An air compressor can serve a wide range of purposes, especially for the DIY guy or gal. Whether you are looking to spray paint, try your hand at carpentry, or clean up the dust in your garage, the best air compressor will come handy.
It is such a versatile tool that can be used to accomplish tasks that would typically need different tools. Besides, it’s also an affordable tool that delivers long term value based on the roles it can play.
There are, of course, so many different compressor brands in the market today. In this post, we will be reviewing some of them so that we can help you make an informed choice.
Finding the Best Air Compressor
With a great variety of air compressor brands available in the market, sometimes it can be hard to decide what you actually want. However, there are a few critical considerations you may want to look out for. The Horsepower, for example, determines the performance of the unit. If you are planning big projects, perhaps it would be a great idea going for higher horsepower. Other factors to keep in mind include:
- Air pressure specifications
- The tank size
- Cubic feet per minute ( CFM)
- Life expectancy
Well, now that you have a basic intro on air compressors, it is time to dive into the specific brands. Although each and every brand has something to offer, the following are some of the best air compressors right now.
1. BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor
The BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT is a portable and cordless air compressor that will deliver excellent performance. The unit features a combination of three essential tools for your DIY project, including a brad nailer, a crown stapler, and a finish nailer. It also runs on a 0.8 HP motor that delivers up to 150 PSI in air pressure. This should be enough to power most air tools.
The BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT is also lightweight at just 33 pounds. This makes maneuverability as you work on different projects easy. We also loved that the stationary air compressor makes very little noise. This makes it an ideal it to bring with you anywhere. The unit also comes with a 25-foot long hose to allow maximum reach without necessarily moving it around. The BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT is also easy to use. It’s a plug and play tool kit that requires no assembly.
- Excellent horsepower to use in most air tools
- Highly portable with good maneuverability
- Comes with a heavy-duty crown stapler, a brad nailer, a finish nailer, and some fasteners as part of the package
- Up to 150 PSI in air pressure
- Relatively quiet compared to other brands out there
- Lightweight design for easy portability
- Easy to use even for a novice handyman
- Takes too long to get repairs from authorized service centers
- Some users also had issues with the hose supplied with the kit
With everything considered, the BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT is a solid air compressor for a DIY kit. It offers excellent value for money. You also get a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
2. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressors
The MAC2400 is the perfect choice for people looking for power and performance. It comes with a 2.5 HP motor that delivers 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI.em This makes it an ideal choice for any DIY job. The compressor also features two stacked tanks, each with a capacity of 4.2 gallons.
The unit is made using cast iron, a durable material that will last ages even with heavy-duty use. Additionally, the Makita MAC2400 also offers a compact, lightweight design for easy movement. Although the best air compressors are not generally quiet in operation, the Makita MAC2400 produces lesser noise compared to most other brands in its category.
- Comes with a cast iron pump engineered to offer better performance and faster recovery time
- The pump is oil lubricated to reduce performance temperatures and general wear and tear
- Features an industrial grade air filter
- Roll cage design to protect sensitive parts in extreme work environments
- Durable design that will last for a long time
- Compact and extremely portable
- Offers high performance cast iron pump with removable parts for easy cleaning
- Some users have complained in air compressor reviews that the paint on the unit chips away easily
- The user manual that comes with the product has inadequate information
The Makita MAC2400 is designed to offer value for money. erIt also comes packed with great features and a one year warranty from the manufacturer.
3. Briggs & Stratton 3-Gallon Quiet Power Technology Air Compressor
The Briggs & Stratton 3-Gallon Quiet Power Technology Air Compressor is literally an improvement on the standard compressors produced by Briggs and Stratton. First, it is quieter. In fact, the manufacturer says that this unit makes 80% less noise compared to previous models. Its life expectancy is also 3 times better. In case you are a Briggs and Stratton fan looking for the best air compressors, it may be time to upgrade to this unit.
The compressor also features a 0.3 HP DC motor that can deliver a maximum pressure of 100 PSI. You will also get a horizontal tank with a capacity of 3 gallons. The pneumatic air compressor also features a sturdy construction. Suction cup foot mounts are also installed to ensure the unit remains stable during operation. There is also a sturdy grip handle at the top for easy carrying.
- The unit offers quiet operation
- Available in three different tank capacities (3 Gallon, 4 Gallon, and 4.5 Gallon)
- Comes with a Quick connect coupler that is so easy to use
- Sturdy protective frame with suction cup foot-mounts for stability
- You will definitely love the quite especially for indoor projects
- Compact design that won’t take too much space
- Requires very little maintenance
- Easy to set up and operate
Relatively heavier at 49.5 pounds
Does not come with its own hose or other accessories including adapters and nozzles
The Briggs & Stratton 3-Gallon Quiet Power Technology Air Compressor is definitely an improvement on previous B & S units. Although it’s a little more substantial compared to other products, it’s still an excellent stationary air compressor, especially for its features. You will also enjoy a one year warranty from the manufacturer.
4. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP Quiet Air Compressor
The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP comes loaded with some fantastic features, but no doubt the quiet operation is a crucial selling point. Producing just 56 Decibels in noise, it is one of the most unobtrusive units in the market. But that is not all. The air compressor for DIY has a powerful 0.6 HP motor that can hit up to 1.5 HP in peak performance.
The unit also features a lightweight design. At 29 lbs. in weight, it should be easy to move around, especially for projects that require constant mobility. We also loved some of the safety features in this unit. For instance, the air compression system is fitted with external current protectors and thermal overload protectors as well. The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP delivers up to 120 PSI in maximum air pressure, enough to power any air tools. It also has a low maintenance oil-free pump and complete air filters. It’s definitely one of the best air compressors in the market right now.
- Produces only 56 Decibels of noise
- Insanely fast recovery times from 90 PSI to 120 PSI
- High performance 0.6 HP motor that can hit 1.5 HP at peak
- Extra light steel air tank for easy portability
- Enhanced safety features
- Features a light, compact design for easy storage and maneuverability
- Excellent performance, delivering up to 120 PSI in pressure
- ETL certified product
- Ultra quiet operation
- The 1 Gallon steel tank is relatively small compared to other products in this category
- You will need to buy your own hose
The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP is designed to deliver excellent performance without too much noise. It’s one of the few pneumatic air compressor brands that are worth the money. lYou will also get a 1-year warranty for the unit.
5. Excell SAC22HPE 2 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
The Excell SAC22HPE 2 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor is designed with a 1.0 HP motor that delivers up to 120 PSI in maximum air pressure. The unit also comes with a 2-gallon air tank and weighs 45 pounds. Although it’s not one of the lightest options on the market, it’s still easily portable, especially with its built-in handle. You will also get a sturdy roll cage constructed around sensitive components. The cage is designed to protect the unit in a harsh work environment.
The compressor also comes with external air filters, but you will need to buy your own hose. The Excell SAC22HPE 2 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor also produces 61 Decibels of noise, making it among the quietest units in the market. We also noted from the air compressor reviews that the control panel is conveniently located at the front, giving users easy access to all the gauges and regulators.
- Makes very little noise
- Compact roll cage design for easy storage and movement
- Excellent for trim and finish works
- Dual pump design for better performance and low cost maintenance
- Makes very little noise
- Conveniently located control panel for easy operation
- Sturdy roller cage for portability and protection
- Does not come with a hose
- The no return policy also seemed to spook some users
The Excell SAC22HPE is one of the best air compressors, and there is no doubt it offers excellent performance. However, the company’s no return policy could be an issue for some people. We also noted that no warranty information is provided by the manufacturer.
6. Makita AC001 Compact Air Compressor
The Makita AC001 Compact Air Compressor is probably one of the more powerful single tank compressors out there. It features a powerful motor that d up to 125 PSI in air pressure. The noise levels are also very low, so if you are looking for something to use indoors, it could be a great pick. The AC001 is also lightweight. At slightly over 23 pounds, carrying it around from one site to the next should not be a problem.
The compact design is also worth mentioning as well, especially for people who may not have enough storage space for such units. The compressor also comes with a roll cage construction and a sturdy grip at the top for natural movement. The AC001 also offers faster recovery times and long-lasting service as well.
- Compact and lightweight design for easy portability
- Powerful induction motor with low noise
- Excellent performance with up to 125 PSI in maximum pressure
- Low AMP draw
- Roll cage protection for Motor apparatus
- Compact and lightweight for easy storage and movement
- Low AMP draw helps prevents tripping breakers when connected to electricity
- Faster recovery time and long-lasting service
Some users have complained that the compressor is actually too small for their needs
Takes longer to refill air compared to some of the best air compressors in the market
The Makita AC001 is simply designed for basic indoor use. There is also a one year warranty from the manufacturer.
7. DEWALT DCC2560T1 Flexvolt 2.5 Gallon Cordless Air Compressor Kit
The DEWALT DCC2560T1 Flexvolt is a heavy-duty unit designed for professional use. It uses a cordless operation that allows you to work on any site. The unit can actually do a full day of finish nailing on one single charge. It also features a brushless motor that offers more runtime, requires less maintenance, and lasts relatively longer.
The unit is also compatible with all existing pneumatic nailers. The DEWALT DCC2560T1 Flexvolt also comes with a 2.5 Gallon air tank and 135 PSI in maximum pressure. It weighs 21.5 pounds and offers a compact design for easy mobility. However, this weight does not include batteries. Remember the DEWALT DCC2560T1 Flexvolt is cordless, so it uses a battery as the power source. You will also get a heavy-duty roll cage for protection in-transit and rubber feet to ensure stability on site.
- Cordless design that comes with a DCB606 rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery
- Capable of a full day job on one single charge
- Sturdy 2.5 Gallon air tank
- Easy to use OneTurn regulator
- Compatible with most pneumatic nailers and other accessories
- The cordless design gives the compressor excellent versatility
- Durable and sturdy construction that will last for years
- Perfect for heavy duty use
- Takes relatively longer to fill up for some users
- Not one of the quietest compressors in the market
If you don’t mind a little noise, the DEWALT DCC2560T1 Flexvolt is definitely a great unit, especially for its powerful performance specs. It’s a versatile option as well, and you’ll get a 3-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Model for You
Different air compressors offer various features. The unit you decide to go for will more often than not come down to personal choice. For professionals looking for a heavy-duty product, the DEWALT DCC2560T1 Flexvolt is definitely a great choice. It is one of the best brands out there, and its cordless construction ensures you can take on projects anywhere.
As for the DIY guy or gal looking for a simple unit for simple home projects, the options are literally endless. However, the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP should definitely be up there in your list. It is one of the quietest units, making it perfect for indoor use. Its compact and lightweight design is also a plus. Besides, the unit produces enough pressure to power most air tools out there.