Best Shop Air Compressors Review Guide For 2022-2023
Best Shop Air Compressors Review Guide For 2022-2023 – There are tons of air compressors on the market, ranging from affordable for a homeowner to models that are outrageously expensive, even for a shop.
Of course, not all of these machines are equally useful for every task. An air compressor in a shop is going to take a lot more abuse than a compressor in the average homeowner’s garage and needs to be built to much more stringent standards as a result.
Not to mention the massive airflow needs of most shops, which are far beyond the capabilities of many consumer air compressors.
Still, there are loads of options to choose from. So many, in fact, that it can be quite daunting to sort through them all. For that reason, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to gather and test many of the best shop air compressors on the market, hopefully saving you the hassle of doing the same.
Along the way, we’ve written reviews comparing a few of our favorites so that you can benefit from all the work we’ve done testing these compressors. To find out even more keep reading our Best Shop Air Compressors Review Guide For 2022-2023.
Bostitch Air Compressor
First on our list is the Bostitch pancake air compressor. With over a 125 years old company and brand history, Bostitch boasts superior quality, favourable reviews and high ratings. The Pancake compressor listed today is a portable machine that is oil-free in function.
- The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free, maintenance-free pump for convenient use
- 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump enable long tool run time with quick recovery of the electric air compressor
- BOSTITCH high efficiency motor of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application [14 GA or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
- 78.5 dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment
- 29 lb. weight makes unit easy to carry and store
- BOSTITCH high flow regulator and couplers to maximize air tool performance
- Two universal couplers to easily support two users
- Max PSI capacity of the machine is about 150 PSI and the delivery is at 90 PSI pump
- Comes with a 6 Gallon capacity tank (translates to about 22.7 litres)
- Low but manageable Horsepower of 0.9 HP
- CFM capacity stands at 2.5 SCFM delivery
- High-efficiency motor that can be started even in cold winters with great ease.
- 78.5 DBA operational noise which is relatively a low noise for work environments
- High flow couplers and regulators embedded into the machine for maximum performance of the air tool
- 2 couplers let out two hoses for two users at the same time.
- Oil-free nature of the machine makes it an ideal buy for long term usage and low maintenance as well.
- Portable and light in weight at about 29 lbs weight
- Warranty: Comes with a 1 year of limited manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase. An additional 4-year warranty can also be bought externally
- Relatively lower HP at the rate of 0.9 HP
Craftsman Air Compressor
Next on our list is yet another pancake modelled oil-free air compressor. The Craftsman CMEC6150K portable pancake air compressor comes with a multi-piece accessory kit to aid in all of your air compression related work
- The portable air compressor is proudly made in the USA with Global Materials in Jackson, Tennessee
- PORTABLE: 6 gallon capacity maximizes portability and stored air for CRAFTSMAN air compressor
- NO MAINTENANCE: Durable, oil-free pump of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for long-life and no maintenance
- PRESSURE: 150 Max PSI to ensure adequate cut-inch pressure for a variety of applications
- QUICK RECOVERY TIME: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allows for quick compressor recovery time
- Comes with a large 6-gallon tank that increases the portability factor of carrying stored air.
- Has a 0.8 HP maximum horsepower
- Durable build and oil-free pump for longer use and better performance
- Max PSI of 150 for heavy-duty function as well as cutting in pressure for various applications as well.
- Has a decent CFM capacity for air pumping at the rate of 2.6 SCFM
- No hiccups in starting the machinery even during the winters
- Comes with a 13 piece accessory piece set as well. These include 25 x 1/4 inches long PVC air hose, coupler, plug assembly, tire chuck with plug, blow gun with plug, blow gun with OSHA safety nozzle, tire gauge, rubber tip and three tyre inflator adaptors as well
- Warranty: Comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase
- None too specific to mention
California Air Tools Compressor
Next up, we have a low HP but high yield, high tank capacity and ultra-quiet heavy duty and heavily built air compressor. The California Air tOOLS 8010 is an oil-free and sturdy built steel tank based air compressor.
- Comes complete with Wheel Kit & Air Filter | No hose included | Consider you will need a ¼” Universal / Industrial Male Quick Connector to attach your hose to the air compressor
- Product dimensions – 26″ L x 14″ W x 23” H | Max Pressure – 120 PSI | Voltage – 110V / 60 Hz | Min running watts – 2500 | Noise level – 60 dBA | Max Continuous run time – 30-60 min (depending on PSI & CFM) | Low Amp Draw – 8.5 Amps
- Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs | Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
- The large 8.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is Lightweight (48 lbs) and the wheel kit makes it very easy to transport
- The Oil-Free pump allows for use in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrains | This air compressor is ideal for anyone working inside where noise is a major issue
- 1 HP Horsepower rating and at its peak, the machine can run up to as high as 2.0 HP as well
- Ultra quiet functionality with a very low noise level of 60 decibels only and this accounts to produce a noise of the levels 30% Less than other Air Compressors of the same cadre.
- Low amp draw of 8.5 amps of current rating and thus giving an energy efficienrt function
- Takes just about 165 seconds to fill up the entire tank with compressed air
- Capacity of the air compressor stands at 3.0 CFM at 40 PSI and about 2.20 CFM at 90 PSI ratings. The maximum PSI of the machine stands at 120 PSI
- Robust 8 gallon tank capacity will let you store and take around the machine just about anywhere you please too.
- Comes with 2 pressure control gauges and one quick connector of the size 1/4 inches size
- Inbuilt thermal overload protector which accounts for less heat dissipation and increases the coolness efficiency.
- 3000 plus hours of lifecycle thanks to the unique oil free pump design.
- Also available in aluminium tank designs and not just steel
- Warranty: Though there appears to be a warranty, it is not explicitly specified
- Low Horsepower but high tank capacity may make it great for portability but not for heavy duty.
- No warranty mentioned
Makita Air Compressor
Next on our list is the Makita MAC5200 big bore. A 3.0 HP Air heavy-duty compressor that comes with a significant workshop set up on wheels. Made out of highly durable materials, the Makita big bore air compressor has high performance and faster recovery rate
- Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for improved performance
- Powerful 3.0 HP motor produces 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI for increased productivity
- Pump is oil-lubricated for cooler running temperatures and reduced wear
- Durable cast iron cylinder reduces wear and increases pump life; removable for easy maintenance
- Folding handle with low profile design for easy storage with handle folded
- 3.0 HP air compressor that is made out of high quality cast iron pump and a big bore cylinder with piston for heavy-duty function. With that, it has a heavy-duty performance 6.5 CFM air production at the rate of 90 PSI
- Faster recovery time gives improved performance and faster air dispersion
- Oil-lubricated that will keep the machine cool at its running temperatures and thus reducing the wear and tear of the machine.
- Easy to remove cast iron cylinder will increase the pump life and easy maintenance.
- Comes with a built-in storage compartment that can store air fittings, small accessories and stuff as such. The tool hangers can be used to store tools when you are not using any.
- The handle of the machine is foldable thus making the seemingly large machine a portable air compressor in a fold and easy to store.
- Air hose wrap can store a 50 feet long of air hose (which can be of 3/8 inches thick) with upright or handle folded
- The air compressor has a roll cage construction thus it gives it greater protection and easier motor assembly.
- There is an oil sight glass that will enable efficient maintenance and easy to do so as well. There is also an oil drain present at the front of the pump for this.
- Has a 1/4 inches large universal quick coupler
- 2 gallons of tank capacity
- There is a thermal overload that is built in to provide additional protection to the machine
- 1800 wattage rated machine.
- Warranty: Comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase.
- Low tank capacity of 2 gallons only
Ingersoll-Rand Air Compressor
Next on our list, we have a very high capacity single stage air compressor that has a moderate Horsepower and very large wheels for easier transportation from one place to another. The Ingersoll-Rand U-A9 115/1 comes with impressive reviews and ratings.
- Portable Design: Heavy-duty ergonomic handle and semi-pneumatic tires for easy handling, ideal for DIYers or the professional
- User Friendly: A low 80 dBA noise level, an easily accessible side drain valve and an automatic start/stop pressure switch control provides a superior user experience
- Maximum Power: 100% continuous duty, along with 20-gallon recever tank for tough applications
- Reliable Operation: All Season Select synthetic lubricant increases efficiency; with 2,000 hours of service between changeouts, it performs four times longer than petroleum-based lubricants
- Long-Life: Durable cast iron cylinder and frame, protective enclosed belt guard and manual overload motor protection provide excellent longevity
- Heavy duty portable design with a highly ergonomic wheel and handle design. The semi-pneumatic tires make it highly portable whereas the groovy handle makes it easy to push the machine around.
- Perfect not just for professionals, the machine is great for DIY enthusiasts as well. The machine comes with a considerable low noise level of under 80 dBA level.
- Automatic start and stop pressure control gives you a superior user experience and also the side drain of the machine is easily accessible.
- With a 100% continuous duty cycle, the receiver tank is built for heavy and tough applications as well.
- The oil based machine has an all season select synthetic lubricant. This helps in increasing the efficiency of the machine to a 2000 hours of duty cycle duration; which is about 4 times that of petroleum based lubricants
- 20 Gallon large cast iron cylinder build with excellent longevity
- Maximum horsepower rating at 2 HP
- Warranty: 1 Year of warranty from the date of purchase
- Could have had an improved pressure and CFM capacities
Industrial Air Compressor
The Industrial Air is a branded air compressor manufacturer. The Industrial Air IV5076055 is a very large tank capacity and high horsepower two stage air compressor machine
- Industrial performance delivers maximum CFM @ 175 PSI; provides enough power to operate more than one air tool or Device at one time
- Low pump RPM for longer life
- Patented Pump Design Provides for a Cooler Running Pump
- Electric motor with thermal overload protection
- Large capacity, 60 gallon ASME* air receiver with large 3/4” air outlet port
- Equipped with tank pressure gauge and on/off switch
- Wire form belt guard improves compressor cooling
- Has an incredibly robust build and design for industrial usage and much more
- Maximum CFM capacity of 175 PSI which gives you enough power to use more than one air tool at a time
- The design of the pump is patented and can provide a cooler running pump. This has an industrial style air intake filter which can be easily access oil through oil drain (tjhanks to the 4 inch extension).
- Low pump RPM for reduced wear and tear
- The electric motor has a thermal overload protection which will protect all the connected equipment from all sorts of fluctuations in voltage, magnetism and electricity
- No need for a magnetic starter. The machine can easily start fast even in cold winter conditions
- Massive 60 gallon capacity makes it capable for much more than simple usage/
- Comes with an inset pressure gauge on the tank and also wire form belt guard for compressor cooling improvement.
- 5 HP maximum horsepower for an industrial level performance
- Warranty: 2 Years limited manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase
- Has a premium price tag
Dewalt Air Compressor
Finally on our list is the DeWalt DXCMV5048055. Similar to the Industrial Air compressor mentioned above, this one too is a two stage air compressor with a large gas tank and a 5 HP large machine.
- The DEWALT 2 stage air compressor is built with a 5-HP TOPS motor to provide long life and quiet operation, Air Compressor Voltage: 230
- The integrated control panel has a tank and pressure gauge and 2 quick-connects for convenient control, Air Delivery SCFM @ 175PSI (CFM): 17
- This compressor delivers plenty of air to run multiple tools at the same time to get the job done faster, Air Delivery SCFM @ 100PSI (CFM): 17.9
- The thermal overload protection system motor protects the motor from voltage fluctuations, Nozzle Fitting Size: 3/4-in, Horsepower: 5
- This air compressor comes from the factory with synthetic blended oil already installed, Height (Inches): 80, Length (Inches): 31.5, Width (Inches): 34.7
- Built to perform with a patented pump design that provides longer life by running cooler, Pump Type: Oil-lubricated
- 2 Year Limited Pump Warranty
- Robust build quality with a low pump RPM which provides a very long life for the machine.
- The pump is of patented design that provides a cool running compared to other pumps.
- Air compression capacity of the pump stands at a 17.0 SCFM at a 175 PSI maximum capacity.
- Thermal overload protection will keep all the equipment safe and sound.
- Internal tank pressure gauge with an auto on and off switch,.
- Improved compressor cooling through the wire form belt
- Four tie down holes present at the platform instead of wheels for easier transporting (but not in movement
- Very large tank capacity at 80 gallons and high flow port air receiver.
- 5 HP maximum horsepower
- Warranty: 2 year of manufacturer’s warranty on the pump and 1 year warranty on all the other parts.
- Premium Price tag
Best Shop Air Compressors Buying Guide For 2022-2023
How to pick a good quality shop air compressor:
An air compressor is easily one of the most important tools in an automotive workstation. In this buying guide, we are including all the important factors that you need to consider while buying a shop air compressor.
This refers to the amount of work the engine of the air compressor can perform and how efficiently the machine works. This could be a measurement of the power of the machine too.
The horsepower of the compressor you choose will determine how powerful it is and your choice should be based on how much use it is.
Basic entry-level air compressors come with a horsepower of about 1 HP or sometimes 2 HP. Good quality machines will also have as high as 3 HP too. While there are higher powered machines available, you might not need such really high powered machines for regular activities.
HP is also CFM and max PSI pumping dependent too. Higher HP machines are also known to be a bit more energy or fuel-efficient as well. For example, a 1 HP machine with a PSI rating of about 100 PSIG would produce a 4 CFM air.
CFM and PSI:
The CFM and PSI of an air compressor are the crucial elements to consider. These two metrics of measurement will give you the idea behind how much air is being pushed out and the maximum pressure till which they can go.
PSI: Standing for Pounds per square inch, this will give you the idea of how much is the pressure in the air that is being pumped out. The maximum you want the compressor to go out and about is about 90 PSI.
Higher would mean that the capacity of your air compressor is higher to store more.
CFM: This stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. This again is also a metric of the air being pumped out. CFM will give you the idea of HOW MUCH OF AIR IS BEING pumped out.
It has nothing to do with the pressure of the air but will give you the idea of how much air you can expect to come out at a defined horsepower and PSI rating.
The capacity of the tank:
A very important consideration point, the tank capacity, as the name suggests gives you an idea of the total amount of air your machine can store within it.
Please do not get confused this with the max PSI. While Max PSI gives you an idea of how much air you can generate, the capacity of the tank is the limit of storing the generated air.
Large tanks are preferred as they will store the required air and are readily available for use but shorter tanks are preferred as they are more mobile and user-friendly in nature.
Depending on how frequently you need and the ready availability of electricity for generating, you can pick small or large tank capacities.
Size and portability:
Shop air compressors are available in various sizes and shapes. While there are portable air compressors, there are also heavy-duty air compressors in mini-sized cylindrical shapes as well.
Depending on how large your job is or how small your workshop is, you can choose the size (but would have to compromise the size of the machine for horsepower and much more)
Corded or Cordless:
Most of the times, shot air compressors are heavy-duty in nature. And heavy-duty machines are more or less corded most of the times.
But at the same time, there are quite a few machines that are cordless as well. While cordless machines give you greater mobility and portability advantages, they compromise on the horsepower of the machine.
Corded machines might not give you the portability you want but they will give you heavy-duty performance.
Oil-Free or oil-based Tanks:
Oil-based tanks are known for their hight and efficient performance. They will give you a higher and longer durations of durability. Oil-free tanks, on the other hand, are known for their low maintenance costs, noiseless performance and better adaptability and environmentally friendly nature. They, however, fail in terms of packing a punch in terms of power.
The final thing to consider is the duty cycle of the machine. The duty cycle of a machine refers to the amount of time the machine can go on without any need to turning off. Average air compressors come with and need about 50% of duty cycles for long term usage.
There are a lot of machines with higher duty cycles as well. Your choice should be to pick a machine with a high duty cycle and the garage’s motor capabilities and power ratings should also be kept in mind before zeroing down on a choice.
The noise of the machine:
Air compressors are also known for their noisy performance. Heavy-duty machines by default tend to make more noise than a normal pancake model. But recent models fo heavy-duty versions also are coming with lower than 80 dB as well.
Twin stack vs Pancak:
Basically, there are two types of shop air compressors. The twin stack or the pancake model. While the twin stack is a heavy-duty machine with higher capacity and higher Horsepower, a pancake machine is a relatively smaller machine with lower horsepower.
People who need more horsepower and heavy-duty performance prefer twin stack machines whereas people who want a portable machine but a relatively smaller performance, they choose a pancake model
Light, portable, high capacity yet decent in performance, the Bostitch air compressor wins our list as the best shop air compressor to buy online. This 6 gallon air compressor has a 150 max PSI capacity, low noise operation, comfortably high reviews and ratings along with a neat design and most importantly, 1 year of manufacturer’s warranty (with 4 years additional add on option).
All of these make it a great choice. Thanks for taking the time to read our Best Shop Air Compressors Review Guide For 2022-2023.
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