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If you are thinking of purchasing an air compressor, then consider getting one with a 20-gallon tank. It is the most versatile size available. If you have several people in your household who need access to compressed air, then this type of unit can meet that demand without having to buy two or more units.

An air compressor that comes with a 20-gallon capacity is large enough to meet the demands of most household uses. The size of 20-gallons is enough to meet most air compressor uses, including car or home tire inflation. The weight of this type of equipment helps the unit stay in one place when used, so there are few chances of tipping over. It can inflate up to 150 PSI.

Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor Models Reviewed

WEN 2202 Vertical Air Compressor

WEN 2202 Vertical Air Compressor

Get up to 135 PSI in a 4-gallon tank. The WEN 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Vertical Air Compressor is the perfect companion for the garage, the job site, or the workshop. Plugin nailers, staplers, spray guns, or any other pneumatic tool for a versatile and dependable set-up that answers a variety of woodworking and painting needs. It’s not just small stuff anymore—the 2 rubber feet and two wheels on this machine mean someone can stop worrying about missing steps when climbing stairs while also lifting materials onto ladders thanks to their grip with both flat panels and round bars thanks to its reinforced steel tank teamed with a 15A motor which offers four inches of water lift.

The WEN 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Vertical Air Compressor has a four-gallon tank with a quiet, oil-lubricated pump and cast iron manifold to provide tools with continuous performance for any job. Use this compact compressor to power nailers, staplers, or spray guns with air delivery of 50 cfm at 90 psi; connect any paint gun or pneumatic tool and enjoy helping with projects like woodworking (nailers, staplers), automotive (inflators), home improvement (staplers/nailers), painting, and more.

Briggs & Stratton 074064 Air Compressor

Briggs & Stratton 074064 Air Compressor

Meet the Briggs & Stratton 074064 Air Compressor. Made tough for a tough job site – this air compressor is designed to protect the motor housing and make maneuvering easier. Whether you need an air tool or not, this machine will have you feeling like less of a laborer and more of a craftsman in no time. Large rubber wheels and quick connect couplers mean that your compressor can be up and running whenever your need arises, like when work takes longer than anticipated or when you’re ready to go home but still have materials left over. The dual gauges measure pressure at any given time while the large regulator knob gives even greater control while working on intricate projects such as sculpture, furniture refinishing, lettering, wallpapering, and stenciling. The Briggs & Stratton 074064 Air Compressor offers a two-year warranty, which means you will be covered in the rare instance that something goes wrong with your new compressor.

DeWalt 20-Gallon Air Compressor

DeWalt 20-Gallon Air Compressor

Need something tough enough to take whatever your project can dish out? The DeWalt 20-Gallon Air compressor is the solution! Not only does it have a durable, smooth exterior that’s perfect for Jobsite work, but the reed valves are stainless steel so you never have to wonder if it’ll hold up when things get messy. There is also oil-level sight glass which will show you when it needs water or oil. It has an induction motor so all of its energy comes from electricity and there’s even a belt guard on top to keep dirt and noise out while keeping your motor in pristine shape! This is one tough machine ready for any job.

NorthStar Belt Drive 20 Gallon Air Compressor

NorthStar Belt Drive 20 Gallon Air Compressor

The NorthStar Belt Drive 20 Gallon Air Compressor is built tough enough for commercial shops. It has a heavy-duty steel construction, cast iron V-twin pump with cast iron heads to ensure durability and good heat dissipation, and comes with an ASME-certified vertical tank. This compressor also includes the tools needed in any shop: an air ratchet, impact wrench, sandblaster siphon feed sandblaster, nibbler nailer, airbrush, or touch-up spray gun.

What’s included in the purchase of this item? The NorthStar 20 gallon compressor features two handy portability features that make it easy to transport when needed–flat-free tires and a convenient carrying handle located on top of the machine.

Husky 20 Gal. 175 PSI Portable Air Compressor

Husky 20 Gal. 175 PSI Portable Air Compressor

One more trade secret of master craftsmen everywhere is discovered with this Husky 20 Gal. 175 PSI Portable Air Compressor, built on the quiet running technology developed by Makita. That said, you’ll never again sacrifice your shop’s noise level for less downtime while using air tools. Nor will your customers want to pack up early just because they’re annoyed about the compressor’s incessant whine – check out how it has an 83 dBA rating! With so much thought put into its engineering already though, you probably don’t need any more help getting everything set up in advance. Just wheel it on over to where you need it and BAM all the lights are green thanks to some easy-to-read gauges for psi and SCF.M Also included with this product is a pressure regulator so you can adapt your compressor to any application.

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN Air Compressor

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN Air Compressor

This Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 6HP, dual-Voltage, induction motor air compressor is here to keep your dream of limitless creativity alive! Keep your creative flow rolling with 135 max psi and deliver 6.2 CFM at 40 psi, 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI using an oil-lubricated pump to make sure that you are always ready for whatever the day throws your way! The cast-iron 20 gals vertical tank keeps this bad boy’s outlook gleaming while its v-twin cast iron gives it character. Pneumatic tires allow for smooth mobility no matter the landscape, while UL certified and CSA listed quality assurance makes sure that aesthetic beauty meets dependable durability which means it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a lot going on, this compressor won’t let you down.

Honorable Mention P1.5IU-A9 2hp Air Compressor

Honorable Mention P1.5IU-A9 2hp Air Compressor

Gain peace of mind and set up your project in a flash with heavier-duty material handling tools. Honorable Mention: P1.5IU-A9 2hp Air Compressor is an essential tool for completing any home improvement or industrial project, which can help you finish the job faster than expected! With 100% continuous duty, the heavy-duty cast construction never rusts and wears out when power conserving devices keep the motor running cool at all times to save energy. Its low 80 dBA noise level makes it a perfect choice for indoor applications, while a 20-gallon receiver tank provides you with enough pressure at any time to complete tough tasks! It even comes equipped with All Season Select synthetic lubricant creates less wear whilst performing at low latitudes, while the exclusive anti-vibration mounts protect your unit from noise and wear.

Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

The Stealth 20-gallon ultra-quiet air compressor is designed for a professional’s innovation, to get through work uninterrupted. Isn’t it time you purchased one of our cheapest yet efficient products?

Your rooms don’t have to be plagued by the noise any longer with this amazing compressor. The 16dB sound isolation system will keep your noise footprint down and keep your ears from ringing all day! Sleek, attractive design will make the perfect addition in the peaceful atmosphere while providing the reliable power needed for your needs. Air can be quickly recharged without worry about stopping innovative work because created with a life cycle length of more than 1000 hours! With a max psi of 150 and Ultra-Quiet, this compressor is truly a warrior when it comes to noise.

Porter Cable 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Porter Cable 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Sometimes you need a product with some serious power to get the job done. For those occasions, we recommend our Porter Cable 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor. This powerful compressor is built with all the features you need and none of the ones you don’t: 5 CFM at 40 psi and 4 CFM at 90 psi; 150 max PSI; 1.5 Hp; it’s UL and CSA certified unit; twin-V cast iron pump with 7″ semi-pneumatic wheels for mobility and rubber feet for stability (decibel rating: 84dBA). And while this compressor comes ready to work right out of the box, don’t forget that regular maintenance is essential if you want to keep your airbrush in perfect working order.

Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor

Are you looking for a great, all-around helper on the homefront? The Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor is your new best friend. With 150 max PSI and an awesome 1.5 horsepower motor the quick connect allows the user to go from the hose to hose quickly and easily with no product wasted in between! The 20-gallon tank housed within steel makes it easy for this beast of an air compressor to deliver up 40 psi or 90 psi while maintaining its fantastic 4.0 CFM at both pressures! This equipment is CSA certified which gives users peace of mind knowing they are getting what they paid for; safety first! Maintenance has never been easier than with this machine that features quick-disconnect gauges so adjusting pressure levels will be a breeze from now on. With a decibel rating of 78dBA, this compressor is the perfect choice for those looking to keep noise levels to a minimum.

How To Choose the Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor

  • Horsepower:

The best 20-gallon air compressor should be powerful enough to complete your projects without any delay. The power of the motor decides how big the appliance will be and also what kinds of tasks it can handle easily. Most portable compressors produce 1HP or less than that, while industrial-sized machines reach as high as 10 HP or more! If you plan on handling only household tasks, a smaller machine with 1 – 2 HP is enough for most users. Machines around 5 – 7 HP are perfect for heavy-duty industrial jobs.

  • PSI:

20-gallon air compressors operate with either 90 PSI, 100 PSI, or 150 PSI maximum pressure rating with most machines featuring an adjustable regulator to adjust the pressure. The PSI rating affects how much pressure the machine can generate and distribute to other appliances via the hose for use in specific applications. All machines have an operating range between 40 psi or lower while some can go as high as 150 psi max capacity which is important depending on what your project is, whether it involves woodworking, paint spraying, gardening, etc…

  • CFM:

The CFM determines how fast the compressor will recharge itself after releasing air which also means it regulates how long you are able to work without waiting for the tank to fill up again. A higher CFM allows more materials to be pressurized within a small amount of time by making sure that the compressor’s tank does not lose pressure quickly while providing a constant flow of air. The CFM rating ranges from 1-3 for smaller home appliances to 4-6 CFM for big machines in the industry.

  • Design:

Compressors with 20-gallon tanks are generally heavy and bulky which makes them difficult to move around when working on certain tasks. Smaller compressors do not occupy much space which allows users to store them in limited spaces without any issue while larger-sized machines are mostly stored at stationary locations, attached with air hoses that can be dragged around when needed. Some of these machines also come equipped with wheels that allow users to relocate them when required easily. When it comes to design, some manufacturers prefer durability over portability while others put portability first but sacrifice power or vice versa depending on the need of the consumer.

  • Noise Level:

Even though these machines operate with heavy-duty motors that produce a lot of noise, they are still a better option than gas-powered engines which can be very inconvenient and dangerous for people surrounding the area where it is being used. The decibel level ranges from 60 – 80dB on 20-gallon air compressors which is going to be heard by people living nearby, but nothing too loud that would cause discomfort for anyone. If you are looking for an extremely quiet environment when working then choose among small or medium-sized models which operate at 45 – 70 dB levels

  • Additional Features:

One of the most important things you should consider before making your purchase is whether it comes with additional features that might be important for your work. Some machines come with auto-start functions that automatically turn on the compressor when pressure is low and shut off once it reaches acceptable levels, while some other models do not include these kinds of features which require you to start and stop them manually according to your convenience. Other useful add-ons include oil-lubricated pump systems, metal roll bars to protect the motor from damage in case of any incidents, and dual pressure gauges that allow better monitoring and control over the system.

Types of 20 Gallon Air Compressors

There are 3 different kinds available when you have manual control. There are electric, gas-powered, and hydraulic air compressors.

Electric Type 20 Gallon Air Compressor

You use electricity to run this compressor. You need an electrical outlet, but there is no gasoline required. This unit works very quietly, especially when compared with gas models.

Gas Powered Type 20 Gallon Air Compressor These are the most common type of air compressors. Compressed air is used to power the device and there is no electricity needed. You do need gasoline, but it can create as much as 125 PSI for as little as $0.45 per hour operating cost if you use an electric outlet for recharging.

Oil Lubricated Hydraulic Type 20 Gallon Air Compressor

Like the electric compressor, you do not need gas to run this unit. All it takes is hydraulic fluid and a place to store it. Using just half a gallon of oil per hour, the pressure produced can reach as high as 200 PSI and costs will be less than $0.07 per hour with an electrical outlet for recharging.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a 20-Gallon Air Compressor?

A 20-gallon air compressor is a heavy-duty machine that can power several tools simultaneously and for long periods of time without requiring to be refilled or recharged. It is powerful enough to work with nail guns, staplers, sprayers, and paint applicators and comes in handy for tasks like:

  • Cleaning: Use it with a hose to clean the interior of your car or the exterior of your home.
  • Gardening: If you have an outdoor garden then attach it with various gardening tools such as blowers, trimmers, and sprayers.
  • Woodworking: These machines make great companion tools when working with wood because they provide smooth operation all throughout the task. Ideal options include framing nail guns, chipping hammers, and table saws.
  • Automotive: If you are a car enthusiast then this machine will definitely come in handy by allowing you to power various appliances such as grease guns, tire inflator, and air-compressors.
How many amps does a 20-gallon air compressor draw?

An air compressor’s motor is the biggest power consumer of the system, and it ranges from a low 100 amps to a high 240A. It is advisable that you choose a compressor with a lower amperage because it will be much more efficient in terms of running costs.

How Long Can a Tank of a 20 Gallon Air Compressor Last?

A 20-gallon tank can last for 1 to 4 minutes depending on its CFM rating; small machines with 1 or 2 CFMs can run for up to 1 minute while larger models with 6 CFMs can function for about 3 minutes. This time might seem like nothing compared to other compressors but keep in mind that this machine works under heavy load which means it has an enormous amount of air pressure which needs to be released at a faster rate.


The 20-gallon air compressor market has plenty of options available for consumers who want a powerful work tool without too many additional features because most home users don’t need something like this while commercial applications should always prioritize reliability above anything else even though it costs a little bit more. The key thing to remember when shopping for this machine is that bigger is not always better, and you should go for an option which fits your budget and purpose.

The 20-gallon air compressor is one of the best options available if you need something powerful yet can be carried by one person. These are easy to move around, yet the weight ensures it stays in one place when used. They’re able to inflate items quickly and is little noise produced during operation. For these reasons, it is one of the best options around.