One thing that fascinates me nowadays, is how people seem to keep some necessary tools at home to solve their day-to-day problems within a few moments instead of running to a mechanical store!
Surely, an air compressor is one of those tools that come in handy in a lot of situations.
Buying the best portable air compressor is bound to give you some pretty big advantages in your everyday life.
Having trouble with a flat tire in the middle of the road? No worries! Get that air compressor out of your trunk and pump it up. Need help in a DIY project in the garage? Make the compressor as a source of power by using it on air-powered tools like nails guns and painting tools.
A portable version of this air compressor gives you the benefit of moving it around with ease. From inflating a vehicle’s tire to spray painting your new home, an air compressor makes things a lot easier for us.
- Best Small Portable Air Compressor Choices 2020
- Top Portable Air Compressor Comparison Chart
- Our Top 10 Picks For Portable Air Compressor
- 1. Bostitch BTFP02012 | Best Portable Home Air Compressor
- 2. DEWALT DCC020IB | Best Portable Car Air Compressor
- 3. Porter-Cable C2002R | Best Portable Air Compressor For The Money
- 4. Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor | Best Portable Electric Air Compressor
- 5. Avid Power Compressor | Top Portable Air Compressor For Truck Tires
- 6. Kensun Portable Compressor | Portable Air Compressor For RV Tires
- 7. Master Flow MF-1040 | Best Air Compressor For Tires
- 8. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S | Top Air Compressor For Off-Road
- 9. AstroAI Portable Air Compressor | Air Compressor For Air Tools
- 10. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 | Best-Rated Portable Air Compressor For Framing
- How To Choose The Best Rated Portable Air Compressor
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
Best Small Portable Air Compressor Choices 2020
You can find different kinds of air compressors on the market. Although all the portable versions of this device are designed to save space in your home, you can still choose what type of device you want, how lightweight should it be etc.
Being portable doesn’t mean it can’t withstand a heavy-duty workload!
You will find devices with different capacities while you look for a suitable one. An air compressor will also help you with your cleaning work by blowing air on dust in places you can’t reach. Depending on your work and preference, you should choose the one that serves your purpose.
Top Portable Air Compressor Comparison Chart
Our Top 10 Picks For Portable Air Compressor
1. Bostitch BTFP02012 | Best Portable Home Air Compressor
What if I tell you, there is a tool that will help double your productivity with less amount of time? With dual connector options available, Bostitch presents an air compressor that will let you use 2 pneumatic tools at the same time!
A cold winter morning often means a machine will be reluctant to start up. But not this one! The Bostitch BTFP02012 can warm up even at low temperatures. With a 6-gallon tank capacity, this device can deliver 2.6 SCFM of air at 90 PSI.
If you are still curious to know how much of your time is saved while using this device, then switch it on and count the time it takes to reach its maximum PSI level. Within 90 seconds, you will see the machine reach 150 PSI!
After unplugging, use the unit to inflate tires or other tools and it will work effortlessly without a drop of pressure for a while. The regulator in front of the device lets you adjust the PSI according to your desired level.
The machine is fairly easy to operate even for a beginner. Oh! And there’s absolutely no maintenance required, as this is an oil-free product.
A compressor is a little bit noisy in general. If you think the sound is too much for you, use an earmuff for having a quieter working environment.
2. DEWALT DCC020IB | Best Portable Car Air Compressor
Summer pool floats are extremely popular. Enjoying the holiday while swimming in a pool with some inflatable floats to relax sums up a good vacation. DEWALT brings you the perfect air compressor, not only to enjoy the holiday while it lasts but also to deflate the floats properly to store them until the next season!
Do you get annoyed while fiddling with the pressure gauge to maintain the correct air pressure?
Well, those bad days are over! With this DEWALT compressor, all you have to do is switch it on, set the required air pressure and press the start button. That’s it! Now go take a nap or watch the news while the machine inflates the tire and shuts off automatically when it reaches the desired pressure level.
This device can be considered as the best 12V portable air compressor, as it can easily be powered through your vehicle’s 12V socket. It can also run smoothly on a 20-volt max battery or 110 volt AC power supply.
You can run the machine without any battery using the 12 volts and 110 volts of power options. For your convenience, it’s a good idea to buy the max battery and keep them near in case of any emergency.
3. Porter-Cable C2002R | Best Portable Air Compressor For The Money
If you are familiar with the term ‘refurbished’ and has used one of these products already, you probably know how good they perform in spite of their low price tag.
A refurbished item has been bought by a user and returned to the factory after detecting an error. The manufacturer gets rid of that faulty part and makes the device brand-new by repainting and repairing any problems that are found. This Porter-Cable Pancake Compressor is a renewed product just like that.
The air compressor works just as good as any new product and gives you a huge discount! With 2.6 SCFM of air pressure delivered at 90 psi of force, the device can refill its tank pretty quickly.
It resembles the shape of a popular breakfast item. YEP, pancake! This pancake compressor has a perfect round design, which makes it easily storable.
To make sure the motor of this engine serves you for a long time, it is equipped with replaceable brushes that can be changed once it gets corroded.
The device is designed in a way to let a small amount of air leak a bit. It helps the machine cool down once it is turned off.
However, if it bothers you too much or you think it’s making the machine less efficient, then you can use two hose-clamps to solve this issue. The device works quite well despite being a cheap portable air compressor.
4. Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor | Best Portable Electric Air Compressor
Who likes to get free stuff? I know I do! Especially if it is related to something I need for my work. Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor comes with a 10 piece accessory kit to make things easier for you.
The kit includes almost everything you need to get you started on a new project right away! You will get an inflation needle to fill up the basketball for your team, a blow gun for cleaning out your workspace, a coiled hose and other fittings to help with operating the machine.
With a 3-gallon tank capacity, the machine does an excellent job of pumping up the tires of cars and bicycles, blowing the dust off electronics and powering up a brad or a finish nailer for a household project.
With its easily readable 2 pressure gauges, it will show you the pressure on the tank and also let you control the outer pressure of the machine.
The machine is a tad slow in terms of building up the pressure level. However, if you don’t like to wait for 5-6 minutes, then you can fill the tank beforehand or even the day before to start your work on time.
5. Avid Power Compressor | Top Portable Air Compressor For Truck Tires
If you are a super busy person and time is worth more than money to you, then take a look at the Avid Power Air Compressor, which uses dual motors to work with an unbeatable speed to meet your expectations!
While inflating the tires of an SUV or a truck, a device usually needs enough power to compete with such heavy-weighted vehicles. This air compressor will do more than that! It will let you pump up your tires in a very short time with the help of its digitalized gauge.
Meaning, you can just pre-set a specific number and the unit will automatically turn off when it reaches that level! It also comes with an LCD monitor that lets you make conversion between different pressure units like PSI, KPA and Bar very easily.
The machine gives you two essential gifts with its package.
A hose that is perfect for pumping up your car tires and sports ball. Another one is a high-volume hose that comes in handy when you want an air-inflated pool floats or an air mattress. You can also deflate these items with the help of the compressor to keep them in a safe place until the next use.
You can use an extension cord if necessary, although it’s not advisable to do so, as it might cause a fire hazard. With its compact size and heavy-duty metal, this might be the ultimate compressor your vehicle needs.
6. Kensun Portable Compressor | Portable Air Compressor For RV Tires
A device with a protective case often gets a longer lifespan than others. And why wouldn’t it? Rust and a corrosion-free environment is a happy place for any mechanical device, as this type of place keeps the engine safe from dust and moisture of the environment.
Kensun Portable Compressor comes with a similar carry-on suitcase that protects the machine from a harsh environment and also makes it easier for you to carry it around at the same time.
The accuracy level of this device is hard to beat as it comes with a manual gauge for reading the pressure output. It can effortlessly serve you up to 30 minutes at a stretch while maintaining 35 PSI constantly.
The machine can be used for inflating various items like car, truck, bike, RV and wheel barrel etc. The 110 volt AC and 12 volt DC power outlet makes it possible for you to use it anywhere you stay! Be it home or on the road, your compressor will be ready to make your flat tire get alive again!
If you own a bike or a car that uses a Schrader valve, then this compressor will need an additional adapter to make it fit perfectly. Whether you work in your garage or keep this machine in your car, it will last for a long time with minimum maintenance.
7. Master Flow MF-1040 | Best Air Compressor For Tires
Driving with a flat tire is dangerous. You may lose control of your vehicle and get into some serious accidents.
To avoid any kind of unfavorable situations, try inflating the tires as quickly as possible with the help of Master Flow MF-1040, which is a portable air compressor that pumps up the tire of your car, bike etc. efficiently.
Once you hit the road, there’s no way to power your compressor except through the vehicle’s cigarette socket.
No need to get worried yet! The 12 volt DC power supply of your car is more than enough to charge this air compressor from Master Flow.
A 10-foot long power cord is also provided with the machine so that you can get around each tire comfortably. The material of the cord is heavy-duty to endure a harsh atmosphere.
The device also works great with a bike. While inflating its tire, you will be surprised to see the machine reaching 40 PSI within only 30 seconds! The tip of the hose is built with a screw-on system, which prevents it from losing any air. If you ask me, I find it easier than the clip-on systems of its competitors.
You can buy an adapter to make it compatible with a wall outlet. This machine is a top-rated portable air compressor that comes in handy when you need a portable yet powerful device for your vehicle.
8. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S | Top Air Compressor For Off-Road
California Air Tools Company understands the need to keep your home environment quiet and peaceful. It brings you an air compressor which works by making only 56 decibels of noise! It’s sound level is a notch lower than even a normal conversation at home!
The 1-gallon capacity tank of this machine is made of Steel. That means, you are getting a lightweight device compared to its size and the outer surface won’t get damaged by corrosion ever!
From puffing up your children’s toys and air mattresses to inflating the large tires of your vehicle, this machine is tough to beat in terms of performance. With the capability of producing 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI, this single-piston device can run up to 3000 plus hours in its lifetime.
You won’t have to spend a lot of money on your electricity bill as this unit consumes only about 4.5 amps of power. It comes with a thermal overload protector to prevent it from overheating. This device is powerful enough to be used in cold temperatures or an off-road vehicle.
A smaller tank means you may have to restart the device a few times. All things considered, this is a minor drawback which can easily be ignored. A quiet device with a longer lifespan is all you can expect from a good-quality compressor like this one.
9. AstroAI Portable Air Compressor | Air Compressor For Air Tools
If you are searching for a sturdy machine with a powerful engine that ensures you of its durability and has a little bit of style at the same time, then take a look at the AstroAI Portable Air Compressor. With a permanent magnet motor, the engine runs smoothly without compromising on its performance and creates a more secure environment.
AstroAI does its best to protect its engine by including some safety measures. A fuse is included, which protects the engine in case of an overcurrent condition.
The compressor can also get damaged if it gets too hot during its operation. To prevent this from happening the unit is programmed to shut off when the temperature exceeds 75-Degree Celsius.
Air leakage is a common issue in all types of compressors. But that is no excuse for you to get an inaccurate pressure level! To make up for the lost amount of pressure, this compressor sets the measurement to be .5 to 1.5 PSI higher than your given input. Thus, it solves the problem in just a few moments!
The device doesn’t support the Presta valve system of a high-end bicycle, you have to buy an adapter for that. While charging the machine from your car’s socket, make sure it doesn’t cross 15 amp, as it may cause the fuse to get burned out.
10. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 | Best-Rated Portable Air Compressor For Framing
Porter-Cable presents a small and compact device with a quick recovery time to beat the speed of other compressors in the market! A compressor with 2 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI is a perfect tool to help you get your framing project done in a short amount of time.
Whether you want to use it for inflating your car’s tire or blow up some objects for a party like a balloon and beach-balls, Porter-Cable has got it all! With 1.5 gallons of tank capacity, the device is light enough to easily carry it around.
The motor of this machine is so effective that it doesn’t have much trouble while operating in a colder environment. You can easily power this unit with 110 Volt of power supply.
You can even use this machine to pump up your RV! With short recycle time and 150 max PSI it fills up flat tires pretty fast. The oil-free mechanism makes the unit an easy-to-maintain item on your toolkit.
Any oil-free compressor makes a little bit of noise as part of its characteristics. However, you can choose to use an ear gear to muffle the sound while you are working, if the sound bothers you too much.
How To Choose The Best Rated Portable Air Compressor
Design And Extra Features
I don’t know about you, but an easy-to-carry item always makes the top of my list while I go shopping. A compressor with a compact size and space-saving design is a must-have item to keep in your car in case of an emergency. But you should also keep an eye on some details that might give you some extra benefits.
For example, it’s a good idea to choose a device that has a good set of wheels, so that you can move it around as needed. A long hose will also come in handy at times.
Some compressors may include nozzles to help you inflate household items. A built-in light will give you a clearer vision at night. Pay attention to these details and find the one that benefits you the most.
You have got two options here. Digital VS. Analog.
An air compressor with an analog display means, it has a scale with a needle for reading the air pressure correctly. This type of reading is known to be more accurate according to most of the users and they don’t get damaged very easily.
A digital display option, on the other hand, provides you with better visibility. A glance at the LCD meter will let you know all the information you need.
What if you have an emergency and have to inflate a flat tire in the middle of the road?
In that case, the only way to power your device will be through your car’s cigarette socket, which can supply 12 voltage of power. So, before buying a portable compressor for your vehicle, it’s a good idea to check whether it can be powered by a 12-volt socket.
The capacity of an air compressor is measured in CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute). Air-powered tools usually mention how much CFM is required to run their operation. The higher the CFM ratings of a compressor is, the more tools it can power at a time.
The amount of air pressure a compressor can send out is known as its PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch). If you own a powerful motor, you will need a compressor with high PSI ratings.
Typically, a portable compressor can generate around 90 PSI easily. The heavy-duty ones go higher than 150 PSI. For a small car, a 60 PSI compressor is good enough, while you may need a 100 PSI capacity device for an SUV.
A device that can work without much assistance is anyone’s favorite!
Some air compressors have advanced technology to make that happen. While you look for a suitable compressor on the market, you will find units that switch off automatically when the tire has inflated to its desirable level. Some devices come equipped with pre-installed PSI settings for your convenience.
Of course, you might prefer to do the manual settings if you want. Depending on your preference, you should buy the one that suits you the most.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Air Compressor Make Noise?
- How Does The Compressor Refill?
- How Does A Portable Air Compressor Work?
- Why Is The Speed Of The Compressor So Important?
- What Portable Air Compressor Is The Best For Auto?
- How To Use A Portable Air Compressor?
Answer: Not much. Most air compressors keep the noise level within 60-80 decibels. Portable devices are usually quieter than the larger ones due to their compact sizes.
Answer: It’s a self-refilling device. Once you start the machine, it takes about 3 minutes or less time to refill its tank. You will be unable to use the device at that time.
Answer: The portable compressor converts power with the help of an electric motor. The compressed air is stored in a tank for later use. When you use it for inflating an object, the air is released and the tank becomes empty again.
Answer: Well, nobody likes to wait for a long time to finish just one job. An air compressor with good speed will inflate your vehicle’s tire more quickly and save you from a lot of frustration.
Answer: An automotive vehicle usually has a 12 volt cigarette socket to power any additional device. While looking for the best machine, make sure the compressor is compatible with this power outlet.
Answer: After closing all the air outlet valves, kick-start the engine and connect it to a power outlet nearby. Give the machine some time to warm up and then start the compression process. Close the drain valve and give the machine some time to cool off before switching it off.
An air compressor can be a perfect gift to give someone who owns a car or loves to do DIY projects. It plays an essential role while pumping up any kind of air-powered tools.
From filling up the tires of your vehicle to inflating your basketball, football, volleyball or any kind of sports ball, this tool has proved to be an important part of everyone’s life. I hope this article has guided you in the right direction while choosing the best portable air compressor for yourself.