Best Air Compressors Under $5002018-08-06T18:22:45+00:00

Top 3 Air Compressors Under $500 Reviewed

best air compressor reviews

Air compressors are sold under a wide variety of brand names, with a wide variety of unique functions and features. The basics of the device though are that is able to use an electric motor or gasoline engine to convert power into pressurized air that can be used for a number of important functions.

Because there are so many great air compressors out there, we reviewed dozens and picked our favorite ones. We chose three different compressors, all different sizes but all great choices. We used criteria like durability, price, and other specs to narrow down the choices.

Here are the top 3 air compressors:

 

Top Choice
DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
Best Value
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
Air Compressor
DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
Capacity
30 Gallons
10 Gallons
4.2 Gallons
Max PSI
155 PSI
90 PSI
130 PSI
Reviews
Price
$499.99
$349.99
$299.99
Top Choice
DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor
Air Compressor
DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor
Capacity
30 Gallons
Max PSI
155 PSI
Reviews
Price
$499.99
More Info
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
Air Compressor
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
Capacity
10 Gallons
Max PSI
90 PSI
Reviews
Price
$349.99
More Info
Best Value
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
Air Compressor
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
Capacity
4.2 Gallons
Max PSI
130 PSI
Reviews
Price
$299.99
More Info

 

1. DeWalt 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor

DeWalt 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor review

The DeWalt 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor

This high quality compressor has been an industry favorite with its myriad appealing features and low cost. As a direct drive air compressor, it is low maintenance and oil free, which makes it the number one choice for many who hope to enjoy an easy to use appliance that serves its purpose well without being cumbersome or difficult to use.

Product Description

This product is one hundred and twelve pounds, which makes it relatively easy to transport despite the fact that it is able to hold thirty gallons of compressed air. Its oil-free function means operation is easier without the need to constantly manage the oil within the system, only adding and changing it every so often.

It is also comprised of a two-piece cooling system. This innovative design allows for a number of exciting benefits including lower operating temperatures for the sake of safety, higher efficiency when it comes to cooling, and a longer pump life. These elements of the two-piece cooling system ultimately save the user time and money in both the short-term and long-term.

This product is complete with safety measures that make it one of the best options on the market. The Automatic Thermal Overload Protection that comes with this product protects the user from power surges that could be detrimental, as well as low voltage.

Product Specifications

  • 155-PSI Maximum Pressure
  • Two-piece Cooling System
  • 7 CFM at 40-PSI or 6.0-CFM at 90-PSI
  • Automatic Thermal Overload Protection
  • Standard Outlet 120-Volt Plugs

Pros

  • Low Maintenance:
    • This product comes fully assembled, which saves the user time attempting to figure out just how it all works.
    • The fact that it is oil free is a huge factor when it comes to how time consuming and expensive it is to take care of.
    • Without having to add, change, and eventually dispose of oil in order to aid the functioning of this machine, your time is freed up to focus on other things.
  • Portable:
    • This thirty-gallon tank only weighs about one hundred and twelve pounds. This makes it very easy to move from place to place without much difficulty. For varying jobs that require a frequent change of location, this is a great model to consider.

Cons

  • Size:
    • This model can only carry about thirty gallons of compressed air, making it a relatively small air compressor.
    • Portability at the cost of size is great for certain usages, but for jobs that require a large amount of pressurized air, another model that is able to have a larger tank might be a better option.

Is This the Air Compressor for You?

With its increased portability and exciting new features that maximize efficiency and minimize the amount of work the user needs to put in, it is no wonder that this product is topping the charts when it comes to quality air compressors.

Its features though mean that the DeWalt 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor is best suited for jobs that require portability and efficiency over volume.

Buy Yours Today!

The DeWalt 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor is available for purchase on Amazon and is highly recommended for any user who wants quick and easy use along with efficiency and quality.

Sale
DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor
14 Reviews
DeWalt DXCMLA1983012 30-Gallon Oil Free Direct Drive Air Compressor
  • Offers an Industry Leading 155-PSI Maximum Pressure with a Rate of 7.7-CFM at 40-PSI or 6.0-CFM at 90-PSI
  • Features Quick and Easy Use with Standard Outlet 120-Volt Plugs
  • Includes Automatic Thermal Overload Protection that Guards Against Low Voltage and Power Surges
  • Arrives Fully Assembled and Ready To Use
  • Includes Regulator, Tank and Tool Pressure Gauges, Quick Coupler, On/Off Switch, Wheels, and a Handle with Grip

2. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp review

The California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp

With so many options on the market today, it is no surprise that this powerful compressor has become an industry leader when it comes to innovative new features. Its myriad unique qualities make it appealing to those who want a user friendly, efficient new option when it comes to air compressors.

Product Description

This ten-gallon tank has risen in popularity recently due to its promise of thirty percent less noise than other air compressors. With this being its main draw, it is surprising how many other great qualities this compressor has as well.

This model is clearly of a higher quality than many others available for purchase with its longer continuous run time as well as longer overall lifetime. One of its most exciting qualities is the fact that it can function oil free. This means less time and effort spent by adding and replacing oil in order to allow functionality.

With an Easy Start Valve, this compressor is able to offer a no-load start-up, which means an easier start-up even when the weather gets a little chillier. The innovations present in this product are numerous and have led customers to recommend this product highly for its low maintenance, high quality service.

Product Specifications

  • Oil-Free Pump
  • 10-Gallon Air Tank
  • Easy Start Valve
  • 40-CFM at 40-PSI or 5.40-CFM AT 90-PSI
  • 30% Less Sound/70 decibels

Pros

The motor of this device operates at 1680 RPM. This means lower wear and tear as well as less noise.

  • Sound:
    • As a result of the motor, this model promises 30% less sound than other models on the market. This is a big draw for places that require an air compressor but don’t have the space to allow the typical loud operations.
  • Longer Run Time:
    • This motor also boasts a longer run time, which can save the user money over time.
    • This also means there is less wear and tear on the engine long term, which means more time can pass before the compressor will need to be replaced.

Cons

  • Size:
    • This model is considerably smaller than others on the market, with a ten-gallon tank.
    • The small size allows for increased portability, but for spaces that need more, even its increased run time won’t be ideal.

Is This the Air Compressor for You?

The biggest draws of this impressive new compressor are its ability to function with considerably less invasive noise, as well as its durability. The California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp is able to function for a longer run time. It also accumulates less wear and tear over time thanks to its innovative new motor.

For clients who want an easy to use, oil-free option that prioritizes both long-term and short-term durability, this powerful, easy to use model is a great option.

Buy Yours Today!

Customers and pros recommend this model for anyone wanting a less invasive device with quieter sound and increased durability for long-term use. The California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp is available for purchase on Amazon.

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
246 Reviews
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
  • Ultra Quiet only 70 Decibels
  • Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs
  • Powerful 2.0 Hp with Low amp draw - 7.0 Amps
  • 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI & 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 10 Gallon Air Tank with Wheels

3. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor review

The Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

Among a wide range of options when it comes to air compressors, a clear frontrunner in terms of efficiency and portability is the Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor. It has continuously impressed customers with its high power and low noise levels.

This air compressor achieves efficiency and durability with its many unique features that expand the functionality and user-friendliness of the model.

Product Description

This air compressor combines innovative new features that allow for decreased noise and increased compression. In addition, sleek external features allow for portability and protection. Its 4.2-gallon twin stacked tank facilitates mobility without compromising on power or quality.

One of the biggest trends in the air compressor industry is the desire for new, low maintenance machines. This compressor certainly caters to that desire, functioning conveniently with the inclusion of an oil drain and tank drain valve that make changing the oil much easier and quicker.

With a significantly lower RPM than competing models, the MAC2400 compressor is able to be more consistently durable and to withstand more wear and tear over time. It is overall longer lasting than competing brands and therefore saves the customer money on replacements and repairs.

Product Specifications

  • Big Bore Engineered Piston and Pump Cylinder
  • Oil Lubricated
  • 5 HP 4-Pole Motor
  • 2 Gallon Twin-Stacked Tank
  • 8-CFM at 40-PSI or 4.2-CFM at 90-PSI

Pros

  • Sound:
    • With a highly efficient motor, the Makita MAC2400 Big Bore is able to function much quieter than many other models.
  • Portability:
    • In utilizing a smaller gallon tank, this air compressor is able to be highly portable, for jobs that require transporting.
    • It is also durable and withstands the daily wear and tear typical of moving from job to job.

Cons

  • Oil Maintenance:
    • While many new brands have turned to offering oil-free models, this machine functions with the use of oil. This means the oil must be added, replaced, and disposed of, which means more work for the user.

Is This the Air Compressor for You?

Durability and the reduction of noise levels are two majorly impressive qualities of this model. With an oil-lubricated pump, this air compressor is able to sustain less wear and tear, as well as function with a cooler running temperature.

These myriad benefits make this air compressor an appealing option for customers who need an efficient and durable model that will work long-term without need for early replacement. This model ultimately saves customers money and time, as well as provides a quality service.

Customers who value durability and portability should consider this air compressor as a high quality option. Its overall weight and durability makes it one of the best models on the market for transporting from place to place.

Buy Yours Today!

Ordering this product for use is fast and easy. The Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor is available for purchase on Amazon. Jobs that require portability and durability would be well served by this air compressor.

Sale
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
566 Reviews
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
  • Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for improved performance
  • Low AMP draw reduces incidences of tripped breakers at start-up. The 4.2 gallon twin-stacked tank sustains an operating pressure of 130 PSI, and delivers 40 PSI (4.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (4.2 CFM), enough for two nailers
  • Pump is oil-lubricated for cooler running temperatures and reduced wear. Built-in thermal overload for additional motor protection. Compressor Oil (181122-A). 1/4" Universal Quick Coupler (447013-E)
  • Roll-cage construction provides complete protection to withstand extreme jobsite environments. Lever handle ball valve - tank drain valve improves upon standard petcock design for easier maintenance
  • Large automotive style industrial air filter for increased air intake and greater efficiency. Durable cast iron cylinder reduces wear and increases pump life; removable for easy maintenance. Oil sight glass for fast, easy and efficient maintenance

What You Need to Know About Air Compressors

Because compressors are somewhat complicated tools, we put together some information to help you out.

How Do They Work?

Using a gasoline engine, or more often nowadays, an electric motor, these devices force more and more air into a tank of any size. Tanks can be as small as three gallons and larger than thirty gallons. This air now has a large amount of potential energy.

When the tank has reached maximum capacity in terms of pressure, the machine shuts off and the compressed air is stored within the tank until it needs to be used. This marks the main difference between a compressor and a pump.

The storage is crucial in eventually unleashing the kinetic energy of the stored air. The air itself can be utilized, but the kinetic energy that it contains can be an asset utilized as well for various purposes

Once all the air is released and the tank is depressurized, at its lowest limit the compressor resumes and re-pressurizes, filling the tank with air and creating potential energy again within the tank.

Types of Compressors

Compressors can be categorized in a myriad of different ways. In terms of pressure delivered, there are three types:

  • LPACS – Low-pressure air compressors
    • 150 PSI or less
  • Medium-pressure air compressors
    • 151 PSI to 1,000 PSI
  • HPACs – High-pressure compressors
    • More than 1,000 PSI

In another way, compressors can be categorized in terms of design and functionality. These classifications include: single-stage reciprocating compressor, two-stage reciprocating compressor, rotary-screw compressor, turbo compressor, and many more.

What Are They Used for?

Because they serve such a simple service, these machines can be utilized for a number of important functions. The type of purpose they serve depends on their classification and obviously their functionality. Certain models and types have features that may serve one job better than another.

Surface supplied divers utilize compressors to receive their clean air. School buildings also often power their HVAC pneumatic control system valves with the use of a compressor. Compressors also often power pneumatic tools like jackhammers or nail guns, or they can fill high-pressure tanks or tires.

Where Can I Purchase One?

One of the great things about compressors today is that the industry is flooded with new and innovative models and designs. Finding model that is perfect for the job at hand can be incredibly easy when knowing where to look—and knowing which reviews to trust.

Amazon provides a wide variety of styles and functionalities when it comes to high-quality air compressors, and here, we provide reviews on some of the top picks on the market. Whether clients are looking for a small portable compressor for traveling between jobs, or a large forty-gallon tank for a long run time and some heavy-duty support, there is an air compressor out there for you.

Air Compressor Video

Here is a YouTube video about how to choose an air compressor: