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10 Best 30 Gallon Air Compressors Reviewed [Portable & OilFree]

The Best 30 Gallon Air compressors are portable lightweight units, portable not so lightweight units, some are made of aluminum or stainless steel while others are made of cast iron. How do you know which 30-gallon air compressor is right for you when there are so many to choose from?

Which features are most important to you? The answer to that question can be found in what you plan to use your 30-gallon air compressor for. How portable do you need it to be? Will you be using it in a shop or garage at home where it doesn’t have to be portable all the time? Or will you be carrying it around with you in your truck? Once you know what you are using it for and where then you can start to look at some of the features you will need.

What Do You Want A 30 Gallon Air Compressor To Do?

Best Thirty Gallon Air CompressorA 30-gallon air compressor can do a lot for you and bring a lot of power to the table. Are you planning to restore a classic car? Are you using pneumatic power tools to build something in your garage? Will you be sandblasting concrete or using a plasma cutter? If so, you might like a Campbell Hausfeld 30 Gallon Portable unit for sandblasting.

You might consider your plasma cutting needs and take a look at the Porter-Cable Portable Belt Drive Air Compressor, 30-gallon unit. Either of these might meet your needs along with several others. In looking for the best thirty-gallon air compressor for your needs, we will review several units in different categories. These categories will help you to look at what your needs are and which of these products is right for you.

Product namePSI CFMVoltsCylindersStagesMaterialsHPPrice
1 Industrial Air ILA1883054 155 6.3120-240V21Cast Iron 7.1More Details
Husky 30 Gallon Air Compressor175 5.1 12021Stainless              5.0More Details
Ingersoll Rand 30-gallon 175 24120 12Cast iron   13.1More Details
DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 155 22120V12Cast iron  13.1More Details
Campbell Hausfeld 30 Gallon Portable 135 10.223021Cast iron   2.0More Details

Horsepower In 30 Gallon Models

How much horsepower do you need in a 30-gallon air compressor in order to complete the things you want to accomplish? What is the minimum amount of HP that will let you compressor put out enough power, PSI and CFM for your needs? The amount of HP can vary from model to model but the very least would be 2 HP for a 30-gallon tank, Of our models only the Campbell Hausfeld is 2.0 horsepower and the Husky is at 5.0. All the others run from 7.1 to 13.1.This means that all of these 30-gallon models will meet the requirements of 2.0, but if you are painting a large car, I would not settle for that. 


Best 30 Gallon Air Compressor For The Money

1.Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Belt-Driven

The Industrial Air ILA1883054 30 Gallon Belt-Driven air compressor is the best deal for the money. It offers top performance for your pneumatic tools and is incredibly reliable.

Industrial Air ILA188354

What We Like

  • 155 PSI maximum pressure gives you maximum performance.
  • The dual voltage motor handles both 120 V and 240 V.
  • Durable and reliable – you will pay a lot less for this and get the same quality, and performance as the high priced units.
  • Pressure gauges that are easy to read and convenient quick-set regulator.
  • Most important is the unique system it has for pumping. This pump is one of the best in any unit.
  • Belt drive technology gives this unit surpasses the mechanisms of the other units.
  • HP is one of the highest in this group at 13.1, a bargain for the money.

What We Didn’t Like 

  • It doesn’t have all the additional features of a unit like the Dewalt DXCMH1393075 Two-Stage has.
  • It’s cast iron isn’t as heavy-duty as the Dewalt’s cast iron.
  • HP is only 7.1

The best news when you compare the air compressors on our list is the price. The Industrial Air is not the cheapest but its price tag of $595 compares favorably with the higher-priced DeWalt and Ingersoll Rand. It is more durable and top of the line than the Husky.

2. Husky 30 Gallon Air Compressor Best 30 Gallon Air Compressors Under $500

Best 30 Gallon Air Compressors Under 500

On the other hand, if you are just looking for a high-quality air compressor for under $500, you can’t go wrong with the Husky 30 Gallon. With its high-performance motor and pump it can do whatever you need to be done in the 30 gallons, 175 PSI range.

What We Like

  • High-performance motor and pump give 175 maximum PSI and 5.1 CFM. This means this unit has longer airtime than many others. Quiet unit with 78 DBA’s
  • The high flow regulator gives you just the right amount of air for the tool you are using to reach maximum performance.
  • This unit has 40% longer run times for your tools.
  • Small footprint takes up less space than others.

What We Didn’t Like 

  • Stainless steel rather than cast iron.
  • HP is only 5.0

3.Ingersoll Rand 30-gallon Air CompressorBest 30 Gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor

Best 30 Gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor

Ingersoll Rand is one of the major brands in this market and the 30 gallon unit with two stages, though expensive is one of their best. Made from the best materials it is durable and innovative.

What We Like

  • The engine made by Honda – one of the most reliable brands.
  • It doesn’t need as much maintenance as other brands.
  • This unit is a fuel saver and runs very quietly.
  • This air compressor, built in America, has a backup system to start the unit if there is a power failure.
  • Two-stage, 175 PSI, 24 CFM made of solid cast iron.
  • Solid HP at 13.1.

What We Didn’t Like 

  • This unit is very expensive – over $2700, when you can buy an Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Belt-Driven unit for a little under $600.

4.DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 –  30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor 

DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor

Getting the right air compressor for your plasma cutter can be a challenge. Every plasma cutter is a little different, but they all need an air compressor with a PSI over 80 and pressure controls that can be adjusted. You want an air compressor that is going to be very durable.

Cast iron is a plus and the three we considered are all cast iron. We chose the DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 for these reasons:

  1. It has a PSI of  155 and a CFM of 22, giving it one of the highest in the industry and more power than your plasma cutter will need. 
  2. The DeWalt is one of the most durable of the 30 gallon cast iron units and will stand up to anything your plasma cutter can dish out.

What We Like 

  • It is oil-free and low maintenance with a pump design that is patented and has a two-piece cooling system. This is very helpful when the plasma cutter heats up.
  • The induction motor and the high flow regulator add to the unit’s ability to provide peak performance.
  • This peak performance is also enhanced by overload protection, extending the life of the pump.
  • The horsepower is plenty for this application at 13.1.

What We Didn’t Like 

  • It’s a two-stage unit that is almost as expensive as the Ingersoll Rand unit.


5.Campbell Hausfeld 30 Gallon Portable – Best 30-gallon Air Compressor For Use With A Sandblaster

Campbell Hausfeld 30 gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor

Much like using your air compressor for a plasma cutter, there are requirements for using your sandblaster as well. A PSI of at least 90 is needed and 100 is better. The size of your nozzle is determined by the amount of CFM you have. The more CFM, the larger the nozzle should be.

If you can’t get a high enough CFM or SCFM in a portable unit then you might have to consider a more powerful industrial model. However, for the most sandblasting job, a PSI of over 100 and a CFM of over 10 should do the job. In this category, we chose the Campbell Hausfeld 30 Gallon Portable.


  • PSI is 135.
  • CMF is 10.2
  • Designed to handle a variety of tasks from minor painting to nail upholstery to sandblasting.
  • Durable and made of cast iron, unlike the Industrial Air or Powermate units.
  • Enough power for a professional and easy enough for a DYI user.
  • Its two-cylinder pump is oiled and quiet.


  • Most expensive unit in the group.
  • Horsepower is 2.0 which is low but enough to get the job done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Is The Best 30-gallon Air Compressor?

This is not an easily answered question as you can see by the choices we have made in these different categories. No one unit is selected as the best answer for more than one category. In the end, it will come down to what you need your air compressor for and how much you are willing to spend.

Of the six units we reviewed, we would rank the overall best unit to be the Ingersoll Rand 30 Gallon Air Compressor. Because it has the highest PSI/CMF, is cast iron and durable, one of the best brands in the industry and a two-stage unit. This would only be the best choice however if you can afford it at $2750. It is also the highest priced unit of the six and the Husky at $440 might do what you need just as well.

Q. Will A 30-gallon Air Compressor Paint A Car?

For the most part, the answer is yes. If you use the small spray gun with the smaller nozzle it can be done. It is not recommended, however, because you probably cannot paint the entire car in one continuous motion. Your tank could easily run out before you are finished. Then you will have to stop and start again after you tank refills, which could be as much as 40 minutes later. In these circumstances, it is highly probable that you will not get a smooth, consistent paint job.

Q. What Are The Typical Uses For 30-gallon Air Compressors?

The 30-gallon air compressor is usually a nice, smaller, portable unit, although there are exceptions to every rule. A 30-gallon air compressor is well suited to inflating tires of all sorts. It is great for running pneumatic power tools in your garage or shop. We have already seen that is can work with both plasma cutters and sandblasters. The 30-gallon air compressors are a good starting point for anyone with a lot of home projects or a small shop.

Q. How Do I Properly Store And Drain My Air Compressor?

Best 30-gallon Air Compressor For Use With A Plasma Cutter

It’s important to properly drain and store your air compressor because if you don’t it could rust or be damaged in some way. Here are the steps to taking care of your air compressor when you want to store it for a while.

  • Make sure you have a clean, dry space to store your air compressor. Make sure it is a location without moisture and condensation. The best place is up off the floor on a pallet and out of the line of direct sunlight.
  • Unplug it from the outlet. Never leave your air compressor plugged in.
  • Turn the air pressure outlet to zero.
  • Remove all the attachments and tools. Don’t leave anything on the compressor.
  • Place a drain pan at the valve. Tilt the compressor and open the valve until all water is drained from the unit. Be careful as the pressurized air will come out first, fast and furious. The condensation and fluid will follow.
  • Close the valve and place your unit on the pallet in the storage area.

If you follow this procedure, your air compressor will last for many, many years.

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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