An air compressor for home use can help you do lots of fun and useful things in your garage, home workshop or even household DIY projects.
If you’re tired of taking your car to the gas station to inflate your tires, or if you’re serious about DIY projects like carpentry, car repairs, or any other pneumatic tool-driven hobby, then you probably need to own the best air compressor for home use.
A home air compressor is a significant investment and getting the right model will ensure you a useful, efficient model.
So to make sure you get the right size air compressor for your DIY project, I have prepared this article to help identify the best model. Additionally, I have provided a review of the top best model for you to choose from.
Best size air compressors for home use in 2021
1. PORTER-CABLE C2002 UMC Oil-Free Pancake Compressor
The air compressor comes with a powerful and efficient low amp 120-volt motor, which starts easily in cold weather, features replaceable brushes, and equipped with an extension cable.
The PORTER-CABLE C2002 also comes with a six-gallon pancake tank with 150 maximum PSI to provide a long runtime and optimal productivity. Furthermore, for efficient performance and fast recharge, the C2002 runs at 3.7 SCFM @40 PSI and 2.6 SCFM @90 PSI while the inbuilt automatic thermal overload protection prevents it from overheating.
Features & Pros:
- Maintenance-Free Reliability
- Mess-free, oil-free operation
- Support two users at once
- Clean, efficient operation
- High-flow air regulator
- User-Friendly Design
- Low-quality accessories kit
- Instruction manual not detailed enough
2. DEWALT D55146 Compressor with Wheels Review
The air compressor has 225 maximum PSI and runs at 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI which allows for quick recovery time. The model also comes with an oil-free, maintenance-free motor for convenient use. The air compressor uses an efficient high-pressure technology which extends the pump and motor life.
If you need an air compressor that offers great power and requires low maintenance, the DEWALT D55146 is an ideal choice for you. It also comes with a durable metal console panel that provides a display area while protecting the unit’s couplers, regulator, and gauges.
The model also comes with two all-terrain non-flat foam tires which offer portability. Its dual connections allow you to operate up to three framing nailers or two roofing nailers simultaneously.
Features & Pros:
- Oil-free, maintenance-free pump
- Low operational noise level
- Metal console panel
- Space saving design
- High flow coupler
- Collapsible handle
- Takes too long for the tank to fill up
- Doesn’t come with hose or attachments
3. California Air Tools CAT-4610AC Electric Air Compressor Review
The compressor motor is also designed to improve the duty cycle while allowing longer, continuous run times. The oil-free double piston pump system has been designed to provide high performance and better durability.
The California Air Tools CAT-4610AC has no trouble inflating your standard vehicle tire from 1 psi and 35 psi without any interruptions. The unit also kicks in and ensures that there is a steady airflow, even as it refills the tank.
The Twin Tank design allows providing enough air when running your power tools.
Features & Pros:
- Stainless Steel Reed Valves
- Powerful oil-Free motor
- High PSI threshold
- Large Dual Pistons
- Easy to maintain
- Quiet operation
To avoid buying an air compressor and realize you bought the wrong model, it’s vital you figure out the best size air compressor you require. The following points will help you determine what type and why the size of air compressor you need for your home use.
Types of projects
Do you need an air compressor for big construction projects or occasional maintenance jobs? Are you looking for an air compressor for a home upgrade of automotive repair? You need to figure out what type of activities you will be using the air compressor for. If you’re planning on putting up a shed in your backyard, you need something sturdy.
Types of air tools
Some air tools, especially those that need constant air flow like a sandblaster or a vibrator, you need an air compressor that has a bigger air storage tank and a high airflow. But, to operate something with occasional stops like a brad nailer, a small portable model will do.
A most portable air compressor can plug into a typical home power outlet while others do even use battery power. However, some large models require a 240-volt power source.
That means you need to check what system you use in your home; is it a three-phase or a single phase. If a single-phase then you cannot use a 240-volt air compressor, but if you have a three-phase and you use a 110-120-volt system you can hire an electrician for an upgrade for the unit.
How big is your storage unit? If you have small storage space, I would recommend you go for a portable model that comes with a little or no air tank, and if you have a big empty storage space the bigger, the better. A portable six-gallon air compressor can be great for most of home pneumatic tools and great for small storage space.
Place of use
If you’ll be undertaking your projects in one workplace, a garage or workshop, there is no need to worry about your air compressor design. However, if you plan on moving your tools around and frequently, you’ll need an air compressor that is lightweight, portable and easy to carry, probably with a handle(s) or wheels.
Air Tool CFM Requirements
The airflow rating on an air compressor is the most crucial thing you need to pay attention to when searching for the best size air compressor for home use.
Noted as CFM-Cubic Feet per Minute or SCFM-Standard Cubic Feet per Minute, should at least meet the minimum CMF rating requirement of the air tool you’ll be using. And since the compressor CFM changes depending on the set pressure (PSI), it’s better to use the CFM at 90 Psi air compressor rating while comparing the units.
Every pneumatic tool has a recommended CFM that’s is set by the manufacturer, if not met the machine might not underperform or not work at all and if exceeded the tool might get damaged. F
or you to determine the CFM rating, you will need to run your air compressor, take the highest CFM rating of the air tool you are planning to power, and multiply it with 1.5.
That way you will get some wiggle room as CFM can vary while in operation, and you might also want to connect multiple air hoses to power a couple of air tools at the same time, if your air compressor allows it, or you might need to upgrade your air tool in future.
An air compressor horsepower is yet another common rating touted by the manufacturers of these units. It isn’t as important as the CFM rating, but it will give you a broad idea of the strength and powerfulness of your compressor power. The air compressor’s horsepower helps in determining how to power the motor is in filling/refilling the air tank.
The sizes of an air compressor tanks vary from 1 gallon to 60 gallons or even more. The air tank determines how long your air tool can run before exhausting the air and requiring the compressor to turn back on and pump more compressed air.
As I said before, specific pneumatic tools require continuous compressed air flow, and as such, they need an air compressor with a bigger tank than those that operate with short air flow bursts. The less the number of on/off cycles your motor has to undergo, the longer the lifespan.
Having given you the pointers to use to determine the best size air compressor for home use, it’s time now to provide you with the top three models ideal for home use. I have researched through and selected three models that would be great for different DIY projects and automotive repair, reviewed them and prepared the review below.
All the above information is there to ensure you get the best side air compressor for home use and the best model. Believing you have gone through it and you have understood what you need to check to buy the best model, it’s time for you to head out there and get a model that will suit you best.
Ensure you use a well-planned budget to prevent overspending. Additionally, proper maintenance will help in improving your air compressor’s durability.