A 30-gallon air compressor is a standard-sized unit that is most often used in home garages to inflate tires and operate smaller pneumatic tools. Most homeowners choose to use smaller compressors as they’re more portable and lightweight. However, if you’re set on purchasing a 30-gallon compressor, it can be a tad overwhelming.
If you’re unsure of where to start, we can help. We reviewed and researched a handful of 30-gallon air compressors to find which one would be the most beneficial to you and your home.
We chose the DeWALT 30-Gallon air compressor as our top pick because of its high CFM and PSI ratings. The Husky was a close second because of its ability to convert from 120V to 240V depending on where it’s being used.
|Industrial Air ILA1883054||5.7/6.7@90/40 CFM||155 PSI||120/240V||1.0|
|Husky||5.1/6.1@90/40 PSI||175 PSI||120V||5.0|
|Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM||5.9/6.7 @ 90/40 PSI||135 PSI||120V||2.0|
|DeWalt DXCMLA1983012||6.0/7.0@90/40||175 PSI||120V||1.9|
|Campbell Hausfeld||4.1/5.1@90/40 PSI||175 PSI||120/240V||2.0|
Our Top 30-Gallon Air Compressors Picks
1. DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 Oil Free Compressor – Best Overall
DeWALT has always been a favorite brand of ours. Their tools and equipment are best recognized by their bright yellow coloring and black lettering. This particular compressor is ideal for a variety of applications including plasma cutting.
The DeWALT 30-gallon compressor has a maximum PSI of 155. From empty to full, it takes about 4 minutes to fill and It takes a minute and a half to fill from 75 to 155 PSI.
For a compressor in this category, it’s a great range. In addition to its quick fill time, it has thermal overload protection that guards against low voltage and power surges to ensure optimal performance.
When we tested the compressor with our plasma cutter, we weren’t disappointed. It handled it well and it’s all thanks to the generous CFM rating.
It can put out 6.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 7.7 CFM @ 40 PSI. There was no bogging down of the compressor and it continuously delivered consistent air output. It exceeded our expectations.
Lastly, we want to mention how durable the machine seems to be. It has a 1.9 HP direct drive motor with a two-piece cooling system that helps keep the compressor cool and lowers operating temperatures.
If we had one complaint about it, we would have to say that it’s regarding the tube. You can’t wrap the hose if the tube is hot because the tube isn’t placed correctly.
2. Industrial Air ILA1883054 Industrial Air
We thought that this particular Industrial Air 30-Gallon Belt-Driven air compressor was the best deal for the money. It certainly delivered the results we were looking for in a 30-gallon compressor.
This 1.0 HP compressor is wired for a 120V outlet, but you can convert it to 240V. The powerful twin-cylinder pump has a cast iron crankcase, aluminum head, valve plate, and other durable parts.
It requires oil, so you will need to do some maintenance on it to keep it in top running condition. We aren’t huge fans of oil lubricated compressors, but they do seem to last a little longer than the alternative.
When we used the compressor with an air hammer, impact wrench, sandblaster, and drill, we weren’t disappointed. It has a maximum PSI of 155 and delivers 5.7 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6.7 CFM @ 40 PSI. We simultaneously ran some pneumatic tools to see how the compressor responded. We were surprised to see that the airflow remained consistent.
Even more impressive is how long it took for the compressor to get to maximum PSI. To fill from 0-155 PSI, it took 3 minutes. From 75-155 PSI, it took a little less than 2 minutes. This was one of the quickest we saw.
Our biggest issue with this compressor is that it doesn’t seem to have a lot of horsepower to it. We don’t think 1.0 HP is strong enough for a compressor in this price range.
3. Husky 175 PSI High-Performance Compressor – Best 30-Gallon Compressor Under $500
Husky has always been a brand we’ve trusted and liked. They make durable tools and equipment, such as this 5.0 HP, 30-gallon air compressor. This particular model is under $500 and provided us with a constant air supply and maximum durability.
For starters, we wanted to see how long it took to fill the compressor from 0-175 PSI, which is the maximum. It took 5 minutes to fill from 0-175 PSI and 3 minutes to fill from 80 PSI to 175 PSI. For a budget compressor, we thought this was relatively quick when compared to other models in this price range.
As aforementioned, this compressor has a maximum PSI of 175. It can deliver 5.1 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6.1 CFM @ 40 PSI. The high-performance pump within the compressor can help with the performance of multiple pneumatic tools.
We were able to use multiple tools at once without the compressor losing airflow. We found that it had a 40% loner tool run time when compared to a 26-gallon compressor.
This is an oil-free compressor, so there’s no need to worry about oil separators in your air delivery system. Even more so, you don’t have to do as much maintenance on it as you would with an oil-lubricated compressor.
The only complaint we have regarding this compressor is that it’s made from stainless steel as opposed to more durable cast iron. This could make the parts degrade quicker over time.
4. Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 – Best For Use With A Sandblaster
If you’ve got a sandblasting project you need done, the Campbell Hausfeld compressor is a good choice for you. Since sandblasting requires a minimum PSI of 90, you’ll surely be impressed by this compressor; we were.
For smaller sandblasting projects, it requires around 5 CFM. We tested this theory and found that 5.1 CFM was more than efficient. Fortunately, we didn’t have to deal with a lot of decompression when using the sandblaster. The compressor put out 4.1 CFM @ 90 PSI and 5.1 CFM @ 40 PSI.
It’s even more beneficial to sandblasting projects due to its high PSI rating. It is rated at a maximum of 175 PSI. From empty to full, it took roughly 3 minutes, and from 70 PSI to 175 PSI, it took 1 minute. Compared to other compressors in this category, it’s pretty average it seems.
The 2 HP induction motor allows maximum pressure to flow to a wide range of tools while maintaining long run times. The dual voltage motor offers 120V household or 240V professional use. With all of this taken into consideration, you’ll get about 5,000 hours of life from the compressor before it needs maintenance or replacement.
Our only issue with the compressor was that it was louder than most. We were hoping it would be a little quiet, but we were sadly disappointed.
5. Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM Garage Mate – Best 2-Stage Air Compressor
We’re no strangers to the Ingersol Rand brand. They’ve always delivered stellar results in our opinion. This particular compressor may be expensive, but it’s one of the best they make in this category.
This 2.0 HP compressor is ergonomically designed with semi-pneumatic tires for ideal portability. It has a durable cast iron frame and cylinder construction for desirable durability and since it requires oil lubrication, you will need to maintain it every 2,000 hours or so. Additionally, its semi-pneumatic wheels allow for easy portability.
A maximum PSI of 135 can be delivered from the 30-gallon tank. Upon startup, it takes 2.5 minutes to fill from empty to 135 PSI and less than a minute to fill from 65 PSI to 135 PSI. It’s much quicker than other comparable compressors. Fortunately, it’s not often that the PSI drops below 70 PSI due to its continuous duty, so you may not need to wait for the compressor to fill back up.
As far as pneumatic tool operation goes, we weren’t disappointed. It delivered 5.9 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6.7 CFM @ 40 PSI. Our tools had constant and consistent airflow going to them at all times. Even when we used an impact gun that was roughly 8 CFM, it still worked as it was supposed to.
If we could complain about just one thing, it would be the price. It’s definitely one of the most expensive we found in this category and it’s loud.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Horsepower Does a 30-Gallon Air Compressor Need?
A 30-gallon air compressor generally has a 2.0 HP motor, but some may go up at high as 5.0 or more. Generally speaking, an air compressor with a 30-gallon pump will only require roughly 2.0 HP to function properly.
Even though it seems low, it’s more than adequate to complete light-duty jobs around the house or on a construction site. You may even find that the compressor will go up to 5-6 horsepower, but that’s on the higher and more expensive end of the spectrum.
How Do You Drain a 30-Gallon Air Compressor?
Draining your 30-gallon air compressor involves shutting off the machine, reducing the pressure in the tank, opening the valve, and releasing the fluids that have built up in it. It’s honestly as easy as that.
Draining your tank is essential to maintaining an oil-lubricated tank. If there’s liquid in the tank, it can eat away at the inside of it and it won’t last as long as it should. It could even eat a hold through it, which means your tank will no longer hold air as it should.
How Do I Properly Store and Drain my Air Compressor?
Storing your air compressor can be done simply by placing it in a clean, dry space when it’s not in use. This helps keep it from rusting.
Here are the exact steps you should take when you decide it’s time to store your air compressor away.
- Find a dry, clean space where it won’t be subject to moisture or condensation. The best place for this is off the floor on a pallet or out of the line of direct sunlight.
- Unplug it from the outlet.
- Set the pressure outlet to zero.
- Remove all attachments and tools.
- Place a drain pan at the valve and drain anything left inside.
- Close the valve and palace the unit on the pallet in the designated storage area.
Will A 30-Gallon Air Compressor Paint A Car?
Yes, it will paint a car if it has the appropriate CFM and PSI requirements. If you’re using a smaller spray gun with a small nozzle, you won’t have an issue. However, it’s not recommended because not all 30-gallon compressors are meant for continuous duty.
Your tank could run out before you’re finished painting. You will then have to stop and start again after the tank refills.
To find what size air compressor you need to paint a car, check here.
What Are The Typical Uses for 30-Gallon Air Compressors
30-gallon air compressors are typically used for light-duty tasks around the home or on a construction site. They will easily run a variety of smaller pneumatic tools since most of the compressors in this category only put out a maximum of 8 CFM. 30-gallon air compressors are certainly a good starting point for anybody who has a lot of smaller home projects.
A 30-gallon air compressor can go a long way in your home. You can use it for a variety of tasks including sandblasting, plasma cutting, drilling, inflating tires, and more. We successfully reviewed the top 5 units above and were quite impressed by all of them.
They performed well under pressure and most of them were affordable. As mentioned, these are a great starting point for those looking for an effective compressor at an affordable price.