Best 60-gallon Air Compressors for Body and Tire Shops in 2024

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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1) Ingersoll Rand SS5 5HP 60 Gallon Air Compressor (Single Stage)

Ingersoll Rand SS5 5HP 60 Gallon Single Stage Air...
  • Long-Life: Durable cast iron construction, long-lasting extended...
  • Maximum Power and Flexibilty: 100% continuous duty, high pressure...
  • Easy Operation: Automatic start/stop pressure switch control,...
  • Advanced Safety Features: Manual thermal overload protection of...
  • Reliable Operation: All Season Select synthetic lubricant...

This Ingersoll Rand 60-gallon air compressor was made to withstand any environment. It is a 5HP single-stage compressor that is perfect for anything including my small car workshop. Additionally, I have a few DIY auto-painting projects I have undertaken, now that summer is approaching, and this compressor is perfect for the job.

Image Source: lowes.com

Having tested the compressor with my paint gun, and it cut off the air at exactly the required cutoff point, which is 125PSI. I was also stoked to find out that the compressor fills itself in less than 3 minutes, and I don't have to stop working as it fills back up. You can also connect it to your older air compressor, and get more than 60 gallons of compressed air.

Keep in mind that the unit doesn't come with a compressor oil lubricant, power cable (you will need a 230v), or pressure regulator. This might seem like a deterrent when you want to purchase a compressor, but keep in mind that you can customize your machine to your specifications. Other than that, this is an excellent piece of equipment, and I might forgive how loud it is, because what compressor isn't?

Pros:

  • Hardy
  • Easy to use
  • Customizable
  • Accurate cut-off points
  • Easy to operate
  • Advanced safety features

Cons:

  • Loud

2) Quincy QT-54 5 HP Splash Lubrication 60 Gallon Air Compressor

Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air...
  • Industrial-duty US-made Baldor motor
  • Capacitor start motor with built-in thermal overload
  • Less than 5 PPM oil carry-over (blow-by) rating
  • 145-175 working PSI
  • Pump RPM: 1310

The first thing that stood out, was how quiet this reciprocating air compressor is. While I expected it to be loud, the low hum was a pleasant surprise. The Baldor motor is a great addition since these motors last for years. Additionally, this single-stage air compressor has perfect air delivery even at maximum pressure.

Image Source: ebay.com

I tried to run multiple tools on this compressor, and it did not disappoint. The nail gun for roofing and pneumatic saw had the best performances. Additionally, the pump boasts a 30-000 hour pump life, and the CFM rating at maximum pressure is 12.5 PSI. Not to mention, this air compressor has a manual drain system for excess moisture.

The vertical shape of the 60-gallon air compressor is a plus since it's very space-saving. Not to mention, I don't have to worry about accidentally damaging the compressor since it's made of cast iron. Furthermore, this industrial air compressor is very versatile since I can use it on several applications. I expect this air compressor to last given the precautions I take when it comes to maintenance.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Space-saving design
  • Durable cast iron construction
  • High-pressure operation
  • Silent operation

Cons:

  • Poor customer service

3) NorthStar Electric Air Compressor - 3.7 HP, 60-Gallon Vertical Tank

NorthStar Electric Air Compressor - 3.7 HP, 60-Gallon...
  • Durable cast iron oil-lubricated pump has one-piece cast iron...
  • Durable Swedish stainless steel reed valves deliver long service...
  • 2-cylinder design for low heat transfer between cylinders
  • Heavy-duty 230V induction motor runs at 3,450 RPM for maximum...
  • 60-gallon ASME-certified vertical tank provides more air for...

With a working air pressure of 105-135PSI, there is no task that's too large for this air compressor, and it works well with power tools. Like most single-stage air compressors, it has a two-cylinder design that's helpful when I need more pressure when working. Additionally, the CFM rating on 40 and 90 PSI is 11.5. At both pressure levels, this powerful air compressor gives the max air it can give.

Image Source: pinterest.com

With these pressure levels, I was confident that it could handle any job thrown its way. I tried it with the wrench to pry open a lug nut, and it exceeded my expectations. I also tried painting a chassis for a customer's vehicle with a minimum of 15 PSI, and I didn't expect its performance to be that good. But it did.

While I am happy with my purchase, there was one drawback that I didn't expect. Unlike my other air compressors, this one takes roughly 7 minutes to fill up. 7 minutes is a long time if you have deadlines to crunch. However, it still works and starts like a charm, but it would be easier if the fill-up time was faster.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Fast pump
  • Durable
  • Customizable

Cons:

  • Slow fill-up times

4) Campbell Hausfeld 60 Gallon Vertical Two-Stage Air Compressor

Sale
California Air Tools CAT-60040CAD Ultra Quiet 60 Gal...
  • Ultra quiet only 75 decibels
  • Oil-free pump for less maintenance & costs
  • 60.0 gallon steel ASME air tank
  • Two powerful 2.0 HP (rated/ running) motors
  • 10.60 CFM at 90 PSI and 12.60 CFM at 40 PSI

This is one of the blind purchases I made on a whim, and I do not regret it. I needed something that I could take into the field for small custom jobs, and I was pleased that I landed on this. It is the perfect compressor type, with enough power for grinding, stapling, nailing, paint spraying, and sanding.

Image Source: thehomedepot.com

Of course, like most air compressors, this two-stage air compressor, has a 3.7 HP induction motor, with a maximum working pressure of 175 PSI. The machine has a cool running pump with built-in thermal overload protection. The heavy-duty induction motor makes the unit very heavy, so it isn't a good idea to try and move it yourself.

I had observed some voltage fluctuations in my grid, yet, everything continued to run smoothly with the machine. It has 5000 hours of life and a 75% duty cycle, which is perfect when you don't need to use the compressor for long. I did realize that after 6 hours of max PSI, it holds the pressure until the tank fills up again.

With this industrial unit, you will have to install a cutoff ball valve and pressure regulator. When I installed them, the unit worked better.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Good security features
  • Great value for the price
  • Recovers fast after empty

Cons:

  • No extended drain line

5) California Air Tools CAT-60040CAD Ultra Quiet Electric Compressor

Sale
California Air Tools CAT-60040CAD Ultra Quiet 60 Gal...
  • Ultra quiet only 75 decibels
  • Oil-free pump for less maintenance & costs
  • 60.0 gallon steel ASME air tank
  • Two powerful 2.0 HP (rated/ running) motors
  • 10.60 CFM at 90 PSI and 12.60 CFM at 40 PSI

After purchasing this compressor, I wondered how I ever worked in my shop without one in the initial stages. Not only is this a good air compressor in terms of performance, but it is also durable. Additionally, it is made with steel to ensure it isn't damaged. This is one of the best electrical compressors I have owned. The previous ones all gave out a few months past warranty.

Image Source: globalindustrial.com

Starting with nailing, drilling, and sanding, the compressor works like a charm. I managed to complete my work without a problem. While it's not one of those two-stage compressors that you might have had in the past, its performance is very competitive, and it holds its own. Additionally, it is perfectly capable of staying in a corner of your home garage.

I was also happy with how quiet it is compared to other gas-powered compressors I own. You can hold conversations without needing to shout. Furthermore, like other electric compressors, you will require a power outlet for it to work. Keep in might if you get power fluctuations, your work will be interrupted.

While this electric compressor worked wonders for small jobs, it did tend to underperform on bigger jobs. Therefore, I feel like it would be best suited as a backup in case your main one fails. Other than that, I would highly recommend it for beginners.

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Efficient
  • Durable
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not suitable for heavy work

Factors to Consider Before Getting an Air Compressor

Getting an air compressor boils down to what you will use it for. However, any compressor worth its name should be able to complete light to moderate tasks without a problem. Here are some factors you should consider before buying an air compressor.

a) Size

Different sizes

Image Source: outdoorhappens.com

Air compressors come in different sizes. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you select the right size that will fit your needs and requirements. The sizes are usually classified into:

  • Consumer grade compressors

  • Industrial air compressors

  • Professional grade compressors

Professional compressors can be used to power air tools and are usually the most preferred for small workshops. On the other hand, consumer-grade compressors are used for small and odd jobs like inflating tires or powering low-load air tools like staplers.

If you need something that will last long, is hardy, and can be used continuously, then an industrial compressor is the right choice. Industrial air compressors are excellent for keeping the pressure steady.

b) 2-Stage Vs. Single Stage Compressors

The main difference between single and dual-stage compressors is the number of times that air gets compressed. In a single stage, the air is compressed only once and compressed twice in the dual stage. This is important to consider because a 2-stage compressor has more efficiency since they work less to produce compressed air.

2-stage compressor

Image Source: eatoncompressor.com

In a nutshell, your operating costs will be low with a two-stage compressor. Additionally, the intercooler stage allows for maximum cooling and decreases the chances of overheating. On the other hand, a single-stage compressor delivers maximum efficiency with uniform torque and better mechanical balance.

Single-stage air compressors are good for industrial uses like woodworking and auto-repair shops.

c) CFM Rating

The CFM rating refers to cubic feet per minute and indicates the amount of pressure you will achieve from your compressor per minute. If you need to run many tools at the same time, then you will need a higher CFM rating determined by the PSI range. At maximum pressure, your compressor should be producing enough high air pressure for your tools.

CFM rating

Image Source: machinelounge.com

It is crucial to note that some environmental factors negatively affect the CFM rating, including humidity and heat dissipation. However, there is nothing to worry about because your air tank will always deliver.

d) Features

Features

Image Source: marineinsight.com

An air compressor is not a tool you will buy multiple times. A single compressor can last you more than 10 years, and therefore, you will be stuck with its features for a long time. Features make using the compressor easier. Here are some features to look out for in electric or gas compressors:

  • Ball valve drain; allows drainage from the air tank to avoid condensation.

  • Low oil monitoring device; notifies you when your oil is low.

  • Thermal protection; this can either be an automatic or manual thermal overload protection system that prevents damage to your unit in case of power interruptions.

  • Air cooling system; keeps your unit motor cool to prevent overheating.

  • Couplers; having many couplers on your unit will allow you to use multiple tools simultaneously.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best 60-Gallon Air Compressors

i) Can you paint a car with a 60-gallon air compressor?

Yes, you can. A large 60-gallon tank will ensure you can coat an entire vehicle without needing a refill. Not to mention the pressure and variance of a large air compressor are steady.

ii) Is a 60-gallon air compressor enough?

Yes. Generally speaking, a 60-gallon tank should be enough for most jobs. It can power even the tools that require more air. Additionally, it can also power multiple tools simultaneously.

iii) How heavy is a 60-gallon compressor?

Keep in mind that a 60-gallon tank is not light by any means. The lightest 60-gal tanks weigh in at about 280 pounds.

iv) Can I lay my 60-gallon air compressor on its side?

That is not a good idea. If you lay the compressor on its side, it will go all the way down. Additionally, if the compressor is not portable types, then it is a wise idea to bolt it to the floor.

The Bottom Line

Compressors are some of the best helpers for powering pneumatic tools. Depending on how much pressure you need, 100 PSI is always a good starting point. Keep in mind that it is not hard to find a 60-gallon compressor that you like and whose features are perfect for you. Additionally, before settling on a compressor, ensure it is the one you want because compressors range in thousands of dollars.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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