Best Air CompressorAir compressors come in a wide variety of different forms for all sorts of different applications. The size and type you choose will be determined by what you need it to do for you. If you’re a home user then you might just have some sporting equipment or small air powered tools that get light occasional use. If on the other hand you’re more of a commercial user, then you will likely need a compressor with a greater capacity or capable of greater pressures. With a larger machine you’ll be able to run more tools or inflate things much more quickly. With an increase in size however comes a decrease in portability, increase in cost, noise and also maintenance. In addition to the more obvious differences shown below, there are also many finer points to consider. For example, if the compressor starts more than six times per hour, then you should look for a model that offers Constant Speed Control. On the other hand, if it only starts infrequently then a simple ‘stop / start’ control would be sufficient.

Choosing a Portable Compressor

The simplest type of best air compressor doesn’t even have a tank, it just feeds high pressure air directly into a hose. This is no good for more than the most basic of applications, however, and consequently you’ll want to choose a compressor that has a capacity to adequately meet the demands you’ll place on it. Having a larger compressor though will limit your ability to move it around or transport it from place to place. If portability is an important aspect to you then there is still a lot of choice out there. Most mini compressors (eg: the ‘pancake’ type) are obviously fully portable, as they are light enough to be taken anywhere. Larger ones with tanks can be much more difficult to move around. Many come with a set of wheels on the bottom of the tank stand and consequently even a larger air compressor can be classified as portable.

A 6 gallon tank would satisfy pretty much everything a domestic user might want to achieve, and many compressors of this size have a set of wheels on which to transport it around. Commercial compressors of about 20 gallons can also be classified as ‘portable’ because of their wheels, however they will be much larger and heavier, and you’ll struggle if you needed to get it in and out of a vehicle for example.

Gas / Diesel or Electric Powered?

Compressors can be powered either by a gas or diesel engine, or by standard 240V / 110V household electrics. Gas powered compressors are handy if you need the ultimate in flexibility, as long as you have a can or a supply of gas then you’ll be able to run the compressor. For this reason they are popular with builders and tradesmen, but should only be run either outside or in a well-ventilated area, as they create noxious exhaust fumes as with a vehicle exhaust. Gas engined models are also usually associated with having a higher pressure, CFM (flow based on Cubic Feet per Minute) and capacity output, meaning they have an increased versatility.

An example of a compressor powered by an engine is the “Industrial Air Contractor” 4 Gallon Pontoon Air Compressor. This has a premium 5hp Honda engine and gives a generous maximum of 5 CFM  for a 90psi pressure.

Electric Powered Best Air Compressors

An electric motor powered air compressor is the best choice if you plan to use it indoors a lot. 110 voltage is fine, however for motors over roughly 2HP you would probably need a 240V supply. There are a few advantages of owning and running an electrically powered compressor – firstly a gas powered one requires more maintenance, oil changes etc.. to keep the engine in a tip top condition. Secondly, an electrically powered compressor is usually quite a bit cheaper than its gas counterpart.

How big a size of tank do I need?

The size of tank that you require is based around how much flow you require, and the type of air tools that you intend to use will affect how big a tank you need. For simple tools such as nail guns, these only require intermittent bursts of air, whereas tools such as grinders or sanders will typically require a much more continuous supply of air. As the flow demands increase, you will probably need to choose a model of compressor with a larger tank size. These vary enormously, with residential compressors offering around 1-6 gallon tanks. Even some of the more portable ‘pancake’ style compressors offer 3.5gallons, which is fine if you don’t intend powering lots of air-intensive tools. The larger machines which are typically intended for heavier or commercial use can have tanks ranging from around 10 gallons to 120 gallons (and more for serious industrial uses).

To oil or not to oil, that is the question…

Your choice as to whether you opt for an oil-lubricated compressor will likely depend on how important the tool is for your needs. If you’re a tradesmen or mechanic who is always running the compressor for air tools then you’ll be willing to pay the extra price for the more complex oil-lubricated models. Whilst these are typically more expensive, they have the advantage that they will be much quieter (important for indoor operations), and will last a lot longer before giving up the ghost. If you only use the compressor for infrequent jobs then you might be happier compromising for a cheaper but noisier oil-free model. Also if you keep your air compressor in a really cold area then there’s a risk the oil will thicken significantly and cause problems.

It is also said that if you intend using the compressor for paint spraying then the best choice is an oil-free type, as this prevents any contamination of the lines which might cause problems with the paint or colouring. Many people state that the best for long-term usage would be those with a cast iron or aluminium block, whereby you can either get these serviced or replace the oil yourself at the recommended intervals.

Single-Stage or Two-Stage Compressors?

A single stage compressor will be more than adequate for most domestic users, and it entails a single piston that compresses the air and delivers it to the storage tank. A two-stage compressor has two pistons, the first one compresses the air and passes it through a non-return valve to the second piston, which in turn compresses the air further and passes it into the tank. This twin-piston setup is typically found on higher pressure models above 150psi. The benefits of utilising a twin-piston type is not only that it can deliver a higher pressure, but it is more suited to longer-term continuous use, such as that required in an auto-shop or workshop.

The Best 12V Air Compressors

Everyone should carry one of these, seriously, if you’ve ever tried to inflate a tire at the roadside with a simple footpump then you’ll wish you paid the roughly $50 that these 12v air compressors cost. Throw one in the trunk and if you ever have a slow puncture or need to inflate the spare tire then these compressors will get the job done for you in no time, with much less effort than a footpump. Below we attempt to review the top three 12v models and their pro’s & con’s. If you’re wondering how we choose the top three, they are based on the top three models as rated by real customers that have bought the item through Amazon. Let’s kick off the article with a review of the Viair 00073 model.

1.) The Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty 12V Air Compressor

Viair 00073 70P air compressor

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This is an excellent little compressor that is actually the number one bestseller on Amazon within the 12v category. It has stunning reviews of 4.3 out of 5 stars based on a whopping 2344 reviews. It’s obviously perfectly portable, what with its handy little bag and compact size. The plug for this will fit into a standard car cigarette lighter that is capable of delivering a minimum of 15 amps. For most cars this shouldn’t be a worry however. Some other models are a bit more fiddly, as they don’t come with a cigarette lighter 12V plug, but have to be attached directly to the battery using a jump-lead type arrangement.

In terms of compressing power, it is rated for tire inflations of up to 100 PSI, however most conventional tires won’t come anywhere near this figure, with the standard being around 40PSI. Most people in the reviews favour this model for its higher build quality, lower noise levels and fast speed of inflation.

2.) Goodyear i3000 12 Volt Compressor

Goodyear i3000 air compressor

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It is obviously a 12v model, that has the traditional cigarette lighter socket to power the unit. The max PSI is greater for this model, at a rated maximum of 28PSI, however most tires are nowhere near this figure. This is another heavy-duty compressor that is capable of delivering 30L of air per minute.

The two models mentioned so far are both higher-end 12v compressors that are built well and consequently are quiet and efficient at inflating things. The Goodyear i3000 incorporates ‘Whisper Soft’ technology to minimize the noise output. From having personal experience with a really cheap 12v air compressor, it definitely is a bonus to have a quiet compressor, as the cheaper ones are painful on the ear-drums, and jump all over the place they vibrate that much. These better quality ones are a lot easier on the ears and won’t deafen you in the process.

3.) The Viair 90P Portable & Powerful 12V Compressor

VIAIR 90P Portable Compressor

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The Viair 90P is a powerful little model, that similarly to this Campbell Hausfeld one is a neat and tidy little unit that still delivers a powerful punch. It has it’s own handle and carrying case for stowing away when not in use, however where it differs is that it is mainly intended for automotive use rather than for use around the home. The Campbell Hausfeld model I mentioned actually has a 120V plug which is fine if you intend to only use it at home. By comparison this model has two alligator clamps that attach to the battery terminals of your car or vehicle. For this reason it is suited to use when you’re out and about, or need to inflate your tires when at home. The reason it has these battery clips as opposed to a 12V cigarette socket adapter is that it can draw more power from the battery and thus pump up your tires more quickly.

Tech Specs & Features

It provides a maximum working pressure of 120psi, which is more than sufficient for a standard 40psi car tire. The manufacturer’s specifications also state that it has a 15% duty cycle, and has a 12 foot power cable with an inline fuse and 5 foot air hose. Having long hoses and cables is really handy and means you’ll easily be able to reach all four corners of your car whilst it’s connected to the battery. Having the inline fuse is also handy as it means that if you exceed the duty time or over use the compressor you’ll easily be able to switch the fuse and get it back up and running in no time.

It is a mere 3lbs in weight, and combined with its compact size means that it is definitely one of the more portable models, and won’t take up much space in your trunk when not in use. Despite its small size, Viair state that it can easily inflate tires up to 31″ in size in a matter of minutes. It’s a really easy unit to operate, all you need to do is connect everything together and then press the ‘on’ button. The inbuilt pressure gauge can be used for seeing how much air you need to put in, and you don’t have to keep disconnecting the air hose to test with a separate gauge.

Whether you intend using this in extreme cold or extreme heat this unit should fare up well to wherever you intend to use it. It has a maximum ambient operating temperature of 158ºF and a minimum ambient temperature of -40ºF.

Conclusion

Basically this unit sells itself as being a well prepared kit whilst still being compact and easily transported. Viair is a respected name in all types of automotive and off-road compressors, and consequently they offer a 1 year limited warranty covering product and manufacturing defects. It is a well built unit that isn’t the cheapest, but perhaps does offer the best compromise between price, capability and power. At the time of writing this it had an average review rating of 4.5 stars out of five, with many customers stating that it is quiet, compact and works really easily.

What is our Favorite Cheap Air Compressor?

If you’re looking for a low-priced bargain compressor then there are quite a few to choose from. Exactly which is best for you will depend on what you intend using it for. For example home DIY experts will require a lower powered model than that needed by a commercial garage or for industrial applications. Similarly if you are just looking for a 12V compressor to inflate your car or truck’s tires then one of the smaller portable models would be best for you. In the overview below I’ll assume you’re looking for a 120V electric motor compressor suitable for general home use (ie: carpentry, roofing, light paint spraying etc..).

1.) Porter Cable C2002-WK Oil Free Cheap Portable Compressor

PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK

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The Porter-Cable C2002-WK is an electrically powered, 6 gallon oil-free pancake-style compressor. Due to its handy size it is also fully portable, and can be carried around using the handle on the top. It provides up to 150psi of pressure within the tank and is perfect for basic home and garage usage. In terms of flow rate, it is capable of supplying 2.6 cubic feet per minute at 90psi pressure.

This particular model also includes an essential 13 piece accessory kit, comprising of tire gauges, various inflation adapters, a blow gun and a 25 foot nylon air hose. As already mentioned it is an electric-motor powered compressor, and utilities a 0.8HP induction motor, meaning it has a longer life and greater performance. Over time you are also able to maintain the compressor by replacing the brushes on the motor, as they naturally wear down over time. Being electric it is also highly suited to indoor use, as it generates no fumes associated with gas / diesel models.

The Porter C2002 is highly portable, it’s pancake air compressor shape combined with its relatively light weight (34lbs) mean you will have no problems in transporting the tool from place to place, and it will comfortably fit in the trunk of your car if you need to take it anywhere. It features rubber feet to minimize vibration and noise, and has a screw-type water drain valve on the bottom of the ‘pancake’.

Checking and emptying for any water within the tank is an essential part of day-to-day running and maintenance of a compressor, as not only will it rust the tank but it may get into the regulator causing ‘short-cycling’ which in turn will limit the maximum PSI available.

When choosing a compressor (good article here), you need to decide whether you want an oil-lubricated or an oil-free model. This particular model is of the ‘oil-free’ variety, meaning that it doesn’t require regular maintenance and refilling with oil. In theory oil-free models don’t last quite as long as their lubricated counterparts, however the specification for this Porter model states that it has an oil-free pump that is durable and designed for long-life. Another benefit of opting for one of these oil-free types, is that as they are dry, they are unaffected by cold weather that would otherwise wreak havoc with oil lubricated models.

Breaking-In the Compressor

Please make sure you consult the operating manual before first running the compressor. We’ve heard reports from experienced users that it is essential you ‘break-in’ most compressors, including this Porter-Cable one. What this basically consists of (so we’ve heard) is opening the water drain valve on the bottom of the tank, and running the compressor for 15 minutes so that it can pump air but without actually building up any pressure in the tank. After the fifteen minutes you can close the drain valve, and you’re good to go. This will ensure that you don’t damage the various components within the compressor before you actually use it! What actually happens is that the cylinder will become scored and cause pressure leakage around the piston if you don’t break it in to begin with.

Small, Powerful & Portable

For such a handy-sized and portable compressor, the 6G capacity combined with the max 150psi pressure output means that this particular Porter model has a lot going for it. Many users report that they are easily able to power brad nailers, inflate tyres quickly, air ratchets, small-disc grinders (at 100PSI) and many more uses. Some users say that the unit is a little noisy, however most compressors are to be honest, and this little beast packs a punch that is above its weight compared to other models within the ‘pancake’ class. One reviewer states that it is in between a vacuum cleaner and a lawnmower in terms of loudness. Especially when you consider that the price is well under $200, it achieves its primary objectives with ease.

2.) Porter Cable CMB15 150PSI Shrouded Compressor

PORTER-CABLE CMB15

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This one’s quite a bit smaller and lighter than the larger Porter Cable one above, at just 20lbs in weight. The tank capacity is just 1.5G and so it’s only suited to light or intermittent operation. Having said that it will be great for light tasks such as inflating vehicle tires or for using simple air tools such as staplers. If you’re looking for a compressor to blow out irrigation or swimming lines for example then you might want to consider a more heavy duty one.

It delivers 2SCFM at 90PSI and offers quick recovery time, meaning you won’t have to wait long for the compressor to fill the tank in between uses. As with the one above it’s oil-free and powered by 120V AC, so wouldn’t be one to take in your car as you can’t attach it to the battery or plug it into the cigarette lighter socket. Having a tank to hold the compressed air is a bonus as it delivers a better airflow than the more simple cylinderless varieties.

Consequently it offers a lot of compressor for the money, and is a serious contender in terms of the best performance to price ratio.

3.) The Campbell Hausfeld 120V Home Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld RP410099AV Home Inflation System

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The Campbell Hausfeld Home Inflation System (model number RP410099AV) is a neat and tidy little unit that is perfectly designed for use as a home air compressor. It’s innards are protected (and covered up) in a black plastic casing, keeping everything nice and clean. Both the electrical cord and the air hose have their own dedicated areas, allowing them to be wrapped and tucked out of the way when not in use. It’s specifically designed for use around the home as it comes with a ten foot electrical cord for a 120V socket, instead of the 12V cigarette lighter adapter for use in cars. Although it has a household plug, it is perfectly designed for the inflation of tires as well.

Specifications & Features of this Campbell Compressor

At a mere 5lbs in weight, this compressor is completely portable and you won’t have any problems moving it around. Don’t let it’s lightweight appearance put you off however, it is described as being a powerful yet compact unit, and many reviewers on Amazon report that it is actually quite speedy considering the price (currently less than $40). As an example, one reviewer states that it filled their car tire from a nearly flat state to roughly 35psi in approximately five minutes, which isn’t bad for a ‘from flat’ time. It has an in-built tire pressure gauge, so there’s no need to keep disconnecting the compressor to test the tire pressure with a separate gauge.

This air compressor also contains a cooling fan to keep the temperatures under control and thus extend it’s useful life and reliability levels. Being oil-free you don’t have any oil to top up at servicing schedules, however it does mean that it is somewhat noisy. However as you only use a compressor intermittently (and probably infrequently as well), it shouldn’t matter too much that it’s a bit on the noisy side.

In terms of practical uses, Campbell Hausfeld state that this model is good for inflating tires, rafts, sports and pool equipment. Obviously it’s not intended for anything more heavy duty such as powering air tools, for which you’d need a much larger and more expensive compressor.

Included Accessories

When you buy this model from Amazon, it also includes three accessories that will come in handy during use – these are inflation nozzles, an inflation needle (for soccer / footballs etc..) and a Presta-to-Schrader adapter. These Presta adapters are typically found on racing bikes and some road bikes, and the actual adapter is smaller than the usual car-tire type Schrader adapter.

To Summaries

In conclusion this is a great value unit that has the capability to easily inflate tires and the like. Reviewers state that it has no problems with four wheeler tires or other larger tires, and is relatively quick at inflation considering it is available for under $40. As with other oil-free compressors it can be a bit noisy, but this probably won’t bother you as you’re only using it temporarily. It is particularly handy for users that don’t own a car, as they can just plug it into a standard household 120V socket, as it also has a 10 foot electrical cord, and a 3 foot long air hose. Being extremely light and compact it is completely portable. It also comes with an analogue air pressure gauge, however some reviewers mention that it isn’t that accurate, whilst others are happy with the accuracy. For a sub $40 model you’re never going to get scientific accuracy, but for the price tag I think it’s a worthwhile compromise.

So, if you’re after a cheap, compact and portable air compressor that can be used in standard plug sockets then perhaps this Campbell Hausfeld model is the one for you?

Some Other Best Heavy Duty Air Compressors:

1.) 30 Gallon Industrial Air Compressor Review

30 Gallon Industrial Air Compressor

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This Industrial Air compressor ILA1883054 is an excellent model that has high reviews (average 4 out of 5) from customers that have purchased the item from Amazon. It is a meaty unit that is built to last, with an excellent construction and quality of materials designed especially to ensure high performance and long-life and durability. As with most other compressors of this specification it is electrically powered, and is wired to utilise 120V, although it would be possible to convert this to a European 240V. It has a 1HP induction motor that is rated for a continuous duty cycle and of a heavy duty construction.

Tech Specs of this Compressor

As previously mentioned the build quality of this model is superb, with thought being put into the construction of each and every part. Examples of this level of attention to detail include the use of car-style bearings, aluminum head and valve plate, and it even utilises stainless steel reed valves from Sweden. It has twin cylinders, and one main 30 gallon ASME vertical tanks. As you can see from the picture it is mounted on two pneumatic tires meaning that it is still relatively portable despite being heavy duty. In terms of weight it comes in at around 190lbs, and so is significantly heavier than a lot of the simpler models, however the wheels mean that it can still be moved around.

The unit is oil-lubricated and utilises synthetic oil for the best performance and life-span. It has a maximum working pressure of 155PSI, and one user reports that it fills its tank from empty to 150PSI within approximately six minutes, which is pretty quick for a tank capacity of this. Obviously this suggests it has quite a flow capability, and the figures prove this out. At 90 PSI it can deliver 5.7CFM, at 40PSI it can offer 7CFM. These flow rates are more than sufficient for most applications and air tools, whether it be automotive, general household, or carpentry works. You’ll have no problems with running impact guns, die grinders, air ratchets and the like. Due in part to the excellent choice of materials used in construction, and also to it being oil lubricated, this is an especially quiet compressor, and many of the lesser powered models would be a lot noisier.

Purchasing this Item

As you would expect from a unit of this specification, it isn’t a budget model. It’s a compressor that is designed for serious users looking for a super-reliable and efficient machine with oodles of capability. The manufacturer also provides a two year warranty for additional peace of mind. Overall this is a unit that understandably has excellent reviews that befit its build quality and capability, and is suited for medium to heavy use. Although it is large and heavy, its vertical arrangement mean that it doesn’t have too large a footprint, and the incorporation of the wheels mean that it can be easily moved around the garage / home.

2.) Bostitch Compressor & Tool Combo Review

Bostitch Compressor & Tool Combo

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he Bostitch compressor and 3-tool combo (the BTFP3KIT) is a handy little kit that contains everything you need to get up and running and using your compressor straight away. It’s a pancake-style compressor with a large cylinder capacity (6 gallons), and is capable of providing quite a high pressure. The manufacturers state that it can deliver a maximum of 150PSI, and will supply 2.6CFM at 90PSI. Due to the combination of pressure and cylinder capacity, you are able to run your air tools for quite a while, and it has a quick recovery time between usage cycles.

What are the Technical Features of this Bostitch Compressor?

The BTFP3KIT model is an oil-free pump type, which means less maintenance for you as you don’t have to refill or change the oil at regular intervals, as you have to do with other compressors, such as this Ingersoll Rand one. On the flip-side, it does mean that this Bostitch will be a bit noisier than some of the oil-lubricated models.

In terms of its physical characteristics, the compressor is approximately 44 pounds in weight, which combined with its handy carrying handle mean that it is fully portable. The black casing above the cylinder is described as an ‘impact resistant composite shrouding’, so it should be able to take some knocks. It has an attractive black and yellow design (a bit similar to the Dewalt brand methinks!), and incorporates two quick couplers to attach two tools simultaneously. Even though you can attach two simultaneously, you are unlikely to be able to run two at the same time, however it does give you the benefit that you don’t have to keep swapping tools on the hose.

What about the Tools & Air Hose?

In terms of the hose, the supplied one is a generous 25 feet, which when combined with the unit’s complete portability, mean you can take it pretty much anywhere you want.

What is particularly useful about this package is that it includes the air hose, and the three different air tools. Specifically these include the brad nailer, finish stapler, and finish nailer, with included nails and tool lubricant. The tools have been designed with adjustable exhausts to discharge air away from the user.

What do customers think of this Bostitch?

If you buy this from Amazon, Bostitch offer a manufacturer’s warranty of 1 year for the compressor, and a generous seven years on the pneumatic staplers or nailers.

Generally this model has excellent customer reviews, and Bostitch has a good reputation so you would expect this compressor to be of a high quality. From reading the reviews it seems this perception is correct. They describe it as a stable yet still quite compact product, and the Bostitch branded air tools are renowned for being very good indeed. People have used this on a variety of different jobs – some people reporting that they even completed two big roofing jobs with this unit, and some for general home or carpentry uses.

Another 5* reviewer mentions that they used the compressor for paint spraying cabinet doors, and they state that it ‘worked brilliantly’. Overall I would say this is an excellent product for heavy home use or for very light industrial use. It is probably one of the best models you could choose for domestic use as it comes with everything you need (including air tools) in the handy combo, is lightweight, very portable, good capactiy / pressure capability, and won’t break the bank.

3.) Makita Air Compressor MAC700 Review

Makita Air Compressor

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This is a very popular air compressor that has been manufactured by the high quality tool brand Makita, who are famous for all sorts of industrial tools and equipment. This particular model, the MAC700, has what is described as ‘big bore’ technology – this basically means that the piston bore is much larger, and consequently it can run at lower RPM – 1720rpm to be exact, and still fill its ‘hot dog’ style tank in about 20 seconds. This has the benefit of increased compression, lower noise levels, and a greater durability of the motor and pump. It is also classified as ‘low amp’ / low draw, and your circuit breakers / fuses will be less likely to trip and cause you issues. Various users of the compressor report that its build quality lives up to the Makita reputation, and has a feel about it that suggests it’s “built to last”.

Features & Portability

This compressor is powered by a two horsepower 110V electric motor, and so it doesn’t give off any nasty fumes or need constant refilling with gas. It has a handle on the top to allow you to move the compressor around whenever you need to, and at a weight of 52lbs it’s still within the class of being portable, however you won’t want to be carrying it too far. The handle also functions as a kind of roll-bar / cage to prevent damage from things falling on top of it at the worksite.

This is a mid-size unit and incorporates a 2.6 gallon tank and can manage the provision of 130psi. When selecting the right compressor for your different air tools, it’s the combination of CFM (cubic feet per minute or air delivered) and PSI (pounds per square inch) that determine the correct choice. This model delivers 40PSI at 3.8CFM and 90PSI at 3.3CFM.

A Quiet & Durable Compressor

Unlike the Porter pancake type compressor, this Makita version is an oil lubricated type, which helps to reduce the noise output from the unit, which is measured as 80dB. One reviewer even claims that this is the “quietest air compressor I have ever used”. As such it incorporates a useful sight glass for easily seeing when you need to top up the oil. Whilst these oil-filled compressors do need more maintenance than their oil-free counterparts, it really isn’t that onerous, and the benefits probably outweight the hassle involved. Basically the main tasks you need to do are to keep the oil topped-up, and then follow the Makita recommended maintenance schedule as to changing the compressor oil, and cleaning and replacing the air filter.

Other users state that the MAC700 is a great little unit, being perfect for nailers, inflating tires and various impact tools / air tools. The 2.6G tank allows you to get a tire off using the impact wrench before the compressor kicks-in to recharge the tank. If it’s paint spraying that interests you then the MAC700 will be more than capable of supplying air for less than 3CFM ‘hobby’ type sprayers, however for more serious sprayers it probably doesn’t have the capacity.

As with most compressors, you should follow the manufacturer’s recommended run-in or break-in procedure, which basically involves running the compressor for twenty minutes at no pressure, by leaving the water drain valve open on the bottom of the tank.

How Much is it?

At the time of writing, this compressor is under $300 on Amazon, and for the difference in cost between the cheaper pancake-style compressors, you’ll want to spend that little bit extra and get one such as this Makita. To summarise, it’s oil-lubed and so is a lot quieter, more robust, has greater longevity of motor and pump, and has an increased capacity.

4.) Ingersoll Rand Air Compressor Review – 2HP – P1IU-A9

Ingersoll Rand Air Compressor

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If you are looking for a beat more meat than some of the smaller compressors offer, this one manufactured by Ingersoll Rand (the P1IU-A9) might be the one for you. The company state that it is a top choice for enthusiastic DIY’ers and for construction purposes alike. It has two air cylinders arranged in a twin-stack, and is powered by a 2 horsepower electric motor. It’s rugged construction will be suitable for most purposes, and its compactness means it can be moved around using the carry handle. Due to it being quite ‘heavy duty’ it isn’t that light, however you should still be able to move it around relatively easily when required.

More Features of the Ingersoll Rand P1IU-A9

As you would expect with a serious air compressor, this one is oil-lubricated with cast-iron cylinders for extra durability. This presents a range of benefits to the user, including quieter operation (oil-free ones are NOISY!) and a longer useful life as things don’t wear out as quickly. When you buy this compressor from Amazon it comes with the Ingersoll Rand synthetic oil, and you can easily buy this for under $20 from Amazon or some of the other big tool depots. They recommend that you change this after approximately 3 months, together with the air filter. Both of these (the oil and filter) come as part of the initial package, so you have everything you need to get compressing!

What about the Technical Specs?

If you’re wondering how much power this Ingersoll packs, here are the technical specifications you’ve been looking for. It has a 4 gallon air tank capacity and is capable of delivering a maximum of 3.2CFM at 135psi. The compressor will kick in again at approximately 90 psi to recharge the tank. Due to its capability, the manufacturers specify that this is rated for ‘continuous duty’, meaning you don’t have to keep stopping to stay within a limiting duty cycle. Due to the balanced crankshaft not only will this model be quite quiet, but it will also vibrate less than some of the other models. The 2HP motor runs of standard 120V and is said to draw around 15amps. It features a regular and pressure gauge on the front of the unit that seem quite well protective within the metal casing to prevent accidental damage that could occur on a construction site or garage.

This particular model is quite versatile, as it has two quick disconnect couplers, allowing you to connect up to two air tools to the unit at one time. This is quite handy if you need to keep swapping tools, as you don’t have to keep swapping the tools around on their air hoses. Obviously if you’re intending to use two tools at once then the combined air demands must be within the CFM capabilities of the compressor.

What do people think of Ingersoll Rand Compressors?

Many people are impressed by the build quality and durability of Ingersoll Rand products, some even describing them as the “best of the best”. As already mentioned they have the capability to be used in construction applications as well as general home or garage use. Some of the signs of quality include stainless steel braided lines, copper pipes and brass fittings for example.

Where can I get it from and how much does it cost?

If you’re looking for a quality compressor then you’re in the right place. If you’re looking for the cheapest one then this model probably isn’t the one for you. It can be bought online and delivered from your door from Amazon, which at the time of writing this had a $91 discount off the list price. The price is advertised under $300 and you get a whole lot of compressor for the money. Be under no illusion, you will be purchasing a high quality air compressor that is specifically built to provide high performance and high durability.

Final Words:

We have put together one of the most comprehensive compressor buying-guides available, together with featuring a vast array of reviews and information on different types and models. Whether you’re after a large commercial grade type or a small pancake style compressor, we’ve got reviews of them all. Now it depends on your requirements that which type of air compressor you need for your work, home or car.