What is the Best Small Air Compressor? [2021 Reviews]

Why You Should Choose Makita MAC2400?

“Time is Money” as the Quote speaks itself… What’s really important is to save your time and money. So, following the quote, I am giving you “My Personal Recommendation” on the best small air compressor. Based on our deep analysis, and hard research, the Makita MAC2400 is overall best due to its power, performance, durability, and high CFM, and PSI. It is an excellent choice for all types of jobs ranging from lightweight up to heavier jobs.

Small air compressors play an extremely important role in your DIY, woodworking, and other projects. Whether you’re in your garage, home, or shop doing painting, framing, inflating, etc.

For me personally, in my garage, I am usually doing the inflating and painting work with my compressor. I say this is the easy part because of my work experience. But, a bit rigorous part is the purchasing of these compressors.

Because there are a lot of brands, with a lot of variations, and with different types just in small air compressors. And going out in the market what I have learned is to must have a hawk-eye when you’re trying to get these types of air compressors.

Whether you’re out in the market or in front of your PC there are many things running on your mind. Like choosing and comparing the products with each other to suit your work requirements.

It’s the hard part as I have said before 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 and wrote this buying guide. It’ll assist you in your hunt for the best small air compressor. Plus, at the end of the guide, there are some crucial answers that’ll solve the questions in your mind as well.

Best Small Air Compressor 2021 [Buying Guide]

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 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.

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.

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.

Noise

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 :).

Durability

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 the cooler running temperatures 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.

Price

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 Compressor Reviews [In 2021]

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

List of Best Small Air Compressor

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor [Best Rated Small Air Compressor Overall]

4.9 / 5.0

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 its 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 is 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”.

Pros

  • 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
  • Compact roll-cage skeleton enhances durability and longevity
  • Oil-lubed pump for cooler temperature and smooth running

Cons

  • 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 Small Pancake Air compressor [Best Small Air Compressor For The Money]

4.8 / 5.0

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor [Best Small Air Compressor For garage, Home & Shop]

4.8 / 5.0

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Senco PC1010 Air Compressor [Best Quiet Small Air Compressor]

4.3 / 5.0

The Senco dear here is the one with 0.7 CFM @ 90 PSI. An ideal homeowner’s choice just 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 on 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 change costs.

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

Pros

  • Quietest member of your family
  • No oil leakage, cleaning, & extra costs
  • No hassle of components maintenance
  • Lightweight and well-built aluminum frame
  • Best for nailers, airbrushes, staplers, pinners
  • Great for renovation, home improvement, trim work & other small jobs

Cons

  • 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 [Best Small Portable Air Compressor]

4.0 / 5.0

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 nearby.

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, the 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.

Pros

  • 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 & stored in both vertical & horizontal positions

Cons

  • Build pressure slowly
  • Pressure loss after usage
  • Leakage occurs at the regulator
  • The thermal switch may get faulty

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 MAC2400 Big Bore 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. It’s an all-around best small air compressor for air tools.

But, compared to PORTER the Makita is on the heavier side in weight and price. The porter is all-around the best air compressor for the money.

But, if your work demands a lot of movement from one site to another and you’re worried about portability. Then the DEWALT DWFP55130 is your companion because of its unique horizontal and vertical positioning ability.

The Senco PC1010 is a small quiet type of air compressor. Built for light-duty DIY, home, garage work, and for people who are more of a silent type! you know…

If you’re looking for a balance with price and power then the Makita MAC700 is your type. Cheaper than the Makita MAC2400 and built for garage, shop, and home.

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 MAC2400 is a little bit heavier. But, that’s acceptable with all other benefits, it’s giving.

Best Small Air Compressor FAQs

Q: What can I do with a small air compressor?

Ans: With our above list of best small air compressors you can easily do woodworking, DIY projects, automotive, and other heavy to light-duty work in your shop, home, garage. The tools you can run with these small air compressors include framing nailers, finish nailers, pneumatic impact wrenches, air guns, LVLP sprayers, and other tools as well.
Note: DeWalt DWFP55130 can’t run 1/2″ impact wrench due to lower capacity.

Q: How much is a small air compressor?

Ans: Since we’re talking about the small air compressors. Based upon the CFM, PSI, HP, voltage, power source, tank capacity, and other factors they cost between $100 to $500.

Q: Who makes the best small air compressor?

Ans: The brands who make the best small air compressors:
1. Makita
2. Porter-Cable
3. DeWalt
4. Senco
5. Bostitch
6. Craftsman
7. California Air Tools
8. Metabo HPT [Previously Hitachi]

Q: What is the best small air compressor?

Ans: List of best small air compressors in 2021
1. Makita MAC2400 – Best Rated Small Air Compressor Overall
2. PORTER-CABLE C2002 – Best Small Air Compressor For The Money
3. Makita MAC700 – Best Small Air Compressor For garage, Home & Shop
4. Senco PC1010 – Best Quiet Small Air Compressor
5. DEWALT DWFP55130 – Best Small Portable Air Compressor

Q: Where to buy small air compressor?

Ans: Well, below are the most recommended places to buy small air compressors:
1. Amazon [Our Recommendation]
2. Home Deport
3. Lowes
4. Acme Tools
5. Toolbarn

Q: How many watts does a small air compressor use?

Ans: A small air compressor with 110 Volts drawing up 15A (Amps) consumes up to 1650W (Watts). While a similar small air compressor with 220 Volts drawing 15A (Amps) uses up to 3300W (Watts). You can determine Watts by just multiplying the “Volts” compressor uses with the “Amps” it is drawing up. For example (110V x 15A = 1650W).

Related Posts
best-quiet air-compressor
Best Quiet Air Compressor For Garage & Workshop [in 2021]

Yep, our today's best quiet air compressor buying guide will help you eliminate noise from your peaceful garage and workshop.

Oil-Vs-Oil-Free-Air-Compressor
Oil Vs Oil Free Air Compressor [Which One Is Good In 2021]

In today's epic oil vs oil free air compressor talk, we'll know what oil or oil-free compressor is? there Pros Read more

Best-6-Gallon-Air-Compressor
What is the 6 Gallon [Best Pancake Air Compressor 2021]

Powerful, portable, & cheap compressor is every DIYer, shop & garage folks need & to fulfill it we wrote this Read more

How-to-Wire-Pressure-Switch-on-Air-Compressor
Air Compressor Pressure Switch Wiring Guide 2021

Pressure switch wiring is a smooth task unless you're a pro. But don't worry... with our “step-by-step wiring guide” it's Read more

air-compressor-pressure-switch
Air Compressor Pressure Switch [Parts, Types, Working 2021]

What's an air compressor pressure switch? Its parts, their working, what is cut in cut out pressure & popular pressure Read more

Best Synthetic Air Compressor Oil [Buying Guide 2021]

Do you know that friction works as Hitman for your compressor? So, to eliminate this Hitman, you should use the Read more

Best-Air-Compressor-Oil
Best Air Compressor Oil Guide For [My Compressor 2021]

A best air compressor oil helps you prevent friction, overheating, parts wear, carbon sludge deposits & keeps your compressor smoothly Read more

best-gas-air-compressor
Best Gas Air Compressor [Portable & Affordable 2021]

Now, these chaps are durable & powerfully built for heavy-duty outside jobs. So, to ensure that you have the best Read more

Spread The Knowledge!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll To Top