6 Best Portable Air Compressors 2022

If you are using pneumatic tools, you must be aware of the consequent exhaustion and time investment associated with them. To get my projects done quickly and efficiently, I found a miraculous product that blew away my mind with its excellent performance.

I am discussing purchasing the best portable air compressor that has become an essential part of my workshop and other outdoor construction ventures. These portable air compressors are famous for creating required pressure, volume, and torque for the range of tools you use in different applications.

The best thing about the portable compressor models is their lightweight, compact, and handy designs to allow you to transport them to the working site with ease. As a result of using them, you will be gaining efficiency, accuracy, and speed in different applications.

You can enjoy the perks associated with these air compressors only if you make the right decision about the suitable compressor. Plenty of portable air compressors can leave you perplexed in making the final decision.

To save you from the trouble of checking thousands of products with specifications, we have tested various products and written this review on the top picks along with a buyer’s guide. Therefore, please keep reading to know more!

At a Glance:

6 Best Portable Air Compressors

DesignAir CompressorRetailer
1. Kensun AC/DC Digital Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor
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Best Pick2. CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor
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Budget Pick3. Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
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Staff Pick4. Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor
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5. BOSTITCH BTFP02012 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor
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6. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Oil
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1. Kensun AC/DC Digital Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor

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No other portable air compressor on the market can beat Kensun AC/DC Digital Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor for its unique blend of features like powerful performance, anti-vibration design, and silent working.

These features render it one of the best portable air compressors. Apart from these characteristics, Kensun AC/DC is also admirable for safer use. Thanks to the manufacturers of this air compressor for embedding an intelligent pressure gauge in it.

This digital pressure gauge will be shutting off automatically upon reaching the desired pressure, preventing damage to the tool. In addition, it also offers you an LCD screen with a back-lit feature so that you can operate it without any issues.

The good news is that Kensun AC/DC offers you multiple unit conversion between KPA, PSI, and Bar. The weight of this portable air compressor is only 5 pounds with the dimensions of 11.8 inches x 4.3 inches x 6.7 inches, expressing its suitability for transporting it.

In addition to other features, Kensun AC/DC is also praise-worthy for its powerful motor. This electric-powered air compressor is made with a premium quality solid metallic motor with the power of 120 Watts.

With the help of this motor, the Kensun AC/DC pump will be driving 30 liters per minute of the air. Thus, you can understand the quickest tire inflation with these air compressors due to their commendable air flow rate.

Pros

  • Automatic shutting off.
  • Compatibility with AC and DC.
  • Remarkable inflation speed.

Cons

  • Expensive.

If you are looking for a portable air compressor with a range of other features, you must not look beyond top-quality products like Kensun AC/DC. This air compressor has excellent durability because we have been testing it rigorously, and it has consistently produced remarkable results.

With the LED flashlight, you will be able to use it at night for various applications. Therefore, by purchasing this air compressor, you will be making the best decision, and we second you in it.

2. CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor

Best Pick
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CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor is a high-rated best portable air compressor because it is outstanding in larger tank capacity, quickest recovery timings, and maintenance-free design.

CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K has become an integral part of my mechanical projects because it has always delivered the best performance when handling various applications, including flat tire inflation for several vehicles.

With only 32.5 pounds weight and dimensions of 16.5 inches x 16.5 inches x 17.88 inches, CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K offers you a tank with 6 gallons of storage. Therefore, you can use this portable air compressor for many hours without any break.

This air compressor comes with a premium quality pump with an oil-free design that does not need any maintenance. Also, this air compressor will last for many years due to the oil-free efficient pump. I can assure you of the matchless durability of this excellent air compressor.

In terms of the pressure specifications, the maximum pressure of this air compressor can reach up to 150 PSI. Therefore, you can use it for varied applications requiring higher pressure.

In terms of the recovery timings, this air compressor will give you the best output because it can deliver 2.6 SCFM when the pressure level is 90 PSI. With such rapid recovery timings, you will be able to complete your tasks speedily and efficiently.

Pros

  • Highly economical price.
  • Dual couplers application.
  • Efficient pancake design.

Cons

  • Noisy when operational.

An efficient, portable, and highly durable air compressor is waiting for you. We are indicating towards the premium quality air compressor CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K. Like its name, this air compressor is the true example of perfection in terms of excellent tank capacity and flawless performance.

Considering my experience with this excellent air compressor, I strongly recommend you purchase it so that you can benefit from it as I did.

3. Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor

Budget Pick
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Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor has set its mark in the compressors market because of its excellent airflow rate, longer cord, and compatibility with the wide range of vehicles.

It is an efficient and best portable air compressor that comes with a highly engineered design to help you in different tasks, either at your garage-based workshop or outdoors construction site.

This air compressor is highly admired for its lightweight and compact design, having 6.75 inches x 6.25 inches x 10.75 inches dimensions (L x W x H). It works best with the 12 V DC source, and its maximum pressure limit is 120 PSI.

Regarding the airflow rate, you will be getting 1.47 CFM of the flow if the pressure level is dropped to zero PSI with the amperage sprawl of 20 Amperes. You can easily connect it with the battery or power source by using the alligator clamps provided by the Viair manufacturers.

If you are precisely curious about its flat tire inflation specifications, then you will be glad to learn that it can inflate tires having 33 inches width because of its powerful motor.

All you have to do is connect the portable air compressor unit with your car using a 10 feet long power cord and provide it with the necessary air. The air hose of this compressor is 16 feet in size.

Pros

  • LED power indicator.
  • Powerful performance.
  • Remarkable air flow rate.

Cons

  • Best for smaller projects.

If you are tired of the heavier air compressors, you must replace them with the ultra-portable model like Viair 00088. This air compressor will be accompanying you for many years because of its heavy-duty construction made with premium quality metallic and polymeric components.

In addition, the airflow rate of this air compressor is also admirable. Based on these features, I strongly recommend you purchase this excellent air compressor because it will deliver its best performance every time you use it.

4. Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor

Staff Pick
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Like other items from the Makita line, Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor comes with a matchless blend of the features like a powerful motor, anti-wear pump design, and quiet performance.

I had procured this best portable air compressor for my indoor and outdoor projects, and I love its capacity for being operational at lower rotations per minute (RPM). This lower rotation operation improves its durability and gives you noise-free functionality.

To be more specific, Makita MAC2400 is perfectly functional at 1,730 RPM, and it produces a lower noise level of only 79 decibels. This air compressor comes with a remarkably high-quality motor having a horsepower of 2.5 HP, and it has a four-pole design.

With such an improved design, it will be delivering 4.2 CFM when the pressure level is 90 PSI. Another good news about this air compressor is that it comes with a lower amperage and thus causes a considerable reduction in the tripping of the breakers.

Thanks to the Makita manufacturers for using highly refined discharge tubing made with copper finning. This discharge is specialized for effective dissipation and the reduction in the water inside the tank of this air compressor.

The highly durable construction of this air compressor is attributable to the premium quality cast iron cylinder. You won’t observe any signs of wear no matter how much frequently you use this air compressor.

Pros

  • Roll-cage shape-based higher portability.
  • Silent functionality.
  • Remarkable horsepower.

Cons

  • Slightly expensive.

Makita MAC2400 is jam-packed with a wide range of features that will make your work easier. Also, you will be able to accomplish your tasks with it speedily and efficiently because it offers you excellent horsepower.

In addition to these features, you will enjoy working with this great air compressor because it gives you a peaceful environment to work with its lower noise level.

5. BOSTITCH BTFP02012 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor

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BOSTITCH BTFP02012 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor has excelled over the market-worthy competitors because it has a remarkably higher tank capacity. Yet, it is highly portable due to its lightweight and compact design.

This corded electric air compressor is indeed the best portable air compressor which will amaze you with its noise level. Therefore, you will be able to work in a perfectly peaceful manner, either indoors or outdoors.

To be more specific about its lower operational noise level, we are glad to mention that it produces only 78.5 decibels with only 29 pounds weight and 17 inches x 17 inches x 19.25 inches dimensions.

With the 6 gallons capacity tank, you will be able to work without any breaks. In addition to this, the pump of this air compressor has an oil-free design which makes it highly durable. Also, you will not need to maintain it despite frequent use.

BOSTITCH BTFP02012 comes with an impressive air flow rate. It can precisely deliver 2.6 SCFM of the airflow. This flow rate will be obtainable at 90 PSI. The maximum pressure with this portable air compressor can reach up to 150 PSI.

With the remarkably quickest recovery timings, you will be able to enjoy accomplishing diverse applications speedily and efficiently. All you have to do is to connect it to your vehicle and other pneumatic tools with the 50 feet long cord and enjoy the flawless performance associated with it.

Pros

  • Ultra-portable design.
  • Oil-free pump with low maintenance requirements.
  • Emission-free operation.

Cons

  • Hose and gun missing

If you prefer efficiency and versatility while purchasing different tools for your workshop, nothing can be more versatile than BOSTITCH BTFP02012. With the remarkably long life, flow rate, and quiet operation, you will be keeping this air compressor for many years. Therefore, we strongly recommend you purchase this fantastic item so that you can enjoy accomplishing different projects.

6. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Oil

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PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor is a premium quality air compressor falling in the best portable air compressors category because it offers a wide array of excellent features like highly durable construction design, dual users features, and lower amperage.

The manufacturers of this model claim it to be low maintenance model, and I must approve of this and other excellent features because I have been a regular user of this air compressor for quite some time.

This is a super-portable model with 30 pounds weight and 19 inches x 19 inches x 18 inches. While you will be glad to learn that PORTER-CABLE C2002 comes with the 6 gallons tank capacity and thus allows you to work without any breaks before you need to refill the pancake tank.

This corded electric air compressor is capable of delivering 2.6 SCFM when the pressure level is 90 PSI. These quickest recovery timings are also approved as per ISO1217. The lower amperage need of the motor will help you start it no matter how colder the weather is.

Another praise-worthy feature associated with the PORTER-CABLE C2002 is its stability. Thanks to the manufacturers of this excellent air compressor for integrating an efficient valve system to effectively remove the water. In addition, you will also feel at ease in moving around because it comes with rubberized feet made with premium quality and durable polymeric materials.

Pros

  • Facile transportation.
  • Longer runtimes.
  • Quickest recovery times.

Cons

  •  Higher vibrations.

If you are looking for a portable air compressor with a considerably longer runtime, nothing can be better than PORTER-CABLE C2002. With the more leisurely cold start and low maintenance needs, you will be able to use this air compressor for many years.

If you decide to invest your money in this excellent air compressor, we can guarantee you that it will be delivering the best performance. Therefore, you should go for it! You will love it for its smooth and flawless performance!

Purchasing the Portal Air Compressor: Top Tips and Tricks

Finding the best portable air compressor for your indoor and outdoor projects is indeed a wonderful stroke of luck. However, it’s not that rare or impossible because you can also purchase such premium quality air compressors if you carefully look for their specifications and then choose the one with ultra-portability and powerful performance.

To help you in this critical task, we have formed this comprehensive buyer’s guide comprising of crucial pre-purchase considerations that you must not forget before finalizing your purchase. If you follow them, we can assure you that you will purchase the best air compressor. Let’s begin with these suggestions!

Weight of the Air Compressor

Since we are reviewing the portable air compressors, I feel that the most critical pre-purchase consideration in the buyer’s guide has to be the weight of the product you intend to buy. For any air compressor to be portable, it must have a lightweight and compact design.

You can understand the portability aspect because it must be light enough to be easily lifted to the truck back. Also, it will be easier to transport if it comes with rubberized wheels.

The simple trick in this regard is to go for the models with the pancake design because they are lightweight with a larger tank capacity. Any air compressor model weighing less than 70 pounds is perfect to go for because you will find them easier to handle and transport.

However, if you go beyond this choice, you might face issues in moving it around in the case of outdoor projects. Therefore, making a careful decision regarding the weight of the air compressor is an integral pre-purchase consideration that you must not miss!

Maximum Pressure of the Air Compressor

From the last two decades’ experience, I must say you need to be very careful regarding the pressure feature of any portable air compressor. Therefore, you must not overlook it because it will be impacting the overall performance of your air compressor.

Different brands offer air compressors with variable pressures, and they specify it with the pounds per square inch (PSI). Some of your pneumatic tools will be requiring more pressure for the entire operation. That is why we strongly recommend you to go for the options with the higher pressure in the range of 120 to 180 PSI.

You can understand the pressure requirement of different tools because some impact wrenches require 60 PSI of the pressure to be provided by your air compressor. At the same time, you will need an air compressor with higher pressure, i.e., 90 to 120 PSI, for using a nail gun.

Some of the best-tier air compressors with excellent maximum pressure extents are:

  • PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor.
  • BOSTITCH BTFP02012 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor.
  • Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor.
  • Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor.
  • CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor.
  • Kensun AC/DC Digital Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor.

The Volume of the Air Compressor’s Tank

Another important consideration that you need to be mindful of is the volume of the compressor tank. This volume is the direct indication of your compressor capacity for storing compressed air to use whenever required. In addition, this volume also directs the running time and application type of your air compressor.

Therefore, you need to check it as per your application and then make the final purchase. For example, the air compressors possessing only 4 to 5 gallons capacity will be excellent for the use of nail guns because they only require shorter air bursts.

On the other hand, there are some tasks and applications that might need larger tanks with a capacity as high as 20 gallons. You may consider the example of the pneumatic reciprocating saws, impact wrenches, and wheels in this regard that need plenty of air for smoother and flawless completion of the task.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which factors are essential to consider while purchasing the air compressors?

If you have decided to grab some premium quality air compressors, you must not ignore some important factors. Such factors will be dictating the quality of these compressors. These factors are weight, airflow, tank capacity, power, silent performance, durability, cold start feature, maintenance requirements, and motor type.

Are large tank air compressors portable?

Yes, for sure, some of the air compressor models might come with larger tank capacities of as high as 6 gallons, yet they are highly portable. Thanks to the lightweight nature of the air making this possible. For example, with such a tank added, the overall weight of these air compressors will be spanning over a range of only 30 to 40 pounds, making them super-portable.

Which are the best portable air compressors to consider procuring in 2021?

There are plenty of the best and top-notch air compressors available that you can purchase in 2021. However, we strongly suggest you go for the premium quality and tested products. For example, you may opt for Kensun AC/DC Digital Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor, PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor,  Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor, Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor, CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor, and BOSTITCH BTFP02012 Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor.

Conclusion

After reading about the best portable air compressors, you must be planning to grab an excellent air compressor and make your life easier. With their flawless performance and powerful output, you will be completing the time-consuming tasks speedily, while the complicated tasks will also be easier to accomplish.

However, we strongly recommend you check the air compressor for all the pre-purchase factors we discussed with you before making the final decision. We have also narrowed down some products due to their consistently remarkable results, and they are:

Kensun AC/DC Digital Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor due to its automatic shutting off feature, compatibility with AC and DC sources, and remarkable inflation speed

CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor due to its highly economical price, dual couplers application, and an efficient pancake design

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor due to its LED power indicator, powerful performance, and remarkable airflow rate

Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor due to its roll-cage shape-based higher portability, silent functionality, and remarkable horsepower

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