Table of Contents
- Different Types of Product
- Overview of the Top 5 Products
- PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
- EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
- LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt DC Air Compressor
- California Air Tools 5510SE Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free
- Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor
- The Best Of The Rest
- Buying Guide
These air compressor reviews to make it easier for you to find the best one for whatever jobs you’ll be doing. I’ve chosen a mix of HVLP and electric compressors currently on the market, just to make it even easier for you. I’ve taken into account a lot of different factors to ensure you have all the information you need to make your final decision.
Air Compressors are a must-have for any DIY-ers out there – great for a variety of jobs around the home and garden, they’re the ultimate multi-tasker for your toolbox. When it comes to choosing the right one for your needs, it’s important to know what to look for.
Air compressors are great for a lot of things, and well worth investing in. Paint the car, garage and garden fence with a paint-sprayer powered by the compressor. Alternatively, you can use your air compressor to re-inflate your tires, clean dirty surfaces and power other tools, like pneumatic drills.
Whatever it is you’re looking for from an air compressor, I’ve got you covered with these air compressor reviews. Scroll down to see more detail about each product.
- 120 PSI
- Oil Free Pump
- Ultra Quiet
- Over-heating Protection
- 100 PSI
- 12 Volt
- Deluxe Carry Bag
- Cheap & Portable
Different Types of Product
There are a number of different kinds of air compressors currently on the market – this is great as it means there is plenty of choice, but it can make it harder to narrow down all the potential products out there.
High Volume Low Pressure Air Compressors
HVLP air compressors are a firm favorite for most DIY-ers – ‘high volume, low pressure’ air compressors use a higher volume of air than others do, but work at a lower pressure. In layman’s terms, this means that you can paint a surface more quickly and efficiently than if you were to use another type of compressor.
The lower pressure allows for a more accurate application with less wastage - better for the environment; better for your arms. HVLP compressors put in all the legwork, allowing you to achieve professional-looking results without having to put in too much effort, or funds.
Electric Air Compressors
‘Standard’ or ‘conventional’ electric air compressors work at a higher pressure than HVLPs. This can produce a seemingly-better end result, as the high pressure they operate at makes for a finer application. The paint can appear to go onto the surface more smoothly, due to the high pressure it shoots out at.
However, you may be doing more damage than good, as these types of compressors can result in an awful lot of overspray, thus damaging the environment, and wasting expensive products. It’s important to remember to keep yourself safe when using these kinds of air compressors, due to the amount of chemicals/ products you’re releasing into the air by accident – masks and goggles, please!
Then there’s the question of oil-flooded or oil-free. Both of these options have their pros and cons. Oil-flooded compressors use oil as a lubricant to keep everything running smoothly. This can be great, and is meant to make the compressor more durable.
However, even the smallest oil leak can completely ruin your work – oil seeping into the air tank can compromise the quality of the paint you’re using, for example, undoing all your hard work and affecting how evenly your work dries. Oil-free compressors use a longer-lasting lubricant, meaning there’s less likely to be maintenance issues down the road, even if it is a slightly noisier option.
We all have certain brands we trust – we recognize the logos and have faith in the product based on this alone. Whilst this makes sense, there’s a whole world of DIY brands you’re yet to discover, so allow me…
I’ve opted for a variety of different brands, but one of my favorites has to be California Air Tools. I’ve come to rely on them as a trustworthy brand, and for good reason. They do their research and use some of the latest technology and engineering to ensure their products always deliver.
Porter Cable are also a firm favorite – they may not offer the sleekest, snazziest products but what they lack in style, they more than make up for in secure stability!
Viair have rapidly climbed up the ladder to make it into many of my top five lists of DIY and home-maintenance products. They offer good quality items at reasonable prices, great for those looking for a reliable, efficient piece of kit.
Overview of the Top 5 Products
We all love pancakes, and this air compressor from Porter Cable is no different. It uses a pancake-style base to ensure it’s steady, whatever surface you rest it on while working. Running at a high pressure, this air compressor makes easy work of any task you’re undertaking.
Accompanied with a multitude of add-ons, you can use this air compressor for pretty much any job. This model is oil-free, meaning it should run and run without causing any problems in terms of maintenance. A hefty six gallon tank means that there is no task too big, and its extension cable definitely comes in handy, whether you’re inflating tires or spray-painting.
This air compressor is easy enough to transport, and runs quietly – important if you’re the kind of person who’s inspired in the middle of the night! Included in this goodybag is a long hose and easy-to-read pressure gauges so you can check up on it any time. User friendly and long-lasting – what more could you want?
Next up is this gem from EPAuto. It’s reasonably priced and packs a punch at the same time. It includes adaptors so that you can use it for a variety of jobs around the home, and is also portable so you can take it to and from the workplace, or just keep it in your car for any roadside emergencies.
If you’re after an air compressor for painting, this is the best electric air compressor for you – it runs at twelve volts and has handy technology installed so that you never run at too high a pressure, or overinflate a tire. The extension cables measures around nine feet, allowing you to complete a multitude of jobs easily.
One of my favorite features with this product is the LED light – it may not seem essential, but you’ll be more than grateful for it if you ever need to inflate a tire in the middle of the night!
This lovely little twelve volt compressor from LifeLine AAA may not give off the classiest vibes, but don’t judge a book by its cover.
It comes with a lengthy hose and adaptors for all your DIY needs, be it inflating your car tires or getting some painting work done. This made the list of top-rated air compressors because it’s a great budget buy. Perfect for anyone looking for a nice, easy fix, this compressor is your new favorite travel companion.
It may be slightly noisier than some of the sleeker products on my top five list, but the price more than compensates for this. It’s still a great quality product that gets the job done, albeit without all the bells and whistles of some of the other compressors on my list.
This compressor is small enough to store at home, but can easily be kept in your trunk. It’s a lightweight compressor, but sturdy enough to use confidently for any job.
California Air Tools have created a wonderful air compressor – and this one is silent but deadly!
This compressor is oil-free, so shouldn’t cause problems or require annoying maintenance work. It runs using a lasting lubricant, meaning the air flowing through is nice and clean and shouldn’t cause any damage or problems to paint/ chemicals during use.
This compressor astonishingly weighs in at less than fifty pounds, meaning you can easily transport it around as needed. It also comes on wheels, just as an added bonus! Its dual pump system means it can go for as long as you need it to, both in one session and long-term.
This product is great for using with a paint-sprayer so that you can crack on with all the home maintenance your heart desires. It may struggle slightly with power tools such as pneumatic drills, so be patient. Overall, a great little compressor that’s perfect for anyone in an environment where noise is a big concern.
The last in my top five is a compressor from Viair - another twelve volter, this product comes with a sixteen foot extension cable, making it perfect for any outdoor jobs. They also include a handy bag to help you carry it around, and it’s surprisingly lightweight to transport.
Don’t think you’re missing out just because it’s reasonably priced!
This compressor is super speedy compared to a lot of other products out there, despite its relatively low price tag. It’s great to use for spray-painting as it has the power needed to keep going for a long period of time, giving you smooth, even coverage on any surface. Equally, this product comes with adaptors so that you can use it to inflate anything from your tires to a paddling pool!
One of the best things about this compressor is the fact that it’s lovely and quiet. Despite running at twelve volts, the noise is kept to a minimum, allowing you to crack on in peace…
The Best Of The Rest
There are five more products that didn’t quite make the cut, but I wanted to include them anyway as they’re too good to ignore!
Campbell Hausfield’s air compressor is a great little product that runs at an impressive 230 Volts – super powerful!
The price didn’t quite match up for me, however. For anyone with a bigger budget, this compressor is worth considering as it comes with extremely good reviews.
Goodyear have produced yet another great DIY product.
This time a high-powered air compressor that’s perfect for using at any time of day or night, thanks to its ‘Whisper Soft’ silencing technology.
Another pancake-style compresser, this time from Dewalt.
It’s great for using with a paint-sprayer, even if the price is a little steeper than the others on my list.
For those who are all about the brand, this jump starter/ compressor combo from Stanley is worth thinking about!
Stanley offers a variety of different models to suit your power needs.
Makita may not be a household brand, but for those with big bucks, it’s one to consider.
Super speedy and efficient, it’s worth the money if you’re willing to splash out.
Now that I’ve run through my top five, and back-up five, air compressors out there, it’s time for a little bit of general advice. My air compressor reviews have hopefully helped you, but I want you to be fully-informed before I send you out into the world of HVLPs and nozzles!
First things first, you need to set yourself a budget before you get carried away. If you’re anything like me, you’ll look at prices first and USPs later. I’ve listed a variety of products within a wide price range, so hopefully there’s something to suit everyone’s wallet.
For those of you who are looking for budget buys, make sure you still go for good quality, or you’ll end up paying three times over with replacements. Those with a little more cash to splash should stick with trusted brands, just to ensure you’re not being sold fake promises.
I covered some of the types of air compressors earlier, but it’s important to keep these in mind. Think about what you’re most likely to be using your air compressor for, and then build your perfect product around that.
For some of you, something portable and small that can inflate your tires is enough. Others will want something quiet due to the environment you work in, so keep an eye out for noise-reducing technology. And, for others, you’ll be looking for long extension cables and low pressure compressors to help give your paint-jobs a professional shine.
Oil may not seem like the most important aspect when it comes to air compressors, but it makes a difference. Some people prefer to use oil-flooded compressors, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be durable and long-lasting. For others, such as the painters among you, oil-free products are a much safer option and ensure that your paint quality won’t be compromised in the event of an oil leak.
So, there we have it – my top ten air compressors on the market. There’s a whole heap of products out there and it can feel overwhelming trying to narrow the choice down.
These reviews are designed to help make the choice easier for you – they’re impartial so that you don’t feel misled by bogus brands and false promises.
Make sure you think about what it is you’re really after before you run to the next hardware store – I know how easy it is to get carried away when you’re stood in front of aisles of shiny, delicious tools…