10 Best Air Compressors for Home Garages to Buy in 2021

Google can screw up big time when you search in-depth. And it certainly did when I asked what the best air compressor for home garage is?

And here, the disappointment comes in the form of air compressor reviews.

You see, there are tools other than pneumatic nail guns and staplers that need more than 2 CFM. And some are trying bluffing by showing higher airflow at lower pressure.

Let’s not even talk about the confusion between CFM and SCFM. Those compressor reviews are no good for people who want to use heavy tools like die grinders and air impact wrenches.

I am aware that a 4 CFM airflow is enough for most of us. But those products should also be in the optimum range of price and performance.

That’s why I made this air compressor review for the home garage. Read the top feature portion. Then select the products that suit your needs. Lastly, take the help of the guide to make your final decision.

Top Air Compressors for Home Garages

A 7 CFM compressor can be very expensive and bulky, while a 2 CFM will miss out on most of the pneumatic tools. But all of them are still in the market for a reason.

That’s why we are gonna provide you a full spectrum. Here are our top air compressors-

1. Quincy Q12126VPQ

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (115V)
  • Capacity: 26 Gallons
  • Oil Lubricated Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 135 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 2 HP
  • Airflow Rate: 7.4 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

Quincy is mainly popular for its industrial compressors. They have a reputation for producing quality pumps since 1920. And you can see the century of experience in the performance of their powerful air compressors.

Though they are industrial compressor manufacturers, they also have some non-industrial air compressors. And this compressor is one of those pieces.

The compressor has an upright tank, which is a reflection of their experience of customer’s expectations. This air compressor tank can hold up to 26 Gallons of air. And the 2 HP pump can produce a superb airflow rate of 7.4 CFM at 90 PSI. That means there is no limitation of tools you can use.

Another impressive feature of this 135 PSI air compressor is its low noise level. The machine only produces a 79 dB (decibels) noise even after providing such a high output.

And it doesn’t even require any higher input for much higher output. It only requires a 115V power outlet. And you can also use it with a 240V outlet with a converter if you don’t have an outlet of 115V.

The unit is very strongly built. Manufacturers claim it to last at least 10,000 hours. They also thought about the portability issue. That’s why they equipped this piece with an ergonomic handle with smooth rubber wheels for easy portability.

In short, it is perfect for all kinds of home garage tools.

It won’t be wrong if we say it’s a beast camouflaged under a compact design. So keep it in consideration before buying an air compressor for your home garage.

Pros

  • Strong Build
  • Builds Pressure very quickly
  • Relatively Low Noise
  • Can be used with 240V with converter

Cons

  • Draining Valve Could be at a higher position

2. Rolair VT25BIG

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (115V)
  • Capacity: 5.3 Gallons
  • Splash Lubrication Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 135 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 2.5 HP
  • Airflow Rate: 6.5 CFM (@90 PSI)

If you are not new in this field, then you might have heard the name of Rolair. And this is a product from that well-known Wisconsin-based company.

This hot dog air compressor has an air tank volume of 5.3-gallons. But the size is still very compact compared to the gallon capacity.

And you don’t need to sacrifice the performance as it’s equipped with a 2.5 Horsepower electric motor. The main selling point of this machine is the PSI and CFM rate.

The machine has an airflow rate of 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI. And the max output you can get from it is 135 PSI.

So relatively, it’s a beast compared to its size, design, and performance. And you’ll be able to perform most of the semi-professional home garage jobs with this air pump without any hassle.

This oil-lubricated pump delivers a great air tool performance. But it is still very quiet compared to the other compressor with the same capability. It only produces 86 dB of noise, which is not that loud in garages, let alone in the industries.

The air compressor is a bit heavy. It weighs 108 pounds. But it will be proved as foolishness if we don’t sacrifice that fact even after getting a superb output. It’s true that you’ll definitely need a helping hand for lifting it up.

But if you want to transport in a short distance, then you get the wheel attached to its frame, which is very convenient.

Pros

  • Relatively Quiet
  • Quick Refill
  • 100% duty cycle
  • Able to run almost all tools

Cons

  • A Bit Heavier

3. Makita Mac5200

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (120v)
  • Capacity: 5.2 Gallons
  • Oil Lubricated Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 140 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 3 HP
  • Airflow Rate: 6.5 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Warranty: 1 Year warranty (Parts & Labor)

Makita is a trusted name for its durable Power-tools. But they also have essential machines for operating those power-tools which are also very durable. And this air compressor is one of those durable pieces.

The air compressor has a lot of great points. But the top key point is its big bore cylinder design. If you are used to air compressors, then you already know what a big bore cylinder means.

But if you don’t, then the simple answer is, a big bore cylinder means higher output with fewer pumps.

The manufactures could have played a trick by degrading the motor horsepower. But they didn’t. Rather, they provide you with a 3-Horsepower pump for a great performance as they always care about customer satisfaction.

With this powerful motor, you can get a max air pressure of 140 PSI and an airflow rate of 6.5 at 90 PSI & 6.9 at 40 PSI. Which is more than enough for regular projects of typical home garages.

Along with the key features expected from such an air compressor, Makita gives you some extra addition. The built-in storage compartment for essential accessories is one of those things.

The box of this air compressor arrives with the machine and includes a 3/8″ air hose of a length of 50 feet.

And another noteworthy point is, it’s equipped with two 8″ rubber tire wheels for ease of portability.

Pros

  • Low Heat Level
  • Quick Refill
  • Additional Storage
  • Hose Included

Cons

  • A bit noisy (90 dB)

4. California Air Tools 10020C

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (110V)
  • Capacity: 10 Gallons
  • Oil-free Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 125 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 2 Horsepower
  • Airflow Rate: 5.30 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited warranty

The frequent users usually prefer a pump with an upright tank. But most of the time, manufacturers forget about this fact while designing their air compressors.

But California Air Tools considered that fact and came with this air compressor.

This upright tank air compressor has a 2 Horsepower pump that is capable of providing an airflow rate of 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI. And the highest output you can get from this compressor is 125 PSI.

The pump is oil-free. That means it doesn’t require any extra maintenance costs on changing oil.

An output of 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI is pretty impressive as oil-free compressors are not built for heavy-duty use.

Another amazing feature of this air compressor is that it’s super quiet compared to the other pumps of the same capability. It only produces 70 dB of noise. Which is even lower than an average radio or a vacuum cleaner.

The unit is equipped with an easy start valve. An easy start valve is such a feature that allows an air compressor to start quickly even in cold weather by releasing a small amount of air from the pump to produce a load-free condition to allow the motor to spin freely while starting with less amp usage.

All-in-all, this product is perfect for those who are looking for a quiet, portable, and powerful motor to get their jobs done even at a cold, freezing temperature.

The compressor also has wheels attached for moving it easily.

Pros

  • Very Quiet
  • Easy to move
  • Upright Tank
  • No oil changing
  • Easy start valve

Cons

  • A bit pricy compared to other manufacturers

5. North Star 25653

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (Dual Voltage)
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons
  • Oil Lubricated Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 135 PSI
  • Motor Capacity: 2 Horsepower
  • Airflow Rate: 5 CFM (@90 PSI)

Northern Tools is a Minnesota-based company owned by Don Kotula’s family. They started in 1981 from a garage of their backyard. But by providing quality products and customer services, they are now a well-established company of various tools and equipment.

The reason behind their company’s success is that they understand the customer’s need. And in this product review, you will know that very easily.

If your everyday jobs require an air compressor, then you definitely prefer a vertical air compressor. And in this air compressor, you get this facility with a capacity of 20 Gallons.

Its dual cylinder cast iron-made powerful motor can serve you with a power up to 2 HP without any problem with a max air pressure of 135 PSI with a rotation rate of 3440 RPM. And in 90 PSI, you can get an airflow Rate of 5 CFM very quickly.

The unit usually runs on 115V power. But you can rewire it for use with 230V as well. And this dual induction motor starts very easily as it has a very low amp draw.

A negative side of this air compressor is, it’s a bit heavy. But you get wheels attached to it for moving it very easily in short distances.

The build quality of this cat iron pump is very sturdy. And the performance is up to the mark as well. The manufacturers promise at least a 20,000 hour of runtime also. So, it deserves to be in consideration without any hesitations.

Pros

  • 100% Duty cycle
  • Relatively low operational noise level (80 dB)
  • Dual-stage pump
  • Dual Voltage

Cons

  • Price could be a bit lower
  • Heavy

6. Makita MAC2400

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (120V)
  • Capacity: 4.2 Gallons
  • Oil Lubricated Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 130 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 2.5 Horsepower
  • Airflow Rate: 4.2 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty (Parts & Labor)

This air compressor is specially made for framing tools like nailing and stapling jobs. But it is capable of doing way more than its purpose.

A professional nailer gun requires only 2.2 CFM at 90 PSI for running smoothly. But in this air compressor, you get an airflow rate of 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI. That is almost double a nail gun’s requirement.

Its oil-lubricated pump is capable of serving 2.5 Horsepower without any problem. And with a 1720 RMP rotation rate of the motor, you can easily get up to 130 PSI output.

As it’s a hand-carry air compressor, its tank is not that big. But it still can store up to 4.2 Gallons of air.

The unit runs on only 12.3 amp. So you can use it with any 15 amp power outlet.

And the sound it produces during operation is only 78 dB. I know, I know, it’s not very quiet. But you must have to admit that it is quieter than your blender machine. 😅

In short, this machine is capable of handling semi-professional projects very easily. So you should definitely keep it in consideration while choosing an air compressor for regular garage jobs.

Pros

  • Big Bore Compressor
  • Thermal overload protection/ relay
  • Rubber feet
  • Copper & Alloy constructed heat exchanger

Cons

  • Tank Capacity could be a bit higher

7. NorthStar 53009

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (115V)
  • Capacity: 8 Gallons
  • Oil-free Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 125 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 1.5 Horsepower
  • Airflow Rate: 4 CFM (@90 PSI)

This is another air compressor from Northern Tools for your home garage.

But this air compressor is a bit less powerful than the previous one. But it is still very powerful for average garage jobs.

Like the previous one, it also has a vertical tank. But in this model, you get an air capacity of 8 Gallons.

It has a pump of 1.5 Horsepower with a rotation rate of 1750 RPM. That can give you output up to 125 PSI. And you can get an airflow rate of 4 CFM at 90 PSI flawlessly.

This dual-piston pump runs on a 115V power outlet and draws only 12 amp. And the pump is oil-free. That means there is no hassle of oil changing at all.

Like the previous one, this pump is relatively very heavy. But it also has wheels attached to it. So, moving it in short distances is not a big deal even after a heavyweight.

This compressor produces only a noise of 70 dB during operation, which is pretty low compared to the other air compressors of the same capability. It is capable of doing regular garage jobs very easily. So, if you are not a heavy user, this pump could be a great choice for you.

Pros

  • Dual Piston Pump
  • Vertical Tank
  • Oil-Free means maintenance-free
  • Relatively Quiet

Cons

  • Price could be a bit lower

8. Makita Mac700

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (120V)
  • Capacity: 2.6 Gallons
  • Oil Lubricated Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 130 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 2 Horsepower
  • Airflow Rate: 3.3 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty (Parts & Labor)

This air compressor from Makita is another masterpiece of theirs. It is not only a bit different from the typical Makita air compressors but also a bit uncommon in design.

It is a hot dog air compressor that can hold up to 2.6 Gallons of air.

Though the gallon capacity is a bit low, it can provide you up to 130 PSI of maximum pressure. And the motor which helps you to get this pressure is able to supply 3.3 CFM at 90 PSI.

The motor can rotate up to 1720 RPM. But it doesn’t require much electricity for that. You can run this device easily with any regular power outlet as it draws only 12.48 amps.

And as it is a big bore cylinder air compressor, it requires less pumping. That means it requires less electricity as well. And as it is an oil-lubricated pump, it is able to work very fast.

The compressor is pretty quiet. It produces a noise of 79 dB. And as the pump is an oil-lubricated pump, you won’t get much screeching sound from it like oil-less compressors.

It is very easy to carry as it’s not that heavy. Moreover, the roll bar with solid rubber with finger notches adds some extra advantage to it. And the hot dog style of the air tank provides a good balance.

So, if you are buying an air pump for medium-duty usages and are concerned about portability, this can be a great choice.

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Big Bore Cylinder
  • Rubberized feet for stability
  • Inter-cooling Mechanism

Cons

  • Tank Capacity Could be Improved

9. DEWALT DWFP55126

Key Features

  • Power Option: Corded (120V)
  • Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • Maximum Pressure: 165 PSI
  • Motor capacity: 0.9 HP
  • Airflow Rate: 2.6 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

It is a pancake air compressor. And we all know that; pancake air compressor means great portability. And it is no different in that case.

This unit is capable of delivering high pressure in short bursts with a 0.9 HP motor. Though the max power is a bit lower, it can provide a max pressure of 165 PSI. And the motor is also able to run in cold weather very efficiently.

The CFM Rate of this air compressor is 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI. That is enough for light-duty garage works.

This is an oil-free unit. That means there will be no headache of changing oils and extra cost for oil. And doesn’t even require extra maintenance.

The noise it produces during operation is 75 dB, which is not that loud.

And we already know that it is a pancake air compressor. But what we don’t know is its weight.

The compressor is pretty lightweight. It only weighs 30 lbs. So, it is perfect for those who are looking for a lightweight, easily portable air compressor.

In short, this US build device is very compact in size, durable in build, and powerful enough in performance according to its specification. So, if you are a light user, then this pump can be a perfect choice for your home garage.

Pros

  • Relatively Quiet
  • Rubberized Feet
  • High Flow regulator
  • Oil-free pump

Cons

  • Not for Heavy-duty use

10. BOSTITCH BTFP02012

Key Features

  • Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • Power Option: Corded (120V)
  • Motor capacity: 0.9 HP
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Airflow Rate: 2.6 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Warranty: 1-Year limited warranty

If you are familiar with Bostitch air compressors, then you might have heard about one of their most popular models named BTFP2011. If you are already a user of their BTFP2011, you know about its specifications and durability.

This air compressor is an upgraded version of Bostitch’s BTFP2011 with some additional upgrades and modifications.

It is oil-free like its forefather. So, you don’t need to take any extra pressure of cost for changing its oil and other maintenances.

This air compressor has a capacity of holding 6-Gallons of air. And its powerful motor can provide you up to 150 PSI of operating pressure.

Another exciting feature of this air compressor is, it only takes 25 seconds to get refilled. That’s amazing.

This air compressor’s motor can be used with average power outlets of our homes as it draws only 15 amp. But it is capable of providing you with 0.9 HP with a rotation capability of 2700 RPM.

Usually, the non-branded air compressors with such capabilities produce a lot of noise. But this air compressor is not like those average non-branded ones. It only produces only 78 dB of noise, which is even lower than a noise of a lawnmower.

As it’s a pancake air compressor, its shape makes it very easy to carry. But its tank has a bit narrower diameter than the average pancake air compressors, which enhanced its portability way more than the others.

In short, this air compressor is pretty powerful compared to its size and capable of doing regular garage jobs done very easily.

Pros

  • Rubberized feet
  • Very Low Noise
  • Low power draw
  • Oil-free compressor

Cons

  • Horsepower could be a bit improved
  • Not for Heavy-duty

Things You Should Know Before Making Purchase

best air compressor

You need to keep in mind a few things when shopping for the best air compressor for home garage that will suit your needs. Full details of those metrics are-

Tank volume

This indicates the amount of air that your air compressor’s tank can store at a time. The higher the tank capacity, the less you need to refill your air compressor.

A large tank will be helpful if you need a long time to use without less refill. But a larger tank may reduce the portability of an air compressor.

If you need portability and don’t have any issue with filling the tank again and again during your work, you can go for smaller tanks without any hesitation.

But a larger tank is always recommended for professional and semi-professional usages as they require a higher amount of air for their jobs.

Size

The size of an air compressor is related to its air tank capacity.

Air compressors with a low-capacity tank come in a very compact size and design.

You shouldn’t be thinking about a compressor’s size that much if you do not need portability and space issues in your garage.

But you need to keep in mind that if you want a higher capacity, then you must have to sacrifice the factor of compact designs and size.

Shape: Horizontal vs. Vertical

Vertical-shaped air compressors are good for storing the compressors easily or if you want to save floor space. But professionals always prefer a vertical air compressor as they have easy accessibility.

PSI

PSI indicates the amount of force that an air compressor can deliver. It has an inverse relationship with airflow. Make sure you get your required CFM with 90-70 PSI. And the maximum PSI capacity of your compressor should be a minimum of 130 PSI. 150 PSI is more preferable.

CFM

CFM of an air compressor indicates its airflow rate or the volume of air the machine is moving per minute. It is the main decider of which air tools you can use. If you intend to use the compressor for regular work, never go for under 4 CFM.

Higher CFM is for heavy tools. 7 CFM is the bar. But think very closely about the tools you are going to use. Because unnecessarily purchasing a larger compressor can be a waste of money as they will cost you a lot.

Lastly, CFM and SCFM are the same thing here. To not bewilder anyone, I chose to call it CFM. Also, see at which pressure level the manufacturer is showing the CFM.

Oil-Lubricated vs. Oil-Free

There are two styles of air compressors. They are:-

  • Oil-Lubricated:

    This type of pump uses oil to lubricate the pistons, and you need to refill it with oil after a certain amount of time.

  • Oil-Free: This type of air compressor doesn’t use oil for moving its pistons. Rather the pistons of this type of air compressors self-lubricates themselves.

Both oil-free and oil-lubricated pumps have their own pros and cons. Here are some pros and cons of these type of pumps:

Oil-Lubricated

Oil-Free

Very QuietA bit noisy compared to the lubricated ones
Not 100% Eco FriendlyVery Eco Friendly
Requires Frequent MaintenanceDoesn’t require much maintenance
Cost EffectiveCostly
Lasts for prolonged periodNot so long lasting compared to the lubricated ones
Capable of heavy-duty useNot perfect for heavy-duty

Accessories

The best air compressor for home garage can be bought with or without accessories.

If you buy only the air compressor, it won’t cost much. But additional accessories will always cost you more.

Portability

Though it is better to have a portable air compressor, it is not always possible. If you are a heavy-duty user and need a high-power air compressor with a larger air tank, then you shouldn’t expect your air compressor to be much portable.

But if you don’t have any problem with sacrificing higher tank capacity and heavy-duty performance, then you can find a lot of lightweight and easily portable air compressors in the market.

Noise Level

It is true that a noisy compressor will never harm your task. But it will cause sound pollution and damage to your hearing. A quiet air compressor is always better for avoiding noise pollutions, especially when it will be in a small garage.

The quieter the compressor, the better it is for use in a home garage. Getting one under 75 dBs is preferable. But don’t be afraid to rise ten points.

Warranty

Warranty is an essential thing to consider before purchasing anything from the market. Because the more the manufacturers are committed to providing you with a warranty, the more it is better for you.

A longer warranty can be granted as an assurance of a quality product.

Specs for the Tools – CFM requirements

The requirements for home garage air tools are as follows:

Pneumatic Tools NamePSI RequirementSCFM Requirement (@90PSI)
Dual Sander907
Impact Wrench (1/2”)904
Impact Driver (1/2”)904
Grease Gun904
Angle Grinder805
Orbital Sander806
Brad Nailer (18 Gauge)701.2
Stapler700.3
Tire Inflator802
Drill803
Framing Nailer Gun1002.2
Spray-paint Gun904
Die Grinder707
Straight Line Sander907
Air Hammer904
Impact Wrench (3/4”)907

Maintenance

The maintenance of an air compressor is a very important fact. Every air compressor has its different specifications. So, the maintenance procedure varies depending on these facts as well.

That’s why it is always better to read the user manual at first.

But as general advice,

Don’t forget to clean your air compressor once a week and to lubricate your oil-lubricated pumps when it requires a refill.

And most importantly, you should always deflate the air tank after every use and store the compressor in a humidity-free area. Otherwise, your compressor may get rust on it. And that may lead to fatal accidents like the explosion of the compressors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions we face most often from the buyers when they look for the best air compressor for home garage:

Q: What is size of garage compressors do I need?

A: The tasks of home garages don’t need a super high-capacity air compressor, so you can go for anything between 2.5 to 20-Gallon air compressors, depending on your need.

But if your tasks are heavy-duty and require a continuous flow for an extended period of time, then you should go for the air compressor above 20-gallons.

Q: How to make garage compressors quieter?

A: If the noise is for its metal leg, then you can attach any type of rubber material to its stands.

Sometimes the compressors make noise because of the increased friction of the bearings. In that case, lubricate your bearing for less friction. Sounds from the air intake can be reduced by replacing the air intake parts.

Q: How to treat my garage air compressor?

A: Your air compressor requires maintenance according to its feature. So read the usual manual carefully.

But the general maintenance rule is to clean the machine once a week. And never forget to empty it properly after every use. Otherwise, it may get rust.

And if your compressor is oil-lubricated, then refill the oil whenever it is required.

Q: Which factor should I focus on most for the home garage air compressors?

A: It depends on your task. But for average buyers, we recommend them to look for the desired or required tank size at first. And then to check the other factors gradually as follows: maximum pressure capacity, oil-free or oiled, Horse Power of the pump, CFM rate, and then others.

Q: What is a pancake air compressor?

A: This is a particular type of air compressor. The tanks of this type of air compressor are flat and saucer-shaped. These air compressors are very lightweight because of their design.

Q: What is a hot dog air compressor?

A: This is another special type of air compressor. The tanks of this air compressor are shaped like a small hot dog. That’s why they are called hot dog air compressors.

Q: Which is better between oil-lubricated and oil-free pumps?

A: In the buying guide above, we have already mentioned that both oil-lubricated and oil-free pumps have their own pros and cons. So, you need to figure out which one will be perfect for you depending on your tasks.

Final Verdict

Here we end our guide to help you for buying the best air compressor for home garage.

We tried our best and tried to pick the top products on the market depending on various specifications and types of usage.

Hope it was conducive to you. We believe that this guide will be helpful to not only the new buyers but also to the experienced buyers as well.

So, now the only thing you need to do is to figure out the perfect one for you, depending on your need.

Happy shopping…