The right air compressor for an individual’s needs is essential towards fulfilling the goals required. Whether the user is a private contractor, commercial enterprises or home user, these tools remain important diversely.
These machines are quieter when being used and less expensive when compared to the individually powered tools.
Additionally, with this knowledge and idea of using air as the power source makes these tools much safer hence providing better ways of controlling emissions.
The ideal uses of air compressor may include:
- Spraying and painting
- Inflation purposes
- Shaping and sanding activities
- Many more applications
Considering the devices’ portability, they exist in two categories: the portable compressors and the stationary ones. The portable compressors tend to be smaller and lighter to an extent. Their tank sizes are also generally limited to at about 30 gallons.
These devices may not be somehow sufficient to the pneumatic tools for a long duration, though they are less expensive and the working condition is also well. The portable compressors are the best air compressors for home use and other circumstances where the devices will be needed in more than a location is given regular times.
The stationary compressors are fixed to a contracted concrete slab or any given platform. They have hoses that are piped and their tanks can hold 20 gallons and more, hence these devices can provide psi for a longer duration of times as compared to the portable ones.
Therefore, the stationary compressors are a better choice to be used for commercial and industrial applications where various pneumatic tools are required as well as maintenance of fixed performance level for longer time period.
Specifically, on the portable air compressors, they are regarded to be made up of two classes, and this is essential for any potential buyer to note:
Electric portable air compressors
These air compressors are being powered by the use of batteries. They are known for their lightweight and small sizes, hence enabling them to maneuver easily and for easy storage as well.
Therefore, the electric devices are ideal for indoor use like home use because it will never result in any toxic release as well as air pollution.
- Easy to maneuver because they are lightweight – easy to use
- Environmental friendly
- Easy to store
- The power capacity is very limited hence the machines become unsuitable for many heavy duty jobs
Gas portable air compressors
These machines use gasoline as the main power source. They are known to be robust hence very useful for heavy duty jobs. They are also possibly used for outdoor activities because these machines produce air and noise pollution.
- They are suitable for heavy duty jobs
- Provide continuous performance, while working at a continuous pace
- Known for air and noise pollution
- Gasoline gas is known as being flammable hence accidents might be frequent
Some of the considerations before purchase
Upon purchase of every good or service, it is expedient to make some things clear so as to help the buyer in choosing the best packaging once he or she decides to do the merchandise. Even in this case, these are some of the “a-must-consider” aspects prior to purchase:
The best air compressor should be the one that works averagely without wearing out. This characteristic is based on electric and gas compressors.
Deciding on the right tank will come once the potential user has calculated and decided on the general needs of the required machine. In cases that a pneumatic tool which works at a constant rate would be used, and then a large tank would be advisable, or else otherwise advised.
The four primary variations of the pump type are used on the air compressors, with each type having a specific provision and advantage. The single stage variation would use one or more cylinders to fill the tank in a single function.
The two stage variation would involve the first stage producing the psi value which is channeled through the second stage so that the value of the psi is increased – for longer and sustained operation.
The oil free variation comes to help in the lubrication of the pistons and rings. This system tends to be smaller and lighter with the short-lived cycle. The oil lubricated system, on the other hand, has oil tanks to lubricate the moving parts of the compressor. They are large, heavy and designed for long-life setting and cycle.
The power sources is either electric or gasoline. For air compressors that would be used in interior places, elevated spaces, uneven and unstable regions or homes, and then the electric ones are the best. For the machines that would be used in remote areas, job sites and home buildings, heavy duty tasks and commercial/industrial purposes, then the buyer should go for the gasoline machines.
Based on the job intended to be done and the location, the buyer should be able to choose between portable and stationary compressors.
This becomes a major and greater concern prior to any purchase of these machines. Once the buyer has made a decision on the size and type of air compressor he or she needs, then the brand should be considered. The factors include the company’s duration in the industry if the company manufactures other products, the location for any product’s queries, materials the company uses and how t it supports the product.
Some of the best air compressor brands include the Porter-Cable which is very familiar and known for the original machines which are also durable.
Now the buyer has understood the basic outline concerning air compressors. However, the concern is not yet tackled: which ones are the top rated and best air compressors. The following makes the top list when considering the best ones in the market, based on brand, durability, price, functionality and other factors unmentioned.
This machine is known for its lightweight and portability characteristics. The tank has a one-gallon capacity which is best for home use. It is, therefore, best for home renovation and improvement jobs. It delivers between 20 and 44 drives every single minute, which also depends on the tool being used.
For many assured benefits, the user has not to be concerned with disposal issues and any mess involved with working with the oil as lubrication. This is because the SEcoPC1010 air compressor comes with a lube-free pump.
- Lightweight and small – easy maneuver
- Well secured against mess with oil and disposal challenges
- Adequate power for home use
- Its aluminum cylinder provides it with enough durability and against ruggedness
- One of the best air compressors for money
- Not durable as compared to the stationary ones
- Cannot be used for industrial or commercial purposes – specifically for home use
- Small tank size
This specific machine is also perfect for the individuals who are hobbyists and practice arts and crafts. This is because many pneumatic tools for manufacturing and woodworking tend to use air compressors of this class.
Additionally, this air compressor takes only 35 seconds to recover and 128 seconds in pumping. Hence, for any individual who wants a machine for the money and best home improvement, then this is one of the best. It is perfect for both DIYers and professionals.
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
As popularly known, the ‘Big Bore Makita’ tends to deliver a lot of light due to the fact that it is consistent with power rating. This advantage is also based on the fact that the motor is impressive horsepower.
This industrial air compressor comes fully packed with oil lubrication of its pump which makes it efficient when working. Also, it is packed with low amp draw which mitigates any incidence of breaker tripping or drop in the voltage which might work towards destroying the air compressor motor, leading to a substantial decrease of the noise levels.
- Provides greater displacement at reduced and lower RPM – makes it the best machine when it comes to compression and pneumatic equipment
- Works wonderfully for industrial and commercial usages because of its powerful engine
- The cylinder is cast-iron constructed hence durable and strong
- Reduced noise levels
- Has a handle that is just designed for its portability
- Faster recovery times
- Oil-lubricated pump which helps in lengthening the product’s life
- It is heavy – weighs 60 pounds
- Its manual is obscure and hence challenging to understand
- Needs oil valve set and a periodical oil change
Its powerful engine, low noise and running life which is long-life make it be a serious machine for many workshop owners. Any buyer who gives this machine a try will surely not regret it!
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
This air compressor is also referred as a pancake compressor and is one of the common ones around. What makes it unique are the competitive specs which allow it to stand against others. Its tank pressure can go up to 150PSI, hence allowing it to run for a long time for the sprayers and nail guns.
The product comes with pre-installed features which prevent leaks hence safer effort for use. It has a capacity of 6 gallons and rubber feet making it easy to start even in cold weather.
- Generous tank capacity
- Rubber feet for easy start and use in diverse weather conditions
- It is of a mini-size
- Highly durable – no handle, no sharp edges
- Comes with extra parts already installed by the manufacturer, including the hose
- It is loud and noisy
- The hose is not durable – it is plastic
- Somehow expensive
Generally, PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Air Compressor is a powerful, exceptional and mini-sized machine for both DIY and professionals duties. It is also mandatory and important to use it as per the manual.
The buyer should be rejoicing for the high volume pancake tank with 5 gallons and 150PSI, meeting every need of maintaining pressures.
California Air Tools CAT-10020 Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor
This device is known to be of heavy duty as compared to other brands and products. It is also quiet while working and a bit of oil-free. However, it shares many of the characteristics with the Makita MAC700, in terms of commercial grade and industrial levels.
The machine is a portable wheelbarrow hence this reduces the maintenance efforts and costs. For its storage capacity, it is great and proud with 10 gallons which are even more than enough for many home applications and the commercial uses.
- Heavy duty machine
- Great capacity tank
- Powerful than any other air compressor
- Movable in wheelbarrow form
- Heavy in terms of mass
- Produces still sound and some noise
- Just advised for commercial use
Rolair JC10 1 HP Oil-Less Air Compressor
As it name suggests, it is an entirely oil-less compressor, with a perfect pancake style model. It has optimum measures ranging between 15 to 17 inches, and a weight of 42 pounds.
This means that portability is never an issue with this machine. What makes it different from other compressors is that it has an overload protection as well as its quiet operations.
It comes with a box set at 90PSI, which handles the pneumatic tools pretty well for the light jobs.
- Designed with durable aluminum
- Lightweight and movable
- Oil-less design
- Reduced recovery time
- Easy to replace the cartridges and the read gauges are also accurate
- It is not the air compressor for money
- Not high volume
- Not continuous
Though not for money, but to the individuals who can afford this, it proves to be best priced. It has unique features which are not found in most of the competitor’s air compressors. It, therefore, stands as one of the recommended for smaller jobs. It is really worth its costs and a smart choice.
Conclusion – What is the ultimate best?
Well, the stated and discussed five air compressors above are the best on the market at this time. It is still hard to pick the ultimate best one to buy.
After some careful considerations for the reviews, here are the two best ones:
The best “value for money” air compressor
This is the Porter-Cable C2002-WK Compressor. It is compact, superb in duration and quality.
The best tool guy’s choice air compressor
This is the Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP. It is a bit heavier but has a nice design in the handle and other features to reduce the complications. It has a higher power output than the Porter CAbleC2002. It is unique!
It does not mean that other air compressors are dim or not recommended!!!
Rather, they are also best relative to the buyers’ perspective of the characteristics provided.