A quiet air compressor is an air compressor that is designed to produce as little noise as possible. The quietest air compressors are used in closed spaces, where a standard air compressor may be too loud.
For starters, air compressor noise is measured in Decibels. The lower the number, the quieter the compressor is going to be. Generally speaking, Oil-lubricated compressors run quieter than non-lubricated units.
A typical air compressor is rated at 130 dB. While a household vacuum puts out 60-85 Decibels and a lawnmower is rated at 90 dB. The Decibels increase exponentially not proportionally.
A quiet air compressor is generally anything under 80 Decibels, with the quietest being in the low 50’s. If the manufacturer doesn’t specify the Decibel rating, it’s probably loud.
However, most users will not accept a quiet air compressor that is not powerful enough. In this article, we will review the quietest air compressors based on dB, PSI, CFM, and horsepower.
If you like more details about how we chose those compressors, check out our detailed buyer’s guide at the bottom. We covered What Makes An Air Compressor Noisy? How quiet is ultra-quiet compressor as well as frequently asked questions.
Comparing Quiet Air Compressors
|Model Name||Db Rating||CFM|
|California Air Tools 8010SPC||40 Decibels||3.00 CFM @ 90 PSI|
|GSS GSOC-270C||50 Decibels||400L/minute|
|Kobalt Quiet Tech||64 Decibels||3.3 CFM @ 40 PSI|
|California Air Tools 8010||60 Decibels||2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI and 3.10 CFM @ 40 PSI|
|California Air Tools 15020C||70 Decibels||6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5.3 CFM @ 90 PS|
|California Air Tools CAT-20015HPAD||70 Decibels||3.80 CFM @ 90 PSI and 4 CFM @ 40 PSI|
|California Air Tools CAT 30020C-22060||70 Decibels||6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI|
|CAT-60040CAD||75 Decibels||10.60 CFM @ 90 PSI and 12.60 CFM @ 40 PSI|
|EMAX E10V080V1||78 Decibels||38 CFM @ 100 PSI and 34 CFM @ 175 PS|
|Homegreg 56 Db Ultra Silent||56 Decibels||3 CFM @ 40 PSI, 1.8 CFM @ 90 PSI, and 1.8 CFM @ 100 PSI|
|Stealth 12-Gallon Ultra Quiet||68 Decibels||4 CFM @ 90 PSI with a peak of 150 PSI|
1.California Air Tools 8010SPC – Ultra Quiet 40 Decibels
Measuring a mere 21 x 20 x 32 inches, you can store it practically anywhere and it won’t be in the way when in use. Here are some other features of this compact, quiet machine:
Powerful & Quiet Motor
The California Air Tools compressor is equipped with a 1.0 hp industrial motor. It requires no oil, which means less maintenance on the machine that you need to do. The motor operates at 1400 RPM, only putting out 40 decibels of sound.
This is one of the quietest industrial motors on the market. Additionally, there is a soundproof cabinet that’s insulated with foam that reduces noise and vibration.
Optimal Air Output
The 1.0 hp motor allows the machine to push out 3.00 CFM @ 90 PSI and 4.00 CFM @ 40 PSI. The 8.0-gallon machine has a maximum PSI of 115. This is more than enough power to run your pneumatic tools flawlessly.
Durable & Portable
The 8.0-gallon tank is constructed of steel, making it more durable than aluminium. It’s stronger and less likely to warp, bend, or deform over the years. Additionally, steel is heavier and denser than aluminium.
However, this doesn’t mean that the compressor can’t be moved around. There are caster wheels conveniently located under the compressor housing so you can easily move it from place to place, even with it weighing 125 pounds.
- Low to no maintenance costs
- Little maintenance required
- Powerful motor
- Loud cooling fan
2. GSS GSOC-270C – Oil Free Silent Air Compressor
Oil-free air compressors are much easier to maintain and last a lot longer than those that need oil to run. They also cost less in the long run. The GSS Oil-Free Silent Air Compressor is a one-of-a-kind low noise designed machine. Many features make this a great running machine, and here they are:
The GSS air compressor is ideal for many applications. It features a 1 hp motor that runs off of 220V, 50/60Hz. It has a maximum pressure of 116 PSI and has an airflow capacity of 400L/minute.
This is more than enough to run all of your applications. It’s ideal for the medical field, E.N.T. equipment, laser & plasma cutting machines, and more.
There are two convenient gauges located on the machine that allows you to keep tabs on the air pressure that the machine is giving.
Quiet & durable
This air compressor only runs at around 50 decibels. This is lower than many other compressors on the market. It can be used in a variety of places without compromising comfort and performance.
There is a high-performance silencer that keeps the noise to a minimum. The tank itself is made from stainless steel, a lot more durable than aluminium or plastic. The chest design allows for easier and more reliable operation and storage.
- Easily stored
- Quiet operation
- Easy to use
3. Kobalt Quiet Tech – Quiet & Portable – Only 64 Decibels
This Kobalt compressor is quieter than many others on the market. Not as quiet as the California Air Tools compressor, but still pretty quiet. Here’s what else it has to offer:
This compressor works off of a 120V, 1 hp induction motor with two pumps and draws 7.5 amps. There is no oil needed for the pump, so you don’t have to worry about oil levels or a burnt-out motor. An oil-less motor also means less maintenance and costs on your end. Even though the motor is strong, the sound isn’t. It only lets out 64 decibels.
Ideal Air Pressure
The Kobalt 1 hp motor puts out a maximum of 150 PSI from the 4.3-gallon twin tanks. It will give you 3.3 CFM @ 40 PSI. This is plenty of air to run your finish nailer or other air tools.
You can keep tabs on the pressure with the gauges on top of the machine. Between the two pressure gauges is a tool pressure regulator. The knob is large and can be easily turned. If you need to change something out, there’s a single-handed quick connect coupler for an air hose.
Heavy-Duty Construction & Portability
This is a strong machine with plenty of perks. It’s designed to be portable thanks to the no-flat tires. They aren’t cheap plastic tires either. They are made from solid, sturdy plastic that should last quite a while.
Additionally, there is a solid metal handle with a top grip that retracts. There’s a lever on each side of the handle. These levers allow the handle to slide up and down.
- Quiet operation
- High-quality construction
- Powerful motor
- Oil-free pump
4. California Air Tools 8010 – 8 Gallon Ultra Quiet
Additionally, you will need a ¼” lake quick connector to attach the hose as well. Other than those couple of items not being included, this is a great air compressor. Here’s why:
The 1 hp motor is strong and durable. It doesn’t require oil to run, which means less maintenance and cost on your end. This also allows the compressor to run flawlessly in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrain. The motor can run at 2 hp when at its peak, but it’s not recommended.
This air compressor is capable of producing 2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI and 3.10 CFM @ 40 PSI. It takes a mere 130 seconds for the tank to fill from empty. It recovers from 90 PSI to 120 PSI in just 30 seconds. This is much quicker than a lot of other air compressors on the market today.
Portable & Durable
Not only is the California Air Tools compressor powerful, but it’s durable and portable. Portability and durability are both equally important if you use your compressor on different jobs.
The steel air tank weighs a mere 54 pounds and with the wheel, the unit can be easily transported. More so, this compressor can run for 3000 plus hours throughout its life, compared to compressors with just 500 hours of life.
- Extended life
- Powerful motor
- High air output
- Unreliable air pressure
5. California Air Tools 15020C – 15 Gallon Ultra Quiet
Here we have another California Air Tools compressor. This is a 15020C model that holds 15 gallons of air. This particular machine has been designed to be one of the quietest 2 hp compressors on the market.
This is an oil-free design, which means the motor is going to last longer, will require little to no maintenance, and will save you money. Here are some other handy features:
As mentioned above, this is one of the quietest 2 hp motors available. It only runs at 1680 RPM. it creates little noise and less wear. The new motors in these machines are designed to increase the duty cycle, allowing it to run longer continuously. It puts out only 70 decibels of sound.
The motor inside of the compressor is 2 hp. It has an oil-free dual-piston pump that has a life of over 3,000 hours. This is much higher compared to compressors that only have an engine life of 500 hours.
The oil-less pump means that you will be able to start the compressor in a variety of temperatures and terrains. There is an easy-start valve that will release air from the pump upon startup to produce a no-load condition. The motor will then spin freely. It means less amperage is used in cold temperatures.
This motor allows the compressor to put out a maximum of 130 PSI. You will get 6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5.3 CFM @ 90 PSI. There are 15 gallons of air in the tank once it has been filled. It will take about 3 minutes for the compressor to fill from empty and a minute and a half to fill from half empty.
- Exceptional air output
- Powerful motor
- Easily portable
- Reports of leaks from the check valve
- Reports of smoking
6. California Air Tools CAT-20015HPAD – 20 Gallon Quiet Compressor (70 Db)
It has a high pressure 1.5 hp oil-free motor that increases the power and longevity of the machine. Here’s what else this air compressor has to offer:
The California Air Tools CAT-20015HPAD is extremely easy to operate. There is an easy start valve on the machine that will release air from the pump during startup. This will allow a no-load condition that helps the compressor startup with the motor spinning freely.
This requires fewer amps, making it easier to start in colder temperatures. There are also two gauges on top of the machine. One is a tank pressure gauge and the other is a regulated pressure gauge.
The California Air Tools air compressor is equipped with a 1.5 hp motor that operates at only 1750 RPM. This means that there is less noise coming from the machine. It only puts out 70 Decibels, just as the other California Air Tools compressors do.
The 1.5 hp motor requires no oil, which means it will last longer and requires little to no maintenance. It will save you money and time overall. Since this has an oil-free dual-piston pump, you can expect a lifetime of 3,000 hours from the compressor. Additionally, you will receive 3.80 CFM @ 90 PSI and 4 CFM @ 40 PSI. There is a maximum PSI of 175.
- Low amp draw
- Ideal CFM
- Quick tank refill
- Powerful motor
- Wobbly wheels
7. California Air Tools CAT 30020C-22060– 30 Gallon Quiet Air Compressor
The California Air Tool s30020C-22060 air compressor is ultra-quiet and doesn’t require oil. It puts out around 30% less noise than that of its competitors, making it one of the quietest air compressors on the market.
Pair that with its strong motor, long lifespan, durability, and ease of use, and you have yourself a great machine. Let’s take a look at some of its other features:
The California Air Tools air compressor only puts out 70 Decibels. Since this is much lower than some of the others on the market, it’s an ideal machine to have in shops, garages, homes, and more.
The motor only operates at 1680 RMP, which is what helps keep the noise to a minimum. Additionally, it puts less wear on the machine.
This air compressor is rated to last over 3,000 hours whereas other machines only have a lifespan of about 500 hours. This is due in part to the oil-free dual-piston pump and the low RPMs. Combine those and the machine has to work less than other machines would. This does not compromise power, however.
Speaking of power, this air compressor puts quite a bit of it. It has a 2 hp motor with a no-load startup that uses fewer amps. This makes it easier to start up during the cold weather.
Additionally, it can provide you with 6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI. The ASME air tank can hold 30 gallons of air when full. It can run all of your pneumatic tools with ease.
- Acceptable CFM
- Powerful motor
- Starts in cold weather
- Long lifespan
- Durable tank
- 1-year limited warranty
8. California Air Tools CAT-60040CAD– Ultra-Quiet 60 Gallon Unit
If you are looking for a larger capacity air compressor, check out this California Air Tools compressor. It has a 60-gallon tank capacity. This is more than enough for a shop, garage, or even industrial use.
Not only does it have a high air capacity, but it’s relatively quiet, durable, and has a high CFM output. Let’s take a look at what else it has to offer:
The California Air Tools compressor is equipped with a 2 hp oil-less motor. An oil-free pump means there will be little maintenance and costs associated with operating the machine.
The motor operates at only 1680 RPM, which helps keep the noise to a minimum and creates less wear. This will also add to the longevity of the motor. Most other compressors only have a lifespan of 500 hours whereas this one is 3,000 hours or more.
High Air Output
Thanks to the 2 hp motor and large 60-gallon ASME air tank, the compressor can produce 10.60 CFM @ 90 PSI and 12.60 CFM @ 40 PSI. You should have no problem running your pneumatic tools with this compressor. Once the air tank begins filling, it will only take a few minutes to empty.
Since this is a larger unit, it will create more noise than the other smaller ones on the list. Once the unit kicks on, it will create about 75 Decibels of noise. Compared to other compressors, this is still acceptable. This is around 30% less than other machines.
- Relatively quiet
- Powerful motor
- Large 60-gallon tank
- High CFM
- Reported issues with relief valve leaking
9. EMAX E10V080V1 – Whisper Quiet 80 Gallon Compressors
If you need a decently quiet air compressor with power and large air storage capacity, then check out the EMAX quiet air compressor. This machine can hold 80-gallons of air and is equipped with a powerful 10 hp motor. Here is what else it has to offer:
Power & Cooling
This air compressor has a 10 hp, 2 stage V4 1 phase motor that operates at 1,750 RPM. This runs much quieter, cooler, and lasts much longer than other comparable air compressors.
It is one of the coolest air compressors available. It features a built-in inner-cooler and an after-cooler that helps it run at a 35% lower temperature. This reduces the build-up of moisture and therefore extends the life of the pump.
High Air Output & Durability
The EMAX can put out a working pressure of 45 PSI. It also gives 38 CFM @ 100 PSI and 34 CFM @ 175 PSI. There are magnetic starters, a powder-coated ASME tank with a 200 PSI rating, and a cast iron 70,000 Hr. rated pressure lubricated reciprocating pump.
These are all part of what makes this such a durable machine. It has been constructed to last upwards of 70,000 hours for both commercial and industrial use.
For such a large machine, it puts out minimal noise. The compressor dissipates any intake noise, offers a 25% reduced noise level while being operated, and channels intake air. Combined with the 1,750 RPM motor that runs quieter, you will only hear around 78 Decibels. Only a couple of points higher than the smaller California Air Tools compressors.
- Quiet for its industrial size
- Large 80-gallon tank
- High CFM
- Powerful 10 hp motor
- Ideal cooling technology
- 5-year warranty
- Not portable
10. Homegreg 56 Db Ultra Silent Oil-Free Air Compressor
Its small stature makes it the ideal machine for your shed or garage. Paired with its quietness and practicality, it’s well worth the money. Here are some more notable features:
Quiet & Easy Operation
As the title states, it’s ultra-quiet. It only runs at around 56 Decibels. This makes it ideal for indoor use. You can chat with visitors while the machine is running without any issue. Not only is the unit quiet, but it’s also very simple to use.
It is an oil-less machine, which means the piston requires no oil. This leads to less maintenance and lowers costs to operate. Simply plug it in, wait a few minutes, and you’re ready to go.
This compressor has dual pressure meters that can adjust the working pressure and the pump cutoff pressure. It has enough power to run most home air tools and can blow out plumbing lines as well.
It puts out 3 CFM @ 40 PSI, 1.8 CFM @ 90 PSI, and 1.8 CFM @ 100 PSI. It only takes 98-seconds to fill and there is a 24-hour continuous operation with overheat protection.
Longevity & Portability
The Homegreg compressor has a 0.8 hp motor in it. It runs at 1,680 RPM, leading to longer motor and pump life. It only weighs 45-pounds and comes with wheels on the bottom of the unit for easy portability.
- Compact size is easy to store
- Quiet motor
- 24-hour continuous operation
11. Stealth 12-Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor-Quiet with Quick Connect
The Stealth 12-Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor has 3 times the lifespan than other comparable machines do. It runs 80% quieter and is manufactured with a 1.5 hp motor with dual air pumps and comes with a quick connect. This machine is ideal for home and shop use. Here are some other notable features that this compressor boasts:
The Stealth air compressor is not only powerful but it’s durable. It has a stable structure, constructed of a heavy-duty Q235B steel housing. Steel tends to be more durable than aluminum when it comes to air compressors. It can take a ding here and there without damaging the unit.
Powerful & Quiet Motor
This air compressor is equipped with a powerful 1.5 hp induction motor. This motor drives the dual air pumps to bring you continuous compressed air. The oil-free pump means there may be little to no maintenance needed on the machine, saving you both time and money. It runs at a mere 68 Decibels, allowing you to work inside without hurting your ears or compromising a conversation.
Great Air Output
Thanks to the powerful 1.5 hp induction motor, you can expect the machine to put out 4 CFM @ 90 PSI with a peak of 150 PSI. On an empty tank, it only takes 75-seconds to fill. Additionally, this machine has an easy cold-weather start and low voltage start. You will be able to use your machine in a variety of temperatures.
- Very quiet
- Quick connect equipped
- High air pressure
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Not lightweight
12. Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor-Portable & Quiet
If you’re looking for a decent air compressor that’s portable, quiet, and strong, look no further than the Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor. This machine has a unique stacked tank design that allows it to have more air pressure storage without compromising space. Let’s check out what else it has to offer:
Powerful & Quiet
Sometimes you just can’t find both of these options when it comes to air compressors, but this one does have both. It features an innovative <65 dBa quiet system that is 80% quieter than its competitors and has a 3x longer life.
It has a 1.3 hp motor in it that drives the dual air pump to give you continuous compressed air. It will start in even the coldest temperatures.
Ideal Air Flow Output
The strong 1.3 hp motor can give you 3 CFM @ 90 PSI with a peak of 150 PSI. It only takes 70 seconds for it to recover from an empty tank, which holds around 4.5-gallons of air combined. The twin stack tanks allow more air capacity without compromising storage space.
Portability & Durability
The Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor can be toted around easily and quickly thanks to the handy rubber reinforced handle. There are two 6-inch rubber wheels on the bottom of the unit so the tank can be easily transported.
When done, wheel it to where you’re storing it for later use. Don’t worry about dings and dents. The housing is constructed of Q235B steel for optimal durability.
- Powerful air output
- Quiet operation
- Can be easily moved
- Durable housing
- Convenient stacked tank design
What Makes An Air Compressor Noisy?
An air compressor is supposed to be a convenient machine that you can use to blow up tires, work in the shop with power tools, and more. It’s not supposed to cause you distress by creating enough noise to hurt your ears.
This is why you should consider an air compressor with a low decibel rating. The lower the Decibels, the less noise the compressor is going to create. But what is it that creates the noise anyway?
Friction is the biggest attribute to air compressor noise. There could be metal hitting or sliding against other metal parts within the machine, causing it to be loud. The theory is that the more moving parts there are in the compressor, the louder it is going to be.
It has also been said that a gas-powered compressor is going to be louder than an electric compressor because there is combustion being created and more moving metal parts. Electric air compressors run off of voltage. It’s similar to an electric car. They are quieter than a car that runs on gas or diesel.
Putting friction and power source to the side, environmental factors are what’s left. The environment around your air compressor can contribute to the noise it makes. If your compressor is on a smooth concrete floor in an open area, it can amplify the noise output. If you are working in a confined space with a lot of items in the area, the noise may be reduced.
Does Horsepower Affect How Quiet An Air Compressor Is?
Many things contribute to how quiet or loud an air compressor is, but horsepower is not one of them. Horsepower is simply the measure of how hard the engine can work. However, RPMs and oil are a couple of contributors to compressor noise. Generally, the lower the RPMs, the lower the noise is going to be.
For example, 1,730 RPMs will put out around 79 Decibels of noise. Additionally, an oil-lubricated compressor is going to run quieter as well because there isn’t going to be as much friction as there would be with an oil-less unit.
How to Make An Air Compressor Quieter
If you have an air compressor that you love, but it’s just a tad on the noisy side, there are a few methods you could try that can help reduce the noise.
Install A Silencer
The air intake is the main culprit of high frequency pulsating noises that come from an air compressor. Air that is drawn into the compressor goes through a reed or flapper valve that vibrates and rattles with each pulse.
Installing a silencer or intake muffler can reduce the noise that the air intake system creates. You can choose to purchase one or you can make a DIY silencer by using one or two 90-degree street elbows.
One of the best and cheapest ways to reduce air compressor noise is to install rubber insulation mounts to anchor it down. These are best for stationary compressors. You also have the option to install a short flexible air hose between the compressor and plumbing if you have a rigid plumbing setup.
You don’t want to have any rigid connections that radiate noise. Use conduit or rubber cord for power connections.
Use Sound Deadening Materials
An easy way to reduce noise is to soundproof the area in which your compressor is in. Compressor noises bounce off solid objects. If your compressor is near a wall or in a corner, these act like speakers reflecting noise into your workspace. Cover the walls near the compressor with a sound-absorbing blanket or some kind of acoustic material.
You can construct a DIY soundproof box or dampening enclosure that will cover the whole compressor. It’s an ideal way to reduce or eliminate the noise that the compressor will make. You will essentially build a box that will go over the compressor and install sound-absorbing materials to all sides, top, and floor. You can also use concrete blocks with the voids filled with sand.
How Quiet is Ultra Quiet?
Quiet is quiet, but how quiet is ultra-quiet? To put it into perspective, a normal conversation is generally between 55 to 65 Decibels. Speaking in terms of air compressors, an ultra-quiet unit is anything under 72 Decibels.
This would allow you to maintain a conversation with somebody while the air compressor is running. It generally doesn’t require you to wear earplugs and there’s no risk of temporary hearing loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Quietest 60-Gallon Air Compressor?
Based on our research, the California Air CAT60040CAD is the quietest 60-gallon air compressors. Look above for a complete review of that unit.
Why is my compressor so loud?
If you got a silent compressor that is not silent, that might mean it needs repair. For example, rattling usually sounds indicate that an element in your air conditioner has come loose.
If the sound is getting louder, that means the problem’s getting worse.
Why is my compressor humming?
If you hear humming, your starting capacitor could be starting to fail. It’s either that or your motor needs repairing.
Why is my air compressor making a loud noise?
Loud noises may indicate your air compressor needs replacing. Hissing or bubbling sounds usually mean the refrigerant is leaking. A screaming sound is often caused by excessive internal pressure. This can be very dangerous.
We hope this article has been helpful. Thank you for reading!