Best Air Compressor for Home Garage | Review and Buying Guide

Once upon a time, I set out for an adventure to find the best air compressor for home garage. For people who like doing DYI stuff, having a portable and powerful air compressor is a must-have. But finding one that suits your needs can be really tricky. That’s where this post comes into play. In this post, we’ll have an in-depth review of top 7 products available in the market.


My Top Pick:

PORTER-CABLE C2002 is my top pick of this list as it’s compact in design and provides enough power for all sorts of home improvements and DIY work.


Tips: For your home improvement projects or DIY works, you don’t necessarily need something that costs an arm and a leg. Rather you should look for something that is compact yet powerful enough to deliver the punch you need. Also, keep an eye for how much max PSI the tank can handle.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites


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  • Max Speed: 130
  • 4.8/4.2 SCFM @40/90
  • Protective cage
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Best portable air compressor for home garage:

Top 2 We Recommend


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1.PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor: Editor’s Choice

PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE

Porter-cable is widely known for making great air compressors. This one is no different either. With a great price to performance ratio and indoor mechanics in mind, this one makes my list of best air compressor for home mechanic.

  • It comes with a 150 PSI max pressure tank. This is great for storing more air in the tank for longer running time. 
  • 2.6 SCFM running at 90 PSI max power allows the compressor to have a quick recovery time. 
  • The giant 6-gallon tank is super convenient for longer usage time.  
  • Rubber feet with a water drain valve is included for extra stability. 
  • It comes with a pancake style tank. 
  • The 120V low amp motor can start very easily even in cold temperatures. 
  • It comes with an extension cord for mobility. 
  • Durable and no maintenance required. 
  • Completely oil-free pump. No more greasy mess. 

Pros

    150 PSI max pressure tank.
    2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI.
    Quick recovery time.
    Pancake style tank.
    Rubber feet for extra stability.
    Long extension cord.
    Very portable.
    6-gallon tank for longer usage.

Cons

    The air nozzle on the tank could definitely be improved.

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2. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor: Close Runner up

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

DEWALT

Are you looking for something that is compact but as powerful as the big ones? Well, DEWALT DWFP55126 just might be the one you need. With compact design, portability, and power in mind this one is the best of both worlds. Also, this one is my top pick.

  • With 165 mas PSI tank pressure makes it one of the most powerful air compressors out there. 
  • 2.6 SCFM running at 90 PSI pump pressure and 3.7 SCFM running at 40 PSI. 
  • It comes with a high-efficiency motor for quick start up time. Cold temperatures are not an issue whatsoever. 
  • It comes with a 6-gallon air tank. You can use multiple tools with this. 
  • It comes with a 50-meter extension cord. 
  • Max pressure running noise level is 75.5 dB. That’s quieter than most other products available in the market. 
  • It comes with 120V, 60Hz, 10amp universal motor. You can use it with a standard source. 
  • Rubber feet for extra stability. 

Pros

    It’s a powerhouse.
    165 PSI max tank pressure.
    2.6 SCFM running at 90 PSI and 3.7 SCFM running at 40 PSI.
    6-gallon tank.
    Large extension cord.
    The running noise level is 75.5 dB only.
    Super-efficient motor.
    Pancake style bottom.

Cons

    Must always be located 12 inches away from the source.

Best size air compressor for home garage


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3.Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor: Powerhouse

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

Makita

Next in the list is Makita MAC2400. Just like the previous one, this one is also a beast. But power goes only so much if it does not come with everything else that is necessary to make the best size air compressor for home garage. Let’s see what this air compressor has to offer for us.

  • Made with cast iron the pump with a big bore cylinder was designed for the fastest recovery time. 
  • To prevent tripped breakers at startup, it comes with a low amp draw motor. It works in any temperature. 
  • It comes with a 4.2-gallon tank. The tank is actually twin stacked. 
  • Max 130 PSI pressure if good for any kind of home garage work. 
  • 4.8 SCFM delivered at 40 also plays a big role in fast recovery time. There’s also another option for 4.2 SCFM which runs at 90 PSI. 
  • The roll cage gives it an extra layer of protection. 
  • Pump usage oil to ensure cooler operation. Very durable and a compact design for aesthetics.  

Pros

    130 PSI max tank pressure.
    4.8/4.2 SCFM running at 40/90 PSI.
    Cast iron made pump.
    Very durable and sturdy.
    Protective cage for extra care.
    Low amp draw motor.
    Stable with rubber feet like a tree.

Cons

    It’s not an oil-free air compressor.

Best small air compressor for home garage


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4.California Air Tools cat-1p1060sp quiet Air Compressor: The Quietest

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver

California Air Tools

With portability and incredible indoor and garage work capabilities, CAT-1P1060S also makes it to the list of best portable air compressor for home garage. Without any further ado, let’s find out why.

  • This probably is the quietest portable air compressor of this list. The running noise level of this compressor is only 56 dB. 
  • Oil and grease-free pump for less mess and safe environment. 
  • Zero maintenance required. That makes it very cost-effective. 
  • Lightweight and portable. It weighs only 29.5 lbs. 
  • 1-gallon air tank made of steel. 
  • It comes with a horsepower of .6 HP. 
  • 1.20 CFM running at max 90 PSI. 
  • Good design choice with a cylindrical-shaped tank. 
  • It comes with rubber feet for extra stability. 
  • Recovery time is still really fast despite having low CFM. 
  • It’s only 15 inches tall. So, yeah! You can easily take this anywhere you want. 

Pros

    Very quiet operating noise level.
    Compact and portable design.
    Lightweight for easy transportation.
    Rubber feet for extra stability.
    120 MAX PSI tank pressure.
    Quick recovery time.
    Runs at only 56 dB.

Cons

    A larger tank would’ve been nicer.

Best type of air compressor for home garage

Top 3 We Recommend


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5.BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012 6-gallon Pancake Compressor: Longer Running

BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012 6 gallon Pancake Compressor

BOSTITCH

A list of air compressor without any product from BOSTITCH would virtually be impossible. Not because they are a big name, but because they make such great products.

  • It comes with a 150 PSI max power pump. That’s more than you’re ever going to need for any home hob. 
  • For easy recovery, it comes with 2.6 SCFM running at 90 PSI max. 
  • It also follows the trend of life long and maintenance-free pump. It comes with an oil and grease-free pump. 
  • Pancake style huge six-gallon tank. It provides extra stability. 
  • The operating noise is very low. It’s pretty quiet. Runs at max 78.6 dB noise level. 
  • A proprietary high flow regulator provides extra air tool performance. The couplers also play a big role when it comes to performance. 
  • Easy to carry as it weighs only 29 lbs. You can take it anywhere you want. 
  • Narrow tank diameter adds an extra layer of portability to the machine. 

Pros

    150 PSI max power tank.
    2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI.
    Portable and lightweight.
    Oil-free pump.
    Six-gallon tank.
    High flow regulator for extra performance.
    Quiet operating noise level. Runs only at 78 dB.

Cons

    It will only support two air tools from its two connections.

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6. California Air Tools 8010 Ultra: Quiet Operations

California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver

California Air Tools

If you prefer a quiet air compressor for garage, then you must go with this one. This perhaps is the quietest air compressor I’ve ever used. The followings are the most notable features this air compressor comes with.

  • 120 PSI max tank pressure for smoother and hassle-free operation. 
  • 3 SCFM running at 40 and 2.2 SCFM running at 90 PSI ensures fast and easy recovery time. 
  • It comes with 1 HP (rated) power motor. This motor has a peak power of 2 HP. 
  • Runs only at 60 dB at max pressure. Unlike most other compressors, 60 dB means 60 here. 
  • The low amp draw motor draws only 8.5 Amps. 
  • The entire tank can go full from empty within 165 seconds. 
  • Oil-free pump for zero greasy mess.  
  • To make sure everything runs smoothly they’ve introduced engineering solutions rather than oil or something similar. 
  • Requires very less maintenance for an optimum price to performance ration. 

Pros

    120 PSI max tank pressure.
    Very quiet under max pressure.
    It comes with a wheel kit and air filter.
    3 /2.2 SCFM running at 40/90 PSI.
    Industrial design for home-usage.
    Easy transportation.
    Oil-free motor.
    1 HP running with 2 HP peak power.

Cons

    Be careful if you get a faulty unit.
    Portability can be improved.

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7. Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor: Combination of Power and Portability

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor

Makita

Would you look at that? Another one from Makita. I promise I’m not biased towards them or anything else. They just make great air compressors. Let’s see what his one has to offer.

  • Like the previous one, this one also comes with a cast iron pump and bore cylinder to ensure the best performance. 
  • It’s not that quiet but considering the 1720 RPM, I’d say this one is pretty quiet. 
  • Low amp motor reduces unwanted incidences like tripped breaker and motor breakdown.  
  • It’s an oil-lubricated motor that works both as a smoother and cooler. 
  • It runs at 3.8 SCFM at 40 PSI and 3.3 SCFM at 90 PSI. 
  • It comes with a 120 PSI max pressure. This makes it a great little compressor. 
  • It comes with a max power of 2 HP. That’s more than enough for most people. 
  • Industrial design and comes with rubber feet for extra stability. 

Pros

    120 PSI max tank pressure.
    3.8/3.3 SCFM running at 40/90 PSI pressure.
    A whopping 2HP power.
    Compact design.
    Protective and easily moveable.
    Best for day to day home use.
    Low amp motor.

Cons

    It’s not oil-free.
    Fragile contact point.

Best Air Compressor for Home Garage: Buying Guide


There are certain things you need to look for before buying an air compressor for your home. Even if you don’t agree with the list above, you can use the following key points to choose one for yourself. Let’s have a look at them.

  • Type of the compressor: 

So, you’re buying an air compressor for your home, right? Well, there’s no point in buying something that just isn’t portable enough for easy movement. You never know where you might need to move the machine. That’s why you must always avoid buying something that is stationary. Look for something that is portable and lightweight. Something that you can carry from one place to another without any hassle. If it’s not compact in design, make sure it includes a wheel kit for easy transportation.

  • Usage:

Different individuals have different use cases for air compressors. But for most home improvement works, you don’t necessarily need something that is designed for industry guys. But how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, that’s pretty easy. Just look for something whose SCFM and max PSI tank pressure meets your needs. Remember, if something costs more that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing in the world. Sure, it might be very powerful and all but ask yourself, do you need that much raw power?

  • Tank size:

This is actually something people often overlook. But trust me, that’s a mistake. Tank size if perhaps the most important factor while buying an air compressor for your home usage. You definitely don’t want something that is so big that it hurts portability. At the same time, something that is too small will only bring pain in your life. Look for something that is decent enough to run multiple tools at the same time. Trying to find which is the best of both worlds.

  • Additional Features:

It never hurts to have something that bundles in a bunch of features, is it? Features like an oil-free pump, protective cage, low amp draw motor, fast recovery time, rubber feet, wheel kit are some of the features that are really nice to have. But remember, price to performance is also really important. If the companies sell gimmicks in the name of features and charge extra for those, then it’s not worth it. Try to steer away from products like these. Only look for something that will actually make things more convenient.

  • Price to performance ration and warranty:

It goes without saying that buying something with a high price tag is not always worth it. It might look fancy and all, but maybe you just don’t need it. Or maybe the amount they charge for something is just not justified. That’s why make sure you buy something that gives you the best price to performance ratio. Also, having a warranty is never a bad idea. This will not only have your back at the time you need them but also save you a lot of hassle.

Which air compressor is right for you?

It depends actually. are you someone who runs multiple tools at the same time? If you are, then you should get something that provides enough power to do that. Get something that gives you at lease 2.5 SCFM. If you are planning on using it for tools like air nailer, you will need something that comes with 2-5 SCFM. But, if you plan on doing heavy works like using air sander, you are better off with something that has 10CDM and 100 PSI max tank pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)


a) Can an air compressor be used indoors?

Yes! Absolutely. In fact, all the air compressors mentioned in this list are all home air compressor.

b) What type of air compressor is the quietest?

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S is the quietest air compressor I’ve ever used.

c) How big of a compressor do I need to run air tools?

It depends completely on your needs.

d) How do I install an air compressor in my garage?

You can follow this tutorial to do so.

e) How do you soundproof a compressor?

There are a couple of ways to do that. For instance, you can put the compressor in a soundproof enclosure to achieve that.

Final Thoughts:

This brings us to an end to our adventure on finding the best air compressor for home garage. The goal of this post was to serve you as a one-stop guide to finding the product that suits your needs. I hope it managed to do that. For those who are looking for my recommendation, here it is –  

Editor’s choice: PORTER-CABLE C2002  

A close runner up:  DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor 

Both of these two products hit all the sweet spots one might ask for. Both of them are portable and powerful enough to do most DIY jobs. 

I hope this post was of some help to you as I tried hard to compile this list. As always, work hard and stay safe.

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