The best 3-gallon air compressor models are compact in design and often lightweight, making them easy to move from one job site to another. Most of them are suited for a myriad of DIY as well as professional projects, including powering light-duty pneumatic tools. 

Air compressors with a 3-gallon air tank come in a myriad of sizes, brands, and specifications. The choice of the right one will mainly depend on the intended application.

In this regard, you should consider such things as the CFM, and PSI ratings, duty cycle, and power while shopping for the right one. Reviewed below are the top five, 3-gallon air compressor models you should consider. 

Best 3 Gallon Air Compressors

Air Compressor Model Max Pressure Power (HP)
Campbell Hausfeld  10 Piece Accessory Kit110 PSI0.8 HP
STEALTH Air Compressor, Blue-SAQ-1301150 PSI 1 HP
Craftsman Cm 3 Gal Oil-Free 155 PSI 1.5 HP 
K-Tool International (KTI89023) 100 PSI 1/3 HP 
Hyper Tough 0100311A 100 PSI 1/3 HP

1.Campbell Hausfeld  10 Piece Accessory KitBest 3-Gallon Air Compressor Model Overall

The 3-gallon Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV Portable Air Compressors is an affordable, compact and powerful compressor option. It comes with a 10 piece accessory kit to get you started on your DIY projects right out of the box.

The model is comparatively lightweight, weighing about 21 pounds, and is fitted with a handle for enhanced portability. 

Despite being a compact air compressor model, the FP209499AV is quite powerful, delivering an airflow of 0.36 CFM @ 90 PSI, and a maximum pressure of 110 PSI. This makes it suited for such applications as stapling, painting, and inflation. 

In addition to the air compressor, you will also get a 25 ft. recoil hose, air chuck, and a blowgun with each purchase. You will also like the user-friendly design of this unit.

It features a 3-gallon horizontal compressor design with intuitive gauges for precise pressure control. 

Air Compressor, Portable, 3 Gallon Horizontal, Oilless, w/ 10 Piece Accessory Kit Including Air Hose & Inflation Gun (Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV)


2.STEALTH Air Compressor, Blue-SAQ-1301 – Most Ultra Quiet 

At 44 pounds, the Stealth SAQ-1301 is yet another one of the lightweight and portable 3-gallon air compressors you can get. The unit also features a compact design, measuring 19 inches/ 18 inches/ 13 inches. These make the product easy to transport and store. 

This Stealth air compressor is fitted with a 1HP motor, making it powerful enough for all the advanced at-home projects. As such, you may use the compressor to power finishing, brand nail, or roofing nail guns. The model is designed to produce a steady airflow within a pressure range of 120 to 150 PSI. 

Despite delivering such an impressive performance, the SAQ-1301 is rather quiet in operation. It produces about 70dB of noise. With this product, you will have an easy time switching between some of the most used pneumatic tools. It is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. 

Stealth Portable Ultra Quiet Air Compressor,3 Gallon,Oil-Free Pump,1HP,150 PSI,120V,60Hz Electric Air Tool SAQ-1301,Blue


3.Craftsman Cm 3 Gal Oil-Free Compressor

With this Craftsman 3-gallon oil-free air compressor, you can keep your basketballs, bike and car tires all inflatables inflated to the right pressure. The compressor comes with a 7 piece accessory kit for enhanced versatility.

In addition to inflating items, you may also use it to power brad and staple nail guns during home improvement projects. The product is comparatively small and lightweight for enhanced portability.

With regard to the wealthy, it features tough steel construction for extended durability. The manufacturer uses an oil-free piston pump on this compressor.

This allows for a no-load start and reduces wear on its components considerably. You will also get a 25 ft. flexible hose with each purchase for extended reach.

4.K-Tool International (KTI89023) Air CompressorMost Affordable 3-Gallon Air Compressor

Are you looking for an affordable 3-gallon air compressor? You should consider getting one that offers great functionality as well. In this case, the K-Tool International (KTI89023) Air Compressor will come in handy. According to the manufacturer, this product is designed to offer improved user satisfaction and dependability. 

Despite being a cheaper option, this K-Tool international product is packed with a range of performance and convenience features. To begin with, the oil-free horizontal air compressor features an induction motor that is rated 1/3 HP. The model measures 20.866″x 7.874″x 15.748 and weighs about 24.8 pounds. 

As such, it can easily deliver a maximum pressure of 100 PSI, and a steady airflow at all times. The electric air compressor needs to be plugged into a 120V, 60Hz mains socket to run. It will require a 3 amp current to start up and run. It is backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty. 

K Tool International Oil Free Air Compressor Horizontal Tank Design 3-Gallon 1/3 HP Motor Lightweight Easy to Carry; KTI89023


5.Hyper Tough 0100311A 3-Gallon Air Compressor – Most Portable 3 Gallon Air Compressor

The Hyper Tough 3-Gallon Air Compressor features a 1/3 horsepower oil-free motor. The model has been proven to offer acceptable durability with minimal maintenance. It is equipped with a flip-up handle for easy storage and easy carrying. 

You will also like the suction cup feet used on this unit that is designed to offer reliable stability during operation. The 3-gallon air compressor produces a maximum pressure of 100 PSI.

This makes it a great Inflator option for smaller car tires and bike tires. You may also use your Hyper Tough 0100311A for stapling/fastening, hobby painting, and nailing applications. 

It comes with an innovative Quick-Connect coupler that features easy-to-read gauges. These make it easy to connect and operate the compressor. For enhanced ease of use, this product features a large regulator knob for precise pressure adjustments. 

Hyper Tough 0100311A 3-Gallon Air Compressor


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can a 3-gallon air compressor do?

A: The less powerful 3-gallon are primarily used as inflators to fill an array of items, including tires, air mattresses, and balls. If the unit has a powerful motor and pump, it may as well be used to power different light-duty pneumatic tools. 

For instance, they may be used to power floor, and brand nailers. Some of them may also be used for DIY airbrushing applications. 

Q: Will a 3-gallon air compressor run a framing nailer?

A: Whether or not a 3-gallon air compressor can power a framing nailer will depend on its CFM and PSI ratings. To use a framing nailer at a moderate speed, you will need a 3-gallon compressor with an airflow of at least 2 CRM and a pressure of 120 PSI. 

If the air compressor has a lower CFM rating, you can only drive a few nails at a time and then allow the unit some time to fill up the tank. 

Q: Are 3-gallon air compressor oil-free?

A: Yes, most of the leading 3-gallon air compressor models are equipped with oil-free piston pumps. This has been proven to reduce wear, noise and the need for maintenance. 

Ideal For DIY Projects

Almost all the 3-gallon compressor models available today feature are compact and lightweight design. They are ideal for most DIY projects and a number of light-duty air tools.

Just as is the case with most of the models reviewed above, you should get one that comes with accessories.

In this regard, some of the best 3-gallon air compressors come as kits with a long hose, inflation accessories, and even a nail gun in some cases. You should also go for a model that has two outlets and a secure cord wrap mechanism.