Regardless of your particular need, air compressors are something that would greatly benefit almost every household. This is due to the fact that they have an abundance of domestic applications. Nevertheless, there are a lot of commercial situations in which the use of such a device is mandatory. The best air compressor certainly brings a lot of advantages to the table but at the same time, it is not easy to shop for. This is due to the fact that this is a relative term and it is based on your particular need. Therefore, you would have to take into account the different specifications of the various devices and pick the one that would accommodate your need appropriately. This is why we have compiled a list of the best air compressor reviews which describe units with different capabilities that are able to satisfy every need.
- PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK
- Maximum Working Pressure: 150 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 12 Amps
- Air delivery: 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi
- Dimensions: 18.3 x 18 x 19
- Weight: 34 lbs.
- Other features: 6-gallon pancake-style tank, durable oil-free pump, includes 25-foot nylon hose, blow gun and attachments
- Makita MAC700 Big Bore
- Maximum Working Pressure: 130 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 12.4 Amps
- Air delivery: 40PSI (3.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (3.3 CFM)
- Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 22
- Weight: 52 lbs.
- Other features: large 1,720 RPM pump, 2.6-gallon tank
- Viair 00073 70P
- Maximum Working Pressure: 100 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 15 Amps
- Air delivery: 1.27 CFM Free Flow @ 0PSI
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 3.6 x 6.2
- Weight: 5.05 lbs.
- Other features: Permanent Magnetic Motor, includes carry bag, 16 ft power cord, 4 ft air hose
- California Air Tools CAT-6310
- Maximum Working Pressure: 120 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 7.6 Amps
- Air delivery: 3.80 CFM @ 40 PSI, 2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI
- Dimensions: 23.6 x 13.3 x 24
- Weight: 49 lbs.
- Other features: Oil-Free Pump, 6.3 Gallon tank, 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
- Senco PC1010
- Maximum Working Pressure: 120 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 4 Amps
- Air delivery: 0.7 SCFM at 90 psi
- Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 10
- Weight: 20 lbs.
- Other features: 1 HP peak motor, 1 gallon tank, Delivers 20 to 44 drives per minute
- Makita MAC5200
- Maximum Working Pressure: 140 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 13.8 Amps
- Air delivery: 40PSI (6.9 CFM) and 90 PSI (6.5 CFM)
- Dimensions: 29 x 19 x 19.5
- Weight: 88 lbs.
- Other features: 3 HP motor, oil-lubricated pump, 5.2 gallon tank
Top 10 Air Compressors Reviewed
Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor
If you have ever wondered about what is the best residential air compressor, then you have finally stumbled upon the right place. This particular unit is a 12 volt air compressor that is capable of delivering up to 100 Psi of working pressure. However, the engine must be working at all times when you are using it.
It runs at 1.27 CFM free flow at 0 PSI which allows the unit to recover fairly quickly. The package comes with deluxe carry bag for further mobility. It has a brass twist-on tire chuck that makes it incredibly suitable for inflating vehicle tires. The unit would properly inflate tires as well as check tire pressure by utilizing the capabilities of the onboard gauge. This is a smaller and compact air compressor that would enable you to inflate tires no larger than 225/65/R18 size. You can use it by plugging it in the 15 ampere standard circuit.
The size of the unit is 9.2 x 8.5 x 8 inches and it only weighs around 6.2 pounds which puts it within the lightweight category, making it incredibly easy to carry around and even convenient to store it in the trunk of your vehicle.
Being amongst the top air compressors of 2017, this particular unit surely brings a lot of advantages to the table. The unit is fully capable of delivering up to 150 PSI working pressure. It is a pancake air compressor, which means that it has an air tank that could store additional air for prolonged usage.
The device operates at 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI which allows it to quickly recover. It features an air coupler and plug which are installed on the air hose in order to save workload and to prevent leaks. It has a 6-gallon air tank which includes water drain as well as rubber feet for additional stability and proper usage.
It has a low-amp 120-volt that is able to easily start in cold weather conditions and is able to work with an extension cord. The unit is equipped with an oil-free pump that requires little to no maintenance and provides durability and longevity.
The unit has a size of 18.3 x 18 x 19 inches and an approximate weight of about 34 pounds. The country of origin is the USA and it comes with a one year limited warranty on the compressor as well as on the components.
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
This is undeniably one of the top rated air compressors on the market during 2017. This is a 2.0 horse power air compressor with a cast iron pump as well as a big bore cylinder and a piston which is combined with a greater bore and a stroke, enabling it to deliver maximum performance.
This best electric air compressor has a substantially low noise levels, provided it is using a 1,720 RPM pump, which enables the unit to provide greater displacement despite the low RPM. It has a low amp draw which offers a reduction of incidences of tripped breakers or any kinds of voltage drops that may cause premature motor failure, thus causing some serious complications.
The oil lubrication provides a cooler running pump and minimizes the amortization of the device. It has a rather versatile design which makes it applicable for a range of different applications.
The size of the unit is 18 x 22 x 10 inches and with the rough weight of about 59.6 pounds this unit can still be classified as portable. It comes in a teal & black color and is electrically powered. It comes with a one year warranty on the parts and the labor.
California Air Tools CAT-6310 Air Compressor
Being one of the best quiet air compressors, this particular unit surely has a lot of domestic as well as commercial applications. This unit is ultra quiet as it operates at only 60 decibels noise level. It has an oil-free pump that would significantly lower the cost as it requires almost no maintenance in comparison to other types.
It has a 6.3 gallon air tank which is capable of storing air in order to provide prolonged operation. The gas tank is positioned horizontally and it has attached wheels, which makes the device easily transported from one location to another in order to properly satisfy your every need. I
It is quite powerful as it has a 1.0 HP rated and running motor that is capable of peaking up to 2.0 horse powers. It also features an additional water trap that would help you eliminate any excess water from the air.
The size of the unit is 23.6 x 13.3 x 24 inches and it weighs about 50 pounds, despite of the rather large air tank. The country of origin is Andorra and the unit is 110 volts device. It has an amperage capacity of 8 A and it comes with a limited one year warranty.
Senco PC1010 Air Compressor
This unit has some of the highest air compressor ratings on the market. It is considered lightweight and is easily portable, which suggests that the device is easy to carry around from one location to another in order to properly accommodate your every particular need.
The unit is capable of peaking at one horse power, even though it is running at 1/2 horsepower. It has a one-gallon capacity which allows prolonged usage. The unit is perfectly suitable for an abundance of renovation as well as home improvement jobs. It is also usable for different hobbies as well as crafts.
It is able to deliver between 20 and 44 drives per minute. It has individual gauges for the tank and the regulated output pressure and is capable of delivering a maximum working pressure of about 125 PSI.
The size of the unit is 14 x 13 x 10 inches and it only weighs about 20 pounds. It is backed by a one year warranty and is electrically powered. The unit has a pump up time from 0 to 120 PSI of about 128 seconds.
Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor
If you had to make an air compressor comparison, you would have found out that this unit in particular is amongst the best in 2017. It is a powerful 3.0 horse power air compressor with a cast iron pump as well as big bore cylinder and piston which is manufactured in order to provide incredibly fast recovery time for additional performance.
The powerful motor is able to deliver a 6.5 CFM rate at 90 PSI for huge productivity. Its pump is oil-lubricated for cooler running temperatures as well as less amortization. The cylinder is made out of cast iron which makes it durable and additionally increases the pump life. The cylinder is also removable which makes it easier to maintain.
The unit also comes with a folding handle which makes it rather easy to store. It has installed rugged wheels, which makes it easier to move from one location to another and it has a built-in storage department in order to fit accessories.
The size of the unit is 29 x 19.5 x 19 inches and it weighs 104.4 pounds. Despite of the heavy weight, the wheels make it rather portable and easy to move. The unit is electrically powered and it comes with a one year warranty on parts and labor.
- California Air Tools CAT-10020
- Maximum Working Pressure: 125 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 14
- Air delivery: 7.00 CFM @ 40 PSI, 5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI
- Dimensions: 19 x 16 x 30
- Weight: 88 lbs
- Other features: Oil-Free Pump, Thermal Overload Protector, 10.0 Gal. Steel Air Tank
- Q Industries MV50
- Maximum Working Pressure: 120 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 30
- Air delivery: 2.54CFM at 35 psi
- Dimensions: 11.5 x 9 x 8
- Weight: 10.25lbs
- Other features: 16 Foot Easy Coil Air Hose, 10 Foot Power Cord, 1/3 horsepower, includes a storage bag
- DEWALT DWFP55126
- Maximum Working Pressure: 165 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 20
- Air delivery: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI
- Dimensions: 17.5 x 16 x 16
- Weight: 34 lbs
- Other features: 6.0 gallon tank, high flow regulator
- Viair 00088 88P
- Maximum Working Pressure: 120 psi
- Max. Amp Draw: 10
- Air delivery: 1.94 CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 3.1 x 5.6
- Weight: 4.75 lbs
- Other features: 9 ft power cord, 12 ft air hose, Permanent Magnetic Motor
California Air Tools CAT-10020 Air Compressor
This device is amongst the top 10 air compressors for a lot of different reasons. It is a powerful, yet incredibly quiet air compressor which operates at 70 decibels noise level. This makes it particularly handy if you have neighbors which are easily annoyed.
It features an oil-free pump that would significantly lower your expenses as it requires almost no maintenance aside from the occasional overall clean up. It comes with a 10.0 gallon made out of steel. This makes it usable for a prolonged period of time and the sturdy steel construction adds to the stability and safety of this unit.
It has installed wheels and an easy to start valve which requires no loading time before starting. It has a law start up amp draw of only 14 amps. The powerful 2.0 horse power motor delivers excellent performance.
The size of the unit is 17 x 16 x 33 inches and despite of its 95 pounds weight, the wheels make this unit incredibly easy to drag around from site to site. It is electrically powered and has one year limited warranty.
Q Industries MV50 Air Compressor
This is one of the more economical options and is one of the best value air compressors. The unit finds its most common applications when it comes to inflating tires or using it for other home applications such as blowing away dusted areas in your garage or powering up a paint pistol.
It is fully capable of inflating a tire in less than 2 and a half minutes. It is capable of delivering up to 120 PSI of working pressure and has a 16 foot coiled hose. The package also includes a storage bag for further convenience and portability. The unit is perfect for off-road vehicles and is capable of getting you out of troubled situations regarding your tires. You can power it up by attaching normal alligator clips to the battery of the car.
The unit has a 11.5 x 9 x 8 inches size and relatively light weight. It is perfect for domestic use and it weighs around 10 pounds, making it fully portable and easily hand-carried.
DEWALT DWFP55126 Air Compressor
This unit is considered to be one amongst the best home air compressors on the market in the 2017. This is due to the fact that it is capable of delivering up to 165 PSI of working pressure and operates at 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI pump, making the recovery incredibly quick.
It has a highly effective motor which would allow you to easily start it in cold weather conditions and usable with extension cords. It has incredibly low noise levels of 75.5 dBA, despite its rather powerful motor.
It also features a high flow regulator and couplers in order to provide better air tool performance. It also comes with protective rubber leg covers which add more stability and ensure the safety of the user.
The size of the unit is 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 and with the rough weight of approximately about 32.5 pounds, this is a fairly portable device It also has a 6.0 gallon air tank which is capable of additionally storing air which makes it usable for prolonged periods of time.
Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
This 12 VOLT portable air compressor comes rather cheap, thus making it one of the best budget air compressors on the market in the current year. Despite its small size, the air compressor is capable of delivering up to 120 PSI of working pressure, even though you have to keep the engine working during this time.
The device operates at 1.94 CFM free flow rate at 0 psi which ensures lower recovery times. It is a portable device which is powered with alligator clamps which could be directly attached to a battery. It is perfectly suitable for small ATVs, trucks, SUVs as well as sedan cars with tires not larger than 33”.
It has a LED power indicator as well as a 9 feet power cord and 12 feet air hose as well as a 3-piece inflation tip kit. The unit is perfectly accommodated to inflate vehicle tires.
The size of the device is 11 x 6 x 7 inches and it only weighs about 6 pounds. The air compressor also allows you to properly monitor the tire pressure throughout the gauge which is mounted on top of the unit.
Best Air Compressor Comparison Chart
|Product name||Max working pressure||Max amp draw||Air delivery||Dimensions||Weight|
|PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK||150 psi||12 Amps||2.6 SCFM at 90 psi||18.3 x 18 x 19||34 lbs.|
|Makita MAC700 Big Bore||130 psi||12.4 Amps||40PSI (3.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (3.3 CFM)||18 x 10 x 22||52 lbs.|
|Viair 00073 70P||100 psi||15 Amps||1.27 CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI||6.5 x 3.6 x 6.2||5.05 lbs.|
|California Air Tools CAT-6310||120 psi||7.6 Amps||3.80 CFM @ 40 PSI, 2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI||23.6 x 13.3 x 24||49 lbs.|
|Senco PC1010||120 psi||4 Amps||0.7 SCFM at 90 psi||14 x 13 x 10||20 lbs.|
|Makita MAC5200||140 psi||13.8 Amps||40PSI (6.9 CFM) and 90 PSI (6.5 CFM)||29 x 19 x 19.5||88 lbs.|
What Is an Air Compressor?
This is a device that is capable of converting power into energy which is stored in the pressurized air, which is also commonly referred to as a compressed air. It utilizes several methods in all of which the compressor is forcing more and more air into a different kind of storage tank which would normally increase the pressure. The air is then stored within it until there is a demand. The energy which is stored within the compressed air can easily be used for a lot of different things by taking advantage of the kinetic energy of the air when it is released. Once the air is out, the tank would automatically depressurize. Generally, when the air pressure in the tank reaches a lower level limit which is typically preset by the manufacturer, the air compressor turns on and re-pressurizes the tank.
All in all this is a device that could come in many different variations, but the main purpose would always be the same – to deliver a certain amount of working air pressure. Whether you are going to use it simply inflate a vehicle tire or to power up some powerful pneumatic tools in order to carry on a significant repair work, you are going to need an air pressure. The only thing that you would have to navigate through is the size and the capabilities of the unit. This is why there is such a variety of different air compressors, ranging from stationary heavy duty units to small, easily hand held air compressors that you can store freely in the trunk of your car.
How Does an Air Compressor Work?
Air compressors utilize different methods of operation methods, but, all in all, they utilize the same basic principle. The idea is to put as much air as it is possible within one air tank in order to cause the air pressure to rise up. There, when the air is released, it goes out pressurized as a result. However, this is a very simplified explanation. There are some different air compression methods which you are going to find below.
The air compressors that utilize this pressurizing method are more common in comparison with the non positive-displacement once and they are available for hobbyists as well as some other relatively small-scale or not heavy-duty industrial applications. However, some other types, including the rotating impeller compressors are also used quite commonly. This particular type of air compressors normally relies on part of the unit which would perform an intake of air and then minimize the amount of space which is available in the selected storage chamber in order to pressurize the molecules of the air. Once there is a demand for pressurized air, a valve is usually opened and the compressed air is rapidly discharged.
Air pressurizing method
Piston type compressors are probably the most common air compressors which utilize this air pressurizing method. These compressors take advantage of a piston in order to fill in a chamber with air, normally through an intake valve. The most common example is the automotive-type piston. This particular device is made of a crankshaft which is carefully connected to a rod. The latter is topped by a cylinder which is placed within another cylinder. The crankshaft base normally spins in a small circle. The connected rod, on the other hand, would remain in the same fixed position in relation to the crankshaft but it would also work in a hinged manner along with the cylinder which allows the cylinder to stay vertically or horizontally positioned.
When the crankshaft is at the lowest spinning point, the rod would drop the cylinder. This process goes on thousands of times in order to enable this constant motion to allow the air to come in and release it out of the tank.
The exterior cylinder, as we mentioned there are two stacked within one another, is topped with an inlet port as well as an outlet port and two valves distributed amongst three chambers. The first chamber is the inlet one, the second is the outlet one and there is one that is positioned in between them which is the pistons cylindrical chamber. Once the piston drops, the inlet port would allow air to fill the storage space in the cylindrical chamber through the valve. When the pistol rises, the inlet port does not allow the air to get out of the chamber, so it basically stays there. When this process repeats itself several times, air is starting to stack in this chamber, thus causing the compression. When the owner of the device releases the outlet chamber, the air is delivered with a high working pressure.
Another positive-displacement method
Another positive-displacement method uses screw compressors in order to form an air chamber that is located between helical screws and their housing. When the screw starts to turn, the volume of the chamber would decrease, thus causing the air that is already stored inside to start compressing.However, keep in mind that almost all of the positive-displacement devices use oil to lubricate the compressor motion as well as a solid seal for the air that is compressed in order to ensure safety. All of these devices must take into account the introduction of oil. Make sure to remove the oil before release if you want to prevent contamination.
Non positive-displacement method
They are not as common as the previous type. A prime example of such a device would be the centrifugal compressor. It uses dynamic compression while operating. It spins an impeller which is basically a kind of rotor in order to accelerate the air within. Right afterwards a diffuser is used in order to decelerate the air. This deceleration process causes the compression of the air. Because this causes the air to heat, normally it is cooled off using an intercooler.
Types of Air Compressors
You should keep in mind that the best type of air compressor is a relative term which you would have to define for yourself. What this means is that you have to first identify the concrete need for pressurized air that you have and shop accordingly. There is no one predetermined and preset best type of air compressor just because it outperforms others in certain ways. All of the different types are created with a different purpose in mind, even though they all have one main cause – to deliver pressurized air. However, this working air pressure has an abundance of different applications and you would need to decide exactly what are you going to be using it for before buying the device. With this in mind, below you will find a differentiation and comparison between different air compressor types, in order to enable you to properly pick the correct one for you.
Reciprocating piston compressors
This particular unit takes advantage of a piston that would move inside a cylinder in order to compress the air. The term “reciprocating” stands for moving back and forth. This is the motion of the piston, but it also could be a rubber membrane and then the compressor could be called membrane compressor, even though the methodology behind it is the same.
Two sets of valves are at your disposal – an intake and an exhaust one. You utilize the first one in order to introduce the air inside of the air compressing chamber and the latter to release it when it’s already pressurized. There is an abundance of these kinds of air compressors with motors ranging from one to thirty horse power. This means they are fully accommodated for domestic, as well as for commercial and industrial applications. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this particular unit.
- They come in quite cheap in comparison to other types.
- They are incredibly easy to maintain.
- They are more than capable of delivering high working air pressure
However, as every device, this one has its own setbacks as well:
- It is really noisy. You would have to put it in a sound isolating chamber or utilize it in a separate room.
- It has a high outlet temperature because it heats air in the process.
- There is a high content of oil in the air piping which must be removed in order to prevent contamination.
This is another one of the commonly used air compressors. It normally uses two rotors in order to compress the air. They are in the shape of helical screws and turn in opposite directions with little to no clearance between them. The air that gets sucked is stuck between the rotors and gets pushed away to the other sized in order to get pressurized. This type of air compressor comes in two variations – oil-injected and oil-free. Even though the oil-injected version is more common due to the lower pricing, the oil-free one is a lot more convenient because it delivers an oil-free air.
With all this being said, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and drawbacks of this particular type of air compressors:
- It is rather quiet. You can use it in your workplace or workshop without the need of ear-protection.
- These units are capable of supplying a great amount of compressed air
- They are more energy-saving in comparison with the piston-type air compressors
- The exhaust the air at a relatively low temperature
- It is possible to utilize energy recovery
- They are much more expensive than the piston type air-compressors.
- They also feature more complicated and complex design which requires proper maintenance in order to perform as intended.
- It forms condensation which may cause you some rusting problems if the issue isn’t addressed as it should be.
Scroll compressors pressurize the air by using two spiral elements. The first one is stationary and the other one would move in small circles inside the first spiral. The air gets trapped inside the chamber and the spiral movement of the second element is what creates the compression. It would only take about 2 and a half turns in order o create the pressure output. This particular type is rather uncommon and is normally used when there is a significantly small need for compressed aid. They are capable of providing oil-free and very clean pressurized air. However, they are not able of producing a high flow of air which is might you want to turn to some other option, if you have a higher demand.
As it has always been, let’s weigh in the advantages and drawbacks.
- They are incredibly quiet
- They are also quite compact
- This particular type of air compressors is really simple in design without too many parts.
- The previous fact also means that there is hardly any need of maintenance
- The design is always oil-free to ensure clean delivery of air pressure
- Limited and rather low capacity of air flow
- They are also relatively expensive
- If your main scroll element malfunctions, it is highly likely that you would have to replace the whole thing.
- The temperature of the exhausted compressed air is much hotter in comparison with other types of air compressors.
All in all, as you can probably see for yourself, these main types of air compressors are all designated for a rather different purpose. This means that some of them are suitable for one particular set of applications, while others do better job in another field of expertise. This is the main reason for which you should properly understand what exactly you are looking out for in an air compressor and shop accordingly. Try to predict the applications if you want to get the best type. Don’t just buy an air compressor because you are being told that it operates great – they all do. The thing is to find the one that would operate great in your specific occasion.
Air Compressor Buying Guide – How to Choose the right Air Compressor
Now, an air compressor is normally used to power air tools which are commonly referred to as pneumatic tools. They are faster, lighter and a lot more powerful than the normal and typical power tools. The most important thing when choosing the right type of air compressor is to match the unit to the demands of the particular job. For instance, portable compressors are perfect for home usage or a job site. Stationary units, on the other hand, provide a significantly higher volume of compressed air which is needed to power automotive or powerful production air tools. This buying guide is specifically designated to provide clarification regarding the factors that you would have to consider in order to find the best cheap air compressor that would at the same time get the job done.
Here you will find some of the most important factors that you need to account for when shopping for the right air compressor tool.
This is a very important thing to consider. Portable air compressors are normally created in various different shapes and sizes. For instance, smaller models would be with significantly light weight that makes them easy to carry around. At the same time, the heavier versions would typically have wheels installed in order to enable you to move them from one work project to another. If you have an application that doesn’t require you to power up incredibly powerful air tools like for example a simple brad or finish nail gun or for inflating tires, you should probably consider buying an oil-free compressor that has an air tank capable of storing between 2 and 6 gallons of air. These units will be able to deliver high enough working air pressure and they are rather compact.
This makes them incredibly convenient for domestic uses as well as for some lightweight industrial applications.
Stationary compressors, on the other hand, are designated to be fixed in a certain area and connected to the building’s electrical circuit directly. They are equipped with significantly larger air storage tanks that normally range between 60 gallons and 80 gallons. They also have larger and more powerful motors.
This is the second of the factors that you should carefully account for. There are two main types of air compressors, based on the power source they use to operate.
- Electric compressors which are designated to run on standard household voltage normally do not emit any fumes and they are perfectly suitable for inside applications. The smaller motors require voltage around 110-120V, while the larger ones which exceed two horse powers might require a 220-240V power outlet.
- Gas powered air compressors are the industrial solution. They are normally used by builders because they are able to deliver a significantly higher amount of working air pressure which makes them incredibly convenient for building sites.
After you have figured out the portability and power source problems, this is the next most important thing that you should be taking into account. The first thing that you want to pay attention to is the Standard Cubic Feet per Minute delivery rate /SCFM/. The tools that you are going to be powering up with the air compressor also have a required SCFM rating which will enable you to understand exactly how much air flow are you going to need to get delivered by your air compressor.
Smaller air tools normally require between 1 and 5 SCFM while there are some heavy industrial tools that might demand more than 10 SCFM. In order to properly determine what kind of air compressor you would want to get you will have to go through all of the requirements of your air-powered tools and check out their requirements. See which the highest one is and multiply it by 1.5 in order to properly determine the capability demand of your future air compressor.
However, if you feel like you are going to be powering up a few of those tools at the same time, you are going to need more power. This is rather logical, because the air would be evenly distributed amongst the powered tools. Keep in mind that the air compressors designated for domestic use are mostly capable of powering up only one tool at a time, but there are exceptions.
The motor’s measuring is done by looking up the horse powers. The more horse powers you get, the bigger the potential of delivering highly pressurized air is.
There are tanks between one and eighty gallons so again, you would have to calculate the demand yourself. Take into account that if you would have to use an air-powered tool for a longer period of time you are going to need a larger tank. The differentiation here is done by the estimate duration of the usage of the air compressor. The more time you are going to need to get the job done, the larger your tank should be.
There are quite a few different types pumps:
- Single stage vs two stage pumps. Single stage pumps generally have one or more cylinders which enable them to produced compressed air at the same output pressure. Two stage pumps on air compressors have at least two cylinders which are rather useful for high-demand work, for instance, the continuous use in an auto-shop.
- Oil-lubricated vs Oil-free. Oil-free pumps require almost no maintenance at all. They are also much safer because there is no chance of contamination. If you want to get an oil-lubricated pump you would have to clean the oil before the air starts to come out.
In general, these are the most important factors that you should be taking into proper consideration. However, there are a lot of additional features that you may want to look into if you feel like you need some additional perks. Nevertheless, if you take into account all of the above you can be sure that you won’t make the mistake of purchasing the wrong air compressor. Of course, you would also have to think about the budget you have set aside, because this is probably the most important thing your task would revolve around. This is why we have provided you with a list of the best air compressors of 2017 and there are some high-end as well as economical devices included.
What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?
In order to properly determine the size of the air compressor you are going to need, you would first have to identify the particular need. For instance, if you want a solution that you can freely store within the trunk of your car, you are probably good with a portable small-sized air compressor that does not require a lot of space. You should also make sure that this device is easy to care and easy to use as you are going to be using it in conditions outside of your work or home.
The size of these air compressors is relatively small and they are normally capable of delivering up to 150 PSI of working pressure which is more than enough to inflate your tire in case of emergency. They are also powered up by connecting the alligator clips, which are generally included in the air compressor package, to your car battery and off you go.
However, if you want a more reliable solution that is capable of powering up some pneumatic tools that you are going to need to carry out a renovation of your home for instance, you are going to need something more solid. The thing is, most of the pneumatic tools usually have an indication somewhere on them that would enable you to understand the air pressure they normally require to operate properly.
Search for the tool with the highest demand for air pressure. Afterward, multiply this amount by 1.5 and you would get the size of your air compressor.
The delivery rate is directly related to the overall size of the compressor. The higher the delivery rate is, the bigger the device gets and the more powerful the motor is. For instance, normal domestic air compressors are typically equipped with motors that are no larger than 2 horse powers.
On the other hand, heavy-duty air compressors with tanks as big as 80 gallons of air are known to have motors with up to 30 horse powers. You can do the math yourself. These machines are capable of providing up to 10 SCFM and even more than that. You probably don’t need such a device for a domestic application and this is why you should properly do the math before going out and shopping for such a device.
Best Air Compressor Brands
When it comes to pointing out the best air compressor brands we should lay a lot of attention on the leaders in this particular field of expertise without disregarding the smaller companies that also put a lot of effort in producing high-quality products.
Viair is truly one of the leaders in this market. They offer the most comprehensive oil-less air compressors as well as accessories for different purposes. They specialize in producing compact, portable air compressors that are easy to be fit in the trunk of your car. Viair is working with 25 of the Fortune 500 Companies. They provide excellent solutions for both on and off-road markets.
PORTER-CABLE has been producing quality power tools including air compressors for the better part of a century. Their appliances are engineered to deliver high-quality and excellent performance at a great value. This is why they are amongst the leaders in the field of air compressors and they are like to keep on providing for years to come.
This should certainly ring some bells in your head. Makita is one of the world’s lead developers of any kinds of tools for the past 100 years. They thrive in producing top notch tools engineered to deliver brilliant and reliable performance. They utilize advanced battery technology for prolonged usage and a rigorous testing before the product is put on the market.
Senco prides their tools to be able to store a lot more energy which allows them to run longer. The compressors have fast recovery and increased productivity. They also have a maintain tool which allows longer operating pressure delivery and improves the efficiency of the job.
DeWALT is one of the America’s leading producers of air powered tools as well as different types of air compressors. They pride themselves in developing extremely durable products that ensure great reliability and longevity as well as excellent and powerful performance.
Air Compressor Maintenance
Maintaining your air compressor is one of the most important tasks that you would have to consider if you want the device to be able to deliver maximum performance for years to come. There are a lot of things that you would need to do, especially if you are running an oil-lubricated pump model. In order to conduct some preventive maintenance checks you would want to:
- Check the compressor pump oil level. In order to that you would want to:
- Make sure that the device is not working and it is properly disconnected from the power source.
- Make sure you have laid it down on a flat surface
- Remove the fill cap
- Check the oil in the crankcase. The oil should not be exceeding halfway through the sight glass.
- The second thing you might have to do is to change the compressor pump oil. Follow these steps if you want to make sure that you have done everything by the book.
- Make sure that the device is not working and it is properly disconnected from the power source. This is a step that you will have to take during every kind of maintenance project in order to ensure maximum safety
- Spend a little time in order to let the pump to cool off
- Unscrew the top of the filter from the base by turning it counter-clockwise
- Utilize the collection container under the oil drain
- Remove the drain cap which would immediately allow the oil to start draining out
- Replace the oil cap and make sure to tighten it up. Fill the crankcase with the right type of oil and make sure that it does not exceed the halfway point of the sight glass.
- Another common thing that you might have to do in the process of maintaining your compressor is to check the air filter element. In order to do that:
- Make sure that the device is not working and it is properly disconnected from the power source
- The pump should be cooled off.
- Unscrew the filter top and detach it from the base.
- Remove the element from the base and blow out the dust from the filter element.
- If you have to replace it – this is the time.
- Make sure that you have properly reconnected the filter top and secured the filter.
All in all, these are the most common situations that you might find yourself into while maintaining your air compressor. You can always hire professionals to do these for you, but as you can see this is no rocket-science and you should be more than capable of handling them yourself. This could surely save you some money.
Air Compressor Problems and Troubleshooting
As with every other mechanical device, air compressors always cause problems. They are likely to malfunction at some point and when that happens you would have to be prepared and know how to handle a situation like this. Here are the most common problems and their solutions, so you can be prepared.
Compressor doesn’t want to start
Even it may seem like something rather thoughtless, you want to check out whether or not you have plugged the device into the power source. It may seem ridiculous but is quite possible that you have simply forgotten to do so. The next thing is also quite dumb, but you should check if you have switched on your compressor.
If the compressor is OFF and it is plugged in, you should check the air pressure in the tank through the gauge. The pressure switch is normally set with a cut in pressure. If the pressure is below the preset limit then basically no power is flowing to the air compressor motor and it is not going to start. Part of the diagnosis is to empty all of the air of the compression tank. You can do that by attaching an air gun to the hose and blow the air away or simply allow it to exhaust through the outlet valve.
You have done all this and your compressor still won’t work. Make sure to see if power is getting to the motor of your compressor, provided the device is plugged in and switched on. If it isn’t then you would be required to take it to some professionals. This is due to the fact that there might have been a failure in literally every part and if you don’t have enough technical knowledge you are unlikely to handle it yourself.
Oil in the air tubes
This almost always means that you have a problem that is developing and is on the verge of becoming something serious, so it is good to catch while it is still developing. The only way that oil can get to the air tubes is if it wicks past the piston seals. The only thing that you could do is to tear down the whole pump and make sure to replace the seals. If you don’t think that you can be able to handle this, you should more likely turn to a professional.
Air leaking out of the unload valve
What you want to do is this. You should first unplug the compressor in order to guarantee your safety as it always comes first. Drain all the air out of the tank by an air pistol or through the valve. Remove the lines that are connected to the tank and check the valve. Remove the check vale, clean it up and install the same one, or if it is beyond repair get a new one. Do the whole thing in reverse and you should be good to go.
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To conclude, shopping for the best air compressor is certainly no walk in the park. You have to take a lot of different technicalities in consideration and if you are not familiar with the special terminology as well as the different specifications it is likely and normal to get lost. Furthermore, you would have to do the math yourself, because no one can predict your particular personal need. You would have to figure out the applications that you are going to use your air compressor for and shop accordingly. This is why we have compiled this list of the best air compressor reviews in order to at least make it easier to go through and compare the best devices offered in 2017. By going through our buying guide you are going to get a lot more familiar with the technical aspect of this matter. We have explained the utilities and specifications of those tools without the complicated engineering terminology in order to make it fully comprehensive.