A few years ago, air compressors were only available in industrial settings. However, thanks to advancements in technology, you can now find a portable model for your home. The good news is that you can get the best air compressor for home garage without breaking a sweat.
Having an air compressor takes away all the hard work from using tools such as hammers and wrenches. You get a versatile machine that makes tiresome projects easy and fast. Note that using air compressors gives you huge advantages over power tools due to their weight and size. Your air compressor will also run nonstop for hours, which means you don’t have to worry about charging batteries constantly.
That said, you need a suitable air compressor to get the most from your air tools. Below is a list of the top 9 home garage air compressors that have been handpicked based on quality and workability. Before you purchase one, ensure you go through all the reviews and buyer’s guide in this article.
Top 9 Best Air Compressor For Home Garage in 2021
1. BOSTITCH (BTFP3KIT) Air Compressor 3-Tool Combo Kit
The BOSTITCH (BTFP3KIT) Air Compressor comes with a high-efficiency motor that guarantees nothing but high-quality services. It is a 6-gallon air compressor that provides 150 PSI at 2.6 SCFM. You will get to perform all different tasks without experiencing any glitches.
What I like about the BOSTITCH (BTFP3KIT) Air Compressor is its impressive power. Understand that this machine can work with most air tools including sprayers, hammers, and wrenches. You can complete tasks quickly and effectively with this machine.
The included Brad Nailer can drive 18-gauge Brad nails from 5/8 inches to 2 inches. What this means is that this air compressor will come in handy when working on multiple tasks in the home. Note that you also get a heavy-duty crown stapler and a straight finish nailer.
This Air Compressor is an excellent option for DIY enthusiasts and beginners. Note that the 3-tool combo kit always comes in handy when dealing with different tasks. You will also save up on a lot of money since you won’t need to purchase the included tools.
Finally, the BOSTITCH (BTFP3KIT) Air Compressor comes with a 15-foot air hose. Understand that the long hose makes maneuverability easy and comfortable. You can get to those hard-to-reach areas while working with different tools.
Note that this impressive air compressor includes a 1-year limited warranty. You can finally get the peace of mind you need when working on different tasks. Understand that having a warranty ensures you get value for your money.
- Long air hose increases maneuverability
- Powerful high-efficiency motor
- Cordless air compressor
- Comes with a crown stapler, straight finish nailer, and brad nailer
- The pressure adjustment knob has a slow response
2. PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free Compressor
The first thing you will notice about the PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free Compressor is its pancake style. Notice that it gets you more stability while working from your garage. This outstanding air compressor has a tank pressure of 150 maximum PSI with 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. You will get to work on multiple projects with this air compressor.
The PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free Compressor comes with a 6-gallon capacity tank. You can get to complete large projects without needing to take any breaks. The accessory kit that comes with this air compressor includes 13 pieces.
Note that this oil-free pump guarantees minimal maintenance. You will not have to spend a fortune on maintenance costs with this machine. It also comes with a plug and air coupler, thus ensuring you can use it straight from the box.
However, note that the PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free Compressor is somewhat heavy when compared to similar models. At 35 pounds, you may find it rather difficult to move this compressor around the garage. It is also a bit noisy when compared to other compressors in our review.
The PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free Compressor is an excellent choice for homeowners. It has a good customer rating which guarantees you get long-lasting services. Understand that a reliable machine always comes in handy when you have to work on multiple projects around the home.
- Easy to install and setup
- Highly durable machine
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Relatively high-pressure model
- Comes with a 13-piece accessory kit
- Quite loud
- Slightly heavy than most models
3. California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor
The California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor comes complete with an air filter and wheel kit. You get to easily move this compressor around the workplace without any problems. However, note that you need a universal male quick connector since this machine doesn’t come with a hose.
This air compressor has a maximum pressure of 120 PSI and a low noise level of 60 dBA. You will find it easy to work with this air compressor in crowded neighborhoods. The good news is that you get a continuous runtime of between 30-60 mins depending on the CFM and PSI. Note that you can complete large projects without needing breaks.
The California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor features an oil-free pump. You will, therefore, save a lot of money on maintenance costs. Understand that oil-free pumps don’t need minimum maintenance while delivering high-end services.
What I like about the California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor is the 8-gallon steel air tank. Note that it is a lightweight model that delivers enough power for most air tools in the home. Having a versatile machine ensures you get value for your money.
If you want to constantly work with your air compressor, the California Air Tools 8010 is an excellent choice. Understand that it can work in uneven terrains and a variety of temperatures. You can effectively use this machine without having to worry about the noise levels.
- Lightweight and compact construction
- Comes with an oil-free pump
- Powerful 1.0 HP motor
- Low noise levels
- No hose included
4. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor
The CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor is an ideal choice for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. it is a 6-gallon pancake-shaped tank that offers high portability at a pocket-friendly price. For starters, it features an oil-free pump that doesn’t need any maintenance.
With a maximum working PSI of 150, the CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor is ideal for multiple applications. You can use it with most air tools in your garage. Understand that you will get value for your money from this versatile machine.
The air compressor packs 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI which gets you a high recovery time and flow rate. With a voltage of 120, you can quickly start this machine in cold weather without any problems. It also comes with an air hose and a comprehensive accessory kit.
What I love about the CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor is the 1-year warranty. Users get full guarantees if there are any mechanical malfunctions. Note that you need a machine that offers reliable services for a long duration, considering you spent a fortune during purchase.
According to multiple customers, the CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor is extremely durable, very powerful, and highly portable. You can use this machine for tire filling, cleaning, and powering several air tools in the garage. It is worth every penny you spend.
- Relatively high PSI
- Easy to set up and use
- Highly durable and reliable
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Includes an extensive 13-piece accessory kit
- Not ideal for a large garage
5. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
The DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is an easy to operate machine that doesn’t compromise on efficiency. You get a large tank capacity of 6 gallons that delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. All you need to do to start this air compressor is use the extension cord. It also works fine during cold weather with a low noise level of 75.5 dBA.
Note that the performance of air tools is further enhanced by the airflow regulators and couplers. However, ensure that you place the machine at a distance of about 12 inches from any kind of obstructions that can hinder airflow.
The oil-free pump ensures you can get long-life operations that are maintenance-free. You won’t have to worry about spending a fortune on maintenance costs. The outlet tube is also modified to avoid creating a catch point that can cause problems.
The DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor also comes with a dual universal coupler. This air compressor, therefore, allows you to connect two air tools simultaneously. Note that you will get value for your money since you can complete projects faster and easier.
You can easily store and carry this air compressor due to its lightweight construction. Note that you can also conveniently wrap the cord during storage and transportation. The machine also includes a console cover that protects the controls and allows for easy repairing.
The ball drain valve makes it easy to quickly drain the machine. Note that draining is an integral part of owning an air compressor. The legs also feature rubber covers to prevent marring. You will get reliable and durable services from this impressive machine.
- Portable and lightweight construction
- Includes rubber legs
- Features removable parts
- Comes with a 6-gallon tank
- Pancake construction for maneuverability
- Poor build quality
6. Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor
The Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor features a cast iron construction that delivers optimum performance and a luxurious look. If you enjoy working in a quiet environment, this air compressor is an excellent choice. Note that it also comes with a large 2.0 HP motor that can work with multiple air tools.
The low RPM guarantees that the motor will serve you for a long period without any glitches. The Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor has been engineered to offer a fast recovery time and improved performance.
What I love about the Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor are its industrial air filters. Note that the machine will, therefore, get you more air intake and greater efficiency. Understand that having a reliable and versatile air compressor in your garage is always a great idea. You can use this machine on multiple projects without any problems.
The Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor features a roll cage construction that offers added protection. You can use this machine in extreme job site environments. You can also simultaneously connect two air tools to this machine.
The oil-lubricated construction minimizes wear, reduces noise, and facilitates cooler running. However, you need to carry out maintenance services to ensure optimum performance. The good news is that you get long-lasting services from this air compressor.
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Lightweight and versatile design
- Quiet operations
- Highly portable air compressor
- Low-quality finish
7. Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor
The Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor provides a maximum PSI of 125. You, therefore, get enough airflow to power different types of air tools for both auto and home jobs. Users can work on tire repair, engine repair, tire inflation, maintenance, and so much more.
The horizontal design of the Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor makes it easy to operate and handle. You will also find it considerably easy to store and transport this impressive machine. Handling is always an important consideration when you are a DIY enthusiast.
The Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor features an oil-lubed pump that delivers low noise and optimum performance. However, note that you have to carry out routine service management with this model. This might cost you a few extra dollars, but it is worth every penny you spend.
This air compressor delivers 3.7 CFM at 90 PSI, which is sufficient for a majority of air tools. You will finish projects easier and faster when you decide to purchase this machine. Note that having a versatile air compressor in your garage will always come in handy.
What I love about the Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor is its long-lasting construction. Understand that you will need to use your compressor for different functions around the home. The electric induction power source also makes it an ideal model for all homeowners.
- Durable and long-lasting construction
- Horizontal design for easy portability and storage
- Supports most air tools
- Pocket-friendly price
- Needs a lot of maintenance
8. Senco PC1010 Compressor
The Senco PC1010 Compressor is a lightweight and portable air compressor that you can easily move from one location to the next. Understand that you get a versatile machine that can work with different types of tools.
It is a one-gallon capacity tank that is ideal for a DIY enthusiast. Understand that the tank size is sufficient for small and medium projects around the home. Working on large projects can be rather difficult with this machine since you will need multiple breaks.
The Senco PC1010 Compressor is an excellent choice if you are looking for a small machine for home renovation and home improvement tasks. Working with this machine is relatively easy since you can quickly move it around the garage.
This impressive machine delivers 20 to 44 drives per minute to get you reliable services. Note that it is also backed by an extensive 1-year warranty. You will get the peace of mind you need when working with this machine.
The Senco PC1010 Compressor is an excellent choice for homeowners. You get a machine that is easy to use and move around the workplace. Note that it is ideal for beginners who don’t know how to effectively use an air compressor.
- Portable and lightweight construction
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Delivers between 20 to 44 drives per minute
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Not ideal for large projects
9. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP Air Compressor
The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP Air Compressor is an excellent choice if you are looking for a small and quiet-operation machine. At only 56 decibels, you get an ultra-quiet model that delivers nothing but high-end performance.
It is an oil-free pump which means that you don’t need to carry out regular maintenance. You will save a lot of money in the long run when you decide to purchase this air compressor. Note that you will also get reliable and long-lasting services from the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP Air Compressor.
Note that this machine features a one-gallon steel tank that is sufficient for both small and medium projects. When buying an air compressor for your home garage, you need a model that can work with several types of tools.
What I love about the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP Air Compressor is its lightweight construction. You can easily transport this machine from one location to the next. Note that an easy to move and transport model will get you value for your money.
This compressor comes with a powerful 1.2 HP motor that delivers outstanding performance. You will find it rather easy to work on different projects around the home.
- Easy to use and transport
- Powerful motor
- Ultra-quiet design
- Affordable price
- Not ideal for large projects
How To Choose The Best Air Compressor for Your Home Garage
Understand that an air compressor will either have a small or large tank. The size of the tank you choose will depend on the amount of space in your garage. If you need an air compressor for household projects, then you need to carefully consider the available space.
However, note that air compressors come in all different shapes and sizes. As a rule of thumb, understand that a large capacity tank will have a better air compressing capacity. The pancake-shaped models are the smallest size available for your garage.
However, you can always go for the hot dog model if you need a larger tank size. The wheeled design usually ranges from, around 7 to 39 gallons and is much heavier. The good news is that the wheels make them easy to move and transport.
Power supply to your air compressor is an essential consideration. Start by checking the power sockets in your garage before making a purchase. In most cases, a standard socket will work with most compressors in the market.
However, note that large tank size compressors will need more power supply. The good news is that an electrician can help you adjust the power settings in your garage socket to suit your new machine. Having an accurate power supply will ensure you get reliable and long-lasting services.
Some air compressors also work with gas rather than electricity. They are inexpensive models that serve the same purpose as the electric models. The advantage of the gas model is the fact that they don’t have any cords which makes movement easier.
Note that an electric model is the best choice if you need the machine to run for longer hours. Gas models tend to run for short periods, which means that you will need several breaks. The electric air compressors are more suitable for medium and large projects.
Oil or Oil-Free
When purchasing the ideal air compressor for your home garage, you will either get an oil or an oil-free model. The oil-less compressors are cheaper when compared to the oil-based variants. However, note that the oil-based compressors will need constant lubrication to offer high-end performance.
The oil-free models are a great choice for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts because they don’t need regular maintenance. Note that these air compressors are permanently lubricated to ensure you get reliable services for long periods. However, note that they will eventually wear out, and you will need to find a replacement.
The oil-based air compressors, on the other hand, are built to last. With regular maintenance, you may never have to replace your oil-lubricated compressor. However, cleaning will be somewhat difficult for most users. This is why you will mostly see these machines in industrial settings.
Why do you need an air compressor in your home garage? Will you need to move your compressor often while working on different projects? Asking yourself these questions will help you determine whether you need a portable or non-portable machine.
However, ensure you go for a portable model to get the most use from your machine. Note that you can easily move this machine around your home. What this means is that you can work on several projects, without having to ask for assistance during transportation.
Having a portable model will also come in handy when you are a DIY enthusiast. Understand that air compressors can power multiple tools in your home. You will, therefore, find it easier to use your compressor to complete projects quickly and effectively.
If you are looking for a home garage air compressor, you have to carefully consider the noise levels. Working indoors with a loud machine can be rather frustrating and counterproductive. You will not have the peace of mind you need to get high-quality finishes.
Also, note that a garage compressor needs to be ultra-quiet for the sake of the neighbors. Having a noisy machine in a crowded neighborhood is never a good idea. You will end up causing trouble whenever you start your machine.
Dual-piston models offer ultra-quiet operations, which is perfect for home garages. The noiseless service from these machines also ensures you can concentrate on your project. The good news is that you can always reduce air compressor noise levels using a few tricks.
When purchasing any piece of equipment, you have to consider the warranty. Understand that machines break down all the time due to various defects. Having a warranty will ensure you get the peace of mind you need in case the machine breaks down.
Ensure you find a brand or company that guarantees an extensive warranty. According to experts, maintaining an air compressor comes down to the individuals. What this means is that you can get lifetime use from your machine with proper care.
However, you might not be the cause of any problems with your air compressor. Some of these machines come from the manufacturers with defects. Having a warranty will protect you in case you have a problematic model.
Types of Air Compressors and which is best for Garage ?
There are three main types of air compressors that you will come across in the market. Let us take a quick look at all three types before determining which is best for your home garage.
These devices include a piston that is used for volume reduction. Note that the pressure increment in these machines is, therefore, steady. Understand that the reciprocating compressors are generally less expensive than the rest of the models. However, maintenance can be rather difficult with this air compressor variation.
Rotary Screwing Compressor
The rotary screwing air compressors are a low maintenance version that includes movable parts. They operate with two existing rotors to ensure you get high-end services. They are an ideal option for your garage since they come at an affordable price.
With these machines, airflow from the air impellers is regulated. However, note that these machines are rather expensive. Although they require no oil for operation, these models will cost you a fortune to set up and install.
How To Setup an Air Compressor in Your Garage
Now that you have purchased your first home garage air compressor, it is time to start the installation. Although the process might seem a little difficult at the start, it is relatively easy. All you need to do is follow our step by step installation guide to start using your new machine.
Step 1 : Wear Your Safety Equipment
Having the proper safety equipment is the first step when working on any project at home. Protective eye goggles will help shield your eyes from flying objects and debris. The thick rubber gloves come in handy in case the compressor blows up. You will also need an ear muffler and hard boots during the installation process.
Step 2 : Check the Oil Level
Before we can start the installation process, you need to check the oil level. However, note that you can skip this step if you have the oil-free models. Ensure that the oil level should be exactly on the red line to give you optimum performance.
Step 3 : Install the Air Filter
Your air compressor will be adversely affected by dust and debris. It is, therefore, important to install an air filter to avoid any damages. If you are planning to use your air compressor for spray painting, having an air filter will give you a smooth finish.
Step 4 : Start the Compressor
Starting your air compressor is rather simple and straightforward. Plug the machine into the power outlet using the electrical cord. Turn the switch on, and let it run for a few minutes. Note that the manufacturer's instructions will include all details on how to turn on the machine.
Step 5 : Fill Up Your Tank
Note that your air compressor will start filling up the tank immediately after you turn it on. Normally the tank size is measured in gallons, and the size will dictate how long it takes to fill up. Note that electric models will fill up quickly when compared to the gas-powered models. Your air compressor will turn off immediately after the tank is filled with air.
Step 6 : Attaching the Air Hose
Once your air compressor automatically turns off, you need to connect the air hose. Use Teflon tape to ensure the air hose is firmly attached to your air compressor. Understand that air leakages will interfere with the quality of your finish.
Step 7 : Connect Your Air Tool
Now all you need to do is attach the other end of the air hose to the air tool you need to use. You will observe some sort of connecting apparatus at the end of your air hose. Understand that this connector needs to match the coupler of your air equipment or tool.
What this means is that a tool with a male thread will need a hose with a female thread, and vice versa. Attaching your air tool is made simple and straightforward when you ensure that the connector and the coupler match.
Step 8 : Calibrate the Regulator
Before we can start calibrating the regulator, you need to take a closer look at the manufacturer’s guide. Understand that this document will contain all the information you need about calibrating the regulator. Once you figure out how to use the regulator on your air compressor, you can start working on your first project. simply start your compressor and get to work with your air tools.
Garage Air Compressor Maintenance Tips
Having an air compressor in your home garage is, undoubtedly, a great idea. However, you need to take several steps to ensure you get reliable and long-lasting services from your machine. Understand that certain preventive maintenance tips can help you get value for your money. In this next section, we will take a detailed look at all the crucial garage air compressor maintenance tips
Daily Check and Maintenance
- If you have an oil-lubricated model, check on the oil level every day before using it. Some models will need you to periodically add a special lubricant for optimum performance.
- Draining your tank needs to be done every time you finish working on a project. use the drain valve to get rid of all moisture in your air compressor tank
- Always pay close attention to unusual noises while using your air compressor. Be on the lookout for belt slippages, weird vibrations, and overheating. If you can’t fix any of the above issues, contact a specialized technician immediately.
- Turn off your air compressor at the end of the day. Ensure that your machine is turned off at the power supply point at the end of every day.
Weekly Check and Maintenance
- Remove dust and debris from the motor, fan blades, cylinder heads, and tank.
- Clean all the intake air filters.
- Make adjustments on the belt to ensure you get optimum performance.
- Three-month Check and Maintenance
- Use soap and water to find any leaks around connections and fittings
- Change the crankcase oil with the appropriate type
- Tighten all the loose screws and bolts
- Replace or repair any work parts
Although all the models in this review and buyer’s guide will get you high-quality services. My top pick has to be the CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor. Understand that it is the best air compressor for home garage due to its lightweight construction, oil-free pump, and affordable price.
Understand that you get a pancake air compressor that delivers high-end services due to its powerful motor. This compressor delivers a maximum PSI of 150, and 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI which gives you versatility. You will, therefore, use this device for different functions around the home.
The CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor is equally easy to transport from one point to the next. Users will find it easy to use this machine all over the home to get projects completed on time. Finally, this compressor can also work just as effectively during the cold season.
When buying a home garage air compressor, never forget to look at customer reviews. Understand that these reviews will give you a more detailed picture of the product. You will also get to know whether or not the air compressor can comfortably work with your air tools.
What should I consider when purchasing an air compressor ?
The fundamental consideration when buying an air compressor is the tank size. Once you know the right size of tank for your projects, you then have to consider the compressor type. Understand that the use of the air compressor will dictate the type that you should buy. Ensure you also consider any extra benefits of purchasing the air compressor, such as an accessory kit.
What size air compressor do I need for air tools ?
A lightweight model is efficient and effective if you are planning to work on small projects. However, you will need a large-sized air compressor if you want to engage in large projects such as sharp cutting or sandblasting. Note that the right size of air compressor will come down to the type of projects you want to handle.
Are air compressors hard to maintain ?
No, air compressors are pretty easy to maintain. If you are not a handy person, go for the oil-free models that need no maintenance. However, ensure that you check up on your equipment often to guarantee long-lasting services. The oil-lubricated models need more maintenance since you have to check the oil levels before use.
How often should I clean my air compressor ?
You can clean an air compressor once every week to ensure you get high-quality performance. The oil-based models need you to refill the oil before every use. Read your manufacturer’s guide to learn how to refill the oil in your air compressor. However, note that your oil-lubricated compressor can work for about 7000 hours before needing an oil change.
What size compressor do I need for my nail gun ?
A nail gun does not need a continuous supply of air. What it needs is short bursts of air to drive nails into your wood. What you need is a portable air compressor that can deliver at least 2 CFM at 90 PSI. The tank capacity can be anywhere between 2-6 gallons.
Can I leave my compressor with air ?
Yes, you can leave the air in your compressor at the end of the day. However, only do this when you are sure you will be using your machine the very next day. You also need to drain all the water and unplug your machine from the power source.
Can I run an impact wrench with a 6-gallon air compressor ?
Yes, a 6-gallon compressor can effectively run an impact wrench. However, it is recommended that you get a larger air compressor when working with an impact wrench. Understand that you need a large tank compressor that can deliver about 7 CFM at 90 PSI.
Must I drain my compressor after each use ?
You don’t need to drain your air compressor after each use. However, it would be best if you drained your compressor every couple of days. Note that you need to drain your compressor to prevent major rust.