If you tackle a lot of repairs at home, one thing you really need is a garage air compressor. It's an important piece for any toolkit because it supports so many of your other tools to function properly. If you're looking for the best air compressor for a home shop though, it can be hard to navigate all the choices out there. You need something that can help you with car tires, air ratchets, your pneumatic tools and more. All of these essential tools are serviced by your air compressor, which makes it one of the hardest working appliances in your home shop!
If you're starting to accumulate the tools you need to complete projects, then it can be difficult to determine which model is good. Searching for a quiet air compressor for your garage can start to feel like a full time job! Factors such as the volume of the pump, the airflow and pressure it can output, how much maintenance it needs and whether it runs on oil all influence which model is right for your needs.
So if you need to know what types of air compressors best suit the tools that you have, read on for our review of the seven best models of air compressor out there!
Best Garage Air Compressors
Here’s an up close and personal look at the very best air compressors for your garage:
Plews & Edelmann Tru-Flate 16-250 Tankless Wall-Mount Garage Air Compressor
If you’re looking for a compact model which doesn’t compromise on performance, then this wall-mounted model from Plews & Edelmann could be ideal for you! It could help you to achieve the optimal balance of inflation in your car tires, and this in turn can improve your fuel efficiency on the road, thereby even saving you money on your costs.
The best thing about this model is the multi-purpose compressor which is entirely tank-less. It comes with hardware to attach securely to the wall, so it's not taking up valuable floor space in your home shop. And this model also features a sturdy recoiling house, so that it all folds away neatly when not in use.
This air compressor is a good one for those who are just getting into mechanics, as it has a preset digital inflator. Simply select the pressure you require, and the compressor will activate an auto-shut off when that pressure is reached - it really couldn’t be simpler. There’s no risk of overheating or risking a compressor burnout, making this the easiest tool to use.
- Auto-shut off avoids burnout
- Preset digital inflation values
- Wall-mounted unit
- Extremely easy to use - ideal for novice mechanics
- Stores on the wall to keep floor space free
- Digital presets are easy to use in a rush
- Digital display is always on unless not plugged in
- The chuck is not the best quality
- Vibrates and is fairly noisy when in use
Stealth 4.5 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
Need a little more power in your garage air compressor? Then you’ve come to the right place with the Stealth range of highly professional tools. This 4.5-gallon model boasts a super powerful compression motor that generates 1.3 horsepower - enough for even the most demanding task. And because this compressor is oil-free it's also low maintenance, leaving you more time to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
A durable, powerful, professional standard machine, this helps finish construction and worksite projects with ease. With a collapsible, rubber-reinforced handle and 6 inch wheels, this is also portable and very easy to connect your air power tools such as pneumatic wrenches or nail guns.
Another great feature? This air compressor is also very quiet, with only 65 decibels when in operation thanks to its innovative low noise level hose. You will actually be able to hold a conversation while this tool is in use. For jobs like attaching trim to a door, it's ideal.
Accessory devices can be easily attached to the unit, with enough pressure to support items like a plasma cutter. It also features a really long cycle of more than 1000 hours when fully charged up. And when that initial charge is exhausted, the Stealth 4.5 Gallon also recovers quickly so that you can move onto the next project in no time. A professional piece of kit for the serious workman!
- Super powerful induction motor
- Oil-free operation
- Quick recovery time
- One of the quietest models available for home purchase
- 1.3 horsepower adapts to most jobs
- Sturdy construction
- A fairly expensive model to buy
- Starter kit does not include any accessories
- Heavy to lift
Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
The next step up from the Stealth 4.5 Gallon is it’s big brother, the 20 gallon. This model is a pro-level air compressor that can make light work of even the most demanding jobs. With a massive 1.8 horsepower, you won’t be left short. Like the smaller model, this also runs oil-free meaning that the maintenance is easy and won’t cause any stress. Again, a huge draw here is just how quiet it is compared to most garage air compressors on the market - at 68 decibels, you can have all the power you need without deafening yourself in the process. It's a huge draw for what is already a great machine.
This model also has a quick recovery time, meaning you can get through more work in less time. It’s powerful enough to handle drills, hammers and grease guns. The 8 inch rubber-reinforced wheels and 6 foot cord length allow you to move the tank around your workshop as needed, while the vertical footprint and stand-up design takes up less floor space when not in use. And the two quick couplers mean that you can switch from tool to tool quickly to keep your job moving.
- Vertical stand-up design
- Quick change couplers for attaching tools
- Oil-free running
- Hugely powerful while also being the quietest home model
- Quick recovery time
- Switch tools easily for complex jobs
- Heavy to move around
- No auto drain valve - must be done manually
- An expensive option for the home
Slime 40045 Direct Drive 120V Tire Inflator with Wall Mount
Something straightforward for domestic use that gets the job done is sometimes all that you need. And for those sort of cases, this model from Slime proves ideal. A 120v garage inflator, this is supplied with a wall-mounting bracket for easy storage. You can quite quickly create an inflation station in your garage by plugging into a power outlet or extension cord. Offering a 4 minute inflation time on a standard tire, you can get back on the road in no time. T
here are also some extremely handy additional features, including a tread depth gauge so you can be sure tires are legally compliant, 0-150 PSI built-in dial gauge for accurate assessment, valve caps and all the necessary adapters to meet most household inflation tasks easily. All the accessories come in a plastic storage case, making this whole set neat and easy to store. And the thermal break safety feature means that you’re never in any danger of overheating.
- Inflate a tire in just 4 minutes
- Wall mounting bracket for easy storage
- Built in tread-depth gauge
- Compact design
- Easy to operate
- Works well for tires and household items
- Gauge read out intervals are large - can be problematic for smaller tires
- Attachment points can be tricky to disconnect in a hurry
- Not the most suited for mechanical projects
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor
Tackling DIY projects is made a lot easier with the Campbell Hausfeld model, which comes in a range of capacities - 1 gallon, 3 gallon, and the much larger 8 gallon. This really is the ideal starter kit due to the large range of accessories that the model comes with - a ten piece kit that is really useful. This includes a blow gun, inflation needles and a coiled hose for easy operation.
With conveniently placed gauges that are easy to use and a compact, portable design it’s a good choice as a starter model, as not only can it handle the usual tire inflation and household objects, you can also use it to tackle DIY staples such as upholstery projects, air brushing and brad nailing as well. It delivers 110-115 PSI to give you the power you need for any job. This model provides great value and will get the job done easily.
- Range of capacity options
- Comes with an accessory kit
- Compact design
- Cost effective model
- Comes with a wide range of accessories
- Lightweight build means it can be moved around easily
- Motor is quite loud in operation
- Not the best choice for supporting air powered tools
- Does not hold pressure for very long
Kensun AC/DC Digital Tire Inflator
A piece of advanced engineering that will make a great addition to any home shop, Kensun promises great quality garage air compressors at a fair price. The 120W solid metal motor is built to last and makes your compressed air jobs light work. The high quality construction means that this is a tool with real durability, that will last you for years to come.
One very cool feature here is the unique AC/DC switching on the voltage. This means that the unit is truly portable and you can take it anywhere, drawing charge from either a 12v car cigarette plug as well as a standard 110v wall plug. The digital gauge features auto shut-off at a preset pressure, making this a safe device to use. The large backlit LCD display ensures that you can read the information clearly at all times. This is just the machine for providing a balance between power and portability.
- Dual charging source
- Supplied with a range of accessories
- Backlit LCD display
- Unique ability to charge on the go from a 12v power source
- 120w fully metal constructed motor
- Balances portability with power
- Cord extension length can be a little short for some jobs
- Unit only works for 5 minutes in between charges
- LCD screen can be difficult to view at some angles
CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor
This CRAFTSMAN Garage Air Compressor is built to last, with a solid construction that will see you through any amount of home shop projects. When looking for a quiet air compressor for the garage, you will see that this is the preferred choice for many home mechanics and DIY enthusiasts, thanks to its solid but lightweight 30lbs pancake body, which maximizes portability and stored air.
Highly durable with an oil-free pump, this is also easy to maintain and care for. Supplying a 150 max PSI, there is plenty of power stored in the compact body, which makes this model suitable for a wide variety of applications. There’s also a quick compressor recovery time which allows you to tackle tasks quickly and efficiently - and the Craftsman starts up quickly even in cold weather. It comes fully supplied with a 13 piece accessory kit, including a PVC air hose with coupler, a tire chuck, a blow gun, a tire gauge and three different inflator adaptors.
There’s not many tasks that this piece of kit couldn’t handle easily, and with a 1 year limited warranty you can be assured of quality.
- Compact pancake body
- Supplied with a 13 piece accessory kit
- 1 year warranty
- Easy to set up and get running out of the box
- Motor enables rapid tank fill up
- Good value for the range of tasks it can tackle
- Not suitable for inflating heavy vehicle tires
- No wall mounting kit for storage
- Instructions for using could be clearer
Garage Air Compressor FAQ
|What Is A Garage Air Compressor?||A garage air compressor is a must-have tool for any garage. They allow to inflate tires, air tools & more!|
|How Big Are Garage Air Compressors?||Garage air compressors vary greatly in size. Smaller models can be mounted to a wall, while larger models are 30 gallons or more in size!|
|What Are the Benefits of Garage Air Compressors?||A garage air compressor can save you both time AND money, especially when it comes to making sure your tires are properly inflated!|
|How Much Do Garage Air Compressors Cost?||Garage air compressors range in cost from $50.00 to over $300.00.|
Whatever your needs, there is a home air compressor for you - you just have to select the best one for the jobs you need to tackle!