Best Portable Air Compressors of 2019: Complete Reviews with Comparisons
Air compressors make home projects and industrial tasks much simpler. This is especially true if you have access to tools that require them. With an ample amount of power that enables you to make the most out of your time, you should surely have one at home.
No matter if you regularly fill your own tires or intend on building your own fence, you’ll need to find the best portable air compressor. Below are five fantastic models to consider.
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit
Best Air Compressor Reviews
1. DEWALT 165PSI Pancake Compressor
As one of the leading experts in tools, DEWALT has a highly portable pancake compressor. With a minimal design, it is easy to store and use in confined spaces, and it offers plenty of benefits.
The key features of the DEWALT 165 PSI Pancake Compressor include:
- Six-gallon tank: This air compressor has a six-gallon tank, which gives you more than enough space to hold a sufficient amount of air. It delivers 2.6 SCFM at a total of 90 PSI.
- High-efficiency motor: Among the most impressive features of the compressor is that it has a high-efficiency motor. This helps to make the entire unit last longer. Additionally, it will be easier to start in cold weather or with an extension cord.
- Limited noise production: The DEWALT 165 PSI Pancake Compressor isn’t the quietest air compressor on the market. It’s much quieter than plenty of other models. It produces up to 75.5 decibels of sound.
- High-flow regulator: No matter the amount of compressed air your tools require, this unit is designed to handle their requirements. The regulator and couplers are designed for high or low flow to maximize the performance of your tools.
- Reliable power: With 120V at 10 amps, you’ll have a sufficient amount of power to tackle small to medium sized projects with ease.
- checkLightweight (30 pounds)
- checkSeals well to prevent leakage
- checkFills quite quickly
- checkBuilt with high-quality components
- Output pressure drops quickly
- Poor pressure regulation
- Handle loosens quickly
2. VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
When you first take a look at this compressor, you’ll see how truly portable it is. Compared to most other models on the market, the VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor is incredibly small. It also arrives with its own carrying bag for easy transport.
The most interesting features of the VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor include:
- 150PSI maximum: For a portable compressor, you’ll be impressed by the amount of air pressure it provides. With a maximum output of 150PSI, you’ll be able to handle a variety of tasks. However, the engine will have to continue running while it is being used, which limits its versatility.
- 25-foot air hose: As the VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor needs to remain plugged in, you’ll appreciate the length of the air hose.
- Included battery clamps: This air compressor also features dual battery clamps made out of heavy-duty materials as well as a 40-amp inline fuse.
- Accessories included: With every order, you will receive a heavy-duty carrying bag as well as an anti-vibration tray for a quieter and more comfortable work environment. Other included accessories include inflation tips, an adjustable power cable, and an instruction manual.
- Incredibly lightweight: Compared to other air compressors, this model is far more lightweight than any other models on the market. It weighs a total of 8.5 pounds, which makes it much easier to bring from one location to another.
- checkIdeal for having compressed air while traveling
- checkEasily fits in the trunk of vehicles
- checkRequires minimal assembly
- checkPlenty of air for tires
- Not recommended for industrial projects
- Doesn’t work quickly
- The pump gets incredibly hot
3. California Air Tools 1P1060S Air Compressor
As another impressively small air compressor, the California Air Tools 1P1060S Air Compressor has a lot of power under its hood. As one of the many other air compressors from this brand, this is easily one of the most portable units. You’ll find that it’s incredibly simple to keep around the house for everyday tasks.
The most impressive features of the California Air Tools 1P1060S Air Compressor include:
- Ultra-quiet: When compared to other air compressors, you’ll love how quiet this unit is. You won’t have to worry about wearing additional ear protection as it reaches a maximum sound level of 56 decibels.
- Oil-free pump: If you’re looking for an air compressor that requires little to no maintenance, this is one of the better units. It features an oil-free pump that prolongs the life of the compressor and lessens maintenance needs.
- One-gallon tank: As mentioned, the California Air Tools 1P1060S Air Compressor has an incredibly minimal design. With that said, you’ll only have one gallon of space for air, which makes it ideal for small projects.
- 90PSI maximum: The air output will reach a maximum of 90PSI at 1.20 CFM with the 0.6 HP motor.
- Easy to transport: The California Air Tools 1P1060S Air Compressor isn’t one of the lightest air compressors on this list. It weighs in at around 29.5 pounds, which is still easy to carry, but not as lightweight as you would expect.
- checkIncredibly quiet when used
- checkRelatively easy to carry
- checkEasily fits into small spaces
- May arrive with metal debris in the tank
- The regulator constantly leaks
- Poorly designed clearance holes
- Fittings break easily
4. Senco PC1010 Air Compressor
Immediately, you’ll notice the Senco PC1010 Air Compressor has a similar appearance to the California Air Tools Air Compressor. With that said, it’s highly recommended for small tasks, such as refilling the tires of your vehicle, so if you’re looking for the best portable air compressor, this unit is a great option.
The main features of the Senco PC1010 Air Compressor include:
- One-gallon capacity: For most small projects, such as filling tires, a one-gallon tank is just enough. The smaller tank also helps to make the air compressor easier to store in the trunk of your car or your garage.
- User-friendly: The main uses of this air compressor will need to be smaller projects and hobbies. This means that it’s designed to be simple for every homeowner to use to their advantage.
- Useful horsepower: The maximum HP for the compressor is one HP, and you’ll receive 0.5 HP when running the unit. This helps it to deliver up to 44 drives per minute.
- Low noise production: When operating, the Senco PC1010 Air Compressor will create 73 decibels of noise and 25.5 decibels of ambient sound.
- checkGreat for airbrushing
- checkIncredibly useful for quick tasks
- checkEasily fills tires
- checkComes with no-mark rubber feet
- Not recommended for air tools
- The steel tank will rust
- Leaks air from the valve
5. PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Combo Kit
When you take the time to find the best compressor, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting everything you need. The PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Combo Kit comes equipped with plenty of items that will prove to be useful for household tasks.
The key features of the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Combo Kit include:
- Six-gallon tank: If you want a portable air compressor with a relatively large tank, this six-gallon model is a great option. You’ll be able to hold more than enough air for plenty of projects.
- 150PSI maximum: Compared to the other air compressors on this list, this model delivers the second-highest power at 150PSI.
- Improved shroud: The shroud added to the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Combo Kit not only helps to make it more portable but also protects the delicate components of the unit.
- Included accessories: There are three pieces that come with the air compressor. You’ll receive a 16-gauge finish nailer, an 18-gauge Brad nailer, as well as a 3/8-inch crown stapler.
- checkWorks incredibly quickly
- checkPackaged perfectly
- checkHigh-quality accessories and tools
- Poorly written instructions
- Intermittent air may come out of the nailers
Once you’re ready to find the best portable air compressor, there are a few important features to look for. Ideally, the model you choose should be easy to carry and transport. You’ll also want to make sure that it is small enough to be stored when not in use.
In terms of performance, you’ll want a unit that delivers a high PSI and has a large enough tank for plenty of reserve air. As such, overall, we highly recommend the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Combo Kit.
Not only does the unit look incredibly professional and feel high quality, but it also outperforms most of the other air compressors on this list. With the ability to reach a maximum of 150PSI and the usefulness of the six-gallon tank, you’ll be able to tackle a variety of projects. Additionally, the pancake style tank is easy to store and simple to carry.
With that said, it’s not the most lightweight unit we’ve found, but it’s still highly portable. Another added benefit of the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Combo Kit is the fact that it comes with tools. You won’t have to worry about buying separate equipment. In your order, you’ll receive two nailers as well as a stapler that works well with the air compressor.
To help cut back on the amount of time it takes for everyday projects, the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Combo Kit is highly recommended.