LAST UPDATED: April 30, 2021
The Best Cordless Air Compressors: Keep Your Tires Inflated
These cordless air compressors deliver all the utility of an air compressor without the messy cords.
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PUBLISHED ON April 30, 2021
Assuring that your tires are properly inflated is one of the most important things to do before getting behind the wheel. Since the process of going to the nearest service station and waiting in line just to top off our tires can be a hassle, most of us are content to eyeball them and be on our way. Unfortunately, you're endangering yourself and others by doing this, and fortunately, there's an easy solution. That solution is a cordless air compressor. It doesn't cost much and it will save you a lot of time, effort, and money in the long run.
Of course, with the crop of cordless air compressors out in the market all claiming to be the best, we understand that picking the right one can be confusing. That's why we created the buyer's guide below to help you.
This cordless air compressor is compact, powerful, and has nifty features not found on other handhelds.
- Has an auto shut-off feature to prevent overinflation
- Includes a 12V adapter
- Doubles as a power bank
- Backed by a two-year warranty
- Not powerful enough to inflate large tires or camping mattresses
It’s one of the smallest handheld air compressors available that offers wide application.
- Has an auto shut-off feature to prevent overinflation
- Fitted with a torch light for emergencies
- Doubles as a power bank
- Backed by a two-year warranty
- Battery discharges when not in use
- Not powerful enough to inflate tires and camping mattresses
Offering power and versatility, this cordless air compressor can top off virtually anything you can think of.
- Has an auto shut-off feature
- Fitted with a powerful battery that’s interchangeable with other Makita power tools.
- Has enough inflation power for large tires and air mattresses
- Large air hose to allow faster inflation.
- Less portable than other handhelds
- No auto-hold function
- Loud operation
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Cordless Air Compressors
- Convenience. One advantage cordless air compressors have over their corded cousins is that, as long as they’re holding a charge, they can be used practically anywhere, even where power outlets are out of reach.
- Small footprint. Stationary air compressors will generally have more power but will be difficult to carry around due to their size. A cordless air compressor has a smaller footprint and can be stowed inside a car without taking up much space.
- Time-saving. A cordless air compressor will simply save you a lot of time because it is easy to use. Just hook it up to whatever needs inflating, preset the desired air pressure, and pull the trigger.
Types of Cordless Air Compressors
Handheld cordless air compressors will have the smallest footprint and will be the easiest to carry and stow away. However, their diminutive size will come at the cost of power, and while they’ll be usable for most applications, some won’t have enough inflation power to handle large items like SUV tires and the like.
These cordless air compressors will generally still be portable and easy to fit into a trunk, but they’ll weigh more than handhelds and will typically cost more on account of their additional features and increased inflation power. They have wide application, and some will be strong enough to be used for large inflatables and tires.
Avid is a Chinese company that manufacturers power tools and other outdoor equipment. They were established in 1998, and their tools have a reputation of being both affordable and of high quality. Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor is one of their most popular products online, and it gets our pick for Best Overall.
The Makita Corporation was founded in Japan in 1915, and it became the first company in the country to manufacture electric planers. Since then, the company has established itself as one of the best-known manufacturers of power tools and outdoor equipment, and among its most popular tools is the Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Inflator
The Black & Decker Corporation, which was founded in 1910, invented the portable electric drill. They acquired DeWalt in 1960, and since then, the company has been innovative in both the power tool and kitchen appliance product categories. Currently, they make power tools, kitchen appliances, and other outdoor equipment, and the Black+Decker 20V MAX Cordless Tire Inflator is one of their most popular products.
Cordless Air Compressor Pricing
- Under $50: There are many options in this price range that will have no problem topping off a tire or two. They’ll be great for most applications but won’t be powerful enough to fill up large SUV tires and the like.
- $50 to $100: Most portable and cordless air compressors will fall in this price range. They will be noticeably more powerful and can inflate items faster. Battery life will also be better, allowing for longer use.
- $100 and up: Cordless air compressors in this price range won’t be as portable but will have a significantly faster rate of airflow, making them strong enough to inflate bigger items. Some will come with a tank to hold compressed air to allow you to power a pneumatic tool
Portability will come at the cost of power for the most part. Typically, the more compact a battery-powered air compressor is, the lower its inflating strength will be. Small air compressors will still have wide application depending on your needs. If you need a compressor to occasionally top off your tires or fill up small inflatables, then something compact will work just fine.
Auto Shut-Off Feature
Most cordless air compressors will have an auto shut-off feature to prevent overinflation. This feature is particularly useful for tires because an under or overinflated tire can reduce the overall performance of your vehicle and present problems in the long run. Some expensive compressors can do all the work after you’ve set the target PSI, while some (typically the smaller handhelds) will need you to hold the nozzle in place until the job is done.
High Volume Hose
A cordless compressor with a high volume hose will be able to inflate large items faster. This is what you’ll need to inflate large tires or large camping mattresses. Compact handhelds won’t typically include such a hose and will either be unable to inflate a large tire or will need a longer time to do so, so keep this in mind when deciding what to get.
- 12V Adapter. Some cordless air compressors will come with a 12V adapter to allow you to draw power from your car’s power outlet in the event the device’s battery is depleted. This adds a ton of versatility to the device and can be extremely useful during roadside emergencies.
- Interchangeable Battery. A cordless air compressor that uses a battery pack that’s interchangeable with the other power tools already in your shed will be a great option if you can find one.
- Accessories. Most of the devices available in the market will come with the usual accessories, nozzle attachments, and pins to enable you to attach it to a range of items that need inflating. Some attachments will have to be purchased separately, so always check the product before purchasing to assure it has what you need.
Best Cordless Air Compressor Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor is compact, powerful, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. This handy power tool will fit virtually anywhere in your vehicle given its small footprint, and it comes with a slew of accessories to allow you to inflate anything from a tire to a pool toy. What's more, the device comes with a two-year warranty to give you more confidence in your purchase. It features an automatic stop function to shut off the compressor once the desired pressure is reached. And, in the event you run out of power while on the go, a 12V adapter is included in the package to allow you to use your car's power outlet. Conveniently, the battery pack can also be charged with a power bank if need be via the USB port.
It's a great device, and one will have to get nit-picky to say anything negative about it, but if there's one drawback, it's that it will struggle to deliver enough power to inflate a large tire.
The CycPlus Portable Air Compressor Mini Inflator might seem too small to live up to its claims, but you'll be surprised. This futuristic-looking device can fit in a small bag, and it's got enough power to top off a reasonably sized tire in seconds. It's powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can double as a power bank, and it's fitted with a torchlight that's rated 80 lumens to aid you during nighttime emergency situations. An LCD display shows the battery level and tire pressure to eliminate guesswork, and it includes an automatic pressure detection feature to shut off the compressor when the desired pressure is reached. The package includes several adapters for whatever needs inflating, and, lastly, it is backed by a two-year warranty.
Unfortunately, there have been complaints that the battery discharges when not in use, so you'll need to make sure the device is fully charged before you take it out with you.
Makita is a known manufacturer of high quality power tools, and the Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Inflator is another one of their products that lives up to that reputation. It's almost double the price of other cordless options, but this one has enough power to inflate a truck's tire, which is something most battery-powered air compressors can't or will struggle to do. The digital display is backlit and easy to read, and there's an LED lamp at the front of the device to illuminate your work area. It has an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overinflation, and the battery pack is compatible with other Makita power tools for added versatility.
The lack of a trigger lock mechanism means you'll need to pull down on the trigger until you're done inflating, however, which can wear out your fingers after a while.
The Skey Air Compressor Tire Inflator is a versatile tool that has everything you need out of the box. It has a digital screen that displays both the battery level and air pressure in the unit of your choice (PSI, KPA, BAR, or KG/CM2), and an automatic shut-off feature so you won't have to worry about overinflation. The device is fitted with a 2200mAh large capacity lithium-ion battery that can inflate four regular-sized car tires with a single charge, as well as an LED lamp under the nozzle to illuminate your work area when it's dark. The four additional nozzles included in the package allow the device to be attached to a wide range of items, and it even comes with its own carrying bag for easy storage and transport.
Unfortunately, some have complained that the device is noisy and can take a while to inflate a big tire, so those with large SUVs might want to look elsewhere.
The Oasser Air Compressor Electric Inflator is another great option if it's power and portability that you need. The device is fitted with a rechargeable 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery, and it comes with various nozzles and hoses to allow you to inflate all kinds of items. A 12V adapter is included so you can charge the device on the go, as well as a convenient storage bag to hold the compressor and all its accessories in one place. The large digital display shows the battery level and air pressure, and it has an automatic cut off feature to prevent overinflation. Additionally, the device is backed by a two-year warranty.
The device can get really hot after a few minutes of use, however, so you'll need to wear gloves if you intend to inflate a completely flat tire.
The Black+Decker 20V MAX Cordless Tire Inflator is another impressive product from one of the best known power tool manufacturers. Whether it's a large tire, an air mattress, or a pool toy, this device will get the job done in a matter of seconds. It's small enough to tuck in the trunk, and you get three options for power: a 20V rechargeable lithium-ion battery, your vehicle's 12V outlet, or any electrical outlet. It has an easy-to-read display and an automatic shut-off feature that will turn the compressor off once the preset is reached. It has a high pressure feature that allows for faster inflation of large items, and the device is also backed by a two-year warranty.
The device uses the same 20V battery that powers other Black+Decker power tools for added versatility but, unfortunately, it isn't included in the package, so you’ll have to buy it separately.
The Sun Joe 24V Cordless Portable Air Compressor Kit boasts advanced EchoSharp battery technology that assures little to no fade in power even after long term use. It has an auto shut-off feature to prevent overinflation, as well as an easy-to-read display that shows the battery level, air pressure, and preset. Battery runtime is around 65 minutes, and it only takes three hours to charge the device from zero to full. The package includes all the usual nozzles and pin attachments you might need, as well as a small storage bag so you can keep everything in one place.
One drawback is that the device can get uncomfortably hot in the hand after more than a few minutes of use.
The Dewalt Flexvolt 60V Max Air Compressor Kit is designed for more than just the usual applications. Indeed, this air compressor has its own 2.5 gallon air tank and can be used to power a variety of pneumatic tools. It's fitted with a strong brushless motor and oil-free pump that delivers as much power as a standard corded compressor. It has a knob to adjust the pressure and a gauge that displays the PSI reading. The durable roll cage and rubber feet protect the device from damage during transport, and it comes with a 60V FlexVolt battery. Best of all, Dewalt backs this product with a three-year warranty.
At 22 pounds, it's still very portable, but much heavier than other options. There have also been cases of the air compressor suddenly not working after minimal use.
- Some cordless air compressors shouldn’t be used while plugged to an outlet, so check your user manual to avoid damaging your unit.
- Avoid using your cordless air compressor to inflate items it wasn’t designed for, as this can cause it to overheat and get damaged.
- As with any power tool, store your cordless air compressor in a place where it won’t come into contact with water or moisture, as these can damage its internal circuitry.
Q: How much PSI do I need?
Cordless air compressors will typically have a PSI range of between 30 to 150, which is suitable for most applications. Always go for a cordless compressor with a PSI range that is 30 more than what you need.
Q: What is the best cordless air compressor?
It really depends on your specific needs. Some applications need features not found on some handheld models. For the usual daily applications, the Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor, in our opinion, offers the best balance of features and price.
Q: How often should I service my cordless air compressor?
Unlike an air compressor that runs on petrol, electric compressors and battery-powered ones won’t need to be serviced regularly.
The Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor is one of the best in the market, and it gets our top pick. It is affordable, impressively compact, and has enough power for most applications. For a more affordable but feature-rich option, check out the CycPlus Portable Air Compressor Mini Inflator.