Are you searching for the best air compressor for your home garage?
I have reviewed the top models on the market and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check out the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best air compressor for home garage picks, or read on for the full review:
- Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Air Compressor
- California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Portable Air Compressor
- California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
- Husky Portable Air Compressor
- Ingersoll Rand Garage Mate Single-Stage Portable Air Compressor
Having an air compressor in your garage may come in handy in a variety of situations. From inflating your car tires to handling bicycles to powering air tools, an air compressor is a versatile gadget that serves as a sidekick for many other tools.
Selecting the Best Air Compressor for Home Garage
Air compressors vary in terms of horsepower, type, size, and performance and buying one really depends on how you intend to use it.
Choosing an air compressor that suits your needs is key. You don’t want to buy an air compressor with so many features that you won’t ever use, right?
What Is An Air Compressor?
An air compressor is a machine that is capable of pressurizing gas or air into a smaller space. By utilizing this compressed air, air compressors convert electrical power to kinetic energy that can be used for activating pneumatic devices, filling a tire, and cleaning operations.
What Are The Types Of Air Compressors?
Air compressors mainly fall into 3 main categories.
Reciprocating Air Compressors
This type of compressors uses positive displacement. By definition, that means that they reduce the volume of air in order to increase its pressure.
This air compressor has a piston within a cylinder that squeezes and displaces air. It also provides a wide range of pressure and capacity options.
Rotary Screw Compressors
The second type is also a positive displacement compressor. These compressors have a case in which you’ll find two rotors that compress the air from the inside.
A cooling process happens inside the compressor itself, so its parts don’t encounter extreme temperatures. These compressors are simple to maintain and operate.
Centrifugal compressors work a bit differently. They are dynamic compressors that depend on a rotating component that transfers energy. They produce high-pressure discharge and that’s why they rotate a lot faster than the other types.
What Are The Important Features To Consider In An Air Compressor?
The performance of a compressor is measured by the pressure of air it can deliver. That, of course, depends on what you’ll use the air compressor for. If you’re not exactly sure, we recommend you go for a more powerful compressor instead of having to buy another one later on.
Horsepower is also one of the ways to check for a compressor’s performance for industrial purposes, however, when it comes to home use, it isn’t the most important factor.
Compressors are powered by electricity or gasoline. For home use, it’s more common to use electric powered compressors because they’re cheaper, easier to operate, quieter, and require less maintenance.
PSI (Pounds per square inch)
So we’re getting a little technical here. PSI refers to a unit of measure for pressure. It’s important when it comes to air compressors because it measures how much force is in a certain area. The higher the PSI, the stronger the compressor.
That’s the amount of air that the compressor is capable of pressurizing in every cycle.
If you’ll use the compressor for a tool that requires heavy air flow like a saw, for instance, you’d need a larger tank volume, unlike if you were to use it for a nail gun.
Flexibility and Mobility
So you’re working in a garage and chances are you don’t have a ton of space so it’s important to consider the size of your compressor.
A pancake compressor is a good option when you don’t have much working space because it’s easy to move around and lighter than other types.
Stand compressors are also easy to store because they don’t take much horizontal space and can be stowed to the side.
If you intend on moving the compressor around, you’ll find it useful to purchase one with wheels.
An air compressor isn’t something we buy every day so buying a compressor that comes with a warranty is essential to save yourself the headache if something goes wrong with it.
Top Rated Garage Air Compressors
Equipping your home garage with a high quality air compressor is a game changer. I use mine weekly and it has lasted me years. I have reviewed the top models currently available for durability, quality of construction, power, and reliability.
Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Air Compressor
- PSI: 110
- Horsepower: 1
- Weight: 12.9 pounds
The Campbell Hausfeld air compressor is a great entry level compressor that’s suitable if you’ll be using it for applications like tire inflation, stapling, and airbrushing.
It’s an electric single-stage compressor that comes with a 1-gallon pancake design tank. What we like about this compressor is that it’s user-friendly and at 12.9 pounds of weight, this compressor is considered very lightweight, so it’s great if you’re looking for a compact compressor that you can easily move around. It also comes with a sturdy handle.
Along with the compressor comes a 25-foot recoil hose, needle, needle adapter, 2 inflator nozzles, air chuck, and onboard storage.
The compressor is oil-free, so it doesn’t require much maintenance. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Compact and lightweight
- Suitable for a variety of home applications
- Doesn’t come with wheels
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Portable Air Compressor
- PSI: 90
- Horsepower: 0.6
- Weight: 29 pounds
This California Air Tools air compressor was designed to create less noise and less tear. It’s one of the quietest compressors in the industry, so it’s a fantastic option if you do a lot of work indoors and don’t want the extra noise that comes with compressors.
It’s an electric powered oil-free compressor that’s manufactured to have a life cycle of 3000+ hours. You can use this compressor in a variety of light-duty applications such as staple guns, nail guns, airbrushes, blow guns, and cleaning and inflating tires.
This air compressor combines mobility with solid performance. We really like the design of this compressor. It comes with a carry handle so you can carry it around anywhere you like. It also comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer
- Super quiet
- Relatively lightweight
- Great for home use
- Low capacity
- Not suitable for heavy-duty applications
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
- PSI: 90
- Horsepower: 2
- Weight: 82 pounds
The California Air Tools 10020C is a semi-professional compressor that’s great for heavy-duty applications such as air drills. The powerful 2 HP motor and 10-gallon tank are ideal if you want to get major jobs finished at one sitting.
You’d expect that because its a compressor with powerful capabilities that it would be noisy, but California Air impressed us with the absolute quietness of the compressor. You can literally have a conversation while it operates!
Although this tank is quite heavy, it comes with wheels for easy transport. Also, because it’s vertically designed, it can be stowed in the corner without taking up too much space. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Large capacity
- Very quiet
- Designed with wheels
- Small handle
- Low-quality finishing
Husky Portable Air Compressor
- PSI: 175
- Horsepower: 1.5
- Weight: 106 pounds
The husky portable air compressor is an electric powered, light-duty yet high-performing compressor that comes with a 20-gallon tank. It works in applications like inflation, finish nailing and stapling, hobby paint, bolting and fastening, and cutting and drilling. The oil-free feature in this compressor means it requires minimum maintenance.
What we really like about the Husky compressor is the slim vertical design that makes it easy to store if you don’t have much space. Moreover, this compressor comes with a sturdy handle so you can easily tilt it and drag it around using the two front wheels.
The husky air compressor isn’t completely silent but it’s fairly quiet when compared to other models.
- Wheels for mobility
- Good value for money
- Very Heavy
Ingersoll Rand Garage Mate Single-Stage Portable Air Compressor
- PSI: 135
- Horsepower: 2
- Weight: 200 pounds
This air compressor was designed by the manufacturer with professional do-it-yourselfers in mind. It’s a strong and durable air compressor that’s powerful enough for heavy duty applications such as powering ratchets, impact guns, drills, and grinders.
This high performing compressor is serious business! It comes with a 20-gallon vertical tank and is electric powered making it great for rough applications. The cylinder on this compressor is made of heavy duty cast iron for durability and extended lifespan.
When it comes to noise we can’t say it’s very quiet, but given its power, the noise level is considered acceptable. Also, the compressor has two good quality wheels for easy transport.
The garage mate compressor comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Suitable for more heavy duty applications
- Acceptable noise level
- Comes with wheels for mobility
- Very expensive
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After evaluating our five favorite air compressors, we found that the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S portable air compressor made it to the very top of our list. This compressor is great for home use and the reason why we chose it over the other models is that it’s a fantastic blend of great quality and reasonable price.
Being lightweight, versatile, quiet, and easy to move around, the California Air Tools CAT-191060S is your perfect garage companion!
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness. Contact Fred at [email protected]