There is a reason why most professionals from mechanics to house renovators use air compressors: they are relatively cheap and they allow you to buy a host of air powered power tools that cost a fraction of what their electric or gas counterparts do. Of course that is the reason why most do it yourselfers do not buy one since they believe only at a professional level it would make sense to buy one. However there are some compressors on the market that are so affordable, you can make your money back with the savings from the first 2 power tools you would buy afterwards.

So when we started to look for the best air compressors on the market we did not look just from a small business owner’s perspective. We did choose some very powerful, industry grade air compressors, but we also made some choices that will be great if you just like to work out of your garage and fix up things around your house and car. That is why we encourage you to porous our air compressor reviews, so you will be able to make an informed decision of not only what the best one may be, but also what the best choice for you might be.


Product Rating Price
Makita MAC700 2.0 HP Air Compressor 4.5/5 $$
Senco PC1010 4.5/5 $
Porter-Cable CMB15 4.5/5 $
California Air Tools CAT-10020 4.4/5 $$$
Porter Cable PCFP02003 4.6/5 $

Makita MAC700 2.0 HP Air Compressor

If you have the money for it the Makita MAC700 2.0 HP Air Compressor is the best air compressor on the market today. It may not be the best choice for a do it yourselfer, though, simply because you end up a lot more than you absolutely have to. Still there are advantages to owning the MAC700 that both a private and a business owner must take into consideration. For one, this is an incredibly powerful, 2 horse power engine that will allow you to use several tools at the same time. It has a 2.6 gallon air tank that means the compressor will not have to work all the time so that will allow it to work flawlessly for a lot more time. On the subject of reliability though, the good news is that this is an oil lubricated pump, which means it is very silent and it will last a lot longer than un-lubricated pumps. The only obvious problem is the fact that you have the added task of making sure the pump is well oiled all the time, otherwise you run the risk of actually damaging it ahead of time. The compressor is further helped by the fact that the cylinder and the piston inside the pump are very large, which allows it to work at a much lower RPM of 1,720 that further reduces the noise levels, while still maintaining the pump’s ability to generate fairly quickly high levels of pressure. Another advantage of that low RPM is the fact that the

Makita MAC700 2.0 HP Air Compressor works at a very amperage, which means the chances to trip a voltage breaker by mistake are well reduced. And if you need a final reason why we think this is the best air compressor on the market, you should know that the Makita earned a 4.5 star rating on Amazon from more than 500 customers.

Senco PC1010

The biggest problem with the more powerful air compressors on the market, besides their price, is the fact that they are so heavy that you cannot move it wherever you may need it. That is why our second choice is the much lighter Senco PC1010. It has a working power of just 12 HP, but it can go up to 1 horse power when that may be required. This ability to switch between 2 different power levels means the compressor can keep pumping around the clock as you work and it will only reach its maximum capacity when the air tank runs empty. The tank itself is also a lot smaller at just 1 gallon so it is much easier for the motor to create the necessary pressure. When working under its full load the compressor requires 4 Amps of power so your house’s power grid is perfectly safe. At this power level the Senco

PC1010 can generate 120 psi of pressure. The one issue we have with it is that it has a oil-less motor, so it is somewhat less reliable over the years. However, that oil-less feature may be an advantage that many of you will appreciate, because it basically turns the Senco into a maintenance free air compressor. The fact that it does have a 1 year warranty means that a home or small business owner can get a lot of use out of it and, with moderate use, it should work for at least 3 or 4 years without any problems.

Porter-Cable CMB15

We have already told you that some of our air compressor reviews will also focus on tools that are only feasible for home do it yourselfers. The Porter-Cable CMB15 is precisely that type of air compressor, so, if you own a small business, even if it is one of just one person, you will not really be able to make use of it. When fully powered it can be used with power tools but only on short bursts. The good news about that is that the Porter-Cable CMB15 uses a double pump compressor that can create 2 cubic feet per minute of pressure to quickly get to 90 PSI. The maximum pressure capacity is 150 PSI in a relatively big 1.5 gallon tank. The one thing to remember, particularly with a small tank like this, is that you should not leave the tank under pressure because that forces water vapors to condensate and can create rust. The tank has both a pressure and a water valve that you need to leave open when the compressor is not under use. As you would expect from a personal air compressor, the pumps are oil free so, they are not as reliable as you may wish, but you also do not have to worry about any maintenance. We also like the fact that this is a very compact compressor that you can easily carry with you wherever you may need it. And we are not the only ones to like the Porter-Cable CMB15 as it has earned a 4.5 star rating on Amazon from almost 200 users.

California Air Tools CAT-10020

Now that we have talked about the perfect choice for a do it yourselfer, we can talk about what we think is a business only solution. On the one hand this is a very powerful air compressor that simply cannot be exploited at its maximum capacity by a single person. On the other hand, the California Air Tools CAT-10020 is also a very expensive air compressor, that simply does not make sense unless you are going to use it at its maximum potential. And the maximum potential for the CAT-10020 is 2 horse power pump attached to a massive 10 gallon tank. The entire thing is setup on its own cart so it is actually very easy to bring it with you wherever you may need it. It is the perfect tool for carpenters because it has an ultra quiet pump so you can actually work in one side of the house and not generate uncomfortable levels of noise for the other occupants of the house. For such a huge beast the power consumption is fairly low at just 14 Amps, but you should not be surprised if, under full load, you may have to flip a few circuit breakers to keep the compressor running. The only real concern we have about the California Air Tools CAT-10020 is that it uses a oil free pump so it is not as reliable as it could have been.

Porter Cable PCFP02003

There is one more air compressor review that we need to add to our list, and it is for the Porter Cable PCFP02003. With a 3.5 tank and just 135 PSI it is definitely not the tool of choice for small business owners. However, it is the most affordable air compressor on the market that still delivers acceptable levels of quality and performance. It is not as portable as the other Porter Cable compressor we have featured here, but it is somewhat bigger, and it should not be too difficult to move, as long as you do not have to drag it around more than once a day. The motor is a low amp one so you will not need to worry about the power, and the pump is oil free so you do not have to worry about maintenance. What is even more impressive is the fact that it has earned a 4.6 star rating on Amazon from over 130 customers. Having tested it ourselves we have to admit that the quality of the craftsmanship is apparent in every aspect. At 26 lbs it is a bit heavier than the CMB15, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the tank is almost twice the size of the CMB15. So if you are on a very tight budget, and you need a small, maneuverable air compressor, the Porter Cable PCFP02003 is your best choice.