VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Richard Bush
Tire pressure is an integral part of car maintenance, but a trip to the gas station to top up the air in your car's tires can be a bit of a chore. Well, with a portable air compressor, you can cut out the middleman and stay on top of things at home - or even on the road side. But where do you even start when it comes to buying a portable air compressor? Well, to help you out in the buying process, we've sifted through numerous website and consumer reviews to present our 5 recommended products.
Script written by Richard Bush
Top 5 Portable Air Compressors
Welcome to GetMojo, we do the research so you don’t have to! In this video, we’re offering our picks for the 5 best portable air compressors on the market.
Tire pressure is an integral part of car maintenance, but a trip to the gas station to top up the air in your car’s tires can be a bit of a chore. Well, with a portable air compressor, you can cut out the middleman and stay on top of things at home - or even on the road side. But where do you even start when it comes to buying a portable air compressor? Well, to help you out in the buying process, we’ve sifted through numerous website and consumer reviews to present our 5 recommended products. Okay, first up.
The Front Runner
Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor
Many will be happy with a standard plug-in, wall socket corded electric air compressor, but for those who want to ensure that they have the ability to inflate their tires roadside, the VIAIR 400P is one of the best models money can buy. Using power from your car’s battery - or any 12-volt battery supply - this air compressor is capable of inflating large tires, like those found on RVs, and has a maximum working pressure of 150 PSI. It’s also excellent at supplying streams of compressed air for certain power tools. We particularly like this model’s clear pressure gauge readout and convenient carry bag it comes in.
The Three-Gallon Option
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor (FP209499AV)
It’s important to pay attention to the tank capacity of air compressors. Ultimately, the larger the capacity, the longer it can run before it has to kick back in and supply more air. And one of the best small capacity ones out there is this three-gallon Campbell Hausfeld model. Nicely bridging the gap between portability and power, this corded electric model has a max PSI of 110 and comes with a series of different attachments for cars, bikes and various power tools. It’s also much cheaper than the aforementioned VIAIR model.
The Six-Gallon Option
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor (BTFP02012)
Offering a slight bump up in tank capacity is this 150 PSI BOSTITCH model, which is powered via a standard 120-volt household outlet. This six-gallon model has received heaps of praise for its lightweight, 29 pound design, and its relatively quiet operation, with noise levels reaching just 78.5 decibels. It’s also been praised for its ability to start-up in cold weather conditions - which is mainly thanks to its oil-free design - and its quick recovery time when being used with power tools.
The Eight-Gallon Option
California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor
When it comes to being realistically portable, this eight-gallon compressor is borderline, but it’s a great choice for those who need a high-performance model for more demanding jobs. Weighing in at just 54 pounds, this corded electric California Air Tools model offers a maximum pressure of 120 PSI, and thanks to its tank-mounted wheels, it can be easily transported from one room to the next. Regardless of its rather bulky size, this model is marketed as a quiet machine, with noise levels rated at just 60 decibels when in use.
Before we reveal our final pick, here are a few other great air compressor models you may want to consider:
PORTER-CABLE Pancake Air Compressor (C2002)
Dewalt Air Compressor (DWFP55130)
Makita Big Bore Air Compressor (MAC2400)
The Budget Pick
Black + Decker Cordless Tire Inflator (BDINF12C)
If you’re wondering where the basic, no-nonsense tire inflators are, then fear not, Black + Decker has got you covered. This affordable, super lightweight model can handle most car, bike and sports equipment inflating tasks with ease - and it can be powered by your car’s 12V DC socket. And thanks to its digital display and automatic shut-off feature, it’s easy to dial in your desired settings, walk away and let the inflator do its job. This model also comes with various adapters too, from a tire adaptor nozzle to a trusty ball needle.
So which portable air compressor should you choose? Well, if you’re just seeking something that will inflate your car or bike tires, it can be very easy to veer off course and end up looking at something that’s intended for hardcore DIY, so just be aware. If you want a good all-rounder, then the three-gallon Campbell Hausfeld model is an excellent choice. However, if you’re simply looking for peace of mind, and you want something to sit in the trunk just in case, go for the Black & Decker model.
Stay tuned to GetMojo for the most complete video product reviews!