Air compressors are a mandatory tool in many industries and a commonly found application in carpentry, filing tires, DIY panting, auto repairs, dental, and similar others. But the issue with the standard air compressors is the significant annoying noise they make. It is not just bad for the customers visiting a workplace, but it is also a safety concern for workers. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published study shows that regular air compressors (>100 decibels) are one of the major reasons behind noise-induced hearing loss. Therefore, the best alternative is to opt for a quiet air compressor, as it not only reduces the noise significantly, but also delivers the same performance. This article presents a comprehensive guide on quiet air compressors.
What is a Quiet Air Compressor?
A quiet air compressor is an air compressor that is designed to operate quietly with as minimum noise as possible. A quiet air compressor combines extra noise insulation, machine precision, and enhanced lubrication to absorb the majority of the noise generated during the operation. It is ideal for closed areas, while its noise cancellation nature makes it an environmental-friendly machine.
A noise generated by an air compressor is measured in decibels (dB). The lower the value of dB, the quieter the compressor will be. A general air compressor is valued at 130 dB. Any air compressor that generates below 75 dB of noise is termed a “quiet” air compressor. Many high-quality quiet air compressors are producing even below 60 dB sound, making them a more preferable choice, often called ultra quiet air compressors.
Working Principle of a Quiet Air Compressor
A quiet air compressor is designed with the key feature of noise insulation and mainly comes with a cover that dampens most of the sound. Its interior contains noise reduction forms that stop the sound to get transmitted from one part to another. Its outside body is designed with a strong noise-insulating cover that prevents any interior sound to escape outside. Similar to other compressors, a quiet air compressor also provides the option to opt for a single-stage or dual-stage belt-driven setup to get a jet of compressed air.
As the quiet air compressor has to deliver the performance with no noise, so its built with material that is also of top-quality, that makes the whole compression mechanism generate less noise. In addition, the piping systems of some quiet air compressors also come with vibration and sound insulators, which helps to prevent the noise generated from there. Besides that, transparent oil level is another added feature in some quiet air compressors, as it helps to avoid generating noise during regular checks.
Types of Air Compressors
The air compression mechanism is one of the crucial main elements that impact the noise generated by a compressor. There are three main types of air compressors as follow:
- Reciprocating Compressors
The most commonly used air compressor is the reciprocating compressor that uses pistons to pump air in by cycling up/down rapidly. Reciprocating compressors can be with one or double piston models. However, double pistons mean less work by each piston and reduced noise. Such compressors come with cast iron thicker cylinders, which reduces the vibration noise significantly.
- Rotary Screw Compressors
Rotary screw compressors involve massive screws that are synced together without touching each other. They continuously spin, which forces the air forward and into the container. Compared to reciprocating compressors, rotary screw compressors are highly expensive but quieter. The reason behind quietness is that it continuously remains in motion, which avoids vibration and enhances performance.
- Scroll Compressors
Scroll compressors are the most expensive and quietest compressors. Such compressors’ motors are similar to rotary ones, but involves one big stationary spiral element and another small one that fits in the big stationary one. The smaller one performs motion in a circular manner up/down a cylinder, which makes the air flow into the container. Being extremely quiet, scroll compressors are used to continuously run in commercial factories or high-end medical use.
5 Best Quiet Air Compressors
There are many manufacturers that are developing quiet air compressors, but finding the quietest among them might be a hassle. The best way is to review the rating sheet of those compressors to pick the one that is best in performance and noise cancellation. Following are the five best quiet air compressors:
California Air Tools 8010
- Noise level – 60 dBA
- It provides the best combination of low noise and massive power.
- Comes complete with Wheel Kit & Air Filter
- Max Pressure – 120 PSI
- Max Continuous run time – 30-60 min (depending on PSI & CFM)
- Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs
- Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
- The large 8.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is Lightweight (48 lbs) and the wheel kit makes it very easy to transport
- The Oil-Free pump allows for use in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrains | This air compressor is ideal for anyone working inside where noise is a major issue
- Low 71.5 dB allows for quieter operation
- 3.0 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump
- 2.5 gallon tank
- 200 max PSI
- Pump Speed 2,300 rpm
- Durable oil Free pump provides extended maintenance
- High flow regulator for increased Performance
- Low 12 amp draw Motor provides Easy start up and reduces breaker tripping
- Lightweight (36 pounds), thin (12.5″) and Compact Design is Easy to carry and store
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S
- The California Air Tools Light & Quiet1P1060SP Portable Air Compressor is designed to be one of the quietest air compressors in the industry having only 56 decibels of sound.
- The .6 HP motor operates at only 1680 RPM creating less noise and less wear.
- The New ‘IP’ Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free Motor is a Large Single Piston Pump design is engineered for high performance and durability.
- The 1.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is Lightweight (34 lbs) making it very easy to transport.
- The 1P1060SP Air Compressor has a Oil-Free Single Piston pump designed to have a life cycle before wear of 3000 Plus hours compared to other comparable air compressors with life cycles of 250 hours or less.
- The Oil-Free Pump allows for use in a variety of different temperatures (cold) and uneven terrains.
- This air compressor is great for the garage and perfect for cleaning and inflating tires, beds, toys and sport balls.
- This air compressor is ideal for anyone working inside where noise is a major issue.
- The easy to see and read control panel makes using this air compressor even more user friendly.
California Air Tools 10020C
- The CALIFORNIA AIR TOOLS 10020C Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free Air Compressor is designed to be one of the quietest 2.0 Hp air compressors in the industry having only 70 decibels of sound.
- The Powerful ‘New’ 2.0 HP (SP-9421) motor operates at only 1680 RPM creating less noise and less wear.
- The ‘New’ SP Series of Ultra Quiet Air Compressor Motors have been designed to increase duty cycle and allow for longer continuous run times. The Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System is engineered for high performance and durability.
- The CAT-10020C Air Compressor has an Oil-Free Dual Piston pump designed to have a life cycle before wear of 3000 plus hours compared to other comparable air compressors with life cycles of 500 hours or less.
- The Oil-Free pump allows for use in a variety of temperatures (cold starts) and uneven terrains (no oil in the pump).
- The Easy Start Valve feature allows for a easier start up using less starting amps.
- The Easy Start Valve releases a small amount of air from the pump at start up to produce a no-load condition allowing the motor to spin freely. This no-load start up requires less amps for an easier start up in cold temperatures.
- The large 10 Gallon Steel Air Tank with wheel kit makes it very easy to move around the jobsite, shop or garage.
- Designed for the person looking for Power, Air Flow, Less Service and Maintenance with at Least 30% Less Noise!
Campbell Hausfeld DC040500
- At just 38 lbs W/ a lighter aluminum twin stack tank & ergonomic carrying handle, this compressor is 50% lighter & easy to move for contractors & DIYers. 125 max PSI, 2.2 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.2 @ 40 PSI
- Designed to be one of the quietest air compressors in the industry. At only 68 dba, it’s the lowest sound levels of any air compressor we offer and 50 % quieter than comparable compressors
- Key components last up to four times longer; the dual PISTON pump system is engineered for high performance and durability and it produces 25% more air compared to other 1.0 HP air compressor motors
- The durable, oil free pump provides extended maintenance-free operation with superior motor performance
- Start your projects right away; bundle this unit with a Campbell 50 ft. Air hose (PA121600AV), 17 piece accessory kit (MP284701AV), and the 3-in-1 inflation gun, chuck and gauge (MP600000AV)
- Finish your projects faster and easier with Campbell Hausfeld. The Air Power Expert
Due to the diverse range of applications associated with air compressors, they are a valuable tool to have around. But some are very noisy and annoying, which makes the situation even worst in the case of closed spaces. Therefore, it is best to buy a quiet air compressor that is designed specifically to be as quiet as possible with a low decibel rating.
So, if you are looking to buy a new air compressor, make sure you are checking the decibel and other ratings properly before deciding which one to pick. But if you have an old air compressor that is noisy, then there are multiple ways to reduce its noise. In a nutshell, it all depends on your budget, as it’s ideal to buy a new quiet air compressor if you can afford it, otherwise you can opt for modifying the old one to reduce its noise significantly.