Best 110v Air Compressors: Our Top Picks for Your Car, Workshop & Garage
Seamlessly complete jobs in your workshop or garage with these top 110v air compressors.
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An air compressor that’s compatible with 110v/120v outlets can be used for a variety of automotive maintenance tasks. These machines convert power into energy stored in pressurized air. When air is forced into the tank, the pressure increases. What is the best air compressor to buy? Check out this guide for our top picks.
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Why Buy a 110v Air Compressor?
- A good addition to your workshop. Working on your car at home requires a large toolset. The more tools you have, the more you can do. Adding an air compressor into the mix will give you the ability to work on your wheels, tires, and other parts that may require fastening, cleaning, or inflating.
- Great for DIY enthusiasts. Save some money by doing your own automotive work. Ever wanted to change or repair your own tires? While you’ll need more than a simple air compressor, it can make DIY automotive maintenance easier and more accessible.
- Cheaper to use air tools. Air tools are powerful for loosening or tightening fittings. Lug nuts, for example, benefit from an air-powered impact driver to ensure you get a tight grip between the wheels and rims. Even a simple puff of air helps clean vehicle surfaces and other tools.
- Do more at home. While car tires are the most logical thing to inflate with an air compressor, since they are quick to inflate and most compressor valves work with tire stems without any adapters, you can pump up nearly anything with the right attachment. You can also run other air-powered tools for DIY home projects.
Types of 110v Air Compressors
The best pancake compressors are light and small with tanks ranging in size from one to six gallons. This type of air compressor is compact, oil-free, and portable due to its weight. They're intended for small jobs such as tire inflation and usually cannot run large air tools. They're popular for home workshops and garages.
Hot Dog Compressor
These compressors are popular among DIY mechanics because they power small air tools such. They are generally heavier than pancake compressors and have bigger tanks. These compressors are low-maintenance but are usually louder than other compressors. They are not known for having a "whisper quiet" feature.
Top Brands of 110v Air Compressors
Located in Towson, Maryland, Porter-Cable was established in 1906 as a jobbing machine and tool shop. In addition to air compressors, they produce drills, saws, grinders, polishers, and other tools. One top product is the Porter-Cable CMB15 (1.5 Gallon) Oil-Free Fully Shrouded / Hand Carry Compressor Kit.
DeWalt Products Company was formed in Leola, Pennsylvania, in 1924 with the launch of the electric universal woodworking machine, mortiser, and jointer. In 2018, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary of the Product Service Division of Stanley Black & Decker. One popular product is the DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 psi Pancake Compressor.
SENCO is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founder Albert Juilfs built the Springtramp Eliminator to address automobile vibrations in 1936. The company is known for its high-quality fasteners and tools. One popular compressor is the Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor.
California Air Tools
California Air Tools was established in San Diego, California, in 2002. The company introduced its first line of "ultra-quiet" air compressors in 2009. Its mission for customers is to "change the way you work." One top product is the California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor.
Campbell Hausfeld, a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway company in Cincinnati, Ohio, was founded in 1836 and focused on agricultural equipment. Today, the company focuses on compressed air products as well as easy-to-use pneumatic equipment. One popular product is its 8-Gallon Campbell Hausfeld Portable Quiet Air Compressor.
110v Air Compressor Pricing
- Under $50: Typically, air compressors in this price range have one function such as tire inflation. They can be used for cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, and other small vehicles. They're also practical for sporting equipment, rafts, athletic balls, beach toys, and air mattresses.
- $100-$200: There are several air compressors powerful enough for impact drivers and other automotive equipment. They don't always include an accessory kit, which sometimes must be purchased separately.
- Over $200: There are a variety of good quality air compressors for home garages and workshops in this price range. They tend to be bigger and offer more performance than smaller machines.
The higher the SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute), the better the performance. SCFM measures the volume of air flow needed for an air compressor to achieve its best performance. SCFM changes with psi (pounds per square inch), which is a measure of pressure.
Tank Size & Weight (Portability)
Weight is important, particularly if you want an air compressor that you can easily move from one area of the garage to another as you work on a vehicle. Tank sizes are measured in gallons. Bigger tanks typically equal greater performance. If you plan on doing smaller tasks, you don't need a huge tank.
- Orientation: Air compressor tanks can be vertical or horizontal. It's a personal choice as to what type will fit best in your shop. In some areas, a horizontal tank may take up too much space, while a vertical tank may be the perfect solution for areas in which there is less room.
- Handles: If you plan on lugging your air compressor around your garage, check to see if it has a handle. This may not be necessary for a pancake compressor, but a hot dog compressor is heavier and more difficult to move. A handle will make it more portable.
Best 110v Air Compressor Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Tips & Advice for 110v Air Compressors
- When choosing a 110v air compressor, you can purchase products marked 110v, 115v, and 120v. They all conform to the same U.S. electric current standards.
- Read the manual. Even if you are knowledgeable about air compressors, it's important to learn about the product before using it. Accidents can happen if you don't follow the directions.
- Pay attention to the break-in period. Manufacturers usually recommend running the compressor with the pressure valve open for at least 15 minutes. Afterward, close the valve and let the tank come up to pressure.
- Never exceed the maximum pressure. Always follow the recommended pressure for safety purposes. If you don't correctly follow the manufacturer's instructions, you risk having an accident and/or injury.
- Avoid rust by holding the compressor at an angle to drain any water that builds up after each use. Rust and other misuses can cause the compressor to burst.
- Check for loose parts before operating the compressor. For example, ensure the hoses fit snugly on the tank. Loose parts can result in injury. Also, keep the hoses clean.
- It's not advisable to run most air compressors for more than 20 to 30 minutes. You should switch it off and give the machine time to cool down.
Q: Will my compressor easily inflate car tires?
A: It depends on the size and power of the air compressor. Compressors that are larger will do the job much quicker than smaller, lighter compressors.
Q: Does it come with a hose?
A: Some air compressors require a separate accessory kit. Make sure you read the detailed description of the product to ensure it has all the parts required for your project.
Q: How long does it take the tank to fill when it's empty?
A: Some tanks take as little as a couple of minutes, but other tanks may take longer to fill. It depends on the compressor's size and level of performance.
Q: Do air compressors work in frigid cold temperatures?
A: Most types of electrical equipment can suffer from performance issues in cold weather. Compressors that are small and not intended for high-demand use may function fine in colder climates.
Our top pick for the best 110v air compressor is the DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 psi Pancake Compressor. It is quieter than its competitors, has dual connectors, and pumps up quickly.
If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, consider the Porter-Cable C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor.