Professionals Picked 5 Best Air Compressors in 2023

Whether you are a DIYer, contractor, construction site worker, auto business owner, or homeowner, you will need an air compressor to perform different tasks. Air compressor helps us speed up our job work and saves time. It helps in powering pneumatic tools that are widely used in the auto industry

If you enter the air compressor market, many compressors are available with different variations like PSI, CFM, Tank Size, Tank Style, Portability, and according to the need of a specific job. For heavy-duty jobs, a big tank-sized compressor will work. Similarly, a medium tank-size unit will perform best for small or moderate jobs. 

When you buy a compressor, there are multiple factors you should keep in mind. For beginners, choosing a suitable compressor becomes difficult because they need to learn more about compressors and their features. 

So, we’ve prepared this guide and picked the best-performing air compressor according to their specific job type. Our team has conducted 9 months of research to prepare this guide, tested different compressors according to their relevant job types, and short-listed the best ones. 

Top 5 Best Air Compressors List

1. Out Top Pick: California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor

California Air Tool 8010 is the most incredible compressor famous for providing long hours jobs. It is a vertical tank design unit with two tires attached to move easily. A dual air pump is given on the top to fill the tank quickly. You can smoothly operate any air tool with a maximum pressure of 120 psi. 

This unit has a 2hp motor that takes less time to fill the tank. It has a big tank of 8 gallons which helps operate pneumatic tools for a long time. We will be able to store more pressure and can finish our projects on time. You can run this tool continuously for 30 to 60 minutes, which is excellent.

The other thing you should know about this unit is that it is oil-free. You don’t need to spend extra monthly money on changing the oil; no worries about checking the oil levels continue to keep the compressor functioning perfectly. 

Our Experience

We put this CAT compressor in the #1 position because we need a unit to drive our nailers and for finishing that can run 3-4 times compared to other air tools. This unit works great, and we have done many projects with it. The other best thing we love about this tool is that it doesn’t scream loud while running and provides a quiet job.

You can talk to each other easily if you are in the room or outside. We also conducted a test to check the compressor’s noise level. We recorded the noise level when the unit was operating. It was so quiet & we got a reading of 58-61 decibels on the sound meter. 

Its 8-gallon tank helped us finish our jobs on time; whenever the pressure dropped, we turned on the compressor, which took 2-3 minutes to fill again. You can also use it for spray painting, but it will only work effectively because of the 2 CFM airflow. As for painting, you need a high CFM unit that can adequately atomize spray. 

If we talk about its durability, then no one can beat it. This highly durable tool will run 4 – 5 times more than others on the list. We are also impressed with its portability, weighing 48 lbs; two wheels and a holding handle on the top make it easy to move around. 

Furthermore, there are no upgrades done by the California Air Tools in this model; when this tool was manufactured, it became a favorite of DIYers, woodworkers, contractors, & handymen. We found this air compressor excellent & strongly recommend you. Also, there are some things that need improvement; they are listed below. 

What We Like
  • It provides an ultra-quiet job.
  • Fill up the tank very quickly.
  • Perfect built quality.
  • Oil-free unit, zero costs, and no need for oil replacement after a while.
  • Provide maximum pressure of 120 psi
  • Highly durable, no need to worry about getting corrosion.
  • Great value for money
What We Don’t Like
  • Customer support should be improved; once we had some queries about this unit, they responded very slowly. They should respond to the customer’s questions quickly.

2. Craftsman (CMEC6150K) 6 Gallon Air Compressor

Craftsman is a well reputable brand in the power tools market that is famous for making high-quality tools that run longer. Craftsman also produces air compressors on a large scale, but their most renowned unit is Craftsman (CMEC6150K) 6-gallon compressor. 

This 6-gallon compressor has been continuously succeeding in the market for the last 4-5 years and has earned many positive responses from its users. It is a pancake-style compressor that is very easy to move. With a lightweight 32.5 lbs, you can take it anywhere by holding it from the top. 

The compressor is very powerful for running pneumatic nailers, spraying guns, & airbrushes because it can deliver a high airflow rate of 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI. Another great feature of this unit is its ultra-quick recovery time; you will not need to wait long for its refilling. You can quickly fill the tank and continue your job whenever the compressor reaches the cut-in pressure. 

Our Experience

This Craftsman 6-gallon compressor is the only one that helps you to complete multiple projects on time. It is a smart and lightweight unit that anyone of any age can easily lift and shift to other locations. Our primary purpose in purchasing this compressor was to finish painting, nailing, and some drilling projects on time. 

When we turned on the unit, it was loud and took 3-4 minutes to reach the maximum cut-out pressure of 150 PSI. The dual brass couples helped us to do two projects at a time. We connected the framing nailer on one coupler, and on the other coupler, we connected a spraying gun.

Finally, we completed the project in 12 hours, which needs 24-48 hours. One thing that disturbed us was its loud noise level. When it is running, it seems like something is screaming continuously. But headphones will help you in this situation; you can wear them and reduce noise. This compressor performs very efficiently and helps you in the home garage, construction site, & any job type for a long time. 

You should add this powerful compressor to your power tools collection. 

What We Like
  • Ultra quick recovery time
  • Very easy to move
  • Compressor-controlling functions are at the front, making it easier to use
  • Save extra costs of maintenance due to oilless operations
  • Beautiful and high-quality tank to protect it from getting rust
  • It can deliver a maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • Smoothly operates nailers, air guns, drills, & others.
What We Don’t Like
  • Loud noise

3. California Air Tools 10020C

CAT (10020C) is the 3rd best air compressor on the list that can fulfill all your home garage or DIY project needs. It is also the quietest compressor that won’t disturb you and your neighbors while running. The unit comes with a vertical-style tank made of metal, which saves the unit from leaks. The 2hp strong motor creates 1680 rpm, which helps in filling a 10-gallon tank quickly. It is the best selection for running pneumatic tools, and painting works because this unit can deliver a strong air flow rate of 5.30 CFM at 90 psi. 

This compressor is easy to move because of its soft plastic tires; you can easily take it to any job site. It requires 110 volts and 14 amps to operate smoothly and helps reduce electricity costs. The power and performance of the compressor components are excellent. It is also an oilless compressor that doesn’t need continuous maintenance and won’t break the bank. 

Our Experience

We had pending projects of painting & nailing, and our old compressor was not working fine. We need a compressor to deliver high air pressure to run our tools and do painting tasks effectively. As California Air Tools compressors have much hype in the market, we first looked for the California Air Tools 10020 model but found many users would like to be happier with it. Then, we found the CAT 10020C model that replaces the old CAT10020 model. CAT 10020C is very popular due to its features, especially quiet operations and high CFM rates. Finally, we bought it and received it at our doorstep. 

This vertical-style compressor helps you save space; you can put it in your garage and move it to any job site easily. The unit looks premium and professional; the California Air Tools logo is punched on the front. Two gauges are installed in the compressor; one is for measuring the tank’s inside pressure, and the other is for measuring the outside pressure. Two universal brass quick connects given to connect one or more tools at a time. Furthermore, a pressure regulator is also given to control external pressure. So, we loved the compressor and used it on different air tools. 

First, we tested it by doing a spray painting job. We attached the spray gun to the compressor hose and turned on the unit to build up maximum cut-out pressure. It took almost 3 minutes to fill the tank, and we also recorded the noise produced by the unit. The value we are getting was between 69-71 decibels. It operates too quietly compared to other compressors, especially pancake styled. We started painting, and it took 5 minutes to paint a big-sized door.

Similarly, we performed multiple nailing jobs simultaneously due to its high CFM rates. One problem we faced was the pressure switch; the pressure switch started malfunctioning; we quickly approached customer support and got the issue fixed. This California Air Tools (10020C) compressor will be your best investment. It will run longer, and you should go for it without worry. 

What We Like
  • Very quiet
  • Storage of air for weeks without leakage
  • Good customer service
  • High-quality working
  • Quickly fill up the tank
What We Don’t Like
  • The pressure switch becomes faulty after some time.

4. Makita Mac2400

Makita MAC2400 comes with big bore technology that helps provide highly compressed air and produces less sound than others. You don’t need to wait to refill this Makita’s tool tank because it is designed for quick recovery. 

There is a 2.5-horsepower motor installed in it that provides a high speed of 1730 RPM; it adds more strength and runs the device with full power. It is a beautifully designed compressor that produces less sound while running and needs oil lubrication to operate properly. 

It is a portable unit that can be easily moved from one place to another and weighs 77 lbs. A handle is available on the top to move the unit; beneath, twin stacked tanks are given that can provide a maximum pressure of 130 psi. You can run any pneumatic tool effectively with it because it has a high airflow rate of 4.2 CFM. 

Our Experience

To test this product, we have used it in our service station to inflate tires. The tools take almost 2 minutes to fill the tank at maximum cutout. When the compressor is running, we record the noise level at 78 decibels and can easily conversate. It is very quiet compared to other units with the same specifications. 

Because of the excellent airflow rate, we also used this unit to run an impact gun, which works great. This compressor confirms its seat on our service station and works perfectly for inflating vehicle tiles and losing nuts. 

It’s an affordable product with a 1-year warranty so that you will use this unit for long years. We put Makita MAC2400 on the first number because it provides a brilliant job; you will get a clear idea by reading its pros and cons below. 

What We Like
  • It is easy to move; even 1 person can take it anywhere.
  • Two analog gauges are given, one for measuring the pressure of air tools and the other for calculating tank pressure.
  • The drain valve is in the right position, at the bottom of the tank; it is easy to open and drain the tank within seconds.
  • There are round cooling fins covering the copper wire provided that is connected to the tank; it helps to keep the unit cool.
  • High-speed motor
  • Good build quality, cast iron is used to prevent rust.
What We Don’t Like
  • It has one universal coupler; there should be two.
  • This unit is oil lubricated, which means it needs continuous lubrication to work properly.

5. DEWALT (DWFP55126) Pancake Air Compressor

Dewalt’s pancake-style air compressor is another excellent option with limited bucks. It is one of the best units people love most in the market. The tool is famous for its small size because it covers less space and is very light that you can easily pick and take away. 

On the psi side, this unit is winning because it can provide a maximum pressure of 165 psi which is high compared to the listed units here. Because of the pancake design, the tool looks impressive; all the controls are given on the front side, including the pressure gauge, the device turns on/off button, couplers, & others. 

The firm grip handle on the top makes the unit more portable. It provides a higher airflow of 2.6 CFM at 90 psi and recovers quickly after every use. With this CFM rate, you can smoothly run different pneumatic tools like screwdrivers, airbrushes, small air blowers, nailers, staple guns, & much more.

Usually, folks are worried about winter times because many compressors start malfunctioning when the temperature drops. They need some heat to start the motor and build the pressure. So, Dewalt (DWFP55126) has a built-in system to overcome this situation. You can efficiently run the compressor in cold weather and do your job. 

Our Experience

Here, we were looking for a compressor to perform medium tasks smoothly. We also tried other pancake-style compressors but were not satisfied with their job. The unit should perform best in running nailers, pneumatic drills, airbrushes, and other light tools. This Dewalt pancake-style compressor is already rocking in the market and helping every user to complete projects effectively. So, we ordered it and got a quick delivery at home. 

The unit has perfect packaging and reaches without any damage. It has a big handle on the top to make a firm grip to help move the compressor effectively. DEWALT brand logo is punched on the front side, and all the controlling function of the compressor is given on the top. The unit can build a maximum pressure of 165 PSI, making it more interesting because none of the other compressors on the list offer this high-pressure rate. This oilless compressor does not need oil for lubrication, which also helps cut your maintenance costs. You can run any air tool smoothly with its high airflow rate of 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI. 

If you are running a barber shop and looking for a compressor that can fulfill your needs and operate the airbrush for a long time, this unit will be the best option. Moreover, this compressor is helping us to complete multiple jobs in our home garage. We are efficiently running nailers and air guns with it. It’s a bit loud noise that may disturb you, but you can’t skip it because of its effective performance. You should buy this compressor if you are looking for a durable, portable unit that runs for a long time. 

What We Like
  • Small size & cover less space
  • Provide maximum pressure of 165 PSI
  • Operate perfectly in winters
  • Efficiently work for spray painting jobs
  • It is an oilless compressor that doesn’t need to replace oil every month
What We Don’t Like
  • It produces loud noise

Things you should consider before buying a compressor

The following factors will help you decide which compressor is best according to the job type and what makes it more powerful while performing different tasks. 


Horsepower is one of the essential factors that you must look for whenever buying a compressor. If you purchase a unit for performing light or medium tasks like nailing, spray painting, inflating car tires, & others, then a 2HP motor will be enough for you. 

Note: Keep the good HP in your mind and look at other factors to find a perfect compressor to save money. 

Capacity of Tank

Tank size or capacity always depends on the requirement of the job. If you are a big company running several pneumatic tools at a time, then a big tank-size compressor will work best for you. If you are a DIYer or a home garage owner, the compressor between 2 to 10-gallon units will be enough for your needs. 


In easy words, CFM is the amount of air delivered at one time. Compressors with higher CFM rates help run multiple pneumatic tools simultaneously. You will require a unit that can provide high CFM for performing hard jobs. But, if you want to use a compressor for personal projects, inflating tires, & operating other light tools, a compressor with a normal CFM rate of 2 to 5 CFM will work. 


The compressors with high PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) help run heavy pneumatic tools smoothly. Let’sLet’s suppose you are doing drilling work; if your compressor has less Pressure (PSI), the drill will not work effectively and also waste your time. Similarly, if you use a compressor with higher PSI rates, the drill will operate efficiently and finish your job quickly. A compressor with 90 to 120 PSI will work perfectly for small to medium-sized jobs. You will need a compressor from 175 up to the maximum available PSI for hard or heavy industrial jobs. 

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is when the compressor runs without overheating or creating any issues. For example, if you have a compressor with a 50% duty cycle, the unit needs to wait 10 minutes to cool down if you’ve operated it for 10 minutes. If you are a contractor or need a compressor for performing hard jobs, the unit should have a high-duty cycle so it requires less time to recover. A compressor with a 50% duty cycle will work perfectly for DIY projects and homeowners. So, you must see the duty cycle whenever you buy a unit for your projects. It will help you to choose a suitable machine that can run for a longer time. 


In conclusion, if you want a compressor that can perform best in every field and feature, look no further than California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor. It will not waste your bucks and run for years without charging any extra maintenance cost compared to others. That’s It!

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