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An air compressor is almost useless without a high-quality hose. It helps you direct the compressed air to fill the rubber tubing in your tires or clean dust from your spokes. The best air hose will save you from leaks and the safety hazards of having a hose tangled around your feet while working. Read our buying guide for some of the best air compressor hoses on the market today.
Flexzilla Air Hose
Campbell Hausfeld 25 Air Hose
Master Airbrush Nylon Braided Hose
Types of Air Compressor Hoses
Rubber is the most commonly used and readily available type of air hose. It’s typically abrasion-free and can withstand all weather conditions. High-quality rubber can tolerate temperatures ranging from -20 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit without losing its flexibility. However, it weighs more than the other alternatives and forms bubbles under its layers in extreme heat conditions.
Hybrid air hoses are made up of a combination of polyurethane, PVC, and rubber. They are the most flexible and durable type of hoses. They are also temperature resistant even in cold temperatures. All the great features don’t compromise on the quality and weight of the unit. However, they do get kinks after prolonged use.
PVC air hoses are durable, abrasion-resistant, and typically budget-friendly. They work well in warm weather conditions but aren't as flexible as the alternatives. They are the best hoses to fit through tight and hard-to-reach places. However, they tend to coil and kink and exhibit poor performance in cold temperatures.
A polyurethane air hose is the most lightweight air hose available in the market. It typically exhibits excellent cold-weather performance. These types of hoses also have fantastic recoil capabilities. They are, however, more expensive and prone to kinking than other models.
Best Air Compressor Hoses: Reviews & Recommendations
Our top pick for the best air hose is the Flexzilla Air Hose. It's a tough air compressor hose with a great length for outdoor and garage applications. The hose works well in almost all weather conditions and will offer a long service life since it’s resistant to bending and kinking.
Our best value pick is the Campbell Hausfeld Air Hose. This air hose will deliver the best bang for your buck and offer a long service life based on its high-quality construction.
Why Buy an Air Compressor Hose?
- Convenience. If you have a flat tire in the middle of the road, you can pull out your air compressor from your trunk, connect a hose, and refill your flat tire. You will be back on the road in a few minutes.
- Replace a damaged hose. If the hose on your air compressor is worn out, you should consider an aftermarket replacement to avoid frequent trips and spending money at the gas station to inflate your tires.
- Versatility. The air hose can help you fill the pneumatic tires on your RV, ATV, motorcycle, bicycle, wheelbarrow, lawnmower, and any other wheel-driven equipment. It can also help with other general applications, such as flashing out clogged pipes, cleaning your roof, spraying herbicides, and spraying liquid chemicals on metal parts to remove rust.
Air Compressor Hose Pricing
- Under $30: You don’t need to spend a lot of money on an air hose. However, the hose length will vary with price and expect to find short rubber hoses lower on this price range. You will find more of PVC and hybrid hoses higher on this price range.
- Over $30: Most hoses within this price range are polyurethane and hybrid air hoses with all-weather resistance. They are designed for both indoor and outdoor applications and have longer tubes to make it easy to move around when working. The more expensive versions may come with a retractable air hose reel.
Air hoses come in a variety of sizes, typically ranging from 6-50 feet. The length you choose will depend on the type of work you intend to do and the pressure you desire. You should note that air pressure drops with an increase in hose length. If the pressure isn’t an issue and you want to be free when moving around, you should choose a longer hose. Select a shorter hose for inflating your tires.
The internal diameter of the hose determines how much air it can carry and the type of valve it can fit on. However, your choice will largely depend on the CFM requirement (volume delivered at PSI level) of your air compressor. Otherwise, you may experience frequent leaks. The most common diameter sizes are 0.2 to 0.5 inches. 0.2 inches would go well with a low CFM air system, and larger diameter is more compatible with high CFM equipment.
Compressor hoses have different connection styles. There are quick-release connectors that are great for switching between different air tools. National Pipe Tapering (NPT) connections have a small hole size ideally for low-pressure operation. Lastly, there are threaded connectors, which are typically made of corrosion-resistant brass or aluminum. They are the best for automotive applications since they have a wider hole for high-pressure applications and offer the best airtight connection.
- Coiling Capabilities: There are two options here: a standard hose or a recoil hose. The former lies flat without any bends or coils. You can warp it in loops for easy storage or mount it in a hose reel for easy transportation. Recoil hoses have small twists with the memory that shrinks back once you let go of the coil.
- Pressure Rating: Look into the pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure offered by the unit before you decide to purchase it. This is the force at which air is expelled from the tube. Any unit with a 150 psi will work for heavy-duty work like inflating car tires without busting. Hoses with a higher PSI rating are more long-lasting and ideal for extreme temperature conditions.
- Kink Resistance: An air hose may bend and form a curl, which may damage the tube when pressurized air is passed into it. That’s why you need to select a hose that’s able to resist kinking. The most kink-resistant material is rubber, followed by hybrid. The worst is nylon.
- Inspect your air hose thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear before operating it. Also, watch out for signs of heat blistering or cracking. Do not use a hose that shows any other visible signs of deterioration as it may burst and injure you, especially when working at high pressure.
- Store your air hose in a cool and dry place to preserve the life of the air tool. Too much sunlight ages air hoses, and moisture may lead to the formation of mold in the tube and it may rust the connector.
- Remember to regularly clean your hose and connectors to prevent clogging and deterioration of the hose material that may compromise its performance. Remove dirt and dust from the tube, and clean the connectors with a dry cloth.
Q: Can a damaged air hose cause an air compressor not to work?
A: The air compressor works independently of the air hose and attached air tools. The air compressor failure may be as a result of mechanical failure, power switch failure, or other issues with the circuitry. The main problem you may experience when working with a damaged hose is frequent leaks and busting tubes that may lash back and injure you.
Q: Do I need to lubricate the hose connectors?
A: It is not recommended as many lubricants will corrode the hose material, especially if it’s rubber. Moreover, connectors are not movable parts that need lubrication. Once it’s sealed on the air compressor, you may never need to remove it unless you are cleaning the air hose. However, you could use a mild oil-based lubricant to detach the connector if it’s stuck.
Q: Can frost damage an air hose?
A: Yes, a frosted hose may crack, tear, and eventually leak at the connectors. However, most aftermarket air hoses are designed to resist freezing and cracking even when working in subzero temperatures. In case you have a hose that freezes up in such conditions, you could apply a thin layer of antifreeze on the tube and connectors to make it more weather-resistant.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.Learn more