Best Air Compressor for Home Garage

what air compressor to buy

A home garage air compressor is one of those products that many people take for granted. It is something that often sits without use, but when the time comes to inflate a tire or a ball, most people are thankful they have one handy. Additionally, air compressors can be used for much more than inflating things around the house. Some compressors are able to power air tools such as nail guns, drills, and paint sprayers.

We have created the below list of our picks for the best air compressors for the home garage. Whether you are buying new or replacing an old air compressor, we hope this list will help you find a quality product that will last for years.

Best Air Compressors for Home Garages

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 (1.5 Gallon) Oil-Free Fully Shrouded / Hand Carry Compressor Kit 

One thing most people will love about this Porter-Cable compressor is its 25 foot hose. This might seem like a minor feature for some, but when you are inflating an item such as tires, you often need this extra length.

This compressor comes with a 1.5 gallon tank with an attached water value for convenient drainage. It offers a maximum of 150 PSI and a low Amp 120V motor. The front of the compressor provides two gauges to monitor the PSI for the tank and regulated pressure.

The noise level is 79 db making it tolerable for most people to work around in the garage. The unit weighs only 20 pounds making it super simple to maneuver where you may need it.

This is our pick for the best air compressor for the home garage in terms of both portability and performance.

>>>SEE ALSO>>> The 7 Best Garage Heaters

Additional Features:

  • 120 Volts
  • 8 Piece Accessory Kit for Inflation (included)
  • 1 Year Warranty on Compressor Components
  • 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • Rubber Feet for Floor Protection
Buy from Amazon

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

The Makita MAC700 is equipped with a 2.6 gallon hot dog style tank. Its performance is 90 PSI: 3.3, 40 PSI: 3.8 and its operating pressure is 130 maximum PSI.

This air compressor features a 2.0 HP oil-lubricated Big Bore engineered pump made with a durable cast iron cylinder. It produces 80 decibels which is about as loud as a garbage disposal. The unit surprisingly weighs only 52 pounds so it can be moved by most people with a slight bit of effort.

Additional Features:

  • Size: 18″ x 10″ x 22″
  • 1/4″ Universal Coupler (included)
  • Oil (included)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Parts & Labor
  • Oil Drain, Oil Sight Glass, & Tank Drain Value (included)
Buy from Amazon

Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor

This Bostitch 6 gallon compressor provides 150 maximum PSI. It operates at 78.5  dBA which is approximately as noisy as only a hairdryer or washing machine. You likely aren’t going to drive the whole neighborhood crazy by running this compressor from time to time.

The compressor comes equipped with two gauges. One gauge is for the tank pressure and the other if for the regulated pressure or the output. We love how this compressor is equipped with two universal couplers that allow two tools to be hooked to the tank and used as desired.

The whole unit weighs only 29 pounds, so it can easily be moved around your garage or house as needed. This is an oil-fee compressor making oil spillage a non-factor.

Additional Features:

  • Hose and Gun Kit (not included)
  • 2.6 SCFM
  • Corded
  • On/Off Switch
  • Dial to Control Regulated Pressure
  • Pressure Release Valve
  • Rubber Footings
Buy from Amazon

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

The Makita 2.5 HP air compressor is equipped with 4.2 gallon dual tanks that will produce an operating pressure of 130 PSI. It offers a powerful 40 PSI (4.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (4.2 CFM). It will have no trouble running many air tools.  Makita indicates that this has a low AMP draw, which will eliminate the risk of running to the breaker box.

This air compressor comes equipped with an oil lubricated pump. It offers oil drainage and a sight glass window for a visual of the oil. You can see by the above photo that this has a roll-cage design to withstand potential rough handling.

In addition to the dual gauges that read the tank PSI and regulated PSI, you also have two couplers to hook up your hoses. This is a nice option if you plan on operating multiple tools from this compressor.

Additional Features:

  • Maximum Pressure: 130 PSI
  • 120 Volts
  • 77 Pounds
  • Noise: 79 dB
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Heavy-duty Cast-iron Cylinder
  • 1,720 RPM
  • Oil (included)
  • 1/4-inch Universal Coupler (included)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Parts & Labor
  • Thermal Overload for Protection
Buy from Amazon

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump

The highly-rated EPAuto 12V air compressor plugs into your cars cigarette lighter for a convenient power source. This is an excellent compressor to carry in your car for emergency air fill ups. This is especially true if you live in an area that lacks locations to fill your tires.

It comes equipped with a digital display that is able to show four units: PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM. This compressor has an auto shut off feature which will turn off the air once it hits the desired pressure. This helps the operator avoid over inflation.

Another excellent feature of this air compressor is the LED flashlight located on the front of the unit. This provides a nice  “Bright Torch” light source for when light is scarce. Additionally, the compressor was manufactured with overheat protection, which will auto shut off the unit if it exceeds 167°F.

If you are looking for a compact air compressor, this an excellent choice to keep in the car trunk along with a car snow shovel for emergencies  or on the garage shelf. While we would assume most people are looking for larger compressors when visiting this article, we had to include this one because of its stellar user reviews.

Additional Features:

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Rating Power: 120W
  • Maximum Working Pressure: 100 PSI
  • Min Amps: 10, Max Amps: 15
  • Inflating Speed: 1.06 CFW
  • CE Certified
  • Backup Fuse (included)
  • Wall Outlet Plug: No
  • Ball and Inflatables Adapters (included)
Buy from Amazon

Hitachi EC28M Air Compressor

The Hitachi EC28M is one of the best air compressors for a home garage in terms of noise. It only produces 59 decibels, which is comparable to restaurant conversation noise or an air conditioning unit at 100 feet.

The unit weighs only 25.2 pounds making it very portable to move to various locations. It also has a steel roll cage to help deter damage. The compressor comes with an oil-free pump and offers 125 PSI maximum pressure.

You can also purchase this compressor with a brad nailer and a 50 foot hose. You can view that package deal here. Clicking  the red “Buy from Amazon” box below will only take you to the air compressor without accessories.

Additional Features: 

  • Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 13.5 inches
  • Power Source: Electric
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Dual Gauges for Tank & Regulated Pressure
  • Rubber Feet for Floor Protection
Buy from Amazon

Craftsman 3 Gallon Oil-Lubricated Air Compressor

The Craftsman compressor comes with a 25 foot hose, compressor oil, and an accessory kit that includes a ball tire chuck, male plug, and seal tape. If you purchase this compressor, you will have all the basics to get your started with inflating.

This compressor delivers 135 maximum PSI and provides a 3 gallon tank. It offers 1 HP and a 15 amp direct drive motor. SCFM delivery at 90 PSI is 2.4 and at 40 PSI it is 3.7.

Additional Features:

  • Auto shut off when oil is low
  • 110 Motor Voltage
  • Oil Lubricated
  • 47 pound
Buy from Amazon

California Air Tools CAT-5510A Air Compressor

Looking at a picture of this California Air Tools air compressor, you might think it is extremely noisy. Amazing, this compressor only produces 60 decibels of sound. This is equivalent to office or restaurant noise. Clearly, it is not going to wake the neighbors several houses down the street.

The compressor is oil-free and provides 1.o HP with 1680 RPM. The tank is 5.5 gallons and will not rust from the inside according to the manufacturer. The maximum pressure on this unit is 120 PSI.

You will notice by the picture that this compressor has a built in wheel and a handle to assist in moving the unit. It surprisingly weighs approximately only 37 pounds for relatively painless transporting.

Additional Features: 

  • Dual Pistons
  • 8.5 Amp While Running
  • 110 Volts
  • Power Source: Electric
  • 25.5 x 11.5 x 21 inches
  • 1 Year Warranty
Buy from Amazon

AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump

The AstroAI is a solid compressor if you are looking to use your compressor for simple tasks such as inflating tires or blowing up sports balls. It is designed to easily fit inside your car trunk to have available when your tires get low on air.  This is also one of the cheapest on our best air compressors for home garage list, so you won’t break the bank trying to afford this one.

This compressor hooks to your cars cigarette lighter from 10 to 15 amps to allow for car portability. The unit has a modern LCD screen that produces a reliable reading of your PSI. An amazing feature of this compressor is that it will stop running once the unit reaches your desired pressure. There is no need to worry about over inflation when properly set.

The AstroAI  air compressor is equipped with overheat protection which will shut off the unit if the temperature exceeds 212°F. The compressor also only allows for 30 minutes of continuous use.

Additional Features:

  • Accurate Pressure Reading Within 1%
  • Tires Inflated Up To 35 Liters per Minute
  • Measurements Displayed in PSI, KPA, or Bar
  • Needle, Two Cone Adapter, Spare Fuse, and Value Caps (included)
  • LED Flashlight (included)
  • 3 Year Warranty
Buy from Amazon

Finding the Best Air Compressor for Your Home Garage – What to Look For

  • Noise: If you plan on using your air compressor in a tight place like a garage, you likely want the noise it produces to be minimal. However, you also do not want to sacrifice performance. Check the decibel rating of the air compressor before buying if noise is a concern for you.
  • Size: Size is typically not a factor if you have ample space in your garage and you do not plan on moving the compressor. However, many people appreciate the ability to move or transport their compressor from time to time. You should determine how you plan on using your compressor before buying. If you go with a lightweight and compact compressor, be sure the unit has sufficient power for your needs.
  • Tank Size: The larger the tank size, the longer you can use the compressor before it needs to be powered up. If you plan on continuously using the compressor for long periods or need a high volume of air, you should consider a larger tank. However, if you plan on occasional filling your tires or inflated balls, you can get away with a smaller tank.
  • Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM): This rating is important because it provides the volume of air produced at a particular PSI.  90 PSI is the most commonly used to determine SCFM. The higer the SCFM the greater the volume of air that is delivered.  Look at the SCFM requirements for the tools you plan to use with your air compressor to be sure you are buying an air compressor that will adequately power your tools.
  • Power Source: The majority of air compressors for a home garage are electric. You simply plug them into a standard outlet and they are ready for use. The car trunk style compressors often are powered using the cigarette light. You can also buy gas-powered air compressors, which makes them extremely portable, but they are often used in commercial settings.

Air Compressor – FAQ

  • Can an air compressor explode?
    • Yes, it is possible for an air compressor to explode from a defect, corrosion, or from the user not following the operation or maintenance procedures. Be sure to thoroughly read the product manual and follow the operating/maintenance instructions to help deter a tank explosion.
  • Will an air compressor blow up balloons?
    • Yes, if you have an inflation attachment that will fit tightly inside the balloon. You will obviously want to take it slowly at first until you get the hang of blowing up the balloons with the compressor. Most compressors will inflate balloons rapidly.
  • What air compressor accessories do i need?
    • You will need a hose and potentially a reel if not included with your air compressor purchase. You then need to decide how you are going to use your air compressor. There are numerous air tools you can buy to use with your air compressor such as a nail gun, drill, and sander. Be sure your compressor is powerful enough to handle a particular tool before buying. At the very least, you will likely want some accessories to inflate tires, balls, and so on, if not already included.
  • Do I need an air compressor? 
    • If you are simply using your air compressor to occasionally fill your tires with air, you probably can just head up to the local gas station and skip buying a compressor. However, air compressors are much more versatile than just being used for inflating purposes. As you probably realize from reading above, there are many tools that can attach to an air compressor making it very versatile.  Essentially, you need to determine how you will use your air compressor in order to determine if it is really worth buying one. We advise to truly think it through before buying one, because they are not  typically a cheap purchase.