Best Portable Air Compressor for Home Garage in 2021: A Top 5 Review

While buying an air compressor for a home garage, you should take some time to consider its attributes and features. There’s a vast collection of these products on the market, and you could easily feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry, we’re here for you.

What’s the Best Portable Air Compressor for Home Garage Use?

When it comes to finding the best portable air compressor for home garage use, trust us to break down the top 5 options on the market right now. We’ve researched a ton of air compressors and made a handy list, so let’s dive in.

1. Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

There’s a lot to love here. The Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor delivers the air with no noise. Something that we rarely see manufacturers do is put a lifetime warranty on their compressor, and that’s exactly what the producers of the stealth machine did. The Stealth machine has large capacity and power.

It’s one of the quietest 20-gallon air compressors on the market, thanks to its 68 decibels output noise level. With a powerful induction motor, it has the ability to generate 1.8 horsepower, and its oil-free design means that this air compressor won’t need maintenance.

The compressor has quite an impressive life cycle: according to the manufacturers, it can run for more than 1,000 hours. It weighs only 130 pounds and comes with a rubber-reinforced grip and a 6-foot cord, which means you can easily carry it and move it around your garage.

Pros

Pros
  • It’s super quiet
  • Vertical design
  • Better build than budget store brands

Cons

Cons
  • Honestly? There are no major drawbacks

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The Stealth machine is an extra quiet air compressor with loads of additional features we like. It comes with a lifetime warranty, a long life cycle, a large air capacity, a powerful air compressor, and an oil-free pump.

2. Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Vertical Tank 2 HP

Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Vertical Tank 2 HP has an oil-free dual pump that requires no additional maintenance for the air compressor. Additionally, it boasts a 15-gallon vertical air tank and a rugged 2 HP motor that has a maximum pressure of 125 PSI.

This air compressor is exceptionally quiet, generating only 59 decibels of sound while it’s operating. The thermal overload protection and the easy-to-read pressure gauge will provide you with peace of mind.

The product weighs 88 pounds, and has a capacity of 15 gallons which it stores in a vertical air tank. Besides the super-quiet operation, it has a portable design with a mobility kit, and is backed by a 2-year limited warranty. Besides being a super quiet air compressor, this compressor has a longer pump life thanks to its dual pump.

Pros

Pros
  • Convenient for use
  • Ideal for garage thanks to its compact size
  • Relatively easy to transport

Cons

Cons
  • Only a two-year warranty

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The Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Vertical Tank 2 is well ahead of its competition thanks to its awesome features. Plus, those ‘never flat’ tires and convenient handle that add mobility to the air compressor round out its value.

3. WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor

Although WEN is not as famous as other brands in the industry, it still offers good quality air compressors that are a great choice if you’re shopping on a budget. The WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor has an affordable price tag, and it comes with a 135 PSI air tank and 1.5 HP motor. It also comes with a warranty, demonstrating that the product is durable and highly reliable. We just wish the warranty lasted longer!

The WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor is a 20-gallon air compressor that offers a CFM rating of 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI and 3.8 PSI at 90 PSI. What’s really handy about this compressor is that it’s really easy to reach the drain valve and wheels.

Pros

Pros
  • Easy-to-reach quick drain valve
  • Easy transport

Cons

Cons
  • Only a two-year warranty

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The WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor is easy to store and maintain, and it’s a really affordable option!

4. NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor – 2 HP, 20-Gallon Vertical, 5.0 CFM

 The NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor has a very impressive build quality. The machine has the air and quick recovery time to provide continuous output. It’s driven by a solidly-built Baldor Reliance V-type 7.5 HP motor with a double-sealed ball bearing and all-copper windings. The pressure switch and other fixtures on the air compressor also look well-built.

With a powerful induction motor, this compressor boasts fast compressed air refill times. Plus, it’s quieter when compared to most air compressors thanks to its belt drive operation. You’ll never have to deal with a flat thanks to its solid tires guarantee.

A few of the best features include: built-in regulator, no-flat solid tires, a two horsepower dual voltage induction motor, 2-cylinder, oil lubricated, belt drive, single-stage pump, cast iron construction, 20,000-hour bearing life. It produces 5 CFM at 90 PSI and has 135 PSI maximum pressure output.

One thing that we didn’t like about this powerful compressor is its weight. At 205 pounds, it’s one of the more heavy air compressors on the market, which can make it slightly uncomfortable for transport.

Pros

Pros
  • Great performance
  • Durable cast iron construction

Cons

Cons
  • Pretty heavy for a vertical air compressor

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This 20-gallon air compressor provides portability, plenty of power, and excellent performance, and all for a great price.

5. PORTER-CABLE PXCMSAC420VW 20 Gal. Quiet 4.0SCFM 150PSI Vert Compressor

The Porter-Cable 1.5 HP 20 Gallon Quiet Vertical Air Compressor has an operating noise of only 69 decibels, which means that users don’t have to wear any ear protection. This is a maintenance-free, oil-free design that offers up to four times the lifespan of oil-driven pump compressors. It’s excellent for stapling, bolting, nailing, blowing, airbrushing, and even roofing applications.

However, we would’ve wanted to see wheels that are a bit bigger to make the transportation of the air compressor more manageable since this big boy weighs more than 1000 pounds.

Pros

Pros
  • Onboard air hose storage
  • Quick connectors

Cons

Cons
  • Only one-year warranty

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This air compressor is an enticing choice with a good noise rating and a maintenance-free oil-free pump.

Why Should You Buy an Air Compressor for Your Home Garage?

Following are several reasons why buying an air compressor for your home garage is a good idea.

  • An air compressor doesn’t have electric wires in it, making it a safe tool to use.
  • You can save money with different types of air compressors because they don’t use a ton of energy.
  • An air compressor requires minimal maintenance.
  • An air compressor will make your job a lot more enjoyable than an electric device, especially if you need to power any tools for your DIY projects.
  • You’ll feel less fatigue while using an air compressor since it delivers a great power to weight ratio.
  • Air compressors are pretty versatile, and they can be used not only in the garage but also for projects involving cleaning or auto repair.

It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. There are some disadvantages to air compressors, including noise, dust and debris, fumes, and electrical dangers. However, the benefits of air compressors compensate for their drawbacks.

How To Set Up an Air Compressor?

No matter if you want to use your air compressor for spraying paint or inflating tires, there’s a specific way to operate this machine to make its use both efficient and safe.

First, you need to place your air compressor on a firm and flat surface. All of the power switches on the compressor should be turned off. Gas air compressors require you to check the level of gasoline, while oil air compressors require you to check the level of oil. If needed, you should increase the level of these substances in the compressor.

Then, next to the pressure gauge, you’ll find the regulator valve, to which you need to attach the hose. To connect the hose to the valve on the compressor, you just need to slide the coupler’s moving part. Insert your pneumatic tool into the other free part of the hose.

To start operating the machine, turn off its power switch and plug it into an outlet with three prongs. To test it, pull the safety valve. Push back the valve again if you hear air hissing.

Before filling the air tank, make sure the drain valve is closed. Turn on the power switch and wait until it shuts down automatically. Depending on the model of the machine, make sure that the maximum air pressure reaches the desired capacity.

Make sure you keep an eye on the smaller pressure gauge. Your air compressor is ready to run once the air is in the hose.

To shut off the air compressor, you need to release any moisture by opening the drain valve. Then, turn off the hose’s air supply, as well as the compressor. You need to wait until the pressure leaves the machine.

After you’ve unplugged all the systems you attached, store them in a temperature-controlled and dry place.

FAQs

How Do I Maintain an Air Compressor?

Protocol for maintaining an air compressor depends on its features. For instance, if you own an oil-lubricated compressor, you will need to add oil occasionally. Also, make sure that you’re cleaning the compressor once or twice a week. Store it properly after each use.

What Should I Look for When Buying an Air Compressor?

When buying an air compressor, you should take into account your needs. Some of the things you should look for are air tank size, maximum pressure capacity, CFM, motor’s HP, oiled-based compressor or oil-free air compressors, and so on.

How Do I Make My Air Compressor Quieter?

Some tips we can offer for making your air compressor quieter is to lubricate the bearings in order to reduce friction and employ an air protector while using the tool. Another thing you can do is place the air intake far from the workplace, or place a rubber material between the surface on which you position the compressor and the compressor itself.

Lastly, you can try placing the air compressor in a soundproof box or covering it with a soundproof blanket.

What Size of Air Compressor Should I Choose?

When buying an air compressor for a home garage task, you probably need one with a huge capacity. Consider getting one between the ranges of 2.6 to 20 gallons, depending on your project.

Final Brief

We’ve outlined some top choices on our list of the best portable air compressors for home garage use.

In brief:

If you’re looking for quiet compressors, then the Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor is the one for you. If you want an air compressor that’s easily portable and mobile, then we recommend the Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Vertical Tank 2 HP.

The WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor is an excellent option for those who are looking for a more affordable air compressor that still offers good quality.

The NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor is a high-quality air compressor with durable cast iron construction and is a good choice for those who aren’t afraid of some heavy lifting.

The PORTER-CABLE PXCMSAC420VW 20 Gal. Quiet 4.0SCFM 150PSI Vert Compressor is meant for those who are looking for a more silent air compressor at an affordable price, as well as a heavy-duty direct-drive induction motor and maintenance-free oil-free pump.

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