I’ve seen a lot of DIYers make the mistake of getting an overpowered compressor. I understand how they think and feel. Most people tell themselves “Let me get a pumped compressor, and I’ll get better performance”. That’s not how it works.
If you don’t have some powerful pneumatic tools in your arsenal, there’s no point in getting an overpowered compressor. A 20-gallon air compressor should hold the ground just fine.
Anyways, a lot of manufacturers push all the features into air compressors that are 30-gallon and above. Because you know- the money.
However, from my experience, the peeps in Industrial Air are different. The three 20-gallon air compressors I’ve used from their lineup had what it takes to compete with the other big-boy compressors.
The Industrial Air 20-gallon air compressor reviews that are coming right ahead will show you what these babies can do. By the end of this article, I’m going to tell which compressor deserves to sit on top as well. Moving on.
Industrial Air 20 Gallon Air Compressor Reviews
Now, I’m going to share what I’ve learned from using the three 20-gallon Industrial Air compressors. The perks, the uses, and the pitfalls, I’m going to cover everything there is to know. The aim is to give you a birds-eye view. So, you can understand the potential and the limitations of these compressors. Let’s get cooking.
1. Industrial Air IP1682066.MN 20-Gallon Air Compressor
Before talking about this compressor, let me give you a bit of backstory. Since I usually work in my own workshop, I tend to use larger air compressors. But a project required me to step out of my comfort zone. And I needed something that can provide enough airflow for my plasma cutter.
Along came the IP1682066.MN. I won’t lie, when I first heard about it, I was a bit skeptical. But after trying it out, I could see what the big fuss was about. Everything from its build quality to its power output is perfect for any remote project.
Let’s start with the pressure first. The maximum PSI of this machine is rated at 135, which means it can deliver a decent amount of pressure. At 90 pressure level it can deliver 5.3 CFM, while at 40, the value goes up to 6.2 CFM.
Compared to the IP1982013, the overall pressure output of this option might seem lacking. However, when you consider the price of the two models, the IP1682066.MN seems like an excellent choice. If I was struggling with budgeting, I would go with this one in a heartbeat.
However, PSI and CFM numbers are not everything with an air compressor. You also need to look at the overall build quality, and since this is a budget option, I honestly expected the quality to be subpar at best. Boy, was I wrong!
The cylindrical body of the air compressor is made using thermally stabilized cast-iron to prevent any chance of overheating. Also, the stainless-steel reed valves and the automotive-style ball bearings ensure you get a long-lasting use out of it.
To withstand industrial settings, the pump in the compressor features a one-piece cast-iron crankcase.
With such an impeccable mechanical design, you can bet that it will withstand almost any abuse you throw at it. Being a pneumatic two-wheel horizontal portable air compressor, this level of build quality is always welcome.
Apart from these, the compressor comes with an oil level sight glass to monitor the oil level. The pump is oil-lubricated which means you do have to top it up now and then. However, this also makes it much sturdier.
Another thing that I absolutely loved about this machine is its noise level. With its heavy-duty induction motor running at 1.6 horsepower, I honestly expected the noise to be deafening. However, in reality, the sound is pretty tolerable even when working in close proximity.
Industrial Air IP1682066.MN is equipped with a dual-voltage motor that can work with both 120- and 240-volt outlets. With a portable unit, having the option to work with both voltages is a Godsend. Other than that, it also features a quick-set regulator, tank, and tool pressure gauges, and a quick-connect port.
There are very few budget monsters out there that can deliver the level of performance as this air compressor. As a 20-gallon air compressor system, I could find almost nothing to complain about with it.
2.Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Air Compressor
Honestly, I had a tough time deciding between the Industrial Air IL1682066.MN and IP1682066.MN. Both of these models are almost identical except for one key difference.
The IP1682066.MN, which I reviewed previously, is a horizontal air compressor perfect for portable jobs or a larger workspace. On the other hand, the vertical design of the IL1682066 makes it a fantastic choice for DIY people who mostly have limited space to work with.
At the core of this air compressor is a powerful and heavy-duty induction motor that ensures prime efficiency. The V-twin cylinder technology in the machine ensures quick refilling of the compressor while delivering optimal air pressure to work with any impact or air tools without issues.
With the IL1682066.MN, you can get a maximum PSI of 135. At 40 PSI the compressor can deliver 6.2 CFM and at 90 PSI you can get 5.3 CFM. So, in theory, you should be able to use any air tools. Personally, I tried it out with my plasma cutter and had no issues whatsoever.
The build quality of this compressor is also quite superb as expected from Industrial Air. It comes with a thermally stabilized cast iron cylinder along with a cast iron crankcase for added longevity. Additionally, the automotive-style ball bearings and stainless-steel reed valves make it impossible to question the durability of this pump.
Similar to any other high-quality air compressor, this one is oil-lubricated. You can monitor the oil levels easily thanks to the sight glass, and top it up whenever you need it quite fast.
Another fantastic element of this compressor is its noise floor of only 71 dBA. Even for a small-scale workshop, the sound is quite bearable.
The only reason I granted it a generous “Second” place on this list is that it is not very portable compared to its horizontal model, despite having pneumatic wheels. Since I was looking at 20-gallon air compressors for remote jobs, this was a negative point for me. But for people looking for a static unit, portability should not be an issue. Frankly, if I knew about this air compressor when I first started tinkering with air tools, I would get it without any second thoughts. Affordable, efficient, and space-saving are the three words I would choose to describe the Industrial Air IL1682066.MN; a perfect option for a small DIY workshop.
3. Industrial Air IPA1882054 20-Gallon Air Compressor
Usually, the biggest problem with a 20-gallon compressor is the power. It doesn’t deliver high PSI and CFM. And that leads to people not being able to use a ton of different pneumatic tools. However, the Industrial Air IPA1882054 delivers better pressure and volume despite being a 20-gallon compressor.
I had to shell out quite the buck for this bad boy. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t disappointed. The Industrial Air IPA1882054 has 5.7 CFM when the pressure is at 90. If you lower the pressure to 40 PSI, the CFM numbers can increase up to 7.0. The maximum pressure you can get out of this machine is 155, but if you do that the CFM numbers will dwindle.
So, the numbers are good enough for an angle grinder, air chisel, framing nailers, and a lot of other tools. This air compressor breathed new life into my workshop. I completed many a project without so much as a hiccup.
Apart from the high PSI and CFM numbers, the Industrial Air IPA1882054’s construction is not too shabby either. The combination of cast iron and aluminum is the ultimate tag team for handling overheating issues.
Cast-iron prevents the quick passing of heat, and aluminum works as a heat sink. So, there is little risk of burning out the motor through excessive use. I’m not a weekend warrior when it comes to DIY projects, so this rugged build was in my favor.
Also, the air compressor is oil lubricated. Having to change the oil frequently is a bother but the upside is that the compressor lasts longer. In contrast, an oil-free compressor will die on you once the self-lubricating material runs out of juice.
I didn’t have any issue with the noise as well. The entire ensemble doesn’t create an unbearable ruckus around the workshop. The little noise it created isn’t something to lose sleep over.
The Industrial Air IPA1882054 is an outstanding 20-gallon compressor- no doubts there. However, I would’ve liked it even better if the design was vertical. The horizontal shape of this compressor takes up more space than I’m willing to let go of. Still, the performance, build quality, and other quality-of-life features make up for this small inconvenience.
If you don’t have a budget leash weighing you down, I would highly recommend giving the Industrial Air IPA1882054 a shot. I’m sure it can help you with whatever lightweight project you have.
How Did I Come Upon These Products?
Although the compressors listed have nearly identical features, you can’t still jump on one ship without judging the tide. So, the buying guide for the best 20-gallon Industrial Air compressor is focused more on letting you choose the right product for your project rather than weeding out the bad compressors. Because all the three compressors are viable.
Hence, you need to understand your project/task first before you put your finger on any of these compressors.
- Vertical or Horizontal- Which Way Should You Go?
Let me put your mind at ease. There is no right or wrong way here. Whether you get a vertical or horizontal compressor is up to you. You won’t get any performance advantage because of it. So, if it’s not that important, why did I address this question first?
As I just said, all the Industrial Air compressors on this list are excellent. So, it comes down to three P’s- project, preference, and price.
If you get a vertical compressor, you have more room in your workshop or wherever it is you choose to store the machine.
On the other hand, if you get a horizontal compressor, you’ll need a bit more space for it.
So, from the looks of it, vertical compressors clearly have the edge. However, a lot of DIYers don’t want to move the compressor around as much. When it comes to remaining stationary, horizontal compressors have the upper hand. Think where and how you’re going to put it and the choice will be easy.
- The Amount of Flow and Volume
If you’ve gone through the reviews, you already know that the 1st and 2nd compressors on this list have the same PSI and CFM numbers. The only REAL difference between IP1682066.MN and IL1682066.MN is that the former is horizontal and the latter is vertical.
The third compressor IPA1882054, however, has a high PSI and CFM. Now, if you don’t know what these numbers mean, CFM is the volume of gas being released per cubic feet, and PSI is the pressure per square inch. The higher PSI and CFM numbers a compressor has, the more powerful pneumatic tools the compressor can handle.
So, if you want to use mid-tier pneumatic drills or air chisels, I would recommend going for the IPA1882054. On the other hand, DIYs who want to operate lightweight pneumatic tools can either go for the IP1682066.MN or IL1682066.MN.
- Construction Matters
All the Industrial Air compressors pretty much are made of the same materials. Most compressors from the Industrial Air lineup sport cast-iron construction. The other material paired with cast iron is aluminum.
Now, both these elements complement each other. While cast iron prevents quick heat buildup, aluminum functions as a heat sink. So, the two materials combined together put a stop to overheating.
If you see any Industrial Air compressor that doesn’t have these two signature materials, tread lightly. It may not be an original product because I haven’t seen an Industrial Air compressor to date that doesn’t have either cast-iron or aluminum.
Frequently Asked Questions
I told you in the very beginning that people usually go overboard with air compressors. They buy compressors with more than they need and end up regretting. Anyways, this confusion gives rise to a lot of questions. I’m going to answer a few of them.
The short answer- Yes! The long answer- if you want to know about the quality of an Industrial Air compressor, you have to look into MAT Holdings Inc. They’ve been in the power tool game for over 30 years and expanded into four different companies.
Industrial Air is one of these subsidiaries. The compressors are made in the USA, and apart from shipping damage I’ve never heard about any other complaints about Industrial Air. So, the longstanding brand reputation, customer-driven mindset, and positive reviews stand as a testament to the superiority of Industrial Air.
In general, you can do household inflating tasks like pumping a tire or your kid’s toys. Besides, you can operate some lightweight pneumatic tools as well. However, before you try your hands on a tool, you should read the PSI and CFM numbers. If it fits within the range of your 20-gallon air compressor, you can go ahead.
A few common tools you can use with these compressors are:
· Air chisels
· Pneumatic drills
· Brad Nailers
The answer depends on what type of business you’re running. For instance, if you’re running a one-man dental practice, you should be alright with a 20-gallon compressor. Also, you can use air chisels for autobody work. Again, the usefulness of a 20-gallon compressor comes down to the business you’re involved in.
Some Parting Wisdom
People underestimate the 20-gallon air compressor. You, after all you’ve learned from this article, shouldn’t. These compressors can handle a lot of work if you know how to be within the specified PSI and CFM limit.
And when it comes to 20-gallon workhorses, the Industrial Air is a cut above the rest. The Industrial Air 20 gallon air compressor reviews covered everything you should know about these portable and powerful little machines. Just make sure the compressors I’ve listed are in line with the work you’re willing to do.
I gave you my word that I’ll anoint one compressor among the three as the victor. To me, it’s the Industrial Air IPA1882054. Although it’s a horizontal compressor, I still think it’s better than the other two. Why? Simply because it has higher PSI and CFM. Better numbers equal more flexibility in using different pneumatic tools. Period.
So, if you can spare the extra buck, I’d say go for this compressor.
I hope the insights provided here helped you get an overall understanding of Industrial Air 20-gallon air compressors, ciao!