withstand both extreme heat and cold. Air compressors typically have a low-temperature capability that will allow them to function in low temperatures.

Safety: Air compressors have a safety switch that automatically turns off the motor when you open the cover or valve without setting it to the safety position.

Smooth Operation: Air compressors are designed to be quiet and smooth in their operation.

Variable Speed Control: This allows you to run your compressor at different speeds. Most air compressors have a maximum working pressure of 30,000 psi.

Remote Control: This allows you to start and stop your air compressor from a distance.

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