Air compressors are known to be very loud. Even when you’re using an oil-lubricated air compressor, you’ll find that your ears will start ringing very quickly because of the sound. With long-term exposure without hearing protection on, people close to the compressor could find themselves with hearing damage. These quiet air compressor reviews can help you find a brand and model that can help to limit the noise pollution.
The Best Chart for Quiet Air Compressors
What many do not realize is that a quiet air compressor is a model that has an output at 3 feet or beyond that is less than 85 decibels. There’s a big difference between 60 decibels and 85 decibels. The chart below will help you find the perfect quiet compressors that are best suited to meeting your needs.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Noise Rating (dB)||Price|
|California Air Tools Ultra Quiet & Oil Free 1 HP 6.3 Gallon Compressor|| 4.5 ||60.0|| $$ |
|Senco PC1010 1 HP Peak 1 Gallon Compressor|| 4.4 ||73.0|| $$ |
|Porter Cable 3.5 gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor|| 4.6 ||82.0|| $ |
|DeWalt Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor|| 4.4 ||71.5|| $$$ |
|Rolair Oil-Less 1 HP Compressor w/ Overload Protection|| 4.6 ||60.0||$$$|
|California Air Tools 1 HP 1.6 Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor|| 4.6 ||60.0|| $$ |
|NorthStar Belt Drive Single Stage Portable Air Compressor|| 4.2 ||80.0||$$$$$|
|California Air Tools 1 HP 4.6 Gallon Steel Twin Tank Air Compressor|| 4.6 ||60.0|| $$$ |
|DeWalt 6 Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor|| 4.6 ||75.5|| $$ |
|California Air Tools Ultra Quiet & Oil Free 1 HP 5.5 Gallon Compressor|| 4.6 ||60.0|| $$$ |
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Noise Rating (dB)||Price|
The Benefits of Owning a Quiet Air Compressor
When you have a loud air compressor and you’ve got to work close to it, even hearing protection might not be enough to protect your hearing. Anything above 85 decibels is proven to cause people physical discomfort. Sounds above this cut-off level will also increase the chances that someone may experience hearing loss.
For every 3 decibels that occur above 85 dB, the risks of experiencing hearing damage double with 8 hours of exposure. Another way to say this would be that the permitted time that one can be exposed to that sound is cut in half. If you have safe exposure for 8 hours at 85 dB, then at 88 dB you would have 4 hours of safe exposure.
Why is this so critical to know? Because there are several air compressors on the market today that exceed 100 dB. At this noise level, your safe exposure time is just 15 minutes. If you’re exposed to 115 dB, then your safe exposure time is just 30 seconds. Although hearing protection can reduce this noise, you may still find yourself at unsafe levels.
For example: if your air compressor has a noise output within 3 feet of 135 decibels and your hearing protection reduces noise levels by 30 decibels, you still only have about 8 minutes of safe exposure time. That is why these quiet air compressor reviews are so important to the shopping experience.
How to Find the Best Quiet Air Compressor
Just because an air compressor is quiet doesn’t mean that it is going to be underpowered. Many of the compressors in this category can stand up to the best home air compressors on the market today and perform just as well. With some models having a running noise rating of 60 dB, you’ll have a compressor you can use in a portable way that is quieter than your average lawn mower.
Many quiet air compressors also tend to be oil-less models. This gives you an added level of flexibility when using the compressor because there aren’t terrain, temperature, or humidity restrictions that must be followed. Of course your SCFM is going to be affected by higher levels of humidity, higher temperatures, or a surface that isn’t quite even, but you’ll still receive a strong enough performance from these compressors to get the job done.
This means it becomes necessary to evaluate what your current and future needs for a compressor happen to be. Once you get that sorted out, you’ll be able to read through the quiet air compressor reviews to find a brand and model that will meet the most needs for a price, which fits within your budget.
The Dominance of California Air Tools
You will have likely noticed that one specific brand dominates the chart above for the best quiet air compressors: California Air Tools. This is because many brands might say that they offer a quiet air compressor, but independent decibel ratings tend to say otherwise.
So what makes this brand superior to all of the other brands on the market today? It’s the design that this brand uses for just about every compressor model. Most home air compressors are designed with a single piston to compress air into the storage tank. California Air Tools uses a dual piston design instead. This means their air compressors only need to work half as hard to compress air to the same levels as a standard compressor because the air is compressed twice instead of once.
What does this mean for you? California Air Tools makes compressors that are a little more expensive than your standard portable or home compressor. Their storage tanks tend to be a little smaller as well. In return, you receive an ultra-quiet user experience.
What Are the Prices of Quiet Air Compressors?
Entry-level quiet air compressors tend to be priced around the $200 mark. At this price point, you’ll receive a performance that is similar to a $130 pancake-style air compressor or a $100 home air compressor with limited features.
Some quiet air compressors wind up costing over $1,000 because they are laden with features, secure joints and threads, and have large storage tanks that reduce the need for constant filling. These are typically reserved for commercial needs where noise pollution is a factor.
Most homes will benefit from owning an air compressor in this category in the $300-$400 range. If the need for an air compressor is fairly basic, there is no need to go beyond the entry-level models in most circumstances to find the best quiet air compressor.
What Do Our Reviews Have To Say?
We can see a lot of great stuff happening with this setup. Most folks aren’t going to have air tools that would cause the issues we’ve noted here. Even if you do have a high impact need, however, we wanted to note that this quiet air compressor has the ability to meet your needs pretty effectively. It fits underneath a standard 36 inch workbench, so you can keep it out of the way, yet still get your work done. The weight also lets it have a good balance so you’re not worried about the compressor tipping over. It uses a standard 3 prong outlet, 0.25 air hose connections, and has two universal quick connect couplers so you can run two tools at once if needed.
This particular air compressor is not a fan of high humidity environments. We do not recommend using this particular model outdoors. It bogs down in anything above 50% humidity and doesn’t seem to like heat much either. It’s virtually flawless indoors when used for trim work, but outdoor work is a major headache. Because this has just a 1 gallon tank, we can see if you’re using this compressor consistently and it needs to recover on a regular basis that the pressure switch might develop a leak over time. Overall, however, we think you’ll be pleased with the outcomes this compressor can achieve.
Although this model doesn’t offer you a high air flow volume, it does fill up rather quickly so you can get to work. It takes just 60 seconds for this California Air Tools compressor to reach its maximum PSI ratings. If you do a lot of hobby work, like upholstering, airbrushing, or engraving, then it will be able to serve its purpose well while barely being heard above typical background noise. It isn’t the most portable air compressor of this size on the market today, but this CAT model does weigh just 35 pounds. This makes it light enough to carry around, but sturdy enough to stay put when you’re working.
It has a full roll cage, so even if something hits the compressor from above, there’s a good chance that it will withstand the blow. The drain valve is the weakest point of the design for this particular model. We’d give it a “great” rating if the valve didn’t have the tendency to leak on occasion. It needs a new valve probably once or twice per year. If you’re looking for a compressor that will meet most of your at-home needs and you have mostly trim work to do, then we like the potential this air compressor has for you and that’s where we place our recommendation.
The ratings are fairly solid. This particular compressor is rated at 2.35 SCFM at 90 PSI and 3.8 SCFM at 40 PSI. If you use an impact wrench, ratchet, or driver intermittently, then you’ll be able to work fairly effectively. Continuous work on these tools is a little difficult because of the consumption rates you’ll have. Then there’s the fact that this air compressor is one of the quietest ones in the industry today. It operates at 60 decibels, so your neighbor’s lawn mower is going to be louder than this. You can even have a conversation with someone while this compressor is recovering. Because it operates at just under 1,700 RPM, you’ll find that less wear and tear happens with every use as well.
The best quiet air compressor reviews are going to help you find a brand and model that will serve your needs without making your ears bleed from the noise pollution. Find yours today and you’ll finally be able to check those DIY projects off of your to-do list.