Best Air Compressor for Home Use 1

Best Air Compressor for Home Use

An air compressor is a handy device to have in your home power tool arsenal for several good reasons, starting with its ability to power up a myriad pneumatic equipment such as paint sprayers, nail guns, tire inflators and much more.

However, buying the best air compressor for home use can be a daunting task, given the plethora of models available. But I’ve done the homework for you, and rounded off on 5 top models in this segment, and have also included a handy home air compressor buying guide to ease your buying decision.

*I hope you’ll love the products I recommend! Just so you know, Plumb and Lined may collect a share of sales or other compensation from some of the links on this page. 

My Top Pick

DEWALT D55151

Best Overall

My Rating
5/5

BEST AIR COMPRESSOR for HOME USE - COMPARISON TABLE

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Product

My Rating

Buy

#1. Best Overall Pick

DEWALT D55151

My Rating
5/5

The DEWALT D55151 tops this list of best air compressors for home use, owing to its power-packed 1.1 peak horsepower. Weighing in at 60 lbs, it offers an impressive air force of 125 psi, and delivers air at 3.2 CFM, making it a great choice to power up both small and large pneumatic tools.

Furthermore, it is equipped with a cast iron cylinder, which is solid, thermally stable and enhances the pump service life of the compressor. The DEWALT D55151 showcases a 4-gallon twin stack design, which is basically two hot dog compressors put together to collectively provide excellent air holding capacity for continuous use before the compressor turns back on.

The pump of the DEWALT D55151 home air compressor sprints at a whopping 3400 RPM, which results in higher efficiency and better reliability. Speaking of the pump, it requires periodic lubrication which provides for greater durability, and has the ability to power several power tools simultaneously.

The DEWALT D55151 air compressor is equipped with a high flow regulator, which when coupled with the integrated dual soft start valve allows the unit to easily and quickly startup in cold weather. In terms of noise, it runs smoothly and quietly at a fairly quiet 80 decibels, which to give you an idea is quieter than your kitchen blender, but loud enough to wake up a sleeping baby.

The D55151 air compressor by DEWALT comes with a new and improved drain valve to easily drain the water sitting at the bottom of the tank for increased lifespan of the unit. Adding to this, it boasts improved ergonomics, offers great weight distribution, and is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

Pros

  • 3400 RPM compressor speed
  • Dual soft start valve
  • 4-gallon twin stack design
  • 1 max HP
  • 2 CFM @100 psi
  • Oil lubricated pump

Cons

  • May be a little heavy to carry around

#2. Best Pancake

PORTER-CABLE C2002

My Rating
4.5/5

Coming in at the #2 position on this list of best home air compressors is the PORTER-CABLE C2002 – an air compressor that comes with a rich set of features. For starters, it can be ordered in a choice of three different styles including with accessory kit and tire gauge, where each offer 150 psi max tank pressure for longer tool run times.

Moving further, it weighs a modest 34 lbs, making it extremely lightweight compared to other models, and an ideal choice for home use, workshops or jobsites. In terms of power, the PORTER-CABLE C2002 air compressor doesn’t disappoint with an onboard powerful and efficient low-amp 120-volt motor.

This motor unlike the ones found in cheap air compressors features replaceable brushes, starts easily in cold weather, and is equipped with an extension cord for longer for optimal productivity. Adding to this its expansive set of features is integrated and automatic thermal overload protection which protects the motor from dangerous overheating.

With regards to performance, the C2002 air compressor runs at 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi and 3.7 SCFM at 40 psi, resulting in quicker recharge of its 6-gallon pancake-style tank. Simultaneously, its onboard high-flow air regulator allows more tasks to be completed at a higher pressure. The C2002 air compressor features a user friendly and maintenance free design, owing to its oil-free pump.

It comes with a water drain valve, and rubber feet to prevent scratching or marring of your wooden floors, and an improved handle, shroud and console for excellent protection and portability. The C2002 air compressor comes with two factory installed air couplers, hence can be used by two users at the same time.

Pros

  • Two air couplers
  • 10-amp motor
  • 150 max psi
  • Thermal overload protection
  • 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Quality of attachment air nozzle could be improved

#3. Best Portable

SENCO PC1010N

My Rating
4.5/5

If you’re looking for the best lightweight air compressor for home use, you really can’t go wrong with the SENCO PC1010N tool. It showcases a compact footprint of 14″x13″x10″, and tips the scales at just 21 lbs, making it a joy to carry around the house or work site. The PC1010N air compressor is designed with the novice and professional contractor in mind, and offers powerful and oil-free operation.

Additionally, it is appointed with easy to read gauges that are embedded within a well-laid out control panel, making it straightforward and easy to operate. Even though it does pack a mean punch under its hood, it does nothing more than whisper at 68 dBA when in work mode. It boasts a rust resistant, solid aluminum design, so you can rest assured it will last you several years to come with proper care.

Furthermore, it takes less than 2 minutes to start up, and offers a 30 second recovery time, owing to its 1-gallon tank for max 135 psi. This makes it an ideal choice for trim work and other similar jobs around your home. When it comes to safety, the SENCO PC1010N air compressor takes home the gold with features such as an integrated motor/pressure switch complete with a pressure release valve.

This switch when triggered releases the compressed air automatically from the pump head, and discharge line of the tool when it reaches cut-out pressure or is shut down, allowing it to restart freely. The pump of the PC1010N home air compressor is equipped with a protective breaker, which trips in the event of excess amperage draw to protect the user as well as the motor of the tool.

One of the other key features of the PC1010N air compressor is its air intake filer, which is reusable and washable for easy maintenance. To top things off, the SENCO PC1010N air compressor is backed by a 1-year warranty against any manufacturer defects. Take a closer look at the PC1010N in my review here.

Pros

  • 1-gallon tank – 135 max psi
  • Reusable air intake filter
  • Oil-free operation
  • Measures 14″x13″x10″, and weighs only 21 lbs

Cons

  • Quality of airline could be better

#4. Best Volume

CAMPBELL HAUSFELD DC080500

My Rating
4.5/5

The Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 is in a league of its own with its 68-dBA noise emission level, making it a great choice for both indoor and outdoor use. It works well for jobs such as hobby painting, inflation, fastening, stapling, nailing, bolting projects, and weighs a little over 54 lbs.

Furthermore, it comes with an oil-free, dual piston pump, which is engineered to last up to 4x longer than its competition. The pancake style compressor of the DC080500 air compressor boasts a max 125 psi, so you can expect nothing less superior performance. This air compressor by Campbell Hausfeld generates 25 percent more air compared to 1.0 HP air compressors, allowing you to complete projects faster.

It offers great portability, thanks to its large wheels, and is fitted with a steel handle and rubber grip, making it easy to haul across your projects. The Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor is backed by a 1-year limited warranty against any manufacture defects, making it a great investment for your home toolkit.

Pros

  • 125 max psi
  • 68-dBA noise level
  • Oil-free operation
  • Large wheels, steel handle with rubber grip
  • 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Air may leak around the regulator fittings

#5. Best Cordless

DEWALT DCC2560T1

My Rating
3.5/5

Another hit from the DEWALT product lineup – the DCC2560T1 FLEXVOLT air compressor is different than other models on this list, given its cordless design. It is equipped with a 6.0 Ah Flexvolt battery, and comes with a fast charger, which as the company claims works out to 1220 nails per charge with any standard brad nailer.

It comes with a brushless motor, which allows it to render 1.2 SCFM at 90 psi. Adding to this, its 2.5-gallon pancake tank provides just the right amount of volume to shoot 6 nails from a nailer before recycling. The DEWALT DCC2560T1 air compressor pressurizes to roughly 135 psi, and then takes roughly 2 minutes to fill up completely from empty.

Once the pressure dips below 100 psi, the compressor cycles back, and then takes 30 seconds to refill. The output pressure of the DCC2560T1 air compressor can be easily controlled by turning the regulator dial to your preferred output psi. It comes with a ¼ turn ball valve to quickly release air pressure and moisture, consequently preventing the air compressor tank from rusting.

The DEWALT DCC2560T1 air compressor offers fairly quite operation at 79 dB, and maintains continuous speed through a wide range of applications including deck lattice and door and window casing work. Made in the USA, the DCC2560T1 air compressor weighs 21.5 lbs, comes with wheels and a sturdy handle, and is backed by an industry leading 3-year limited manufacturer warranty.

Pros

  • Cordless!!
  • Weighs 21.5 lbs
  • 0 Ah Flexvolt battery and fast charger
  • ¼ turn ball valve for quick air pressure release
  • 3-year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • Battery may drain fast at times

BEST AIR COMPRESSOR for HOME USE - SPECS COMPARISON TABLE

DEWALT

D55151
BEST OVERALL
  • 4 gallon tank
  • 1.1 hp motor
  • 14 amp motor
  • 125 psi max
  • 3.2 SCFM @ 100 PSI
  • 53 lbs
  • oil lubrication

PORTER-CABLE

C2002
BEST PANCAKE
  • 6 gallon tank
  • .8 hp motor
  • 10 amp motor
  • 150 psi max
  • 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • 31 lbs
  • oil free

SENCO

PC1010N
BEST PORTABLE
  • 1 gallon tank
  • .5 hp motor
  • 4 amp motor
  • 135 psi max
  • .7 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • 21 lbs
  • oil free

C. HAUSFELD

DC080500
BEST VOLUME
  • 8 gallon tank
  • 1 hp motor
  • 7.5 amp motor
  • 125 psi max
  • 2.4 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • 67 lbs
  • oil free

DEWALT

DCC2560T1
BEST CORDLESS
  • 2.5 gallon tank
  • brushless motor
  • battery
  • 135 psi max
  • 1.2 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • 21 lbs
  • oil free
Best Air Compressor for Home Use 5

BUYER’S GUIDE: FEATURES to CONSIDER

Home use air compressors can be had in wide range of sizes, and with several different features. That said, here are a few important factors to consider to help you invest in the right one for your needs.

Sizes

This range of air compressors is lightweight, and easy to carry around either with the onsite handle or transport with wheels. They feature different style tanks ranging from 1 to 8 gallons, which is just enough to handle a wide range of tasks. 

Motor Power

Air compressors can be powered by gas, electricity generally provided via a 110–120V household electric outlet, and cordless that run off a rechargeable battery.

Performance

Perhaps one of the most important aspects to consider when on the shopping trail for the best home air compressor is the amount of air it can deliver. This is measured in Standard Cubic Feet per Minute, or SCFM, and varies depending on the amount of pressure in the air compressor represented by psi (pounds per square inch). If you plan on operating multiple pneumatic tools, look for models that offer a higher amount of power.

Tank Size

The size of the tank of an air compressor dictates how long the air tools will run for before the compressor is triggered on again. The size of air compressor tanks is rated in gallons, which can be anywhere between 1 to 80+ gallons, where the larger the tank, the higher volume of air for continuous use. When spraying paint or wall texture, you’ll get the best results with bigger tanks.

Pump Types

Apart from the two common pump types – single-stage compressors that have one or more cylinder, and two-stage compressors that have at least two cylinders, you can choose between oil-lubricated compressors and oil-free compressors.

Just as their names would suggest, oil-lubricated models require oil to operate just like a lawn mower or car engine, and are in most cases heavier than oil-free models. Contrarily, oil-free air compressors are often times much smaller and lighter than oil-lubricated models, owing to the lack of oil, but on the downside may not match the performance or longevity of oil-operated models.

Final Thoughts

When looking for the best air compressor for home use or small projects, you really can’t go wrong with any of the 5 models mentioned on this list. However, the DEWALT D55151 air compressor is a clear winner for most users, given its powerful 1.1 peak horsepower and its ability to render air at 3.2 CFM.   

Best Air Compressor for Home Use 4

Steve Wright

Steve Wright is a general contractor who over the last 30 plus years has built hundreds of new homes, ranging from first time affordable homes to multi-million dollar custom homes and everything in between.

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