The 5 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors [Portable & Horizontal]

best 20 air compressor for the moneyA 20-gallon air compressor provides enough power to run medium-duty tasks while being very portable. A powerful 20 gal air compressor will power a nail gun, an impact wrench, or inflate tires in your local garage.

Most of the 20-gallon air compressors are also considered to be portable air compressors. Furthermore, the stationary air compressors usually offer larger tank than 20 gallons.

In this post, we reviewed the best 5 20 gallon air compressors based on horsepower, intended application, noise level, and price.

 

Product namePSIVolts Cfm Price
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 135 120/2404.5More Details
Industrial Air IT20ASME 175 120/240 5More Details
NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage 125 115 5More Details
Husky Quiet Portable Air Compressor175 120 4More Details
WEN 2202 Vertical Air Compressor135  120  4More Details
P1.5IU-A9 2hp135 115 4.6More Details

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN#1: Industrial Air IL1682066.MN – Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor For Painting

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN is designed to handle massive tasks. The quick-set regulator makes this air compressor ideal 20 gal compressor for painting. 

The quick-set regulator is easy to manipulate.

The lubricated pump features cast iron and V-shaped twin-cylinder for faster heat dissipation and higher durability. This unique design enhances the CFM reading. 

The included aluminum head and reed valves further aid in the distribution of heat, rendering the machine thermally stable.

The 20-gallon ASME vertical compressor is aimed at maximum portability with front handles, pneumatic tires, and a small footprint, making it easy to use anywhere you want.

One major benefit of this machine is the heavy-duty motor. Moreover, control functions like a set regulator, pressure gauges, air outlet, and convenient on/off button make this compressor deliver maximum performance. 

The 120 volts can be transformed into 240 volts with double performance. In addition, to being a great compressor for spray painting, it works well for nail gun applications.

Finally, we considered this 20 gal compressor to be a good value for money despite the relatively high price. It works optimally even in extreme conditions.

Pros

Pros

  • It is suitable for both private and industrial demands.
  • The dual voltage makes it appropriate for a number of applications.
  • It comes with a certified ASME cast iron tank.
  • It is easy to assemble and use.
  • Quite convenient with 135 psi maximum airflow

Cons

Cons

  • Costly
  • The main belt is aligned unevenly

 In conclusion, IL1682066.MN from Industrial Air features top performance, albeit at a relatively high weight. 

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#2 Industrial Air IT20ASME – Best Air Compressor For Impact Wrench

This multi-functional compressor is ready to use, pre-assembled, and can be used horizontally or vertically. You can never go wrong with this compressor as its high-quality tank is built for work with impact wrenches, to hold air for long hours and it is meant to last long.

Additionally, it features top-notch couplers and gauges that operate ideally to make sure that the pump does not leak making it one of the best 20-gallon compressors in the market.

The compressor comes with a twin-cylinder pump which makes it deliver reliable performance and power. The pump is made from cast iron with an extra aluminum head and a valve plate which helps in the dissipation of heat.

Industrial Air IT20ASME comes fully assembled, out of the box. It is also equipped with a quarter-turn drain valve, allowing for easy and quick draining and maintenance. 

 

Double Access Assemblies 

The compressor has 2 air access assemblies. You have an auxiliary air tank to the compressor when the compressor is connected to the airline shut off valve. The air tank can be used as a portable carry tank if the compressor is connected to the coupler.

Industrial Air IT20ASME

This compressor has two carry handles, which are welded together. This is in order to assist in the transportation of the equipment to different work sites. There is also an auxiliary storage tank that you can take along with you if you’re on the move.

The machine is completely versatile and can be used either vertically or horizontally. It has vibration isolators to help protect the pump against mechanical vibrations. The ring base allows for easy storage.

Pros

Pros

  • Its motor has dual voltage induction enabling it to deliver a stress-free performance.
  • Has pre-attached pneumatic tires for easy installation and transportation.
  • It features onboard controls for easy manipulation.
  • Its dual voltage of 120-volts can be converted into 240-volts which mean double performance.
  • This compressor has front handles for easy transportation to various working sites.

Cons

Cons

  • The main belt pulley may become misaligned affecting its performance.
  • It can be quite heavy should the wheels become faulty.

NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage#3 NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage – Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor For Home Garage

This quiet, yet amazingly powerful and robust compressor from NorthStar is ASME-certified and made from highly durable cast iron material.

Although it is compact in size, it is strong and powerful enough to be run in any garage, workshop, and even commercial facility. It can handle light tasks such as operating an airbrush, a brad nailer, or an air ratchet spray gun.

Functions and Features 

Apart from being ASME certified, this product comes with an integrated regulator, high-quality air filters, a dual crankshaft, and regulator valves that are made of heat-resistant alloy steel.

The unit also comes with solid tires to support it in moving the unit from one point to another. To enable easy movement around the garage, the packaging includes a sizable cord.

The machine comes with two V-styled cast-iron cylinders which help to ensure that there is proper heat transfer and that no heat loss occurs between the two cylinders. Cast iron material is key because excessive heat is a threat to the pump lifespan. 

This is a very quiet compressor with just 80 decibels. Your neighbors will never file a complaint. The silent functioning is made possible due to the fact that the unit is belt driven and there is an oil-lubricated pump, which is pivotal to the pump’s lifespan. The pump life of this compressor is approximately 5000 hours. 

Dual Voltage Induction Motor

The 2 hp dual voltage motor is impressive with 5 CFM @ 90 psi. This makes it powerful enough to power most pneumatic tools.

Moreover, the motor is designed to work in any weather conditions making sure that the compressor runs consistently. The motor operates at 115 volts although you can change it to 230 via minor adjustments to the wiring which doubles the performance.

Pros

Pros

  • induction motor which has dual voltage.
  • a duty cycle of 100%.
  • It has a vertical tank which allows for manual drain system.
  • Made of durable, cast iron materials
  • relatively quiet at 80dB

Cons

Cons

  • It is relatively heavy and expensive when compared to similar models.
  • It requires regular maintenance such as refilling and changing oil.

NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage is definitely a superior, well-crafted model with durable parts that are easy to use and assemble. Together with high-quality performance, this brings it on our list of the best 20-gallon air compressors.

Husky Quiet Portable Air Compressor #4 Husky Quiet Portable Air Compressor – 175 PSI Air Compressor 

The Husky 20-gallon compressor comes with a very high-performance motor and an oil-less pump.  The 1.3 horsepower motor is capable of filling the tank to 125 psi in a few minutes.

At the same time, the machine produces 4.0 SCFM at 90 PSI. The compressor maxes out at 175 psi in the tank, which equates to higher project efficiency and longer run times on air tools.

The compressor is very compact, only 41.88″ high and weighing 73 lbs. It’s not difficult to move around from job site to job site or on a given site. It is equipped with 7″ wheels to this end.

Thanks to the smart vertical design, the machine has a very small footprint, 17.35″ depth, and 17.78″ width. This means it won’t take up too much precious floor space. 

The max PSI of this unit is 175. It is 17.35 x 17.78 x 41.88 inches in size. The noise level of this particular model is just 83 dBA, which puts the noise level somewhere between a garbage chute and a vacuum cleaner. This is much quieter than most air compressors.

If you’re wondering whether there will be a lot of assembling to do when you order this compressor and it arrives at your front door, you can rest assured knowing this will not be the case.

Both the pump and motor are assembled and fully enclosed with a shroud to protect all the important components. You just need to install the wheels to ensure portability. The box comes with a regulator and a female quick connect. Air hoses, which have to be bought, are not included.

Maintenance 

When it comes to any machine, a lot of users ask about the maintenance required. It’s normal to inquire about this aspect. This great value for money compressor entails virtually zero maintenance that needs to be done thanks to the oil-free lubrication design.

However, you will have to drain the condensation from the tank from time to time.  This air compressor is also sold with a two-year manufacturer warranty.

Applications 

A well-priced compressor of this size will have tons of applications – you can use it for anything from light automotive tasks to common inflation needs (such as tires, sports balls, and inflatable toys).

Because of the oil-free design, you don’t need an oil separator in the air system. This makes this compressor perfect for DIY projects and household paint.

However, that’s not all this compressor can do. A lot of buyers use it for framing and roofing jobs, cutting and drilling purposes, and finish nailing and stapling. 

This product is excellent if you need it to run for a very long time, as it is able to provide you with an 80% longer running time compared to most 20-gallon air compressors.

Its sound is only 83 db, so it is also very quiet to run. You won’t have to be concerned with getting any complaints.

What is more, the high-quality motor of the air compressor will be able to deliver outstanding results at any job you require. It is easy to move this air compressor around on the attached wheels.

Pros

Pros

  • Requires only 15 amps and 120 volts to work
  • No extra electrical work needed onsite – any 120-volt outlet will work
  • Very quiet
  • Well priced 
  • Good quality materials
  • Runs for a very long time
  • Portable
  • Suitable for big jobs as well as little jobs

Cons

 

All in all, this air compressor is a great option because it’s affordable, easy to transport, and has a longer running time than most other air compressors in this category.

WEN 2202 Vertical Air Compressor#5: WEN 2202 Vertical Air Compressor – Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor For Air Tools

The WEN 2202 is a very user-friendly air compressor. There’s a lot less hassle involved if you choose this product because it has a fast coupler, a very easy to reach quick drain valve, and two pressure gauges, making it perfect for use with air tools.

One very interesting fact about this air compressor is that it actually comes with a two-year warranty; therefore, if anything goes wrong with it, you should be able to get it easily repaired for free.

The product comes with a handle and two wheels on the front of it making it very easy to move around should you need to work at a different location with it. The compressor is 19.5 x 17.5 x 42 inches in size and weighs 86 lbs.

We think this air compressor is the best to use with air tools because it is very user-friendly. Plus, it’s always reassuring to have a long warranty term.

Pros

Pros

  • Quick drain valve
  • Two-year warranty
  • Portable
  • Two pressure gauges

Cons

 

P1.5IU-A9 2hp 20 gal Single-Stage CompressorHonorable Mention: P1.5IU-A9 2hp 20 gal – Single-Stage Portable Air Compressor  

This air compressor is perfect for DIY and professional applications thanks to its heavy-duty ergonomic handle and semi-pneumatic tires for easy handling.

It emits just 80 dBA of noise and features automatic start/stop pressure switch control.

The side drain valve is easily accessible. 100% continuous duty is guaranteed. 

A very long life cycle is provided by the durable cast iron cylinder and frame, manual overload motor protection, and protective enclosed belt guard.

Operation is highly reliable with synthetic lubricant for all seasons that increases efficiency and 2,000 hours of service between changeouts.

This compressor performs four times longer than those using petroleum-based lubricants.

Frequently Asked Questions 

We will answer some FAQs in this section. 

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

All of the compressors we’ve reviewed here are suitable for business and home use. Generally, it depends on CFM requirements. Each air compressor indicates the max CFM output it can generate.

Its CFM output has to meet requirement so that each tool will operate without issue and efficiently. If you have an air tool based shop, for example, you will need about 5 CFM per employee.

A 0.5-inch impact wrench will need around 5 CFM at 90 PSI. Hence, your compressor’s CFM should be higher than that.

It follows that if you have 2 workers operating these wrenches at the same time, you will need at least 10 CFM. The use pattern for these tools is to use them for about 25 seconds and then stop while the tier is changed.

Body shop mechanics might need sanders and grinders for 25 minutes peruse. You need to know how you’ll be using the machine because you need higher CFM at constant usage levels.

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

Generally, there are no guidelines about when to retire an air compressor. At least we haven’t found such info in our practice and research. Unless the condensation in the tank has flakes of rust in it, the air seals are still holding and the motor is going strong.

Of course, an air compressor used in a commercial facility will last much shorter than one that’s kept indoors in a hobbyist’s shop, especially if you are taking good care of it.

On this note, always drain the tank after you use the compressor. Keeping the cast-iron surfaces inside the tank dry will extend the life cycle.

The air seals are impacted positively by depressurizing the machine when not in use. If the tank develops a pinhole leak or the motor dies, it’s time to start shopping for a new one. Until then, you shouldn’t have any worries.

An example – a 25-year-old compressor is considered to be almost brand new. Experts say compressors made back in the 1970s are still going strong.

Of course, older machines may have undergone restoration to keep working as well as they are. You need to change the oil every year if your machine is oil-based and put in a new set of reed valves.

Also, drain the condensed water from the tank at least several times a year. You might need to replace the belt. 

Some shops still run WW II era compressors. A shipping building we know of is currently running a compressor that was made before the war. They still work, but the staff makes efforts to keep them serviced. 

Final Words: Size Does Matter 

No matter which model you choose, take care of it and it will take care of you for many years to come. If it runs on oil, let it run dry once in a while and you’ll need a new one before you can ask yourself what you’ve done. This is why oil-free options like the ones reviewed here are best. We hope this article has been helpful. Thank you for reading! 

 

AircompressorsUSA Team

AircompressorUSA Team is full of diverse writers from different industries. Our team includes small business contractors, assembly line managers, scuba shop owners, garage owners & More. Our Team makes every effort to provide the most accurate information to our readers and buyers.

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