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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
Some Amazon reviewers report that the compressor stopped working after a few uses, so, as portable air compressors go this may not be the longest lasting. Have a research and speak to different manufacture team members before reaching a conclusion.
While the model is protected with overload and overheat protection, the model does tend to get quite hot – which means that you’ll have to wait around a little before use. One of the more unfortunate disadvantages.
2. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor
The next model we have is a BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor (BTFP02012), which comes with a 6 gallon air tank and 150 psi.
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.
Some reviewers have noted that the regulator of this air compressor does not work optimally, and may require more frequent maintenance than is expected. Read all useful info, from terms and conditions to the table of contents, to make sure you’re getting the right compressor for you.
Whilst oil free air compressors are less maintenance heavy and generally a bit cheaper, they tend to function for a shorter life cycle. The reputation of this motor from owners is that it dies after around a year… make sure you read and understand all problems before becoming one of the unsatisfied buyers.
3. AstroAI Portable Air Pump
The next model we have is the AstroAI portable, which comes with 12 V DC, a digital pressure gauge, and 100 PSI!
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.
Some Amazon users report that the compressor does not maintain a seal on the valve stem of car tires, meaning that air may actually escape quicker than it is pumped in.
Many reviews note that this product is perfect for lighter use, however for heavy duty tasks it just isn’t suitable. A large amount of maintenance to the tank and motor may be required.
4. CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Oil Free Compressor
Our fourth pick comes from Craftsman – it’s the oil free pancake compressor which comes with a 13 piece accessory kit – what a bargain!
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!
Some users have reported that the power and efficiency of this compressor is just not up to scratch, with it taking a large amount of time to fill the tank with air. Others have had no issue – so it seems to be quite a discrepant issue.
You might have to make use of that warranty policy, because some users are unhappy with Craftsman’s QC measures. Some have received their model with defective valves and other issues, so make sure you inspect all parts before starting your projects, and check that you’re happy with the product. Otherwise, seek help on amazon.com.
5. TEROMAS Portable Air Pump
The halfway point on this list is the TEROMAS tire inflator portable air compressor, which boasts 12 V DC voltage and a pressure gauge.
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.
- Instructions and Assembly
Some users have noted dissatisfaction in their experience of setting up the pump. Comments suggest that the vague instructions include errors, which means that you’ll have trouble setting up these devices.
Other conversation on Amazon notes that this compressor doesn’t work well with higher pressures, and only pumps at an effective energy rate with smaller items, such as balls.
6. VacLife Portable Air Compressor
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.
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!
Some users have noted their disapproval for this product, stating that market competitors are a lot more durable and longer lasting. Do your research, listen to everyone, and decide which aspects take advantage for you.
Some users note that they have received a model in which the batteries just don’t work, and the tank does not operate as it should. This is an unfortunate fault, and not anything you should settle for – question the manufacturer on their production processes to ensure you get the bang for your buck.
7. California Air Tools Ultra Quiet Tankless Compressor
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.
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.
Some users remark that the foot pedal that’s included with this California Air Tools tank breaks on impact… watch out for this and make sure to investigate return policies if unsatisfied.
There have been reports of the motor regulator becoming increasingly hot after a short use period. Be sure you’re aware of this.
8. HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor
Our eighth pick comes from HAUSBELL, and is the renowned Portable Air Compressor with 150 PSI (better than your usual CFM at 90 PSI).
- Easy to Set Pressure Gauge
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.
While this model boasts an impressive 150 PSI (way better than the average 90 PSI), it unfortunately is less suited to those heavier tasks, such as filling car tires. Many users have noted this issue with this 150 PSI compressor, which is a shame if your primary reason for purchase is filling a car tire. Shop around to see what different brands offer – your satisfaction is the most important matter.
Many users note that a store bought compressor may be better after all, as upon delivery of the item, many noticed flaws such as broken parts. Some users also noticed the rising temperatures as the compressor is used, and a quick faltering of the compressor – this makes all the difference.
9. California Air Tools Light & Quiet Portable Compressor
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.
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.
One of the more obvious cons to these compressors is the reluctance of CAT to honor their warranty system. Users have previously inquired about broken parts and have been met with lacklustre response.
While this model boasts a perfectly efficient 90 PSI, many users note that the model is only suitable for lighter jobs such as for a spray gun or air hose, or even a nail gun. Many have noted that their compressor has broken after repeated use. Make sure you search CAT’S full range of products before picking the right one for you – listen to what people say!
10. Glamore Portable Air Compressor
Our final pick comes from Glamore, with the 12 V DC Portable Air Compressor, equipped with 150 PSI and an Emergency LED Flashlight.
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!
Many users have taken fault with the design of the heat protection system available… as many models have easily overheated and become possibly hazardous. This should be covered in your warranty but do be careful.
Some Amazon reviewers have noted that certain parts, such as plastic casing around the power connection unit, is loose. If you encounter any issues with how your model is constructed, however rare this may be, consult customer service immediately to get a replacement or repair within your warranty.
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.
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.
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!
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.