5 Best Air Compressor [ 2021 Edition ]

Air compressors are useful when you have a paint shop, or when you operate air guns or if you inflate the wheels during a vulcanization. Although these devices are quite simple, the models vary in capabilities and specifications. For the current year, our main recommendation is Airmaster AIR3SHU10100  , which has a large tank (100 liters) and is also relatively quiet, given the oil pumping system. If you are not looking for such professional compressors, instead wanting a portable model with which to inflate the car’s wheels when you are on the road, we recommend Cartrend 10945  , which supports up to 10 bar and inflates the tires in a few minutes, by feeding the car lighter.


Reviews on the best air compressors

As you probably know our format, the list of analyzed products follows, and we have included both cheap and good air compressors, as well as more expensive models for professionals. We were guided by the reviews, but also by our own analysis, in order to be as objective as possible:


Rank # 1: Airmaster AIR3SHU10100

 For those looking for a better air compressor, with capacity suitable for professional workshops, we recommend this device, with a 100 liter tank and a professional pumping system with two pistons. Regarding the maximum pressure generated, it is 10 bar, a fairly high value, suitable for almost any application: inflated wheels, air painting or handling pneumatic guns.

As a maximum air flow, it can produce up to 200 liters per minute, and its dimensions are 1150 x 820 x 450 millimeters, weighing 90 kilograms. The operating system is oil, so it is a fairly quiet model (if 93 decibels can be considered silent, but there are more noisy compressors).

The power of the electric motor is 2300 Kilowatts, and as minuses, we can say that this installation will not be much desired by buyers looking for an air compressor, at a good price, ie for which the economy is a priority.


Rank # 2: Cartrend 10945

 The category of air compressors, at good prices, for cars, also attracted our attention, and from these, the Cartrend 10945 model became easily noticed. As a maximum pressure, it can generate up to 10 bar, which is enough even for large trucks. However, the maximum air flow is 22 liters per minute, which means that a large tire may take a long time to fill with air.

The power supply is made to the 12 Volt network of the car, and among other functions, we can also mention the presence of the built-in flashlight, with four LEDs, for easy use of the compressor in the dark. It also includes a self-stop function, which shuts off the air supply when the desired pressure is reached.

The included cables are the power supply, 2.8 meters and the inflation hose, 70 centimeters. You can also convert the unit of measure for pressure, displayed on the LCD screen. As a disadvantage, if you have a long car, you may need an extension cord for the power cord.


Rank # 3: Stanley DV2

 We can say that this compressor is almost good for any professional level job. Its tank is not among the largest – it has about 50 liters – but the engine is quite powerful, 2 horsepower, in two pump cylinders.

This means that it can generate a high air flow, of 250 liters per minute, at a maximum pressure of 10 bar. It is obviously supplied to the 220 Volt socket network, and the pumping system is with oil, a bit quieter than the compressors without such a thing. Regarding the dimensions of the device, it is not very voluminous: it measures 80 x 67 x 35 centimeters and weighs 45 kilograms.

It also offers the possibility to paint with two guns, given its performance, and the oil level is visible even without removing the dipstick. Overall, this 220V mini air compressor is one of the best acquisitions for workshops of all kinds.


Rank # 4: Stanley DV2

 We present here a model of compressor has 50L from Steinhaus, which has a 1500 Watt motor, fuelable from the socket, and its pump is with oil. The maximum flow of air generated is 206 liters per minute, and the pressure is 8 atmospheres, slightly lower than other competing models.

The manufacturer specifies the times when the tank will reach certain pressures: from 0 to 6 bar it will take about 170 seconds, and from 6 to 8 bar, another 40 seconds. Analog pressure gauges are included to check the pressure, the condensate drain pipe, but also safety valves.

As disadvantages, this model is not delivered with oil ready put in the tank. You will need to buy it separately and pour about 600 milliliters into the feed hole. Otherwise, it is an air compressor, cheap and good, which delivers surprising performance for its price.


Rank # 5: Michelin MBL6 / 1100

 From the category of mini portable air compressor 220V, we chose this model, from Michelin, which has a tank of only 6 liters, which makes it suitable only for light, short-term tasks, such as inflating tires, balls, boats or beach toys. In terms of flow, its electric pump provides up to 160 liters per minute, surprisingly much for a device that looks like a toy.

At 1100 watts, however, this will not surprise you. The package also includes tire heads, balls, or balloons. The maximum pressure generated is 8 bar, and its engine is oil-free.

The dimensions of the device are 34 x 30 x 27 centimeters, and its weight is 10 kilograms. As disadvantages, if you want a portable device that solves the car’s feathers, this compressor is not for you, as it only operates at 220 Volts.


Rank # 6: Stanley DN200

 This portable device is also part of the category of small compressors, easy to transport, but which are put into operation only connected to the 220 Volt electrical network. Its engine is reasonable in power, especially if we consider the dimensions of 54 x 53 x 21 centimeters, it has 1.5 horsepower or 1100 watts.

The maximum air flow is 180 liters per minute, and the working pressure can reach even 8 bar, which makes this product a desirable option for occasional, short-term tasks: inflated boats, toys, or car tires , truck or bicycle. The pumping system is oil-free and the weight of the entire compressor is 8 kilograms.

As disadvantages, we can say that it is not suitable for workshops or for large-scale works, as it can be used for about 2.5 minutes, after which the engine must be allowed to cool for about 7 and a half minutes. In addition, it is not delivered with a hose.

Rank # 7: Stanley STN595

 The oil-free air compressor, which we include here, provides pressures of up to 8 bar, through its 1.5-horsepower engine (1100 watts). The power supply is made through the 220 Volt network from the socket, and this makes it unsuitable for those looking for a wheel inflator, on the road (those need 12 Volts).

It offers a flow rate of up to 180 liters per minute, and its maximum working pressure is 8 bar, sufficient for tires, boats, or other occasional, short-term loads. In terms of dimensions, it measures 29 x 32 x 25.5 centimeters and weighs 6.5 kilograms, and this means that it is one of the most compact products in its category.

As disadvantages, being with oil-free system, it will need breaks of about 8 minutes after every 1.5 minutes of operation.


Frequent questions

How much does a used air compressor cost? Is it worth investing in it?

As for the prices, they depend on the condition of the product. An air compressor, at a good price, second hand, almost new, could still be at considerably lower prices than a new product (sometimes even half the price of new appliances) – and the investment will be worth it, of course.




The downside is that you can’t be sure how much this tool has been used. If the device is visibly worn, then it may not be worth the money – but when the signs of wear are obvious, you can negotiate the price, which is an advantage for someone skilled in this practice.

Can I buy air compressor oil online?

Of course. Being a consumable substance, it is easy to order it, because there are no risks regarding its quality.


Where can I find air compressor parts?

You have several options: for example, if you have a Stanley air compressor, then you could contact the manufacturer to find out if they can deliver the missing part to you. You can also investigate the used market, if you find an identical device, you can take the necessary components from it.

Or, if you need simple parts, such as an air compressor hose, then you might find something like this at stores with all kinds of workshop accessories.




What is the role of a pressure switch in the air compressor?

A pressure switch has as operating principle the starting or stopping of an electrical circuit, when a certain pressure is reached. Thus, an installation can be stopped in case of a fault, or air can be administered only at the desired pressure, when higher or lower pressures can endanger a load.

If you want the best air compressor you will have to consider buying a pressure switch, especially when you need gas at exactly a certain value of PSI or bar. The prices of such accessories are quite affordable, on average being around 100 – 200 RON.




Instructions for use for the air compressor


A large number of opinions about the best air compressors insist on emphasizing that any device like this can fail if not used correctly. In order to ensure a suitable working regime, but also to familiarize the readers with the safety norms in the use of compressor type equipment, we have included this section, with useful information in the field:




Check before use

If you have a portable air compressor, the type used to inflate the car’s wheels, then all you have to do is check if it works. These small pieces of equipment are not complicated, and their use is simple.

Instead, if you have a large, professional model, such as a 100L air compressor, then you will need to check its oil if it is lubricated that way. If the dipstick shows at most a level two-thirds of the maximum, then you will need to top up with oil, using the feed hole.

Check that the hoses are securely and firmly fastened by tightening the fasteners. If you use a compressor extension cord, buy a quality one. Manufacturers, however, discourage the use of extension cords, as they increase the chances of overheating the system.

If the compressor has not been used for a long time, then clean it of dust before use and check that the mice have not been bitten by cables, buttons or hoses, if the piece of equipment has been kept in a shed.


Protective equipment

In this regard, we can recommend polycarbonate goggles, so that the jets of compressed air do not reach your eyes accidentally. Especially the models of air compressors, cheap and good, without oil will be quite noisy during use – we recommend, in this case, to use earplugs or earphones, if you stay around the tool for a long time.


Switching on the appliance

Press the power switch after all connections have been checked. Monitor the pressure gauge (manometer) and wait for the tank to pressurize. When the manometer needle stops shaking, it means that the desired pressure has been reached inside the tank. You can adjust the pressure, of course, depending on the task you have to perform.

Do not exceed this threshold, as accidents may occur, such as breaking a hose, damaging a paint gun, or exploding a tire. If something goes wrong, check the valves to make sure everything is open, but also look at the pressure gauges – the tank may simply run out of pressure, in which case you will have to restart the electric pump and wait for the pressure. to grow.




Maintenance and storage

After use, open the pressure relief valve so that the tank does not contain compressed air. Then remove the hoses, unplug the appliance and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

If you have an oil compressor, it is advisable to refill the lubricant at least once a year. For additional information, specific to each model, consult its manual, delivered in the package with the product to be purchased.


Buying guide

Compressors, or air pumps, are present on the market in many sizes and capacities. But they all do the same thing: they provide a supply of pressurized air, for various tasks, from painting with spray technique, to inflating car tires. How do you choose the best air compressors? Let’s see the selection criteria, after which you can be guided:




Compressor type (car, construction site, workshop):

first, to divide the various models of devices, depending on the purpose and destination: car models are small, portable, to be kept in the trunk and used in case of an engine failure.

An air compressor, car , will be calibrated for the pressures in car tires and, as a rule, does not have a tank for storing compressed gas.

Workshop models have such a tank and can generate high pressures at a high flow rate (even over 200 liters of air per minute). They are used for painting, for launching nails with the help of pneumatic guns, or for inflating large tires or other similar objects.

The same can be said about site models . Of course, when making a choice of air compressor, the capabilities and powers of each model will influence its price, remember!


Flow rate :

any compressor with compressed air will pump the gas with a certain flow rate, ie a certain number of liters per minute. This is the definition of flow. The more powerful the pump drive motor, the higher the flow rate.

If you opt for small, portable models, they will be able to transmit between 10 and 30 liters per minute, while a professional air compressor will be able to pump even over 250 liters in the same period of time.


the flow is not influenced by the diameter of the hose, this size only influences the speed with which the air is transported.




Pressure :

the gas storage and pumping installation will have its limits in terms of internal pressure. The factors that influence this aspect are the power of the engine (expressed in Watts), but also the resistance of the installation (the designers do not want it to explode, therefore they will not equip an air compressor, cheap and good, with an excessively powerful engine).

The pressure is measured in either bars or PSI (pounds per square inch), and you have to choose the desired model depending on the tasks you have to perform. For nail guns, you will need 80 – 120 PSI (5-7 bar), and for truck tires, about the same amount.


Supply voltage and supply mode:

there is not much to say here, except that the portable products, such as mini air compressor for cars, will be supplied to their 12 Volt network, or 24 volts for trucks.

Otherwise, large professional compressors will be supplied directly from the socket, on 220 Volt networks. In terms of power supply, there are electric models and models equipped with internal combustion engine (gasoline or diesel).


Lubrication :

there are two types of compressors:

those with oil and those without oil. The first category ensures higher flows, given the fact that it lubricates more powerful systems, with internal combustion engine, but also electric.

The small capacity ones (ie many of the oil-free air compressor type ones), which we talked about above, are also usable in indoor spaces, as they do not emit flue gases. In addition, there is a difference in noise: models with oil will make much less noise than those without.


Elements included in the package :

especially the offers of portable air compressor, for cars, are delivered with all kinds of accessories that make them attractive for occasional users. For example, you may receive ball inflatables, balloon inflatable nozzles, or spare or extension hoses.




Hose length :

don’t forget to take into account the length of the hose, along with the power cable, to find out if you can use the compressor properly in the workshop, or when inflating the rear wheels of a car (car compressors are powered from the cigarette lighter socket, on board). Of course, you will be able to extend the hoses as needed, but there may be air leaks, so be careful when sealing the connections between the two!

These are, in general, the selection criteria for a professional air compressor, or for a hobby one, inclusive. Our opinion is that things are quite easy to understand, when it comes to the technology used and the principles of operation. For those who still have questions, we also recommend the following sub-sections:


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