Best Quiet Air Compressor: Review 2021

Best Quiet Air Compressor: Review 2021

A quiet air compressor is an air compressor that will make as little noise as possible.

Many users are looking for a low noise compressor because it can be very frustrating to work with a loud compressor all the time. Not to mention, the neighbors hate it. Air compressors are always going to make some noise, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t buy a moderately quiet air compressor for projects around the house or garage.

Since the noise of air compressors is measured in decibels, the lower the number of decibels, the quieter the compressor is going to be. Usually, non-lubricated compressors are louder than oil-lubricated compressors.

The noise of a typical air compressor clocks in at around 130 decibels. For reference, a lawnmower is rated at 90 decibels, while a vacuum cleaner is rated at 60 to 95 decibels. Generally speaking, a quiet air compressor is an air compressor rated under 80 decibels, while the quietest ones will be rated at 50.

For a quick tip, remember that the air compressor is probably extra loud if the manufacturer doesn’t mention anything about the decibel rating.

However, noise levels aside, the air compressor needs to be powerful. In this article, we look for the best quiet air compressor that still has decent horsepower, CFM, and PSI. We’ll check through the features in detail and list our favorites.

What’s the Best Quiet Air Compressor Right Now?

Below are our five favorite quiet air compressors. We listed options that will reduce the noise to a minimum. For extra insight, we provide you with the pros and the cons of each air compressor so you can easily make the best decision for your needs.

CALIFORNIA AIR TOOLS CAT-1P1060SP GAL 56DB Air Compressor

At only 56 decibels, the California Air Tools 1P1060SP is one of the quietest air compressors available now. The compressor features a large single-piston pump which has a 3000-hour before-service rating, and thermal overload protection that helps prevent it from overheating.

This product is extremely light and portable since it weighs only 34 pounds. You can plug this compressor in almost anywhere since it only needs 4.5 amps of power.

The steel control panel features quick-connect air coupling, an output pressure regulator, and dual air gauges. The noise and the vibration are cut down by the heavy rubberized feet on the bottom.

What we like:

  •       Lightweight
  •       Ultra-quiet, with only 56 dB
  •       Good pricing

What we don’t like:

  •       Small 1 gallon tank

In sum, this is an ultra-light air compressor that’s small and portable. However, it probably isn’t suitable for large CFM requirements like air grinding or auto spray painting. It’s a better pick for operating small air tools like blowguns, small airbrushes, finish nail guns, stable guns, and similar.

 

Makita MAC100Q Quiet Series, 1/2 HP, 1 Gallon Compact, Oil-Free, Electric Air Compressor

The Makita MAC100Q does a great job at keeping the noise of the compressor to a minimum. This stellar product emits only 58 decibels, which makes it great for indoor finish jobs.

The front panel features a quick connect air fitting, pressure regulator, and twin air pressure gauges. This model has a low amp draw, with only 2.8 amps. To use the air compressor, you just need to plug it into any standard electrical outlet.

Since it weighs a mere 27.6 pounds, the compressor can be easily transferred anywhere you need it. It’s a very well-built little compressor that features a full still roll cage and has a great fit and finish. The product has a 135 PSI maximum air pressure, and the 1-gallon air tank is conveniently filled in only 90 seconds.

What we like:

  •       Produced by a manufacturer that is well-respected in the industry
  •       Super quiet and small 

What we don’t like:

  •       Small 1 gallon tank

The Makita MAC1000Q is a portable and super light air compressor operating at only 58 decibels. The only drawback to this product is the small 1-gallon tank. This model is great for powering small airbrushed and pin nailers, as well as for inflating tires and other items.

 

Metabo HPT Air Compressor, Ultra-Quiet 59 dB, Portable, Oil-Free Pump, 1-Gallon Tank Capacity, Steel Roll Cage w/ Rubber Grip, Compact and Lightweight, 1-Year Warranty, (EC28M)

The Metabo HTP air compressor has been renamed: it started out as Hitachi Power Tools. The Metabo HTP Air Compressor is an ultra-quiet and portable option. The compressor runs at 59 decibels, which means you can have a conversation standing near it and you’ll still be able to hear the other person speaking. It’s pretty impressive how quietly this air compressor can work.

This pick gives you the freedom to carry it around wherever you want, since it’s very light, weighing only 25.2 pounds. Something else worth mentioning is that there won’t be any hassle when it comes to maintenance, since the air compressor has an oil-free pump.

We also were impressed by the roll cage design, which protects the mechanics, valves, and motor while also acting as a carry handle.

What we like:

  •       Easy maintenance thanks to the oil-free pump
  •       Has a 1-year warranty

What we don’t like:

  •       Small 1 gallon talk

To sum up, this air compressor enables ultra-quiet operation, and on top of that, it has an industrial oil-free pump that provides high durability without the need for constant maintenance.

 

STEALTH Ultra Quiet 1 Gallon Air Compressor, 1/2HP Max 125 PSI, 0.8 CFM@90PSI, Portable Oil-Free Light Weight Electric Air Tools, SAUQ-1105

The Stealth Air Compressor SAUQ-1105 weighs only 29.8 pounds, making it easy to move around, and produces only 60 decibels when operating. The model comes with a hotdog air tank that can hold 1 gallon, which is adequate for commercial and private projects that require the use of portable air tools.

This compressor features an ergonomic handle that’s padded with rubber and attached to the roll cage. The performance of the SAUQ-1105 is enhanced by the 1/2 HP electric motor. The air pump in this air compressor is oil-free, making maintenance super-easy. Finally, the air pump has a capacity of 125 PSI.

What we like:

  •       Easily portable
  •       Quick recovery
  •       Maintenance free

What we don’t like:

  •       Small 1 gallon tank

The engine of the air compressor is very quiet, producing only 60 decibels. The legs that are padded with rubber make it easy to use on different types of surfaces. Overall, this model is a very high-quality quiet air compressor.

 

Rolair AB5PLUS 1 Gallon 0.5 HP 90 PSI Ultra Quiet Lightweight Portable Pump Electric Air Compressor

Even though this air compressor doesn’t come from the most recognizable name in the industry, you can rest assured that this manufacturer has been producing highly rated and reliable air compressors for many years. This RolAair AB5Plus is extremely easy to carry around and store away.

The roll cage protects the compressor from rollovers, bumps, and drops. The two gauges are extra large and easily readable, and the air tank fills really quickly thanks to the machine’s two-piston pump.

Best of all, this model is noticeably quieter than other air compressors, operating at only 59 decibels.

What we like:

  •       Very compact
  •       Quiet operation
  •       Lightweight

What we don’t like:

  •       Small 1 gallon tank

The RolAir has some great features: a protective plastic pump cover, cord wrap, double-piston pimp, comfort handle grip, and rubber footpads. It’s great for on-the-go or a garage workshop.

 

What To Consider When Investing In A Quiet Air Compressor

It’s important to take the following into account when buying a quiet air compressor.

Noise Levels

Okay, so this one’s obvious. When you’re looking for a quiet air compressor, the first thing you want to look for is the decibel levels. Like we previously mentioned, everything below 80 decibels is considered quiet. 

To give you a better idea of decibel levels, think of it like this: a conversation between two people is about 55 to 65 decibels, while a ticking clock is about 20 decibels. If you’re looking for an extra quiet air compressor, look for one that is below around 50 decibels.

Tank Capacity

The air compressor will be able to hold more air if it has a bigger tank capacity. To determine how much air your air compressor can store, you need to combine the compressor’s maximum pressure with the size of the tank, usually given in gallons.

The tank capacity is from 1 gallon to 30 gallons or more. However, the average storage capacity of an air compressor is about 6 gallons. Generally, maximum pressure is around 150 PSI, although some air compressors have lower processors and some have higher ones.

Large tanks are great since they can handle two or more tools at the same time, and this is especially useful if you’re starting major projects. However, a medium-sized tank will do just fine if you’re getting it for simple DIY tasks.

Purpose

The noise level of the air compressor you’re going to buy is determined what the compressor is being used for. Put differently, the specifications of the air compressor are determined by the type of work you intend to do with it.

Also, the reason you’re buying the compressor should also determine how much you’re actually willing to spend on it. As air compressors get quieter, they usually go up in price.

Your intention with the air compressor will also help you in finding out if you only need the low-noise feature, or if you need to prioritize factors like tank storage size, pressure, volume, and so on.

Maintenance

Most people are looking for an air compressor that will be easy to maintain. Electric-driven and modern air compressors are a lot easier to maintain, especially the ones that have oil-free motors. A simple water-drain valve will help out a lot, so make sure your tank has one.

Oil-free air compressors are usually preferred over oil-lubricated air compressors because they are easier to take care of. Keep in mind that oil-lubricated air compressors require users to constantly check if there’s any oil dripping into the air tank.

Air Volume

Different pneumatic tools have different needs for air: some need smaller quantities, while others need greater. Air volume is measured in CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute. For small air compressors, this usually ranges between 2 and 3 CFM. This metric will determine how your air tools perform. The air compressor needs to be able to meet the needs of the air tools.

For instance, an air compressor with low CFM can be used for inflating tires, while an air compressor with high CFM can be used in industrial applications.

PSI

PSI, or pounds per square inch, is another important factor you need to consider when buying an air compressor. PSI measures the amount of pressure per square inch of space. This is basically the amount of force your air compressor can deliver.

The average air compressor has at least 90 PSI, since most tools need at least that to operate. Instead of buying an air compressor with a high PSI, it’s usually better to get an air compressor where the PSI can be adjusted through regulation gauge or valves.

Horsepower

Horsepower, or HP, is the amount of power that a motor can perform. However, this factor isn’t as important as PSI and CFM, since there are newer models that work perfectly fine with less HP. Also, you might save on energy bills if you have less horsepower.

Warranty

A good air compressor will usually be guaranteed against defects for at least a year, although there are some manufacturers that offer even longer warranties. The air compressor is more valuable if it has a longer warranty.

What Makes an Air Compressor Quiet?

You might be wondering about the difference between a noisy and quiet air compressor. Even though the function is the same, there are some things on the compressor that are modified to make it operate quietly.

The factors that make an air compressor quiet are, firstly, rubber isolation pads, which are a great material for absorbing vibrations and sounds. Secondly, lower RPM, i.e., compressor pumps with low RPM’s. Lastly, the power source affects the noise of an air compressor. An electric-powered air compressor is quieter than a gas-powered compressor.

How To Make an Air Compressor More Quiet

The most effective way to reduce the noise of an air compressor is to install a noise suppressor or an intake silencer. A silencer will help dampen the noise thanks to its insulating material that absorbs sound waves. The noise compressor makes noise levels much more bearable because it reduces the pulsating sound that the compressor makes.

Another thing you can do is use an air compressor sound blanket. This blanket can reduce the air compressor’s decibel level. An air compressor sound blanket is specially designed from a material that muffles sound. These blankets can be wrapped directly around the compressor. However, take care that the exhaust, inlet valves, hoses, and cords of the air compressor aren’t trapped in the blanket.

Placing your air compressor in a soundproof enclosure is another way to reduce the noise it makes. You can create a soundproof enclosure yourself by using custom materials. For instance, you can use boards for the structure of the enclosure, and foam in order to muffle the sound. Make sure that there are holes cut out for the exhaust pipe, inlet valves, and cords.

As a last resort, you can place the air compressor far away from you, so the distance between you will reduce the amount of noise. For instance, you can place your air compressor in the garage.

Some other tips for reducing the noise are cleaning the air filter regularly, making sure that the air compressor is always lubricated, using protective muffles or earplugs to muffle sound, installing rubber footing at the base of the compressor, and performing regular maintenance to make sure that all of the components are operating smoothly.

Why Is a Quiet Air Compressor Useful?

Oftentimes, a loud air compressor can be off-putting to colleagues, customers, neighbors, or anyone around you. Reduced vibration will not only help the air compressor operate more quietly, but it will also allow less movement. If you opt for an oil-free air compressor, this will involve less maintenance and there will be no mess. 

Air Compressors and Your Health

Although using an air compressor that makes less noise is more convenient, there’s more to it than that. A loud air compressor can be the reason for hearing fatigue, which can result in temporary ringing in your ears or a killer headache. Even permanent hearing damage can occur if you’re exposed to the noise for a longer period of time, for instance, if you’re working on a project for several days.

When it comes to protecting your hearing, you should always opt for a quiet air compressor. Even though you can wear ear protection, there are times when you simply cannot find your ear muffs or earplugs. A quiet air compressor will not only provide you with a better working experience, but will also protect your hearing and overall health.

FAQs

Why Is My Air Compressor Making Noise?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the noise that your air compressor is making. Some of the main factors include the following: intake, exhaust, vibrations, the material it’s built from, compressor type, and where it’s placed.

Why Is My Compressor Humming?

The capacitor might be starting to fail if you hear humming. It’s either the capacitor or the motor of the machine that needs repairing.

Why Is My Compressor So Loud?

If you bought a quiet air compressor that isn’t silent anymore, it may mean that the compressor needs repair work. For instance, if there is a rattling sound, it usually means that there’s an element somewhere in your air compressor that came loose. If the sound is becoming louder and louder, then it’s definitely getting worse!  

Why Is My Compressor Making a Loud Noise?

Your air compressor might need replacing if you start to hear a loud noise. Bubbling or hissing usually means that there is a leakage in the refrigerant. Excessive internal pressure usually causes a screeching sound, which can be very dangerous.

Final Verdict

In this guide, you can see that there’s a pretty good selection of the best quiet air compressors available on the market right now. There isn’t a top contender because they each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. 

You should go for the one best suited for your needs and requirements. Make your choice based on your personal preferences and budget.

If you’re looking for a small and easily portable air compressor, then the CALIFORNIA AIR TOOLS CAT-1P1060SP GAL 56DB Air Compressor is the one for you. Another easily transferable air compressor ideal for indoor use is the Makita MAC100Q Quiet Series, 1/2 HP, 1 Gallon Compact, Oil-Free, Electric Air Compressor.

The Metabo HPT Air Compressor, Ultra-Quiet 59 dB, Portable, Oil-Free Pump, 1-Gallon Tank Capacity, Steel Roll Cage w/ Rubber Grip, Compact and Lightweight, 1-Year Warranty, (EC28M) is great for those who want a small, light-weight, and quiet compressor.

The STEALTH Ultra Quiet 1 Gallon Air Compressor, 1/2HP Max 125 PSI, 0.8 CFM@90PSI, Portable Oil-Free Light Weight Electric Air Tools, SAUQ-1105 requires little maintenance thanks to its oil free-pump, so it’s a good choice for those who are looking for a hassle-free air compressor.

The Rolair AB5PLUS 1 Gallon 0.5 HP 90 PSI Ultra Quiet Lightweight Portable Pump Electric Air Compressor has lots of great features which make it an excellent choice to finish and trim applications and tools.

Hopefully, our in-depth guide for each air compressor has made it easier for you to settle on the perfect product for your projects and goals.

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