The Best Air Compressor for Home Use

So, you’re looking for an air compressor for home use? Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t know which are best for your needs? I mean who doesn’t want a giant air compressor in their garage, but do you need it?

Let’s start by thinking about all your needs and compare the points to pick the best air compressor for home use.

The first step is to decide what your compressor will be used for and where it will be used. Are you going to use the compressor indoors or outdoors? Is it for lengthy projects, or just to blow up the occasional tire or basketball?

Not only do such compressors come in many shapes and sizes, they also come in a variety of horsepower strengths, as well as power supplies. For example, portable ones take up little space, which can be good for home use, but they will generally need to run for the duration of your project.

This is OK if your needs are minor; however, if any long term projects are in your future, then you may need to consider something with some storage capacity. Will you be using air compressor tools, such as air nailers or say an air sander? If so, then you need to consider the horse power of the compressor.

Generally speaking, a horse power of at least one and a half times the needs of your tools is acceptable. If you have much less, then you risk being under powered in your time of need. Too much strength and you are paying for power you do not need.

Will your use of the home air compressors available fall into larger outdoor jobs requiring more power and overall air flow then the average home user? If so, a gas powered air compressor system with a higher air flow, or CFM (cubic feet per minute) and decent storage capacity could be for you.

Maybe your needs are a bit less demanding, in which case one of the electrically powered portable air compressors will probably be enough to get the job done. Either way, selecting an air compressor rated one and a half times higher then that of the air tool accessories you will use should be sufficient. Any more then that and you may be wasting money on more tools then you need.


In our professional opinion, if you’re just looking for occasional use, like many homeowners are, then the best air compressor for home use is:

PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE Air compressor is constructed with a pancake style container for maximum balance, water strain device, rubberized feet and a 150 PSI. The greater stress design provides longer air tool efficiency and comes with a 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allowing for a quick a chance to recover. Contains an oil 100 % free push for no maintenance, low AMP 120V engine quickly starting in cool temperature or with expansion wire, improved wrap with hand and system cover defending vital elements. Made for simple moving and contains wire cover with a 6 quart capacity. Product has a one year limited assurance on compressor elements. Highly convenient and extremely simple to use, the Porter-Cable C2002 150-PSI, Six-Gallon Oil-Free Pancake Air compressor features a big impact in a small package. Perfect for everything from filling wheels to shooting nailers, this compressor functions an introduction engine that provides extended life and the best possible efficiency. For comfort, this effective unit operates off normal household power and offers mess-free, oil-free function. At just 34 pounds, the C2002 is light and portable and convenient enough for work site, work shop, or around-the-house use. This means it’s your best option for a range of jobs–everything from setting up cut to bolstering air beds.



First let’s start with some basic advice for maintaining your compressor well and limiting future problems. The most important thing to remember is to make sure and drain the water from your compressor tank every few times you use it. There is typically a valve on the bottom of the tank somewhere that allows for easy quick, easy drainage. This will prevent water from accumulating inside the tank, which can cause rust to form and degrade the inside of the tank. Also, if too much water builds up inside the tank there will not be enough room for air and the compressor will not be able to sustain pressure during use.

The other major maintenance task is to keep the air compressor clean and in a warm, dry environment. Keeping it clean will prevent dirt from working its way into any valves or gaskets and causing problems. I would recommend wiping down dirty areas on the tank every now and then and making sure its stored in a protected place. The reason for keeping it in a warm, dry place is to prevent moisture from seeping in to seams or valves and freezing. If your compressor is not working properly and the ambient temperature is very low, then try bringing it inside to warm up for a while.

Finally, the last major problem people run into is a leak. Leaks in the tank itself will need to be welded, but leaks resulting from a faulty valve can simply be replaced with a new valve. Try the old soapy water method to detect if the leak is coming from the tank, since this needs to be ruled out first before you go buying additional valves or hoses.

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