Best Air Compressor For Home Garage

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

A garage is probably is incomplete without an air compressor – an incredibly versatile tool.

The main advantage I see is with a compressor up and running you need not worry about the charging batteries for power tools and you can work nonstop for longer hours.

An air compressor converts power into potential energy in pressurized air that helps to operate air tools. It is a power source for air tools like brad nailers, pressure washers, grinders, air ratchet, impact wrench, sandblaster, and what not!

There are a few factors you need o look into when going to buy a compressor for your home garage are pressure and airflow required.

Keep in mind that a compressor is not only used for inflating tires but for finishing nailers, angle grinders, cutting tools, impact wrenches, drilling, polisher, crease air tools, staplers, spray guns, or any other pneumatic tool.


QUICK PICKS

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

BEST PICK
WEN 2289 10-Gallon Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor, 150 PSI
WEN 2289 10-Gallon Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor, 150 PSI
10-gallon tank constructed with reinforced steel for a maximum pressure of 150 PSI; Provides air flow rates of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI
Best Value
California Air Tools 6010LFC 1.0 HP Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free...
California Air Tools 6010LFC 1.0 HP Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free...
Ultra Quiet - Only 60 decibels; 4.00 CFM at 40 PSI & 3.00 CFM at 90 PSI; Max 125 PSI; 110V 60 Hz - 7.6 Amps - 6.0 Gal; Steel Tank 54 lbs.
Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
Low AMP draw reduces incidences of tripped breakers at start-up; Pump is oil-lubricated for cooler running temperatures and reduced wear

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10 Best 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. California Air Tools GarageAir Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • 4 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • Sound Level: Only 60 decibels
  • Motor: 1400 RPM & 1 HP
  • Max PSI: 125
  • Recovery time: 90 PSI to 120 PSI – 20 Seconds

Overview

It has an oil free pump. You can use it in home residential garages as well as on a small industrial scale.

The lower decibels make it a preferred residential unit.

The best part that I like is it is tested by California Air Tools for 4000 hours before wearing out. So you can expect a minimum of 4000 hours that is huge for a garage unit.

It has enough large steel tank of 54 lbs. The tank can be filled in just 125 Seconds. The power consumption is quite low as it draws only 7.6 Amps.

Overall you need less maintenance and you can use it in cold temperatures areas.

It is OK with the wall outlet range of the United States that is 110V and 60Hz.

You can get a power strip for surge control if you need it.

What we Like!
  • I is easy to transport as it has a wheel
  • Very east to maintain like draining of tank easy
  • It is operated at standard US wall outlets
  • Enough steel tank capacity to server longer
Things to Consider!
  • May not useful for commercial garages

2. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor for Garage | US Made

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • Recovry Time: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PS
  • Sound Level: Only 60 decibels
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 Bars
  • Pump Type: Oil Free

Overview

The best is that this model is manufactured locally here in the States with Global Materials in Jackson, Tennessee.

You can run multiple applications as 150 PSI is enough for a home garage.

This is a very low recovery time that makes it for DIYers with less time for their projects.

This compressor kit has all the necessary accessories in the package. You will get it like plug and play.

What we Like!
  • You will get all accessories kit
  • It is a portable compressor as it only 6 gallon
  • Durable and no maintenance required
Things to Consider!
  • Not suitable for commercial jobs

3. Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor for Garage

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 4.5 Gallons
  • Recovery Time: Empty tank to full only need 70 seconds
  • Sound Level: Only 64 decibels
  • Maximum Pressure: ‎125 PSI
  • Pump Type: Oil Free

Overview

Stealth has made it especially for the areas where noise is a major issue. This has an innovative ultra quiet system air compressor.

This uses an induction motor with a peak of 1.3 horsepower.

You will get an oil free maintenance that makes it ideal for a DIYer like me and you.

It only takes 70 seconds to fill the empty tank. This is one stage compressor.

The package includes all the required accessaries that you need it run in your small garage or workshop.

What we Like!
  • It is a portable garage compressure
  • Best for residential areas as of low dB
  • It need very low maintenance
Things to Consider!
  • You can run it for small shop only

4. SCOZER Best Portable Garage Air Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 5 Gallons
  • Recovery Time: Empty tank to full only need 70 seconds
  • Sound Level: Only 63 decibels
  • Maximum Pressure: ‎116 PSI
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Pump Type: Oil Free

Overview

This is a compact guy that makes it less spacy and portable.

The induction motor used is 3 times stronger than that of the standard motors available in the market.

5 Gallons capacity is enough to work continuously around the clock with any break.

Noise level is low and this factor helps to use in the areas where noise is a major issue like residential building garages.

This garage compressor is not limited to tire inflation, finishing nailers, angle grinder, cutting tools, impact wrenches, drilling, polisher, crease air tools, etc.

The power rating is very low and need low voltage to start on.

It is built on heavy duty design and easy mobility.

What we Like!
  • Best to run mutiple air tools
  • Durable and longer life (100o hours)
  • Oil free maintenance
Things to Consider!
  • Not as powerful but worthy for multilple jobs

5. Makita Air Compressor for Weekend DIYers

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 4.2 Gallons
  •  Pump Life: 2,000 hours
  • Sound Level: 79 decibels
  • Maximum Pressure: 130PSI
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Pump Type: Oil Free

Overview

Makita is a well know brand in the tools industry for years.

This small compressor is for DIYers. The pump is oil-lubricated so that it can reduce wear to give you a longer life of 2000 hours on average, they say.

The cage construction is built so that it can withstand harsh environments at job sites.

The cylinder is made of cast iron that makes it much more durable than its competitors.

It draws low Amperages so that the no trip in breaker while working on projects.

The maintenance is quite easy like others I have mentioned in this dedicated post.

What we Like!
  • Heavy duty air compressor
  • Lowerst dB than it competitors
  • Oil lubricated pump for a longer life
Things to Consider!
  • On the louder side at 79db

6. WEN Best 10 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage

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Salient Features
  • Capacity: 10 Gallons
  • Air Flow Rates: 4 CFM @ 90 PSI & 5 CFM at 40 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 150PSI
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Amerage: 15A motor
  • Pump Type: Oil Free

Overview

If you are looking for a 10 Gallon Air Compressor for your Home Garage then this guy is for you.

This is a heavy duty than its competitors but is portable – a wheel and rubber grip handle.

The pump is oil free and you need to worry about lubrication.

The maintenance, couping are easy via quick couplers.

It is user friendly as you will have pressure gauges built in.

What we Like!
  • You can operate multiple air tools
  • Easy to reach quick drain valve for easy maintenance.
  • Durable tank constructed with reinforced steel
Things to Consider!
  • May be too much compressor for some residential garages

7. NorthStar Best 8 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage

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Salient Features
  • Capacity: 8 Gallons
  • Air Flow Rates: 4 CFM @ 90 PSI & 5.4 CFM at 40 PSI
  • Sound Level: 70dB
  • Maximum Pressure: 125 PSI
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Amerage: 15A motor
  • Pump Type: Oil Free

Overview

NorthStar oil free air compressor is operated at lower Amperage that will not trip your breaker while working.

This compressor has an electric motor is of 1750 RPM. The voltage is compatible with the US wall outlet.

You can get 4 CFM at 90 PSI that is enough to run the most common DIYer air tools. If you are looking for more CFM like 5.4 around then you can get at a lower 40 PSI.

The quick connector couplers help to operate 2 air tools at the same time.

What we Like!
  • You can operate multiple air tools at a time
  • It has a 70% duty cycle
  • It is a user friendly with 2 pressure guages
Things to Consider!
  • May be coslier for a small home garage

8. Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage

California Air Tools  Two Stage Air Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons
  • Air Flow Rates: 4 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Sound Level: 70dB
  • Maximum Pressure: 175 PSI
  • Horse Power: 1.5
  • Voltage: ‎110 Volts
  • Pump Type: Oil Free

Overview

‎California Air Tools is a 20 gallons air compressor that is the quietest guy in the lot. If you are looking for power with portability then you can have this guy in your garage.

‎California Air Tools provides 4 CFM at PSI pressure that can help you to run multiple air tools.

The sound level is much lower than 80db. This will help you to run this equipment in residential areas.

You can run this as standard wall outlets and need no extra power strips.

You can move around your garage as there are two wheels in there and a strong handle for it.

What we Like!
  • Oil lubricated dual piston pump
  • Quick connect valve outlets
  • Easily portable around garage and job site
Things to Consider!
  • It is not suitable for a 100% duty cycle

You can find more here: Best 20 Gallon Garage Air Compressors


9. Best 30 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage

NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 30 Gallons
  • Air Flow Rates: 24.4 CFM @ 90 PSI & 26.8 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • Sound Level: 70dB
  • Maximum Pressure: 175 PSI
  • Horse Power: 12
  • Stage: Two
  • Pump Rating: 1,300 RPM

Overview

NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor is something magical as it provides power to you air tools.

The pump is made of cast iron for extra long life.

The cylinder is a V type that helps for extra cooling during longer duty cycles.

The valve is a Swedish steel valve that delivers a longer valve life. The pump has an over sized flywheel to provide extra momentum overall.

It is easy to operate and maintain. The pressure gauge is liquid filled provides you with an accurate reading.

The tank is ASME certified horizontal type.

What we Like!
  • You can get 18.7 CFM at 175 PSI – Most powerful
  • You will get power with portability
  • The heavy cast iron flywheel for extra momentum
Things to Consider!
  • Drainage system is not automatic but manual is there

You can find more here: Best 30 Gallon Garage Air Compressors


10. Best 60 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage

PowerMate Single Stage Vertical Cast Iron Air Compressor

See at Amazon!

Salient Features
  • Capacity: 60 Gallons
  • Air Flow Rates: 13.4 CFM @ 40 PSI & 11.5 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 155 PSI
  • Horse Power: 3.7 hp
  • Stage: Single
  • Voltage: 230 Volts (AC)

Overview

If you are looking for a 100% duty cycle then you can get this 60 gallon air compressor.

The belt is oil lubed for less wear and noise. The pump is made of cast iron that lasts forever.

You can run multiple air tools for a longer period of time. This is not suitable for residential areas as it is a bit noisy than other smaller capacity compressors.

You have to fix it in your garage and it is not moveable although you will get quick connect outlets to run air tools.

What we Like!
  • 60 Gallon tank lets you to paint a car
  • The cast iron balanced flywheel for extra momentum
  • It is best for DIYers as well for contractors
Things to Consider!
  • It is not portable
  • Motor needs 240 volts to operate

You can find more here: Best 60 Gallon Garage Air Compressors


Air Compressor’s Uses in Garage

An air compressor is one of the most useful tools in a home garage or a small shop.

It creates a high pressure zone for storing compressed air, which can then be released on your command to do some very useful things like operating air tools.

Here are some common uses of an air compressor in DIYer garage;

  • Tire inflation
  • Tightening and loosening nut and bolts
  • Nailers, staplers, etc
  • Sand Blasting
  • Grinding
  • Spray guns for water and painting
  • Operating Grease Guns
  • etc, etc.

Air Compressor CFM Chart

This chart will help you to understand requirements of garage compressor needs;

Tire Inflator1-4 CFM at 90 PSI
Framing Nailer2.2 CFM at 90 PSI
Paint Sprayer3-11 CFM at 90PSI
1/4” Impact Wrench2.5-3.5 CFM at 90 PSI
Angle Grinder5-9 CFM at 90 PSI
Riveting4 CFM at 90 PSI
Shearing8-16 CFM at 90 PSI
Drilling3-6 CFM at 90 PSI

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.


My Verdict

The critical factors like CFM, PSI is not the only one to put your hard earned money but you need to get as per your requirements.

I have mentioned a variety of air compressors for DIYers as well as small workshop owners. The buying guide will help you to pick the right one for you. If you are looking for the quietest one then you can go for Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor. If you need to run multiple air tools then you can go for WEN 10 Gallon Air Compressor.

Related Posts:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

What is the Best Air Compressor For Home Garage?

Here is my list of the top rated air compressors for your garage;

  1. California Air Tools GarageAir Compressor
  2. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor for Garage | US Made
  3. Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor for Garage
  4. SCOZER Best Portable Garage Air Compressor
  5. Makita Air Compressor for Weekend DIYers
  6. WEN Best 10 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage
  7. NorthStar Best 8 Gallon Air Compressor for Home Garage

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 size Air Compressor for a Home Garage?

It depends that how many tools you need to operate. I can recommend 9 CFM is safe to have for a residential garage.

What are the advantages of using air powered tools?

Pneumatic tools are long lasting and often less expensive.

Are air tools more powerful than electric tools?

No, but more efficient for a longer run. Air tools offer 100% rotational force that provides power and torque better than counterparts.

Can I use a portable air compressor to paint a car?

Yes, the HVLP spray gun works smoothly for this painting’s purposes.

How big of an air compressor is needed for an impact wrench?

To operate a 1/2″ impact wrench we need 5 CFM @ 90 PSI.

Is a 6 gallon air compressor enough for the home garage?

Yes, it is more than enough. But it all depends upon what you need to operate simultaneously. The crew member working alongside.

David Houghton
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