Having an air compressor at your workplace when you work with pneumatic tools is significant. However, if you are that guy who keeps moving from one working site to another, you will need to have a small air compressor that you can comfortably carry around.

So, if you are looking for small air compressors that can efficiently work with medium-duty air-powered equipment, our experts from various relevant fields prepared a comprehensive list for you. After conducting personal tests and reviews on the products, we came up with the conclusions of what to offer to you. And for more detailed information about them, don’t forget to click the link under each product.

Best Small Air Compressors Comparison & Rating

Small Air Compressors

Features

SKEY Air Compressor Tire Inflator - Handheld Electric 150 PSI Portable Air Compressor Cordless Car Tire Pump with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery and USB Charging Cable, Digital Pressure Gauge
  • air compression up to 150 PSI
  • auto shut-off feature
  • 4 additional nozzles
  • oil-less motor
  • pressure dialing feature
  • 1-gallon tank that can accommodate up to 110 PSI
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)
  • 6-gallon tank that can hold up to 150 PSI
  • BOSTITCH high flow regulator
  • high flow controller
CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)
  • maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • 2.6 SCFM
  • maintenance-free pump
California Air Tools 8010A Aluminum Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal
  • 120 PSI tank
  • noise level is at 60 decibels
  • can serve for up to 500 hours

1. SKEY Air Small Compressor

SKEY Air Compressor Tire Inflator - Handheld Electric 150 PSI Portable Air Compressor Cordless Car Tire Pump with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery and USB Charging Cable, Digital Pressure Gauge
Specifications:
97% Overall

Brand

14.7 pounds

Weight

10.83 x 10.59 x 3.54 inches

Dimensions

Battery Powered

Power Source

Skey

98%
performance
97%
Features
95%
materials & quality
97%
durability
Pros:
  • Comes with an LED flashlight for night illumination.
  • Strong air compression up to 150 PSI.
  • Has a Long 12 feet power cord that makes it suitable for a more comprehensive application.
  • Comes with an auto shut-off feature hence safe and secure.
  • Comes with a digital gauge that makes it easy to read.
  • Offers a rechargeable lithium battery that can support the compressor for several inflations in a day.
  • Includes a USB cable that can be connected to your phone adapter for easy charging.
  • Has a compact design and saves space at your home or office. Also, this feature makes it easy and comfortable to carry around.
  • Comes with 4 additional nozzles that make it a multipurpose air compressor thus can be used for inflating different tools.
Cons:
  • The instruction manual is very vague and confusing.
  • Though the compressor itself is very efficient in its work, the battery drains fast which somehow affect its performance.
Final Take:

This is one small-sized air compressor you can't afford to miss. It has a compression of up to 150 PSI to facilitate the first inflation of your car tires and other air-powered tools. It’s incredible for car tire inflating and for some other household operations like airbrushing. The cordless design makes it easier and more comfortable to carry if you need to move with it. The pressure gauge is of high quality and has an LCD, making it convenient to preset four different units (i.e., PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM2). Also, you can use the gauge to check for car tire pressure levels. It feels so safe using this compressor since it has an automatic shutdown function, and so it will be so hard for an over-inflation to happen.

2. Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Small Air Compressor

Specifications:
97% Overall

Brand

Campbell Hausefeld

Weight

14.7 pounds

Dimensions

12 x 12 x 16 inches 

Power Source

Corded Electric

97%
performance
96%
Features
97%
materials & quality
96%
durability
Pros:
  • Comes in a super compact size and lightweight to make it even easier for you to move around.
  • Operates on a household current of 120 V and doesn't need any kind of special power connection.
  • Has a 1-gallon tank that can accommodate up to 110 PSI of internal pressure and thus guarantees a more extended tool run time.
  • Comes with an oil-less motor. This helps save you the stress of maintenance.
  • Comes with a pressure dialing feature that allows you to adjust the pressure to the level that suits your desired operation.
  • Has a well-sealed tank to avoid unnecessary leakages.
  • Offers a handy air-jet attachment, so you don't need to buy extra canned air.
  • Features an onboard storage to help keep all the compressor accessories safe and well organized.
  • Has a conveniently placed gauge for easy monitoring.
Cons:
  • The motor is noisy but excellently performing.
  • The coiled air hose isn't that long.
Final Take:

This 3-gallon air compressor happens to be one of the most incredibly compact and portable compressors anyone could wish to have. With a flow rate of 0.36 CFM, the compressor is good enough to tackle medium-duty operations around your home or the office. Its incredible lightweight and ergonomic design make it even easier to operate and carry. If you are looking for a small air compressor to help you with minor inflation like broad nailing and airbrushing, then Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 is precisely what you need.

3. Bostitch BTFP02012 Oil-Free Small Air  Compressor

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)
Specifications:
96% Overall

Brand

Bostitch

Weight

31 pounds

Dimensions

17 x 17 x 19.25 inches

Power Source

Corded Electric

97%
performance
96%
Features
96%
materials & quality
96%
durability
Pros:
  • Comes with a 6-gallon tank that can hold up to 150 PSI for a longer tool run time.
  • Highly efficient motor for easy start-up when the weather is cold.
  • Has couplers and a high flow controller that helps maximize your air tool performance.
  • Oil-free and thus maintenance-free pump for user convenience.
  • Has a 78.5 DBA rating which is relatively ideal for a noise-free zone like the office.
  • Comes with a BOSTITCH high flow regulator and couplers to make it support 2 users concurrently.
Cons:
  • Extremely loud despite the 78 dB indicated in the product specs.
  • Vibrates excessively causing it to move around.
Final Take:

This is an excellent small air compressor and comes with a lightweight to make it easier for you to move around. The compressor is powerful enough to tackle any medium-duty pneumatic tool. The fact that it's smaller does limit its general efficiency. The 22.7 l pump can keep the tool running for long enough and improve its recovery process. With the high flow regulator, the tool performance is boosted. Also, two couplers come with a tool to allow for two people to use them.

4. Craftsman CMEC6150K 6-Gallon Small Air Compressor

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)
Specifications:
95% Overall

Brand

Craftsman

Weight

32.5 pounds

Dimensions

16.5 x 16.5 x 17.88 inches

Power Source

Corded Electric

96%
performance
95%
Features
95%
materials & quality
95%
durability
Pros:
  • Comes with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI to maximize the cut-in pressure for multiple appliances.
  • Has a powerful motor that helps generate 150 max PSI of tank pressure and an excellent flow rate for quick compressor recovery. The flow rate is also decent and stable.
  • Sports a maintenance-free pump and thus saves you the hassle of maintenance.
  • Comes with a 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI that allows for quick recovery.
  • Has a highly efficient motor that makes it for it to start in cold weather.
  • Offers an accessory kit that accommodates enough accessories to keep the pump and running.
Cons:
  • Vague and confusing instructions. 
  • The quality of the attachments is not very satisfying.
  • Extremely loud.
Final Take:

Its small, pancake-style air-tool comes with an oil-less motor.  Its tank can withstand a pressure of 150 PSI which is adequate to handle a variety of functions. The tool also is equipped with an oil-free durable pump that guarantees a long life with zero maintenance hassle. The assembling process is relatively easy and will cost you less than 5 minutes to get it up and running. It's an amazing little compressor with excellent value and furthermore a typical craftsman tool.

5. California Air Tools 8010A Small Air Compressor

California Air Tools 8010A Aluminum Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal
Specifications:
94% Overall

Brand

California Air Tools

Weight

37.2 pounds

Dimensions

26 x 14 x 23 inches

Power Source

Corded Electric

95%
performance
93%
Features
93%
materials & quality
95%
durability
Pros:
  • Comes with a 120 PSI tank to maximize the pressure.
  • Perfectly quiet. The noise level is at 60 decibels, which is considered extremely quiet thus suitable for workplaces.
  • An oil-free pump and requires less maintenance, and allows you to use it in different temperatures.
  • The pump is designed for long durability and can serve for up to 500 hours.
  • Has an 8.0 gallon air tank that can hold up to 120 PSI to allow for a wider range of appliances.
  • Comes as a complete package with Air filter and a wheel kit to make it easy for you to move it around.
  • Weighs approximately 37.25 pounds, a weight considered fair enough to make it small and portable.
Cons:
  • Running the compressor for more than an hour can damage the machine.
  • The quality and build of the wheels is not very satisfying due to the materials used.
Final Take:

This thing is super quiet and could make a perfect deal for those who wish to get an air compressor for office uses. This little California air tool compressor is an absolute game-changer when it comes to filling up. It takes next to no time to fill up the 8-gallon tank to maximum pressure. If you need something to help with topping up your tires, then I believe the California Air Tools 8010A should make an excellent match for your needs. The tool also works great with a brad nailer and will give you zero problems. You will need no special expertise to assemble the device from the box. It’s an easy and fast process that will consume less of your time.  The tool fittings are tight enough to keep your small air compressor free from unnecessary leakages.

Best Small Air Compressors - Buyer's Guide

portability

If you are looking for a small air compressor, you must be in need of something you can carry around. Portability is the ability of something to be transferred from one place to another with maximum ease and comfort. Do you need the same for your desired air compressor? If yes, then portability is precisely the factor to look out for.

tank size

This is only applicable for piston-type air compressors. The tank size matters depending on the weight of the operation you need to use the compressor on, i.e., a low-duty, medium-duty, or heavy-duty operation. For instance, if you intend to use your compressor on a low-duty function like brad nailing, then a smaller tank will be enough. Otherwise, you will need a larger tank.

air pressure

Air pressure will always be stated in pounds per second (PSI). That is the unit standard for air pressure. Most air-powered tools will require a minimum pressure of around 90 PSI to work correctly. To maintain that pressure on the device, your air compressor should have a shut-off pressure higher than 90 PSI. So, it would be best if you were keen on the compressor shut-off pressure. Most small air compressors will have a shut-off pressure range of 125-135. For the industrial air compressors, the range is high enough to run the heavy-duty tools.

air volume per minute

Every air tool will require a specific volume of air to keep them up and to run. The air volume produced by an air compressor is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).  For smaller air compressors, the CFM rating will show when the air pressure is at 90 PSI. That is the correct rating because it's the standard pressure needed for most air tools to work.

life expectancy

Please don't buy a compressor until you are sure of its durability. Make sure you spend your money on something that will serve for long enough. It is better to spend a lot on something that will serve for years rather than spending a little on something that will last for a few months. The warranty period sometimes will predict the lifespan of your air compressor.

Best Small Air Compressors - FAQs

What voltage do I use for my small air compressor?

Two hundred twenty volts will be enough for your compressor. Most of them are designed to run on a 220-voltage electrical power supply. So, make sure you don't connect your air compressor to something with a power output power of more than 220 V.

What is the difference between single and two-stage pumps?

With a single-stage air compressor, the air is compressed only once, while with the two-stage pump, the air is compressed twice. The two-stage pump gives you a higher CFM, which is more advantageous.

Is it advisable to use a PVC pipe for my discharge air piping?

The answer is no. This is not up to the compressed air code. PVC is oil-based and may not react well with heat and vibrations. Also, the PVC can easily bust due to excessive pressure, which is not cool at all.

How often do I change the oil in my air compressor?

If you are using a reciprocating air compressor, you might need to get the oil changed once in 3 months.

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