Until recently, air compressor manufacturers just focused on building industrial-grade beasts whose main role is to power equipment and machinery used for heavy and tough applications. But what about smaller applications like in an office or around the house?
For this purpose, smaller and more compact versions have been designed, which makes it easier to move them around where needed. Following are my quick reviews of the best portable air compressors for smaller applications in office or home use. Hope it will be of some help to you!
The Best Portable Air Compressor Reviews – 2016
California Air Tools CAT-6310 Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Air Compressor Review
If noise level is a major concern for you, you’ll be glad to know that the California Air Tools CAT-6310 has a noise level of only 60 dB, making it one of the quietest air compressors in the industry and thus extremely suitable for indoor applications. The portable oil-free compressor is useful for small applications like nail guns, tires pumping, etc.
Weighing at 50 pounds, the CAT-6310 has 1.0 HP motor that operates at 1680 RPM, resulting in less noise and less wear. At a pressure of 40 PSI, the compressor can produce an air flow of 3.8 CFM. The 6.3 gallon air tank with wheel kit makes for extra air capacity and easy portability. The oil-free Dual Piston Pump System boosts performance and productivity. The lightweight and compact dimensions add to its mobility, unlike other bigger and heavier models.
While everything about this compressor gets 5 stars, the only concern is the lightweight body which may be prone to damages in case of mishandling and fall. Therefore, treat it with some TLC.
Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor Review
The Makita MAC5200 is powered with Makita’s Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and piston which give higher output, along with faster recovery and improved performance. The 3.0 HP motor is powerful, at a pressure of 90 PSI, the compressor can produce an air flow of 6.5 CFM. The tank size is 5.2 gallons.
Designed for those who want an air compressor that is easy to wheel, this machine can be used anywhere, for various applications, such as blowing out a sprinkler system and running two framing nailers. The cast iron pump is oil-lubricated to maintain cooler running temperatures and reduce wear. Although the MAC5200 weighs 104.4 pounds, the weight is supported by rugged wheels which assist with mobility.
The immaculate manufacturing of MAC5200 makes it ideal for high productivity and performance with limited need for maintenance. However, its power makes it slightly noisy; at 90 dB noise level, some users find it disturbing while it’s running. Although there were also complaints in the past about low quality wheels, recent reviews suggest that Makita has resolved this issue.
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor Review
The wide range of applications that can be used with this air compressor will convince DIYs and hobbyists that the MAC700 is a necessity, not a luxury.
Similar to its above mentioned counterpart, the MAC700 is also fitted with Makita’s Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and piston, which not only delivery higher output, faster recovery, and improved performance but also reduce noise levels, maintaining them at 80 dB. Powered by a 2.0 HP motor, the MAC700 provides a pressure of 90 PSI at a delivery rate of 3.3 CFM.
The 2.6 gallon tank capacity is sufficient for most general purpose jobs such as sandblasting, operating nail guns, powering air tools, as well inflating tires, balloons, toys, snow tubes, etc. Another notable positive point about MAC700 is that it draws low amps, which prevents tripped breakers and voltage drops.
The only downside that consumers have complained of is receiving a damaged item, for which the delivery service should be held responsible.
Rolair JC10 1 HP Quiet Oil-Less Air Compressor Review
The lightest of the lot, this air compressor weighs only 39 pounds. But don’t be fooled by the less weight – the Rolair JC10 is a state-of-the-art air compressor ideal for homeowners who need a handy but powerful tool for applications, like operating a pneumatic nail guns, hammers and chipping equipments.
At 39 pounds, there are no points for guessing how extremely compact and portable this air compressor is. It is equipped with a noiseless 1.0 HP motor that delivers pressure of 90 PSI at a rate of 2.35 CFM. The tank capacity of 2.5 gallons allows you to work for longer time with ease and comfort.
Guess how much noise it makes? None at all – at 60 dB noise level, the Rolair JC10 is quiet as a mouse. The oil-less feature means that the Rolair JC10 is a low maintenance model and you will not have to worry about oil in the output air.
The main issue with this air compressor is the gauge. According to many user reviews, the gauge faces outwards, hence the viewing angle should be improved. Also, the design of the roll bar has added weight to the Rolair JC10 and made it bulkier than typical 1.0 HP air compressors. Being an oil-free compressor also means that it will have to suffer more wear over time.
Selecting the right portable air compressor is more about intended use and less about personal preferences. Therefore, it is critical that before making a purchase, you have a clear idea of the applications you need the compressor for. The aforementioned portable air compressors are the best models available in the market now. As they vary in their specifications, you can pick one that fulfills all your requirements.