Best All-Around Air Compressor

If you are looking to expand your home workshop contents, finding a good air compressor is helpful. These are simple tools that consist of an air tank and a pump. The compressor pumps air into the tank until it reaches the max pressure and then shuts down leaving the air under pressure available to use for pneumatic tools that can inflate tires and spray paint, among other things.

Finding the right model of a portable air compressor pump to suit your project is a little daunting with how many of them are on the market, especially if you are looking online. It is not always easy to make sense of all the numbers and stats. Keeping the SCFM at four or over and at least 90PSI is important to run the tools you want. The air compressors reviews below give you a good idea of the best options to meet the needs of your power tools. 

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Makita 2400 2.5HP Air Compressor

This Makita air compressor is large enough to deal with bigger jobs but small enough that’s it’s easy to store. This solid cast iron pump offers fast recovery times for good performance. It draws low AMPs and has stacked tanks at just four gallons, giving a consistent operating pressure of 130PSI. The motor is lubricated by oil so it offers cool running temps and little wear.  A large air filter on the compressor provides good air intake and makes the tool more efficient. Maintenance is easy thanks to the oil sight glass and easy to access filters. The motor is four-pole 2.5HP and puts out 4.2CFM at 90PSI. The pump runs at 1730RPM for lower noise levels which is great if you are using it in a shop. 

DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon Compressor 

This air compressor has a 1.8HP motor that is extremely efficient. It’s oil-free, too, which is great as it means less maintenance. The 4.5-gallon tank offers a max pressure of 225PSI so this one can do almost anything you need it to. It creates 5.0 CFM at 90PSI which is a solid rating so you can use heavier tools without issue. It takes about a minute to fill the tank when you first start it up but recovers in only 22 seconds. The noise level is fairly low at 78 dbA because it runs at a low speed of 1720RPM. One of the best things about this compressor is that it is portable. It has a handle that collapses and foam tires for easy moving and storage and is great for both light and heavy-duty jobs. 

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC 

This a great small air compressor that has surprisingly good power. The 2.0HP motor only has a draw of 14AMPS. It is oil-free so you can go with less ongoing maintenance, even with the pump working up to 3000 hours. This compressor pushes a max air pressure of 125PSI and when at 90PSI, it creates over 5CFM of air volume. When you drop the PSI to 40, the rating goes up to 6.4 which means you can work with more than one tool at a time. The compressor is quiet at 70 decibels which is impressive for its size. This one is a great value for what you pay. You get low noise plus a strong motor and pump with high capacity. 

Senco PC1131 Compressor, 2.5-Horsepower (Peak) 4.3 gallon 

This is a good mid-range compressor with enough power at 4.4 SCFM for most jobs. It has an induction motor that offers great durability no matter what projects you are working on. This compressor comes with a cast iron sleeve and lubrication with oil-splash. It is 2HP and 4.4 SCFM @90PSI with a max of 125PSA with a 4.3-gallon twin tank set up. At 60 pounds, this model isn’t particularly light but it can be moved. It comes with a ¼” universal coupler regulator and a pressure gauge and fills and refills quickly so you aren’t waiting for it to catch up when working on a big job like framing or roofing. This model can be mounted if you don’t want to use it as a portable compressor. 

While all the above air compressors can handle most tools and jobs, the DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon Compressor is recommended as the best. It’s efficient, easy to maintain, and has an SCFM rating that does most of the work you need to be done. Its fairly quiet, heavy yet transportable, and comes at a reasonable price. Its recovery is quick, too, so you won’t have to worry about waiting when working on a big job. Easy to move, easy to store, and great to use. 

Final Thoughts 

If you are looking to do more maintenance and construction work at home, getting an air compressor is helpful. This is especially true for larger jobs with repetitive nailings such as framing or roof shingling. Air compressors are also helpful if you are doing your own work on your car as it helps with tire removal and removing any stubborn nuts and bolts. This piece of equipment helps make many jobs easier than if you were taking them on manually. 

As with any tool, make sure it is capable of handling the work you want it to do and that it fits into your budget. These aren’t the type of compressors you want if you are just looking for a tire inflator. If you are serious about your handyman skills and are doing some serious work, these heavy-duty models fit the bill. Aim for +4 standard cubic feet per minute at 90PSI and you should be able to do most jobs without any problems. Check on the refill time, too, to make sure you can work continuously and you aren’t getting gaps. With the right air compressor, you are set for almost any project. 

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