Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage

Disclaimer: All claims are strictly my personal opinion. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

20 Gallon Air Compressors provide you power with portability.

If you are a DIYer and run multiple air tools then this compressor is going to help you with your projects.

These are a bit more powerful than the residential garage compressors I have mentioned here Best Garage Compressors.

A few factors that you must keep in mind when choosing a compressor;

Maximum Air Pressure:

This is pressure inside a tank. It should be more than 120 PSI

Motor Power:

A motor with a 1-5 hp rating is OK for a single stage & up to 14 hp is sufficient for two stage air compressor.

CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute:

The amount of air you will get from the compressor. CFM higher than 5 CFM is quite good to go with a 20 gallon compressor.

I have put together all top rated 20 gallon compressors with all the necessary details. You can choose as per your requirements.


QUICK PICKS

Here are my recommended products picked out through amazon; you would be interested in depending on your budget…

SaleBEST PICK
PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
5.0 CFM at 40 psi and 4.0 CFM at 90 psi with 1.5 RHP; 150 Max PSI; Running Horsepower: 1.5 ;Lubrication: Oil-Free Motor Typ
SaleBest Value
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air...
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air...
135 max psi; Delivers 6. 2 CFM at 40 psi and 5. 3 CFM at 90 PSI; Cast-iron, 20 Gal. vertical tank
Briggs & Stratton 20-Gallon Air Compressor, Vertical...
Briggs & Stratton 20-Gallon Air Compressor, Vertical...
20-gallon vertical air tank with 150 max PSI; 4.8 CFM at 40 PSI, 3.7 CFM at 90 PSI; 1.5 horsepower induction motor, oil free pump

5 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage Reviews

Below are the top rated Air Compressor on Amazon from the best known brands as per my recommendations;

1. PORTER CABLE 20 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons
  • 5 CFM @ 40 PSI & 4 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Sound Level: 84 decibels
  • Motor: Induction 1.5 HP
  • Max PSI: 150
  • Power Supply: 120-volt.

Overview

Porter-Cable is one of the most trusted names in air compressors.

This 20-gallon air compressor features a 1.5 HP motor that can deliver up to 150 PSI.

The tank itself has a maximum capacity of 20 gallons and comes with an easy to read gauge for convenient monitoring of pressure levels.

It also has a built-in regulator to control the amount of pressure being sent out, so you don’t have to worry about over pressurizing your tools or equipment. Additionally, it comes with two outlets so you can operate multiple devices.

This product comes with one year warranty, making it highly reliable when compared to other competitors.

What we Like!
  • It gives quick and thorough tank draining
  • Powerful yet portable
  • Easy to maintain as no belts or pulleys there
Things to Consider!
  • A bit noisy then other competitors

2. DeWalt 20 Gallon Portable Garage Air Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons
  • 7 CFM @ 40 PSI & 5.7 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Sound Level: 76 decibels
  • Motor: 1.9 HP
  • Max PSI: 155
  • Power Supply: 120V & 240V convertible

Overview

DeWalt’s 20 gallon portable air compressor is a dual voltage pump that will run on 120V or 240V.

It has a max pressure of 155 PSI and a tank capacity of 20 gallons.

The cast iron, twin cylinder pump is oil lubricated and comes with a high flow regulator.

It features a high flow regulator and a heavy duty dual voltage induction motor. This unit has been tested to meet standards for safety, performance, durability, and quality.

It comes with synthetic oil in the tank and has a 2 year warranty on the pump, 1 year warranty on all other parts.

What we Like!
  • The convertible voltage makes it appropriate to operate globally.
  • It is quite easy to maintain and use.
  • It is reliable and durable
Things to Consider!
  • It is a bit costly for only DIYer projects

3. Industrial Air IT20ASME – Best Air Compressor For Impact Wrench

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons
  • 6.2 CFM @ 40 PSI & 5.3 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Motor: 1.6 HP
  • Max PSI: 135
  • Warranty: ‎2-Year limited
  • Power Supply: 120V & 240V convertible

Overview

Industrial Air IT20ASME is a 1.6 HP, dual-voltage, induction motor wired for a standard 120-Volt outlet and convertible to 240-Volt applications.

It delivers 6. 2 CFM at 40 psi and 5. 3 CFM at 90 PSI. The cast iron tank with v-twin pump provides durable operation in the most demanding conditions.

Industrial Air IT20ASME 20-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor is one of the top rated air compressors in the market.

The compressor features a cast iron pump with an aluminum head and valve plate, which helps in the dissipation of heat.

The unit comes fully assembled out of the box and has a quarter turn drain valve for easy maintenance.

The twin cylinder pump delivers reliable performance and power to effectively run air tools such as nailers, staplers, grinders, drills, sanders, etc.

What we Like!
  • It is very easy to maintain
  • It is powerful yet portable – Front handles & pre-attached pneumatic tires
  • The dual voltage induction motor delivers a stress-free performance
Things to Consider!
  • Only suitable for outdoor use (Noisy)

4. Ingersoll Rand 20 Gallons Single-Stage Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons
  • 4.6 CFM @ 135 PSI & 5.2 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Sound Level: 80 decibels Belt driven for quiet operation
  • Motor: 2 HP
  • Max PSI: 135
  • Net weight: 200 lbs

Overview

This Ingersoll Rand 20 Gallons Single-Stage Compressor is ideal for DIYers or professionals.

It features a portable design, heavy duty ergonomic handle and semi-pneumatic tires for easy handling, a low 80 dBA noise level, an easily accessible side drain valve, and an automatic start/stop pressure switch control that provides a superior user experience.

This compressor can run continuously at a 100% duty cycle with its 20 gallon tank capacity.

All season Select synthetic lubricant increases efficiency; with 2,000 hours of service between changeouts, it performs four times longer than its competitors.

What we Like!
  • Portable wheeled design great for homes and jobsites
  • Maintance is easy as drain valveis easily accessible
  • Ergonomic handle & pneumatic tires for easy mobility
Things to Consider!
  • Not any specific

5. CRAFTSMAN Portable Garage Air Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons
  • 4 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Sound Level: 80 decibels
  • Motor: 1.8 HP
  • Max PSI: 175
  • Net weight: 89.8 pounds

Overview

This portable air compressor is designed for garage, Jobsite, and workshop, etc.

It can be used for inflating tires, stapler pinner, cleaning tools, and other equipment.

This 20 gallon air compressor is made of stainless steel to ensure its durability. It also has an oil-free pump that ensures long life cycle and no maintenance.

Moreover, it is equipped with a 1.8HP high efficiency motor which allows you to use it conveniently in your house or garage.

The manufacturer provides 1 year limited warranty.

What we Like!
  • Longer life and no maintenance
  • Portable yet paowerful
  •  It can cover all home garage jobs easily
Things to Consider!
  • Craftman can’t go any wrong

Factors to Consider When Buying an Air Compressor for a Home Garage

Following are the significant factors to consider while choosing an air compressor;

Operational Noise

Compressors are usually very loud.

If you plan on operating your air compressor indoors, be mindful of the noise output measured in decibels (dB).

Most will operate between 60-90 dB which is the difference between a “normal” conversation and a power lawnmower!

For comparison purposes most state laws consider exhaust noises over 85dB illegal – so make sure not to exceed this buying an air compressor when using it in that low noise residential areas.

Tank Air Capacity

The compressor’s air capacity determines how long you can work with your tools before having to refill the tank.

Larger tanks are heavier and require more space, but they allow for longer operating periods without a break in between refills because of their larger size.

PSI- Pounds per Square Inch

PSI is used to define air pressure.

This is one of the most important factors while choosing an air compressor for your needs.

Most pneumatic tools require 70 to 90 PSI to work with. For example, if you need to operate an impact wrench then it needs 90 PSI.

Make sure about your requirements and then choose the required one described above.

If your PSI rating is not enough then the air tools may not work properly. By forcing too much you may damage the tool.

CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute

You can say it as the volume of produced air. Same as PSI the CFM is an equally important factor to consider when choosing a compressor for your DIY projects.

I have made it easy as you just need to multiply the minimum CFM of your tool’s required CFM by 1.5.

Many pneumatically powered tools require a CFM of around 4 to 5, but it varies significantly like for a stapler you may just need only 0.3 CFM while a framing nailer may require 2 plus CFM.

Air Fittings/Couplers

For easy operation just be careful about Male and Female pipe threads – Internal and External threads.

Multiple Tools

If you need to operate multiple tools like you need to operate a blaster that needs 50 CFM and a Drill that requires 40 CFM then you need to add both and require 90 CFM of air capacity to these jobs at the same time.

This way you can add multiple air tools for your team to work alongside in your garage.

Duty Cycle

If you need an air compressor for quick and short breaks instead of a 100% duty cycle then you can get a less powerful air compressor that will save your time and money.

If you need for 100% duty cycle then you need a better pump quality and a bigger receiver tank capacity compressor.

See your requirements before investing your hard earned money.

Power Supply

In order to avoid a silly situation where your air compressor trips the breaker, you’ll need to figure out how much power it needs.

This can be done with some simple math just multiply the hp by 746 to get watts. Now you need to divide the voltage of the motor to get running Amperage. Just size up the breaker to avoid trips if needed.

Oil lubricated vs Oil free

Oil lubrication garage compressors are stronger than oil free in performance and durability.

Oil free is the best to reduce running costs and frequent maintenance.

Easy Tank Drain

The drainage should be easy as it is quite a frequent operation when running a compressor. Easier drainage, easier maintenance, and longer are compressor life.

Air Compressor Size

The best way to do this is by considering what tools are most likely to be used in the garage, such as spray paint guns or sanders with motors that can generate more power than lighter duty units but still need something capable enough for general use around the home improvement projects.

Most people have several different types of bulky equipment which mean there must always be room available on site at all times – even when not being used!

Just consider this factor as per your garage requirements.

Noisy vs Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

According to studies, it found that noise above 85 dB is harmful to our ears. If exposure is long then it may damage the ears.

A sound that is between 60-70 dBA is considered a normal conversational voice.

The air compressors are 60-110 dBA usually. Some brands make ultra quiet like 50 dBA or even less.

If you are looking for a residential garage then you need to remember that in some areas you can not operate equipment that produces more than 85 dBA.


Uses of Air Compressors in Garage

Here are a few uses of an air compressor when you are going to use for a garage;

Multiple Tasks

An air compressor in the garage can help you to do multiple tasks at a time like inflating, Brad nailing, polishing, grinding, bolting, sandblasting, blowing, cleaning, and much more.

Versatile Application

A compressor is not only used in industries but compact versions let you put it in your garage. These compressors can be used from simple ball inflating to complex industrial projects.

Lower Cost

These compressors once have air in the tank then you can use them continuously or in batch. No power is required when on/off like in electric power tools may trip the breakers.

These are readily available and no need to wait longer to operate.

Easy to Use

Most of the compressors I have mentioned are portable thus making them very easy to use for a DIYer. Unless you required a 60-gallon air compressor that is much heavier and not easy to move or not manufactured for it.


Types of Air Compressors – Stage Wise

Stages wise there are two major air compressors;

Single Stage Air Compressor

In this type, the air is sucked and compressed by a single piston stroke and hence the air is compressed only once. The maximum pressure is roughly around 120 PSI (per Square Inch). These are used where a 100% duty cycle is not required at higher pressure. Like for DIYers project where a longer run continuous flow is not required.

These compressors with a single stage are normally cheaper and portable.

Two Stage Air Compressor

In this type, the air is sucked and compressed by the first piston and then again is compressed by another piston. In this way, a two-stroke pressurized gas is present in the tank. This way the pressure in the tank can go higher like up to 175 PSI (per Square Inch).

This is typically more expensive and only to be used where more power hungry tools are to be operated.


Types of Air Compressor – Pump Wise

We have mainly 4 types of air compressors that follows;

Reciprocating Compressor

In reciprocating compressors up and down movement in the piston is used to compress air. This type is for quiet series of air compressors.

Rotary Compressor

The rotary compressor works on the two screw rotors. The rotors rotate and the air is trapped between that build up high pressure within housing. These are used for industrial applications as you need a 100% duty cycle there.

Axial Compressor

As the name suggests the air flows in an axial direction and is compressed with the help of a rotary element. This way low pressure air converts into high pressure air.

Centrifugal Compressor

This compressor works on the centrifugal movement of the impeller. Air enters into a casing and is compressed due to centrifugal movement of the impeller & the casing, then forced outward by converting low to high pressure air.


Top Brands for Garage Air Compressors

There are many brands competing with each other in the power tools market. But here are the top rated as per my recommendation for compressors;

DeWalt

Not many people know that DeWalt is a subsidiary brand of Black & Decker. The major contribution of this brand is that it has a cooling system for heavy duty air compressors.

DeWalt also manufactures other power equipment like electric chainsaws, lawn mowers, power drills, and much more.

Porter-Cable

This is also a subsidiary brand of Stanley Black & Decker. This is a local New York based company. That is why DIYers prefer to get this equipment.

This is also a versatile company that provides more powerful tools like presses, circular saws, belt sanders, and more.

INGERSOLL RAND

This is an Ireland based company. It deals in air conditioning, air compressors, winches, etc. It has the best selling compressors out there. The reason is these are reliable and cheaper than other competitors.


Final Verdict

A 60 gallon air compressor is used only if you need to do some heavy duty jobs. Make sure these are strictly stationary equipment though you can use extended outlet extensions. You can buy a single stage or double stage as per your requirement. Single stage is cheaper than that of two stage compressor. You can have 60 gallon tank if you are looking for a 100% duty cycle.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a few questions that will further help you understand more about home garage compressors;

What are the Best 20 Gallon Air compressors for Home Garage?

Here is my list for the top rated 20 gallon air compressors for the garage in 2022;

  1. PORTER CABLE 20 Gallon Portable Air Compressor
  2. DeWalt 20 Gallon Portable Garage Air Compressor
  3. Industrial Air IT20ASME – Best Air Compressor For Impact Wrench
  4. Ingersoll Rand 20 Gallons Single-Stage Compressor
  5. CRAFTSMAN Portable Garage Air Compressor

How to Drain an Air Compressor?

This is a common question that you need to know before buying an air compressor;

Draining an air compressor involve simple steps;

Step – 1: Switch off the compressor from the power source

Step – 2: Release pressurized air from the safety valve

Step – 3: Find the drain valve at the bottom of the tank

Step – 4: Open the drain valve and let all the moisture out.

What is called 100% Duty Cycle Air Compressor?

100% duty cycle means you can run a compressor for a long run without any break. If you see a duty cycle of 50% then you need a break for 60 minutes after 60 minutes running or so.

If you run a compressor more than its duty cycle then the pump may damage prematurely due to overheating.

Oil lubricated air compressors are for heavy duty and oil free are for lite duty garage application.

What is Oil-free and Oil-lubricated Air Compressor?

Oil is used for lubrication, cooling, and sealing.

Oil lubricated air compressors are a bit risky in the sense you may forget to check the oil level that may lead to damage to the pump.

Also, oil droplets may make a mess while operating.

Oil free  air compressors on the other hand are neat and clean but are not for 100% duty cycle in many cases.

Although both works on the same principle.

What can I run on a 20-gallon air compressor?

20 Gallon air compressor can operate the most air tools that have requirements than 5 CFM @ 40 PSI. This included but was not limited to spray painters, staplers, rachets, drill machines, bolter, wrenches, etc.

Is a 20-gallon air compressor big enough?

It all depends on your garage size and the requirements but this is the minimum size of a tank that is useful to operate multiple air tools for a longer run.

Can I paint a car with a 20 gallon compressor?

Yes, you can paint the whole car with a 20 gallon compressor with ease and efficiency.

Is a 20-Gallon Air Compressor Suitable for Business Use?

Yes, it is useful for a small shop to operate multiple air tools simultaneously.

What is the Average Life Span of a 20 Gallon Air Compressor?

These go for years. We know air compressors are still up and running since 1975. Buy a brand and you are done. Yes, proper care and maintenance will keep it efficient for a longer run. It is one time investment.

David Houghton
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