Don’t you think that a garage air compressor is one of the most versatile automotive tools?
Of course, because there are so many other tools we can use thanks to this garage air tool. Actually, garage air compressor is an essential air tool because it helps you use tools such as brand nailer, air ratchet, air impact wrench, etc.
For this reason, today I want to tell you all about the best garage air compressor in 2018.
What makes a good garage air tool?
Essentially, there are many bands on the market, which means you’ll have more choice when buying a pneumatic air tool. It’s important that the garage air tool does the job you want and that it does it well.
Choosing the best garage compressor isn’t hard, and we’re here to answer any question you may have.
- Garage Air Compressors Reviews Of 2018
- 1. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore - Best Overall
- 2. Rolair JC10 Oil less compressor
- 3. Porter-Cable PCFP02003
- 4. Industrial Air ILA1883054
- 5. California Air Tools 10020C
- 6. Viair 00088 88P (Portable Air Compressor)
- 7. Makita MAC700 Big Bore
- 8. Ingersoll-Rand Garage Mate
- 9. Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2 – GM
- 10. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore (Editor's Choice)
- Garage Air Compressor's Buyer Guide
Garage Air Compressors Reviews Of 2018
Naturally, in order to find the top rated garage air compressor, you should read reviews of some of the best brands. However, the best reviews are comparison tables because they show all the specifications such as pressure gauge, for example. Of course, air tools are something you should buy for your garage, because they’re versatile and durable. Regardless of whether the air tool is automotive or not, there is still so much you can use it for in your home garage.
For this reason, we bring you the list of the top 10 garage air compressors of 2018.
|Makita MAC2400 Big Bore|
|81 pounds||130 PSI||Electric||2.5 HP||Check Price|
|Rolair JC10 Oil less compressor||42.9 pounds||90 PSI||Electric||1 HP||Check Price|
|Porter-Cable PCFP02003||26 pounds||90 PSI||Electric||120 V||Check Price|
|Industrial Air ILA1883054||190 pounds||155 PSI||Electric||120 V / 1 HP||Check Price|
|California Air Tools 10020C|
|82,5 pounds||90 PSI||Electric||110 V / 2 HP||Check Price|
|Viair 00088 88P||4.5 pounds||120 PSI||Battery||12 V||Check Price|
|Makita MAC700 Big Bore||59.6 pounds||90 PSI||Electric||120 V / 2 HP||Check Price|
|Ingersoll-Rand Garage Mate||200 pounds||5.5 CFM||Gas-powered||2 HP||Check Price|
|Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2 – GM||185 pounds||90 PSI||Electric||2 HP||Check Price|
|Makita MAC5200 Big Bore||104.4 pounds||90 PSI||Electric||3 HP||Check Price|
As you can see, there are very little differences between these air tool brands. However, once you read all the reviews carefully, you’ll notice the difference in features that each of these brands has to offer. It’s important you note if the air pump is electric. Aside from electric, there is also gas and battery powered garage compressors. Don’t forget the motor’s horsepower as well as the weight of the air tool.
1. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore - Best Overall
Makita is probably one of the most popular brands of air tools on the market. All of their machinery is always top rated and with many positive customer reviews. This model of air pump is a perfect fit for anything from inflating your car tire to anything else you can imagine.
The iron piston pump has a construction that’s roll-cage type. More precisely, this kind of construction prevents all kinds of damage. In addition, the air tool features two tanks and two nozzles, which means you can actually run two machines at the very same time.
Essentially, this is very convenient especially for if you own a shop. You know how sometimes you have a grease gun and another tool that’s air powered, perhaps? That’s when this garage air tool comes to play.
Its 2.5 horsepower motor has a mid-range capability and it runs on gasoline. Conveniently, there’s a glass window where you can keep an eye on the oil level and color.
It’s important to note that this is a 4.2 gallon air compressor that features 2 tanks. It produces 4.8 CFM at 130 PSI, and 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI. My favorite extra features of this air tool arethe glass window and oil drain. These two features add so much to the convenience of the garage tool. Also, both oil drain and sight glass improve the ease of use. At last, the garage tool includes 1/4’’ universal quick coupler.
Most people only complain how you shouldn’t use the garage tool indoors. More precisely, the gasoline produces fumes and it’s only for the outdoors. Of course, nothing can stop you to use it indoors, it’s just not something we’d advice you. Also, this home garage tool isn’t portable, so make sure you keep that in mind. There are no wheels, which makes the actual portability quite hard.
- Roll-cage construction
- Made of iron
- Features two tanks
- Not portable
- Only for outdoors use
If you’re looking for a small air compressor to use in your home garage only for domestic purposes, you’ve found one. This is a small, but powerful air compressor that works great in handling tire inflation, trim installation, etc.
What makes it an ideal garage tool is that it’s small and easily portable. You’ll find it easy to use and transport because it doesn’t weight more than 40 lbs. Also, its size allows you to store it pretty much anywhere, including small spaces in your garage. In addition, we’re talking about a small but also quiet air compressor. This tool produces no more than just 60 decibels.
Lastly, that makes this home garage tool ideal for anyone who doesn’t like making too much noise. The compressor is oil free so it doesn’t require any refill or additional maintenance. Of course, this means that the compressor is versatile and convenient. Rolair JC10 operates with 2.35 CFM at 90 PSI.
This air compressor features a 1725 RPM motor and the oil less design. As I said, the fact that it’s oil less reduces downtime and adds to the convenience. Also, the compressor features 2.5 gallon tank capacity.
This means it’s good enough to do all the small garage tasks. It’s important we mention that the cylinder featured is cast aluminum, as well. Finally, another important feature is the single-stage motor of 8 amp, plus the two cylinder pump.
Most people only say how the compressor’s legs will leave oily stains on the floor of your garage. Of course, this isn’t such a big deal nor an issue, however, it can get annoying.
We suggest you use a piece of cloth to put underneath the compressor just so it doesn’t stain the floor of your garage. Also, you’ll often hear people complain how this home garage tool won’t do big jobs, even though the device isn’t advertised to do so. After all, this is a small air compressor that’s fit for small garage jobs.
- Easy to use
- Oil less
- Fit only for small jobs
This air compressor features a reserve tank that’s 3.5 gallons of capacity. The air goes up to 135 PSI at its max. Of course, this means longer run and far quicker recovery. Also, its pump is oil less, like the compressor we’ve reviewed above. No oil means less maintenance, which is always convenient. Still, the compressor doesn’t feature any wheels, but we can agree that it doesn’t even need them. You’ll be able to move it around your garage easily, because this air compressor weighs only 26 pounds.
Because it’s so lightweight and of compact design, it’s easy to move it around by lifting it from underneath. However, you can also grab it from the top if it’s more convenient for you. Same as the Rolair model we’ve reviewed, this air compressor features the roll bar type of design, which makes it easy to transport to any place you want. All of its features are located on the top of the tank, including gauges, heads, and knobs.
This model comes very simple, and it has no special features for any special tasks. It’s a small, basic air compressor that you can use to complete small garage tasks. Finally, it features a low amp motor of 120 V.
Also, the compressor features two gauges and rubber feet. Obviously, the rubber feet are a very useful features because it keeps the compressor in place at all times. Its small set of features is just enough for the small list of things you can use the compressor for.
Again, most complains are based on how the compressor won’t do well with heavy duty tasks. As we mentioned, this compressor is only for smaller jobs like framing, roofing jobs, blowing, inflation, finishing nailers, etc.
If you try to use it for any heavy duty tasks, the compressor obviously won’t impress you, because it’s not made for them. Also, some people find it hard to lift the compressor due to its design.
- Classic design
- Features rubber feet
- Lightweight and compact
- Difficult to get a hold of
We can’t go on with this list before me mention the Industrial Air garage compressor. This is one of the best-reviewed and top rated brands of air compressor, and for a reason. This is a big and powerful compressor with a 30 gallon tank. It provides enough air for all kinds of tools such as sanders. More precisely, it produces about 5.7 CFM at 90 PSI.
The unit is wired for 120 V outlet, but you can convert it an use 240 V outlet as well. This air compressor is quiet, which is always a great feature to mention. You can freely use it in your garage home without worrying that you’re making too much noise. It’s oil lubricated, but long lasting, and you can be sure you’ll use it for a really long time. The pump functions with a belt-driven technology.
Finally, this air compressor is perfect for all those heavy duty jobs. You’d be pleased with its performance, ease of use and transport, as well.
Finally, this is an air compressor with some significant extra features. We’re talking about a cast iron case, aluminum head, valve plate, cylinder body, steel valves, a glass sight, a 12-inch flywheel and an oil fill. How impressive is this?
The compressor features wheels, so it’s easy to move around your garage and it also makes storage a lot easier, as well. If you’re looking for a long lasting compressor, packed with useful features, you’ve finally found one.
Apparently, the only critic that users have had was how the tube from the head to tank gets very hot and you can easily burn yourself on it. Logically, every high-pressure compressor’s tube gets extremely hot, no exception. Once you know that, it’s quite easy to be careful and watch not to burn yourself.
- Suitable for heavy
- duty jobs
- Easy to use and move around
- Long list of useful features
- 120 V but can be converted to 240 V
- Tubing gets hot
Also one of the most top-rated compressors, the California Air Tools model is one of the most popular garage compressors on the market. No doubt, its sound feature of only 70 decibels is what makes it as popular. Understandably, this feature makes the compressor one of the quietest models. The device is low amp and you can use 15 amp outlets to run it.
Also, the pump featured is oil free, which adds to its versatility, durability, and overall performance. Plus, it’s also important to note that you can use it freely in all kinds of temperature levels an uneven lands. Its steel tank carries the capacity of about 10.0 gallons and it doesn’t take longer than about 2 minutes to fill it. At last, the compressor provides 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI, which means you can use bigger tools and devices at the same time.
If you’re looking for a powerful unit that would operate quietly, you’ve found one. This air compressor will impress you as soon as you bring it in your garage.
This model features a control panel that features two ¼’’ quick connectors. This means you can use two tools at the same time. Finally, using dual ports is convenient and beneficial. Also, the compressor features wheels, which is always something to look for. Obviously, the wheels provide easy transport and storage.
Most of users only reported that the device would burn out after only a few times of using it. Now, you can understand that this is a serious issue, especially given the investment. However, there’s not many reviews to support their complaint, unfortunately.
This may or may not be a faulty product or a matter of misuse. Either way, if you’ve used the unit accordingly and this happens, you should most definitely contact the manufacturer and see if there’s anything you can do to fix it.
- Features control panel
- Wheels are included
- Oil free
- Possible air leaks
6. Viair 00088 88P (Portable Air Compressor)
This is probably one of the most convenient units, because it’s lightweight, easily portable and overall easy to use. The Vlair air compressor is a great solution to whoever needs a small and lightweight compressor that’s easy to store in your garage or carry in your vehicle. The unit doesn’t want more than only 1 pound, which is probably unheard of when it comes to air compressors.
This compressor is by far the best for inflating tires. Also, you’d be impressed by its 45% duty time that means the compressor runs for 4 ½ minutes. After that time, you’d need to let it cool for about 5 minutes. The Vlair compressor is suitable for inflating tires of 33’’ because it delivers 1.98 CFM. What’s really convenient about this compressor is that you can use it by connecting it to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket.
However, you must keep the engine running in order to use the compressor. This can come in handy often, of course, because the compressor is portable.
Even though it’s small and suitable only for small tasks, the compressor comes with some fine features. More precisely, it features a 9 foot power cord, and an LED power indicator. Of course, this adds to the convenience of the unit.
Also, the compressor comes with a 12 foot air hose, plus a 3 piece inflation tip kit.
It’s understandable how the customers would complain on the length of the hose. Apparently, the hose should be a little longer, according to the users. We advise you to check on the length before you decide to purchase the compressor, just so you’re not surprised once it arrives. Also, some people said that the unit would get hot quickly. On that hand, make sure you don’t run the unit for longer than 4 ½ minutes.
- Connects to cigarette lighter socket
- Hose is only 9 foot long
- Takes 5 minutes to cool off
Here’s another great air compressor for your garage by the popular Makita. This time, is the MAC700 2HP air compressor. This unit is suitable for all kinds of tasks, even cleaning.
It produces high outputs from a low input and it operates quietly. Like the other Makita model we’ve reviewed, this one also runs without any noise, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing the neighbors. This air compressor features a steel cylinder, which means it has better durability and it’s going to last longer.
Of course, it’s important you know that this compressor works well in any environment and adverse conditions. Also, it features oil lubrication system to help the motor from tear and wear. This means the unit is long lasting and durable. Keep in mind that we’re talking about an air compressor that’s 52 lbs which is quite little for such unit. Naturally, it’s easy to transport and maneuver, which is always important when it comes to air compressors.
The most important feature we have to mention is the oil gauge made of integrated glass. Thanks to this glass oil gauge, it’s quite easy to keep an eye on oil levels.
When you work with an oil-lubricated compressor, monitoring oil levels is one of the most important things. This way, you know exactly when you need more lubrications, at any time.
Unfortunately, the unit does have a major issue, according to its users. In fact, it isn’t quite the issue of the unit, more so the packaging. More precisely, some people reported that the compressor came with the plastic shroud in pieces.
There’s something about the packaging of the compressor that just can’t take the shipping of the product that eventually breaks. However, there’s customer service you can contact to find the solution if this problem occurs.
- Features a glass gauge
- Long lasting and durable
- Shipping issues
There are many things that makes this air compressor so popular, but its reliable performance may be the most important one. The air compressor is a useful addition to any garage in need of small inflation operations.
The pump is oil lubricated, which insures the reliable performance without any problems. Plus, the pump is cast-iron and that means it’s durable and long-lasting.
The unit operates quietly at 75-80 dB, which is convenient and important to mention. Also, don’t overlook the fact that this compressor meets OSHA standards. We can all agree that’s an important factor. However, don’t expect the compressor to do any heavy-duty tasks, even though it performs remarkably on smaller ones.
Simply, make sure you buy the unit knowing what kind of task it can and cannot perform.
Apart from featuring a cast-iron pump that’s oil lubricated to insure solid performance, this unit also comes with a couple of more useful features. For example, a pressure switch adds a lot to the continence of the unit. Let’s not forget the pressure gauge, safety valve and also, the regulator. Finally, a 6 foot power cord is also featured, as well as two wheels and a handle bar.
Worst-case scenario is that the oil may leak for some reason. As many customers have reported, they have received the unit covered in oil, and if not, the oil would eventually leak. Honestly, nobody really knows why this is happening and therefore, there isn’t much you can do to fix it. Normally, contact Ingersoll-Rand and see if they can help you if your unit is still under warranty.
- Easy to use
- Features safety valve
- Convenient and quiet
- Possible oil leaks
We must mention another air compressor by Ingersoll-Rand, and it’s almost as popular as the first model we reviewed. This time, is the SS3F2 air compressor.
The difference is that this air compressor can perform some very heavy-duty and tough applications. The construction is made of 100% durable cast iron, which means the unit is safe from wear over time. The tank of the compressor is of 30 gallon capacity and it’s horizontal, which some people may find important.
Of course, the heavy-duty tasks are no problem thanks to its ability to produce 5.7 CFM at 90 PSI. Now you can see why most people opt for this air compressor. At last, it’s easy to use and maneuver around garage or any other location. The motor runs on 16 amps and its 2HP. In addition, the compressor runs on a belt driven technology and it’s portable. The voltage required is 115V.
Although this unit is easy to use and often the model that people choose, it comes with no extra features. The only thing we must mention is that it features wheels to make portability possible. At last, the wheels make the unit easy to use and maneuver, so you won’t have any problems with transport or storage. Also, the compressor features 1 year warranty.
Most importantly, the compressor works just fine. However, some users critic the fact that you can’t use any oil to run the compressor. More precisely, you must only use the special Ingersoll-Rand oil.
Basically, in case you use any other oil, you’re actually voiding the warranty. This isn’t an issue, but we can understand why people aren’t happy with it, nonetheless. Some people consider this inconvenient and unnecessary.
- Easy to transport and maneuver
- Horizontal tank
- Runs only with specific oil
10. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore (Editor's Choice)
Last but not least, we simply must mention this Makita model. At this point, you probably understand why is Makita one of the most favorite brands, and if not, you’ll realize after we’ve reviewed this last air compressor.
This is really a high quality unit and it’s also powerful. More precisely, the 3HP motor does the entire job. The compressor features two ports for hoses, which allow you to use two tools at the same time, much like the other Makita Big Bore air compressors. It’s piston needs oil for lubrication, which prevents wear. This means that the unit is durable and long lasting. The MAC5200 produces 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI. Finally, all of its specifications make it suitable for all kinds of tasks, big or small.
The best thing about this air compressor is its convenience. It features a handle that you can fold down when you’re using the compressor. Once you need to move the unit, you can simply extend the handle and pull the compressor around.
Of course, the wheels are included, as well. This, along with the handle, means you can easily move the unit around to wherever you need it. The unit also features a storage department where you can store any kind of accessories.
Even though this is a high quality unit and rarely any issues occur with it, some people did find something about it that they didn’t like.
In the case of this Makita model, the oil requires changing and it’s what most people are unhappy about. At last, is simply how the unit operates, so make sure you double think if you’d be okay with it.
- Construction is high quality
- Features a storage department
- Oil needs changing
Garage Air Compressor's Buyer Guide
When it comes to features, the most important is to consider the jobs you’d be doing with your air compressor. Normally, you don’t want a list of features you’d never use if you only need an air compressor for tire inflation. Some of the most useful features are a glass gauge, hose, wheels, and a handle. Those are also the most basic and you’ll notice that the most brands make sure to include them.
Power, Motor, and Tank Capacity
Again, consider the jobs you’d be doing and also your personal preference. If you’re going to do any heavy duty tasks, you’re better to choose an air compressor that can complete them. The power and motor are crucial if you want to be happy with your air compressor. Make sure you know exactly how much horsepower the unit has. Also, the tank capacity is directly connected to how much air pressure the compressor can produce. Therefore, make sure to know the capacity prior the purchase just so you’re not stuck with an air compressor that doesn’t do the job you want it to.
Honestly, performance is what it’s all about. You want an air compressor that can perform well in all climates and in all surfaces. If you’re going to do big and heavy tasks, don’t forget to make sure that your air compressor can fulfil them. It’s important you choose the unit that can perform the jobs you want it to perform. Unless you research and read the reviews on each model, you can easily overlook this factor. Finally, be careful about this, because it’s important that the unit can perform well.
In conclusion, we tried our best to bring you our best value garage air compressor list. Hopefully, you found it helpful and were able to choose the one that’s best for your garage needs. Looking for an automotive air compressor isn’t always a piece of cake, especially because there are so many models on the market today.
Still, if you research carefully and in detail, you’re for sure going to find the right unit for your garage. Consider all factors and decide on what you need an air compressor for, which is going to make the decision making much easier.
What are the tasks you need an air compressor for? Have you ever used any of these models? Please, make sure to leave a comment in the section below.