Best Portable Air Compressors: Run Your Air-Powered Tools With Ease
A quality portable air compressor ensures your tires are inflated and your air-powered tools can operate well
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PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019
If you are planning to use any of your air-powered tools in the field, a portable air compressor is a must-have gadget. With this machine, you can power your staple gun and an air ratchet, and you won’t even have to visit the gas station to inflate your tires anymore. These units come in different styles and sizes to suit your needs. In this guide, we’ll help you choose the right portable air compressor.
- Best OverallEPAuto Portable Air Compressor PumpSummarySummary
The EPAuto compressor is equipped with the necessary plug to directly fit into the cigarette lighter socket of your vehicle for a convenient connection. It is compatible with 12V DC, consuming 10-15 amps and 120-180 watts to produce a fast inflating speed of 1.06 cubic feet per minute.ProsPros
It comes with multiple adapters for cars, SUVs, bikes, sedans, balls, and other inflatables. It has auto-shut protection when the desired pressure is achieved and also auto-heat protection that shuts it down when overloaded—all to prevent damage. It is lightweight and CE certified.ConsCons
The system is not compatible with a 24V system. Also, its maximum pressure is 70 PSI which means it does not support heavy equipment that requires high pressure.
- Best ValueWindGallop Portable Air CompressorSummarySummary
A cheaper yet strong and fast inflator is the WindGallop air compressor. It is compatible with 12V DC and can hold a maximum pressure of 50 PSI. It features a smart display for easy reading and an LED light for use in the darkness.ProsPros
This fast compressor can inflate a car tire within five minutes. It is portable and easy to use. It features an ergonomic and durable design. It has auto-stop inflating capabilities when it reaches the desired pressure. It is not as noisy as similar air compressors. It is stable and has a built-in automatic cooling system.ConsCons
It is not suitable for ATV, road bike, pickup, and truck tires. This equipment cannot be used for more than 10 minutes and should be allowed to cool for 15 minutes after every use.
- Honorable MentionVIAIR 90P Portable CompressorSummarySummary
This kit features a low amp draw from your 12V battery, to inflate tires faster using its maximum pressure of 120 PSI. It comes with a tire pressure monitoring gauge for safe and convenient inflating. Additionally, it comes with different valves for a variety of applications.ProsPros
It is lightweight and comes with a deluxe storage bag for easy carrying. It comes with a one-year warranty covering factory defects and workmanship. Features a 5-foot air hose. It is also quiet, fast, and easy to use.ConsCons
It cannot inflate tires of more than 31 inches. You have to wait for it to cool for 40 minutes after every use. It cannot be plugged in through your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
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- When inflating any gadget, make sure you set the required PSI. Many compressors have a cutoff when the set limit is reached. If yours does not have one, make sure to disconnect it when the set level is reached.
- Overinflating may damage a tire structure or even cause it to burst due to excessive pressure. On the other hand, underinflating a tire may cause a condition called “dry rot,” which destroys the tire. Therefore, ensure you inflate your tires to the correct PSI.
- Always make sure you carry your tire chuck. This is a tool that connects the tire valve and the nozzle of the air hose. It works by pressing the valve switch into the tire valve to allow air to flow in smoothly.
- Since an air compressor is an electrical device and mostly metallic, always keep it dry. Moisture may cause short-circuiting or rusting of some components, which can inhibit the air compressor’s performance.
Q: How much pressure do I need?
A: The pressure you need depends on how you intend to use your compressor. If you are planning to use your compressor for inflating tires, the pressure you need depends on the requirements of your tires (30 to 35 PSI for passenger vehicles). However, you may need much more pressure if you are planning on using air-powered tools (more than 100 PSI).
Q: Can I add an extra tank to my compressor?
A: Yes, it is possible to add an extra tank to an already tanked compressor or even to a tankless compressor. Adding a tank prevents pressure loss, increases capacity, and adds consistency to airflow. However, you will need more time to fill the compressor.
Q: What is a duty cycle in an air compressor?
A: A duty cycle refers to the amount of time that a compressor can be operated in a given time period at 100 PSI and a standard temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the duty cycle, the better the compressor can handle heavy use.
For a durable, convenient, easy to use, and lightweight compressor, consider the EPAuto Portable Air Compressor Pump.
However, if you need a cheaper option that will still work well and has a variety of applications, we recommend the WindGallop Portable AIR Compressor.