The Best 120 Volt Portable Air Compressor In 2022: Purchasing Guidance

Hailey Abbott By, Hailey Abbott
Updated
Best 120 volt portable air compressor
Best 120 Volt Portable Air Compressor

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)

"Porter-Cable C2002 6 Gallon Oil-Free Air Compressor offers the right performance for your home or business needs. The heavy duty aluminum tank is engineered to be durable and long lasting, offering a 30-lb. weight capacity for easy portability. The shroud and handle cover protects vital components while the included console cover makes unit easier to carry around." Read Review

2. Runner Up: DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

"This DeWalt 6 gallon Pancake compressor will give you the power to cut through any job. With 165 PSI and 2.6 SCFM, it'll have your project running smoothly from start to finish with quick recovery for the quick recovery of air tools. High flow regulator and couplers maximize air tool performance for longer run times with less interruptions." Read Review

3. Best Durable: PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Kit, 1.5 Gallon, Oil-Free, Fully Shrouded

"The PORTER-CABLE 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Air Compressor Kit is the perfect solution for your needs. A portable air compressor that's easy to use, lightweight and convenient. With a 2.0 SCFM @ 90 psi, this Porter-Cable air compressor allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217 25' coil hose and 8 pc accessory kit facilitate a number of inflation tasks." Read Review

4. Best Performance: Makita MAC100Q Quiet Series, 1/2 HP, 1 Gallon Compact

"Makita MAC100Q Quiet Series, 1/2 HP, 1 Gallon Compact is a compact machine that is ideal for indoor use. The Quiet Series design at only 58 dB for operator and crew comfort; ideal for indoor use. This compact machine has a light weight design making it easy to transport and store. The complete roll-cage construction provides protection against common job site hazards such as kickback and the low RPM result in longer motor and pump life." Read Review

If you’re an amateur mechanic or a professional who needs to lug around tools and parts, it can be difficult to find a compact tool that is also easy to use. Fortunately, digital portable air compressors have made it easier than ever to get the right compressor for the job. These compressors are ideal for small projects and maintenance work, as well as hobbies such as model building and woodworking.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great options available when you’re looking for a new portable air compressor. To help you narrow down your search and make sense of all the different options out there, we’ve compiled this list of the best 120-volt portable air compressors on the market today.

You are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002) as our top product. Or you can check the DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126) as the other great option, even if the first option didn't meet all of your requirements.

Our Top Picks

  • 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi of the electric air compressor allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • Only 30 lbs for easy portability
  • Six-gallon pancake-style tank for stability, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
  • 150 psi max tank pressure of the portable air compressor allows more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • 150 psi max tank pressure stores more air in the tank for longer tool run times
  • 6 gal Pancake style tank of the PORTER-CABLE air compressor is made for stability, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
  • Low-amp 120-volt motor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord
  • 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
  • Long life oil free pump for maintenance free operation
  • Outlet tube rerouted to avoid being catch point
  • Ball drain valve for quick & thorough tank draining
  • 2 universal couplers to easily support two users
  • High flow regulator and couplers of DEWALT portable air compressor are designed to maximize air tool performance
  • High efficiency motor of the electric air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application. [14 ga or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • Console cover protects controls and is removable to allow easy repair
  • 30 lb weight makes unit easy to carry/store
  • 78.5 dBA noise level of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for a quiet work environment
  • 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI pump, enable long tool run time with quick recovery for the portable air compressor
  • 25' coil hose and 8 pc accessory kit facilitate a number of inflation tasks
  • Low Noise at 79 dBA (Tested per ISO3744) for a quieter work environment
  • 1.5 gallon tank in shroud of the electric air compressor is easy to carry, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
  • Only 20 lbs for easy portability
  • 2.0 SCFM @ 90 psi of the portable air compressor allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
  • Low Amp 120V motor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • Fully enclosed design provides protection from hot or moving parts
  • 150 psi max tank pressure of the PORTER-CABLE air compressor stores more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes
  • Oil-free dual-piston pump designed for maintenance-free operation
  • Complete roll-cage construction provides protection to withstand a variety of job-site, transporting, and storage environments
  • Oil-free, maintenance free pump
  • The conveniently placed gauges and regulator allow for easy monitoring of tank and line pressure
  • 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI allows for quick compressor recovery times
  • 78 dBA (tested per ISO3744) operational noise level for a quieter work environment
  • Item weight: 120 pounds
  • Dimension: 24.5 L x 22 W x 44.75 H inch
  • Ehp Efficient high pressure technology delivers exceptional air-tool runtimes
  • Oil free, maintenance free pump for convenient use; Efficient high pressure motor allows the compressor to be run with an extension cord (12 Ga. or heavier, 50 ft. or less) due to consistent amp draw requirements of the compressor
  • It delivers 2.5 CFM@ 90PSI & 3.5 CFM@40PSI and a maximum tank storage of 150 PSI for longer tool run time with quick recovery.
  • Powered by a 1.0 HP motor, delivers enough power to finish toughest jobs.
  • 3 gallon small hotdog air tank, hand-held capability, compact size (19 inch / 18 inch / 13 inch),make it even easier to carry and store.
  • Low amp 120V motor starts easily in cold weather. Low-maintenance, oil-free pump for convenience.
  • Quiet operation with noise less than 65dB thanks to Stealth’s innovative quiet systems.
  • Robust dual purpose handle provides additional protection to the compressor along with serving as a hose wrap
  • 2 in. gauges allow for an easy to read surface
  • 6.8 SCFM at 40 PSI provides the ability to operate a HVLP spray gun
  • 78 dBA brings less noise to your work environment and is 30% more quiet than similar oil free induction products
  • High flow regulator and couplers provide max air flow to your tool to operate at their peak performance
  • Low volt easy start motor will operate with extension cords of at least 12 gal. and 50 ft. or less
  • 5.1 SCFM at 90 PSI provides faster recovery times resulting in increased project efficiency
  • This unit ships small parcel (UPS or Fed Ex)
  • ULTRA-LIGHT WEIGHT & PORTABLE: At only 22 lbs. the Chicago Pneumatic Easy Air can be easily moved all around your work shop, home garage or construction site.
  • NO MAINTANENCE: The Easy air utilizes a powerful, maintenance free, oil-less pump. No risk of leaking oil.
  • BUILT FOR EVERYONE: The Easy Air was designed with a large regulator knob and easy to use connection coupler.
  • PERFORMANCE AND VERSATILITY: The Easy Air produces 2 CFM @ 90 PSI with a MAX capacity of 115 PSI.
  • POWERFUL AND RELIABLE: With the Chicago Pneumatic name and durable ultra-light weight design the Easy Air is perfect for every home and garage.
  • Dimensions: 16" high x 15" Wide x 6" thick Total weight 13lbs
  • 115 PSI at 6.3 CFM 120 Volt
  • Professional Portable Air Compressor 1.5 HP Rate Electric Pump
  • Great Set, easy to operate
  • Comes with Air Compressor, 25ft Air Hose, Air Filler with Gauge
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What to Look For in a best 120 volt portable air compressor?

You may know that shopping is one of the essential activities in a human being’s life. Selecting the best product will affect your daily life. However, which factors can make this purchase effective? If you are looking for best 120 volt portable air compressor for your demands, you will waste your time with incorrect data. But it would be best if you weren’t so nervous about that. We have a group of experts to research best 120 volt portable air compressor, and they’ve given reliable information.

There are lots of essential things you should keep in mind. On the other, just some of them are most focused. Here are the critical factors related to buying best 120 volt portable air compressor you may want:

Airflow Rate

The volume of compressed air at 90 pounds per square in (psi) is the metric used to rate portable air compressors. The standard cubic feet per hour (CFM) is the unit of measurement. This is the most crucial characteristic to look for when buying an air compressor.

Noise Rating

The loudest and most annoying machines in the air compressor world, particularly the old beasts, can be very disruptive. Tool companies know this. Machines that produce close to 70 decibels (db) are similar to washing machines.

Performance Rating

Each air compressor comes with an SCM (standard cubic feet per minute) performance rating. The compressor's performance rating is a measure of how much air it can produce. You will need to use this number to determine the power output and compare it to any other pneumatic devices you intend to connect to the compressor. If you plan to use a nailgun with a rating above 4 SCFM, your compressor must be able to deliver that force.

Power Source

Gas or electricity can power air compressors. The majority of electric units run at standard household voltage, with the exception of extremely powerful products. They are suitable for indoor use because they emit no fumes. The convenience of gas-powered compressors is greater, as you do not have to plug them into the outlet. They are also more powerful. They should not be used in areas that are poorly ventilated.

Additional Features

Air compressors can be equipped with additional features to improve their durability and/or useability.
Roll cages with built-in steel frames or aluminum frames protect the compressor. These are especially useful in situations where the portable compressor might fall off a truck's tailgate.
The oil-cooled compressors are oil-cooled and use oil to lubricate their compressor pumps. They stay cooler, which extends their life expectancy. Low-oil sensors may be included in these models to prevent overheating and machine running dry.
Additional features include quick-connect adapters and thermal overload protection, easily operable petcock drain valves, which allow you to drain a compressor’s water buildup quickly.

Weight

It can be difficult to transport a large air compressor. Although weight isn't the only factor that should be considered when considering mobility, it is the most important.

Tank Size

Larger air compressors are usually attached to tanks that hold compressed air. You might be able to run your tools for longer than the compressor can turn off. You will need a bigger tank if you are using high volumes of air. This is usually 6 gallons.

FAQs

Is It Worth Getting A Compressor With A Lower Noise Level?

Yes. We believe that the most important factor in determining a compressor’s sound volume is its tank size. Most compressors that we examined had a volume between 60 and 80 dB. Although it may not seem like much, keep in mind that every 10 decibels, the volume of sound doubles. A compressor with 70 dB sound twice as loud as one which emits 80 dB. A 60-dB compressor will produce four times the noise level of an 80-dB unit. In other words, 60 dB corresponds to normal conversation. 70 dB equals a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner, while 80 dB is equivalent to a loud restaurant or mower. A volume above 85 dB is considered to be harmful for the hearing. A lower level of noise is better for your hearing. It can also make it easier to chat or listen to music while you are listening.

How Do You Use A Portable Air Compressor?

A portable compressor can be used with many pneumatic tools such as a paint sprayer or nail gun. Simply connect the pneumatic tool you prefer to the portable compressor using the air compressorhose. After the compressor is turned on, wait for pressure to build inside the tank. The compressor will shut off once the pressure reaches its maximum. The stored air in the compressor can be released by pressing the trigger of a nail gun or paint sprayer. This will allow the sprayer to produce the required force to apply the paint to the material. Remember that the compressed air will run out as soon as it is used up. The compressor will turn on again and pull in additional air.

Should I Get An Oil-free Compressor?

Portable compressors can now be described as "oilless" or "oil-free". This means that the interior components are coated with friction-reducing coatings, instead of traditional oil lubrication. The main benefit is that you won't need to change your oil. All of our compressors were tested for garage usage. However, the oil content varied between the larger models. If all other specifications are identical, then we would consider the oil-free model to be an advantage.

Can I Use A Tank With A Tankless Air Compressor?

Yes! Yes! If you are only using your tankless compressor for air-hungry items like drills or air ratchets, but still want to have the ease of a tankless compressor all the time, this is a great option. To increase the compressor's capacity, an extra tank can be attached to an already existing tank. However, adding a tank will slow down the compressor's ability to fill your tank with water and achieve the desired pressure. This can lead to a higher chance of your compressor going out of commission.

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For My Garage?

The common question can be compared to asking for the size of your engine in your car. It all depends on how you plan to use it. Many buyers refer to the size of their tank in terms of gallons. We'll begin with the size, but this is only a small part. The compressor's tank stores compressed air. Therefore, the larger the tank, the more time you can work with it without having to stop and fill the tank. A compressor that has a tank of one or two gallons will need to stop for refilling much more often than one with a larger, ten-gallon-or greater tank. A smaller tank will work well for jobs that do not require continuous pressure over extended periods of time. A spray painter will need a bigger tank to ensure that the paint does not get interrupted. Experts recommend using a 60-gallon or larger tank for spray painting cars, as it requires long, continuous applications.

Why Do Portable Air Compressors Come In Various Shapes?

Manufacturers can be creative in designing compressors with different shapes. The compressor can be separated into smaller containers to improve portability.
Sometimes, however, they take up less space. A horizontal compressor, for example, can be placed under a table, but a vertical compressor is better suited to a corner.

How Much Air Pressure Do I Need?

The purpose of your compressor will determine how much pressure you require. Your compressor should only be used for the purpose of inflating cars tires. You will need to have pressures at least 90 PSI, and possibly higher than 110 PSI if you plan on using the portable compressor to power your air tools. Every tool is different and requires different pressures, so make sure you check them before buying an air compressor. You should also check the flow rate of your air compressors, as pressure is just half of what it takes to run an air tool.

Overall, the statistics we described here are not all of them. Instead, we always freshen it up continually as the data is updated and available. It would be best to remember things we mentioned above, including brand’s value, product’s value, product’s highlights, important specs, customer ratings & reviews. 

Our readers, you guys, are always respected and treated with top priority so that you are supposed to receive the most up-to-date information on our site. You should feel free to contact us for support with the product’s problems. Thanks for reading, and we wish you a happy shopping.


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About Hailey Abbott

Hailey Abbott

Hailey Abbott is an outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer for CampfireUSA. She has a passion for hunting and fishing, which she often enjoys with her family and friends. Hailey also enjoys staying active through sports such as golf, basketball, and softball. Hailey has worked as an editor for several years, providing content that is both accurate and engaging. She has also had the opportunity to interview numerous experts in various fields. This wealth of experience gives her a unique perspective when writing about the outdoors and other topics.

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