man using the air compressor

Our Pick for the 6 Best Small Air Compressors of 2022

While air compressors are mainly used at construction sites, manufacturing plants, and corner gas stations, they are also used in garages, basements, and home workshops and are particularly convenient for inflating tires.

For this reason, new technology is constantly being developed for small air compressors that are lightweight and portable. with an acceptable noise level.

That said, different features and specifications are included with every air compressor so it may be a little confusing.

Do you really need to know these specifications or will any small air compressor do?

We’re going to take a look at why you may want to purchase a small or mini air compressor and give you our pick for the 6 best small air compressors of 2022 so you can be sure you’ve made the right selection for your project’s needs.

What Are the Benefits of Small Air Compressors?

There are several benefits associated with small air compressors if you are simply looking to perform small maintenance work.

While keeping in mind that each air compressor comes with its own features, benefits of small air compressors generally include:

  • Portability
  • Lightweight
  • More environmentally friendly
  • Perform quicker
  • Quick starting
  • Quieter than larger models

The 6 Best Small Air Compressors of 2022

Bostitch Pancake BTFP02012 Oil-Free Compressor

The Bostitch Pancake BTFP02012 Air Compressor is ideal if you need one for smaller projects or for use in your home garage workspace.

The Bostitch BTFP02012 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor contains a 150 max PSI six-gallon tank and delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI.

What all this means is that you can run this air compressor for a long time with a quick recovery.

More benefits of this air compressor include an oil-free, maintenance-free pump and a high-efficiency motor for easy start-up, even when it’s cold outside.

The Bostitch BTFP02012 is also a relatively quiet model at 78.5 dBA and weighs only 29 pounds.

With its easy carry handle, this air compressor is highly portable and easy to take from one project to the next.

Product Features:

  • Oil-free, maintenance-free pump
  • Decibel rating of 78.5 dBA
  • 150 max PSI
  • 6-gallon tank
  • Lightweight at 29 lbs.
  • Highly portable and easy to store
Works very wellNot for beginners
It makes an acceptable noiseComplicated setup
Light and easy to move around
Best Small Air Compressors Review

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet

The California Air Tools 10020C is a particularly quiet air compressor at only 70 dBA. Its 2.0 HP motor operates at just 1680 RPM which results in less noise and less overall wear.

This SP-9421 motor is part of California Air Tool’s new SP Series of Ultra Quiet Motors that have been designed not only to be as quiet as possible but also to allow for longer run times.

This model includes a dual-piston pump system that is not oil lubricated so it can work in a range of temperatures and on a variety of surfaces.

Product Features:

  • Powerful 2.0 HP motor
  • Oil-free pump
  • 10-gallon tank
  • Ultra-quiet at 70 dBA
  • 40 SCFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Easily portable with included wheel kit
Extremely well packageLow quality components
Super quietIt's expensive
Performs well
Best Small Air Compressors Review

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S

The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S may be the most silent air compressor on the market with a decibel rating of only 56. Its 0.6 HP motor operates at just 1680 RPM which allows it to create less noise and experience less wear over time.

This model contains another one of California Air Tools ultra-quiet motors except for this one is the IP version, which is ultra-quiet, oil-free, and contains a single-piston pump design.

This tank is ideal for those who are really only looking to use one tool at a time or for use on a smaller project as it only has a 1.20 CFM at 90 PSI and a one-gallon tank.

Product Features:

  • Lightweight at 29.5 lbs.
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Oil-free pump
  • Low maintenance
  • 1-gallon tank
  • Thermal overload protector
  • Max PSI of 120
Less maintenance and CostsLow quality components
LightweightLight work only
Ultra Quiet
Best Small Air Compressors Review

 DEWALT built the D55146 Heavy Duty 4.5 Gallon, 225 PSI

The  DEWALT built the D55146 Heavy Duty 4.5 Gallon, 225 PSI contains a high-efficiency motor that allows it to start up easily in cold weather or with an extension cord.

This model is relatively quiet as far as air compressors go with a decibel rating of 75.5 dBA. Its shape and size are what classifies this product as a “pancake air compressor”, with a short and flat tank and weighing only 30 pounds.

This compact air compressor can fit right into most workplaces; however, it still needs a power supply so keep this in mind when you decide to position it.

Product Features:

  • High efficiency motor
  • 225 max PSI
  • 4.5 gallon tank
  • 78 dBA noise level
  • Oil-free
  • maintenance free pump
Quiet motorNot for beginners
Efficient high pressure motorExpensive
The unit appears to be well made
Best Small Air Compressors Review

Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP

The Makita MAC5200 contains a Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and piston that allows you to have a higher output for two nailers while experiencing less noise, improved performance, and faster recovery.

While this model does advertise itself as being lower maintenance, it is oil-lubricated.

Not a huge deal as being oil-lubricated means cooler running temperatures and reduced wear; however, you will need to buy the right oil to keep this product properly maintained.

The Makita MAC5200 is highly portable. It weighs under 90 pounds and has a fold-down handle and rugged wheels.

Product Features:

  • 140 max PSI
  • Oil-lubricated
  • Easily stored with fold-down handle
  • Easily handled
  • Powerful 3.0 HP motor
  • Durable cast iron cylinder
  • Rugged wheels for portability
PortableToo heavy
Works very wellLow quality components
High CFM
Best Small Air Compressors Review

Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP

The Rolair JC10 Plus is one of the best lightweight, oil free pump air compressors on the market if you’re looking for a model that is incredibly quiet while still being powerful.

It has a decibel rating of only 60dBA and can be used all day while allowing you to hear your fellow workers talk.

The Rolair JC10 Plus is great for both trim and finish work with a CFM of 2.35 at 90 PSI and its 1725 RPM motor.

This model contains an oil-free 2.5-gallon tank and a JC10 Single Stage Air Compressor which should provide the power and versatility you need to use multiple tools at once.

Product Features:

  • 1725 RPM motor
  • Cast aluminum cylinder
  • Oil-free
  • 5-gallon tank
  • Portable and lightweight at 42.9 lbs.
  • Quiet at 60 dBA
  • 35 CFM at 90 PSI
PortableToo heavy
Oil-less air compressorsAir filter isn't heavy duty
Quiet work environment
Best Small Air Compressors Review

Verdict: Which Small Air Compressor is For Me?

Which small or mini air compressor is most suitable for you highly depends on what you need it for and what features are important to you – maximum pressure, high flow regulator, or any other things you can’t live without.

Take into consideration what type of work you’re using it for and how many tools you’d like to run at once.

With small air compressors generally being used in smaller work settings such as a home workshop, any of these models should work well for you.

Another huge benefit of the smaller models is the lower decibel rating, as is the case with the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S.

Whichever air compressor you choose, you can be sure that the models listed above come from high-quality brands that offer warranties on their products to back them up.

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