5 Best Air Compressor for Air Tools 2021 With Buying Guide

FramingNailersGuide is reader-supported. If you buy an item through the links on this site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Last Updated on March 24, 2021 by John Patterson

Best Air Compressor for Air Tools

There are dozens of air tools in practice. In case you’re a professional, semi-professional and even hobbyist handyman, you need to use these tools now and then.

When it comes to using air tools, the first and foremost requirement is a good source of compressed air. And there comes the role of air compressors for air tools.

Finding the best air compressor is hard. Because every pneumatic tool has its requirement. Meeting these requirements and ensuring good functionality is a tough goal to meet.

That’s why we’ve decided to take over this research for you and hand-pick the best 5 air compressor models on the market. And here you go-

List of Best Air Compressor For Air Tools

Preview
Best Overall
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
The Runner-up
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT)
Best Value
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
Other Consideration
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
Other Consideration
Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Matte Finish and Trim Portable...
Title
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT)
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Matte Finish and Trim Portable...
Editor's Rating
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
4.8/5
Prime Status
-
-
-
-
-
Best Overall
Preview
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
Title
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
Editor's Rating
5/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
The Runner-up
Preview
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT)
Title
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT)
Editor's Rating
5/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
Best Value
Preview
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
Title
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
Editor's Rating
5/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
Other Consideration
Preview
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
Title
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
Editor's Rating
5/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
Other Consideration
Preview
Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Matte Finish and Trim Portable...
Title
Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Matte Finish and Trim Portable...
Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review

#1. PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK UMC Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK UMC Pancake Compressor

Sale
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
  • 150 psi max tank pressure of the portable air...
  • 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi of the electric air compressor...
  • 6 gal Pancake style tank of the PORTER-CABLE air...
  • Low Amp 120V motor of the 6 gallon air compressor...
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no...

PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK heavy-duty air compressor is the crown winner model of today’s list. It’s an oil-free model with a decent tank size, an excellent motor capacity, and an impressive air pressure range.

Let’s show you the reasons behind the vast popularity of this model-

Specifications
  • Model: C2002-WK
  • Tank Size: 6 gallons.
  • Motor Capacity: 2.6 SCFM
  • Pressure Range: 90-150psi.
  • Accessories: 13 pieces of accessories.

What We Liked
  • Pancake style construction with 6 gallons tank.
  • It comes with a max pressure of 150psi.
  • 2.6 SCFM motor with quick recovery time.
  • 30psi bonus air pressure.
  • Air coupler plugs are provided.
  • Leak-free and takes up less effort to run.
  • Comes with 13 essential accessories.

What We Didn't Like
  • The 25 feet cord might be more than what you usually need.

Features and Benefits

90-150 PSI Pressure Range to Work Within:

You are not going to work with the same air pressure as this model. Well, the highest and lower range of pressure is 150psi and 90psi of this heavy-duty air compressor model. It can also provide you a 120psi cut-in pressure and a 30psi bonus air pressure.

To make it even better, Porter Cable had done an excellent job of keeping the recovery time low when you run it at a low pressure of 90psi. And if you’re using it professionally or regularly, quick recovery time is what you always urge for.

It Starts Easily At Even Cold Weather:

Now, this is a feature you won’t get to see in many air compressor models of the market.

This air compressor runs on an AC power of 120V. And still, it provides optimal performance. But the real perk of this startup is its functionality even in cold weather. With an extension cord, you can quickly turn this on in cold weather.

Swift Pressure Drop Control:

This air compressor can work within several pressure points, including a 30psi bonus pressure. To have swift control and get the pressure you exactly need, there is a Hi-Flo air regulator provided in it. You can also protect the system from getting damaged with high pressure as well.

13 Kit Accessory Items Provided:

As you already know, the air compressor is not the only thing you would get inside this box. There is a 13 piece accessory kit in it as well. This set contains a 25 feet hose pipe, a blowgun, a tire chuck, a tire gauge, a set of quick coupler plugs, etc.

Prevent Leaks and Saves up Labor:

Leaks and hectic labor- you want none of them to come on your way when you’re deep into your work with this heavy-duty air compressor. They’ve kept that in mind and worked accordingly.

There are an air coupler and plug right into the factory-installed version. This coupler and plug will be of great help to prevent leaks and work labor-free.

#2. BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit

BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressors Combo Kit

Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT)
3,364 Reviews
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT)
  • SB-1850BN 18 GA brad nailer in the air compressor...
  • SB-1664FN 16 GA straight finish nailer drives 16...
  • BTFP71875 heavy-duty 3/8-inch crown stapler drives...
  • 1/4-inch x 15' PVC air hose includes fittings

In case you’re interested in buying an all-in-one solution of air compressor instead of just the air compressor itself, this BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable heavy-duty Air Compressor Combo Kit would be an ideal pick for you.

Apart from the 6 gallons air compressor, you will also have a brad nailer, a straight finish nailer, a heavy-duty crown stapler, an air hose, a set of fasteners, and of course, a beautiful container bag. This set is almost like the 360-degree solution for carpeting, woodworking, and many other similar jobs.

Let’s hover into the specs and features-

Specifications
  • Air Compressor Model: BTFP02012
  • Air Compressor Tank Size: 6 gallons
  • Air Compressor Motor Capacity: 2.6SCFM
  • Brad Nail Gun Model: SB-1850BN
  • Brad Nail Gun Size: 18-gauge
  • Finish Nailer Model: SB-1664FN
  • Finish Nailer Size: 16-gauge
  • Crown Stapler Model: BTFP71875
  • Crown Stapler Size: 3/8″

What We Liked
  • 6-gallon pancake style tank.
  • 2.65CFM high-efficiency motor capacity.
  • 18 gauge brad nail gun provided.
  • 16 gauge straight finish nailer provided.
  • ⅜ inches crown staples come with the box.
  • 15 feet air hose for a comfortable range of works.
  • Sample fasteners are there in the box.

What We Didn't Like
  • Its beautiful as a combo kit, individually the air compressor itself isn’t that much power.

Features and Benefits

6 Gallons of Standard Compressor Capacity:

In this heavy-duty portable air compressor combo kit, the first item that anyone would look for is the pancake-style best air compressor. Like any other decent pancake air compressor model, it can hold up to 6 gallons of compressed air. And it’s excellent for regular carpentry of light-medium fastening jobs.

150 PSI Pressure for Mid-level Compression Works:

Air pressure of max 150 psi is not a bad score, as long as you think about regular pancake-style air compressors. This would help you to deal with pneumatic tools like brad nail guns, finish nail guns, staplers, etc. With 150 psi, you can easily fasten nails oil-free.

2.65CFM Decent Capacity Motor:

We won’t claim that 2.65CFM is the best available motor in there among air compressors. But as we said, this kit is supposed to deal with low to mid-level carpentry works. In that sense, it’s subtle enough.

Comes with Brad and Finish Nailer:

As you can see in the picture, two major companions of the portable air compressor are the brad nailer and finish nailer. The brad nailer is 18 gauge with nail compatibility of ⅝ inches to 2 inches.

The other big tool you might look for is the Straight-type finish nailer. The finish nailer is 16 gauge, and it has nail compatibility of 1-¼ inches to 2-½ inches. Again, for mid-chore finish nail guns, this is good enough.

#3. BOSTITCH BTFP02012-WPK 6-Gallon 150 PSI Compressor Kit

BOSTITCH BTFP02012-WPK 6-Gallon 150 PSI Compressor Kit

BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
657 Reviews
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
  • OIL FREE: Requires no daily maintenance and...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: 29 pound weight and narrow tank...
  • HIGH FLOW REGULATOR AND DUAL COUPLERS: Maximizes...
  • LOW NOISE LEVEL: 80dBA** operational noise level...
  • KIT INCLUDES: BTFP02012 Pancake Compressor, 50'...

In case you require the best air compressor with which you will do the mid or low-level inflation works, the BOSTITCH BTFP02012-WPK 6-Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Air Compressor Kit might be a good option for you.

It’s less noisy, lightweight and compact. And still, it can provide you with a pressure of up to 90psi.

Specifications
  • Model: BOSTITCH BTFP02012-WPK
  • Tank Size: 6 gallons.
  • Motor Capacity: 2.6 SCFM
  • Pressure Range: 40-90psi.
  • Accessories: 11 pieces of accessories.

What We Liked
  • 80 dB low noise operation.
  • High flow regulator and dual couplers.
  • 29 pounds of lightweight.
  • Perfect for non-professional inflation.
  • 50 feet rubber-made air hose.
  • 11 accessories come with it.
  • Pretty much low price point.

What We Didn't Like
  • Can’t provide more pressure than 90psi.

Features and Benefits

Maximum Performance with Regulator and Coupler:

A couple of the best part of this heavy-duty air compressor model is the dual coupler and a high flow air pressure regulator. With the high flow regulator, you can acquire pressure between 40 to 90psi.

80 dB less Noise for Household Use

If you are a professional handyman, the air compressor noise might not bother you so much. In case you’re using it in the home garage, you should be aware of the noise that it’s producing.

Related Reading: Air compressors for home garage use.

Worry not, however. This air compressor model comes with a tested noise production of only 80 dBA, which is known to be one of the lowest noisy air compressors in the market.

Narrow Tank Dimension

As it’s a pancake air compressor, you’re supposed to carry it around now and then. To give you a hand, the model already comes with a pretty compact diameter.

The weight of the model is only 29 pounds which is another selling point of this model. In spite of having a regular capacity of 6 gallons, such a weight range is a rare fact to happen.

Comes with 11 Piece Accessories:

As you have seen in the case of all previous air compressors, the best air compressors come with a set of accessories as well. Although this air compressor model is a budget-friendly model, it has still some companions with it.

You will get a 50 feet (ca. 15 m) rubber blend air hose and 10 pieces of blow gun and inflation accessories. All these might give you the right hand in inflating tires and other uses of compressed air as well.

40psi to 90psi Air Pressure Range:

Although it’s one of the significant features of a heavy-duty air compressor, this model seems to go a bit low in this regard. The minimum and maximum pressure are within 40psi and 90psi. With this pressure provided, you can do any mid-level or low-level use of inflation and pressure-injected nailing.

#4. Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP

Sale
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
  • Cast iron pump with big bore cylinder and piston,...
  • Substantially lower noise levels with a large...
  • Low amp draw reduces incidences of tripped...
  • Oil lubricated provides cooler running pump,...
  • One-year manufacturer's warranty

The construction of an air compressor plays a significant role to define its durability and performance consistency. In this regard, having a cast iron-made model would be a great plus for any workman out there.

Therefore, we’ve got the Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor with solid construction and decent functionalities. Let’s figure out its specs and features-

Specifications
  • Model: Makita MAC700
  • Tank Size: 2.6 gallons.
  • Motor Capacity: 2.0 HP
  • Pressure Range: 0-130psi.
  • Accessories: 13 pieces of accessories.

What We Liked
  • 2.0 HP high motor power.
  • 2.6-gallon tank for holding up compressed air.
  • 0-130psi pressure range.
  • Draws low power with only 12.4 amp.
  • It comes with a handle for easy carrying.
  • Solid cast iron made a construction.
  • Oil lubricated design for less heat and more lifespan.

What We Didn't Like
  • Weighs 52 pounds, which is pretty heavy.
  • Only 2.6-gallon tank capacity.

Features and Benefits

Greater Bore with Cast Iron Pump:

The best thing to pick up from the specs list of this air compressor model is the cast iron-made pump, the big-bore cylinder to hold up compressed air, and a maximum stroke delivery. In case you’re too much worried about air compressor bursting, and so, this is the model for you.

1720RPM Pump for Higher Workability:

The motor inside this model is 2.0 HP power. That being said, this motor can produce up to 1720 RPM of speed. As a benefit, you will get a better displacement (due to the compressed air) with lower noise. Because another perk of this model is its low noise creation.

Low Power Draw:

To power up this model of the best air compressor, you don’t have to spend up to a fortune. As you know, low amp drawing costs less current power; this model will show you how to do this.

For safety purposes, there are tripped circuit breakers. It will also prevent the voltage drop from harming the inner parts of the mode.

It Runs Cool with Less Wear:

A common problem while running the air compressor regularly is, it produces a tremendous amount of heat. Which eventually, leads it to wear, and reduces the lifespan of the model.

But Makita had been ultra-careful in this regard. They’ve ensured oil-based lubrication, which gives it the ability to run cooler. Eventually, less wearing and more durability take place.

Roll Bar Handle 

Carrying the best air compressors from one place to another is a regular job that carpenters have to do. To make the job more comfortable for you, there are roll bar handles provided. With those, you can carry the whole air compressor just with one hand.

#5. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak Compressor

Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak Compressor

Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Matte Finish and Trim Portable...
  • Lightweight and portable--easy to carry from site...
  • One horsepower peak ,1/2 horsepower runningand...
  • Ideal for a range of renovation and home...
  • Delivers 20 to 44 drives per minute
  • Backed by a one-year warranty

Senco PC1010 is the last pick on our list of Top 5 air compressors. And for this time, we tried to pick up the best air compressor within the low end. By the low end, it doesn’t indicate the performance and quality. It’s just made up of works that require not-to-high pressure and tank capacity.

Let us take you through the specs of this model for a better idea-

Specifications
  • Model: Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak
  • Tank Size: 1 gallon.
  • Motor Capacity: 1HP (peak)
  • Pressure Range: 0-120psi.
  • Accessories: No

What We Liked
  • 1 HP peak power and ½ HP running power.
  • 1-gallon air capacity.
  • 20 pounds of total weight only.
  • 120psi max pressure output.
  • Less noise, perfect for household works.
  • Aluminum made highly durable air tank.

What We Didn't Like
  • No accessories or kits provided.

Features and Benefits

1 HP Peak ½ HP Running:

Like any regular air compressors, this model has two different values of power that it provides throughout the work. But the special fact about this model is, both of these two ranges are made for low-end tasks. The peak power of this model is 1HP, and the running power is ½ HP, which seems all good.

120psi Quick Output:

The pressure output that this air compressor model can provide is 120psi, which is pretty surprising for such a low-end model. The output can be combined with ¼ inches disconnect coupler.

Perfect for Home Improvement Works:

Although this is not a regular feature, we found it essential to let you know. And the fact is, this air compressor is mainly made for low-end home improvement works. No matter you’re doing a home shifting, or a home renovation, this air compressor will be a perfect companion of yours.

Weighs only 20 Pounds:

In terms of weight, this Senco PC1010 is the lightest model on the list of air compressors. As you can see, 20 pounds is carriable with almost no hard effort at all. So, if lightweight is on your requirement list, you can look up this model.

How We Wrote This Review?

Air Compressors Buying Guide

Image Credit: Wikipedia

The air compressors that we have selected, and the way we’ve understood the real-time features of the specs- are completely reliable ways. Our in-house experts have taken 43 air compressors into consideration, where all of these were popular as pneumatic tool compressors.

Then, based on some specific parameters, we’ve sorted out the best 5 out of the 43 air compressors. Here are the parameters that we’ve taken into consideration-

  • Air tank capacity.
  • Rigidity and strength of the construction.
  • Amp and Voltage draw.
  • Pressure range.
  • Motor power and difference between regular and peak power.
  • Number and types of accessories.
  • The real user reviews.
  • Brand value and warranty.
  • Price-quality ratio.

How big of an air compressor do I need to run air tools?

What size air compressor do I need for air tools

Compressed air is the main fuel behind any air tool. But based on the size and functions of a particular air tool, the requirement of air compressors varies a lot.

Here is a list of required best air compressor pressure for different types of air tools-

0-90 psi: Air ratchet, Airbrush, Air hammer, Angle grinder, Backfill tamper, Impact wrenches, Nail gun, etc.

90-120 psi: Jackhammer, Pneumatic hammer, Pneumatic drill, Pneumatic jack, Pneumatic paint shaker, Pneumatic Riveter, Sanders, etc.

120-200 psi: Sandblaster, Paint sprayer, Riveting hammer, Needle scaler, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Question #1: What size air compressor do I need for air tools?

Answer: Size is a distinct term when it comes to defining the capacity of pneumatic tools. If you indicate it as the size of the tank, we would recommend the best air compressors with 4 to 6 gallons of tank capacity as usual.

Question #2: What size air compressor do I need for impact tools?

Answer: As you know, most of the impact tools are at a low air compressor requirement. Usually, around 90psi of compressor size would do.

Question #3: Can you use compressor oil in air tools?

Answer: If it’s for lubrication purposes, yeah, you can.

In Conclusion

So, that’s the wrap-up for the list of best air compressors for air tools. No matter which type of pneumatic tools you have, we’re sure that you will find the right suit of the air compressor model within this list. One last piece of advice from our side would be to keep an eye on the price-quality ratio.

Good luck!

Related Reading:
#1. Air Compressors for Roofing Nailers.

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.