Air compressors in your home garage are used to inflate tires, blow the dust off the driveway, and power small air tools such as a ratchet, an impact wrench, or a pneumatic nail gun.
Therefore, when selecting an air compressor for your garage, you want a compressor with 60 to 80-gallon tank and a max PSI of 135. We believe those metrics will allow you to run efficiently without the annoying noise of refilling.
The best compressor for a home garage is Campbell Hausfeld VT6271, based on our research and personal experience. It got a decent tank capacity and an impressive 10.2 CFM.
However, if you like to check out other garage air compressors, read on.
Our Top Picks For Garage Air Compressor
|Product name||Decibels||CFM @ 90 psi||Tank Capacity - Gallons|
|California Air Tools 20040DC||75||10.6 SCFM||20|
|Campbell Hausfeld VT6271||70-80||10.2 SCFM||30|
|Quincy Q12126VPQ||79||7.4 SCFM||20|
|Eagle EA-6500 Silent Series||53||6.0 SCFM||20|
|Industrial Air ILA1883054||70||5.7 SCFM||30|
|Ingersoll-Rand Model# P1.5IU-A9||75-80||5.5 SCFM||20|
|California Air Tools 10020C||70||5.3 SCFM||10|
|DEWALT DXCM271-COM||78||5.1 SCFM||27|
|NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage||80||5.0 SCFM||20|
|Ford Silent Series FCE6150QV||59||2.9 SCFM||15|
|Porter Cable PXCMF220VW||84||4.0 SCFM||20|
|Campbell Hausfeld DC080500||68||2.4 SCFM||8|
|3.5HP 10-Gallon Pneumatic Portable||N/A||3.5 SCFM||10|
|DEWALT D55167||78||5.0 SCFM||15|
|Husky 20 Gal. 175 PSI Portable Air Compressor||83||4.0 SCFM||20|
1. Industrial Air ILA188354 – Portable Best Home Garage Air Compressor
This is one of the best options if you are searching for a sturdy air compressor fit for home-based projects. It may not be as heavy-duty as its 60-gallon companion may, but it offers reliable performance and power, backed by its cast-iron, twin-cylinder pump.
Its 120-Volts, 1HP motor, does a splendid job in filling up the 30-gallon tank to 155 PSI. It delivers air at a CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of 5.7 at 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch).
With its noise level of 70 decibels, this belt-driven air compressor is fit for home applications.
The unit is suitable for regular use because of not only the cast iron build but also the oil lubrication, which offers much-needed durability. While the unit comes with an added maintenance requirement, many users did not mind the small inconvenience considering the features offered.
Some of the positives users noted are a quiet operation, robust construction, and a beautiful finish. However, there were complaints about the quality of the pneumatic wheels.
2. Ford FCE6150QV – Best Garage Air Compressor For The Money
This unit is exciting because of its high mobility, silent operation, and minimal maintenance requirement. The 15-Gallon Vertical Air Tank and the motor are tough and also a testament to the sturdy design of Ford products.
The 2HP motor delivers 125-PSI (Pound per Square Inch) maximum, but it produces a mere 59 decibels, making it one of the quietest in the market. Features such as thermal overload protection and easy-to-read pressure gauges add to safety.
The never-flat wheels give high portability with chrome F-150 inspired rims and a sturdy handle with an ergonomic grip. Users find value in the efficiency that comes with the Universal Quick Connect Coupler and the simple to use dual pressure gauges.
No major maintenance is required of the unit, as it features an oil-free pump. While the versatility of the item was impressive for many users, there were several instances of broken pressure gauges.
3. California Air Tools 10020C – Best Air Compressor For Home Shop
An oil-free air compressor promises minimal maintenance headache, so the California Air Tools 10020C is fascinating. It is powerful at 2.0 Hp, but it draws a mere 7.0 Amps, so this item is also efficient.
The life-cycle of the pump before it can suffer any wear is a massive 3000 hours, which is much higher than the average for most air compressors in the category- 500 hours.
At 40 PSI (Pound Per Square Inch), the product gives 6.40 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). It is a peaceful machine to use, because of the low noise of only 70 Decibels, and straightforward operation.
The tank is relatively sizeable- 10 gallons- but it takes 120 seconds to fill up. The device has a Thermal Overload Protector for dealing with overheating issues.
It comes with two smooth and sturdy wheels, an ergonomic handle, and a compact design. Users observed a general sturdy construction, especially for the motor and air tank. However, there were some instances where components failed, and replacements were done in most cases with positive results after that.
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 HP
$462.00 in stock
2 used from $438.15
4. Porter-Cable PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
For your home-based outdoor projects that require dependable airflow, consider this 20-gallon air compressor from Porter-Cable. Like the previous product, this unit is highly portable, promoted by the compact design and the 7-Inch solid rubber wheels.
It is suitable for rough job environments, as evidenced by the fully enclosed shroud that protects the working components. It has a heavy-duty 1.5HP durable motor.
The 4.0 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) at 90-psi airflow takes care of a wide range of jobs around the home, including tire inflation, hobby painting, nailing/stapling, and bolting/wrenching.
This product is easy to use because of the oil-free pump, absence of belts/pulleys, and a manageable weight of 97 pounds. It comes with a pressure gauge, pressure relief valve and pressure switch, and several other handy features.
A particular problem user identified is missing parts, such as bolts for wheels. Otherwise, the simple setup process impressed many.
5. Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 – Portable Quiet Air Compressor, 8 Gallon
The 68-dBA noise is 50% less than what you and most competitors can manage. You can, therefore, use this unit for indoor or outdoor jobs.
It has an 8-gallon tank that is served by an oil-free pump and induction motor, so maintenance is minimal. You will enjoy the services of this item for up to four times longer, thanks to durable features such as the pump and tank.
An ergonomic steel handle and pair of large wheels make movement smooth.
With its 125 Max PSI and 2.4 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) at 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch), the Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 is capable of handling a wide variety of jobs including bolting, fastening, nailing, hobby painting, and stapling.
It is highly compatible with the Campbell 25-ft. Air hose so you can start your projects immediately.
Many users considered the product as excellent value for money, but glaring quality assurance shortcomings and the refill time were issues to some. The quiet performance was a common feature quoted.
6. NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage Portable Air Compressor – 2 HP, 20-Gallon, Vertical, 5.0 CFM
Superior design is the hallmark of the best Home Garage Air Compressors. This is perfectly demonstrated in the unit, which offers power, sturdy construction, and quiet operation, thus earning it ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) certification.
The vertical 20-gallon tank can deliver 5.0 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) @ 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch) to support shop tools such as ratchets, wrenches, and nailers.
The 2-hp cast iron pump is powered by a 15/7.5 amp dual voltage induction motor, has two cylinders, and is a single stage in the design. The pump is oil-lubricated; thus, it gives the unit a quiet operation of 80 dB.
Although the original wiring of the air compressor is for 115-Volts, a qualified technician can rewire it for 230-Volts.
The much-desired portability and versatility features are available in the form of reliable wheels, non-flat wheels, and a vertical design.
For an enhanced pump life, the unit takes care of heat using Copper finned inter- and after-coolers and V-style cylinder design. The cast-iron design promotes durability even further.
This product was top-rated among home garage users for its good performance, strong construction, and large tanks. Users said that they had accomplished many projects with the product.
Apart from selected complaints about some broken components and having to reconfigure the wiring, users were satisfied with the product.
7. Stark 10-Gallon Pneumatic – Good Choice For Contractor With Home Shop
You can use this contractor-grade product indoors because it is 50% quieter than competitors in its category are.
With an industrial air filter that is large and automotive-style, the unit draws in more air and enhances efficiency. Its cylinder is made from the durable cast iron, and its automatic shutoff ensures users’ safety.
The 3.5 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) at 90-PSI (Pound per Square Inch) unit also comes with 10″, two couplers, and low AMP draw. Generally, this Stark air compressor is user-friendly, versatile, and highly portable.
Based on users’ opinions, this is another quality air compressor. The quick buildup of pressure, great price, smooth running, and compactness are some of the positive attributes mentioned.
8. DEWALT D55167 – Low Noise Horizontal Portable Compressor
The DEWALT D55167 comes with a 15-gallon tank that can accommodate as much as 225 PSI (Pound per Square Inch). This unit uses the renowned EHP efficient high-pressure technology that gives excellent air-tool runtimes.
Its 5.0 SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) at 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch) gives good recovery time. Despite the power demonstrated by this equipment, the noise is just 78 dBA as certified, according to ISO3744.
The pump is oil-free, so it does not have demanding maintenance needs.
Measuring 39.6 x 16.5 x 30 inches and weighing at 104 pounds, this product is relatively compact and heavy. It is easy to carry and store because it features a sturdy handle that also acts as a hose wrap.
It also comes with a tough pair of wheels. This compressor goes with a 1-year tool maintenance and parts replacement warranty.
There were cases of loud products, but those could have been caused by poor handling or anything else unrelated to design. Most reviewers talked of a quick loading, portable and easy-to-operate air compressor.
DEWALT Compressor, Oil Free, High Pressure, Low Noise, Horizontal, Portable, 15-Gallon, 1.6 HP, 225 PSI (D55167)
9. Quincy Q12126VPQ – Best Large Air Compressor For Home Garage
This unit is a single stage in the design, but the 79-decibel noise it produces is quite enough for home jobs.
The horizontal 20-gallon tank, the pump, and the motor combine perfectly to create enough CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), 7.4 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) at 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch) to be exact, for a wide range of jobs.
A cast-iron cylinder and an aluminum head for heat dissipation mean the durability of the unit. The manufacturer says that the pump has 10,000 Life Hours.
The unit has durable, smooth wheels and an ergonomic handle for easy movement. A one-year limited warranty is also attractive.
The most attractive features of this unit, according to the user, were accurate CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) rating, smooth performance, and ability to support tools of the caliber of a blowgun continuously.
However, they complained about the tank being too close to the ground.
10. Husky 20 Gal – Portable Air Compressor For Home Garage
Any home garage that handles various jobs would find the powerful and low-maintenance Husky 20-gallon compressor suitable.
Its 1.3 HP motor is capable of filling up the tank in about 5 minutes, leading to a production of 4.0 SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) of air at 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch). This is enough to perform light tasks such as inflating tires.
The Husky 20-gallon air compressor boasts of a maximum 175- PSI (Pound per Square Inch) that provides 80% longer tool run times as compared to its competitors.
A weight of 150 pounds is not particularly low, but the item is easily maneuverable because of the 7 in. wheels and vertical design with a well-placed handle. The unit produces 83-dBA noise; thus, it is generally comfortable to operate.
If there is any design flaw in the Husky 20 Gal. 175 PSI (Pound per Square Inch) Portable Air Compressor, then it is that aluminum hose that connects to the air tank. Users claim that it gets extremely hot.
While not great for large products, this air compressor was praised for its prowess in most home-based DIY projects.
11. Eagle EA-6500 Silent Series Air Compressor – Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor For Home Garage
This compressor realistic should belong to the quietest compressor category since it produces 53 decibels only. The unit is also oil-less, so maintenance costs are low.
It weighs 132 pounds, but it comes with a pair of wheels for easy mobility. The low amp draw feature is good for higher life expectancy.
The 20-gallon air compressor can hold a maximum air pressure of 125-PSI (Pound per Square Inch) max, and deliver 6 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) @90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch).
Other features are an attractive steel face, stainless steel braided discharge tubing, and a drain valve. Users seemed to agree that the air compressor is super quiet, therefore suitable for even late night projects in serene neighborhoods.
However, they said that it did not give the best results for big jobs. The build and finish were considered above average.
Users also found the unit capable of holding the pressure well.
12. Ingersoll-Rand P1.5IU-A9 – Best Air Compressor For Home Garage Auto Repair
DIYers and professional users have a reliable and versatile air compressor in the Ingersoll-Rand P1.5IU-A9. Designed and constructed in strict adherence to Occupational Safety and Health Administration-OSHA standards, this unit gives a stable performance.
One of the standout features is the 2-HP oil-lubricated pump. Although this item can run many tools –paint sprayers, sanders, impact guns, nailers, and so forth- it is relatively quiet, producing only 75-80dB noise.
It delivers 5.2 CFM at 90 PSI. And also the user control is safe and smooth with components such as pressure gauge, pressure switch, regulator, and safety valve.
Users felt that the quiet and smooth operation of the unit was the most significant positives. Home DIY jobs were mentioned as the most suitable for this air compressor.
The Decibel level may not have been as advised for some, and some items may have arrived with broken parts, but there was a general satisfaction.
13. DEWALT DXCM271.COM – Best Garage Air Compressor For Car Tires
This 27-gallon unit with 5.1 SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) at 90-PSI (Pound per Square Inch)capability might be what you need if you are looking for an efficient and powerful air compressor.
It has an impressive SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) of 6.8 at 40 PSI (Pound per Square Inch), which is good enough for an HVLP spray gun robustly designed. It features a dual-purpose handle that also helps wrap the hose and enhance protection.
Therefore, easy to use, thanks to the 2-inch gauges and adequate extension cords. The compressor offers peak performance and high efficiency from its top flow regulator and couplers for maximum airflow and faster recovery times, respectively.
With the 78-dBA noise rating, the DEWALT DXCM271.COM brings minimal noise to the garage.
Although there was a complaint about the quality of the product on shipment, most users were satisfied with the sturdy construction and quiet performance.
14. Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 – Best Air Compressor For Home Garage
You will connect all types of air tools on this highly durable air compressor and get great results, whether you are DIYer, contractor, or professional user.
Projects it can handle include sanding, paint spraying, bolting, and nailing. This is possible because this product comes with an impressive airflow of 10.2 CFM at 90 PSI (Pound per Square Inch).
The unit can sustain the demands for as much as 5,000 hours. It has a maximum of 135 PSI backed by an 80-gallon tank. Even if the 163 pounds is quite manageable even when loading the item onto the truck, Campbell Hausfeld has included large semi-pneumatic wheels for flawless movement.
Apart from the low decibels, this unit is constructed for easier operation and heavy-duty performance. There was a common issue among the users: poor shipment.
While the Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 is a superior air compressor, it doesn’t come without some faults. After receiving the unit, we found it had damaged belt guards, missing bolts, damaged pressure gauges, etc.
With that being said, we had the easiest time using the air compressor and with over 10 CFM, you can do just about anything with it. There was no strain, the equipment did the job, and it was extremely quiet.
Air Compressor, 30-Gallon Horizontal Tank, Portable, Single-Stage, 10.2CFM, 3.7HP, 1 Phase (Campbell Hausfeld VT6271)
How to Setup a Garage Air Compressor System?
It is surprisingly easy to install an air compressor but more complicated than plugging it in. Firstly you need to assign the area you’re going to place your compressor in as well as assessing how much you will have left to use your power tools.
You should also place down some isolator pads, and this will help stabilize the compressor in place as well as minimizing the noise from its vibrations.
And let’s face it no one wants to be shouted at for making too much noise while trying to use their tools. After this, you need to look at your attachments and select the right size.
Then after reading the manual attached, you set up the compressor and connected it to the power outlet you’ve chosen for its use.
What Oil Goes Into a Garage Air Compressor?
It should be noted that not all compressors require oil to function correctly, as some are completely oil-free. However, the air compressors that do require oil require constant lubrication.
It may seem like it’s complicated, and you don’t want to damage your machine by putting in the wrong oil. Some customers would insist that it doesn’t matter which oil you put it as it will all work in the same manner.
When we spoke to experts, however, they said it is best to put an air-compressor oil in your compressor as opposed to motor oil. They recommend using specially designed oil rather than conventional automotive oil usually has more detergents in it, which can damage your machine.
How To Choose
Choosing the best garage air compressor can be difficult, especially if you’re only beginning to accumulate a full shop’s worth of tools.
In our review, we focused on important features a great air compressor for a garage should have, such as whether the compressor runs with or without oil, which drastically affects the ease of use, maintenance requirements, and durability of your compressor.
We also considered the volume of the pump as well as the pressure and airflow it can output, since all of these factors play a vital role in determining what types of tools your air compressor will be able to power.
Buying Guide: What To Look For
Some of the essential questions to ask are:
- How exactly will I use the air compressor?
- What is the space available?
- Do I have noise limitations?
- Will I need to move the air compressor regularly?
- Are the fittings and hoses suitable?
- What are the requirements of the tool(s) in terms of CFM, PSI, etc.?
- What are the setup requirements?
Air Compressor Application
When buying the best air compressor for the home garage, you need to look into the type of work you intend to handle.
The more the air the tool needs, the more, the larger the HP and tank size, and the higher the input voltage you will need. Most homes have 120-Volts power outlets, yet some air compressors might need 230-Volts to run.
Noise and Space
Many air compressors are loud and could affect not only your home occupants but also your neighbors. Single-stage and oil-less compressors tend to be the loudest, generating more than 100 Decibels in some cases.
With such a unit, you might need to arrange to cater for the noise, for instance, muffling the garage.
Most home garage owners would like a portable unit that has wheels for smooth movement to projects far from the garage. You might need to attend to a task at the corner of the home or help a neighbor out.
Specs for the Tools – CFM requirements
Do you have a list of the tools you will be using and the amount of air each will need?
To get the best air compressor for home garage, you need to add up the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) requirements assuming that the tools will at one point work concurrently and then add 30% of the figure to you get.
Size of the Tank
Bigger compressor tanks may be more challenging to maintain and more expensive, take more space, and are less portable, but they can support several tools at the same time.
Any time an air compressor tank empties, it will take time to fill up again. This is called the recovery time, and it can vary a lot for different units. Generally, larger tanks take more time to refill.
Fittings and Hoses
You have identified the specs for tools, and now you are ready to work. One more important step remains: Choosing the right accessories and hoses.
Longer hoses with smaller diameters produce less air pressure, and vice versa. Smaller accessories deliver less air pressure.
While there is no perfect method to install an air compressor in a home garage, certain aspects are generally acceptable. For instance;
- A good filter is necessary to get rid of moisture
- The dryer should contain essentials such as a regulator, shutoff valve and pressure gauge
- Fittings and hose lengths should be appropriate
- Take care of vibrations by installing isolator pads
- Make sure there are no air leakages
The Clear Winner
After extensive research of the best air compressors for home garage, we realized that even though air tools share several features, some units are simply outstanding.
For example, the California Air Tools 20040DC air compressor presents a combination of desirable features such as ultra-quietness, short recovery time, and right tank size.
However, the Eagle EA-6500 Silent Series Air Compressor 20-gallon air compressor is also high with its shallow noise level of 53 decibels. Most of the compressors with large tanks can perform a wide range of jobs, and they can suit even sizable home garages.
Many units offer additional features, such as two cylinders and extended warranties. Therefore, it is vital to be sure which features you will need most and which ones you can forfeit.
Keep an eye on the PSI, tank size, and CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) figures, as these are critical for the best air compressor for home garage. Please let us know your views in the comments section.
Some of the above air compressors can be part of a garage air compressor system.