The Best Home Air Compressor

The needs you have at home for an air compressor are much different than the needs a business may have. Commercial or industrial grade air compressors are able to take on some massive jobs, but the best home air compressor can do the same thing around the house. Whether you’re a DIY expert or there are just a few chores you need to tackle, these are the compressors that will help to make the job a lot easier.

The Best Chart for Home Air Compressors

There are numerous chores that can appear around the house. Sometimes a bicycle tire might need to be filled. You’ve got sports equipment that needs some air. Maybe you’ve got a fence to paint or some shingles to put up on the roof. The chart below will show you the home air compressors that will give you the versatility you’re going to need.

PictureNameOur RatingPrice
PictureNameOur RatingPrice
DeWalt 2 Gallon 200 PSI Hand Carry Air Compressor 4.2
$$$$
Campbell Hausfeld 120v Home Inflation System 4.3
$
California Air Tools 2.0 HP 10 Gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor 4.3
$$$$$
Kensun Multi-Use Air Pump Compressor w/ Digital Gauge & Worklight 4.9
$
Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor 4.6
$$$
Viair 300P Portable Compressor 4.4
$$
Q Industries MV 35 12v 140 PSI Air Compressor 4.0
$
ARB 12v Twin Motor High Performance Portable Air Compressor 4.1
$$$$$+
Kensun Portable Heavy Duty Multi-Use Air Compressor 4.9
$
Viair 450P Automatic Function Portable Compressor 4.8
$$$

What Is a Home Air Compressor?

Home air compressors are a little different than commercial or industrial air compressors. Commercial compressors are designed to have an air hose connected to them so you can power several different tools. Instead of being hooked up into an internal system for air distribution, the home compressor is an independent unit that will typically only power one tool.

Most home air compressors have a single tank design. Many of them are portable, featuring either the pancake design or the wheelbarrow design. If you have several needs at home for an air compressor, it may be worthwhile to find one with a roll cage for added protection.

The Advantages of the Best Home Air Compressor 

Owning a home air compressor gives you certain advantages when it comes to getting your work done. Instead of painting a fence by reenacting scenes from The Karate Kid or smashing your fingers with a hammer as you work on a roof, the best home air compressor will let you get those jobs done with effective tools that ultimately save you time and money.

The advantages of a home air compressor, however, go far beyond this. A compressor is one of the most versatile tools you can own. Here are just some of the other ways you can put an air compressor to work around the house.

  • You can better manage the fuel economy of your vehicles. When your tires are consistently filled to a proper air pressure, your fuel economy goes up. Your tire wear becomes more even. This prolongs the life of your vehicle and reduces your maintenance costs.
  • You can clean up a mess quickly. When you’re working on a remodeling task, have carpentry work being done, or your lawn mower just left a mess on your driveway, an air compressor will turn a mess into cleanliness when you’ve got the proper tools around and a long enough hose.
  • You can do a lot more work. The right home air compressor will let you install trim around your doors and walls. It will let you install a hardwood floor. It will let you build your own furniture if you prefer. You’re only limited by your imagination. 

If you hire a general contractor to get some of those items checked off your to-do list, then you’re going to spend as much as you would on a home air compressor and the tools you need for just one job to get done. Make the investment into a compressor and you can do the work yourself, take pride in your accomplishments, and get things done on your own time. 

How to Find the Best Home Air Compressor for Me

There are three factors to consider when shopping for a home air compressor: tank size, PSI, and SCFM.

Tank size is a reflection of how much compressed air can be held at one time. As a general rule of thumb, a larger tank will let you work longer without the compressor running, but this isn’t always true. Sometimes a small tank with a larger pump and motor is better than a big tank with a smaller pump and motor. The right answer here is dependent on how portable you need your air compressor to be.

PSI is a measurement of the air pressure as it comes out. Higher PSI levels generally indicate that you’ll receive more compressed air whenever you trigger the tool being used with your compressor. Certain tools require specific PSI levels to operate, so make sure you check the specifications of the accessories you’re planning to purchase and compare them to what your preferred air compressor will be able to do.

The SCFM measurement is a reflection of how much air is able to come out in a specific period of time at specific atmospheric levels. Humidity, warm temperatures, and your altitude all affect this measurement. Someone in a cooler, low humidity environment near sea level will receive a higher SCFM than someone in a hot, high humidity environment at 3,500 feet above sea level with the exact same air compressor. High SCFM ratings are good for air brushing, nailers, brad guns, and auto mechanic tools.

What Are the Prices of the Best Home Air Compressors? 

Home air compressors range from a basic inflator to an all-in-one stationary compressor, so the price to expect is based on what needs you must have met. Basic inflators can cost as little as $20. Large stationary home air compressors that can run just about any air tool you’ll need to use may cost upwards of $1,000.

For the average household, they’ll be able to have most needs met with a portable air compressor or a smaller stationary unit. There are several good options available in the $200-$300 range in both categories. Sometimes home air compressors come with combo kits so you get the air tools you’ll need within this price point and that just adds to the value you’ll receive.

What Do Our Reviews Have To Say? 

DeWalt

This compressor is useful for small-to-medium DIY projects. Finish carpentry, some light framing, and general remodeling projects are easy to complete with this compressor. Basic automotive tasks can also be completed with this compressor, though impact tools will drain the tank rather quickly. We even tested it out with a deck we were working on. It struggled just a bit when it came to tightening the bolts at the decking joints, but nailing down the primary surface boards was quite easy to do. It’s a good compressor at a competitive price.

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Campbell Hausfeld

There’s a definite learning curve to using this system if you plan on using it to maintain air pressure levels in a vehicle or on your bicycle. You’ll want to practice taking this unit on and off. Expect to be refilling your tires with the air lost from detaching this unit the first couple of times at the very least. It works pretty well if you have a 12 gauge extension cord that is 50 feet in length or less. Anything else negatively affects the performance of this air compressor. What can we say? It performs as it should.

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CAT 10 Gallon Steel Tank

For most tools, this air compressor is going to do a great job. We love using it. Some tools, however, require a really large burst of air when you’re using them. The design of this compressor can make that burst difficult to create. It starts with the 0.25 inch tubing from the switch to the manifold and ends with the regulator, which is about the same size. There just isn’t enough room for the air to move. It’s incredibly quiet at just 70 dB, is rated at 2 HP for running, and the entire tank fills in just a little over 2 minutes. This one has a lot of potential.

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Makita 2.5 HP Big BoreMakita 2.5 HP Big Bore

The cast iron pump with the big bore design only this brand provides gives you an incredible recovery time. This improves your performance and the amount of overall time you’ll need to spend on each project. We also like the lower than average amperage draw on startup, preventing breakers from tripping on you when you fire this thing up. Keep in mind that this is an oil-lubricated compressor, so it will have some increased maintenance responsibilities. If you want something that will last a long time, this is a solid choice.

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ARB 12v Twin Motor Portable Air Compressor

This is one ultra-compact air compressor. The dual cylinder design gives this compressor some ridiculous stats: 6.16 CFN with no load and 4.65 CFM at 29 PSI. The integrated aluminum air tank and pressure switch regulates your pressure between 135-150 PSI. If you use power tools on a consistent basis, this is the investment you’re going to want to make. The case is impact-resistant and waterproof, you’ve got 20 feet of air hose to work, and an inflator and blow gun are included with your purchase.

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The best home air compressor reviews here will help you find a great model to use around the house. If you’re ready to finish off those projects that have been building up, these are the compressors to help you make that happen.

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