Best Portable Air Compressors

Hey there! Welcome to our list of the best portable air compressors, my name is Keith and I wrote this to assist you with making your job of selecting a portable air compressor easier. If you are getting ready to do a project at home, or purchasing equipment to use at a work site and you want to focus on selecting the ideal machine to run your pneumatic tools, this this portable air compressor buying guide should be able to help you. You will discover which compressors are intended for which job application and what you should look for when you are shopping for one. Then, I that bottom of this guide, you will find some information on my recommendations, the portable air compressors that I think are top-notch and should be considered when you buy.

There are three different grades of portable air compressors: Consumer, Contractor, and Commercial. Each one supplies the correct amount of air compression to properly do the job. When you are trying to find the right one for you, you need to keep an eye out for specific elements:

  • Match the compressor to the job at hand
  • Portability
  • Power source
  • Tank size

porter-cable portable air compressorConsumer Air Compressor:

Many home DIY projects call for the special power that a compressor provides from pumping up the football, to airing up bike tires, to doing small building projects that require a brad gun or stapler. Which portable compressor is right for these jobs? Check out Consumer Grade:

  • Opt for a smaller compressor that has a 1-6 gallon tank.
  • An electric compressor which uses 110 to 120 volts is fantastic for indoor jobs, a gas one is solid for outdoor projects.

Contractor Air Compressor:

Contractors will use powerful pneumatic tools like nail guns and other bigger tools that will require a higher output of air. Choose either a compressor that can be carried or one that can be rolled on wheels.

  • The tank needs to be big enough to put out a lot of air and not shut on and off too often.  The ideal size is 4 to 5 gallons.
  • A gas operated compressor, again, is ideal for outdoor jobs. Some job sites might not have electrical power available so a gas model will ensure that you are good to go.

Commercial Air Compressor:

Commercial businesses that need to use air compressors as a regular part of their daily tasks will get much more benefit from bigger compressors and these compressors tend to be more stationary. The bigger tanks will offer a steady supply of air. The power source is going to either be gas or electric, at a higher voltage rating. Some of the businesses that make the most use of commercial grade air compressors are auto shops, manufacturing plants, and huge locations such as amusement parks and oil rigs, for example.

  • The tank is going to be 20-30 gallons, big enough to maintain steady flow.
  • These compressors are pretty massive, so obviously they are not as portable as the others tanks mentioned.

Prior to rushing out to buy one blindly, decide how you will actually use the compressor, how often it will be used, and determine the power source you will need to operate the compressor.  It’s much easier to find the best portable air compressors when you have an understanding of what your specific needs are.  Below I have listed what I consider to be some of the best air compressors on the market.

Best Air Compressors

Porter-Cable C2004-WK

Porter-Cable C2004-WK-air-compressorThe Porter-Cable C2004-WK controls (regulator control valve, tank pressure gauge and tool pressure gauge) are straight forward. The control valve is easily adjusted and the dials are easy to read. This new compressors was launched as a lighter and quieter compressor. These are very important features on small portable compressors as they are used for taking care of small projects and for trim work. Although this porter cable appears to be a small compressor, it does the job of much larger versions. This compressor produces up to 165 psi and, at the same time, operates much quieter than other larger compressors. It is a very impressive compressor. The compressor has two factory-installed couplers. This is a great feature for multiple nailers. It also has a 25′ polyurethane hose with factory-installed settings. This compressor is perfect for punch lists, carpentry and other home projects, and other home owner projects. The compressor is recommended for anyone in the market for one. The technical specifications of this Porter-Cable C2004-WK are good. It is a quiet compressor and worth the cost. It is light and easy to carry around. However, ear protection is always recommended when using a compressor. The hose is user friendly for new compressor users. This porter cable was given a four star rating.

Porter-Cable C2004-WK Customer Reviews

Customer review on March 4, 2011 of the Porter-Cable C2004-WK: “We used this all day yesterday with the short polyurethane hose it came with. I wouldn’t want the hose on a jobsite, but actually, it’s surprisingly good around the shop or around the house. It lies flat and coils neatly for storage. It’s only real shortcoming is the 25-foot length. Otherwise, we were surprised that it was better than expected.”

The pro’s of the Porter-Cable C2004-WK are:

  1. Size – the small diameter
  2. Noise – It is not as loud as other porter cables
  3. Convenience – It is not a heavy product. Make it convenient to carry around. It is 6 pounds lighter than the previous model. The weight is balanced well. The product feels lighter than it really is when carrying it
  4. Fit – The product has a ball valve tank drain
  5. Layout – This 4 gallon model has a nice layout. Whoever has used the bigger model will be happy with this one. The safety valve is perfectly positioned to prevent damage to the safety valve. In addition, the safety value’s position makes it easy to reach when pre-start testing is performed
  6. Solid – The product is well built and is solid. This model feels durable.

The con’s of the compressor are:

  1. Information – It is hard a lot of information about this model. Perhaps because it is still fairly new
  2. Price – This model costs a little more than the larger model
  3. Weight – Although the model is easy to carry and isn’t extremely heavy, it’s not much lighter than the larger model. Isn’t convenient for carrying up a ladder or for using overhead
  4. Fittings – The fittings on this model aren’t manufactured to the best quality. The model doesn’t leak and is not the worst quality model, but the fittings could use an improvement
  5. Plastic – It is the same material as the larger model. The plastic parts have never been a problem or have never failed. However, the carrying handles would be better if they were laminated around the steel. It would ensure yanking on the handles when grabbing the product. .

The Porter-Cable C2004-WK was rated five stars for breakdown. Buy your very own Porter-Cable C2004-WK today.

The Porter-Cable C2004-WK is a four-gallon portable electric air compressor. It has a capacity of 165 psi capacity. It also includes a 25 foot polyurethane hose. This portable air compressor delivers great performance. It allows more usable air to be packed in. The compressor is an oil-free design that is a allows maintenance free operation. The motor is 120 volt and starts easily in cold weather. It can be used with or without an extension cord The tank is 4 gallons which allows a long run time. The pump is oil and maintenance free. The body of the compressor weighs only twenty nine pounds.


DEWALT-D55141RFor a great new compressor, ease of use, transportability, and a great brand name, you are going to want to consider the DEWALT D55141R for your new compressor unit. Not only are you going to find the power you are looking for, but you will also get a solid built compressor, that is going to be able to handle any job, and complete any task you need, in a much smaller size than a full size compressor. The fact that it is so small, and offers the ease of movability, is going to allow you to take it with you to any job site, and to do any task while using your DEWALT D55141R, and getting the very best power and performance you are hoping to get.

DEWALT D55141R Pros & Cons

There are many pros to using the DEWALT D55141R compressor. You are of course getting a portable compressor, which can be taken to any job site. You are also getting a great brand name, power, and a light weight build, that is easy to use anywhere. You can also get up to 150 PSI units in a very quick turnaround time, and the noise level is quite low, compared to other compressors on the market today. Additionally, for smaller jobs, and for running smaller hand and power tools, you are going to find that the unit is really by far the best compressor to get the job done, and to have several smaller connections running.

When looking at the cons, there are also a few to consider if you want to purchase theDEWALT D55141R unit. It does have an aluminum base, which can make it a bit weaker than other compressors being sold. Additionally, although it is wireless, it is only for a certain distance, and after reaching that level, you have to connect it to the wall to keep it running, which can restrict the space you have to do certain jobs. Also, the unit will require a break period when you are doing larger jobs, so this can definately slow you down, especially when you are in a hurry, or doing a larger job that already takes more time to complete.

One customer claims that they had been searching for a new compressor for a few months, when they came upon the DEWALT D55141R unit. They stated that it is small and portable enough to take to any job they have to do, and will connect nail guns, hoses, and several other air tools, to get the best performance, when they are using it on any job, and to do any task. They also claim it is light weight enough to take to several jobs, while offering the power they need, in such a small unit. Although there are a few cons as far as space restrictions, and time constraints when using the DEWALT D55141R compressor, you are going to find that it still offers an exceptional machine, great power, and a unit that is well worth the purchase. Plus, for the price, you are not going to find a better unit out on the market today, that is going to give you the levels of power that the D551141R is going to get for you. Not only are you going to get that great power, but you are also going to find that you will have the best performance, and the best unit to connect smaller hand tools to use at your discretion. So, although it might require a few shut offs during use, in order to regain power, it is still a much more powerful unit than other compressors being sold today.

So, when considering your new air compressor, if you are looking for power and performance, and want to get the best unit on the market, you are going to want to consider a Dewalt. Taking the time to compare the performance and the quality of the compressors to purchase, and find the best unit is what has to be done, prior to purchase. You are going to find that there are several compressors to consider, so taking the time to do so will ensure you pick hte best one. So, when you are finally ready to make the purchase, you are going to want to make the DEWALT D55141R compressor, the unit of choice for your final purchase decision.

Senco PC1131

When considering your new air compressor, if you are looking for a portable unit, with the best power and performance, and great levels of working capability, the Senco PC1131 is one to consider. You are going to get a great unit, which gets 4.4 CFM, providing enough power to complete several jobs from start to finish, with the least amount of effort. The Senco PC1131 also offers an oil splash design and induction motor, which offers the most durable build, that professionals in the industry are hoping to get on a job site. It also has a 4.3 gallon electric oil – splash compressor unit, a universal coupler allowing for the connection of several smaller hand tools, and a light weight design, which makes the unit extremely portable.

Senco PC1131 Pros & Cons

There are several pros to consider when you are choosing the Senco PC1131compressor for your new unit. It offers ease of setup and use, and you will find that it can be setup in a couple of minutes. It also is very quiet in comparisson to several others on the market, which do not perform nearly as well as does the Senco. It can also run for several hours on end, without the need for downtime to cool the engine down, and to get the power back up, as do other units on the market. It also has several ways to connect different hand tools, and will allow you to get any job done in the shortest periods of time when working on a bigger job. The 4.3 gallon tank is also the perfect size, as it makes the machine compact enough, yet it still offers a large enough tank for you to be able to get larger jobs done, when on a commercial type of job setup.

There are a few cons to using the Senco PC1131 compressor as well. It does have difficult instructions, and is a bit difficult to setup if you are not aware of the way a compressor works out of the box. So, for a novice, or for someone who is using their first compressor, it might be a bit tough to get a hang of it. Also, it does have plastic coverings over the insert slots, which make for a bit less than perfect construction and build. So, if you are looking for a solid built machine, there are a few parts to the unit that are not the most solid build and construction quality you would expect to get in your new compressor.

A customer claimed that the Senco PC1131 compressor offers a solid build, is easy to use, and is extremely easy to get a hang of once you start using it. They also claimed that for the price, the compressor can’t be beat, and it is going to offer you the professional quality you would hope to get, but would not expect to get, from such a small machine. Additionally that customer said that they would only expect the power they got from a much larger, and much more expensive unit. So, if you are looking for an overall great compressor, for a much lower price than other units on the market today, you are going to want to choose the Senco PC1131 compressor. Not only does it offer the portability that you are looking to get, but it is also going to give you the power and performance of a commercial compressor, only is a much smaller package size, making it perfect to do the job anywhere. You are also going to get a compressor that offers several attachment options, for when you do have to connect hand and power tools, in order to complete a larger job you are working on.

So, when you are looking for that great new compressor, you want to take the time to find the best construction and the best possible quality that you can find on the market. So, shopping around, and considering only the compressors that are going to give you the sound quality, the best performance, and the power you are looking for, is something for the purchaser to consider for their new unit. When you are ready to purchase, you are going to want to consider the Senco PC1131.


DEWALT D55168RThe DEWALT D55168R may be the exact air compressor you are looking for. This is especially true for those who want to start using power tools for home projects. This type of tool has a greater capacity to do work than others. Both large jobs as well as for longer amounts of time. Once you have started using air pressure tools you will never go back. A good example is a paint sprayer. Using a paint sprayer to paint the inside or outside of your home makes the finished product look professional and takes a lot less time to do the work with brushes and rollers. Other tools that can be used with a DEWALT D55168R compressor are reversible drills, impact wrenches, brad nailers, and sanders.The main limitation to using a compressor for home use versus the compressors that are used by professionals working large jobs and other industrial applications, is the amount of air flow. This is measured in cubic feet per minute. This is abbreviated as CFM by air compressor manufacturers. Naturally most jobs that are done around the house are not going to require the same amount of air as the industrial units. Typically, most of what is used by do-it-yourself people is between three and five CFM at a pressure of at least 70 pounds per square inch. The DEWALT D55168R is rated 5.4 CFM at 90 PSI. This will be plenty of air pressure for all of your tools that you have at home or anything you plan to buy in the future.

The DEWALT D55168R has a 1.8 horsepower engine that runs off of 120 volts. The entire unit weighs just over 92 pounds, but is easily moved around on its wheels. It measures approximately two feet by two feet and stands 45 inches tall making it easy to store in your garage. The gauges are both accurate and easy to read. Dewalt is known for high quality product and buying a new unit will mean having a compressor for the rest of your life. The only real drawback to this machine is that it does have limitations as to the size of the power tool that it can be used for, as well as time limits on continuous use. Outside of professional work, most home owners will not be effected by this. However, in the case of a sander, there may be times when you would have to break for a certain period. Most air tools are used about one fourth of the time. This represents a duty cycle of 25 percent. A sander may be using compressed air continuously. In this case, compare your requirement to the ability of the tool in terms of CFM. Multiply the CFM rating of the tool by four to get the requirement for continuous use. But again, this is only for a tool that will be used continuously. Very few tools used around the home will need this, and if by chance one does, you need only break up the time of its use each minute.

DEWALT D55168R Customer Reviews

There have been many happy customers all around the county for these air compressors.
Read what one satisfied customer said about the DEWALT D55168R:
“shopping around for a compressor with enough power to run a few CFM-hungry tools (paint sprayers and grinders mostly), I was pleased to make the small investment in this reconditioned DeWalt. I have been exceptionally pleased with its ability to easily keep-up with my air pressure-demanding tools. I read some complaints about the placement of the tank drain – dead center under the unit. I have not found this to be a problem at all, and I live in the very humid southeastern US (need to empty the tank frequently).
This unit will not disappoint.”

It is easy to buy the DEWALT D55168R. They are available online and can be shipped right to your door. Some dealers offer refurbished models that can save you some money, but it is often the best idea to by one new. This is a major purchase that will give you pride of ownership. The work done with the compressor can add value to your property and along with the time that it can save, it will pay for itself. They can be purchased from authorized online Dewalt dealers and owning the DEWALT D55168R is only a few mouse clicks away.

Steele Products SP-CE415M

Steele Products SP-CE415MIf you are looking for a heavy duty air compressor that allows you to move it around the job site, the Steele Products SP-CE415M compressor may just be what you are looking for. The hardware is powerful enough to provide compressed air to just about any device you use, plus the larger tank reduces the amount of time you are left, waiting for the Steele Products SP-CE415M to reset itself after running out of pressure. Of course, before you dive headfirst into purchasing the new equipment, it is important to know all the specs about the hardware and what all the pros and cons are of the air compressor.To start, the Steele Products SP-CE415M has a large, 15 gallon tank. This is exceptionally large for any air compressor in its size category. This allows you to run pressurized devices for an extended period of time, before waiting for the tank to reset itself. Plus the 3.5 horsepower is strong, so are able to connect just about any equipment to the compressed air tank. The large tires on the rear of the device and handle on the front make it easily moved around the work site, unless you need to move up stairs or a ladder, as the equipment does weight just about 80 pounds. Oil lubrication is recommended for the equipment in order to ensure long live for the Steele Products SP-CE415M. There are two pressure gauges built into the equipment, both large enough for you to read, without squinting over the equipment.

The 15 gallon tank is one of the larger tanks you are going to find, especially at theSteele Products SP-CE415M price range. If you work on a larger job site and need continual pressure, this is perfect. The continual air pressure for the device is 2.5 horsepower, allowing you to peak out at 3.5 horsepower. The large wheels on the rear of the device are perfect for moving just about anywhere you need it, which is nice for a tank of its size. At 80 pounds it is going to take a little bit of strength to move the equipment, but the wheels move easily, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem to drag the hardware anywhere you need it to be. The Steele Products compressed air hardware is on the newer side, but reviews for the equipment are extremely positive, especially from Jacob F, stating “Love my new air compressor! I am able to run the compressor at home without much stoppage time. The powerful horsepower does create noise, but that let’s me know it’s working!”

Steele Products SP-CE415M Cons

As with any device you are going to purchase, there are a few downsides to the Steele Products SP-CE415M. The tank is rather loud, so it is not possible to use the air compressor at night. If you like to work on your car or other projects in your garage during the evening and night time hours, you may need to find a different air compressor, or heavily insulate your garage, as this device does produce an exceptional amount of noise. Plus the air compressor does require lubrication, which is easily forgotten. If you don’t lubricate the hardware it is going to begin to dry out and crack, reducing the life of the product significantly. On top of this the device does need to connect to a local power outlet, so it must always be located near a power source, otherwise the Steele air compressor just isn’t going to run.

If you are looking for an air compressor, capable of providing the necessary power for just about any device, the Steele Products air compressor may just be the product for you. The extremely large tank allows you to work without as much stoppage time, which reduces the amount of time it takes to complete a project, and possibly sends you home early for a job well done. Plus with the built in wheels you are able to move the Steele hardware to just about anywhere on the job, as long as there is a power outlet nearby. If you want one of the very best, largest and most powerful air compressors in its price range, the Steele Products SP-CE415M is just what you are looking for.

Speedway 7678

Speedway 7678Speedway 7678 is a vertically designed air compressor, marketed by the company as a device aimed at completing jobs at a much quicker pace than its competitors. As a company, Speedway boasts of a large array of equipment and items that are extensively used in the automotive industry. Its most well known products include lifting forks, air compressors, welding equipment, chargers for batteries, different mechanical tools and jump starters. With their primary target market being the automotive experts and professionals, the company strives to come up with different products to prove its competitiveness. At present, Speedway produces a large number of air compressors, targeted at both homeowners as well as small businesses.Speedway 7678 Features:

The Speedway 7678 air compressor comprises:

  • 15 gallon air tank.
  • The device’s wiring can hold current up to 15.5 Amp.
  • Engine that produces 3360 RPM and delivers up to 115 psi of pressure capacity.
  • Manufacturer-provided air couplers, which make it convenient to carry out two jobs simultaneously.
  • Wheels with a diameter of 6 inches each.
  • Rubber feet and AV grip.
  • Induction motor comprises twin capacitor, which starts without heating up and protects the device from getting overheated.
  • Steel air inlet with a solid cast iron cylinder makes the air compressor a durable device to own.

Product Pros:

The Speedway 7678 air compressor scores in several areas, which are:

  • Easily transportable due to convenient portability and user-friendly handles.
  • Lower chances of overheating.
  • Rubber support and AV grip handles absorb the vibrations produced.
  • Convenient for managing two jobs simultaneously.
  • Increased air storage capacity compared to other brands of air compressors.
  • Quicker in dispersing the liquid.
  • Good for a wide range of jobs, which vary from filling the air in tires to spray painting.
  • Practical for home use and small businesses.

Product Cons:

With so many positive attributes to it, the Speedway 7678 air compressor also has a few downsides, which are:

  • Easily damaged.
  • Limited only for domestic use and smaller areas. However, they become secondary for job sites requiring extensive coverage of the spray content.
  • Only stable when standing vertically but can roll out of the vehicle if in any other position.
  • Lesser pressure sustaining capacity than competitor brands’ air compressors.
  • Heavier in weight than other air compressors, which inhibits its portability.

Customer Reviews:

Even with the list of benefits of the Speedway 7678 air compressor, the customer reviews on Amazon have mostly been negative. The average rating received by the air compressor on the retailer website is one star, which may come as a surprise to most considering the plus points of the tool. Following are a few online customer reviews for the air compressor:

– Poor customer care – Amazon

– The device arrived damaged – Amazon

– Abysmal or no response from the manufacturers when asked for a refund –

The customer reviews are a clear reflection that their complaints are not regarding the air compressor itself but a result of the poor response they received from the manufacturers. One customer on Amazon also complained of receiving an air compressor with smashed wheels, misshapen legs and broken cowling. The company’s response to customers’ request of refund was also quite disappointing for the buyers.


It may be important to note in case of the Speedway 7678 air compressor that its negative reviews online have been based on the company’s performance and lack of customer care. Most customers have not complained about the device’s performance, which goes in favor of the air compressor. The poor customer reviews are also a result of the company’s inability to satisfy the customers.

Although the air compressor has an air tank with a bigger capacity, its appalling rating online makes it an expensive device to be bought. A better idea for the buyers would be to browse around a number of online retailer websites and find better air compressor options, which may come in a much cheaper price range. With a price tag of $250 on Amazon, the air compressor does not provide value for money. Good news is that the Speedway 7678 air compressor is not your only option as you can discover limitless air compressor options online, right where you are!

Rolair JC10

Rolair JC10Home handymen know that having a portable yet powerful air compressor like the Rolair JC10 will make their projects easier. Finish nail guns, sanders and ratchet wrenches can utilize the power of compressed air to take the strain off of the tool user. A variety of hand tools can be purchased separately having universal couplers which connect to the mating coupler found on all air compressors. A rubber air hose running from the air compressor unit to the hand tool should be long enough to allow free movement when in use. Without any tool attached, the air hose can make a handy bench cleaner by spraying the forced air at any small debris, wood shavings or other excess pieces to be discarded. Weighing in at approximately 39 lbs, the Rolair JC10 is a popular choice for home do-it-yourselfer’s.Although portable air compressors are incredibly handy, the drawback has always been how noisy they are. Almost always over 90 decibels, this level of noise will damage your hearing if used for more than an hour without ear protection. This is the reason Rolair decided to design an extra quiet air compressor for home use. Measuring decibel level at only 60db, the Rolair JC10 is the quietest portable air compressor that still has plenty of power for most of your pneumatic air tools. No ear protection is required for safety, and it will not drown out other sounds around you. Having 2.35cfm @ 90psi, and pulling 8 amps gives enough power for trim and finish work. With a 2.5 gallon air tank there’s more work time between refills of air. It takes about 45 seconds to fill-up when started cold, and only 13 seconds to refill itself when being used.

Compressed air which is used to aid a tool by adding the force of air is called pneumatic. There are a few different ways that air can be compressed, and having the right type is important for the size and amount of force needed. Most people have added air to an automobile tire without knowing they were applying pneumatic power. Compressed air is released in a stream which is forceful, creating power for motors or mechanical tools designed for pneumatic use. The size of an air compressor can be relatively small for home use as with the Rolair JC10 air compressor, or larger like the centrifugal air compressors with capacity for running small aircraft engines. Perfect for home needs like filling up bicycle tires and basketballs, to powering that wooden windowsill sander, the Rolair JC10 is popular for its flexibility. Another added feature is the main air line from the tank to the motor is a mesh metal hose, easy to replace if ever needed. Almost all air compressors use a copper tube which can dent easier and be harder to replace.

Rolair JC10 Customer Reviews

As Dave Reinhold of Monmouth, New Jersey states, “I think you’ll be really happy with this portable Rolair JC10. My only complaint is that the gauges are on the side of the unit instead of on top. If I have the compressor sitting on the floor, I have to bend down if I want to adjust the air pressure.” Other than that, Dave liked the fact that the 1HP, 2.5 gallon air compressor was oil-less. “Where I live it gets cold and I really wanted an oil-less compressor that was able to do cold starts.” Light duty framing and finishing were the two main jobs that Dave Reinhold wanted this air compressor for. Added Dave, “And I really like how strongly built the unit seems to be, especially with the roll-bar cage to protect the air tank and motor.” That’s when 200 lb Dave stepped on the roll-bar cage to prove his point. Watch Dave Reinhold as he tests this machine on Utube.

For a small portable air compressor that really packs a punch, Rolair seems to have provided the most sought after qualities while keeping the cost low. From its solid cast air tank to its stabilizing rubber feet, this is surely a great unit to purchase. Made to travel with its lightweight portability and extra sturdy construction. Choose the Rolair JC10 for a great air compressor that will do the job, and quietly!

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