Top 5 Options for the Best Portable Air Compressor
Whether you’re working on a spray painting project or inflating the wheels of your car after a flat tire, having a machine that can provide pressurized air helps get the job done. It’s even better if the tool needed for air power comes in equipment that is easy to transport and carry around – this is the job of a portable air compressor. These machines allow a more efficient workflow wherever they are used. While having a mobile compressor helps, opting for the best portable air compressor makes it even better.
The Best Portable Air Compressor Available
1. Porter-Cable PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor
- 2.0 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI pump, 3.5 gallon tank and 135 max PSI for longer run time and quicker recovery
- Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
- Low Amp 120V motor
- Only 26 lbs. for easy portability
Light, relatively quiet and small – these features are what make the Porter-Cable PCFP02003 pancake compressor one of the best in the market. The machine supplies air through a 90 PSI pump, features a 3.5-gallon tank and is capable of 135 max PSI making it operable for longer hours and built for faster recovery. With its oil-free pump, this compressor is quite the durable beast. To top it all off, the machine doesn’t require intensive maintenance.
2. California Air Tools 5510SE Ultra Quiet
- Oil-Free Pump - Cleaner air for better tool operation. Less maintenance and Costs
- 3.10 CFM at 40 PSI & 2.20 CFM at 90 PSI
- 120 PSI Maximum Pressure
- The "New" SP Series of Ultra Quiet Air Compressor Motors have been designed to increase duty cycle and allow for longer continuous run times.
- Air Compressor
With a 60 dB sound level, this model is a lot quieter than the Porter-Cable pancake compressor. However, weighing in at 54 pounds may tilt the portability factor back in the hands of the competition. The 5510SE also features an oil-free pump for clean air delivery and minimized maintenance. With a 5.5-gallon tank, the 5510SE is able to operate more cycles but only has a maximum PSI of 120.
3. Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake
- Long-life oil-free, maintenance-free pump for convenient use
- 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump
- High efficiency motor for easy start up in cold weather
- 78.5 dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment
- High flow regulator and couplers to maximize air tool performance
The Bostich BTF022012 could be the best portable air compressor as it has a lot going for it: a max PSI of 150, a 6.0-gallon tank and an oil-free pump. These features allow it to run longer, recover quickly and be free from maintenance hassles. The BTF02012 is even lighter than the 5510SE from California Tools but it does make more noise at 78.5 dB. Portability is also one of its key features: it weighs 31.5 pounds and measures 17 x 17 x 19.2 inches.
4. Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
- Cast iron pump with big bore cylinder and piston, combined with greater bore and stroke, delivers maximum performance
- Substantially lower noise levels with a large 1,720 RPM pump, enabling greater displacement at lower RPM
- Low amp draw reduces incidences of tripped breakers and voltage drop that can cause premature motor failure
- Oil lubricated provides cooler running pump, minimizes wear
- One-year manufacturer's warranty
Like California Tools’ 5510SE, the MAC700 Big Bore from Makita is rather hefty: it comes in at 59.6 pounds. Made of cast iron, this air compressor was designed to work in tough working environments. Unlike most of the items on this list, the MAC700 Big Bore’s pump is lubricated by oil but is also more powerful and durable thanks to a large automotive-style filter that boosts the intake of air and improves efficiency.
5. Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor, 3-Gallon Horizontal Oil-less with 10 Piece Kit (FP209499AV)
- 3 gallon horizontal tank and 0.36 CFM @ 90 PSI. 110 Max PSI provides plenty of power to tackle DIY projects. Operates on 120 volt house outlet
- Oil-less pump for maintenance-free ownership and strong, reliable motor output. Motor overheated:Allow compressor to cool for approximately 30 minutes so thermal overload switch will reset. Make sure compressor is run in a clean, well-ventilated area.
- Equipped with 10 piece accessory kit which includes a coiled hose, blow gun, inflation needles and fittings
- Conveniently placed gauges are easy to read & this compressor's compact design makes it easily portable
- Ideal for tire and ball inflation; it's also perfect for powering air brushes, air/ brad nailers, upholstery projects and more
The 3-gallon Campbell Hausfeld air compressor kit is suitable for small projects like assembling furniture and is also useful in emergencies like inflating a car tire. At 18.9 pounds and measuring 15.7 x 7.9 x 19.6 inches, this model is very portable. The air compressor is also easy to use with gauges located in convenient places. Maintenance is also a breeze with the mobile compressor’s oil-less pump.