Best Budget Air Compressors 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Jeff Day

Searching for DIY equipment like power tools, for home use, can be a big bore we know. Are you looking for a best affordable air compressor? Do you want a model that’s easy to use, easy to carry, and high efficiency? One that’s low maintenance? Well look no further, this article is going to show you our top ten best picks.

Before we show you our handy guide to finding a air compressors, we’ll be helping you through some handy tips, such as typical costs of a good cheap air compressor, and what features of a compressor you’ll need to consider if you want one that will last with heavy duty tasks, have a high efficiency tank, and is generally easy to use.

We have a lot of qualifying purchases from a variety of sites, whatever you’re looking for – read on to find one that works for you and has everything you need.

10 Best Budget Air Compressors in 2020

Here are our top ten air compressors – we’re going to try to show you a range, such as the best 150PSI air compressor under $75 and a lot more.

We’ve handily included links to each product in the listing, to save you time and effort. If you choose a compressor from our site or an affiliate advertising programme, we may earn a commission – so please consider having a read and seeing what works for you!

1. EPAuto Portable Air Compressor Pump

EPAuto 12V - Digital Tire Inflator

Best Features: You don’t need an extension cord for this model, the model plugs directly into the cigarette lighter socket of your vehicle. You can use the handy tank to inflate tires of cars, bikes, and even SUVs – the portability is key. The sophisticated technology in this compressor’s tank and motor means that it automatically shuts off when reaching the desired pressure – you’re therefore covered from overheating.

Our first choice is the EPAuto 12 V DC portable model, which comes with a digital tire inflator. As air compressor reviews go, this model has some good reviews! The max pressure is 70 psi, and its inflating speed is 1.06 cfm (cubic feet per minute).


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2. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

BOSTITICH Air Compressor - Oil Free

Best Features: The motor of this compressor is entirely oil free, which – you may recall – is cheaper, lighter, and requires less maintenance to keep an efficient air pressure. The noise and vibrations of this model are completely minimised, with an operational noise level of 78.5 dBA, to ensure you a quiet, hassle free motor in your home workshop.

The next model we have is a BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor (BTFP02012), which comes with a 6 gallon air tank and 150 psi.


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3. AstroAI Portable Air Pump

AstroAl Tire Compress With Emergency LED Light

Best Features: AstroAI offer a 3 year warranty on this product, which means you can buy comfortably and know that you can send your model back for any maintenance, repairs or returns, all rights reserved – a better offer than most shops. You can use this model for a range of different tasks, so long as the corresponding vehicle has a Schrader valve. You can inflate tires of cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and bikes. However, the model is NOT suitable for high pressure/ large volume objects like pools or canoes.

The next model we have is the AstroAI portable, which comes with 12 V DC, a digital pressure gauge, and 100 PSI!


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4. CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Oil Free Compressor

Craftsman Air Compressor with 13 Accessory Kit

Best Features: The compressor recovery time is speedy and efficient in this motor, thanks to the 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI. Easy, durable, and oil free. Easy for maintenance, this pump comes with a kit of 13 accessories, which includes air hoses, tire chucks, and much more. And all of this is protected under a years’ warranty – one of the best value air compressors on our list!

Our fourth pick comes from Craftsman – it’s the oil free pancake compressor which comes with a 13 piece accessory kit – what a bargain!


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5. TEROMAS Portable Air Pump

TEROMAS Tire Inflator With Digital Pressure Gauge

Best Features: This tool allows you to handle with no problem, suiting all your needs. It saves space in your garage due to its small size and even comes equipped with a carrying bag – keep it at home or in the car! Another pro that seems unique to this fab model is its way of displaying all options and menus – it’s bright enough to see under strong sunlight, and the LED light display allows you to use this compressor at night, easily. Don’t disturb the neighbors with this perfect device.

The halfway point on this list is the TEROMAS tire inflator portable air compressor, which boasts 12 V DC voltage and a pressure gauge.


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6. VacLife Portable Air Compressor

VacLife Air Compressor with LED Light

Best Features: Nothing is better than having a company that actually has reputable recommendations behind it, and this company is no exception – you can have a FULL REFUND or a REPLACEMENT with a lifetime warranty if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase. The handy machine detects places where you’re done using the compressor. The simple and useful pump technology allows you to pre-set all your compression specs, so that when you’ve reached the desired pressure your machine will automatically turn off. Such a useful function in those more hectic times!

The next option we have here is the VacLife Portable Air Compressor which comes equipped with 12 V DC power, an LED light, and other handy components.


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7. California Air Tools Ultra Quiet Tankless Compressor

California Air Tools 10TL - Air Compressor

Best Features: Again, one of the more easier to maintain and cheaper models due to the lack of oil in the dual piston pump system… definitely a good pick if you’re looking for a model in this category. This model comes equipped with anti-vibration rubber feet, which reduces noise and movement! Crack on with work easily with this easy to use, minimal noise oil free motor.

This next pick comes from California Air Tools, and is the 10TL ultra quiet tankless air compressor! As the name suggests, it’s efficient in providing you seamless, noise free working. This oil free pump is a bargain for sure.


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8. HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor

HOUSEBELL Air Compress with Emergency LED Light

Best Features: The pressure gauge of this air compressor’s gallon tank is really easy to control – there is a precise digital tire pressure gauge display that helps you calculate required values, allowing you to easily preset tire pressure. HAUSBELL’s customer service team are easy to reach, and accept all questions and concerns at all times. The comprehensible user manual is included in this air compressor’s package, so assembling the tank and compressor has never been easier.

Our eighth pick comes from HAUSBELL, and is the renowned Portable Air Compressor with 150 PSI (better than your usual CFM at 90 PSI).


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9. California Air Tools Light & Quiet Portable Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S - Silve

Best Features: This lightweight, easy to transport steel tank has a running power of 0.6 horsepower, at 1.2 CFM per 90 PSI. This gives an efficient, powerful motor which is tailored to all of your pumping and inflation needs. The model’s lightweight quality and easy maintenance means that it can be used any time, anywhere – its ultra quiet 56 Decibel noise means that it’s sure to cause no disturbance and work efficiently.

Our penultimate pick again comes from CAT, and is the CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor. This oil free pump boasts 90 PSI, and is one of the better compressors on the market, beating brands such as Porter-Cable.


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10. Glamore Portable Air Compressor

Glamore Air Compress with Emergency LED Light

Best Features: This is certainly one of the cheaper models on the market, beating brands like Porter-Cable for affordability, whilst being just as good and durable as Porter-Cable! A serious contender, definitely check it out if you’re on a budget. This pump is perfect for a wide variety of different uses, coming with inflatable adapters and a 2.8 meter power cord, making it a perfect option to inflate tires of cars, small trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, SUVs, and many more!

Our final pick comes from Glamore, with the 12 V DC Portable Air Compressor, equipped with 150 PSI and an Emergency LED Flashlight.


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Best Budget Air compressor

Our best budget pick is number 1, the EPAuto 12 V DC portable model. At under $40, this pick is convenient and has wonderful safety measures to ensure the pump works as efficiently and effectively as possible.

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator
  • Convenience: Plug directly into Cigarette Lighter Socket of your Vehicle. 12VDC, 10 to 15 amps, 120 to 180W. Equipped with 12V-DC Cigarette Lighter Socket Plug, NOT 110V AC plug.
  • Multiple Uses: Inflate tires on cars, bikes, sedan and midsize SUV. (Engine size under 3.5 liter) Universal valve connector for schrader valve is ready to use. Additional adapters include needles value (for basketball, balls), short cone/long cone adapters (for inflatable kayak, swimming pool accessories, etc)
  • Capacity: Does NOT Support truck tires, for instance: light truck tires (LT), heavy duty truck tires or any truck tires.
  • Easy to Read: 4 Display Units: PSI, KPA, BAR, KG/CM; LED FLASHLIGHT: Bright Torch
  • Prevent Over Inflation: Auto shut off when reaching the desired tire pressure. Overheat protection shuts off automatically when overloading. USPTO Patent NO:D875,788

Best Inexpensive Air Compressor Available

Our most inexpensive pick is number 3, the AstroAI portable. It’s a flash price of under $30, is suited to use on so many different vehicles, is entirely portable and easily carried, AND this is all protected under a handy 3 year warranty.

AstroAI Air Compressor Tire Inflator Portable Air Pump for Car Tires 12V DC Auto Tire Pump with Digital Pressure Gauge, 100PSI with Emergency LED Light for Car, Bicycle, Balloons and Other Inflatables
  • FAST INFLATION & ADVANCED ACCURACY: High-quality materials were sourced for this tire inflator as it can pump up your car's tires with 35 L/Min, it can inflate the 195/55/R15 car tire from 0 to 35psi under 5 minutes. Professionally calibrated to always return a reading within 1.5% of the pressure of your tire. Please NOTE that after 10-15 minutes of continuous use, let the air compressor rest and cool for an equal amount of time at a minimum before continuing use
  • PROGRAMMABLE INFLATION: Use the "M" button to set your desired pressure unit, and then press the "+" and "-" buttons to set the desired pressure. The air compressor will automatically shut off when it reaches the pre-set pressure (Please make sure the pressure you set is higher than the current pressure of your tire).
  • PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS: One-click to change pressure units among PSI, kPa, BAR and KG/CM; Large white backlight LCD screen makes it easy to read even in the dark; Equipped with integrated LED flashlight with independent switch control for emergency use; 12V 120W 10ft (3.05 meters) long heavy-duty car cigarette lighter cord makes it convenient to use
  • WIDE RANGE OF APPLICATIONS: 3 Nozzles and Extra Fuse Included. Inflates any Schrader valve on cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and bicycles; the included accessories quickly inflate balls, air pillows, cushions, balloons and mattresses. NOTE: This pump is NOT intended for use with high pressure or large volume applications like pools and Inflatable canoe
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: Easily stow the compressor away in your car or garage and it will be ready to use at a moment’s notice. Package includes 1* digital air compressor, 1* Replacement Fuse, 3* Nozzle Adapters, 1* Valve Extender, 1* Quick Connector, 1* Screw Rotation Attach, 1* User Manual; If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We provide a 3-year warranty on this product.

FAQS – Air Compressor Buyers Guide Information

What is the best air compressor for the money?

The best one for the money is for sure pick 6, the VacLife Portable Air Compressor. It’s again entirely portable, comes with safety auto shut off modes, and is available on the basis of a full refund or replacement if needed. Absolutely no doubt, this model gets our vote.

What are the best small air compressors?

One of our favourite small compressors is pick 4, the CRAFTSMAN oil free pancake compressor. It’s easy to store and move and comes with a 13-piece accessory kit for any needs you might have. A totally handy oil-less option that is virtually maintenance free and gives you a power supply like no other.

What size compressor do I need to run air tools?

In order to run air tools, it really depends on single tool versus multiple tool use. If you’re using a single tool at a time, you need at least a 6-7 CFM at 90 PSI, but if you’re needing multiple tool use you have to add the CFM of each tool together to absolutely determine your needs. Our top pick for running air tools is the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor. It’s perfect for all your needs, for any project or operation. It offers a stability like no other and packs a serious punch!

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
  • Ultra quiet only 56 Decibels
  • Oil-Free pump for less maintenance & costs
  • Lightweight for easy transporting - 29.5 lbs
  • 1.0 gallon steel tank
  • Powerful 0.6 HP (rated / running) - 1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI

Typical Cost of Good Cheap Air Compressors

Because the best low price air compressor is sometimes hard to find, and air compressors come in a range of prices, we’ve got a real range for you in this list.

We have shown you the best air compressor under $50, under $100, and even the under $150. You should, usually, be able to find the ones under $200 – as these handy models are relatively cheap, so they’re perfect for those looking for a low cost air compressor on a budget.

Considerations Choosing Air Compressors

There are a number of key considerations you’re going to need to think about when picking an air compressor. Here are the four most important considerations!

Ease of Use

The very first factor you’ll need to consider is what you’re using your model for. This is because compressors come with specific warranty agreements which cover different time spans of use. Are you using your model for a quick job, maybe some spray painting, or do you plan to use a more industrial air compressor?

This can also affect how easy to carry the compressor is, as smaller DIY jobs may warrant a small portable option.


You’ll also need to consider size, which again affects how portable your air compressor is. For example, around the house jobs may warrant a smaller compressor. The tank size is also integral – as tank sizes can range from 6 gallon tank sizes, to a 100 gallon tank size. This will massively affect the performance of your high efficiency motor.

Oil versus Oil Free

A third requirement is to consider whether you want an oil lubricated compressor, or one that is oil free. An oil free compressor is generally cheaper, lighter, and requires less maintenance. However, oil lubricated compressors tend to last for a longer time and are more common as an industrial option.

CFM Requirement

It’s also really important to know what volume CFM (cubic feet per minute) you’ll require to get the pressure exactly to where you need it, in PSI (pounds per square inch). Lots of compressors use tanks with a CFM at 90 PSI, whereas some even go up to 150 PSI.

These two values indicate the maximum air volume and pressure afforded by your compressor’s tank.

About This Expert

Jeff Day