10 Best 60 Gallon Air Compressors For Small Shop
Most small shops (body shops and tire shops) will require at least a 60 gallon air compressor. The general rule of thumb is that if your air tools require 40 CFM of air, then you need a 60 gallon air compressor.
We know that a small impact wrench requires at little as 6 CFM, while full impact wrench would demand as much as 23 CFM. Assuming an average of 15 CFM per gun and the need to use at least 2 guns simultaneously, we can determine that a decent 60 gallon air compressor should have around 30 CFM.
Based on our research, the best 60-gallon air compressor is the Emax EGES1860ST, because it produces 34 CFM, and has a max PSI of 175. In addition, it has 18 HP motor which makes it the most powerful 60-gallon compressor. It is rated for up to 50,000 working hours, which makes it a good investment.
However, it is very pricey and requires a large amount of power, if you would like to consider other 60-gallon air compressors, read on.
Best 60 Gallon Air Compressors
|Model||CFM @ 90 PSI||HP||Max PSI|
|Emax EGES1860ST||34 SCFM||18 HP||175|
|Dewalt DXCMV5076055||15.5 SCFM||5 HP||175|
|California Air Tools CAT-60033CR||7.70 SCFM||3.3 HP||125|
|Ingersoll Rand 2340L5||14.3 SCFM||5 HP||175|
|Quincy QT-54||15.2 SCFM||5 HP||175|
|Industrial Air ILA3606056||11.5 SCFM||3.7 HP||155|
|Campbell Hausfeld XC602100||7.6 SCFM||3.7 HP||175|
|Dewalt DXCMLA3706056||11.5 SCFM||3.7 HP||155|
|Powermate PLA3706056||11.5 SCFM||3.7 HP||155|
|Puma Industries PK-6060V||12 SCFM||3 HP||135|
Our Top Picks
1. Emax EGES1860ST – Most Powerful
If you’re looking for a powerful 60-gallon air compressor with amazing airflow and durability, then you’ve come to the right place. The Emax 60-Gallon air compressor is definitely one of our favorites.
We were impressed by how quickly it filled from 0-175 PSI. According to our stopwatch, it took 5 minutes to fill from empty to full and 3 minutes to fill from 90 PSI to 175 PSI. Even when we were using the compressor, the PSI remained ideal for all pneumatic tool applications. Even at constant operation, the Cool-Tek Air Stream Technology system provides the unit with a 35% lower operating temperature.
The strong 18 HP Honda Engine provided us with reliable operation and steady CFM output. This air compressor provided us with 34 CFM @ 175 PSI and 36 CFM @ 100 PSI. This was plenty of airflow to run a medium sandblaster, plasma cutter, air hammer, and more off of the 2/4” outlet. It worked well on many of the medium-duty home projects we needed to do.
We really liked this compressor for one main reason; it’s gas-powered. There’s no need to have electricity. Just pour some gas into the 5-gallon tank and you’re ready to go. It does have an electric start with a low RMP design and has been rated for up to 70,000 hours of life. It does require oil maintenance, but the valve oil drain allowed us to quickly access the oil.
Our only complaint is that even though it has low RPMs, it still gets loud and you can’t hear people talking while it’s running. Additionally, it’s pricey and not portable.
2. DeWALT DXCMV5076055 – Runner Up
DeWALT is a favorite brand of ours due to its reliable tools and equipment. The DeWALT 60-gallon air compressor was a great addition to our garage. Not only did it perform reliably, but it exceeded our expectations when it came to workload.
For starters, this compressor has a maximum PSI of 175, which is enough to power and operate more than one tool at a time. It took 4 minutes to fill from 0-175 PSI and 2 minutes to fill from 90 to 175 PSI. This was one of the quickest times we clocked. However, it’s not very often that the tank gets below 100 PSI, so it doesn’t require filling very often due to the 75% duty cycle. Additionally, it only uses 22 amps and has a large ¾” air outlet port.
This compressor has a good CFM rating of 13.5 @ 175 PSI and 15.3 CFM @ 100 PSI. We were able to easily operate a sandblaster, air hammer, air drill, and sander without the compressor bogging down or losing power. We ran a couple of them at the same time and the compressor kept up with it nicely. They were easy to hook up to the two quick-connect air outlets.
In addition to a high PSI and CFM rating, the compressor also has a heavy-duty 5.0 HP electric motor with thermal overload protection. This will help protect the motor from voltage fluctuations. All of the parts are made from cast iron for maximum durability as well as asymmetrical cooling fins to help the compressor run cooler while maintaining consistent compression efficiency.
3. California Air Tools – Quietest
California Air Tools has always treated us right. This particular 60-gallon air compressor is quieter than most, coming in at just 75 decibels. It’s not the quietest, but we can hear ourselves think when it’s in use.
This compressor only has a maximum PSI of 125, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t perform as well as the others. From 0-125 PSI, it took 3 minutes to fill and from 0-75 PSI, it took a minute. It doesn’t take as long as the other compressors because it doesn’t have as much PSI as the others do. Additionally, it can run for 4 hours at 90 PSI and 6 hours at 40 PSI without needing a break.
As far as the CFM goes, it has more than we expected. It provided us with 10.60 CFM @ 90 PSI and 12.60 CFM @ 40 PSI. It allowed us to run multiple tools at once without diminishing air production. We used a plasma cutter and a heavy-duty impact gun at the same time without an issue.
We like that this compressor has an oil-free pump. This cuts down on maintenance and costs. There’s no need to check the oil, change it, or worry about it running out and burning out the motor. Additionally, instead of having one motor, it has two of them, each being 2.0 HP. To us, this seems easier to maintain. If one were to go bad, you can replace it and still operate the compressor.
If we could complain about one thing, it would be that the machine requires a constant 94 lbs of pressure to keep functioning.
4. Ingersoll Rand 2340L5 – Best for Industrial Use
It’s not exactly an industrial air compressor, but it does have industrial capabilities. It offers exceptional performance and reliability as well as durable construction. It has a lifespan of 15,000 hours of trouble-free use.
This compressor has an impressive 175 PSI rating for plenty of pneumatic tool usage. It took 6 minutes to fill from 0-175 PSi and 4 minutes to fill from 90-175 PSI. It’s definitely more than other compressors, but its durability and functionality certainly make up for it. The 5 HP motor is designed to meet the needs of most services including automotive, fleet maintenance, woodworking shops, car cleaning, and more.
We found the CFM output to be sufficient enough for most of our tools. It has a rating of 14.3 CFM @ 90 PSI and 15.3 CFM @ 40 PSI. This is actually more than most of the compressors on the list, which is why we highly recommend it if you have heavy-duty projects you need to complete.
In addition to a high CFM and PSI output, the compressor itself is easy to service. It has individually cast cylinders, a one-piece connecting rod, and overhung crankshaft. You can get away with 2,000 of service between changeouts. It will perform four times longer than lubricants that are petroleum-based.
Our main issue with the compressor is that there are no anti-vibration pads on the feet and the oil filler hole makes it impossible to see how full or empty it is.
5. Quincy QT-54 – Best 5 HP Compressor
We like this compressor for the best 5 HP unit because of its durability under extended periods of use as well as its ultra-quiet operation. It has features that a lot of the main competitors lack as well.
For starters, the compressor has a 30,000-hour pump life rating. Since the motor runs at a lower RMP of 3,450, it runs cooler and costs less to operate. Not only that, but it has a 100% duty cycle, so it never shuts off. However, we recommend giving it a break once an hour or so to avoid overextending the pump and motor’s capabilities.
Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor - 5 HP, 230 Volt, 1 Phase, 60-Gallon Vertical, Model Number 2V41C60VC
The 5 HP motor did a lot for us. It was able to get the compressor from 0-175 PSI in 6.5 minutes and 90-175 PSI in 2 minutes. It’s right up there with some comparable compressors. It runs on a 230v electric supply and is splash lubricated. So it does require some maintenance on your part to keep the pump in working order.
As far as air output goes, it delivers 15.4 CFM @ 90 PSI and 16.4 CFM @ 40 PSI. We tested it on a variety of medium-duty pneumatic tools and weren’t disappointed. It ran my plasma cutter flawlessly.
It’s the perfect amount of CFM for light or medium-duty household projects. You can even use this compressor on a job site that requires air hammers, nail guns, framing nailers, and more.
As far as we could tell, there was no low oil protection system on the unit, which may be an issue. Additionally, it’s expensive.
6. Industrial Air ILA3606056 – Cheapest
If you want a good quality air compressor for a price that doesn’t break the bank, then this Industrial Air 60-gallon unit is a good choice. The ASME air receiver provides more air for longer periods on a wide range of pneumatic tools such as hammers, ratchets, and more.
The maximum PSI of this unit is 155 with a running horsepower of 3.7. It took 4 minutes to fill the compressor from 0-155 PSI and 1.5 minutes from 75-155 PSI. It’s oil-lubricated and designed to run quietly and efficiently. It’s ideal for a home garage or small construction site and served its purpose well for us.
We found the CFM rating to be quite accurate. It has a rating of 13.4 CFM @ 40 PSI and 11.5 CFM @ 90 PSI. We ran an air ratchet and impact wrench at the same time without disappointment. There was no bogging down and the compressor stayed running at full capacity.
We were impressed by all of the features the compressor offers. It has an easy-to-read pressure gauge, on/off switch, Swedish stainless steel reed valves, oil sight glass, and a 12-inch cast iron balanced flywheel.
The cast iron cylinder is also thermally stable and the motor is spread voltage, which allows the unit to operate on 208 or 240 volts without having to change the wiring.
The only complaint we have about the compressor is that it’s louder than most and we needed to use earplugs.
7. Campbell Hausfeld XC602100 – 60 Gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor
The Campbell Hausfeld compressor is a good-quality oil-lubricated, two-stage pump compressor with 3.7 HP and 230 volts. It was an impressive air compressor with many features that worked well to our advantage.
The compressor has a maximum PSI of 175. It took roughly 5 minutes to fill from empty and 2 minutes to fill from 90 PSI to 175 PSI. It’s not as quick as other comparable compressors, but we weren’t too worried about it. It provided a good amount of air output to a variety of our pneumatic tools including air hammers and brad nailers.
In addition to the high PSI output, it also has a decent CFM output. The compressor delivers 7.6 CFM @ 90 PSI and 8.6 CFM @ 40 PSI. We operated multiple tools at once and they were all still putting out the pressure they were supposed to. Additionally, its quick recovery time allowed us to spend more time on our projects and less time waiting.
We noticed that this compressor ran a lot cooler than most. This greatly reduces the chances of the air compressor overheating. Not only that, but due to this and the other cooling features, the compressor has a longer lifespan of 5,000 hours. If something should go wrong, there’s a generous 3-year limited warranty.
We were surprised to find that the compressor doesn’t come with a power cord, which we thought was a little strange.
8. DeWALT DXCMLA3706056 – Best Value
If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, then this DeWALT 60-gallon compressor is what you need. It’s not too expensive and it offers a ton of features that anybody would like to have in a stationary air compressor.
The first thing we want to mention is its quick fill-up time. It took only 3 minutes to fill from empty to 155 PSI and less than a minute to fill from 75 PSI to 155 PSI. The electric motor kicks right on when the power button is activated, allowing for a quick fill time. Not only that, but the compressor has a high flow port, pressure gauge, and on/off switch for added control.
We also took note of the fantastic CFM rating. It has a CFM rating of 13.4 CFM @ 40 PSI and 11.5 CFM @ 90 PSI. This allowed us to run various pneumatic tools with different CFM ratings. We used a plasma cutter with a CFM requirement of 12 and the compressor was capable of keeping up with it. We were surprised, to be honest.
Overall, we were happy with the results we got from this particular DeWALT compressor. The main difference between this one and our runner-up above is that it has less PSI and CFM output.
Our only issue with this compressor was that it doesn’t come with the necessities such as the power cord, ¾” air regulator, or filter. These need to be purchased separately.
9. Powermate PLA3706056 – Best Cast Iron Compressor
Cast iron is one of the best materials for cylinders because of its longevity. This is why we chose Powermate as the best cast iron compressor. It’s also very similar to the Quincy 60-gallon compressor we mentioned above as well as the Ingersoll Rand.
Even though the Powermate only has a maximum running PSI of 155, it didn’t disappoint. The tank filled quickly from 0-155 PSI in just under 3 minutes and refilled from 75 PSI to 155 PSI in just under a minute. To us, this was impressive since most other comparable units took over 3 minutes to fill. Additionally, the PSI output was more than sufficient for most of our pneumatic tools.
In addition to the sufficient PSI, there’s an optimal CFM rating of 8.0 @ 90 PSI and 9.0 CFM @ 40 PSI. We used a pneumatic polisher that required 10 CFM and the compressor kept up with it very well. We polished a car for a few hours without the compressor turning off or losing pressure. It exceeded our expectations, to say the least.
We liked how the compressor can operate on a 208 or 240v without having to change wires. We didn’t experience any type of power fluctuation while the compressor was being operated either. Some other notable features include the one-piece cast iron crankcase, thermally stable cast iron cylinder body, and cast iron balanced flywheel.
Our main complaint regarding the compressor is the fact that it doesn’t come with a regulator and it’s not as quiet as other compressors in its class.
10. Puma Industries PK-6060V – Best Commercial Grade
If you’re looking for a nice commercial-grade compressor, you’re in luck. The Pump INdustries PK-6060V compressor has a strong 3 HP motor and a single-stage belt-driven air pump capable of lasting over 10 years.
We first want to mention the PSI rating. It comes in at only 135 PSI, which doesn’t seem like a lot. It’s definitely not as high as comparable units, but it didn’t disappoint. From 0-135 PSI, it only took 2.5 minutes to fill and 1 minute to fill from 65 PSI. Once it was filled, the PSI maintained its level and supplied us with adequate airflow to our pneumatic tools.
As with most air compressors, this one has a quick-connector air fitting for simple tool attachment. Once our tools were attached and the compressor was ready, we were supplied with 11.3 CFM @ 90 PSI and 12.6 CFM @ 40 PSI. This is more than some other comparable compressors in its class, which surprised us since the price was so low.
Since this is an oil-lubricated compressor, you’ll need to maintain it. However, this helps give the compressor quiet and smooth performance. There’s also a built-in pressure regulator to help control its output. Not only that, but it has a thermal overload protection system to keep the motor safe.
Unfortunately, the on/off switch is so flimsy, or this may have been the perfect compressor.
60-Gallon Vs. Smaller Sizes
60-gallon air compressors are capable of producing enough output for high-demand applications. They are larger, but since they have more air storage, they also have higher maximum pressure which makes the extra load worth it.
One of the main benefits of large air compressors is that you can fill it up, transport it to another location without electricity, and use the air that’s stored in it for all sorts of pneumatic tools. The smaller air compressors require being plugged in all of the time because they can’t store much air and constantly need to be filled.
Additionally, 60-gallon ait compressors have high PSI ratings. This is great for tools that require a high PSI output such as sanders and plasma cutters.
How Reliable Are 60-Gallon Air Compressors?
60-Gallon air compressors are more reliable than smaller units. However, this can all depend on the model and how you are going to use the machine. Smaller units seem to be more complex than larger units as well.
A larger tank also means that the motor will kick on less to keep the pressure accurate. Any time the engine is off, components aren’t being used and worn out, so the compressor can last longer.
The other side of this debate is that the 60-gallon compressors are going to cost a lot more than your standard 10-gallon hotdog compressor. In contrast, this means that there are going to be higher-grade parts in its construction.
What Makes A Good 60-Gallon Air Compressor?
CFM, PSI, HP, and Price all make for a good 60-gallon air compressor. You always have to make sure the compressor is going to be powerful enough for what you need or want to do with it. How much PSI and CFM do your tools require? Do you need one stage or two? These are all things you need to know before you purchase a large compressor.
HP stands for horsepower. Generally speaking, the higher the horsepower, the higher the pressure produced and the capacity of the user. You may find that 60-gallon compressors usually run from 1.5-6.5 horsepower.
PSI stands for pounds per square inch and this is important. This is how much pressure the compressor can give you. It’s essential to the consideration in what size compressor you purchase. Many 60-Gallon compressors have a max PSI of between 150-175, with some having only 135 PSI.
This is probably the most important measurement to consider. This stands for cubic feet per minute and measures how many cubic feet of compressed air can be produced every minute. This will depend on how much PSI the compressor has. All pneumatic tools will have a CFM and PSI rating. It has to match or be over that rating to properly perform.
Why Do You Need A 60-Gallon Air Compressor?
You may need a 60-gallon air compressor for medium-duty tasks that require a higher CFM and PSI rating. They’re great for inflating tires, sandblasting, air painting, air sanding, and using air blowguns. These are all tools you would need to restore a car, which you can’t do with anything less than a 60-gallon air compressor.
You can also use this large air compressor for pressure washing, car detailing, woodworking, automotive repair, and even for small construction sites that require brad nailers, sanders, and screw guns.
What To Look For In A 60-Gallon Air Compressor
CFM and PSI aside, there are certain characteristics of a 60-gallon air compressor that will require some thought. Here are some of the things that are common to all models we reviewed.
What type of compressor do you need? One, two, or three stages? Single-stage compressors are ideal for stapling, sawing, and nailing. Two-stage compressors are best for auto repairs or auto shops. 3-stage compressors are more for industrial use.
There are one, two, and three-cylinder compressors which determine the efficiency of compressing the air. The more cylinders the compressor has, the more it’s going to cost to run it and it will also determine how long you can run it.
Do you have time to maintain the compressor? If not, then an oil-less compressor is your go-to. Oil-less compressors don’t require oil to be put into them, so you don’t have to maintain them. However, oil-lubricated compressors last longer but require maintenance every 2,000 hours or so.
Do you prefer gas or electricity? Gas-powered compressors can be used anywhere whereas electric compressors require electricity
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Install a 60-Gallon Air Compressor?
Determine where you want to put the compressor and how much hose you’re going to need, then set the compressor on isolator pads. This will help stabilize the compressor and keep noise to a minimum as well as vibrations. We suggest using hose extensions rather than power extensions to get the reach you desire.
What Is The Best Way to Use A 60-Gallon Air Compressor?
Simply connect the air hose before you use it. This is to ensure the voltage doesn’t drop, which can be a huge issue with high current compressors. You should also check the oil level before each use as well if it’s oil-lubricated.
Once the tank is turned on, it will fill with air to its maximum PSI. The machine will then switch off until you begin using its supply. It will then refill when needed. We suggest shutting it down for 15-minutes or so every few hours if it’s a continuous duty to avoid motor damage.
As you can see, there’s a lot to know about a 60-gallon air compressor. We’ve covered some of what we consider to be the best 60-gallon air compressors in various categories. Overall, it’s our opinion that if a unit is reasonably priced, sturdy, reliable, and provides optimal PSI and CFM, such as the Emax, you can’t go wrong.