Searching for the air compressor that is not only small – but also one that will make a good fit for you – may be tricky, but once you find the best model, the time spent is definitely worth it. This eliminates the problem with loud noise and vibration made by most of the air compressors you can encounter. The smaller motors that these small air compressors are equipped with are not entirely noise-free either. But during their operation, they create much less noise, resulting in bearable noise levels. To understand this you must manage your expectations properly – before making your purchase this is of utmost importance.
Identifying your needs is the key for successfully choosing a fitting air compressor. A tool for occasional staple/nail gun needs would be obviously different from a professional tool needed for construction projects. This means that you will need to know if the compressor unit is needed for, say, plumbing and other day-to-day jobs, or emergency tire inflation, etc.
Your choice will be much quicker and easier once you make your mind about the purpose you need an air compressor for, seeing how each brand is designed for some specific needs. For advanced home projects or commercial, large-scale work you could require additional power or pressure. While there may be many small air compressors on the market available to you, they will not able to provide the require pressure for tasks mentioned above, but they are still more than enough for most other applications.
If you are ready to purchase one, though, we would recommend you to check these best four small air compressors:
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor (with 13-Piece Accessory Kit)
C2002-WK has many features that are worth mentioning. It’s a compact enough compressor unit that’s not difficult to carry. All the vital components of this unit are protected by a combination of its console handle & shroud. This compressor type is oil-free, and the pumper that is attached to it is oil-free as well. Oil-pumper is very durable. It is also completely maintenance-free.
The motor is a low amp 120-volt one. You can hook the motor it up to an outlet with the help of an extension cord that comes with the package. Even in the weather cold enough for a cold start to happen (most often seen in cars), this motor will start easily. Also, it’s probably important to note that the tank (which is pancake-style) has the total capacity of 6 gallons. Other features of this tank include a water drain valve as well as rubber feet – which are great for stability. The PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK is, therefore, a stable pancake compressor. The inclusion of factory-installed plug and air coupler (on the air hose) is also a tremendous help. With this its now possible for you to prevent leaks from an unprofessional installation – and also save your money on user labor instead of paying to someone for installing these for you.
The compressor itself is ISO1217 certified, working at 90PSI and 2.6 SCFM. This allows for quicker recovery time and compressor action. At maximum pressure, tank works at 150 PSI. The extensive capacity of the tank allows to keep more air in it, which makes for longer runtime, making it very worthwhile looking at all these quality specs.
PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor
Weighting 26 pounds, PCFP02003 model is a well-known portable compressor model. It features a 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI pump, and it’s tank capacity is 3.5 gallons. PCFP02003 is thought to be one of the best compressor models of pancake type – greatly because of it’s tank, which allows to run the whole process without pauses and very smoothly.
An oil-free pump guarantees the lack of any problems in regard of compressor’s maintenance. A 120-volt low amp motor allows to start it easily even during cold weather. This compressor was constructed in the best way, it doesn’t stall and is very lasting, serving you loyally for many years.
A comparatively low noise level rate of 82 dBA is another important point. This means this pancake compressor belongs to the category of most silent compressors on the market. Even the reviews mention that many other compressor units you can find out there are louder that this model. From personal experience, it remains a convenient and usable compressor after a decade of using it still, and an investment of your money that’s well-worth it.
You can use Porter Cable PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor for various tasks – woodworking, indoor construction, powering tools like paint sprayers, tire inflation. Some use this unit for inflating tires of their bicycles, scooters, and even trailers.
PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
The Porter-Cable CMB15 possesses quick recovery time and boasts easy start-up even if the weather is cold, and it’s also portable and easy to carry. It’s specs are 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI, a 1.5-gallon tank (with fully-shrouded, rugged design), and a low-amp 120V motor. The tank is equipped rubber feet, which help it to stick to the floor when used.
The tank provides 150 PSI max pressure and a runtime long enough to blow out eight car tires easily. However, this model is not recommended for use with paint sprayer guns or for using it to inflate the swimming pool.
The Porter-Cable CMB15 needs no advanced maintenance, as it is designed with built-in water drain valve – and also a pump that is oil-free. The unit comes with an 8-piece accessory kit. The kit includes tire chuck, teflon tape, a hose, and an assortment of inflation nozzles. For users who require a compressor unit that is small and fitting for simple tasks like inflating tires these may be enough, but additional tasks may require additional accessories to be bought.
If you are planning to use the compressor in doors, the CMB15 may be perfect as it performs at only 79 decibels. These noise levels actually can be compared to a regular vacuum cleaner. The discharge pressure can be regulated by the user simply turning the center dial.
Kensun AC/DC Heavy Duty Air Compressor Tire Inflator
Kensun AC/DC heavy-duty tire inflator has measurements of 11.7 x 6.8 x 4.8 inches and weights only 4.4 pounds. This micro air compressor was designed specifically with tire inflation in mind. A wide assortment of tires can be accommodated with the help of 3 nozzle adapters, including those for bikes, cars, lawnmowers, motorcycles, scooters, SUVs, and trucks. Light items (the likes of sports equipment, pool toys and beach toys) also can be inflated with the help of the Kensun tire inflator.
This micro air compressor works with very small noise and vibration, creating an air flow rate of 11 LPM (liters per minute) with pumping pressure up to 40 PSI. It can operate under DC 12V or AC 110V. Extremely portable for it’s size, the Kensun AC/DC tire inflator can be easily stored in the backpack if necessary.
A sturdy leg stand allows this model to not move around when used. Other features of Kensun AC/DC model, include a 3-meter cord and a rubber air hose which is 21.7-inch long. The cord works with cigarette plug.
There are two other variations of this heavy-duty air compressor available (aside of the AC/DC version). One of these is a DC-only unit, which is equipped with a tire pressure gauge that is programmable, and also has a light.
BOSTITCH CAP1512-OF 1.2 Gallon Oil-Free High-Output Trim Compressor
As opposed to the compressors reviews above, the Bostitch CAP1512-OF compressor is designed for bigger range of air compression needs than just inflating tires. This air compressor may be small enough for us to consider adding it to this list. But if we compare it to other heavy-duty models, we will find that it is more powerful that some of the other larger-sized units.
CAP1512-OF can be used both indoors and outdoors since it works relatively quietly.
Equipped with a 1.5 HP motor able to draw 12amps at start up, the Bostitch CAP1512-OF trim compressor is built for users of the advanced type that are in need of a machine that is compact. An oil-free pump delivers a high output of 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI, with a maximum of 150 PSI. Engine’s runtime is increased tenfold with the help of 1.2-gallon tank that fills up fairly quickly.
Aside of legs sturdy enough to keep the upright balance even when standing on rough environments, this heavy-duty compressor model comes with roll cage design, hose storage, onboard tool storage, built-in cord wrap. It is designed for best possible portability and maintains impressive lightweight of 23.5 pounds. The user can easily operate the CAP1512-OF with the help of on/off LED switch and large, easy-to-read dials.
Working reliably in finishing staples, inflating various types of tires, trimming and other light tasks, this compact air compressor is great for common users and pros alike.
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
If you are already aware of DeWalt products’ superiority, DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor will live up to your expectations. Many quality specs of this model, such as a high flow regulator and couplers, allow this compressor to reach the dependable quality and maximize its air pressure performance. It has a 90 PSI pump able to deliver 2.6 SCFM, and the tank of 22.7 liters (6.0 gallons). The maximum possible pressure is 165 PSI.
The noise level does not disappoint either, being as low as 75.5 dBA. This means that you can safely anticipate a quiet work environment every time. If we compare it to all the rival pancake compressors that we can currently find on the market, we will find out that DEWALT DWFP55126 noise level is lower than the minimal noise settings provided by the competitors.
Aside of complying with universal standards of excellence set for the pancake compressors, the DEWALT DWFP55126 has other means to stand out from the rest. For example take its extension cord application into account. It allows to reach up to 50 feet (15.2 meters) and a very efficient motor able to start up seamlessly during cold weather.
To sum it up, Dewalt shows great quality, functionality, and specs. It is notable quiet, built for long-term use, and includes a ball drain valve (useful when the tank must be drained quickly), 2 universal couplers for supporting 2 users, and a console cover.
DEWALT D55140 1-Gallon 135 PSI Max Trim Compressor
The DeWalt D55140 One-Gallon, Max 135-PSI Trim Compressor comes in dimensions of 20.5×15.8×10.8 inches and weighs 30 pounds. A user can easily transport it between various job sites. This highly compact and portable unit is notable for being equipped with a 2.6-amp motor, and oil-free pump. The pump requires almost no maintenance and delivers 0.75 SCFM at 90 PSI (with a maximum of 135 PSI), and provides reliable and quiet operation.
Inflating tires with compressor is very easy since the user can dial the required pressure. When the tire becomes full, this will cause the compressor to automatically shut up off at that level. Professional and advanced users will also find this model suitable for performing general woodworking tasks, light remodeling, testing of plumbing line, and performing trim work.
DeWalt D55140 One-Gallon is a compressor of hand-carry type, built with cast heavy-duty iron and featuring an easy to use cord wrap, a ball drain valve for easy tank draining, a universal connection that is very useful and compatible with almost every kind of pneumatic tools, a control panel wrap-around, and a roll cage designed to protects the unit from wearing.
The noise level of DeWalt D55140 is very low when compared to others, rated at 69-decibel. This compressor doesn’t cause strong vibrations when used, and it’s motor draws easily during startup and ensures no breaker-tripping.
Kensun AC/DC Heavy Duty Air Compressor Tire Inflator as well as the Porter-Cable CMB15 are both easy to use and operate, lightweight, but are geared only towards inflating vehicles. When it comes to heavy pressure requirements and construction jobs, these models are limited. The accessories that come with their accessory kits may be less durable than the compressors themselves, but thankfully they are easy to replace.
Then, DeWalt D55140 and Bostitch CAP1512-OF trim compressors are suited well for small construction/remodeling jobs and tire inflation alike. But since they are portable compressors, it means that their components and motors were built with portability in mind. This limits their performance to light-duty tasks.
The manufacturer brands of the models above are globally-known, and the models themselves come with warranties. It is still important to learn the recommendations you can gather from the reviews of these products, compare models, and identify your needs before making the purchase. Based on the jobs you are going to perform with it, a certain type of compressor might be best for you, but not for users who are aiming at different types of jobs. So no one can say that some small air compressor model is the “best” for everyone.
We advise you to learn all the important tips for purchasing your compressor by using our air compressor comparison tools or reading more of air compressor reviews.