Air Compressor Reviews

Best 12v Air Compressor Buying Guide




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10 Best 12 Volt Air Compressors

The best way to get the most out of your cars is taking care of your tires first. If you are wondering how to ensure they work correctly no matter the conditions, you have come to the right place. With the new 12V technology, you can always ensure that your tires are filled with the best mid tanks. Discover the best 12V air compressor in the following article.

The 12V air compressor technology has introduced the compact and lightweight units that come with a reasonable layout. In that, they are very user-friendly. With this AC unit, you can take care of most minor tasks in your household. Such jobs include; inflating care tires, pumping up your children’s balls, inflating your mowers as well as cycles tires.

All in all, selecting the best fit for you can be quite hectic considering the various categories available in the market today. In that case, this article aims at giving you an outline of the top ten best 12V air compressors. Also, provide you with a buyer’s guide that will help you when shopping for your air compressor.

Viair 00073 70P 12V Heavy Duty Air Compressor

If you’d like to inflate your tires anytime, anywhere, then the Viair 00073 12V AC unit is the best pick for you. This air compressor comes with all the whistles and bells anyone would want in an air compressor. The air compressor produces a maximum PSI of 100 although for it to work effectively, your car engine must be on.

The Viair 00073 is a heavy duty air compressor that no sane man would ever pass up in the market. The thousands of positive reviews don’t lie. You only have to connect the 16ft power cord as well as the 4ft air hose to get started. The power cord is long enough to ensure that you can reach all tires without having to move the air compressor.

The air compressor connects with the cigarette socket at the car to power up. Also, ensure that the port has at least 15 amps for effective performance levels. More to that, this air compressor comes with a pressure gauge which is fitted at the top of the air compressor. This enhances the monitoring of the pressure levels in the air compressor as you go by your errands.

The twist-in tire chuck brass which enables you to secure your tire tightly when inflating it. Viair 00073 air compressor may have a few frills, but generally, it is designed to work and work tirelessly. In fact, the air compressor unit achieves a 1.06CFM at 0PSI. This means that the compressor can manage to power up tires up to size 225/65R18.

Also, it has built-in vibration isolators which ensure that the air compressor produces the least possible noise decibels. You’ll even wonder if the air compressor is working at all, but that’s the whole beauty of it.


  • It comes with a zip-up deluxe carrying bag for easy and comfortable transportation
  • It includes the brass twist on tire chucks
  • It has a free flow of about 1.06CFM
  • It has built-in isolators for vibration
  • It has a handy accessory including a 12V power port
  • It has a built-in gauge with a 150 PS
  • It has a 15-amp fuse holder
  • It is light in weight
  • It has a quality construction that guarantees you of durability
  • It has a straightforward layout

  • For the air compressor to work, the car engine has to be on
  • It lacks the auto-shutoff feature. Therefore, you have to monitor the air pressure


EPAuto 12V Digital Tire Air Compressor Unit

Are you looking for a convenient 12v air compressor unit? Look no further because the EPAuto 12v Digital tire air compressor got you covered. This is a pretty cool air compressor unit that is designed to meet all your inflation needs. That ranges from car tires, basketballs, rafts and ATVs tires. It is very convenient meaning that you can carry it with you and use it anywhere you like.

The air compressor unit is quite small and compact. Therefore, it can comfortably fit in your car’s trunk. The air compressor will not take up too much space in your storage compartment. Also, it is very user-friendly, in that you only have to plug it into the cigarette socket of your car and you are good to go.

The high power levels guarantee you that it can accommodate multiple needs from the users. To get the air compressor fully operational, all you have to do is plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter socket then press on.

More to that, the air compressor comes with an auto shut off feature which allows the user to go about other errands while inflating their equipment. This is because you will not necessarily have to monitor the air compressor. When it achieves the maximum PSI, it shuts off automatically. This makes the usage better and easier than its competitors.

The total inflation speed, on the other hand, is 1.06 CFM. To many, this speed isn’t the best, but considering its size, that’s somewhat expected. Also, it has an overheating protection feature that protects the air compressor unit from any damages caused by excess heat. These safety precautions make this air compressor very safe to use.


  • The air compressor unit has an overheating protection feature that protects it from excess heat.
  • It is quite as well as powerful
  • It features accurate digital gauges
  • It comes with automatic shutoff features to enhance safety and convenience when using the machine/span>
  • It has the screw on metal connector
  • It has a LED flashlight to increase visibility in low lit areas
  • It is easy to use
  • It weighs about 3.8 pounds hence portable

  • The air compressor unit is a bit expensive, but it’s worth your every penny
  • It has an awkward shape which makes the storage of this air compressor hard
  • Some of the customers claimed that it has a lower operation speed
  • The air compressor is a good choice for only users looking for a small air compressor and not paying so much attention to the power production.


Viar 85P 12V Air Compressor Unit

After designing the Viair 70P, the Viair came up with 85P with better updates on the initial model. For that reason, most of the users rank this air compressor unit as the best portable 12v air compressor unit. The air compressor works best on direct current. That is; the air compressor connects to the cigarette socket lighters on the vehicle.

This air compressor unit is capable of filling a tank with a width of 195, 14 inches’ diameter and an aspect ratio of 70% with 0-30 PSI within 2 minutes. With larger tanks, the air compressor can manage at least 20 to 30 PSI in two and a half minutes.

With such high-performance levels, the Viair air compressor makes one of the fastest 12V air compressors. Despite its small size, it has incredible performance levels as well as it’s relatively quiet.

The standard speed rating of the air compressor is 1.26 CFM at 0PSI. The maximum pressure generated for speeding working pressure of the compressor unit is 60PSI at 12V. More to that, the air compressor unit comes with an easy to handle and read pressure gauge to enhance your convenience when using the air compressor.

The LED lights, on the other hand, enhance visibility in the low lit areas.  All in all, the LED lights work only when the air compressor is connected to a socket. Also, the fact that the air compressor uses the cigarette lighter socket in the car, your engine must be on and running for it to reach the maximum PSI.


  • It comes in a compact and lightweight design
  • The pressure gauge is easy to read hence very convenient
  • The overall construction is robust and durable
  • The air compressor has incomparable performance speeds
  • It’s a good option for anyone looking for a versatile air compressor
  • For the frequent users, the air compressor makes a good choice because of the top-notch construction and built-in sensors

  • Some of the users have reported inaccurate data
  • Also, other customers said that the air compressor took too long to reach the maximum PSI
  • For the air compressor to run effectively, the engine must be in use


P.I Auto Store 12V Portable Digital air Compressor

This air compressor unit is compatible with the 12V cigarette lighter sockets of cars. Also, it could fit in any other socket as long as it has a rating of 12V. All the features of this AC unit are outstanding giving the air compressor a unique and futuristic look.

The overall construction of this air compressor unit makes it so easy to use it either in the horizontal or even the vertical position. More to that, the air compressor unit comes with a backlit LCD pressure displaying gauge which depicts excellent accuracy rating.

Complimentary to this, the air compressor has a stronger air pressure which enhances the performance levels of this air compressor unit. The air compressor can inflate a mid-sized tire comfortably that has a PSI of 0-30 in four minutes or less. Anyone who has tried out this air compressor can attest to the fact that 150PSI is the maximum hence giving larger units a run for their money.

The air compressor is 7 by 3 by 6.5 inches. And for a fact is labelled as one of the smallest air compressors in the market today. Other additional accessories that come with this air compressor unit include; 8 spare dust cps a digital guideline. These features are aimed at providing better services to all the users while still maintaining an affordable price.

This is the perfect choice for air compressors if you are looking for something that dictates the future. It has an outstanding and unique design.


  • The air compressor comes with a simple layout which is quite easy to maneuver
  • It is light in weight therefore portable
  • The air compressor has a microprocessor that monitors that tire pressure when inflating and stops automatically when the desired pressure is reached
  • It is quite robust with a maximum PSI reading of 150
  • It is versatile. It’s compatibles with a variety of equipment cars, SUVs, ATVs and Trucks
  • The general construction of this air compressor is improved and of high quality
  • The air compressor has an LCD backlight for emergencies or visibility in dark areas although does not bring out a flashlight.
  • It has a discrete accuracy level
  • It comes with a carrying bag for convenience
  • It has a flexible long feet hose that helps to reach all car tires with ease

  • This air compressor is loud and very noisy to be used in calm environments
  • The air compressor can only handle light machines
  • Users complained that they had to buy other accessories separately.
  • The air compressor vibrates too much hence needs to be held down during your operations


Slime 40022 12V Air Compressor

The Slime air compressor unit is one of the lightest as well as a most affordable air compressor on the market today. However, don’t let the pocket-friendly prices fool you. This air compressor has high-quality features which make it stand out among other air compressors in the market. With this machine, you are in for high-end performance levels worth your every penny.

This air compressor unit is best suited for the mid-sized vehicles. It can inflate the tires in 6 minutes or less. More to that, the air compressor is integrated with the Inflate Right Technology. With this technology as part of its operations, this air compressor shuts off automatically when the desired pressure level is reached. Therefore, you don’t have to keep on monitoring the pressure each time.

The 12v air compressor is only compatible with a 15amp cigarette lighter socket of the car. Here you can plug it in directly to get started. The Slime air compressor is capable of a maximum PSI of 35. Also, the air compressor unit is strong enough and very compact. These two features enhance its portability and performance.

Also, it comes with rubberized feet which enhance the stability of the air compressor. There are LED lights which are bright enough and can last for quite some time. You can use these lights if you end to go about your operations at night or in poorly lit areas.


  • The air compressor has an automatic shut off feature
  • The unit is quite affordable and still offers incredible performance levels
  • The air compressor comes with a digital pressure gauge
  • It has a compact and lightweight design which makes it easy to carry it around
  • It comes with LED lights which enhance visibility in low-lit areas and at night
  • It has rubberized which improve the stability of the air compressor during operations
  • It has a durable and robust construction
  • It includes a digital display

  • This air compressor is quite noisy therefore cannot be used in calm environments
  • The air compressor is relatively slower than other 12v air compressors
  • Also, the air compressor can only inflate mid-sized tires


EPAuto 12V DC Air Compressor Unit

This air compressor unit is one of the most portable 12v air compressor units. It is compatible with sedans, motorbikes and vehicles. The first thing that you will fall in love with in this AC unit is the compact and light design it comes in.

In addition to that lavish design, it has an emergency LED flashlight to enhance visibility in low lit areas or when operating at night. Also, it has a digital gauge that may be absent in most of the air compressors. The digital gauge enhances convenience when operating this air compressor unit since it gives accurate readings of the pressure in KPA, BAR, PSI, KG/CM units.

More to that, this air compressor unit comes with automatic shut of feature. Through this feature, the air compressor stops when the desired pressure level is achieved. This is good news for you since you don’t have to monitor the pressure levels throughout. This also prevents cases of over inflation because the air compressor can produce up to 100 PSI.

The air compressor weighs about 2.3 pounds meaning that it is very light in weight. The dimensions of the unit are11.6 by 7.3 by 3.3 meaning that it comes in a very compact design.

The power cord and hose of the air compressor unit are as follows. The air hose length is 20 inches long while the power cord is I inches long. This way, you can reach all tires without having to carry the air compressor around with you. The DC, on the other hand, requires at least a standard socket of about 15amps so that it can run effectively.

Generally, this is the air compressor unit for those people who will be working in the dark too often. The flashlight will help you inflate the cars with so much ease.


  • It has a LED flashlight for visibility in low lit areas and at night too
  • The air compressor comes in 4 different unit types
  • It comes in a cool modern design
  • The power cord and air hose are long enough to reach all tires comfortably
  • The air compressor has an auto shut off feature that prevents over inflation when the desired pressure is achieved
  • It has an accurate digital display
  • It comes in a small and compact design
  • It is one of the lightest 12V air compressors
  • The air compressor provides diverse measuring standards

  • The air compressors look like it has a cheap construction
  • Also, the air compressor has a high price tag due to its high power production


Master Flow MF-1040 12V Air Compressor Unit

This is one very small air compressor unit but then perfectly formed. It fits neatly in its carrying case. Therefore, it fits in your trunk without occupying too much space.  The Master Flow is different from most of the 12V air compressors in some ways. Unlike most of them, it comes with an integrated gauge which shows the air pressure clearly.

The air compressor can be used to inflate the following equipment; air beds, pool accessories, tires with its powerful performance. This air compressor also features coiled hose which means that the air compressor saves you the hassle of storing large hoses. More to that, the air compressor unit the carrying bag has some of the other accessories needed while inflating other things too.

The air compressor unit comes with a handle which eases the transportation of the air compressor while on site. Also, it attaches to the power supply with so much ease using the cigarette lighter socket of your car. The small and compact size of this air compressor may fool many of you, but it packs a real punch. The compressor can deliver 30 litres of air per minute and a PSI of up to 150.


  • The air compressor can be easily attached to the car via a cigarette socket
  • It comes with a storage bag for accessories
  • It has an integrated pressure gauge
  • It has long coiled cords and hoses for conveniences during storage

  • To use the main power source, the air compressor needs to be modified
  • The air compressor is too light for the large SUVs

Kensun AC/DC Digital Tire Inflator

Kensun air compressor is another AC unit in the 12-volt compressors. This device is lightweight and portable but still capable of inflating a car tire. It also comes with an analog display. You can choose to power your air compressor either through your cigarette lighter socket or home wall socket.

The device is very easy to operate, and it is quite reliable. More to that, the Kensun air compressor comes with an advanced functionality meaning you won’t have to search for the nearest gas station. With a reputation like Kensun, you are sure the products they produce are of good quality. This air compressor is no exception.

More to that, the air compressor is versatile hence you can use it for different home uses. From fixing simple DIY tasks to using it on your car, this air compressor will help you complete your tasks efficiently. The best part of this air compressor is that it has an AC/DC adaptability. That means the machine can work flawlessly in both DC and AC mode.

The analog pressure gauge in this device can go up to 120 PSI. Also, it can work for thirty minutes continuously in 35 PSI. The machine also comes with a 10 feet cable length that is convenient if you are working outdoors. Last but not least, the device comes with three attachment nozzles in the package hence allowing you to perform some tasks.


  • The air compressor comes with rubber as well as rubber sleeves hence making sure the rubber lasts long enough. Also, the rubber sleeves help in providing a good grip when you are using the machine
  • The machine features a digital gauge that allows you to read the air pressure in your tires
  • Kensun air compressor works best with nitrogen systems
  • Installation of this air compressor is simple especially mounting it to a power source
  • The air compressor features a rubber cover that helps to protect your tire inflator when it is not in use.
  • More to that, the machine comes with an LCD backlit that is quite easy to use.

  • Installation of the battery to the AC unit can be time-consuming
  • The rubber part requires a tighter fitting
  • The display shows erratic numbers when inflating

Viair 88P Portable Air Compressor

A Viair air compressor is an essential tool when it comes to inflating your tires. You can never question its effectiveness when it time to get down to business. The Viair features a simple, direct piston.

More to that, the Viair comes with a broad gauge hence getting a reading is easy. However, you should note that the air compressor has to be off to get the correct measure. The entire air compressor rests on rubber feet. The heavy-duty pistons ensure that the air compressor doesn’t vibrate nearly as hard as other compressors in the market.

The piston’s head comes with a heat sink which helps to maintain a cool temperature when the machine is at work. This feature is very important, especially in an air compressor. That is because this device tends to heat up faster than any other electronics.

Since the machine is 88P, you won’t be plugging in this machine into any of your accessories. Well, at least not before blowing a couple of fuses. Instead, the device is powered directly by the battery. More to that, a 20-amp fuse increases the protection to your car’s electronic system.

The machine also comes with a 16 feet air hose and a 10 feet power cord. These extensions reach every car tire easily. Unfortunately, the power cord and air hose are permanently attached to the air compressor hence making it impossible to replace them in case of any failure.

The air compressor can deliver about 1.4 cubic feet of air. More to that, the air compressor can run for twenty-five minutes providing 30PSI before taking a break to cool off for about thirty minutes.


  • The machine is easy to set up
  • With this air compressor, you can easily reach every wheel in your car
  • The air compressor features an LED indicator that displays if the cables are in the right positions
  • This AC unit also qualifies for the quietest air compressors in the market today

  • The machine can likely overheat if you use it severally

Tiretek 12V Air Compressor

Flat tires are always a problem that affects every car owner. They come at the most unexpected times and especially when you are in a hurry. However, you can anticipate such scenarios and be ready by purchasing a tiretek air compressor.

The machine features a 12V, 140W. Therefore, the air compressor is a powerful machine that can deliver about 4L in 60 seconds. The power is enough to inflate the tire of a standard tire. More to that, the device comes with a 10 feet cigarette lighter power cord.

Tiretek air compressor can be used to inflate different types of tires, for instance, ATV, truck, SUV, Caravan, RV and car. Also, the 12-v air compressor is compatible with sports and camping equipment. With advanced technology, the tiretek air compressor can reduce vibrations and hence noise while it is running.

The rubber feet in this air compressor also help in reducing noise as well as maintain the stability of the machine while it is operating. The best part of the 12-volt air compressor by tiretek is that it is user-friendly. It is also compact hence secure storage. The machine also comes with a one-year warranty.


  • The machine comes in a portable design machine that is easy to travel with it.
  • The Tiretek air compressor can comfortably deliver forty litres per minute which are enough to inflate a car tire.
  • The product comes with a long power cord that allows easy maneuvering
  • The machine is relatively affordable than its other competitors
  • It comes with a one-year warranty

Buyers Guide on 12V Air Compressors

When choosing a 12V air compressor, there are quality features that you must consider. Everyone’s dream is to have an air compressor that performs all your tasks effectively and still provide incredible performance levels for years. For that reason, below are a few tips that you should never overlook if you want to make the best pick.

  1. The Power source

Typically, the low powered 12V air compressor has a connector that plugs in directly to the cigarette lighter socket in your car. We also have the high powered 12V air compressor. This category of air compressors isn’t fitted with a plug. Such an air compressor needs to be connected your car battery directly with the available alligator clamps.

In that case, while picking our air compressor unit, be sure to check these two factors carefully. The connectors as well as the clamps. The best pick for the casual users is the power port while the frequent users will work best with the direct connection.

This is because the frequent users need extra power. Note that most of the 12V AC units that require a power cord might need you to keep their engine connected for the air compressor to reach the maximum PSI.

  1. Air Flow

Always look out for an air compressor that provides high air flow. All in all, you should understand the fact that 12v air compressors are designed for light duty task, their airflow is relatively lower than other air compressors. In rare cases though, you’ll get one or two 12V air compressor that can manage heavy duty tasks too.
Settle for an air compressor that will inflate your tires within a reasonable time frame. However, at times it can be hectic to compare the air compressors performance level while considering the CFM.
This is because air pressure and the temperature are likely to affect the CFM of an AC unit. Instead, you can look out or the standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM). These numbers will give you a rough estimate of air flow to expect from the air compressor. This tactic will help you know if the air compressor can provide the performance level you want.

  1. Pressure Rating

This is a feature that you need to be careful with. The last thing you’d want to do is get an air compressor that can inflate only baby toys. Most of the car tires today range from a tire pressure of 35 PSI.
However, we are looking for a flexible air compressor that can inflate a variety of tires. That ensures the inflator is sufficient and effective. Look out for the air compressor units with at least a PSI of 100.

  1. Duty cycle

Most of the 12V air compressors are different from the typical ones. This is because they lack storage tanks and therefore for the effective performance they must be operational all through. The duty cycle of an air compressor indicates the total percentage of time can run when set at a certain PSI.
The common performance levels hit about 100 PSI within 10 minutes at a temperature of 72 before needing to cool off. Most of the 12V air compressors lack this in their specifications. However, ensure that if you are buying the small 12V air compressors, choose one that has a safety cut off.
The cut off prevents the air compressor from damage when it overhears. This is unfortunate for most of the small air compressors since you will have to monitor the pressure levels and maybe shut it down to cool off after 10 or so minutes.

  1. Air Pressure Gauge

It is always necessary to know the amount of the pressure in your car tires or any other inflatables that you are working on. That is the reason why you need an air compressor unit with an air pressure gauge. Some air compressors don’t have air gauges, but we don’t recommend such.
Today we have a couple of 12V air compressors that come with digital air compressor gauge readouts. The digital readouts are not only easier to read for most people but also pre-set the pressure at which the air compressor should stop. Such an air compressor is a life saver in the low-lit country roads or inconvenient locations.

  1. The Air Hose Connection

The last thing you’d want in a 12v air compressor is one that leaks out a lot of air. This happens especially when you are trying to connect the AC unit to the tire or while disconnecting it. Therefore, there are two types of connection that you can choose from the 12v air compressor unit. There are two types of valve stem connections that you can choose from. There is the screw on connections and the quick connect.
Each of these connections has their advantages to the users. The screw on handles more pressure and prevents air pressure loss when disconnecting the air compressor from the tires. However, it can get a little hectic when trying to match up the connectors threads to the valve stem when trying to screw it in.
On the hand, the quick connect have clip-on connectors which are way easier to attach as well as removing more than the screw on handles. If you are planning to do high-pressure tasks, this is one might not be the best choice since they lose way too much pressure when disconnecting and reconnecting. Also, the connection is not secures enough.
The quick connect is a better choice for the casual users and average drivers who want to sail in its comfort. For the experienced drivers who will be using the air compressor unit more often, the screw on connectors is a better choice.

  1. Budget

Various air compressor models have diverse price quotes. The price varies depending on the quality and performance level of each air compressor unit. For you to get the best fit for your needs, you need to be ready to spend quite a fortune. All in all, most of the 12v air compressors in the market today range between $15 and $1500.
Ensure that you pick an air compressor that is within your budget range. However, if you need to spend some extra cents for a better air compressor unit, never hesitate. You get what you pay for; you’ll not be disappointed.

  1. Cables and Hoses

A longer power cord is always a better option. If you have experienced a short power cord, you appreciate a longer cord when you get one. At times the cords can be too short even to reach the tires. To avoid such inconveniences, ensure that you buy an air compressor unit with a long power cord.
It’s good to have a flexible air compressor unit; this will save you so much hassle. Mist of the 12v air compressors is portable therefore their cords damage during storage. Therefore, ensure that you buy an air compressor unit with more robust cables that can withstand harsh working conditions.


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