The Best Portable Air Compressors for 2024

Best Portable Air Compressors - Top Picks, Reviews & Complete Buying Guide

We all know that an air compressor is used to compress air.

For those of you who need one either for doing professional work or some everyday tasks at home should have in mind that picking one among many of them that come in all sorts of styles and sizes can be troublesome.

That is why we are offering you a guide which will speak about top five air compressors and factors that you should have in mind so that you can find the right portable air compressor for your needs.

So let’s get right to it.

Spoiler Alert - Check out my top choice here >>

Top Rated Portable Air Compressors

Model Rating Buy Now
Makita MAC2400 Big BoreMakita MAC2400 Big Bore
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Porter-Cable C2002Porter-Cable C2002
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VIAIR 90P Portable CompressorVIAIR 90P Portable Compressor
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California Air Tools 5510SECalifornia Air Tools 5510SE
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DeWalt DWFP55126 Small Air CompressorDeWalt DWFP55126 Small Air Compressor
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* Ratings are based on Editor's own opinion.

5 Best Portable Air Compressors Reviewed

#1. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore

Top Pick
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore
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The Makita MAC2400 portable air compressor is number one of our list of top five.

It takes this place due to the fact that it comes with the Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and piston of Makita.

This model boasts excellent performance as it is equipped with the powerful 2.5HP motor.

It is not at all noisy as there is the oil-lubricated pump and the rubber feet which absorb vibrations.

The material of which the MAC2400 is made is cast iron and this is the best material to choose for making this kind of tool, especially if it will be used in construction sites.

The roll-cage shape is there to make it as portable as possible while a handle is used to easily pick up and move around.

Considering the fact that it is made of metal it weighs about 77lbs and it belongs to those heavier ones.

But, that is the only disadvantage of this amazing portable air compressor.

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  • Durability
  • Size
  • Not too noisy


  • Weight
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#2. Porter-Cable C2002

Porter-Cable C2002
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The Porter-Cable C2002 is the second best buy on our list.

Once you take a look at them, your attention will be attracted by its unique pancake style tank.

This means that manufacturers thought about its stability and usability.

The induction motor of this model has improved performance which makes it more durable.

Its parts are protected by a steel construction and a shroud and console cover enabling long and efficient life of this device.

There is a handle on the top, so that it can be easily moved around and 30lbs weight is a great advantage when it comes to portability.

If we take into consideration that this device comes with the 13 piece accessory kit, including a nylon hose, blow gun, tire gauge and much more, we can say that it deserves to be among the best.

What this model can boast with is easy setup, small size and light weight, and additionally the tank with 150 psi max tank pressure which means that more air can be stored in.

However, each product has some disadvantages and the only weakness of Porter-Cable C2002 is the noise that it produces while working.

Its great price is in line with its quality.

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  • Size
  • Weight
  • Price


  • Too loud
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#3. VIAIR 90P Portable Compressor

VIAIR 90P Portable Compressor
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The VIAIR 90P portable compressor is small but it power is in line with those larger ones.

Its working pressure in 120 psi and this makes it the best for car tires.

Some users take it as disadvantage the fact that the cables are short for larger vehicles, but the cable measures 12 foot and that is considered long enough for most of the tasks.

Other advantages of the VIAIR 90P is that it is not making much noise and it weighs only 5.78lbs which is ideal when it comes to portability.

Additionally, you will get a storage and carry bag so that you can take it wherever you need to and you should not worry about it as the quality metal construction ensures durability.

On the other hand, the weakness of the VIAIR 90P portable compressor is the gauge.

It does not always deliver the most precise reading.

This model is ideal for tire inflation and taking into consideration the fact that it is quick and efficient, you should not have doubts whether to buy it or not.

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  • Fast
  • Weight
  • Design


  • Short cables
  • Inaccurate gauge
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#4. California Air Tools 5510SE

California Air Tools 5510SE
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The California Air Tools 5510SE is not loud thanks to the 1.0 HP motor operating at 1680 RPM.

It does not only provide less noise, but also less wear which increases the overall durability of this device.

An oil-free dual piston pump system is also another great plus of the 5510SE, as this system offers excellent performance.

The weight of this model is 45 lbs, it possesses the 5.5-gallon steel air tank and the wheel kit so all these supports the fact that its portability is amazing and would not cause you trouble if you need to move it around the place of work.

Additionally, there are even two handles for easier movement.

The feature which amazes those who are familiar with air compressors qualities is the speed of tank filling up.

It is just 130 seconds from empty to full and they cannot believe how great this product is/

The high selling figures are not only thanks to its quality, but also thanks to its competitive price.

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  • Fast tank filling
  • Not at all noisy


  • Size
  • No possibility of water separation
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#5. DeWalt DWFP55126 Small Air Compressor

DeWalt DWFP55126 Small Air Compressor
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The DeWalt DWFP55126’s ideal feature is its motor which is designed to work efficiently in any kinds of environments and to start even on the cold weather.

It possesses the 165 max psi 6.0-gallon tank and produces the noise of 75.5 decibels, which can be considered its main advantages.

The DeWalt DWFP55126’s is not only designed for bad outdoor conditions, but it is ideal for in indoor settings as well.

There is a console cover to protect the controls and two universal couplers, meaning that two users can work at a time.

Its weight is 30 lbs, it is not heavy and can be easily moved around.

The rubber leg covers are there to protect the device and prevent damage.

Everyday jobs can be finished successfully with this model, and the only weakness that it might have is the 6-gallon tank which might not drive certain tools as effectively as some other models would do.

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  • Size
  • Usability


  • Not so powerful tank
  • Not so good for painting
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Portable Air Compressors: The Ultimate Buying Guide

When deliberating on buying a portable air compressor, you should have in mind all the possible specifications and qualities that an air compressor should have, so as to be able to choose the ideal one for your needs.

Here are some of the facts you should know prior to purchasing one.

What factors should I have in mind when buying a portable air compressor?

Here are some of the facts you should know prior to purchasing one.

  • Environment
    You might not need to have a portable air compressor that is portable if your work in at one place and you have enough space for a stationary air compressor. These air compressors have higher power and their tanks are larger, meaning that the period of usage is longer and some of them have a vertical design, so as to save some space necessary for them. However, if your job requires moving than a portable one is a better solution.
  • Noise
    Another factor that might affect your buying is the noise due to the fact that some portable air compressors are producing loud sounds while working. So, if you need a quiet one, you should take a look at reviews and select only those which are said to be quiet. On the other hand, there are those which offer less noise but lack quality, so you should take into consideration that fact as well.
  • Air tool requirements
    When we speak about the factors of the greatest importance to consider, air tool requirements are on the top of them. Whether you will need a stationary or a portable air compressor highly depends on the space where you work, amount of work and whether you need to move it around the place or not. A portable air compressor is designed for smaller tasks in the household, rather than for industrial use. Depending on your needs, consider pressure and volume before choosing.
  • Space and portability
    All the above-mentioned air compressors are portable, yet there is a difference in weight. This difference might range from 7lbs to even 70lbs! The majority of models have handles so that you can carry them and those heavier ones even come with wheels. Whether you will choose a lighter or heavier one depends on your needs, meaning whether you will need to move it a lot while working or simply put in one place. Those who plan to move it should bear in mind the fact that the hose has to be long enough. Having troubles reaching the place of work can be irritating. Also, pay attention to the size of it, and whether you will have enough space to keep it.
  • Style
    As any other product on the market portable air compressors has a number of different styles and designs. Some of the main styles are pancake, pontoon, twin-stack, and wheelbarrow. Pancake compressors are flat, which means that do not take too much space. Pontoon compressors are horizontal while Twin-stack compressors are also horizontal but have two tanks. Wheelbarrow compressors have twin tanks, wheels, and handles which makes them easier to move and use.
  • Horsepower, PSI, and CFM
    The average horsepower of your air compressor should range from 1.5 to 6.5. If you need the air compressor for industrial use, you can look for a much greater psi as they are designed to be stronger. On the other hand, if you are planning to use the compressor at home, horsepower should not be your great concern. With it comes to PSI, the majority of compressors have high enough pressure DIY tasks. You should know that a higher max PSI involves a smaller tank but it can hold more air and perform like a bigger tank. The CFM shows how fast the compressor can supply air.
  • Power source
    The power source can either be electricity or gasoline. If you can connect your portable air compressor to electricity then you will need the one with an electric motor. On the other hand, if that is not a possibility, you should look for an air compressor with a gasoline engine which runs on batteries or fuel. You should check the voltage before purchase, due to the fact that some run on 110V but larger ones run at 240V.

Orange Portable Air Compressor

How are they helpful?

As you are reading this, you certainly have the idea where you are going to use your air compressor once you buy it.

Still, we can tell you about a few uses that you might not consider yet.

Usually, a portable air compressor is used for powering pneumatic tools, but there are many other things that you can do and those are airbrush, pressure wash, sandblast and inflate tires.

What are the advantages?

If you want to know all the advantages of having a portable air compressor, here you can find some of the reasons you should purchase one.

  • Saves you time – the process of spraying, nailing and sanding are much faster with it, so it will save you a lot of time.
  • Saves your energy – It can cause you fewer aches and pains during your work and make it easier for you by saving a lot of energy.
  • More professional – The quality of your work will be improved with an air compressor.
  • Portability – You can take a portable air compressor easily wherever you need it to be.
  • Low maintenance –In order to make it last longer, you do not need to bother a lot, just a few, regular checks are enough.


When it comes to choosing, buying a portable air compressor is almost the same as buying any other device for your household.

The more choices are on the market, the more difficult the decision is.

It requires time and energy to explore all the options as they come in a range of styles and types.

They differ in their horsepower, noise, and portability and all these should be taken into account when choosing.

What it will be used for and where determines which portable air compressor you should buy.

Since the creation of the first one, portable air compressors have changed a lot, and nowadays they are smaller, quieter and faster.

If you took a close look at our reviews of portable air compressors mentioned on the above article, you will certainly benefit from all the facts you found out and it would be easier for you to make a decision.

I hope you liked my article about Portable Air Compressors, if so, please share or comment.

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