5 Best Air Compressor for Air Tools 2023 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 January 16, 2023 by John Patterson

Best Air Compressor for Air Tools

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

The first and foremost requirement when using air tools is an excellent compressed air source. 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 challenging.

That’s why we’ve decided to take over this research for you and hand-pick the best five 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) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18...
Best Value
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
Other Consideration
Makita MAC700 2.0 HP* Big Bore™ 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) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18...
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
Makita MAC700 2.0 HP* Big Bore™ 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) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18...
Title
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18...
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 2.0 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
Title
Makita MAC700 2.0 HP* Big Bore™ 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)
5,173 Reviews
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 will not work with the same air pressure as this model. The highest and lower pressure range is 150psi and 90psi in this heavy-duty air compressor model. It can also provide you with a 120psi cut-in pressure and a 30psi bonus air pressure.

To make it even better, Porter Cable did 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.

It Starts Easily At Even Cold Weather:

This is a feature you won’t see in many air compressor models on 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. You can quickly turn this on with an extension cord in cold weather.

Swift Pressure Drop Control:

This air compressor can work within several pressure points, including a 30psi bonus pressure. A Hi-Flo air regulator is provided to have swift control and get the pressure you need precisely. 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 is an air coupler and plug right into the factory-installed version. This coupler and plug will greatly help 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

Sale
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18...
4,962 Reviews
Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18...
  • 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

If you’re interested in buying an all-in-one air compressor solution 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 over 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
  • It’s beautiful as a combo kit; individually, the air compressor itself doesn’t have that much power.

Features and Benefits

6 Gallons of Standard Compressor Capacity:

In this heavy-duty portable air compressor combo kit, the first item 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 standard carpentry of light-medium fastening jobs.

150 PSI Pressure for Mid-level Compression Works:

An air pressure of 150 psi is not a bad score as long as you think about traditional pancake-style air compressors. This would help you 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 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 significant 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 has a 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...
1,472 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'...

If 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.
  • Fifty feet rubber-made air hoses.
  • Eleven accessories come with it.
  • Pretty much low price point.

What We Didn't Like
  • It 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. If you’re using it in the home garage, you should be aware of the noise it produces.

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 has a compact diameter.

The model’s weight is only 29 pounds, another selling point of this model. Despite having a regular capacity of 6 gallons, such a weight range is rare.

Comes with 11 Piece Accessories:

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

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, 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

Makita MAC700 2.0 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
1,323 Reviews
Makita MAC700 2.0 HP* Big Bore™ 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 in defining 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 proper 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
  • It weighs 52 pounds, which is pretty heavy.
  • Only 2.6 gallons 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. 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 that it produces tremendous heat. Which eventually leads 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 allows it 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. Roll bar handles are provided to make the job more comfortable for you. With those, you can carry the whole air compressor with one hand.

#5. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak Compressor

Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak Compressor

Sale
Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Matte Finish and Trim Portable...
1,392 Reviews
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 made up of works requiring 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.
  • Twenty pounds of total weight only.
  • 120psi max pressure output.
  • It makes less noise, which is perfect for household work.
  • Aluminum made highly durable air tank.

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

Features and Benefits

1 HP Peak ½ HP Running:

Like any regular air compressor, this model has two different values of power that it provides throughout the work. But the special fact about this model is that both 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. Whether you’re doing a home shifting or a home renovation, this air compressor will be your perfect companion.

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 effort. 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 we selected and how we understood the specs’ real-time features are reliable. Our in-house experts have considered 43 air compressors, which were popular as pneumatic tool compressors.

Then, based on specific parameters, we 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 the difference between regular and peak power.
  • Number and types of accessories.
  • The actual 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 does I need for air tools?

Answer: Size is a different term for defining the capacity of pneumatic tools. If you indicate it as the tank’s size, we 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 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 you will find the right suit for 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.