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10 Best Small Air Compressors Reviewed [Portable & High CFM]

A small air compressors, also known as a mini air compressor, is an air compressor that is designed to be compact and portable. The best small air compressor will have have a durable cast-iron cylinder, along with the motor and pump life, and an automotive-grade oil filter. The best small air compressor will be chosen based on price, features, reliability, psi rating, and best application.

After our list, you can find our buyers got to help you find the best small air compressor for your particular use.

What Are Small Air Compressors Good For?

Some best small air compressors are great for blowing dust, others do a great job powering nail guns, and some are used with impact wrenches. In the table below, you can see the selected product, its manufacturer, the maximum pressure it can generate, its airflow rate CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), whether it’s got a tank or not, how big it is, and also the compressor’s best use. 

Then, there is a Buyer’s Guide that provides some valuable insights into what exactly you should be looking for when purchasing the best small air compressor. In the FAQ section, you can find the answers to some of the hottest questions about small compressed air solutions that are currently circulating online.

What Size of Small Air Compressor Do I Need?

For single tool use, such as a 1/2″ impact wrench, you’ll need about  5.0 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) @ 90 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). For multiple tools use, you need something that can deliver a higher flow rate. A general rule is that for numerous tool use, you must add the CFM of each machine together to determine your needs.

How to Choose The Best Small Air Compressors

When you’re shopping for a small air compressor, the first thing you’ll notice is that they’ve plastered with specifications: 2 HP, 3 gallons, 2.8 CFM, 130 PSI, 73 dB. But don’t let all those specs confuse you. We’ll tell you what they mean, and help you choose a compressor to suit your needs.

We made a list of the 15 best small air compressor that we thought were the best choices for light-duty use. We focused on small to midsize models because they were affordable, portable, and also powerful enough to handle most common DIY projects.

They’re Not For “High-Demand’ Tools

None of the small air compressors that we tested will be ideal for air-hungry tools like pneumatic wrenches, sanders, or paint sprayers. To operate those tools, you’ll need a much larger compressor. So, keep your use-case in mind when reading this article.

Oil-Free Is The Norm

Almost all small air compressors are now oil-less. This means you never have to worry about checking or changing oil. An oil-less small air compressor generally wears out faster than oil-lubricated models, but that’s not likely to be an issue with regular DIY use.

Ignore Horsepower

To get the best read on the amount of airpower a small air compressor can deliver, focus on the air compressors CFM rather than its HP. Small air compressors don’t have large motors, so comparing them based on a motor’s horsepower isn’t very helpful.

10 Best Small Air Compressors

Product nameManufacturerPSI Max.CFM / SCFMHPTank SizeBest Use / FeaturePrice
Makita MAC2400Makita130 4.2 at 90 PSI2.5 4.2 GallonsQuiet operationMore Details
Porter-Cable C2002 Porter-Cable 1502.6 at 90 PSI86 Gallons Best value for moneyMore Details
MASTER G22 Master Airbrush 600.71.50.92 Gallons For powering airbrushesMore Details
DEWALT D55146DeWalt 225SCFM at 90 PSI 1.6 4.5 Gallons Highest CFMMore Details
. Eagle EA-5000Eagle 1255 at 90 PSI2 5.5 GallonsFor powering up impact wrenchesMore Details
Bostitch BTFP02012 Bostitch 1502.6 SCFM at 90 PSI1.5 6 GallonsFor home / garage useMore Details
Excell U256PPE Excell 1502.6 SCFM at 90 PSI1.56 Gallons For nail gunsMore Details
DEWALT D55153FRDeWalt 1253.8 CFM at 100 PSI1.14 Gallons For framing nail gunsMore Details
Hitachi KNT50AB Hitachi 1502.8 CFM at 90 PSI 1.0 6 GallonsFor finishing nail gunsMore Details
Dynaplug Micro Pro InflatorDynaplug 1000.60 CFM at 0 PSI0.073No For UTVMore Details
EPAuto 12V DC Digital Tire InflatorEPAuto 70 1.06 CFMNot specified No For inflating car tiresMore Details
Viair 00073 70PVIAIR 100 1.06CFM at 0 PSINot specifiedNo The best electric air compressorMore Details
CAT-1P1060SCalifornia Air Tools 1201.20 CFM at 90 PSI 0.61.0 Gallon Best for cleaningMore Details
Studio Series Ninja Jet Iwata-Medea 180.25 CFM at 0 PSI0.12NoTanklessMore Details
Studio Series Ninja Jet Porter-Cable 150 psi2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI 0.81.5 GallonThe most powerful small air compressorMore Details

1.Makita MAC2400 – The Best Small Quiet Air Compressor

Makita’s 2.5 HP Air Compressor features Makita’s unique Big Bore™ pump cylinder and a heavy-duty piston for maximum output.  It can easily power up to two nail guns while at the same time providing a quieter working environment on the job site.  Despite its small size, the MAC2400 compressor delivers industrial power and better results because of its enhanced durability.

Non-Stop Operation

Our rigorous tests have confirmed that it can easily cope with some pretty rough job site conditions. The MAC2400’s heart is a 2.5 HP motor that guarantees its continuous operation and high productivity. Also, the Makita Big Bore™ pump with cast iron cylinder has a higher quality bore and stroke for higher maximum compression.

Long Bore, Short Recovery

Additionally, the big-bore provides a shorter recovery time and makes the air compressor less noisy. Additionally, the cast-iron structure is designed for the ultimate durability even under rough weather conditions.

Cool Running And Long Lasting

MAC2400’s oil-lubricated pump is equipped with a large filter that maximizes the air intake and provides higher productivity. We were pleased to find that the MAC2400 air compressor runs much cooler and at half the RPM (Rotations Per Minute) of most of its competitors. Because of this, it’s motor and pump have a generally more extended lifespan.

Low Current Startup

The compressor’s 4.2-gallon twin-stacked tank can hold a maximum operating pressure of 130 PSI and delivers 4.2 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) at 90 PSI, which is enough to power two pneumatic tools at the same time.  The low amp current draw reduces the chance of experiencing tripped breakers and voltage-drops, which is the leading cause of premature motor failure. The roll-bar handle increases the unit’s portability and provides additional protection for its components.

Convenient Oil Drain And Sight

The MAC2400 air compressor also has a convenient oil drain and oil sight glass, while its tank-drain valve supersedes the standard petcock design and provides even easier maintenance.  Also, its finned discharge tubing dissipates heat more efficiently.

Pros

  • Large automotive-style high-quality air filter
  • Durable cast- iron cylinder
  • Longer motor and pump life

Cons

  • This little boy is quite heavy

2.Porter-Cable C2002 – The Best Small Air Compressors For Your Money

Porter-Cable’s C2002 model was named the best buy on this list, mainly for its veracity. It’s got a really affordable price tag, but you will find that reviews of this model range from full five stars to only two stars.

Pancake Style Tank

However, there are relatively few users on the web who demonstrate utter dissatisfaction with this product and give it only one star. Porter-Cable’s 150 PSI 6 gallon oil-free pancake-style model is the best air compressor in the small air compressor’s category. It is designed with a pancake-style tank for maximum stability while in use. This model also features a water drain valve and strengthened rubber feet. 

Long Life Span

The high-pressure design of the tank maximizes your air tools’ performance. This unit is capable of delivering 2.6 CFM at 90 psi, and it’s got a relatively quick recovery time. The oil-free pump requires little maintenance and has a longer life span. Also, the integrated cord wrap facilitates the compressor’s mobility.

Pros

  • The low-amp 120-V motor starts easily in cold weather
  • Only 30 lbs. in weight
  • Very stable

Cons

  • Some users have reported problems with the pop-off safety valve

 

3.MASTER G22 – The Best Small Air Compressors for Airbrush

Master Airbrush’s model G22 features high-quality components that have been designed for efficient operation. At the same time, they provide exceptional atomization and accurate spray control. This model is very versatile because it works well with most paint tools and surfaces.

Hairline Precision

If you remove the needle and nozzle caps, you will be able to spray a more extensive range of textures and achieve stippling effects. This combo unit can spray a hairline up to a 1-1/2-inch-wide pattern. It has got a 1.5-HP motor that enables it to deliver higher air volume CFM and air pressure (PSI) for a more extended period. At the same time, this combo unit is very portable, thanks to its compact design. The built-in carrying handle provides more comfortable transportation and storage. 

Nice Finish But Sticky Trigger

This compressor has a nice finish, it feels good in the hand, and the trigger feels very smooth. There is a slight catch when you press the trigger. This may be because the pin attached to the trigger slides past a rubber seal, and rubber is not a very slick material. A drop of needle lube should help.

True Diaphragm Pressure Regulator

The “True Diaphragm” pressure regulator allows an exceptionally-precise adjustment. Also, the gauge and water trap filter provide a clean and dry air flow. The motor automatically shuts off when the pressure in the tank reaches 60 PSI. It turns on again at 35 PSI.

Pros

  • Works with most paint tools
  • Can power several airbrushes at the same time
  • High-quality manufacturing

Cons

  • Users have reported missing items in the startup pack

4.DEWALT D55146 – The Best High-CFM Small Air Compressor 

This undeniably is the most potent small air compressor on our list.  It is capable of generating a massive air pressure of 225 PSI and can deliver an astonishing 5.0 CFM at 90 PSI despite its small 1.5-HP motor. This model’s vertical stand and the collapsible handle make it very ergonomic and easy to transport or store.

Air Free Tires

The 10-inch non-flat foam tires further facilitate transportation. At the same time, this unit’s 78 dBA operational noise level makes it one of the quietest air compressors at this level of air output. Its dual air couples allow workers to simultaneously use up to three framing nail guns or two roofing nail guns. 

Highly Versatile

This air compressor can be used for both small framing projects and larger remodeling projects. DEWALT’s D55146 is the perfect compressor to choose if you need a lot of power from a unit that requires very little maintenance.

Pros

  • High-quality components manufactured by DeWalt
  • The highest CFM  (Cubic Feet per Minute) on our list
  • The highest maximum PSI on our list

Cons

  • The product’s warranty is just one year

 

5.Eagle EA-5000 – The Best Small Air Compressor For Impact Wrench

An impact wrench is a power tool used for loosening or tightening lug nuts, large bolts, and frozen or rusted fasteners. It is an indispensable tool on the construction site or in the garage. After hours of rigorous testing, we concluded that Eagle’s EA-5000 is the best small air compressor for powering your impact wrench.

High Reliability, Massive Air Output

An impact wrench often requires a sustainable airflow provided by a reliable air compressor. This unit has an oil-free double-piston pump and a 2-HP electric motor that is very quiet. It can generate 125 PSI maximum pressure and deliver an incredible 5 CFM of airflow at 90 PSI. The two wheels on both sides of the unit and the comfortable handle make this compressor portable, yet very stable.

Double The Duty

The sleek, steel face offers extra protection for the pressure gauges. The compressor also features a maintenance-free oil-less head and a lever-type drain valve. The two quick-connect air fitting allows users to easily attach and power two impact wrenches at the same time.

Pros

  • Incredibly powerful for its size
  • Very mobile
  • Manufactured from top-quality materials

Cons

  • The output may drop over time

6.Bostitch BTFP02012 – The Best Small Air Compressor For Your Home 

The BTFP02012 model by Bostitch very much resembles Porter-Cable’s C2002 pancake compressor that was reviewed above.

Great for DIY

Here, we again have a 6-gallon pancake tank that can hold a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. This makes BTFP02012 a very robust unit, perfect for your DIY projects, or the garage. Its 1.5-HP electric motor delivers 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI and has no problem starting up in cold weather.

Lightweight And Portable

This compressor has a high flow regulator, and two universal quick-connect airline fittings to support two air tools at the same time easily. The manufacturer says that this unit is easy to carry and store, as it weighs in at just 29 lbs. Yet, we would have liked to see a couple of wheels on this model for more comfortable transportation. Their absence, however, means that this compressor is very stable when in operation.

Quiet Operation With Convenient Cord Storage

Please note that this air compressor does not include a hose or gun kit. Its motor is suited for extension cord application, so it will have no problem starting up with long cable runs. It got pretty low noise figures at only around 78db. And like other oil-free air compressors, you won’t have to worry too much about regular maintenance.

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • High-output electric motor
  • High flow regulator and quick connect for optimal air tool performance and convenient tool attachments

Cons

  • Ear protection is required when you depressurize the tank

7.Excell U256PPE – The Best Small Air Compressor For Nail Guns

Nail guns are beneficial when one wants to build a hut in the mountain or fix their fence so that the neighbor’s dog doesn’t ravage their garden. They are also good for regular around-the-house upgrades. It can be difficult to know what the best compressor to power up all of the different nail gun models is. Our tireless experts and testers have established that Excell’s U256PPE model is the best small air compressor for such applications. It’s got a 6-gallon tank and has a solid and rugged construction. Its air pump requires very little maintenance, while the 1.5-HP motor generates 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI.

Low Voltage Startup

The U256PPE can hold up to 150 PSI of maximum air pressure so that it can take care of most tasks without issue. The motor’s low voltage startup capability of 64 volts makes this model very suitable for projects in rural areas, where the power supply may be unstable.

Protected Components And Appealing Design

The fully enclosed motor and pump components are well-protected from job site abuse by a nice plastic shroud. One of the best things about this air compressor is the ergonomic handle. It feels terrific to hold and makes this machine easy to move around. 

Well Place Controls

Its got an oil-free pump and motor design, which provides longer operation and fewer costs. It’s always nice to be able to see your gauges easily, and this model has them mounted directly on top. Everything you need is all in one place, right at your fingertips.

Below Freezing Operating Temperatures

Cold starts are not an issue at all with this machine. Its got a proprietary cold weather start system, and it will function at temperatures as low as -24° F (-31° C)! The Excell 1.5 HP oil-free 6-gallon air compressor is a great model for basic inflation needs such as blow cleaning, brad nailing, stapling, finish nailing, hardwood flooring, and light-duty bolting & wrenching.

Pros

  • Extremely versatile
  • Guaranteed startup in cold weather
  • Conveniently located control panel

Cons

  • Some users say this model isn’t very stable 

8.DEWALT D55153FR – The Best Small Air Compressor For Framing Nail Gun

Everyone loves saving money, and this combo kit saves you up to 100 dollars as compared to purchasing the air compressor and nail gun separately. This air compressor sports a 1.1-horsepower motor that has electric overload protection. It provides all the air you need to run a framing nail gun, plus a bunch of extra features into a small, compact unit.

High Flow Rate For Its Size

This little beast is capable of delivering 3.8 CFM at 100 PSI, while the 4-gallon tank can retain 125 PSI maximum pressure. The manufacturer also vows that all fittings are made in the USA. The DeWalt model D55153 has an oil-lubricated shoe and is built with a cast-iron cylinder, for added durability.

High Tech Lightweight Durability

The compressor comes with an initial fill of DeWalt’s special synthetic air compressor oil, plus an oil regulator. DeWalt’s round-head framing nail gun combo kit has enough power to sink nails into even the hardest woods.

Powerful, Yet Lightweight

Powerful enough to conquer any wood, yet it weighs in at just 7.6 pounds. This is achieved by the use of titanium and magnesium build materials. This not only adds to its initial durability but also makes it able to withstand extreme job site conditions. Also, at 12-3/4-inches tall, the nail gun is compact enough to drive nails into some tight spaces.

Patent Pending Technology

DeWalt’s internal valve design generates plenty of power while producing minimum recoil. This compressor is excellent for tasks such as sheathing and decking, and the nail depth is controlled with an innovative tool-free push-button adjustment. This convenient feature eliminates the need for special wrenches or changes to air pressure to get a job complete. Designed with input from professional framers, this versatile combo kit by DeWalt boasts other unique features such as a patent-pending quick-release jam clearing mechanism.

Feature Packed Versatility

Some of those features include a rafter/belt hook, an impact-resistant cast-titanium exhaust plate, and an injection-molded rubber grip. Adding to this kits versatility, this framing nail gun can hold up to sixty 20-degree full round-head nails ranging from 2 to 3-1/2 inches in length and up to 0.148 inches in diameter.

Pros

  • Excellent value for your money
  • Incredibly powerful for its size
  • Good nail-holding capacity

Cons

  • We could not find any recent user reviews on this item

 

9.Hitachi KNT50AB – The Best Small Air Compressor For Finishing Nail Gun

This combo kit by Hitachi includes the popular NT50AE2 2″ 18-gauge brad nail gun that is both lightweight and well-balanced for easy transportation. What we are particularly interested in is the EC710S 6-gallon oil-free pancake compressor that delivers reliable and steady performance. This air compressor can operate multiple nail guns at once, depending on the job’s requirements. 

Comfortable Design

Its 1-HP electric motor is powerful enough to generate 150 PSI of max working pressure for finishing nail guns. The operational air delivery is set at a consistent 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI. The ergonomically-designed simple flip actuation switch allows the user to select bump fire or sequential fire modes easily. 

Industrial Hose Included

In the box, you can also find a lightweight 25′ x 1/4″ hybrid air hose with industrial fittings. The hose is spirally-reinforced for extra durability. It features some heavy-duty bend restrictions that allow it to remain flexible in freezing weather.

Lots of Additional Goodies

In the kit, there are a couple of safety goggles and some pneumatic tool lubricant. The combo kit also has a tool-less, easy to clear nose for quick and simple nail extraction, should a nail jam during operation. The elastomer grip adds comfort and facilitates the combo kit’s transportation.

Pros

  • Comfortable grip for easy towing around the job site
  • Easy to clear nose for quick and simple nail extraction
  • Ergonomically-designed simple flip actuation switch

Cons

  • Issues with the spring-loading mechanism have been reported

10.Dynaplug Micro Pro Inflator – The Best Small Air Compressor For Your UTV

UTV’s (Utility Task Vehicles) are off-road vehicles that can seat between two and people. Some larger models can seat up to six people.

UTVs Best Friend

UTV’s are generally constructed for rougher terrain, on which they still have enough power to haul massive loads. These workhorses have massive tires, which need to be pumped up every once in a while.

Extremely Durable

After a long and thorough search, our tireless experts picked out a special air compressor – the formidable Micro Pro Inflator by Dynaplug. This unique device comprises features that are an industry first.  It is a small but durable tire-inflation system that would meet and surpass your anticipations!  This is a powerful and extremely lightweight tire inflator that can deliver steady and reliable airflow. 

Highly Versatile

It will quickly and easily inflate all UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) tire models, thanks to its zero-Loss inflation valve. The inflator comes with a polyurethane heavy-duty air hose, and a bright LED (Light Emitting Diode) work light. The four different types of power cords mean that you’ll always be able to connect to the power grid, no matter where you are. All components of this unit fit neatly into the zipper case, which is made of ultra-strong ballistic nylon.

Made in The USA

This mini air compressor was reviewed and favored by Rider Magazine. Its the most compact 12-volt air compressor and its packaged in a durable ABS case. Its got a decently accurate air guide that can read up to 100 PSI and runs on anything between 12 14.8 volts DC. Dynaplug is located in Chico, California, and proudly manufactures all of its components in the United States of America.

Pros

  • Delivers incredible inflating power for its small size
  • Manufactured with unrivaled precision
  • Can be operated at night thanks to its LED (Light Emitting Diode) light

Cons

  • Only one year of the limited warranty

11.EPAuto 12V DC Digital Tire Inflator – The Best Small Air Compressor For Car Tires

EPAuto’s Digital Tire Inflator is a must-have device for every active driver. It plugs directly into your car’s cigarette lighter socket.

Works Great For Any Car or Motorcycle

It is powered by 12 V DC and draws 10 to 15 amps at startup. This inflator’s power output is between 120 and 180 W (Watts). This small air compressor is incredibly versatile. It won’t have any problem inflating any car or motorcycle tire.

Good For SUVs, Not For Trucks

Our testers found out it copes reasonably well with mid-sized SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) tires.  It comes with several extra adapters, such as short/long-cone adapters for your kayak. With a maximum PSI of just 70, you cannot expect this compressor to inflate the tires of your small truck. If attempted, the overheat protection will kick in, and the compressor will shut off.

Accessories Included

This model only works on 12V DC power, and it cannot be plugged into a home power outlet. The universal Schrader valve connector is ready to use out of the box. Additional adapters include a needle value (for basketball, balls), short cone/long cone adapters (for an inflatable kayak, swimming pool accessories, etc.).

Safe And Easy

It is easy to read digital display that reads PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM, making this air compressor easy to use for just about anyone. It also got an over-inflation prevention mechanism to make sure you don’t blow out your tire.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Comes with multiple adapters
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The threads inside the attachment hose are quite soft

12.Viair 00073 70P – The Best Small Electric Air Compressor

Viair’s 70P is the best small electric air compressor that our testers could find online. Its best application is as a tire inflator, and it can inflate tires of up to 225/60/R18 in size. All you have to do is plug it into your cigarette lighter power port (Max: 15A/180W), connect it to a valve stem and turn it on!

Switch Off to Read Pressure

While pumping up your vehicle’s tires, you can monitor the pressure using the gauge on top of the unit, but please note that to read the air pressure, you have to switch this compressor off. The manufacturer recommends that you should always check your vehicle’s power port rating for maximum amperage before ordering this product. 

Includes Adapters For Everything But Presta

We found out that the 70P does not fit on Presta bicycle valves unless used with a Presta valve adapter. The unit comes with a sixteen-feet power cord and a four-feet hose and weighs just over 5 lbs. Also included in the box is a carry bag and a brass twist-on tire chuck.

This small air compressor has an electric motor with a thirty-minute duty cycle at 30 PSI (Pound per Square Inch). It is capable of generating maximum working pressure and has a maximum amperage/watt draw of 15 Amps at 180 Watts. This air compressor has a wide operating temperature range between -4°F and +158°F.

Turn Your Engine On

It runs on a 12 volt DC supply, and the engine must be running during use. This applies to all car powered air compressors. If you don’t turn your engine on, you might end up draining your card battery.

Pros

  • Thermal overload protection
  • Vibration Isolators
  • Deluxe carry bag

Cons

  • Does not fit on Presta bicycle valves

13.CAT-1P1060S – The Best Small Air Compressor For Cleaning

California Air Tools’ CAT-1P1060S model is a light and quiet portable air compressor that is ideal for blowing sawdust away in your carpentry or furniture workshop. Frankly speaking, you cannot expect much more from a unit with a tank capacity of just one gallon. The tank itself can hold a maximum pressure of 120 PSI.

Ultra-Quiet Operation

Its 0.6-HP electric motor has a noise level of just 56 DB when in operation, which is extremely quiet. It is capable of generating 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI. The motor powers a single-piston, oil-free pump that requires little maintenance.

Good For Light Use

The manufacturer claims that the motor is powerful enough to support staple guns, brad nail guns, finish nail guns, airbrushes, and blowguns. However, we recommend that you use it for lighter jobs such as cleaning, inflating car tires, beds, toys, and sports balls.

Multiple Options Available

The whole unit weighs in at 29.5 lbs and has got an ergonomic handle for portability. Its small, horizontal tank is mounted on either four rubber-clad stands or wheels, depending on which model you choose. 

Pros

  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Great for your garage
  • Generates less heat

Cons

  • There are practically no reviews on this product on Amazon

14.Ninja Jet – The Best Small Tankless Air Compressor

Iwata’s Studio Series Ninja Jet compressor is powerful, compact, and quiet. Its oil-less piston motor requires almost no maintenance, and its retail price is quite reasonable.

Great For Making Cakes

This product is built to work with the finest airbrushes made by Iwata. They are used for nail art or decoration of gigantic wedding cakes. The low-pressure option allows you to use this compressor for body art and cosmetics. We were a bit disappointed to find out that this particular model comes without a built-in air pressure gauge.

Allow a Cool Down Period

This small air compressor by Iwata is suitable for mobile or occasional use for up to 30-minute sessions. You should allow the motor to rest for at least 20 minutes after each cycle of continuous use. The compressor also comes with a built-in airbrush holder and a pressure adjustment knob. Its 10-foot coiled vinyl hose is designed for high flexibility and durability in mind. This air compressor includes an airbrush holder, which is a nice touch.

Build Strong

Build quality is no issue with this air compressor. It has an excellent metal design that feels sturdy and reliable in hand. Its carry handle is in the center, so it feels well balanced when being transported.

15.PORTER-CABLE CMB15 – The Most Powerful Small Air Compressor

Porter-Cable is well known for its innovation in the air compressor market, and the Porter-Cable CMB15 is no acceptation. This air compressor is the most effective small air compressor that you can buy online. There isn’t any light or medium-sized job that this little air compressor can’t tackle.

Its got a really nice design with rounded edges and a nice soft-touch plastic grip. This air compressor looks more like a home appliance than a tool. The gauges and knobs are all right on top, and they are well labeled.

150 PSI in Cold Temperatures

PORTER-CABLE CMB15

Its 0.8 HP electric motor generates 2.0 CFM CFM at 90 PSI, and the tank can store a max pressure of 150 PSI. This is sufficient airflow to power up to two or three medium-duty pneumatic tools at the same time. The motor runs on a 120V AC power supply and has a shallow current draw at startup so that you won’t be tripping any circuit breakers with this machine. This air compressor is great for colder climates, as it starts without any problems in sub-zero temperatures. 

Fully Protected Internals

While the two compressors reviewed above have no tanks, this one has got a 1.5-gallon tank. However, you cannot see it in the picture because the tank is fully shrouded. This allows the compressor to be carried around the job site without any problems. Best of all, this unit is oil-free, and you’ll hardly ever need to perform maintenance.

This compressor comes with a 25-feet coil hose and an 8-piece accessory kit that facilitates several inflation tasks. While testing it, we were impressed by the low recovery time that this small but extremely powerful air compressor shows.

Pros

  • The most potent small air compressor
  • This oil-free unit requires little maintenance
  • Quiet operation at 79 DB

Cons

  • The warranty is only one year

Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose A Small Air Compressor?

Choosing the best small air compressor is not an easy task. For one thing, there isn’t a single unit that stands out in the crowd. One look at the table above reveals that the field of small air compressors is much diversified, and each of the reviewed products is highly specialized.

DEWALT D55146 4

Given the above considerations, we can conclude that your choice of a small air compressor should be motivated first and foremost by the specific task you have to do. If, for example, you are planning to open a beauty salon, you may need the Iwata Studio Series Ninja Jet compressor, which is powerful, compact, and quiet.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast and a 4×4 maniac, you must have the mega-powerful Micro Pro Inflator by Dynaplug for everything that the rugged terrain you are trying to conquer has to throw at you. For more common tire-inflating tasks, you may choose the less powerful and affordable Digital Tire Inflator by EPAuto. 

If, on the other hand, you want to have a genuinely universal soldier that can inflate anything from car tires to garden inflatable tools, you should think of a compressor like Viair’s 70P model – the best small electric air compressors that our testers could find online. For heavier-duty jobs, we recommend the Porter-Cable’s CMB15 model, or Porter-Cable C2002, which is the best small unit for your money.  

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Is A Small Compressor?

Depending on their application, the price range of small air compressors is vast – from around $50 (most inflators and light-duty units) to just under $500 (larger, heavier-duty models).

2. What Is The Best Small Air Compressor?

  1. Porter-Cable C2002 – The Best Small Air Compressor for Your Money 
  2. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 – The Most Powerful Small Air Compressor
  3. Bostitch BTFP02012 – The Best Small Air Compressor for Your Home / Garage

3. What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?

It depends on what exactly you need it for. For more substantial jobs, you should choose one of the larger and more powerful compressors reviewed above. For lighter tasks, you should go for a cheaper and less powerful unit.

4. What’s The Smallest Air Compressor For Air Tools?

Iwata’s Studio Series Ninja Jet compressor is the smallest air compressor on our list. It is made to operate on a desktop or bench and is really easy to move around. 

5. What’s The Best-rated Small Air Compressor?

With a rating of 4.3 out of five, the DEWALT D55146 model is the best-rated small air compressor on our list. Its got an excellent design, and its a compelling model that provides a high CFM output.

Large Selection 

In the paragraphs above, we took a closer look at some of the best small air compressors currently available online.  The field of larger air compressors is dominated by three to five manufacturers, while the competition in the world of small air compressors is much more robust.

With such cut-throat competition in the field, it is not a surprise that the price range of small air compressors can be broad (see the FAQ section above). Yet, when choosing such a unit, you should first and foremost assess the difficulty of the task you are planning to carry out and the capacity of the air tools that you will need.

You do not want to select too powerful of an air compressor for a light job, as you would be trying to kill a mocking bird with a gun for elephants. To avoid such a situation, you should consult the shop assistants at your local hardware store or the online retailer. Of course, you can always reach out to us and read our expert reviews! 

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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