Last Update: 10 Jan 2021

Best Shop Air Compressor for the Money

Recommended Best Product
DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

5/5

Best Choice

Recommended Best Product
California Air Tools CAT-10020

California Air Tools CAT-10020

5/5

Best Value

Recommended Best Product
Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor

5/5

Premium Pick

James Kelly
James Kelly

Hi! This is James. I'm a professional writer and working on this field for a long time. Basically I love to write about everything related to tools, diy and home improvement. All my writings speak for itself as I'm passionate about this. I love to explore new things as well as new places whenever I get free time. You'll never find me free for this reason!

Show Content

A shop air compressor is specially designed to perform a variety of tasks as per customer demands. When you own an automotive shop or a garage, the necessity of the best shop air compressor becomes crucial. From light work to heavy-duty work, you may need to perform a variety of tasks based on the requirements of your customers. In that case, your air compressor in the shop will make your day.

There are so many brands and models available in the market. So, it’s not an easy fish to fry while buying a shop air compressor. You will need product knowledge to a great extent so that you can get the best product for you. Now, are you confused about the shop air compressor? Please remove all of your confusion. Because we are here today with our shop air compressor reviews and buying guide to help you out.

After conducting thorough research and analysis we narrowed down the top 10 shop air compressors. Stay with us throughout this article to learn everything about these products. We believe this guide will help you to choose the best option for you.

So, without further ado, let’s start the guide.

Top 10 Best Shop Air Compressor Reviews

1

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor (DWFP55126)

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor (DWFP55126)

If you are looking for the best home shop air compressor, this is the perfect place for you. We included this product on our top list for its exclusive features and innovative designs. DEWALT pancake air compressor combines innovation with modern technology to meet all of your expectations.

One of the exciting features of this product is it offers 165 maximum PSI 6.0-gallon tank which is pretty much cool for getting the job done. At 90 PSI pump, it can deliver 2.6 SCFM and at 40 PSI pump, it can deliver 3.7 SCFM. It is a common phenomenon with an air compressor that the motor doesn’t start easily.

Thanks to DEWALT for his exclusive compressor because it comes with a high-efficiency motor so that you can start it effortlessly even in the cold weather. The extension cord application provides you with extra flexibility for starting up the motor.

Wouldn’t this be awesome if you can achieve a great working performance from your home air compressor and the noise level remains in the tolerable range? Of course, there is no way to deny the truth. The noise level from this product is only 75.5 dBA and you will get an excellent opportunity to work in a quiet place.

On top of that, it comes with a high flow regulator and couplers as well so that you can experience the superior air tool performance. The compressor has the oil-free pump so that you can use it for a long time and don’t need to do too much maintenance work. The rerouted outlet tube will help the machine to avoid being a catch point.

Moreover, you don’t need to worry about the storage of this product as it comes with a convenient cord wrap feature which is a great storage option. To prevent marring, the device also comes with protective rubber leg covers which are cool. With all these unique features, this product could be one of the best options for you.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                     DEWALT

Item weight          32.1 pounds

Specifications      17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches

2

California Air Tools CAT-10020 Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-10020 Air Compressorr

Not every air compressor model available in the market will give you the quietest operational experience. California Air Tools CAT-10020 air compressor comes with many unique features and will meet all of your expectations. One of the exciting features of this product is it makes only 70 Decibels noise which is pretty much tolerable for the small shop.

Maintaining a shop air compressor is not hassle less. But, you need not worry at all. Because this exclusive compressor comes with an oil-free pump so that you can save your maintenance time and costs. On top of that, the 10-gallon steel tank with wheels will give you extra flexibility while using this compressor.

Many shop air compressors take time in the initial startup stage. But, this unique compressor has an easy start valve and the start will be load free and faster. Given that it requires only as few as 14-amps power, you can operate this amazing air compressor at very low electricity.

The power of the motor is always considered an important factor and it determines the overall ability of the device. This superb device has a 2 HP motor which is so much power to help you out in your every requirement. It has a dual-piston pump system that doesn’t require any oil. That is why this machine becomes highly durable with excellent performance.

Wouldn’t this be awesome if you get the opportunity to use two tools at the same time? Yes, that would be pretty much awesome and gives you a great level of flexibility. Thanks to the California Air Tools for this amazing product as it comes with a quick release connector so that using two tools at the same time becomes even easier.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                        California Air Tools

Item weight              91 pounds

Specifications          17 x 16 x 33 inches

3

Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor

If you are looking for the best place to buy air compressor, this is the perfect spot for you. With a great industry expertise and a great level of product knowledge, Campbell always serves us with top-notch products. Campbell Hausfeld 8 gallon air compressor comes with many exclusive features and can meet all of your expectations. One of the most significant features of this product is its extremely quiet feature.

If you’re up to naming the quietest air compressors, without any doubt, you can include this Campbell Hausfeld compressor on your list. With only 68 dBA noise level, you can complete your work without disturbing others. You can use this machine even indoors.

The pump doesn’t need oil to operate, so you don’t need to spend your money and time in the maintenance work. Whether it’s nailing, bolting, stapling, or fastening work, this shop air compressor is the perfect thing that will complete all of your projects without any hassle.

If you’re up to hobby painting or inflation, this compressor will make your day as it comes with the maximum PSI of 125. Besides, the 8-gallon tank is just the perfect size for use in the shop as it makes the compressor easily portable. We love this product as it is highly user friendly.

This superb device has a dual-piston pump and as you already know you don’t need to do much maintenance work for the pump, you can use it for a longer time. The durable large wheels of the product along with the rubber grip steel handle, the transportation of this shop air compressor is really easy. However, on the downside, it takes a little bit of time to fill.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                          Campbell Hausfeld

Item weight                 67 pounds

Specifications              11 x 23 x 26 inches

4

California Air Tools CAT-4610AC Portable Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-4610AC Portable Air Compressor

If you are thinking about getting an ultra-quiet air compressor for your shop or home, California Air Tools CAT-4610AC could be one of the best products for you. The noise level of this product is only 60 Decibels and you will be able to use this product easily without disturbing anyone else.

It comes with a powerful 1 HP power motor which functions smoothly even at 1680 RPM, that is why it creates an extremely low level of noise. As the pump is oil-free, you will not need to maintain it frequently. Therefore, it will save a lot of your maintenance time and cost.

This exclusive product is specially designed for getting an increased duty cycle and the continuous run times will be even longer. When it comes to achieving high performance and durability, the long-lasting dual-piston pump comes handy and make the product even more durable.

The 3000 hours plus life cycle of this dual-piston pump ensures that you can use this product for a long time. Besides, the 4.6-gallon aluminum twin tank is just the perfect in size for a shop air compressor.

This superb low sound shop air compressor is weighing only 45.5 pounds which makes it extremely lightweight. So, you’ll get a great portability option with this compressor.

It comes with an easy start valve so that you can put a full stop to all of your struggles related to starting a compressor. With 120 maximum PSI pressure, this air compressor can become your best companion to complete all of your projects in your home and the shop.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                       California Air Tools

Item weight             45.5 pounds

Specifications          19.1 x 16.7 x 19.7 inches

5

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon

Porter-Cable air compressor tool is our next pick in this comprehensive guide. There are so many excellent features that we found in this power tool and we couldn’t resist ourselves to include its name in our tool list. The maximum tank pressure of this tool is 150 PSI so you will be able to store more air for a longer time to get the job done without any hassle.

At 90 PSI pressure, the airflow rate is 2.6 SCFM which is the perfect recovery time for a shop air compressor. The pancake style design of the tank is specially done for making it stable. The tank size is six-gallon and we believe it’s more than good enough to get your job done especially when you are thinking about a shop air compressor.

Besides, the water drain valve and rubber feet will give you enough flexibility in your work. The motor comes with an extension cord and the most important thing is the low-amp 120-volt motor that will be started easily even in the cold weather. If you need a compressor with a longer tool run times, this product is suitable for you.

Because of the 150 PSI max tank pressure, you will be able to achieve longer tool run times. This exclusive comes with a great handle with a comfortable grip and the consoling cover comes handy while carrying the tool. The highly efficient induction motor ensures the high performance of the tool. Normal household circuits are good enough for the power supply of this tool.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                    Porter-Cable

Item weight          31.2 pounds

Specifications       19 x 19 x 18 inches

6

Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor Volt

Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor Volt

Wouldn’t it be awesome to get an air compressor for your shop or home that lasts for the entire lifetime? Of course, that would be awesome. Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating air compressor volt comes with every unique feature to meet all of your expectations.

The industrial-duty US-made motor is specially designed so that you can do all heavy-duty work with this compressor effortlessly. Maximum efficiency at the lowest operating cost is the signature feature of this product, so you will get the maximum amount of compressed air at a lower rate.

As the machine runs at a slower RPM, the operating cost can be minimized to a great extent without considering the overall operating efficiency. The 30000-hour life rating is the exact evidence that you can use it for a long time. The capacitor starts the motor of this tool and comes with a built-in thermal overload to provide you with extra flexibility in your work.

If you are looking for the best shop air compressor at an affordable rate, this could be one of the best options for you. Whether you are a professional guy or a simple DIY enthusiast, with 145-175 working PSI and pump RPM of 1310, this exclusive air compressor can make your day.

The air compressor is powered by gas, so you can use it at your convenient place and don’t need to worry about the electricity source. On top of that, the 5 HP horsepower of the motor will provide you enough energy flow to complete all of your projects in your shop or home.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                     Quincy Compressor

Horsepower           5 HP

Power Source        Gas Powered

7

Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Industrial Air has a long earned reputation in supplying quality products to its customers. No exception here as well. Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-gallon air compressor has many exclusive features to meet all of your expectations.

This fantastic shop air compressor comes with a heavy-duty induction motor that will provide you with a maximum level of efficiency and operating performance. The vertical portable tank is 30-gallon that comes with pneumatic tires that are pre-attached and provides you the maximum level of portability.

The pump is oil-lubricated and made with cast iron and it also has a twin-cylinder to provide you with extra flexibility in your project. With this superb shop air compressor, you will get max air pressure of 155 PSI and it’s good enough for giving you optimum tool performance.

On top of that, the motor comes with a dual voltage which means convenience and flexibility. The standard outlet is 120 volt, but you can easily convert it to 240 volts. One of the amazing features we love about this product is the manufacturer ship the product with synthetic oil. That is why you can remain stress-free for a long time as it will not compromise about the performance.

The quick-set regulator that comes with this package is awesome. This exclusive package includes tanks and gauges for measuring working pressure. The on/off switch will allow you to easily start and shut down the machine. If you are really up to getting a good quality shop air compressor, this could be one of the great options for you.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                    Industrial Air

Weight                 185 pounds

Dimensions          24.75 x 24.75 x 49.75 inches

8

Ingersoll Rand 2340L5-V 60 gal Compressor

Ingersoll Rand 2340L5-V 60 gal Compressor

Not every shop air compressor available at your disposal can provide you a great combination of reliability and performance. Whether you own a small shop, large shop, or even a garage, you always need the top-notch air compressor to get the job done perfectly. Ingersoll Rand 2340l5-V 60 gal compressor is the perfect example of excellence and durability.

In every garage or automotive shop, there is always a heavy demand for a variety of projects. This superb product is specially designed for you so that you can fulfill all of your customer demands with this air compressor to get their job done. All of the heavy-duty works are conveniently possible with this air compressor as it comes with 5 HP power which can deliver a maximum of 175 PSI pressure.

On top of that, the compressor is 2-stage and the 60 ASME receiver tank will give you enough flexibility to perform almost all kinds of automotive work. The cylinders are individually cast and built for giving you a highly durable user experience.

When working with the air compressor, cooling of cylinders is crucial, because it gives extra security and safety. This exclusive product comes with excellent radial pins that keep the cylinder cool. The integral flywheel and copper intercooler help the device to remain cool even in the heavy-duty operations.

Besides, this air compressor will give you a quiet working experience with the overhung crankshaft. The precision-engineered design of this product allows you to easily replace any necessary components if you want. And also the maintenance of this product is super easy. With all these exclusive features, this is one of the right product for you.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                       Ingersoll Rand

Weight                     430 pounds

Dimensions             24 x 33 x 69 inches

9

Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Air Compressor

Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Air Compressor

With the durable and ultra-quiet operation, Ford Silent Series has already won the hearts of many consumers. No exception in this model as well. This superb Ford 15 gallon air compressor is specially designed for you so that you can use it in your home, shop or garage and get a quiet operational experience.

The noise level of this excellent product is only 59 decibels which is lower compared to many other compressors. So, you can complete all of the rough and tough jobs with this compressor without disturbing others.

The dual pressure gauges that come with this product are quite easy to operate and the quick connect coupler will provide you with optimal efficiency. This exclusive product has a 15-gallon vertical air tank which is good enough for getting the job done.

The portable design with the mobility kit offers a great option to move this product even easier. The oil-free pump of this air compressor is easy to operate and you don’t need to spend hours for the maintenance of this compressor.

Besides, the 2 HP motor comes handy as it delivers 125 max PSI pressure to perform all of the demandable jobs in the automotive shop. At 90 PSI, the airflow rate is 2.9 CFM and at 40 PSI, the airflow rate becomes 3.9 CFM.

On top of that, this product comes with thermal overload protection to give you extra safety. The convenient handle and never-flat wheels will give you a great portability option.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                        Ford

Weight                      88 pounds

Dimensions              18.5 x 33 x 21 inches

10

Industrial Air ILA4546065 60-Gallon Air Compressor

Industrial Air ILA4546065 60-Gallon Air Compressor

Whether you have a mechanic shop, livestock operation, or service truck, Industrial Air always produces the best quality compressors to perform all kinds of heavy-duty work in your workplace. With so many unique and exclusive features, this shop air compressor will always be there to meet all of your expectations.

The pump comes with a 4.7 HP heavy-duty motor which operates at 240 volts to ensure a great level of pump performance and you will get a trouble-free operation. To provide you a great level of cooling experience, the three-cylinder pump is made of cast iron.

The pump has an aluminum head and valve plate which will help the device to quickly dissipate heat so that you will get nothing but smooth operation. The 60-gallon tank of this shop air compressor will give you enough space to do even the toughest heavy-duty projects with comfort and great convenience.

You will get the maximum air pressure level of 155 PSI which is good enough to perform all rough and tough automotive jobs in your shop or garage. The convenient pressure gauge and the on/off switch will give you extra flexibility to perform your duty. Besides, this product is shipped with synthetic oil so that you can use it for a long time and get the optimum performance.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                   Industrial Air

Weight                 250 pounds

Voltage                240 volts

Best Shop Air Compressor: Things You Should Look For

If you own an automotive shop, you already know that you need the top quality air compressor to perform a variety of works as per your customer’s demand. But, you need to have a great extent of industry expertise and product knowledge to buy the best option for you. In this section of this buying guide, we will discuss the factors you must consider while buying a shop air compressor.

Horsepower:

The horsepower of the air compressor determines the amount of the total work the device can do. By seeing the horsepower level, you’ll get an idea about the overall power of the machine. First of all, you need to identify what is your intended purpose, meaning what you will do with your air compressor.

If you need to perform a variety of heavy-duty work, it will be a good idea to go to a shop air compressor with the highest horsepower. In a general sense, most of the basic shop air compressors come with 1 or 2 HP power. You may also find air compressors with 3 HP power easily available in the market.

You can perform most of your activities with these compressors. However, when it comes to high-powered, diversified, and heavy-duty work, you may need to go for the shop air compressors with higher horsepower.

Necessary Metrics (CFM and PSI):

The next important things you must consider are some necessary metrics of the air compressor. Typically, there are two important metrics in an air compressor that plays an important role in their function-CFM and the PSI.

  • PSI: It means Pounds per Square Inch. PSI is so much important while working with an air compressor. It means the amount of air pressure that is being pumped out. In most of the cases, the standard maximum air compressor is 90 PSI. But, you’ll see a lot of air compressors that have a higher maximum PSI.
  • CFM: The full form of CFM is Cubic Feet per Minute and is also an important metric that you must consider before buying a shop air compressor. The CFM determines the amount of air which is being pumped out.

Every air compressor has its own CFM and PSI level. You must check the metrics carefully to get the best product for you.

Tank Capacity:

The next important factor you must consider is the tank capacity of the compressor. The tank size or capacity will determine how much air you can store in it. While PSI tells you about the amount of air you can generate, the tank size will determine the amount of air it can store in the tank.

While you need to do a lot of work and need a large amount of compressed air, you should go for a compressor with a large tank capacity. On the other hand, when it comes to a few tasks, you can easily buy a compressor with a small tank size. Besides, shorter tanks will provide you a great level of portability option.

Portability:

You will find shop air compressors in a variety of sizes and shapes. There are different types of air compressors that are specially designed for performing specific tasks. Some compressors are made for performing heavy-duty work. On the other hand, some compressors are highly portable. Therefore, you should go for the product that suits your preference and intended purpose.

Corded or Cordless:

Air compressors can be corded or cordless based on product design. Corded air compressors need electricity supply for the operation. Most of the corded machines are specially designed for performing all kinds of heavy-duty projects.

On the downside, they are not easily portable. When it comes to cordless shop air compressors, they don’t need any electricity supply to operate. They are specially designed for giving you a great option for portability. But, they come with low horsepower, so not so effective for heavy-duty projects. You should decide carefully, which product you should buy so that you can get the maximum benefit from it.

Oil-Free or Oil-Based Tanks:

If you need efficient performance along with the durability of your shop air compressor, you must go for the oil-based tanks. Because they are designed for ensuring durability and efficiency. On the other hand, if you are up to getting a noiseless performance with low maintenance time and costs, you should go for an oil-free tank.

Noise Level:

Another important factor you shouldn’t deny while buying a shop air compressor is the noise level of the product. There is no denying the fact that typically air compressors produce a great level of noise.

Especially the heavy-duty compressors produce a maximum level of noise. However, some recent models come with the unique ability to give you a quiet operational experience with the air compressor.

Twin Stack vs. Pancake:

There are two common types of shop air compressors that you will find in the market-twin stack and the pancake. Twin stack compressors are specially made for heavy-duty work and come with a large horsepower and capacity.

On the other hand, pancake type compressors are small and come with comparatively low horsepower. If you need to perform some smaller works and portability is your main priority, you should go for a pancake type compressor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is higher CFM a better air compressor?

Answer: The full meaning of CFM is Cubic Feet per Minute. It gives you a signal about the airflow rate of the compressor. In a broad sense, CFM of a compressor will tell you about the amount of air that can be produced by a shop and an air compressor at a specific level of pressure.

So, we can see, if your compressor has higher CFM, it will provide you with more air. And, you already know that more air means more scope for applications. In that sense, of course, a higher CFM of a shop air compressor is better as you can do more work with that tool.

Why is my shop air compressor so loud?

Answer: It is a common phenomenon with a shop air compressor. Many factors play a significant role in determining the noise level of an air compressor. In most cases, the main reason for the loudness of a shop air compressor is the friction between metals.

When you operate an air compressor there is some sliding against metal that creates a loud sound. Generally, an air compressor with more moving parts will create more noise during the operation.

However, some latest air compressors may give you a quiet operation experience as they come with a comparatively low noise level. For your instance, you can go for this exclusive Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Air Compressor which has a noise level as low as 59 decibels.

What is the relationship between CFM and PSI?

Answer: Although both the CFM and PSI are significant metrics related to an air compressor, there are some basic differences between them. The full meaning of the PSI is Pound per Square inch. On the other hand, CFM means Cubic Feet per minute. The basic difference is PSI always measures the air pressure and volume is measured by the CFM.

Both of these metrics are used to determine the performance of the air compressor. PSI indicates the amount of air pressure that is being pumped out, whereas CFM measures the amount of air which is being pumped out by the compressor.

Final Verdict

Whether you own a shop or a garage the most powerful tool you will need to complete all of your projects successfully is an air compressor. Especially when it comes down to shop air compressors, you have to consider some factors carefully before making your ultimate buying decision.

First of all, you should identify why you need an air compressor and what type of projects you will do with it. Of course, identifying the intended purpose of a compressor is crucial, because it will help you out in your decision making. You should check the horsepower, PSI, and CFM metrics, portability, and all other factors carefully to choose the best option for you.

In this comprehensive article, we tried to gather all information related to the shop air compressor in one place. We hope it helps you out and you can choose the best product.

10 Best Shop Air Compressor for the Money in 2021 1