Are you searching for the best portable air compressor reviews?
As you know, air compressors come in various sizes, types and features but they are all designed to help individuals air pneumatic tools such as staplers, nailers, paint sprayers and impact wrenches easily and conveniently.
Choosing among the available portable air compressor brands and models in the market is not an easy thing as they vary from their capability to durability, effectiveness and ease of use. It is also important to note that what is ideal to one individual may not necessarily be the best for you depending on the variation and requirements of the jobs to be done.
Therefore, to determine which air compressor is best for you, you should read the different portable air compressor reviews to determine why one is ranked better than the other. You should also consider your working environment. Where you will be using the compressor at highly determines your opinion of the compressor.
For example, a compressor that rates exceptionally while working in an open environment may rate poorly while in a closed environment. You should also understand your power requirements.
However, a good air compressor should last longer, have variable speed and torque control, should not generate heat while working, should have high ratio of power to weight and should not carry risk to fire or electricity shock.
Top 5 Rated Best Portable Air Compressors of 2015
|Technical Details||DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 200-PSI Hand Carry||California Air Tools CAT-10020 2.0 HP||Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP||Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP||Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP|
|Item Weight||83 pounds||88 pounds||59.6 pounds||81 pounds||104.4 pounds|
|Maximun Pressure||200 PSI||125 PSI||130 PSI||90 PSI||90 PSI|
|Warranty Description||One Year Free Service Contract, One Year Warranty||Limited Warranty 1 Year||1 Year Parts & Labor||1 Year Parts & Labor||electric-powered|
|Sound Level||78 dBA||70 dB||less noise||lower noise (79dB)||less noise (90dB)|
|Best Sellers Rank|
#25,054 in Home Improvement (See top 100)
#11,148 in Home Improvement (See top 100)
#19,064 in Home Improvement (See top 100)
#27,137 in Home Improvement (See top 100)
#25,497 in Home Improvement (See top 100)
|Price||Above $300||Above $300||Above $200||Above $300||Under $400|
Nevertheless, it is important to note that the ideal portable air compressor for you basically depends on how you will use it and your personal preferences but upon reviewing some of the top models in the market, the following five seems to rate better.
- DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 200-PSI Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels Reviews
- California Air Tools CAT-10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 2.0 HP 10.0-Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor Reviews
- Makita-MAC700 Big-Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor Reviews
- Makita-MAC2400 Big-Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor Reviews
- Makita-MAC5200 Big-Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor Reviews
1. DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 200-PSI Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels Reviews
Top on the portable air compressor reviews list is the DEWALT D55146. One of the major factors that help this hand carry compressor to stand out among the rest is its oil free maintenance that makes it convenient to use.
It also has 200PSI max tank storage pressure that offers you with about 80-perent more usable air than other competing models.
It is also fitted with 10” non-flat foam tires for easy transportation around the working site. Furthermore, its EHP pressure technology is highly efficient ensuring increased durability to pump and motor.
This hand carry DEWALT D55146 is designed to help you save storage space. It has a vertical stand feature and a collapsible handle that allows you to save space as you transport it or store it.
The compressor high efficient motor allows it to be run with an extension cord. It also has a two inch gauge that offer an easy to read surface while its high flow coupler offers maximum nailer performance. Its 78 dBA operational noise level offers a quieter working environment.
It is also fitted with a metal console panel that offers a display area as well as protection to the couplers, regulator and gauges. Despite its exceptional features and durability, the DEWALT D55146 hand carry compressor has several shortcomings.
One of the biggest complaints is the location of drain valve. Some users find holding the machine at 45 degree angle a bit rigorous. Weighing 85 pounds, some users find it too heavy to lift especially when putting in a car for storage but it has wheels eliminating the need to lift it on a jobsite.
2. California Air Tools CAT-10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 2.0 HP 10.0-Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor Reviews
Second on the portable air compressor reviews list is the ultra quiet California CAT-10020. At 70dBA noise level, it is one of the quietest air compressors in the market. It is also designed with a powerful 2.0 HP motor that operates at 1680 RPM, which results in less wear and less noise.
It also designed with dual piston pump system that is oil free maintenance, which ensures high performance and durability. It is also highly convenient as you can use it in uneven terrains and at different temperatures.
The oil free California CAT-10020 air compressor is also designed with a steel 10.0 gallon air tank that takes less than 130 seconds to fill from empty to full. It is also fitted with wheels enabling you to move it freely in the jobsite.
At 90PSI, the air compressor offers 5.30CFM, which allows you to use different larger air tools at the same time. It is also fitted with a control panel that comes with 21/4 quick release connectors that makes it possible to use two tools at the same time.
The CAT-10020 California Air Tools has its own shortcomings. It has small solid wheels and a wheel hub that is not deep enough making it difficult to move it in rough terrain as it will rub against the upper step.
3. Makita-MAC700 Big-Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor Reviews
Third on the portable air compressor reviews is the Makita MAC700. It is designed with a big pump piston and cylinder that offers high output with less noise.
It is designed to produce industrial power for greater outcome with enhanced durability even for job sites with tough conditions.
The 2.0 HP Makita Mac700 has a superior bore and stroke that offers increased compression, less noise and faster recovery.
It is an oil-lubricated pump and features a huge automotive style sieve that ensures greater efficiency and increased air intake.
The makita’s MAC700 is cooler in operation and runs at almost half the RPM of most air compressors in the market, which ensures greater durability and reduced noise.
The air compressor features a 2.6 gallon tank that offers 130PSI operating pressure, 3.8 CFM and 3.3CFM. It also features low AMP that ensures reduced instances of voltage drop and tripped breakers.
The other feature that make MAC700 a convenient purchase is the well-located oil drain and oil display glass that offers effortless access and maintenance.
Despite being tough, quiet, reliable, versatile and easy to maintain, the MAC700 air compressor has its own shortcomings.
It is major shortcoming is that it is not designed to run high air consumption tools such as air chisels and impact wretches. However, it works perfect well for smaller air tools and hence the reason for its inclusion in the top five portable air compressor reviews.
4. Makita-MAC2400 Big-Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor Reviews
The 2.5HP powered Makita MAC2400 features a shed iron cylinder that results in increased compression, less noise and faster recovery.
The air compressor is designed to handle the rough conditions of a jobsite. The MAC2400 is designed for less maintenance, high output and low noise.
It is also designed to offer faster recovery time, which ensures improved performance. The MAC2400 is fitted with a powerful 2.5HP 4-pole motor that generates 4.2CFM at 90PSI for increased productivity and reduced noise.
The air compressor produces low AMP that reduces the incidents of tripped breakers during start-up. The pump of the air compressor is oil lubricated ensuring reduced wear and cooler running temperatures.
It has copper discharge tubing that ensures reduced water in the tank and increased heat dissipation. The pump runs at 1730RPM resulting in 79dBA noise level.
It also has an oil display glass that ensures easy and efficient maintenance. The major issue with Makita MAC2400 is that it cannot power two big air tools at the same time but it can power one at a time effectively.
5. Makita-MAC5200 Big-Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor Reviews
The Makita MAC5200 is designed to air tools that require heavy air usage. It is a 5.2 gallon air compressor that is powered by an oiled 3HP engine.
This model is perfect for individuals who need more air than what is provided by 2.5HP MAC2400 model. It can run tools for longer time before it cycles.
It is convenient if you are looking for a compressor that can shoot more brad nails per minute. MAC5200 is fitted with rugged wheels for easy portability in the jobsite.
It has a built-in storage compartment that conveniently stores air fittings and accessories. It also comes with tool hangers that store tools when not in use.
The air compressor has a large automotive style industrial air filter that ensures improved air intake and greater efficiency. It is also fitted with a convenient oil sight glass for easy, fast and efficient maintenance.
It is also fitted with a lever valve that helps easily drain the tank. The oil drain is also fitted at the front of the pump for easy access. It also comes with a built-in thermal overload for additional motor protection.
Despite the Makita MAC5200 being the ultimate air compressor for heavy air tools, it has a few shortcomings. When not on a circuit breaker, the air compressor will trip the fuse.
You will also need to use time delay fuses as explained in the Makita manual. The other shortcoming is the presence of plastic wheels but which can be easily replaced with steel wheels for heavy duty usage.
Your Buying Guide to Choose the Best Portable Air Compressors
1. Performance Ratings
To match your pneumatic tools requirements with an air compressor’s capabilities, you should consider the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) ratings. You should look at the CFM ratings at 90PSI. To determine the actual requirement of your tools, you should calculate CFM requirements of your pneumatic tools that you will be using at once.
You should also understand that the actual CFM will change depending on the pressure of the air in the compressor.The air pressure generated inside a compressor is measured by PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Light-duty compressor usually generates 90PSI. It is also important to consider the horsepower (HP) rating of the compressor. The HP is an indication of how powerful the portable air compressor motor is.
2. Power Source
Portable air compressors are either powered by gasoline or electricity. Choosing between electricity and gasoline powered air compressors depends on the location of jobsite and the presence of electricity.
When choosing among electric compressors, you should understand that most require standard household voltage of between 110 to 120V while compressors with motors that exceed 2 running horsepower usually require a 220 to 240V.
Gas powered compressors are commonly used by remodelers and builders because of their convenience and high output. However, it is important to note that gas-powered compressors emit exhaust and thus, should never be used in indoor applications. For indoor applications, electric powered compressors are suitable for indoor applications as they do not emit exhaust.
3. Pump Type
Different air compressors have different pump designs, which can make a huge difference in the performance of the compressor. Some of the important variations include:
+ Single-stage or two-stage
Single stage compressors have one or more cylinders that produce compressed air at the same output pressure while a two-stage compressor has at least two cylinders. In the two-stage unit, the first-stage cylinder feeds the second stage cylinder resulting in more air stored in the same size tank.
+ Oil-lubricated or Oil-free
Oil lubricated air compressors will require oil to operate properly as it will be used to lubricate the moving parts to prevent wear. The oil must be monitored and changed to increase durability.
Compressors that are oil-free basically use special piston rings that are made from materials similar to what is used in non-stick frying pans to lubricate the compressor’s cylinder.
It is important to note that oil free compressors are much smaller and lighter than oil lubricated compressors making them convenient and popular with most users.
4. Tank Size
The size of the tank determines how long your air tools can run before the compressor turns back on. The size of the tank can range from 1 to 80 gallons. The ideal size of the tank should be based on the requirements of your air tools. If your tools require a lot of air, you should buy a compressor with bigger tank capacity.
5. Additional Features
In addition to the above mentioned features, you should also check the air cooling system to ensure the air compressor remains cool while in operation for extended motor life. Reading portable air compressor reviews will help you find compressors that run cool.
You should also check the thermal overload switch to ensure that the motor shuts off automatically in case it overheats. A roll cage is another important feature that helps to protect the compressor from being battered or crushed on the jobsite.