Best Air Compressor Reviews 2019

Air compressors are important for powering pneumatic and power tools. You can also use them for emergency services, especially when your power is cut off. There are, however, so many compressors available that you might find it confusing to select one that will serve you optimally while still sticking to your budget. We’ve reviewed five good compressors from five brands, after researching the best air compressors, to help you narrow down your ideal one. If you read through this review and suddenly have an epiphany that you would prefer a portable air compressor, don't fret; we have a review for those too!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
PSI
Capacity
Size
Power
Voltage
Our Top Choice
Quincy Reciprocating Air Compressor
Since its inception in 1920, Quincy Compressor has grown steadily to become one of the best in this industry.
Balanced cast iron flywheel with angled design. 60-gallon vertical tank. Quality industrial-grade bearings.
It's heavy and bulky, requiring more than one person to carry.
145-175 PSI
60 Gallons
475 Pounds
5 HP
230 V
Best Value
Industrial Air Three Cylinder Air Compressor
Industrial Air, part of the larger company MAT Industries, is a leader in the manufacture of air compressors and other pneumatic and power tools in North America.
Heavy-duty motor. Prevents voltage fluctuations. Pressure gauge with on/off switch. Full metal belt guard. Comes with an oil sight glass. Comes with synthetic oil.
Oil sight glass gets stained easily due to its position.
125-155 PSI
60 Gallons
250 Pounds
4.7 HP
240 V
Dewalt 80 Gallon Two Stage Air Compressor
Dewalt designs and manufactures a range of air compressors, and other machines and tools of exceptional quality.
Patented pump design. Thermal overload. Integrated control panel. Tank and pressure gauge. ASME air receiver. Impressive 5 HP.
Quite noisy and bulky.
175 PSI
80 Gallons
470 Pounds
5 HP
230 V
Powermate 80-Gallon Air Compressor
Powermate is your one-stop shop for generators, water pumps, air tools, air compressors and other accessories.
Oil-lubricated pump. Stainless steel valves. Holds 80 gallons of air. 4.7 horsepower. Minimal noise.
Heavy and bulky. Assembly requires assistance.
155 PSI
80 Gallons
354 Pounds
4.7 HP
240 V
Puma Commercial Air Compressor
Puma Industries is a world-renowned company that makes high-quality air compressors and their accessories.
Ball bearing wheels for easy mobility. Quick coupler for pressure control. Overload protection. Automatic water drain. Vibration damper for quiet.
The on/off switch is made of plastic that's a bit weak.
135 PSI
60 Gallons
305 Pounds
3 HP
230 V

(Updated )
Related Reviews
Best Portable Air Compressor
Best Impact Wrench
Best Pneumatic Drill
Watch Our Air Compressor Review

How Do I Choose the Best Air Compressor?

Air compressors are useful for a wide array of functions. If you decide to work on that old sofa to turn it into a couch you can relax on, you're going to need tools such as a finish nailer and a framing nailer to do your upholstery. Most of these tools require compressors as a source of power, especially if you’ll be working outdoors.

Before setting on one particular compressor, consider several pertinent factors. If you want a compressor to work entirely in one fixed location for large projects, a fixed compressor can work just fine for you, but if you’ll need to move around, you might need a portable air compressor that you can carry to your work station. We also have a review of portable compressors if you need to get yourself one.

Whether you get a portable or a fixed compressor, the most important thing is to identify the tools you’ll be working with. Some tools require a lot of air and pressure, while others need just a small amount. If you have a mix of both, you'll need to get a compressor you can adjust depending on the tool you’ll be using at any one particular time.
Price
An air compressor is a vital item to have in your shop, whether it’s gas or electric powered. However, it is always good to have a budget and a list of considerations before venturing out to buy anything, especially if it's a product that goes for a significant amount. Compressors cost a lot, but they are worth that cash considering the roles they play, and the fact that you only buy one once in a while. You'll want to make sure that you get it right.

You can get a quality and reliable compressor at prices from as low as $300 to as high as $2500. The price changes as the compressors increase in size and number of features. The biggest compressors cost the most. Some come with extra features, such as thermal overload systems and full metal belt guards. Check what you need the most and suit it to your budget. Stay away from cheap air compressors, as those might fail to work as effectively as the quality ones.
Features
You need all the time you can get to complete projects and start new ones if you’re paid on an hourly basis. Having to interrupt your work to service any of your machines can waste a lot of your time. Consider the capacity an air compressor can hold, depending on your tasks. The higher the capacity, the more time you'll save, especially on big projects. You can also use multiple tools at the same time if you have a bigger capacity.

Here are some other important features you should consider before buying a compressor:
  • Power - This is the maximum amount of force in horsepower that the compressor can exert
  • Size - Check the weight and the dimensions of your machines based on the space you have in your shop
  • Design - Check if the cylinder is vertical or horizontal. This is especially important if you’re limited on space
  • Pressure - Compressors’ air pressure is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). The higher it is, the more powerful the machine
  • Material - Consider the material used to make the various components of your machine
  • CFM - This is cubic feet per minute of air required to maintain a given PSI
  • Power Source - Compressors are either powered by electricity or gas. Choose one based on your working station and needs
  • Noise Level - Some compressors make a lot of noise, while others are very silent. Those that are silent tend to be less powerful than the heavy industrial ones
Construction and Design
A typical air compressor consists of a receiver tank, a pump, and a motor. The pump and the motor are attached to the receiver tank, which in most cases is cylindrical and can be placed vertically or horizontally depending on its design. It is this tank that receives pressurized air that has gone through a cleaning process, and that later discharges it to an air tool through a connecting pipe. Most stationary or fixed compressors are large and bulky, so they come with fixed stands.

The material used in the construction of various parts is also an important factor to consider. Most cylinders and valves are made of cast iron and stainless steel. There are also other small components that play important roles in the functioning of a compressor. These components include parts like tank and pressure gauges, drain valves, flywheel, crank shaft, oil sight glass, and metal belt guards, among others.
Performance and Ease of Use
The air compressor works by receiving air, then passing it through a filter and into the pump, where it's compressed and pushed to a receiving tank where it's stored for use with air tools. Some compressors have single pump cylinders, while others are two stage compressors with two cylinders, the first one being larger than the second.

The receiver tanks vary in size and orientation based on the design of the compressor. Larger compressors have larger receiving tanks to store more air and pressure. Such tanks are ideal for intensive projects that take a long time with consistent air flow. In addition, large capacity tanks produce more pressure and power that you can use to drive heavy-duty tools or run multiple tools at the same time. A check valve is put in place so the air does not flow back into the pump.

Compressors can get overheated if certain measures are not in place. Most have oil that cools down the heated air and the entire system as a result. Experts recommend synthetic oil, since it can run for an extended period of time before you have to change it. Many compressors also have thermal overloads built into them to protect the motor from voltage fluctuations. The flywheel also plays a vital role in the cooling system.

Compressors derive their power either from gas or electricity. Those that are gas powered also use oil for lubrication. The electric ones have to connected to a power source to run and are better for use indoors. The gas-powered machines can be used off site, but for less strenuous projects.

Check the position of the drain valve, a small important component. It should be at the bottom of the pump to release water that forms after condensation.

Consider the design and orientation of the compressor. You’ll find that some come in vertical orientations, while others are horizontal. Your choice will depend on the amount of space you have for your device. If you are going for one with a large tank and you have a small space, consider getting a vertical tank.

What is the Best Air Compressor?

An air compressor is the one machine that you must have in your workshop to power your numerous hand tools, do some spray painting, or pump up some tires. This guide shows you what to look for as you check out our list to find the best compressor for your needs.
Our Top Choice
The Quincy Reciprocating Air Compressor features a balanced cast iron flywheel that has an angled design to ensure your compressor remains cool for a long time. If you’re looking for a compressor with a more power and a higher capacity, consider the Quincy QT-7.5 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor.
Quincy Compressor QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor

Quincy Air Compressor 2020029501


Features
The Quincy Compressor Company opened in 1920 and has since become one of the best in the field. With demand for compressed air increasing quickly over the years, the company has made several improvements on its original machines through consistent scientific research. It now manufactures air compressors that are both reliable and efficient.

The Quincy Reciprocating Air Compressor will carry out most of your functions effectively with its built-in thermal overload and capacitor start motor. You won’t have to worry about it overheating thanks to its balanced cast iron flywheel. The flywheel's angled design means your compressor will stay cool for a long time.

Here are some other features that make this air compressor such a good machine:
  • Energy-efficient
  • Aluminum cylinder that lasts a long time
  • Interstage intercooler
  • High-performance rings that reduce oil spillage
  • Graphite head gaskets
  • Quality industrial-grade bearings
  • Counterweight crankshaft
  • 1310 revolutions per minute
  • Easy servicing due to the two-piece connecting rods
  • 145-175 PSI
Best Value
The Industrial Air Three Cylinder Air Compressor has a heavy-duty motor that prevents voltage fluctuations for optimal efficiency. If you want a compressor that has pneumatic tires, try the Industrial Air 30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor.
Industrial Air Gallon Hi-Flo Single Stage Cast Iron Three Cylinder Compressor

Industrial Air Compressor ILA4546065


Features
Industrial Air is a subsidiary of MAT Industries. It's a top company in the making and selling of air compressors, as well as other pneumatic and power tools. This company has been in operation for more than 25 years, in which it has accumulated enough knowledge to produce quality, reliable and efficient machines.

If you want a compressor that you can use in livestock operation or other heavy duties, then the Industrial Air Three Cylinder Air Compressor is the right tool for you. In addition to its long-lasting, space-saving vertical cast iron cylinder, the compressor also features a heavy-duty motor that prevents voltage fluctuations ensuring optimal efficiency.

There is a lot more that you’ll like about this compressor, including:
  • Comes with a lubricated pump and a cast iron crank case
  • Pressure gauge with an on/off switch
  • ASME air receiver
  • Oil sight glass
  • Six-foot power cord
  • Full metal belt guard
  • Durable aluminum head and automotive bearings
  • 4.7 horsepower
  • 60-gallon capacity
  • Comes with synthetic oil
  • Stainless steel reed valves
In addition to its patented pump design, the Dewalt 80 Gallon Two Stage Air Compressor features a thermal overload, a system that guards its motor from voltage fluctuations. If you want a smaller compressor with a metal belt guard that can cool by up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, get the Dewalt Two Stage Industrial Air Compressor - 30 Gallon.
Dewalt 80 Gallon Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor

Dewalt Air Compressor DXCMV5048055


Features
Dewalt makes a variety of exceptional machines and tools. It is among the leading companies in North America when it comes to power tools, and has been around for a long time. It's unlikely you'll find a workshop in the U.S. that does not have one or two Dewalt tools. It’s, therefore, a company you can trust.

With its patented design pump that enables it to run without overheating, the Dewalt 80 Gallon Two Stage Compressor stands above the rest in this industry. This compressor has a thermal overload system to protect the motor against voltage fluctuations. There are loads of other features that make this compressor such an efficient machine.

Here is what we are talking about:
  • Two-stage air compressor
  • Tank and pressure gauge allowing you to control pressure
  • Two quick connects to control it easily
  • Comes with synthetic blended oil
  • ASME air receiver that can hold a substantial amount of air for a longer period
  • Runs from an electric power source
  • Impressive 5 HP
  • Durable cast iron tank
The Powermate 80-Gallon Air Compressor has an oil-lubricated pump to ensure that it runs smoothly, and stainless-steel valves that last for a long time. If you’re looking for a smaller, single stage compressor, order the PowerMate 60-Gallon Single Stage Vertical Cast Iron Air Compressor.
Powermate 80-Gallon Electric Compressor

Powermate Air Compressor PLA4708065


Features
Powermate is a great source for water pumps, generators, and air tools and compressors. It stands to be counted among the best companies in the world when it comes to the production and manufacturing of these tools. In its range of compressors, you’re sure to find a quality and reliable product that will last for a long time.

The Powermate 80-Gallon Air Compressor is among the best there is in this industry. It has an oil-lubricated pump so it runs smoothly, and stainless steel valves that last for a long time. You also don’t have to be worried about interrupting your work schedule, thanks to the 80-gallon cylinder that can have you working for hours on end non-stop (unless you take a break to rest).

Here are some other features that you may like about this compressor:
  • Can operate any heavy-duty power tool with its 15-amp motor
  • Crankcase cast iron body
  • Durable, efficient 12-inch cast iron flywheels
  • 4.7 HP
  • Full metal belt guard
  • Electric powered, so it’s silent and will rarely run out of power
The Puma Industries Professional/Commercial Air Compressor has steel wheels with ball bearings, so you can move it from one position to another easily despite its weight. If you’re looking for a compressor with more horsepower and an electric start, check out the Puma Air Compressors Wheelbarrow Style Contractor Air Compressor.
Puma Industries Professional/Commercial Single Stage Belt Drive Series

Puma Industries Air Compressor PK-6060V


Features
Puma Industries is a highly respected company in the manufacture of air compressors and accessories. The company uses certified parts to manufacture air tools, compressors and other equipment. You can get your power and air tools here with the confidence that they will serve you optimally and last a long time.

Having a machine you can rely on gives you motivation to keep working to meet your targets. If you are one of those DIYers, you’ll love the efficiency of the Puma Industries Professional/Commercial Air Compressor. Unlike many stationary compressors, this one comes with steel wheels with ball bearings. This lets you move the compressor around easily.

Other qualities of this great air compressor include:
  • Built-in pressure regulator
  • Single stage cast iron pump
  • Single phase induction motor with overload protection
  • Very quiet thanks to its splash lubrication
  • Made of cast iron, hence strong and durable
  • Automatic water drain
  • Good pressure control thanks to its quick coupler
  • 3 HP with 135 PSI max for power and efficiency
  • Ideal for home and workshop use

Get the Best Air Compressor of 2019!

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. We’re glad to have helped you get the right compressor. These brands have some of the best air compressors you’ll find anywhere. If you haven't found one among our top five, feel free to check the other options these companies offer. You’ll find one with the right specs and within your budget.

Our Top Choice
Quincy Reciprocating Air Compressor
Best Value
Industrial Air Three Cylinder Air Compressor
Dewalt 80 Gallon Two Stage Air Compressor
Powermate 80-Gallon Air Compressor
Puma Commercial Air Compressor