Best Portable Air Compressor — Updated April 2021

What is the Best Air Compressor (Portable)?

What is the best air compressor on the market? Most contractors, mechanics, and even small-project DIY-ers all need a reliable air compressor to get their jobs and projects completed effectively and on time. The compressor is a key piece of their tool inventory, and they depend on its reliability, capability, and overall performance to get the job done.

In this product review/buying guide for the best air compressors, we’ll look at some of the best air compressors on the market, their pros and cons, and what features you should be looking for in each of them. Let’s dive in!

Table Of Contents

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Senco PC1010 1HP 1-Gallon Compressor — Our Top Pick: Best Air Compressor for the Money

Best air compressor

This air compressor from Senco is the best air compressor for the money. Its compact, portable design (it weighs only 20lbs) makes it great for transporting it to wherever you need it. This is one of the quietest air compressors on the market and has been classified as “ultra-quiet” by many users.

Given that this is an oil-less compressor, you won’t need to stop work to oil the pump and clean up any mess. This pump is super fast, and the one-gallon tank takes only 130 seconds to fill completely, and up to 35 seconds to recover after heavy use, so you won’t need to worry about a pressure shortage.

Some reviews indicate that this unit sometimes has issues shutting off after filling, and like any machine, some parts wear out and break over time. But this is to be expected for any air compressor that gets frequent use. However, this unit is backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, proving, once again, why this is our top-ranked air compressor in this class.

  • The unit features a direct-drive motor with a compression rate of 20-44 drives per minute
  • Oil-free pump for clean, oil-less use
  • The aluminum canister provides extra durability
  • The 1-gallon capacity is ideal for a wide range of small projects around the home or garage
  • This ultra-quiet air compressor is significantly quieter than the traditional “pancake-style” air compressors
  • Rubberized feet are ideal for interior use
  • Style: Oil-less Air Compressor
  • Weight: 20lbs
  • HP: 1HP Peak / 0.5HP Running
  • Capacity: 1 Gallon Capacity
  • Max PSI: 120 PSI Max Output
  • Compression Rate: 20 to 44 drives per minute
  • Warranty: 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

This oil-free air compressor is the best air compressor for the money. It’s particularly suited for tradespeople who need a reliable air compressor on a consistent basis.


This “pancake compressor” from Porter-Cable is a high-quality compressor in a small package. This compressor is perfect for everything from filling tires to powering an air nailer and features an induction motor that provides reliable performance for the user.

The C2002 is a powerful and efficient compressor, thanks to its low-amp 120-volt motor, and is capable of performing a variety of jobs with ease. And with a max-pressure of 150 PSI, this compressor is capable of powering a wide range of pneumatic tools. Additionally, at only 34 lbs, this unit is compact and transports easily to wherever it’s needed.

Overall, the Porter-Cable C2002 is a powerful, compact compressor that provides a hefty punch wherever needed. It’s perfect for the home-owner and small project enthusiast that requires a reliable air source.

  • The tank features a maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • Quick recovery times, thanks to a refill rate of 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • The 6-gallon pancake-style tank provides stability and includes a water drain valve and rubber feet for protection
  • The low-amp 120V motor starts quickly, even in adverse weather conditions
  • Durable pump for long life and easy maintenance.
  • The shroud, carry handle, and console cover protect the unit’s vital components, and make the unit more comfortable to carry
  • The compressor comes with two standard couplers, allowing for two users to attach to the compressor at the same time
  • This compressor only weighs 30lbs, so it provides easy portability
  • Comes with a 13-pc accessory kit included
  • Style: Oil-less Air Compressor
  • Weight: 34lbs
  • Motor: Low-amp 120-volt motor
  • Capacity: 6 Gallon Capacity
  • Max PSI: 150 PSI Max Output
  • Compression Rate: 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

This oil-free air compressor is the best air compressor for home garage. It’s a compact compressor that provides a reliable air source for small jobs and handyman projects.


This DEWALT DWFP55126 is a capable, compact compressor. At only 30 lbs, this compressor is highly portable. It features a high-efficiency motor and starts quickly, even in harsh weather conditions. The compressor has a 6-gallon capacity with a max-pressure of 165 PSI, rendering it capable of powering a wide range of pneumatic tools. And with a 90 PSI pump, this compressor allows for extended use and quick recovery time.

The high-flow regulator and couplers maximize the compressor’s performance, and its oil-less design makes for clean, maintenance-free use. This unit is super quiet, too, with a 75.5 dBA noise level. There is a console cover that protects the controls and removes completely for easy repair. This compressor also features two universal couplers to allow two users to attach to the tank, simultaneously.

  • This unit features a maximum pressure of 165 PSI and recovers quickly at a rate of 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • 6-gallon tank for extended use
  • This unit is super quiet, at only 75.5 dBA noise level
  • There is a ball drain valve system for easy tank draining
  • The high-flow regulator and dual couplers maximize the tool’s performance
  • Long-life oil-free pump for maintenance-free operation.
  • Convenient cable wrap for secure storage.
  • This high-efficiency motor starts quickly under even the harshest of conditions
  • There are two couplers, allowing you to attach two hoses simultaneously unit features dual couplers for double hose attachment
  • At only 30lbs, this unit is also highly portable
  • The rubber leg covers prevent the compressor from scratching
  • Style: Oil-less Air Compressor
  • Weight: 30lbs
  • Capacity: 6 Gallon Capacity
  • Max PSI: 165 PSI Max Output
  • Compression Rate: 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

This oil-free air compressor is ideal for finishing carpenters who require a clean, portable high-PSI air source to power their pneumatic tools.


Makita’s 2.0 HP MAC700 Air Compressor features Makita’s Big Bore pump cylinder and piston for increased performance, quieter running noise, and higher output. The MAC700 delivers industrial-level power and improved durability, making it perfect for harsh working conditions.
A 2HP engine powers this unit, and runs an oil-lubricated pump that runs cooler and at half the RPM of most other compressors, resulting in greater pump longevity.
Because of this, the MAC700 can run longer and harder than oil-less models without overheating. This makes the MAC700 perfect for contractors, trades, and other professions that depend on their compressors to perform well under extended periods of heavy usage.

This model’s 2.6-gallon tank maintains an operating pressure of 130 PSI, and even recovers quickly, at a rate of 40PSI (3.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (3.3 CFM). The low AMP draw reduces instances of tripped breakers and voltage drop that can cause premature motor failure. The roll bar handle provides portability and additional protection, helping it withstand harsh job site environments.

Other features include a convenient oil drain and oil sight glass, a tank drain valve, and finned discharge tubing that dissipates heat more efficiently.
In short, the MAC700 is engineered for low noise, high output, and less maintenance, and delivers industrial power and results with improved durability under harsh job site conditions.

  • There is a Copper-finned discharge tube for improved heat dissipation
  • Roll-bar handle for portability and additional protection
  • Improved air intake and efficiency, thanks to a larger industrial air filter
  • The oil sight glass allows for easy maintenance
  • The cast iron pump, along with Makita’s Big Bore cylinder and piston, deliver improved performance
  • Substantially lower noise levels with a massive 1,720 RPM pump, enabling more significant displacement at lower RPM
  • Low-amp draw significantly reduces the chance of tripped breakers or voltage drop, resulting in premature motor failure
  • Oil-lubricated provides a cooler-running pump, minimizes wear
  • One-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Style: Oil-Lubricated Air Compressor
  • Weight: 52lbs
  • Capacity: 2.6 Gallon Capacity
  • Max PSI: 130 PSI Max Output
  • Compression Rate: 40PSI (3.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (3.3 CFM)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

This oil-lubricated air compressor is ideal for carpenters (like framers and roofers) who demand long hours of sustained use from their air compressor. The oil-lubricated design makes the compressor far less prone to overheating, as compared to oil-less models.


This Tirewell double-cylinder tire air compressor is the best portable air compressor for car tires. It’s powered by a 12V power source, meaning it can plug right into your car’s cigarette lighter. It features a high-quality direct-drive motor that powered the dual-cylinder design. This compressor features a low-rotating, high-efficiency engine. At a max pressure of 150PSI, this compressor can inflate most tires, including large truck tires.

This pump includes a high-quality power adapter (with built-in 15 amp fuse), 11.5 ft power cord, 1.8 ft inflation tube, and high-quality screw connector with multiple adapters for various nipple sizes. It is capable of inflating standard vehicle tires in 2 minutes (195/65/R15, 0-35psi). Three adapters and fine-Oxford carry bag included for convenient carry and storage.

  • Maximum pressure 150PSI, airflow 2.12CFM@0PSI, inflates standard vehicle tire in 2 minutes (195/65/R15, 0-35psi)
  • The fuselage with four-rod design, effectively reduces the vibration and noise.
  • Featuring direct-drive engine for faster, more powerful compression. ~ Low rotating speed increases efficiency and reduces noise
  • Particularly suitable for SUVs, trucks, vans, RVs, crossovers, MPVs, campers, trailers, minivans, also can use for cars, motorcycles, golf carts, bicycles, and more
  • Includes a high-quality power adapter (with built-in 15 amp fuse), 11.5 ft power cord, 1.8 ft inflation tube, and high-quality screw connector with multiple adapters for various nipple sizes
  • Power: DC12V, 15A
  • Airflow: 2.12CFM@0PSI (50L@0PSI )
  • Weight: 8.36lbs
  • Max PSI: 150 PSI Max Output

This is the best portable air compressor for car tires. It’s dual-cylinder, compact design and 150 PSI max-pressure make it ideal for filling car tires and storing in your vehicle.


Conclusion

In this article, we reviewed several of the best compressors on the market. For many people, their compressor is one of the essential pieces of equipment in their shop or garage. It’s crucial that you select the right compressor for the job. Hopefully, we’ve been able to achieve our goal of helping you find the perfect compressor for your particular needs.