The leading gasoline air compressor models are more powerful and durable. As a matter of fact, the best gas air compressors are known to offer higher efficiency at a partial load.
Based on research findings, a gas compressor can maintain the highest efficiency level possible at about 30% of the full load.
This alone makes them ideal for medium to heavy-duty industrial applications. Since they do not require electricity, such compressors will come in handy in places that are not connected to the grid.
With the larger industrial compressors, you may also harness the heat generated by the generator and use it for heating. To get such benefits, you just have to choose the best gasoline air compressor for whichever application.
What is Gas Air Compressor?
A gas air compressor, also known as a gas-powered air compressor, is an air compressor that uses a gasoline engine to drive its compressor pump. The best gas air compressor will be durable, feature a compact design, and will even be able to be used indoors.
In this article, we will take a look at the top gas powered air compressors and recommend them based on cost, noise level, PSI, CFM, and of course, HP.
At the bottom of this article, you’ll find a buyers guide. In this section, we’ll explain it all. It’ll have all the information you need to know about the gas air compressor.
Best Gas-Powered Air Compressors
|Product name||Best Feature||HP||Tank Size|
|DeWalt DXCMTA5090412||208-CC engine from Subaru||6.0||4 gallons|
|Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412||5-Horsepower Honda OHC/OHV gas engine||5.0||4 gallons|
|Ingersoll-Rand SS3J5.5GH-WB||Noise level of 20db||5.5||8 gallons|
|NorthStar Gas-Powered Air Compressor||24.4 CFM @ 90 PSI||12||30 gallons|
|Makita MAC5501G 5.5||Powerful Honda GX160 4-stroke engine||5.5||10 gallons|
1. NorthStar 459382 Gas-Powered Air Compressor – Best Gas Air Compressor Overall
If you are in the market for a powerful gas powered air compressor, we highly recommend NorthStar’s model 459382. This air compressor delivers an incredible 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI, and it’s tank is good for a max pressure of 175 PSI.
Northstar equipped this machine with an LVT (Low Vibration Technology) system that provides the air pump with excellent balance characteristics, dramatically reducing vibrations.
V Type Engine
The cylinders are in a V configuration, giving them more surface area to cool the engine. This compressor may have a shipping weight almost 500 pounds, but it is easier than you would think to transport because of the horizontal tank design.
It’s equipped with a 12 HP Honda GX390 OHV engine, and this gas air compressor features a full cast iron pump for extended service life.
A Machine So Nice It Compresses Air Twice
This NorthStar 30 Gallon Horizontal Gas-Powered Air Compressor is one of the most powerful models on the market today, even when compared to less portable machines. This model uses whats called a 2 Stage compressor.
A 2 Stage compressor compresses the incoming air in two separate passes, so less engine power is needed for the same amount of compressed air.
This Gas Air Compressor Works With Just About Any Tool You Can Think Of
This air compressor can support both small and large tools alike, so it’s suitable for both novices and professionals. With a maximum rating of 175 PSI, you can fit more air into its 30 gallon tank than most air compressors can fit into a 60-gallon tank.
Contractors and even DIY users will sometimes need to work without breaks. This Gas Powered Air Compressor does this well, as it features a 100% duty cycle, so there is no need for a cool-down period.
You, Will, Get Tired Before This Compressor Does
There’s really no need to worry about overworking this machine. Its got a really nice steel and cast iron construction, so you’ll wear out before this machine will.
Other valuable features are its ASME-certified tank, weather-resistant powder-coat finish, and it’s over-sized flywheel for cooler operation. Other nice touches are its liquid-filled pressure gauge, step-type piston rings (which enhances compression), and one-piece cast iron crankcase.
- Extremely powerful – 24.4 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) @ 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch)
- Durable – heavy-duty design
- Continuous operation- 100% duty cycle
- Relatively expensive
NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor - Honda GX390 OHV Engine, 30-Gallon Horizontal Tank, 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI
- Honda GX390 OHV engine with electric start/recoil backup and low oil shutdown
- 3 Amp battery charging circuit (battery not included)
- Full cast iron pump for long service life
- V-style cylinder design for superior cooling
- Pump head made of FC35 Grade cast iron
2. Ingersoll-Rand SS3J5.5GH-WB – Best Wheelbarrow Style Gas Air Compressor
The wheelbarrow design compressor features twin pontoon-style tanks for enhanced portability. The compressor is lightweight and features a low-profile design, which allows for optimal maneuverability. You will also find this compressor to be very durable.
The cast-iron construction, the oil-lube design is meant to withstand the most robust 100% continuous duty applications. The compressor has numerous other exciting capabilities to offer, including:
The wheelbarrow design of the compressor, in addition to a wheel, makes the unit comparatively easy to move around at the on-site. Moving this compressor from one point to another is much like pushing a wheelbarrow.
The low profile design of the compressor and Pontoon tanks make it more stable in operation and during transportation. Such aspects make it a great choice for contractors on construction sites as well as diligent homeowners in need of compressed air outside their garages.
Just as is the case with other Ingersoll Rand compressors, the SS3J5.5GH-WB model comes equipped with several controls for easy and safe operation. It features an automatic start/stop pressure switch control with manual on/off lever that offers easy operation.
The high-efficiency finger valves also allow for easy operation and maintenance. The valves are designed for enhanced safety during operation. Hose quick connects (couplings) are also included for easy setup.
- Features a low-profile wheelbarrow design for improved maneuverability
- The 5.5 horsepower gas-powered Honda Engine allows for consistent production of 135 psi maximum operating pressure
- Features a cast iron frame construction for improved protection and durability
- Highly flexible operation, with up to 100% continuous duty performance
- Has twin 8-gallon tanks and two quick disconnect couplers, allowing you to run multiple tools simultaneously
- Comes with All Season Select synthetic lubricant for increased efficiency; lasts for more than 2,000 before you need to change
Well, there are numerous counterfeit products for this particular model. You may end up buying one if you are not careful
- Safe performance
- Applicable for tough jobs
- Maybe cost-prohibitive
Ingersoll-Rand SS3J5.5GH-WB 5.5 Horsepower 8 Gallon Oiled Gas Twin Pontoon Compressor
- Portable Design: Lightweight with excellent manueverability even on the roughest terrain, perfect for environments where electricity is unavailable
- Maximum Power and Flexibilty: 100% continuous duty, twin 8-gallon tanks and two quick disconnect couplers enable you to run multiple tools simultaneously
- Easy Starting: Features 5.5 hp Honda reliable, easy to start gas-powered engine
- Long-Life: Durable cast iron construction, long-lasting extended pump life designed for over 5,000 hours of trouble-free use
- Reliable Operation: All Season Select synthetic lubricant increases efficiency; with 2,000 hours of service between changeouts, it performs four times longer than petroleum-based lubricants
3. Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412 – Cheap Gas Air Compressor
Get yourself a 4-gallon, low-maintenance air compressor that is durable, affordable, and reliable. The gasoline-powered air compressor is fitted with a 5-horsepower Honda OHC/OHV premium residential gas engine. It features a direct-drive mechanism for improved efficiency and optimal power transfer to the pump.
This engine is renowned world over for its reliable performance, easy-to-get parts, and extended service life. The 5HP Honda OHV engine runs at high rpm to keep the Patented Industrial Air low maintenance pump running at peak output.
Other aspects you will come to like about this air compressor include:
The Honda engine used in this model features an overhead Can/Overhead valve (OHC/OHV) design. This design has been specifically engineered to allow for easy starting of the compressor, even in extreme weather conditions. This design also improves performance, lowers emissions, and improved fuel efficiency.
The engine is also equipped with an air throttle cylinder as well as a separate pilot and check valves. The pump features a patented pump design and is coupled to a two-piece cooling system for improved cooling efficiency.
As such, it has been proven to record lower operating temperatures and last longer. Such innovative technologies allow the compressor to deliver up to 155 PSI of pressure. With regards to airflow, you can get 6.9 CFM at 40 PSI, and 5.0 CFM at 90 PSI.
The 5-HP Honda engine is used to drive a patent low-maintenance compressor pump. Being an Oil-Free pump, it will only require minimal maintenance to offer optimal performance, even in the more demanding applications.
The pump is machined of thermally stable aluminum. This, in addition to the patent two-part cooling system, allows the pump to run cooler at high revolution speeds. This allows for an extended duty cycle and improves the durability of the pump.
The Industrial Air Contractor compressor may not be the most portable gas air compressor, but it features a unique design that is both appealing and functional. It is equipped with a Pontoon-style 4-gallon air reservoir tank.
For enhanced portability, the design features cushioned handle grips. Additionally, the model also has a tool and tank gauges, quick connect couplers, as well as a regulator for enhanced safety.
- Features a direct-drive, Oil-Free, low-maintenance pump with a two-piece cooling system
- Powered by a 5 Horsepower Honda OHC/OHV premium residential gas engine
- The air tank features a Panton design for enhanced portability
- Delivers 5.0 CFM at 90 PSI, and up to 155 PSI air pressure
- Backed by a 2-year limited manufacturer warranty
Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412 4-Gallon Grade Direct Drive Pontoon Air Compressor with Honda Engine
- Low maintenance, oil free, direct drive pump has a patented two piece cooling system which extends the life of the pump
- 5-Horsepower Honda OHC/OHV premium residential gas engine
- 155 PSI max pressure for optimum tool performance. Application Use-Air Brushing,Blow Cleaning,Bolting/Wrenching,Brad Nailing/Stapling,Finish Nailing,Framing Nailing,Hobby Nailing,Inflation,Roof Nailing
- "Pontoon" style tank design with two 2-Gallon tanks for job-site portability
- Maximum pressure: 155 PSI; CFM at 90 PSI: 5.0; CFM at 40 PSI: 6.9; horsepower: 5.0; engine type: Honda OHC/OHV.CC: 160
4. Mi-T-M 120 gal ADS-23110-120HM M Series Air Compressor – The Best Gas Air Compressor for a Service Truck
Regardless of the size, service trucks require a continuous supply of compressed air, often at higher PSI and CFM. As such, you should get a sturdy and quality model that guarantees such. The Mi-T-M 2-stage ADS-23110-120HM M Series Air Compressor will come in handy for medium-to-heavy duty service truck applications.
Loaded with standard features, the M Series air compressors are available in several motor configurations. The compressor is offered with vertical or horizontal tank options and comes with the accessories you need to get started.
Some of the capabilities that make this compressor unique include:
Safety was a key consideration while making this service truck has an air compressor. In this regard, it features ASME safety valves, and a tank shut-off valve to keep tank pressure under control. The pump is fitted with a Large flywheel that allows for the rapid cooling of the unit.
The model is also equipped with a tank pressure gauge as well as an hour meter that makes it easy for you to regulate pressure requirements. The oil-level sight indicator will keep you informed on the oil level at all times.
Mi-T-M ADS-23110-120HM M Series Air Compressor, 2-Stage, 120 gal
- CFM: 34.2 at 175
- HP/Motor: 10.0 HP, 230V, 1Ø, 39.0A
- Bolt Down Dimensions (L x W): 34.5x23.5
- Net Weight: 811 lbs
- ASME safety valves
Another thing you will come to love about Mi-T-M air compressors is their quality. They are simply built to last, even when exposed to harsh conditions. The compressor pump, for instance, features quality cast iron construction.
The unit comes with a Splash lubricated cast iron crankcase that is meant to extend its hours of service.
The venting system on the pump is meant to reduce crankcase temperature and pressure. The cylinder and head on this unit are also made of cast iron for improved durability.
Equipped with a stainless-steel braided discharge hose, and a powder-coated ASME coded 120-gallon receiver tank, to prevent rust damage.
- Fitted with a 120-gallon powder-coated ASME coded air tank for continued compressed air supply
- Features a venting system, and a large flywheel for improved cooling efficiency
- Comes complete with a gauge powder coated enclosed belt guard for improved safety
- Has a belt-tightening system that pulls the motor straight for constant belt alignment
- Features Comcast iron pump crankcase, head and cylinder construction for enhanced durability
The air compressor is comparatively large, hence requires a considerable amount of space on your truck.
5. Makita MAC5501G 5.5 – HP Gas Air Compressor
It is easy to dismiss this Makita air compressor based on price, but there are many positives to draw from this unit. One of the most impressive things about it is the Powerful Honda GX160 4-stroke engine, which offers a lot in terms of performance and reliability.
After years of interacting with this brand, we have witnessed the gradual improvement of the GX engine range to the unrivaled status it currently has.
Take Care of Your Oil Pump And it Will Take Care Of Your Gas Air Compressor.
It’s 5.5 HP engine delivers more than enough power to supply the 10-gallon twin tanks with enough air for just about any job. The cast iron pump with a big bore cylinder and piston are designed for an excellent performance.
The lubricated pump will need regular maintenance, but doing so prevents unnecessary damage to the machine and keeps things running smoothly.
Easy To Service And Easy To Move
The belt drive is easy to service in this model, and that’s always a good thing. A weight of 235 pounds may appear troublesome, but its wheel-barrel style handles make moving this machine a lot easier than you would expect.
On the opposite end of the handles you will find a 10 inch non-flat tire. Other features include automatic idle control, a convenient oil drain valve, and an integrated control panel.
Well Worth The Money
This model is another with a V Type engine design. As mentioned above, this engine configuration has better cooling characteristics than other engine designs. Another great thing about this model is its Industrial-grade recoil starter.
It works really well, and along with the pull starters ergonomic grip, starts are easy and fast. All these qualities point towards a reliable industrial-grade product, which is worth the price tag.
- Capable of handling tough jobs
- Relatively expensive
- Maintenance a challenge to some users
- Not recommended for novices
Makita MAC5501G 5.5 HP Gas Air Compressor
- "V" Twin Style Pump runs cooler and provides 12.5 CFM at 100 PSI
- Powerful Honda GX160 4-stroke engine for increased performance and superior reliability
- 10-gallon twin tanks provide air supply to multiple nailers
- Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for improved performance
- Industrial-grade recoil starter with ergonomic grip and recoil rope design for faster, easier starts
6. DeWalt DXCMTA5090412 – Best Gas Air Compressor For The Money
DeWalt has always been a favorite brand for many contractors as a high-quality power tool. The DeWalt DXCMTA5090412 is no acceptation. This air compressor has all the professional features that a DIY enthusiast would want.
Lightweight, Economical, And Reliable Gas Air Compressor
Instrumental in this air compressors unrivaled performance is the 208 CC (Cubic Centimetre) engine. This power plant combines economy and reliability by having excellent fuel efficiency and minimal maintenance requirements.
The DeWalt DX Series 6 HP engine runs an oil-free, direct-drive air compressor pump. The result is a steady 5.0 CFM at 90 psi or 6.9 CFM at 40 psi. We also recognize the respectable portability of this product, which weighs in at only 74 pounds.
Built To Last And Backed Up By DeWalt
This machine really excels in rough environments. This is thanks to it’s cast iron sleeve and sturdy construction.
Don’t forget that this reliable gas air compressor also comes with a 1-year limited warranty, which is good enough, considering that this is an older model that already has a proven track record of reliability. The unit comes with tool and tank pressure gauges, a one hand quick-connector, and 1/4″ regulator.
Attractive And Strong Design Gas Air Compressor
Another thing we really liked about this air compressor was its design. I mean, look at it. You really know a DeWalt product when you see one. They are known for having really well-manufactured products that can stand up to the test of time while also looking great.
- Suitable for indoor jobs
- Easy to maintain
- Relatively expensive
DeWalt DXCMTA5090412 Subaru Powered Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor, 4-Gallon
- Features a durable Briggs & Stratton XR950 OHV gas engine with dual ball bearings that provides durability and extended engine life
- Offers a 208-CC engine with a rate of 6.9 CFM at 40 psi or 5.0 CFM at 90 psi
- Equipped with 1/4 in. regulator, tool and tank pressure gauges, and one hand push to connect quick coupler
- Perfect companion to all of you air tools, whether it is on the top of a roof or framework on a house
- Offers unblock construction designed to reduce fuel consumption and to provide quiet operation
7. NorthStar 20-gallon Gas-Powered Air Compressor – The Best Gas Air Compressor for Roofing
Roof installation and repair are carried out using a number of pneumatic tools, most of which have high PSI, and CFM requirements. For the best results, you will need a compressor that is powerful and reliable, just like the NorthStar 20-gallon Gas-Powered air compressor.
It is powered by a Honda 163cc OHV Engine that delivers impressive performance in demanding applications. The model comes with a 20-gallon air tank to ensure that you get a consistent supply of compressed air even when the compressor is off.
Some of the Capabilities that set this air compressor apart include:
Longer Pump Life
Having been designed for Heavy-Duty applications, this NorthStar air compressor is fitted with a durable single-stage pump. The belt-driven air compressor pump is made of cast iron and features a V-type cylinder design for superior cooling.
The Crankshaft on this model is equipped with bearings on both ends for improved support. The V-style cylinder orientation on the pump eliminates hotspots and allows for consistent cooling. It is also fitted with premium-quality floating-type Swedish steel valves for trouble-free performance.
All these results in extended pump life and better performance. Actually, this model is designed to offer a 100% duty cycle.
The 163cc Honda GX160 OHV engine used to power this compressor offers superior fuel efficiency, quieter compression, and allows for easier operation. With regards to performance, and powers, this engine is considered to be a trendsetter by many industry experts.
The layout of this engine permits smoother fuel mixture intake and faster, complete exhaust. These result in better combustion, improved power, and longer service life.
The air compressor features the innovative Low Vibration Technology (LVT) by the manufacturer. This has resulted in a dynamically balanced pump for smooth operation.
As such, you will experience minimal vibrations with the NorthStar 163cc, 20-Gallon Horizontal Gas-Powered Air Compressor.
- Equipped with step-type piston rings to prevent overlaps and improve compression
- Has two-piece connecting rods that are relatively easy to rebuild for enhanced serviceability
- Fitted with replaceable crank journals and wrist pin journal
- The high-pressure piston wrist pins on this model feature needle bearings
- The easy-start leaver uses the unloader valve to ease the pressure, hence allow for easy starting
You may find the low-oil pressure shut down sensor on this model to be too sensitive resulting in false alarms.
NorthStar Portable Gas-Powered Air Compressor -Honda 163cc OHV Engine, 20-Gal Horizontal Tank, 13.7 CFM @ 90 PSI
- Honda GX160 OHV engine with low oil shutdown
- Full cast iron pump for long service life
- V-style cylinder design for superior cooling
- Pump head made of FC35 Grade cast iron
- Floating-type Swedish steel valves deliver much longer valve life
Before buying a gas-powered air compressor, there are a few key factors to consider. These things include portability, power, and noise level.
Also, it’s essential to understand some of the terms used when discussing gas air compressors such as dB, PSI, and HP.
Air Compressor Grade
Gas air compressors can be categorized as commercial, consumer, and contractor grade. When determining which category to buy, it is crucial to consider the type of job, the frequency of use, and the number of tools to be powered simultaneously.
For home improvement projects where grid power is not available, a consumer-grade unit is ideal. For bigger jobs, such as construction projects, a contractor-grade group is preferable.
Factories and manufacturing firms, however, need something even more potent. They use commercial grade models that offer the highest performance possible and can provide a steady amount of air over a long period. You can also find them in amusement parks, large automotive garages, and oil rigs.
PSI: Air Pressure
Air pressure inside the tank is given in PSI (Pounds per Square Inch), with most compressors having 115 PSI, which is slightly higher than the 90 PSI required by most air tools. It’s not unusual to find powerful compressors with as much as 150 PSI, though.
CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute
More important is the amount of air coming from a compressor over some time. This is known as CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). If you are using a tool continuously, you will need to supply higher CFM.
That is why a continually rotating smoother uses 8 CFM, while a framing nailer works with just 2.8 CFM. From a professional’s experience, determining the minimum rating for CFM is simple if you have the tool rating as given by the manufacturer.
Take the rating and multiply it by 1.5. For example, if the rating on the tool is 2 CFM, the minimum requirement to power, it should be 3 CFM. Concentrate on the CFM rating at 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch), as most tools run on this weight.
Horsepower is a measure of the capability of the motor. Since the capacity of the engine has a massive impact on every aspect of compressor performance, you want to pay attention to this.
Because of the rampant inflation of indicated HP, focus on the rated amperage to determine the power of the engine.
dB: Noise Level
These are machines with several moving parts that are powered by gasoline engines. None of them are going to be quiet machines. Metal components banging against each other can be extremely loud.
Noise levels are measure in dB (decibels). Note that the increase is exponential, meaning that 60 dB is more than three times 20 dB.
If you are working indoors, you want to make sure to get a model with the lowest possible dB rating. If you are out in the open, you get by with a little higher dB without it becoming an issue.
Compressor Tank Size
If you are using several tools continuously, you’ll need a larger tank. If the size of your compressor is misaligned with the job size, your motor will have to do more work to compensate. This can be loud and expensive.
In contrast, if you’re doing intermittent work, you can get away with having a smaller tank size. Tanks can be as big as 80 gallons, although a single tool may only require up to 5 gallons.
Therefore, in simple terms, the choice of tank size depends on the type of work and the type/number of tools being powered. Larger tanks combine excellently with high PSI (Pound per Square Inch), but the shift towards portable units maintains the need for the right balance between PSI (Pound per Square Inch) and tank size.
The price is dependent on whether the gas air compressor is a commercial, contractor, or consumer-grade. Expect to pay $10,000+ for a commercial-grade unit. Contractor grade units are more affordable, with prices ranging from $150 to $5,500.
The most affordable gas air compressors are in the consumer-grade category. You can get a unit for as little as $15, but the best models will set you back up to $2,500.
For a contractor who has to be on the move, the portability of the product is a requirement. The majority of contractor-grade units are easy to transport. S
ome can even be moved rather easily with one hand. If you are looking for portability, check out our guide to portable air compressors.
Gas Powered Air Compressors Can Work Anywhere
Are you looking for a reliable gas air compressor for jobs in remote areas where connection to electricity is an issue? If so, a gasoline-powered air compressor would be a good fit for you.
Many businesses, including mobile service technicians and general mechanics, find this type of compressor handy for its portability and minimal operating costs.
The air compressor industry is continuously innovating and creating new designs and models. Innovation is a great thing, but all the new terms and acronyms can make it somewhat confusing to understand it all.
We hope to have cleared up a few of those things for you, so you’ll be able to make a more informed purchasing decision.