What is the Best Small Air Compressor in 2021 For You?

In A Hurry !

Well, if you in a hurry, got no spare time, and just want to know which is the best small air compressor. Then I’d recommend the Makita 2.5 HP Air Compressor as the best companion.

Whenever you go out or go online for a small compressor shopping, there are many things running on your mind. Like choosing and comparing the products with each other to suit your requirements.

It’s the hard part that you have to overcome when buying the best small air compressor. And sometimes it becomes overwhelming to choose and compare the different compressor characteristics and their importance.

So, on that note, I did thorough research. Thus, wrote the helper buying guide to assist you in your hunt for the best small air compressor.

Best Small Air Compressor [Buying Guide 2021]

With the right knowledge, it becomes easy to make the right decision. As the saying goes “Knowledge is Power”. You should know the important factors of the air compressor that will back you up in the time of need.

So, let’s move forward with our best small air compressor buying guide. Below are the crucial points that’ll help you choose your desired air compressor.

CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)

The CFM is the crucial element of a small air compressor. It informs you about how fastly a small air compressor can supply air.

Let’s just say you attached a tool with your small compressor. That specific tool uses air with a speed that is more than the compressor can supply.

The result will not be in your favor. You’ll have to stop your work and wait for the compressor to catch-up with you. It has to refill itself to attain the same pressure again.

My advice to you is to choose a compressor that has a high CFM. So, you can perform your work quickly and precisely.

Tool Requirements

You also need to consider your tool requirements. That they are a good fit for your new handy-dandy air compressor.

Well, let suppose you got the top-notch compressor that you wanted. But, on the other side, your tool’s requirements are higher than your little air compressor can handle. Either there will be a malfunction or the compressor will not work at all.

Tank Size

The tank size is also an important factor. If you are going for heavy work. Then you should also be looking at the tank size. Because heavy machines demand more air.

A larger tank will provide more air storage thus, it’ll give you more workflow. Before the pressure decreases and you have to wait for the motor to kick back in to refill the tank.

Keep in mind that if you work has a massive air volume demand. Then a large tank can’t be a replacement for moderate CFM.

PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch)

PSI refers to as “Pounds Per Square Inch”. It’s the amount of force applied to a square inch of space. In simple words, another benefit it has is that a small air compressor with greater PSI can carry more air and perform the same as a large tank.

Let me give you an example. A 2-Gallon tank at 200 PSI can accommodate air equal to a 3-Gallon tank at 150 PSI.


Another key player you should watch out for is the noise. Many moments when you’re working with your air compressor. Your neighbors acknowledge your work and send you angry salutes.

How? Because of the voice of your compressor echoing in their ears. It’s not an easy situation. You’re thinking that who I should be dealing with first. Either the neighbor with a viper stare or my work that’s hanging like an Axe on my neck.

To tell you the truth, my uncle has an air compressor for paint that is loud as a truck. And the fascinating thing is his work cabin is close to my room. Yep, I always had these moments in my house.

Well, let’s come to the task at hand for now. The small air compressors are in the 40 to 90 decibels range. The higher the dB, the noisier the compressor will be. So, also consider dB when you are purchasing a small air compressor.

Space & Portability

Another fantastic thing about portable air compressors is space coverage. They’re small and gives you a lot of room and space to store these little buddies anywhere.

On that note, the loudmouth (tiny air compressor) in my house is of mid-range size. It’s a hot dog air compressor, not too big not too small. A bit heavier but works fine. We use it for spraying the metal frames.

Now when it comes to portability, it’s not only about the weight of an air compressor. Also, consider the air compressor shape, place you’re working in, does it have wheels or rubber feet?

Well, what I found out was the pancake air compressor is a perfect fit for covering all these aspects. Plus, they are affordable too, you know :).


Portability and durability go side by side. Because the air compressor has to go through different conditions. Such as various temperatures, traveling levels, or different types of terrains.

It’s crucial that the compressor should be durable enough to bear these situations. There will be no point if your compressor cannot holds its ground even to the first blow.

The good news is that now the market is bustling with many amazing small air compressors. Despite their smaller size, they are huge helpers and their performance is outclassing.

Power Source

Do check the power source, your beloved compressor runs on. If the source is electricity then pick up the one with an electric motor. The gas compressors which run on fuel and batteries are a fabulous choice for you.

Here is a point to ponder. Before you purchase, always check the voltage of the compressor it operates on.

Oil-Free Vs Oil-Lubricated

There are some major differences and crucial keynotes in this oil vs oil-lubricated air compressor debate.

The majority of DIYers, professionals, and home and garage owners use oil-free compressors for small DIY projects around the house. These buds technically don’t need oil.

On the other side, due to higher CFM, PSI, Horsepower, and other aspects, oil-lubricated air compressors are used for heavy-duty tools and jobs. No doubt, they use oil for cooler running temperature to withstand the heat and stress.

The question here is what type of oil you are going to use? i.e., special compressor oil or going beyond and using a synthetic air compressor oil. It depends on the type and brand of your air compressor and what your brand manufacturer says.

It’s a bit of a complicated situation. So, I have left our debate about oil vs oil-free air compressors into another session. But, no worries we have in our buying guide both types of compressors.


The last beast you have to watch out obviously is the price. In fact, the good thing about the market is now it is popular with cheap portable compressors. These little buddies have friendly prices as well as grant magnificent performance.

So, we are not going to rush things up. Thus, I will not let your budget go into the abyss.

Best Small Air Compressors Reviews [In 2021]

Here is the result of my deep investigation that led me to these 5 best small air compressors that are remarkable this year.

List of Best Small Air Compressors

NoBest Small Air CompressorsLorem Ipsum
01Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor4.8 / 5.0
02PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor4.7 / 5.0
03Makita, MAC700, High CFM Electric Air Compressor4.7 / 5.0
04Senco PC1010 Quiet Air Compressor43 / 5.0
05DEWALT DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor4.1 / 5.0

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor (Best for Heavy-Duty Tools + Editor’s Choice)

Makita has a robust 4-pole 2.5 HP motor. Which allows 4.2 CFM @ 90 PSI and 4.8 CFM @ 40 PSI. Thus, enforce you with industrial-grade power for difficult job sites.

Combined with Big Bore cast-iron pump with a cylinder and piston. This type of output power is enough to run two nailers for small projects.

It has a large automotive style industrial air filter that promotes air intake. Thus, magnifies your air tool’s performance and extends the tools working time.

Makita 2.5 is built with 4.2-gallon twin stacked tanks. These tanks have the potential to sustain 130 PSI operating pressure. Means, constant airflow for your air tools to work uninterrupted. That gives you a sense of peace while you are in action.

The Big Bore pump runs at a minimal RMP of 1,730 that cuts off noise 79 DBS. It is modestly quiet and provides the comfort you need.

Makita dimensions are 20 x 18 x 18.75 inches a quite dandy choice for storage. And weighs about 77 lbs. The Makita 2.5 has the signature roll bar with a grip. The grip eliminates the slippage problem. The roll bar itself helps in smoother lifting.

The roll cage skeleton intensifies the durability of the compressor. It provides protection to bear extreme job site conditions. ¼ inches a universal quick-connect coupler. Built-in thermal overload for increased motor protection.

Another great aspect of Makita 2.5 is the durable cast iron cylinder. It diminishes the compressor wear and heightens the pump life.

Copper finned discharge tubing magnifies heat dissipation. Thus, reduces water in the tank. Additionally, there is also a lever handle ball valve tank drain valve. That also the main supporter in eliminating rust-causing water.

Electrically powered with a lower AMP draw. Saves you from breaker tripping and voltage drops which cause premature motor failure.

As for the pump it has oil-lubrication. That makes the components run smoother. The oil pump keeps the running temperatures cooler and totally removes wear out.

The compressor also has a convenient oil drain valve and oil sight glass. They give you the pure bliss of easy maintenance and oil-replacement.

Well. if I have to say about the price. I would say it’s pricey. But, given all the features that have various benefits. It’s a fair deal for folks with tough jobs on their hands.

Also, in this review of our best small air compressor, the Makita 2.5 is by far the pricey one. But you know “Greater power comes at a greater price”.


  • Highest CFM
  • 1-year parts and labor warranty
  • Supports heavy tools and big jobs
  • Twin stacked tanks for a longer duration of work
  • Quieter than other industrial-grade compressors
  • Superior industrial-grade power for tough job sites
  • Low AMP draw eliminates tripping & motor failure issues
  • Oil-lubed pump for cooler temperature and smooth running
  • Compact roll-cage skeleton enhances durability and longevity


  • A bit on the heavier side
  • Product damage incidents due to poor shipping
  • Motor & pump are not covered by the frame from the sides


PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor (Best Budget Buddy)

PORTER has a powerful pump that grants 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI. Perfect for common folks who want to do DIY, garage work, and small projects.

Another great feature is the dual user couplers. You and your friend can work at the same time without any hiccups. High flow regulators maximize your air tool’s performance.

What I admire about Porter is the 6-Gallon tank. That gives a storage capacity with 150 PSI operating pressure. A continuous airflow for tools longer runtime and eliminates the stops in your work.

It comes with a 78.5 dBA noise level. Which gives a quiet working environment and comfort to your ears and for the neighbors.

It uses less space because of its smaller size. The framework is lighter and weighs about only 29 lbs. Thus, it gives you efficient portability.

The top carry handle gives a compact and balanced grip. Thus, making it an easy carriable choice.

The durability of Porter is off the charts. Its body is steel constructed and the main components are shielded heavily. Which maximizes its protection.

Additionally, it has tri-step legs with rubber feet. That reduces vibration to ensure the compressor’s longer lifespan.

Another benefit of rubber feet is to protect the floor surface from any damage. Such as on the wooden floors, it eliminates scratch problems.

The Porter is a corded air compressor that uses electricity as its power source. It has a 0.8 Hp motor with a low AMP (120 volts).

Enhanced with a high-efficiency induction motor. That gives a quick and easy start on harsh winter days. There is also an extension cord with replaceable brushes.

Combined with a pump that is maintenance and oil-free. Which means you don’t need to do any maintenance.

No oil leakage problem. No need to suffer from extra oil replacement costs. No oil stain cleaning and keeps your environment clean.

There is a water drain valve at the bottom. This valve drains out the condensed water that remains at the base of the compressor tank. Otherwise, that water can cause rust to the tank and destroy it from inside.

As for the price, there should be a beaming bright smile on your face. With all the amazing benefits its also packs a punch with its affordable price.

Did you know? PORTER is the cheapest of all air compressors in our best small air compressor buying guide. Means, no burden on your mind nor on your pocket :).

Plus, there is a 1-year limited warranty for the compressor parts. The compressor comes with an instruction manual to make your work breeze.


  • It doesn’t need any maintenance
  • Two hoses for simultaneous dual-user work
  • It perfectly works with vast types of air tools
  • 6-gallon tank gives you massive air tools runtime
  • Lightweight framework for heightened portability
  • Affordable price as compared to other compressors
  • A Magnificent budget choice for crafters and hobbyists
  • No oil leakage or cleaning hassle and nor any extra replacement costs


  • The compressor is Noisier
  • Needs break-in-procedure
  • Shows some vibration on smooth surfaces like concrete


Makita MAC700 High CFM Electric Air Compressor (Great Power & Value)

Makita has a powerful 4-pole motor of 2.0 HP. Which delivers 3.3 CFM @ 90 PSI and 3.8 CFM @ 40 PSI industrial power. Reliable best buddy not only for home improvement jobs, small projects, DIYers, professionals. But also, for tough job sites.

Equipped with Big Bore cast-iron pump with a cylinder and piston. Which grants greater stroke for elevated compression and speed recovery while working.

It has a large industrial style air filter that boosts air intake. Which also maximizes your air tool’s performance for smooth work.

Another great aspect is the hot dog tank. That has a storage capacity of 2.6 Gallons that maintains an operating pressure of 130 PSI. This means continuous airflow for longer tool runtime.

Big bore designed pump of lower RMP of 1,730 that reduces noise (80 DBS). Making the environment noise-free and provides comfort to your ears.

Moderate size with dimensions of 18 x 22 x 10 in and weighs about 52 lbs. A quite dandy choice for storage. Rollbar handle with a grip for efficient portability and increased protection.

The well-engineered cast iron structure increases the durability of the compressor. Which makes it a tough opponent against harsh job site conditions.

The discharge tubing is copper finned which enhances heat dissipation. Thus, reduces water in the tank. Additionally, there is also a tank drain valve installed at the base of the compressor. It helps in eliminating all the condensed water in the tank to completely stop internal rust.

This handsome buddy is electrically powered. It has a lower AMP range that saves you from excruciating problems. Such as breaker tripping and voltage drops that can cause premature motor failure.

Plus, it has an oil-lubricated pump that makes the components run smoother. Another benefit of the oil-lubed pump I would like to mention is the coolant effect. The running temperatures are cooler because of oil-lubrication to avoid quick wearing out.

Makita compressor also has a convenient oil drain valve and oil sight glass. Both of them help in quicker maintenance and oil-replacement.

Counting all the benefits and a huge helper it is. We can fairly say it has a moderate price. The manufacturers are also giving a 1-year limited warranty for customer satisfaction.


  • Brilliant customer support
  • Best Beast for heavy-duty projects
  • 1-year limited manufacturer warranty
  • Robust power flow for uninterrupted work
  • Oil-lubricated pump grants cooler running temperatures
  • Powerful induction motor for a wide range of power tools
  • Big Bore piston and cylinder for durability and longer lifetime
  • Rubber feet eradicate the vibration threat and protect wood floors


  • It’s moderately expensive
  • The oil-lubricated pump needs maintenance
  • Product damage incidents due to poor shipping


Senco PC1010 Compressor (Best For Light-Duty Tools)

The Senco dear here is the one with 0.7 CFM @ 90 PSI. An ideal homeowner’s choice like myself. But, it’s not going to give you the industrial power you are thinking of.

Serves 1 horsepower peak and ½ running horsepower. Direct drive induction motor with a pump of 3400 RMP for speedy efficient work. A beneficial choice for tools like Nailers, Pinners, and Air Brush.

The regulators ensure desired pressure according to tools requirements. It can deliver up to 20 – 44 drives per minute depending on the tool application.

The tank size comes with a normal storage capacity of 1 gallon. This type of storage capacity is brilliant for light-duty work. Jobs like renovation projects and home improvement. Other activities including hobbies, and crafts.

The Senco needs 2 minutes to fill a 1-gallon tank from 0 to 125 PSI. The recovery time of the compressor is 35 seconds. Thus, it is reliable for a faster workflow.

The fantastic thing about this little beast is its silent nature. It has 65 dBA. That means no irritation to your ears as well as a comfort for the neighbors.

Amazingly, it’s from the lightweight air compressor class. Weighs only about 20 pounds. Which gives quick maneuvering during your work and makes it an easy carriable choice.

For enhanced portability, there is a roll bar with a foam grip. That adds protection as well for the user.

The cylinder is crafted with aluminum which is stronger and reliable. This increases its longevity.

There are rubber feet clamps on which the compressor stands. These rubber feet eradicate the risk of scratches to wooden floors.

Another important part that this quiet air compressor has is the drain and relief valve. The relief valve is for safety measures. While the drain valve is for draining water from the tank to stop erosion incidents.

The Senco power source is electricity. Geared up with a 6 feet long electric power cord of 115 Volt. Draws only 4 Amps.

No need to worry about the oil. The pump is maintenance and oil-free. Plus point for those who don’t want any oil leakage cases, cleaning duties or oil changing costs.

Senco has a lovely affordable price. Plus, they are also giving a 1-year warranty for your heart’s satisfaction.


  • Quietest member of your family
  • No oil leakage, cleaning, and extra costs
  • Lightweight and well-built aluminum frame
  • No hassle of maintenance of different components
  • Great buddy for renovation, home improvement, trim work
  • Works well with a nailer, airbrush, stapler, pinner for small jobs


  • The CFM is low
  • Storage capacity is low
  • The tank empties quickly
  • Not designed for tough jobs


DEWALT DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor (High SCFM & PSI For Light Duty Tools)

It is a powerful compressor engineered with a 1.1 HP motor operated at 120V. The low 8-amp current consumption ensures easy and fast start-up. Plus, it also minimizes breaker tripping frequency.

Pump throughput of 3.0 SCFM at the rate of 90 PSI for prolonged tool usage. With a 200 max PSI pump in, it can be used for multiple inflated and air tool purposes. The extra benefit is the recovery in a very short time.

The impressive tank capacity of 2.5 gallons plus max PSI delivers a higher runtime. Time-saving with no pauses in the work for frequent refilling.

A solid concern is about the unpleasant and unwanted sounds. These are generated by the compressor during routine operations. Greater noise levels can irritate the individuals near-by.

Yet, with a moderate noise level of 71 dB, one should be worry-less about the rowdy environment.

Sometimes, you have to drain the tank thoroughly, ball drain valve helps you here. Furthermore, there is a high flow regulator to boost-up the performance.

The single compressor can do two different tasks at once with the help of two universal couplers. Dual user type with no loss of pressure.

With a lightweight of 36 lbs. and sturdy roll-cage design, it allows convenient transportability. Convenient to move around any site or within the workplace.

Space-saver and easy to operate, as it can be operated and kept in both vertical and horizontal positions at any job site.

The oil-free pump ensures hassle-free maintenance. The efficiency and durability are enhanced with the oil-free pump. Also, there is no extra cost of oil-refilling.

As far as price is concerned, it’s a bit expensive but not let your pocket out of budget. Proceed to click on buy.


  • Low-temperature start-up
  • Oil-less and efficient pump
  • Higher CFM and PSI rating
  • A double outlet for dual-use
  • Portable and easy to transport
  • Oil-free and prolonged durability
  • Can be operated and stored in both vertical and horizontal positions


  • Build pressure slowly
  • Pressure loss after usage
  • Leakage occurs at the regulator
  • The thermal switch may get faulty
  • Not the super quiet you’re thinking about


My Personal Recommendation

Naturally, whichever small compressor you are going to choose. It will depend on the situation and the type of work you are going to do. And if I had to select… the Makita 2.5 HP Air Compressor gets the top position in my book.

I do agree that Makita MAC2400 has a big price tag, but that comes with power, performance, durability, and high CFM, PSI. It is an excellent choice for all types of jobs ranging from lightweight up to heavier jobs.

But, compared to PORTER the Makita is on the heavier side in weight and price. The porter is all around the best budget air compressor who wants to save money and worried about portability. But, the porter is really a noisier one to get along with.

If you’re looking for a balance with price and power then the Makita MAC700 is your type. Cheaper than the Makita MAC2400 and more durable, high power and performance.

I would recommend you to research deeply and do ask your work friends to help you out as well. Lastly, I do say that Makita is a little bit heavier. But, that’s acceptable with all other benefits, it’s giving.


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