Unless you are a DIY’er you probably don’t know what an air compressor is. It sucks the air from the environment (nearby anyways), stores the air in the tank, and when you’re ready to use it, it comes out in the form of a paint sprayer.
It’s amazing how much pressure the air actually has, and you don’t realize it until you use one of these tools. Read on to see why you should have one and some of the best air compressors on the market for home use.
If you’re on a budget and need a reliable, small, quiet air compressor, the California Air Tools is the one for you that will do the job, anything from inflating toys to airbeds.
Most Versatile: Stark Portable Quiet Air Compressor
This air compressor is one of the most versatile one on the market, with its ability to do 2 jobs at once.
Best Overall: CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor
If you want one of the best air compressors on the market that is small, portable and powerful, this one by CRAFTSMAN is for you.
Why you need a home air compressor
Sometimes you have a flat tire either on your car, bike or motorcycle. It’s always a good idea to have an air compressor nearby for these kinds of situations. Also, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct PSI so that you don’t deal with tires that literally explode.
Compressors can literally double up as a pressure washer because of the extreme force that comes out. It’d be perfect for your driveway or patio. Make sure you handle it safely.
If you’re doing a major paint job on your home or another home, an air compressor is great for sandblasting the surface to get the house ready for a fresh paint.
You may use an air compressor to vacuum in your own house, garage or store. You can clean minor cracks and cracks with a compressor. If you have dust on the keyboard keys? This is quickly removed by compressed air.
A compressor is also an excellent way to dry some engine, machines and cabinets surfaces easily. You can quickly switch one inside and one outside of all the various sizes that air compressors come with.
Having an air compressor can make painting so much easier and faster. You can attach a compressed spray gun and off you go with painting.
Things you can use your air compressor for
- BBQ grills
- Pool Tubes
Pros and cons of a home air compressor
Useful for painting
Because of the pressure inside an air compressor’s tank, you will be able to get painting done quickly and properly. You can paint anything from your house to even inside (walls).
Useful for power tools
If you’re not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars on a tool, you can use an air compressor to help do the job quickly. Such tools would be nail guns, impact wrench & more.
Useful for cleaning
You can clean anything from driveways to vehicles to anything that pretty much needs deep cleaning around your house. Of course, you’ll have to attach different nozzles to it but it can be very useful for cleaning.
Can be dangerous
If not handled properly, it can be extremely dangerous, and you can get injuries. Definitely do some research or read the user’s manual on how to use it before using one.
How to choose the right one for you
Choosing a home air compressor is based on the following factors:
Gas or Electric
The gas-powered ones are best. They run on gas and usually slightly more powerful (and louder) than their electric counter parts. They are usually heavier than the electric one due to the gas being in there, but however, you are usually not tethered to an outlet, so you have the flexibility to move anywhere with the gas ones.
Electric air compressors either runs on batteries or a cord that needs to be plugged in. These types are slightly less powerful than their gas counterparts, but they are also quieter making them ideal if you live in a neighborhood where noise may be an issue.
Oil vs Oil Free
Oil-free air compressors are compressors that meet the requirement of an oil-based air compressor, but without repeated oil adjustments and angry regular servicing.
In general, they are thinner and only a little different from the oil they burn. Performance and greater cleanliness are the standard design focus of oil-free air compressors by the precast design that eliminates the requirements in applying oil.
Traditional air compressors are often designed such that they are operated on an external lubrication device.
Oil-free air compressors, on the other hand, do not use oil on the walls of the cylinder. As a relatively recent invention, oil-free air compressors rely on self-lubricating materials to make a smooth shimmer of the piston into its cylinder.
Pound per Square Inch (PSI)
This basically measures the amount of air pressure that is being exerted when the tank is full. If you’re doing small jobs, you usually don’t really care about how much pressure that can come out, as the amount of PSI is lower than the average max PSI of a cheaper/low quality air compressor.
Cubic feet per minute
This calculation shows the volume of air a compressor will produce under a given PSI within one minute (usually 90-PSI). If a tool uses air more than the compressor can provide, you have to split between nails or let the compressor catch up while doing a DIY job.
A high horsepower engine is not required for many home designs. Most air compressors are just 0.7-HP to 1-HP horsepower. The motor is larger than sufficient to be fastened, boxed, spatulated etc. Therefore, a lower horsepower engine is sufficient if you are aiming for continuous power from the air compressor.
The amount of air which can be contained by gallon measurement is determined by the tank capacity. The majority of home air compressors have smaller tanks between 1 and 6 gallons. Everything but the most demanding of DIY activities are fine. The most benefits of instruments that involve constant air flow are the large tanks that can accommodate the overlap between supply and demand.
There are two types of air compressors. One that you can install, one that you can easily move around. If you want a more permanent solution, then you should get the one to install. However, a lot of people love the ease of portable air compressors because there may be different areas of the house that need to be worked on.
The Best Air Compressors
A 0.8 HP engine is used to generate up to 150 PSI pressure with the Craftsman 6-Gallon Pancake Air compressor. The compact electric air compressor recharges the 6-gallon tank easily with a refill rate of 2.6 CFM to provide adequate power for all but the most demanding pneumatic tools which is pretty good for a small, at home air compressor. It can also function very well in cold weather, so if you live in one of those climates, you don’t have to worry about that.
This type of compressor is terrific for small jobs around the house, and you can even do vehicle maintenance with it. You can quickly shift this lightweight compressor from place to place by its pancake form and sturdy carrying handle It also comes with a 13-piece accessory package with a 25-foot cable, tire gauge, and tire chuck at an amazing price.
- Good value for money
- Powerful for home air compressor
- Comes with 13-piece accessory package
- Doesn’t go all the way up to 150 PSI as the manufacturer claims
This air compressor has many of the same things that the CRAFTSMAN’S do, same CFM, same gallon tank (this one is 6 too) and even the same 13 accessories kit. The stark difference is the price, which is $169.99. It’s a really good runner up to CRAFTSMAN so either one of these (due to being almost exactly the same, but different brands) is a good choice for the home.
- Powerful for home air compressor
- Comes with 13-piece accessory package
- Pancake shape
- Manual confusing to read
- Customer support hard to reach
The Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor. A squat-oval configuration, Dewalt DWFP55126 with a large base and a large tank. The peak working pressure of the DWFP55126 is 165 psi, delivery is 2.6CFM at 90 psi and 3.7CFM at 40 psi.
The DWFP55126 is equipped with a big 6-gallon tank so that it can last a while before refilling. During action, it emits about 75 decibels, quieter as far as home compressors are concerned. It weighs just 30 lbs, making it lightweight in general.
This Dewalt air pancake compressor is operated by a regular 120V power source and draws 10 amps. The DWFP55126 is therefore very strong, and still runs at a level which is manageable for the grid of your home so you can rely on it to exceed your standards by executing the vast majority.
- 1-year limited warranty
- Some users reported quality issues
Here we have a hot dog-shaped by California Air Tools that you definitely should have in your home. It’s very portable weighing in at 29.5 pounds, runs on electricity so you will need to have a 120 V outlet nearby, and fairly quiet. It also has a 0.6-HP engine can do most DIY activities at a speed of 1.2-CFM with up to 120-PSI.
It does a tiny 1-gallon tank, so if you’re planning on doing large jobs, this may not be the air compressor for you. But if you need to inflate a bicycle’s tire or something small in general, this is the air compressor for you.
- 1-year limited warranty
- Users reported issues with the manufacturer honoring their warranty
This is an air compressor on two wheels with a 10-gallon air tank. The cast-iron tank is used to extend its service life. It fits very well for operations including stucco knives, nails and handguns and clamps. This air compressor is on the heavier side compared to the others we’ve rounded up, weighing in at 55 pounds but it’s still portable where you can move it around to do other jobs. This compact compressor is able to supply the air with the highest air pressure of 125 PSI, 7.2 CFM at 40 PSI, 3.5 CFM at 90 PSI.
This compressor uses an oil-lubricated system that pumps so while it does need oil, it will have a long life. With this compressor, the company gives you a bottle of oil when you need to refill it.
As far as noise level, it’s fairly quiet so you don’t have to worry about risking hearing damage or annoyed neighbors.
- Can 2 jobs at once
- Builds pressure quickly
- Oil lubrication for durability
- Oil doesn’t fare well in the cold if left outside
- Oil leaks sometimes
The Makita MAC100Q is an outstanding alternative if you want a compressor that’s so quiet, you’ll barely hear anything, which is good if you live in a neighborhood where they may complain about the sound. This model is good for smaller jobs and use smaller tools, but it does not expect that this unit can control bigger air tools with lower CFM levels with just 0.7 CFM and a small 1-GL air tank. However, this model is extremely lightweight, weighing in at 29.3 pounds making it very easy to move around on your jobs.
A 1/2 HP 1750 RPM AC induction motor is used to drive the MAC100Q. This model has a really modest 2.8 amp pull so you can almost anywhere plug it in. 2.8 amplifiers are equal to just 336 watts at 120 volts. That means, this compressor can be powered easily on a small or even 400 watts generator or even bigger inverter.
- Super quiet
- It can randomly stop working
This air compressor from Tichop is equipped with a permanent magnet and a non-oil engine. This gives a conventional engine up to 10 times its life cycle and no special maintenance is necessary. It has a digital LCD controller that visibly, conveniently and open pressures. This setup makes it easy to track or set the pressure from 40 psi to 130 psi.
The weight is 16.5 lbs, making this the lightest compressor on this roundup. It also has an automatic protection system which means the machine shuts down if there’s over-voltage or current detected, keeping you safe. Like all other compressors on this list, this is also a very quiet compressor which is always a plus.
- Automatic protection system
- No major maintenance needed as its electric
- Overheats quickly even on low PSI
What is the best air compressor for home use?
In our opinion, the CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor is best for home use because it’s lightweight, portable and easier to use. It has enough PSI for the jobs you will be doing around your house.
What size compressor do I need to run air tools?
You will want a compressor that has a bare minimum 90 PSI and calculate the CFM by 4. It’s also dependent on tank size, whereas 1 gallon, it may take you a long time to do the job, but if you get a 30+ gallon tank, you’ll be done with the job in a few minutes.
What is the best small air compressor to buy?
That would be the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor because it’s lightweight (weighing in at 29.5 lbs) and it’s fairly quiet making it perfect if you live in areas where there’s lots of neighbors.
The Bottom Line
We hope that today you’ve gotten all the information you need about home air compressors. They are perfect for mostly any DIY projects that you’re about to take on. If you have enjoyed reading this guide, please leave a comment below!