best air compressor for home use

The Best Air Compressor for Home Garage [2020]

19 mins read

Until very few years ago, you would never find air compressors anywhere else except at gas stations. However, thanks to technological advancement, we can now discuss what the best air compressor for home garage would be.

Air compressors have evolved from industrial grade levels to portable home use machines. You might have thought before that installing air compressors was something only seen in industrial settings. This is not the same today.

Thankfully, you can now get the best air compressor for home use without breaking a sweat. In addition, the compressors come with lots of advantages that make doing many of the formally energy intensive manual tasks much easier now.

Once you connect your air compressor to a power source, you are ready to go. If you are on the look out for a compressor, this guide is going to help you figure out the following aspects:

  • How an air compressor for home use works
  • The best air compressor for home garages
  • Other great air compressors for home use
  • Factors to consider when buying an air compressor
  • Advantages of having air compressors for home use
  • Disadvantages of using air compressors at home

How an air compressor for home use works

The air compressor comes with an on and off switch, output pressure adjustment buttons and output ports. You use the output ports to connect to a hose which then connects to your blow nozzle or other attachments.

The function of the output pressure adjustment or a regulator is to help you control the pressure of the air coming out of the compressor.

Most compressors will and should have a safety valve. This is the feature that helps you to get rid of compressed air from your tank after using it. You should not store your compressor at pressure.

This is because compressed air is likely to cause condensation which in turn causes rusting in your tank.

Storing an empty tank is the best way to keep your air compressor for many years and the safety valve ensures you get rid of all the air before storing it.

In addition, a blow nozzle can have an attachment that helps you do a particular job. Therefore attachments can also be added onto the blow nozzle for instance if you wanted to fill a car tyre or a football.

To ensure you have the optimal attachments you need, they are usually available in sets. We recommend the Pneumatic Air Compressor Accessory Tool.

The best air compressor for home garage

1. Craftsman Air Compressor

This is the best air compressor for home garage that we reviewed edging the Porter air compressor below by price, weight and noise levels. It comes with a 6 gallon (22.7 litres) size pancake shaped tank with high portability. It has an oil free pump that does not require any maintenance. With 150 maximum PSI, this air compressor for home use is ideal for diversified applications. It packs 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI giving a lot of compressor flow rate with high recovery time.

The voltage is 120 and the machine can easily start in cold weaher without any complications. It does come packed with an accessory kit that includes a air hose with an assembled coupler and plug, tire chuck with plug, tire gauge, blow gun also with plug, a blow gun with OSHA safety nozzle, rubber tip and 3 inflator adaptors. This makes for 13 pieces in the accessory kit – indeed a pleasure for any home garage owner.

The warranty of one year ensures that you get full guarantees in case of any mechanical malfunctions arising after purchasing your air compressor.

This compressor has received a lot of praise from previous customers who say that it is extremely durable, highly portable and very powerful for several uses like cleaning, tire filling, and powering tools. It has received over 3,900 ratings with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Minimal noise levels (noise rating = standard at 71dBA)
  • Powerful for light home and garage duties; ideal for small garage as well
  • Relatively high PSI at 150 maximum PSI
  • Easy to setup
  • Very portable (weighs 32.5 pounds / 14.7 kgs)
  • High durability
  • Comes with a set of accessories – 13 pieces
  • 1 year warranty

Cons:

  • Not ideal for a large garage.

Buy on Amazon

Other great air compressors for home use

2. Porter Air Compressor

porter air compressor for home use

The Porter air compressor is built with a pancake style giving it great stability. The tank pressure is 150 maximum PSI with 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. It comes with a 6 gallon capacity tank (22.7 litres) and includes up-to 13 pieces in its accessory kit. It includes an oil-free pump ensuring that you don’t have any maintenance costs for the life of the air compressor.

It also packs an air coupler and plug installed on the air hose making it fully equipped when you buy it. It is quite bulky as compared to other air compressors in this guide. It weighs 35 pounds (15.8 kgs) and is considerably noisier than all the compressors in this guide with a noise rating of 82 dBA.

This is one of the best air compressors for home use as shown by over 4,100 ratings on Amazon with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Most customers have said it is very reliable and durable for home garage uses.

Pros:

  • It is easy to setup
  • Slightly portable (35 pounds / 15.8 kgs)
  • Relatively high tank pressure at 150 maximum PSI
  • Well packed with 13 pieces in the accessory kit as well as an air hose
  • High durability
  • 1 year warranty

Cons:

  • Heavier than the other air compressors in our guide
  • Quite loud (noise rating = standard at 82 dBA)
  • Not ideal for large garages

Buy on Amazon

3. Dewalt Air Compressor

The Dewalt air compressor is a great compressor for home usage. The pancake shaped air compressor has a 6 gallon (22.7 litres) tank with 165 maximum PSI. It packs 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI with a high efficiency motor that facilitates easy start up during cold weather periods.

The voltage is 120V with the manufacturer advising that it should be located at least 12 inches away from the wall or any other obstructions so that flow of air is not interfered with.

This product has over 1,700 ratings with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Minimal noise levels (noise rating = standard at 75dBA)
  • Powerful for home use and light duties (2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI)
  • High PSI at 165 maximum PSI
  • Highly durability
  • Very portable (weighs 32.1 pounds / 14.5 kgs)
  • 1 year warranty

Cons:

  • Not ideal for large garages
  • Does not come with accessories which you have to buy separately
  • Pricey considering it does not come with any accessories
  • Some customers have complained about Dewalt support being insufficient

Buy on Amazon

4. Bostitch Air Compressor

The Bostitch air compressor comes with a tank of 6 gallons (22.7 litres) capacity and a PSI of 150 maximum PSI. It has a compressor flow rate of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. It also comes with a high efficiency motor that helps it to start during cold weather.

For a higher price, it comes with some accessories including a brad nailer that can drive in 18-gauge brad nails, a straight finish nailer, heavy duty crown stapler and air hose 15-foot long.

In addition to that, it uses an oil-free pump making it require no maintenance. Like Dewalt, it comes with couplers to maximize air tool performance.

Pros:

  • Minimal noise levels (noise rating = standard at 78.5dBA)
  • Very portable (weighs 31 pounds / 14.0 kgs)
  • Relatively high tank pressure at 150 maximum PSI
  • High durability
  • 1 year warranty

Cons:

  • Slightly loud
  • Not ideal for large garages
  • Accessories at an additional cost
  • Quite pricey even without accessories

Buy on Amazon

If you are looking for the best air compressor for home garage or home use, these are definitely some of the best in the market that we have seen. They might not pack the punch to fill your 80 pound truck tyres, but they do a whole lot of good work filling up tyres below that and powering pneumatic tools to help make your work home much easier.

Factors to consider when buying the best air compressor for home garage

i) PSI – This is the amount of force that your air compressor can deliver. You want your home use compressor to have above 120PSI.

ii) Capacity – This is the amount of air that your air compressor tank can store in gallons or litres. The higher the better. However, for the best air compressor for home use, over 5 gallons should be good to go.

iii) SCFM – This is what will determine the compressor’s flow rate. In other words, it is the amount of air from a compressor at a given level of pressure. A higher CFM means your compressor can be used for even large applications. This is an important factor because your air compressor is only as useful as its CFM. For instance, when operating a tools that need a lot of pressure for sustained periods of time, a high CFM will ensure your air compressor can deliver this high pressure sufficiently for several minutes.

iv) Accessories – You can buy an air compressor with or without accessories. The best air compressor for home garage will be sold together with some accessories which are bound to increase its price. Air compressors without accessories are going to always be cheaper. Depending on your budget, it is fair to say that the more the accessories, the more complete you air compressor is. Without the budget for accessories, always know you can buy the accessories separately one at a time.

v) Size – Air compressors that have more weight are usually bigger and therefore suitable to more intensive applications. The smaller the air compressor, the more likely it is a light duty compressor.

vi) Oil-free or oil-lubricated – There are two styles of compressors. The oil-free design does not use oil in lubricating the pistons. It self-lubricates to allow movement of pistons within the cylinder walls. This is usually quieter and produces much cleaner air as a result of being oil-free. Therefore, less pollution to the environment.

An oil lubricated pump is the direct opposite. It uses oil for lubrication, produces polluted air as a result and is usually discouraged for home usage. It is the most common air compressor especially for industrial settings.

However, technological advancement is phasing it out for less pollution from oil-free compressors.

Therefore, it goes without saying that the best air compressor for home garage is one that utilizes the oil-free design.

vii) Noise level – A quieter air compressor is always better to avoid noise pollution. In a home setting, people do not like to be disrupted with noise just because you are fixing something in the garage. The quieter the air compressor, the better it is for home usage.

viii) Warranty – Always check for the warranty provided with the compressor you buy. A longer warranty is a great guarantee from the manufacturer of the quality of their air compressor for home use.

Advantages of the best air compressor for home garage

Any home garage today should have an air compressor. Yes, you might think you have survived long enough without having one. Trust that we are all wondering as well how we did anything before without it. Once you know the things you can use an air compressor at home for, it becomes a no-brainer to actually get one for yourself.

For clarity, here are the advantages you can bag from owning a compressor at home:

1. Instead of going to the gas station to fill tyres with air, you can now do it from your garage. For your car, bike and wheelbarrow tyres, forget about the struggle of looking for a gas station and ensure the tyres are always well filled within your home.

2. Remember that energy intensive project you have been putting off? It is probably because of how much energy you’d need to use the saw, staple guns or hammers. Well, say no more.

An air compressor is able to help you out by lifting off a lot of the effort that you need to use these tools. For instance, if you want to operate your air hammer, you can use your air compressor to make work easier.

For most power tools, they would cause a lot of fatigue due to the manual way in which they work. However, you can now replace the power tools with their pneumatic equivalents and make better use of your air compressor.

From hammering to sawing, sanding, grinding, polishing, and drilling, you can get pneumatic tools that would use the pressure from your air compressor making your work so much easier.

3. In the event you have dirty or dusty home walls or electronic gadgets, an air compressor for home use really comes in handy to help you clear off the dust. You only need to be cautious that the machine’s tank contains compressed air at high pressure.

You will need to get a blow nozzle that helps you control and concentrate the air movement to the exact positions for cleaning purposes. Now you can clean up your TV, home theatre, walls, computer, video game system among other things.

When working on wood in your home or garage, you can also use the air compressor to blow away wood particles and keep your garage clean.

4. What if you have a huge event and need to fill many balloons with air? Well, the air compressor can help you with that too. Thanks to it, your jaws don’t have to hurt from blowing air into balloons using your mouth.

Disadvantages of using air compressors at home

1. Safety is crucial while using air compressors. Occupational Safety and Heal Administration (OSHA) have made it clear that air with oevr 30 PSI should never be directly aimed at a person’s skin. This is because the high pressure and speed make this air extremely dangerous when aimed at someone.

2. If you buy a gas air compressor as compared to an electrical air compressor, remember that gas is highly combustible and might be a huge danger to your home in case of a fire.

3. Equally for electrical air compressors, proper grounding is important. Otherwise it might lead to electrical shocks for the users of the compressor or irreparable damage to the machine itself.

For dump garages and basements, check out our guide for crawl space dehumidifiers.

Ian Mutuli is the Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He occasionally writes about startups and tech for The Press Farm. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.

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