LAST UPDATED: September 12, 2019
Best Air Compressor Hoses: Control Gas Pressure in All Conditions
Fill your flat tires with these top-quality air compressor hoses
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON September 12, 2019
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.
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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.
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.
Goodyear is a tire and rubber manufacturing company that has been in existence for more than 120 years. It’s headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and tires make a major part of its production line. However, the company also produces rubber tools like air and water hoses. One of its best rubber air hoses is the Goodyear Rubber Whip Hose.
Flexzilla is a high-quality garage tool and equipment manufacturer headquartered in Marion, Iowa. It’s a subsidiary brand of Legacy Manufacturing Company, which was founded in 1986. Some of its products include blowguns, lubes, power cords, water hoses, tire indicators, air hose reels, and air hoses. One of its most flexible air hoses is the Flexzilla Air Hose.
Tekton is a handy tools company based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Its products are made in manufacturing facilities in the United States as well as China and Taiwan. It mainly manufactures mechanical hand tools like sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and air hose tools. One of the best air compressor hoses from Tekton is the Tekton Rubber Lead-In Air Hose.
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.
Best Air Compressor Hose Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The Flexzilla Air Hose is a well-engineered hose that offers all-weather flexibility. It works well under a temperature range of -40 to 150-degrees Fahrenheit, and it remains flexible even in subzero temperatures. The unit is made of hybrid polymers with zero memory that won’t kink under pressure and lays flat easily without coiling. It has a maximum working pressure of 300 PSI and only weighs 5 pounds.
Flexzilla is an extremely durable hybrid air hose, and each end is reinforced with crush-resistant, aircraft-grade aluminum connectors with bend restrictors. The bend restrictors reduce wear and tear to prolong the life of the hose. It also features an abrasion-resistant outer cover. The unit can be used in a home garage, automotive shop, and professional job sites.
However, the coil is too lightweight, which makes it difficult to coil the hose without bending or twisting it. It may also not coil or bend when operating under its maximum working pressure. That makes it difficult to reach tight spaces and corners. Moreover, the air compressor and hose connector may start to leak in less than two years, and you may have to use tape to get an airtight seal.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of having an affordable PVC hose, then this 25-foot air hose is the right tool for your projects. The material is resistant to oil and abrasion and remains flexible at temperatures ranging from zero to 130-degrees Fahrenheit.
It can handle a maximum pressure of 300 psi and can deliver enough volume for air-hungry tools such as nail guns and sanding machines. The ends of the hose are reinforced with corrosion-resistant brass fittings made of 1/4-inch male connectors. You can expect less air resistance, thanks to its soft inner lining that reduces friction when air is moving out of the channel. This means that you can get work done faster without draining the power of your air compressor. What’s more, it’s lightweight and flexible enough for DIY projects.
Despite the numerous benefits of PVC, it’s not the best material for working in subzero temperature or extreme heat conditions because the material stiffens and cracks in cold weather, and can melt in extreme heat. It also kinks easily.
The Master Airbrush hose is a nylon-braided option with a pressure rating of 250 psi. The hose is 10 feet long, lightweight, and sturdy. It is resistant to kinks and tears for most of its life. It’s largely recommended for mini air compressors and is ideal for working in confined spaces.
Unlike most hoses, this option is fitted with 1/8-inch BSP (British Standard Pipe) female connectors on both ends to make it easy to connect from either side. It’s also designed with an inline moisture trap to remove moisture from the airflow.
However, since it has both female connectors, you need to connect an adapter for proper fitting in an air compressor. Also, you may find it to be a bit overpriced figuring that there are cheaper options over 20 feet long.
Suitable for automotive and home improvement projects, Goodyear offers a high-quality air hose measuring 50 feet by 3/8 inches. It's made of an EPDM rubber cover that resists damage from oil and harsh weather conditions. It also features spiral synthetic yarn reinforcements for extra stability under intense operating conditions.
Quarter-inch NPT solid brass fittings on each end provide simple and secure connections even without using seals or sleeves. With such a high-grade construction, this air hose can withstand a maximum burst pressure of 1,070 psi, and a maximum operating pressure of 250 psi. It also remains flexible in cold weather and resists kinking.
However, this air hose is a bit heavier than standard air hoses — it’s a bit over seven pounds. Therefore, it can be challenging to move around. Additionally, the rubber catches dirt easily and needs frequent cleaning to maintain its appeal.
The Plews & Edelmann Amflo Air Hose is a flexible and smooth 25-foot polyurethane air hose. It’s designed with a non-marring finish that doesn’t scratch or leave paint marks on the surface it rests on. The hose is suitable for year-round use since it works well within a temperature range of -30 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The unit offers a maximum working pressure of 300 PSI and a 1,200 PSI burst pressure.
The hose has a male 1/4-inch NPT end connection featuring swiveling fittings that limit twisting during low-pressure operation. The body maintains a pigtail-style that automatically recoils after use. It also doesn’t lose coil memory. Lastly, the Amflo air hose is protected from corrosion, UV radiation, static electricity, and abrasions.
However, it's not the best for handling numerous tasks where you have to switch to another tool. You may have to constantly hold onto the hose to keep it from recoiling to a smaller size. Moreover, it may not provide an airtight seal with some air compressor models. It also kinks and tangles easily.
- 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.
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.