Best Air Compressors 2017: Compressors Guide + Top 10 Reviews

When you need to buy an air compressor, there are many factors to consider.

From gas stations and manufacturing plants through to the home or construction site, these versatile machines have a wide range of applications.

Once you’ve decided what you need your compressor for, do plenty of research. If you launch straight in and buy the first model you fancy, it could end up being an expensive mistake. Read plenty of honest user reviews. Spend time comparing the efficiency, durability and the range of work the compressor can do.

Today, we’ll look at 10 of the best air compressor reviews so you can get a good idea of what would best suit your requirements.

Best Air Compressors of 2017

Compressor NamePowerTank SizePower Model
California Air Tools CAT- 63101 HP6.3-gallon110-volt
Dewalt DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI12 Amps12.5 3.0 SCFM
Dewalt DWFP55126 6 Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
Porter Cable PCFP02003 3.5 Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor120 volts135 PSI
Porter-Cable CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor120volts1.5-gallon tank150 PSI
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP All In Compressor2.HP2.6-gallon tank130 PSI
Bostitch BTFP72646 3 Tool Compressor Combo Kit6-gallon tankBTFP72646
California Air Tools CAT – 10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil2 HP10 gallons tankCAT – 10020
Porter Cable C2002 WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor120-volt 6 gallon tankC2002 WK
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California Air Tools CAT- 6310

This is one of the best budget air compressors on the market. Durable and portable, you can get great brand heritage without breaking the bank.The compressor weighs just 49 pounds so it’s light enough to move around with ease. The wheels make it even more portable and user-friendly.Making noise measured at just 60 decibels, you won’t be menaced by the racket normally associated with air compressors.The oil-free design save you money on running costs as well as saving you time since there’s no laborious maintenance.

The California Air Tools CAT-6310 motor runs at 1 HP. There’s a 6.3-gallon steel horizontal tank.This is an 110-volt electric powered model with a limited one year warranty.

This air compressor works best when applied to smaller products like air dusters, nail guns or light spraying appliances. It isn’t really suitable for heavier projects but it’s certainly one of the quietest on the list.It can give off a strong smell and its refill time is rather high. However, these problems are relatively minor for such an all-purpose compressor.

Dewalt DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI

This air compressor is manufactured by the highly reputable DeWalt brand.

The motor draws down 12 amps and start-up is a cinch.Weighing just 36 pounds and measuring just  12.5 inches across, this versatile compressor fits into small places fuss-free.Oil-free design, as with most decent contemporary compressors, means there’s little tiresome maintenance to consider.It’s pretty quiet at only 71.5 decibels and the 90 PSI pump delivers 3.0 SCFM of air flow.The 2.5 gallon tank maxes out at 200 PSI.The standard design in black and yellow colors is DeWalt’s trademark for all their tools and accessories.

The compressor comes with a ball drain valve for quick draining and an impressive recovery time.This air compressor is suitable for small jobs only. Watch out for overheating. If you notice your compressor running hot, give it a break.Another problematic issue is the absence of a hose with the unit.These minor snags aside, this heavy-duty compressor merits a place on any shortlist.

Dewalt DWFP55126 6 Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor:

The DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI compressor is a pancake model.This compressor can start up with ease when it’s cold and it’s super-simple to maintain. It can handle an extension cord application if needed.

The two universal couplers mean multiple users can take advantage of this compressor at the same time. At 75.5 dB, this is not a quiet unit but that’s more than made up with performance. The console cover is easily removable if you need to make any repairs. It’s straightforward to drain and fills up quickly.

For a heavyweight compressor that punches far above its weight, take a good look at the DeWalt DWFP55126.

Porter Cable PCFP02003 3.5 Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor

Porter-Cable offer some outstanding air compressors at a very competitive price point. Weighing a mere 26 pound, the size and shape mean you can move this pancake compressor around with absolute ease. The sacrifice you’ll make is a low maximum pressure of 135 PSI with only a 120 volt motor. As with all compressors boasting oil-free pumps, your machine will enjoy a longer life while giving you less inconvenience along the way.

The two gauges and quick-connect coupler are premium features you’re lucky to find on a compressor priced like this. With an 82 dBA level, this is just about the noisiest air compressor you can imagine so buyer beware There are no accessories at all included with the unit.

Build quality is questionable. Plastic in the manifold is particularly prone to breakage. Replacing broken parts is not possible and you might run into some problems with the warranty. Try for some DIY fixes if you run into trouble. You can find plenty of helpful information online. Overall, this is a reasonable air compressor but with too many faults for us to properly stand behind it.

Porter-Cable CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor

This low priced compact model is more powerful than the previous Porter-Cable we looked at. Despite the large 1.5-gallon tank of this compressor, it’s still extremely lightweight so you get the best of both worlds. The 120v motor works well in cold weather. The noise level is at 79 dBA which is tolerable for an air compressor but it is still pretty loud. Build quality leaves something to be desired. This is understandable for a compressor in this price range. You can’t pay for a Ford and expect Ferrari quality.

The compressor comes with a generous 8-piece accessory kit and a 25-foot coil hose. You’re covered by a  1-year limited warranty so you can buy with peace of mind.

Although it lacks the functionality of a more expensive unit, for the price the CMB15 is surprisingly effective.

Senco PC1010 1 Horsepower Peak ½

This low-priced compressor weighs just 20 pounds. It is extremely portable and best for small jobs. Working at a peak of 1 HP, you can still get what you need done at just ½ HP. Rated at 73 dBA, it’s fairly noisy but not painfully so.

This oil free model gives you a maximum pressure of 125 PSI. It can get from 0 – 120 in just 2 minutes.

This compressor comes bundled with a ¼ quick disconnect coupler. For an affordable air compressor that will get the job done and is covered by a limited 1-year warranty, this Senco is worth checking out.

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP All In Compressor

Makita is a name you can trust and with this big bore compressor, we step up into the mid-range of pricing. As with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for. There’s a cast iron pump with impressive big bore cylinders and pistons. This leads to superb performance coupled with outstanding durability. The 2.6-gallon tank maxes at 130 PSI. There’s a regular quick coupler thrown in. Although large, the  1720 RPM pump doesn’t make a lot of noise. It acquits itself well even at lower RPM.

Weighing over 50 pounds, this is not a lightweight unit. Refill time hits the spot at around 20 seconds.

With a very poor manual provided, this compressor is best avoided if it’s your first experience with this type of equipment. If you want a hard-hitting compressor with an incredible power to weight ratio, road test the Makita today.

Bostitch BTFP72646 3 Tool Compressor Combo Kit

If you’re looking for a cheap compressor, the Bostitch is not for you. For anyone who wants a 6-gallon unit along with a full kit for nailing and stapling and quick reload capability, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

You’ll get a pair of nailers (straight and brad) and a crown stapler in this attractive package. You’re free to use any brand of nail or staple in these tools which is a huge bonus.

Drainage is easy thanks to the ball drain valve. Further appeal lies in its maintenance-free oil-free pump. Although the dBA rating is 80, the solid build quality dampens down some of the noise.

For a beginner who wants the full set of equipment needed from framing and nailing, the Bostitch combo kit is tailor-made.

California Air Tools CAT – 10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil

This is the most expensive compressor on our list but in return you get an exceptional 10-gallon tank and an equally outstanding 2 HP motor. This makes it powerful enough to use air tools unlike many less robust compressors. In spite of all that size and power, the dBA rating is around 70 making this almost whisper-quiet for an air compressor.

It’s easy to start even in cold environments and the entire tank fills in just over 2 minutes so you get speed and results.

With 2 standard quick release connectors, you can use more than 1 tool at the same time.Big and bulky at over 90 pounds, this is the price you pay for a heavy-duty performer. You might experience some storage and transportation issues but that’s a trade-off for the power at your disposal.

If you need a large compressor for a wide range of applications and you have the budget to spare, the 10020 from California Air Tools is hard to beat.

Porter Cable C2002 WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

Rounding out our air compressor reviews, another Porter-Cable, this time the C2002. Another mid-range pancake air compressor, the maximum pressure is 150 PSI which translates into longer running time. The air coupler and plugs on the air hose means even beginners can use this compressor with ease.

The 6 gallon tank has a water drain valve and the 120-volt motor works well in all conditions. You’ll get 13 accessories including a blow gun, hose and assorted useful attachments.

For a compact but poky compressor that’s extremely well built, the Porter-Cable C2002 is a consistent best-seller with just cause.

Before you choose any air compressor, consider your budget and be realistic about the features and functionality you’ll get for your money.

There’s no right or wrong answer to the question, “What’s the best air compressor?”

You need to look for the best air compressor for your needs.

Hopefully, after these air compressor reviews, you’ll be well placed to choose from the very best models on the market and buy accordingly.