It’s never an easy task to select a proper compressor for use at home, particularly if you are new to this kind of machinery. This is mostly explained by the fact that such equipment is intended for powering numerous instruments that have variable spheres of application. But no need to worry because the following guide will inform you about the most dependable methods to select the best-matching compressor for domestic usage so that you know with confidence what to consider when shopping for such machinery.

But before we delve into detailed and thorough explanations on the most widespread types and major merits of air compressors, let us have a look at trusted reviews on the highly popular models available to customers today. 

Top 5 Air Compressor Models for Garage in 2019

When selecting an air compressor, it’s necessary to first get to know the details on each model available to users on the modern-day market. There is such a great diversity of models that it can be hard to pick the most reliable one. That’s why we have gathered trusted reviews on the reliable air compressor versions for home usage:

Makita MAC700 – Best-Performing Compressor for a Variety of Applications

This version is packed with a big-sized cylinder and good-quality bore to guarantee reliable performance in diverse settings. It produces a lot less noise than other similar models in this segment but it still has a pretty sizeable pump to ensure maximum convenience and usability. It’s lubricated with oil which ensures a lot smoother running and brings the risk of too early wear and tear to a minimum. Furthermore, a long warranty term is a good back-up of this manufacturer’s reliability. 
Although it is a truly durable and reliable piece of machinery, it may seem too bulky to most users because it weighs a great deal and is not very portable either. 
  • Big-sized pump;
  • Has a handy grip handle for better protection and ease of use;
  • Good warranty term;
  • Quiet running;
  • Accumulates full pressure effortlessly and quickly.
  • Too bulky and heavy.

DEWALT DWFP55126 – Good-quality Tool Showing Great Performance

This version of an air compressor is added with a very productive and efficient motor that is easy to wind up even in the nasty weather conditions. It’s also sufficiently quiet and performs really well in many settings. The tank is rather large and, on the whole, it’s a pretty powerful unit. It is also packed with multiple protective tools like the console cover for extra safety and stress-free maintenance as well as useful rubber leg covers as an additional safety precaution. 
Nonetheless, this device has a not sufficiently durable construction which may provoke air leakage after some time of use. 
  • High-capacity engine;
  • Many safety features are present;
  • Sufficiently powerful;
  • Not very well-made and long-lasting;

California Air Tools 8010SE – Super Noiseless Unit with Many Useful Features

This device is characterized by super quiet running that is ranked at just 60 dB at a maximum. It’s also easy to fill the tank with fuel within just a few minutes. You’ll no longer require any extra maintenance either as this unit is added with an oil-free pump. It also has a handy wheelset making it surprisingly portable and a very useful air filter for maximum convenience of users. It’s pretty powerful as well and its construction is very durable. It’s simply perfect for all those who are conscious about the noise level and wish to get a not too loud piece of machinery for garage use. 
Still, the major imperfection of this unit is that it produces a bad smell while running full-force, and it also gets too hot very easily and quickly which does not make it suitable for harsh abuse. But for moderate or light usage, it’s an altogether great choice.  
  • Super quiet;
  • Requires minimum maintenance;
  • Very portable due to a wheelset;
  • Tank fills up within minutes;
  • Simple in use.
  • Produces an unpleasant smell during harsh abuse.

PORTER-CABLE C2002 – Great Performance and Ease of Use Guaranteed

This unit has a tank of a pancake design which ensures maximum stable running and proper long-term performance. There are also a couple of complementary features that allow preventing unwanted air leakage. In fact, developers seem to have thought of every detail when designing this unit to guarantee maximum convenience and usability. It even requires no additional maintenance because it goes with an oil-free pump for user convenience. The motor quickly winds up under all weather conditions, and the unit itself goes with a long-term warranty of up to a year which backs up its stable performance. There is also an accessory set which every user will definitely find useful and functional. 

However, it’s too noisy so it might not be easy to be anywhere near it for too long. It’s also heavy and bulky. Besides, it vibrates very perceptibly, and the user guide might not be comprehensible for all users either. But apart from that, this device performs as claimed by the developer. 

  • Motor winds up easily in any weather;
  • Good warranty;
  • Accessory kit for greater functionality;
  • No risk of leakage. 
  • Vibrates a lot;
  • User guide leaves much to be desired. 

Hitachi EC28M – Stable Running with Only Minor Imperfections

This version of a compressor runs not very loudly so that you may even hold a usual conversation when it operates. It’s produced from good-quality materials, and its parts are very well-made. It also has a compact size and is very easy to transport which many users might appreciate. Also, little maintenance will be required with this unit as it’s packed with many protective features like a steel-made rolling cage and multiple others. 
But we should admit that it’s not completely noiseless, and some users may find it inconvenient and very disturbing. When it’s in full operation, you may hear disturbing sounds which not all users will find appropriate. 
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  • Made from good-quality materials;
  • Has compact parameters;
  • Easily transportable;
  • May seem too loud and disturbing. 

Buyer’s Guide

It can be a big challenge to buy such an important device as a compressor for domestic purposes. But it is, nevertheless, significant to pick the best-fitting model to suit your personal demands and preferences. There is a bunch of aspects that we advise you to take into consideration before you go shopping for this piece of machinery. But we are quite sure that you’ll arrive at the best decision if you use our helpful tips so that the process of purchasing a compressor will no longer seem a tedious task and will not take too much time either.  The following tips will guide you on how to pick the best-fitting model for your garage or other settings.

Elementary Features of Compressors

Before we proceed to discuss the features that should be accessible in any compressor, let’s have a look at how such equipment actually works. Basically, compressors transform electricity into kinetic energy. They are very portable and do not weigh a lot although it still depends on a model. Some versions of compressors may seem bulky but, overall, these tools are relatively compact and you’ll hardly face any trouble with their transportability. The list of handy instruments and tools that you can power with the compressor are virtually innumerable and include not just sanders and drills but much more than that. Therefore, this machine shows great performance not only in home setting but also in industrial environments. So, what kind of features is offered by these devices? Here are only a few of the basic options that will make your garage work many times simpler and less tiresome.

Several Couplers

A device with several couplers provides extra opportunities to users because it will become simpler to manage diverse tasks in one sitting, and you won’t have to attach or disconnect any instruments for better results. If you select a model that has this option, you’ll get a more convenient and functional unit for diverse applications. 

Thermal Security

This element implies an automatic switch that will stop the engine in case of thermal overload. In this manner, the problem of overheating will be easily prevented. It will additionally make the life span of the device much longer as the unwanted risks will be avoided with little effort. In case you wish to protect your tools, it’s best to check whether the compressor of your choice has this kind of safety feature in place.

Rolling Cage 

This option is accountable for safeguarding the device from serious damage or harm at the construction site. This is especially vital because, in most situations, compressors have to sustain harsh abuse and can be broken easily. However, the chance of damaging anything will get lower if you pick the unit with a useful rolling cage.

Controllable Exhaust Mechanism 

This feature will actually divert the air compressor’s exhaust mechanism from your workspace. And you can easily guess how much more beneficial it will be to have such a compressor instead of the one that has no such feature.

Oil-Free Pump

If the model you intend to purchase has this kind of feature, you may just as well consider buying exactly the given model because it adds greater convenience and ensures the ease of use with no need for regular maintenance. Instead, you’ll be able to decrease the overall cost and effort that you would otherwise spend on maintenance purposes. It will also eradicate the risk of oil and air combining with one another. Therefore, it remains a sought-after feature in the modern-day models of compressors. 

Cord Cover

Lots of producers nowadays are trying to provide only functional features in compressors that will add up to the convenience of these devices. This also refers to the wrapping of the power cord because it will ensure stress-free transportation and convenient storage. And it will definitely make your experience much better as a whole. 

Belt-Drive Mechanism

This option will provide for a lot quieter performance of the compressor. That’s the major reason why most buyers are looking for this type of mechanism rather than other systems that have long become outdated. 

Wind-Cooling Mechanism

This definitely doesn’t need extra explanations, does it? With this very functional feature, your compressor will stay cool even during continuous and harsh use. It will eventually make the life span of your unit considerably longer.


It’s also crucial to look for only certified and licensed versions of compressors that have passed all possible tests and checks to ensure that they meet all standards and the quality of their construction is sufficiently good. You may look up the information on the certification on the tank of your device. It should say that the unit meets the norms of ASME.

How to Pick an Appropriate Model?

The air compressing feature can be regarded as one of those unique options that may take your home garage environment to a whole new level. If you have a standard compressor of sufficient quality, it will let you perform numerous difficult tasks that are hard to handle without it. Compressors are meant to make the task completion a lot quicker and increase the number of projects that you could execute in your garage. Luckily, it’s also not very difficult to pick a proper unit for your private needs. Here is what we advise you to consider:

#1. Be Watchful about the Unit’s Construction

When you are doubtful about what compressor type to select, we advise you to consider buying a vertical version if you want to save space. Many other aspects also need to be considered concerning the mechanism of a compressor. Thus, you should pay attention to the presence of the air filter and drying system to be certain that the system can eradicate excess moisture as a byproduct of the process of compression. This will eventually let you safeguard your instruments from possible damage, and it’s particularly important if you have plans to use the device for running a paint gun or other similar tools.

#2. Pick the Preferable Type

All compressors are supposed to operate very quietly, and there are two types of these machines: single-stage and dual-stage ones. If to explain the difference between them in simple terms, then we would say that it lies in the number of times the air gets compressed by each type of compressor. As it becomes clear from the name, a single-stage mechanism is designed to suppress air only once while a double-stage mechanism suppresses it two times. Besides, it should be mentioned that the air in the first type of compressor is suppressed by only one pump. The other type, however, has a special system which allows compressing the air not just once but two times. The price for such systems may also be a great indicator. And you should be prepared that double-stage compressors will definitely cost way more than other types. 

#3. Consider the Ease of Transportation and Space 

If you want to get an excellent compressor for home use, you’d better pick the model that will be easy to lift and carry around with no effort. Compressors are usually accessible in all sizes and measurements. They may be portable and small or large and bulky. However, portability also indicates how powerful the device is. 

#4. Check Measurements of the Tank

Due to the supreme level of power capacity, double-tank styles do not need to be in operation as frequently as usual layouts so that you’ll have a chance to enjoy your time in silence and quietness. What’s more, the higher level of pressure will provide for much more spacious storage capacity of a tank. That’s why it is crucial to consider the issue of tank parameters and size as it will let you know how long the tools will run with the compressor.  As a rule, the size of a tank is measured in gallons, and you may select from one to 80-gallon volume. In general, if your tools require too much air to ensure their long-term use, you’d better pick a bit larger tank than the standard one. But if you plan to use the tools in turn or not very regularly, you will be safe to opt for smaller tank measurements. If you have a sufficiently large tank, the compressor will have enough time to cool between the work cycles.  In addition, if you use the compressor for tools that need only rapid air bursts, the tank will not get empty too quickly. If these tasks are sufficient for you, you may pick a tank of around 2-6 gallons which will be more than enough. The portability of this kind of device is also a significant factor that mostly depends on the tank size. 

#5. Calculate the CFM

This is a very significant consideration when you are searching for a proper compressor type for garage use. CFM is deciphered as Cubic Feet a Minute and stands for the volumetric flow indicator. It’s best to search for a standard rate when you examine different types of compressors. 
As a rule, the compressor’s power rate usually equals to 1,5-6.5 horsepower. Evidently, there are also models that have larger power capacity but they are used only in industrial settings so you won’t make much use of them. Therefore, the best types of compressors for garage will be those that do not require too high horsepower capacity. In order to identify the necessary rate, you need to determine the purpose for which you’ll use your compressor. This will assist you to pick the best-matching version. 

#7. Consider Air Consumption

You will hardly be able to operate all sorts of devices using an insufficiently powerful compressor. This issue is mostly related to the air consumption rate provided by your unit. This indicates the volume of air your unit can transfer when operating full-force. Just check whether the compressor you intend to buy has a proper air consumption rate so that you could power the maximum number of tools without restricting yourself in this matter.

#8. Consider the Source of Power

It’s also vital to take into account the power source that you will utilize to power the compressor you buy. This implies that if you use electricity, you need to search for the piece of machinery with an electric engine. Meanwhile, if you live in a remote area with no electricity, you’d better select the unit that runs on a gas-powered engine. It will also be worth identifying the required flow rate and the tank capacity that your unit should have. With all these considerations, you’ll be capable of selecting the best-fitting model of a compressor with ease. 

Questions and Answers

These two types are the most widespread types of compressors so knowing the difference between them is essential for making a successful choice. Piston-styled models heavily depend on the engine that accumulates the air pressure during the use of an air compressor. They can be single-stage or double-stage. If you require a good compressor for serious domestic tasks, it’s best to select single-stage ones. Portable units generally have no tanks, and they perform a similar function as piston-styled ones. However, as the name suggests, they are more easily transportable. What’s more, they are generally oriented on lighter tasks and can be used for not very difficult or complicated projects. 

The major merit of this kind of compressors is that they produce air pressure continuously and with almost no footprint. This is what makes them the best-ever option for light domestic projects. Another benefit of portable units is their considerably lower price. Although it’s up to you what type to use because this is a matter of your personal preferences, portable devices still have weighty benefits and the pricing is among their most significant merits.

This is an important measurement that stands for Cubic Feet a Minute. It measures the volumetric flow of the compressor. To determine the CFM, you basically need to find out the psi range of the compressor model. In basic terms, the CFM value allows users to discover the volume of air the unit will produce in a period of one minute. It is necessary to calculate this measure because it will help you to evaluate the power output of the chosen model to guarantee its appropriate performance. 

 It mostly depends on the size and measurements of the purchased compressor. Every unit available to customers may come in variable sizes and designs. Note that air compressors can be bulky and powerful or small-sized and easily transportable. And the choice of parameters will depend on how you plan to use the machine. Thus, if you need to lift the unit from the ground every so often, you should definitely opt for a lighter and more movable version. If not, you may select a more powerful but a bit heavier one. 

Final Word

You might now wonder whether the purchase of this type of equipment will actually pay off after continuous use. This is a highly significant question that most future users of air compressors often ask. The answer is quite simple. No one can argue that having the right set of accessories in your garage will help you work on serious and difficult projects with greater simplicity and with hardly any inconveniences. Therefore, regardless of what you want to use this type of machine for, it is definitely a great addition to any domestic setting that may serve multiple functions and can be used for various purposes at your home or in your garage. We do hope that our detailed guide will help you to pick the most appropriate model for your private needs to make your garage projects more fruitful and less difficult. This will guarantee that you complete your work with no stress or obstacles. 

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