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The Best Air Compressors at Walmart: Convenient and Affordable

From cars to construction, these Walmart air compressors have you covered.

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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON May 21, 2021

Air might be all around us, but getting it into your tires is a whole different matter. For that, you need an air compressor. These handy devices are there to pressurize the air and channel it into an inflatable. Ranging from industrial size to compact and portable, you can find a compressor for any situation. Need to do some renovations with that nail gun? Hook up the compressor and, voila, you’re set in a matter of minutes.

 

Tires running a bit low? Instead of hauling yourself over to the nearest gas station or mechanic shop, just repressurize them. Properly inflated tires improve your fuel economy substantially, saving you in gas and making your ride more eco-friendly overall. It’s no secret that everyone can benefit from an air compressor, but finding the right one can be tricky. It’s about balancing cost with utility, which is why we pinned down the best Walmart air compressors. With an option for every situation, these selections can keep both your wallet and your tires full.

Best Overall
Bostitch 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor
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Summary
Summary

An oil-free compressor that’s easy to carry around, this model can reach 150 pounds per square inch. Weighing only 29 pounds, the 6-gallon tank is suited for home renovations and small-scale contracting use.

Pros
Pros
  • Tank is too bulky to use it day-to-day in your vehicle
  • Analog dials are easy to scratch 
  • Several parts are vulnerable to rust
Cons
Cons
  • Tank is too bulky to use it day-to-day in your vehicle
  • Analog dials are easy to scratch 
  • Several parts are vulnerable to rust
Best Overall
Bostitch 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor
Best Value
Hart 20-Volt Cordless Inflator
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Summary
Summary

Cordless and entirely portable, this cordless inflator is accurate to within 1 pound per square inch. It can reach up to 150 pounds per square inch.

Pros
Pros
  • Works on inflatables of all sizes
  • Able to inflate a tire in less than seven minutes
  • Comes with a 20-inch hose
Cons
Cons
  • Relies on 20-volt rechargeable battery
  • Lacks backup air tank
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty work
Best Value
Hart 20-Volt Cordless Inflator
 
Briggs and Stratton 4.5-Gallon Air Compressor
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Summary
Summary

With a 4.5-gallon tank, this air compressor is designed to perform its job quietly and last for a long time. It’s well-suited for bursts of power, like with a nail gun.

Pros
Pros
  • Can reach 125 pounds per square inch
  • Doesn’t create much noise
  • Works well with power tools
Cons
Cons
  • Flow rate is slower than some models
  • Wheels and handle make transporting it somewhat difficult
Briggs and Stratton 4.5-Gallon Air Compressor
Men is inflating a ball at the swimming pool
Walmart

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Benefits of Walmart Air Compressor

  • Versatility. Air compressors serve a huge array of purposes, ranging from filling car tires to air mattresses. You can use them on your bike, your truck, and on tools like nail guns. The type of air compressor might vary based on the application, but the result is the same — access to pressurized air where you need it. 
  • Convenience. You can get air compressors in whatever size works best for your needs. There are some powerful and portable models that tuck conveniently into your vehicle for on-the-go needs. Others live in a corner of your workshop. Each design is built to save you time in inflating or powering the tools on which you rely. 
  • Improved fuel economy. Properly inflated tires result in a more efficient vehicle. Each set has an optimal PSI; and, so long as it stays there, your car will handle better. From braking to taking turns on the road, the vehicle is more responsive when you’re working with well-filled tires. 
  • Road safety. On top of the improved fuel efficiency, air compressors make it safer to drive according to the conditions. Cold weather reduces pressure which can compromise braking. Overfilled tires are more vulnerable to punctures and hydroplaning. An air compressor makes sure you can avoid these risks. 
  • Easier renovations. That burst of air and sharp noise coming from your nail gun is thanks to your air compressor. It offers the projectile force to get the nail in place. There are several tank-style compressors that are affordable and more convenient than getting a rental. 

Types of Walmart Air Compressors

Portable Air Compressors

This type of air compressor is common in vehicle emergency kits. It can fill up a flat in a matter of minutes and works on a lot of different inflatables. Often, these connect to your car via a DC cord, though you can also find battery-powered models and those with AC connections. These have the benefit of being compact, lightweight, and easier to move from place to place. While they don’t have the immediate force of a tank, some can reach the same PSI as bigger models. 

Tank Air Compressors

Useful in contracting, home garages, and industrial settings, these air compressors feature a backup tank to offer powerful pressure. Depending on the amount of power you need, the number of people using it, and the desired pneumatic force, you will need a bigger tank. You can find a lot with wheels and a handle, but they are usually quite heavy. Tank air compressors are more expensive, but also more powerful and longer-lasting. Opt for this type if you plan to leave it in one place or have a set plan to haul the compressor around. 

Top Brands

Briggs and Stratton 

A big name in the USA, Briggs & Stratton is based out of Wauwatosa, Wis. As one of the leading manufacturers of vehicular products and industrial supplies, this Fortune 1,000 company has a reputation for quality. Amongst its leading products is the Briggs and Stratton 4.5-Gallon Air Compressor.

Goodyear

When you think of Goodyear, tires come to mind first. But what do they rely on? That’s right, compressors. This brand dates back to 1898, with humble roots in Ohio. Since that time, it’s grown into an international name in the tires and accessories industry. One of its best compressors is the Goodyear 3-Gallon Air Compressor.

Black+Decker 

Commencing operations in 1910, this company started as a machine shop in Baltimore. We owe the trigger switch and pistol grip on hand-held drills to a Black+Decker patent back in 1917. Since then, the brand has expanded its repertoire to all types of tools and accessories. It makes a sound compressor for contracting work, the Black+Decker Cordless Inflator for Tools.

Walmart Air Compressor Pricing

  • Under $100: The majority of portable air compressors fall in this range. Many have small air tanks while others are meant for inflation. Both compressors for power tools and car tires fall in this category. 
  • $100 to $300: In this range, you can find a few portable models, but most will be stationary due to the size of the tank. 
  • $300 and up: This price reflects the industrial purpose of the tanks in this category. They are heavy-duty and pack a punch, with most being able to accommodate more than one user simultaneously. 

Key Features

Compressor Technology

Naturally, an essential feature of an air compressor is the part that pressurizes the air itself. These are broken into two categories: single- and two-stage compressors. This refers to the number of pistons used. Single-stage piston models are better in industrial settings, giving a fast burst of air. Dual-stage options work for slower, steadier compression, like when inflating tires. They max out at a higher pressure. 

Flow Rate

The speed at which the compressor can push air out determines how efficient it is time-wise. Many models tout inflating a tire, from flat to full, in under five minutes. The faster the flow rate, measured as cubic feet per minute (CFM), the more quickly you’ll get the job done. While the CFM might change slightly based on the barometric pressure in your area, it should remain reasonably close to the specs on the compressor. 

Size

A major feature, and a huge differentiating point between compressors, is the size of the tank (if any). It all depends on where you plan to use it. If you’re camping or using the compressor in a roadside kit, then you likely want a portable, lightweight option. Conversely, if you’re doing renovations or working with power tools, you’ll look for a large tank. The larger the tank, the more power you get. 

Other Considerations

  • Power source. First, think about how the air compressor draws power. The majority of industrial models are built to work with standard electrical setups, plugging into a wall outlet. Portable models usually have an AC function, but the 12-volt plugin is more important in those situations. Battery options are available, but make sure you have a charger in the car just in case. 
  • Protections. From a roll cage to accommodations for the power cord, there’s a lot of design features that can make the compressor safer (both for the machine and the user). The automatic shutdown will turn it off if overheating occurs, while a valve drain can prevent rust and corrosion by ridding it of condensation. 
  • Drive mechanisms. Some compressors use a direct drive, whereas others use a belt drive. Typically, a belt drive will be quieter since it requires direct contact with the motor. This reduces the vibrations and limits the noise. With ear protection, even heavy-duty compressors with a belt drive are reasonably quiet. 
  • Number of couplers. If you’re using this in a commercial or industrial setting (like for contracting work), you may want more than one person working at once. Each person can hook up to a coupler, so the more there are, the more efficient the work is. However, it does mean you’ll need a bulkier tank. 

Best Walmart Air Compressors Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Bostitch 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor

Offering the best of both worlds, the Bostitch 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor is big enough to pack a punch, yet doesn’t take up too much space. It’s able to reach 150 pounds per square inch and has an impressive flow rate. Thanks to the design, it operates at only 78.5 decibels, making it one of the quietest options available. The motor is built to be tough, working in cold conditions. It incorporates a high-flow regulator that lets you control the pressure. Featuring two prominent analog gauges (one for each coupler), it can tackle big jobs. While 6 gallons might not be big enough for industrial use, at only 29 pounds, it is a good balance of size and weight. Considering its overall power and high-pressure rating, this is definitely a good pick for renovations or as part of an emergency kit for your vehicle. 


The only downside to this model is that, with the flow rate and two users, the capacity diminishes quickly. It has a small tank, relative to commercial models, so be sure it’s up to the task ahead of you.

Best Value
Hart 20-Volt Cordless Inflator

Portable inflators like the Hart 20-Volt Cordless Inflator have the advantage of being much lighter in weight. Easier to place in your tool box or toss in the trunk of a car, it adds a lot of use simply because you can take it with you to more places. The compressor is priced reasonably and is powerful enough to inflate a tire in less than seven minutes. Accurately reading the pressure to within a single unit (pounds per square inch), regular use of this compressor can seriously improve fuel mileage. Coming with a 20-inch hose, this 20-volt inflator comes with two high-pressure nozzles and an adapter for sports supplies. Useful in multiple situations without breaking the bank, this inflator is a good value pick. 


It’s definitely worth a mention that, while this compressor is really affordable, the battery is sold separately. Hart batteries are all compatible with one another, so it’s better if you already have a tool by this brand. 


Honorable Mention
Briggs and Stratton 4.5-Gallon Air Compressor

Sometimes getting around with a large compressor can be tricky, which is why the Briggs and Stratton 4.5-Gallon Air Compressor is so handy. It includes large wheels on the back, attaching to a frame that keeps it steadily in position during use. The large handle lets you angle the weight in a comfortable way to move the compressor from place to place. Able to reach up to 125 pounds per square inch, you can inflate most tires with this compressor. It boasts an impressive single-unit horsepower, while many competitors ring in at only half that metric. Ideal for nail guns, it works quietly and performs reliably. This model comes with a single-year warranty, though there are extended options available. 


Keep in mind that this model uses only a single piston system, and may not be as high-functioning at filling tires. It’s well-suited for bursts of power, like those used on a nail gun.

Honorable Mention
Goodyear 3-Gallon Air Compressor

If you’re after a reliable option that carries enough power to make light work of construction, the Goodyear 3-Gallon Air Compressor is a solid choice. For starters, since it is only 3 gallons, it is lightweight enough to carry to and from the construction site. This model touts a standard conditions flow metric of 1 cubic foot per minute. Able to reach pressures up to 135 pounds per square inch, it comes with all the necessary accessories to work with a nail gun and pneumatic stapler. It sits low to the ground and has steady legs to keep it in place while you work. Entirely oil-free, this compressor doesn’t need much in the way of upkeep. Working with any standard 120-volt AC outlet, you can use it pretty much anywhere. 


One criticism is that this compressor doesn’t include any wheels. It does stay stable when you’re working, but you’ll rely on a hefty extension cord to get bigger jobs done. 

Honorable Mention
Black+Decker Cordless Inflator

Usually, compressors have a power cord, which is what makes the Black+Decker Cordless Inflator such an interesting candidate. Instead of tripping over a power cord, you can work exclusively with the air hose connections. It runs off a 20-volt lithium-ion battery that recharges on any standard Black+Decker charging station. Equipped with a pressure gauge and deflate function, this compressor quickly fills smaller inflatables. It incorporates automatic shutoff features, both to account for the heat and the pre-set pressure. Weighing under 6 pounds, you can carry this along just about anywhere. It easily fits in with other supplies and adds a lot of conveniences when camping or on vacation. User feedback highlights its power and efficiency. Paired with the quality design, it’s well worth an honorable mention. 


Bear in mind that this model is designed for small-scale use and will not withstand industrial conditions. So long as it’s used for smaller tasks and stored well, it should last a really long time.

Honorable Mention
Augienb Portable Electric Air Compressor

If you’ve ever found yourself dealing with a flat tire on the side of the road, you know how useful the Augienb Portable Electric Air Compressor Inflator can be. The 12-volt DC system packs a punch, able to inflate at a rate of 35 liters per minute. Featuring a 10-foot power cord, you can reach otherwise hard-to-access valve stems. Reaching pressures up to 150 pounds per square inch, you can use this model to quickly inflate any car or SUV tire. The lightweight design makes maneuvering it effortless; and, paired with the well-crafted adapters, you can use it without any flow issues. Because it cools down quickly, you can leave it to run for a solid 10 minutes before it needs some downtime. Since it fills tires in just a few minutes, it will typically get you the whole way through the task, unless it’s a huge project.


It’s worth a mention that this inflator isn’t substantial enough to work on large tires or in an industrial setting. Ideal for an emergency kit for your car, it won’t hold up in the workshop.

Honorable Mention
Viar Portable Compressor Kit

Air compressors are incredibly important for off-road vehicles since they deal with difficult terrain and are more likely to incur tire issues. The Viar Portable Compressor Kit stands out as a preferable option for ATVs and mountain bikes. It runs off a 12-volt electrical system and is able to fill up to 150 pounds per square inch. With a deflate feature and three inflation tips, you can use it on most inflatables. It comes with all the hookups you need to use it anywhere, including battery clamps. Featuring simple controls and a streamlined design, it all comes together in a convenient carrying case. Easy to store in your garage or right in your ATV, this model can fill tires up to 35 inches in size. 


The only issue is that the inline pressure gauge only gets to 100 pounds per square inch. Sure, you aren’t likely to get that high, but since it can reach 150 PSI, it would be better if the gauge went up that high.

Tips

  • Take breaks to allow the compressor’s motor to cool down. The smaller the compressor, the more frequently you need to let it cool down. 
  • Store it where you’ll need it most and where you have the best access to a power supply. 
  • Check your tires’ pressure regularly. Properly inflated tires can reduce your carbon output by up to 3 percent
  • Strike a good balance between power and bulk. Heavy-duty options are hard to move around, and if you can get the same job done with less, it’s usually better. 
  • Make sure it has a high enough pressure for the job. If you need to use a power tool, check for a single piston setup. Otherwise, look at the PSI output. 
  • Factor in noise when making your pick. Some models are loud enough to hear over your ear protection. Aim for around 80 decibels to get the best results. 

FAQs

Q: Should I trust Walmart air compressor accessories?

Absolutely, so long as you’re getting a model from a trusted name with a good track record. You can find a ton of big names at Walmart, often at competitive prices. Look at the user reviews and pick reputable brands. As long as the compressor meets the specs you need, it should perform well. 

Q: Does Walmart sell replacement air compressor check valves?

Yes, you can get quite a few common replacement check valves. There’s the Aoustop 3-Port Check Valve, along with the Air Compressor Female-Threaded Valve. When you’re looking, the most important thing is to check the compatibility with your compressor. 

Q: Does Walmart sell replacement air compressor motors?

Though Walmart has quite a few accessories and replacement parts, the motors aren’t really sold separately. For the price of motors being so close to the cost of a whole air compressor, it’s usually easier to replace the whole system. You can get them, but it is usually through the manufacturer, not a retailer like Walmart. 

Q: Does Walmart do air compressor repairs? 

In most cases, if you find a tire shop in a Walmart, it focuses more on the vehicle and less on the tools to fix it. Walmart technicians will rotate your tires, do oil changes, and other similar tasks, but they likely won’t work on your standalone air compressor. Some may work on the air compressor connected to your car’s A/C, but call ahead to make sure. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the finer points of picking a Walmart air compressor, you can find the perfect fit. The beauty is that there’s a quality model for every purpose and budget, ranging from the Bostitch 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor to the cost-effective Hart 20-Volt Cordless Inflator. With these options, you can compress the air without putting pressure on your budget.