Best Air Compressors for Automotive Air Tools (2022)

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So, what’s the best air compressor for automotive air tools? Have you been searching for a long time but still find yourself none-the-wiser?! Your search ends here!

In this detailed article, we’ll discuss the following topics and more:

  • Why mechanics prefer air tools
  • The size of air compressor needed for automotive projects
  • Air compressor ratings for different car jobs
  • Definition of the best compressor for automotive air tools

If you don’t need an air compressor specifically for auto air tools, then check out our more general guide “The Best Air Compressors for Air Tools” for a broader range of compressors.

An air compressor for the garage is an important investment that does more than inflate truck tires. With this equipment in your garage or even at the back of your truck, you can clean, inflate tire, sand, cut, grind and even polish with ease.

While choosing the most suitable air compressor for automotive air tools can be difficult process for buyers, it doesn’t have to be. If you are able to answer a few questions regarding this investment, you will buy a product that suits your needs and fits within your budget. We are here to help you make an informed decision by tackling all the lingering questions.

Our guide has some basics, plus a list of popular air compressors that we have sampled. First, we answer a few recurrent questions regarding the best air compressors for an automotive power tool. Once you have gone through this read, please share your thoughts and recommendations.

Why do mechanics use air tools?

Car mechanics use a wide range of power tools because their jobs are varied in magnitude and type. Tools like spring oilers, lug nut, rock drill, paint sprayer and brad nailer are a common sight in auto garages. Others are air ratchet, valve grinders, sand blasters, rivet buster and upholstery stapler. While the common working pressure of these compressed air tools is 90 PSI, the average air consumption can differ widely. For instance, body polishers work with only 2 SCFM, while a rivet buster needs up to 50 SCFM.

One of the pneumatic tools a mechanic can barely survive without is an impact wrench. Mechanics spend a lot of time yanking huge components from vehicles. It may surprise that some seasoned mechanics opt for battery powered impact wrenches when they can’t use the corded electric one, but the air powered version is still very popular. Most of the mechanics I know actually own several impact wrenches, one of which is always at the hoist.

Why do mechanics use air tools instead of cordless tools?

One reason you won’t miss an impact wrench and other air tools in an auto garage is the versatility these tools offer as compared to cordless tools. Since you can carry compressed air in containers, you can use your tools anywhere; no electrical outlet needed. Whether scrubbing at low power or even sandblasting, air tools provide ample room for interchanging between different operations. You will note that most air tools are lightweight and ergonomic. These features are important for mechanic work, which can be extremely tiresome.

Another reason is for reliability in continuous tasks. The power supply of pneumatic systems is reliable so replacements and repairs are manageable. Auto garages can benefit from a system that gives consistent performance yet doesn’t break down or run out of power. As long as the pneumatic tool is connected to a good compressor, it can deliver adequate torque for the torque wrench to remove rusty nuts. Electric hand tools are slowly catching up in this area thanks to advanced technology.

User safety is another area. Unlike electric tools, pneumatic tools pose very little or no danger in fluctuating temperatures. You will rarely hear of an electric shock or fire incident related to an air powered tool. The compression system remains intact even if the air tool were to be misused. However, you want to avoid using compressed air in the following conditions:

  • Near flammable materials
  • In wet damp conditions
  • Near explosives
  • In mining and energy exploration

When you choose pneumatic tools over electric tools, be prepared to have your compressor at any job point. Transportation and storage can be tough, especially for bigger jobs in remote areas. Oiling to prevent rusting and other maintenance requirements for these tools can also be a little bit demanding, unlike electric versions that are almost maintenance-free. For more information on oil, see our comprehensive guide What is Air Compressor Oil?

What size air compressors do you need to work on cars?

Are you wondering what size air compressors do you need to work on cars? To answer this question, you need to determine whether you are a consumer, contractor or commercial type of user. Consumer grade compressors are for the occasional tire inflation and other simple tasks. Contractor-grade air compressors are more powerful because they handle a wider range of jobs, even powering nail guns. You need this one if you often run multiple automotive air tools. For daily and business applications, you would rather get a commercial-grade air compressor.

Ultimately, air volume is usually the best way to measure the size of air compressor needed for the task. This parameter is measured by cubic feet per minute (or CFM). For a single auto job, the amount of CFM needed can range between 2.5 CFM and 20 CFM. The higher value is for heavy duty tasks like sanding while the 2.5CFM supports tire inflation, cleaning and other simpler tasks.

If you are looking for the best air compressor to support your spray gun, go for a unit capable of delivering at least 12 CFM. This is enough for most guns available in the market today. Of course, detailed paint spraying isn’t as demanding – 1 CFM is okay for painting car.

Do you handle tires frequently and want an appropriate rotary screw compressor? I can bet you already know you need several impact wrenches and a portable tire inflator. Sizeable impact wrenches need about 7 CFM while an inflator is less demanding at 1 CFM. For such a scenario, invest in a nice unit with a capability of 8 CFM airflow @90 PSI and a good duty cycle.

Remember to check if the compressor is rotary vane compressor, reciprocating compressor or piston compressor because these are different constructions with their pros and cons. You also want to be sure that you don’t get a smaller compressor than the job requires.

For more information, check our our guide What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?

How much air pressure do you need to paint a car?

It is important to determine how much air pressure you need for car painting. Air pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). It gives the amount of airflow force coming from the air compressor. A higher PSI value means that the compressor can store a larger amount of compressed air. Higher PSI also means that you can operate your hvlp gun and similar tools longer.

The pressures needed in compressed air tools will also vary a lot. The standard air pressure for proper operation of most air tools is 90 PSI. However, a paint gun needs anything between 90 and 120 PSI. Picking a higher pressure, say 140 PSI, will do no harm to the fluid nozzle or other components of the system.

Alongside PSI requirement, cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating of the compressed air tool is essential when choosing the best air compressor for painting or pressure washer. Air tools like paint guns work continuously, so you need to allocate them more CFM than your other pneumatic tools. Being a demanding task, painting a car needs a compressor with a sizeable tank. For optimum painting efficiency, size air compressor at a minimum of 50 gallon capacity.

Plenty of portable air compressors can give this amount of air pressure and CFM, so be assured that you can apply lacquer paint on your car anywhere. A good example of a quality product is the DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 Air Compressor, which delivers a maximum of 155 PSI for optimum performance of any paint sprayer. The California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor is also highly portable and can give you 125 PSI easily. DeWalt too has some really great air compressors for painting a car. For instance, the DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor (DWFP55126) offers 165 PSI, enough to power even the most demanding paint gun.

How much PSI do you need to run an impact gun?

Looking for the right air compressor to run your impact gun? You shouldn’t struggle to find a suitable product. We must remind at this point that knowing how much psi do you need to run an impact gun does not give the true picture though. Other basic considerations for the ideal air compressor for an impact gun are tank size (gallons), air flow (CFM) and horsepower (HP). Of these, CFM is the biggest factor of how well your impact gun will operate.

Some of the air impact wrenches available can operate on as low as 3.5 CFM @ 90 PSI. However, a small tank can subject you to the inconvenience of having to refill often. Avoid small air compressor of below 6 gallons for a great performance of the impact gun. One of the most important points is to determine the CFM rating of your impact gun. You simply want a compressor that will keep up with your pneumatic tool. From analysis, the ratings for most impact guns are between 4 and 5 CFM @90PSI. Get a portable air compressor capable of giving this or slightly higher CFM and you will be good to go.

We must reiterate the importance of both CFM and PSI in the performance of an automotive air tool like a nail gun or impact gun. PSI requirement for most air tools is set at an industrial standard of 90 PSI, but CFM varies widely.

HINT: For every 1 HP from the compressor, you can get 3-4CFM for your compressed air tool.

For more information on PSI, see our article What PSI Compressor Do I Need?

What is a good air compressor for automotive work?

When you need the an air compressor for automotive air tools, the challenge is often in getting the specifications right. The considerations here are Pounds-Per-Square-Inch (PSI) and Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). It is also worth checking the horsepower of the air compressor and tank capacity.

The best compressor for automotive work will depend on the tools that you have or intend to use. Find the specifications of these tools and find a matching air compressor. If yours is a home-based automotive workshop, I would recommend a compressor of at least 20 gallons. But if you will be doing paint work often, I would suggest you find a bigger tank machine, say 60 gallons.

In automotive work, top tools include ratchets and impact wrenches. Their ratings demand about 4 SCFM @ 90 PSI. That explains why a pancake air compressor may not be your best bet for serious automotive work. The unit should also be capable of supporting air sanders, nail guns, and paint sprayers among others.

Some tools work intermittently while others are designed for continuous work. A small air compressor is fine for intermittent tools, but you need to invest in a larger one if you intend to use tools like grinders or paint guns.

In short, a good air compressor for automotive work is determined by the requirements of your tool(s). The goal is to get a unit that can power all your automotive pneumatic tools easily.

What is the best portable air compressor for auto tools?

In choosing portable air compressors for auto tools (for example tire inflator), users emphasize on benefits like portability (of course), low noise rating, compactness and no charge for air. Thus, the best portable air pump for auto tools fulfills specific user requirements along these lines.

In our forays into the market, notable units worth investing in are the Rolair JC10 2.5-Gallon Portable Compressor, the CRAFTSMAN CMXECXA0200141A, and the Stealth Compact 1 HP Compressor. The CRAFTSMAN CMXECXA0200141A is the clear winner in this category for its compact design, low weight, ergonomic features and a great price!

What is a good air compressor for inflating car tires?

A good air compressor for inflating care tires ought to be portable as a minimum requirement. There are numerous options of portable air compressors, but the difference arises in the size details.

Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) rating of a compressor is essential because it determines how fast the device can fill up a tire. If the rating is higher, the air compressor will inflate car tires quickly. It is worth noting that higher CFM rating usually goes with bigger air compressors so you must know how to strike the balance.

A good air compressor for inflating car tires should also have a legible pressure gauge. While all air compressors have a pressure gauge, the legibility may differ. The pressure gauge should accurate to the point that you can tell the difference between 25 PSI and 30PSI.

When buying an air compressor for inflating car tires, make sure it is of high build quality. Things like power cord, gauge and body ought to be strongly built because the conditions of use can sometimes be harsh. You don’t want to be replacing and repairing components every few months.

Will a 6 gallon air compressor fill a car tire?

In general terms, you can fill a car tire using any size of air compressor. However, you want to do the job fast and conveniently. After all, who wants to spend the whole day filling only four car tires? The general rule of the thumb is that a compressor for filling car tires should be capable of delivering between 1 and 2 CFM.

The question then becomes, can a 6 gallon air compressor give 1-2CFM? The answer is yes. A case in point is the CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Air Compressor – Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit that has a rating of 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI. It is designed for various applications including car tire inflation.

What is a good air compressor for impact wrenches?

When considering the best air compressor for an air impact wrench, looking at the price or good features is not enough. You might find yourself spending unnecessarily just because you thought most expensive means the best. A simpler approach is to remember a few points we have generated from experience.

Let’s start with size of your impact wrench, which is a big factor. Knowing that the ¾ inch and ½ inch are the two standard sizes of this tool, you only need to find a compressor that fits the requirements. A minimum of 5 CFM at 90 PSI will drive the ½ inch impact wrench, while the second version needs about 7 CFM at 90 PSI.

Portability is another essential feature of a good compressor for an air impact wrench. Some compressors can be extremely heavy and inappropriate for a contractor. Fortunately some heavy compressors come with castor wheels. There are also lighter compressors that will do the job well.

A third characteristic of a good compressor is low operating noise level. You will appreciate buying a compressor with low noise level in the long run. You can imagine the distraction and discomfort caused by a loud air compressor, especially if there are several machines and there are neighbors around.

Here are the Best Air Compressors for Automotive Air Tools!

1. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

(Our #1 Best Value For Money Recommendation)

The CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor (CMEC6150K) delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI and has a maximum pressure rating of 150 PSI. With its oil-free design, it makes a great machine for low maintenance. Apart from being usable in cold weather, this air compressor comes with dual couplers of versatile applications. The unit is ready for use out of the box- the accessory kit comprises of three inflator adaptors, PVC air Hose with coupler, truck tire chuck with plug and blow gun with OSHA safety nozzle among others.

Are you a contractor? This air compressor weighs at just over 30 pounds. It is also durable so it is one worth investing in for those remote and rough environments. Considering that its noise rating is 78.5 decibels, it could be a little loud as a home air compressor.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 16.5 x 16.5 x 17.88 inches

Weight: 32.5 Pounds

Oiled / Oil-Free: Oil-free

Capacity: 6 gallons

Power Source: Corded Electric

HP (Horsepower): 0.8

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 150

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI

Noise Rating: 71

Package Includes: 1 CMEC6150K Compressor

Pros

  • Highly portable
  • Low maintenance
  • Friendly price
  • Sizeable storage capacity
  • 13-piece set

Cons

  • Vibrations and noise can be a nuisance

2. California Air Tools CAT-4710SQ Quiet Compressor

(Our #1 Overall Recommendation)

Most air reliable air compressors for automotive air tools tend to be noisy, but not with this unit. It is super quiet at 65 decibels. The product is relatively lightweight at 43 pounds. For added portability, this unit comes with an expertly designed built-in handle and rubber covered stand. The air compressor may not be wheeled like the California Air Tools 8010A, but it has the flexibility to take on any contractual or home-based automotive task. You can use it to inflate your bike tire.

Some customers have complained about the small size of this product vis-à-vis the price. Obviously, the price is pegged on the premium qualities of the 4710 SQ and not the size. The steel tank may be only 4. 7 gallons, but you get an Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System and 1000 plus hour life cycle. We also liked the 1680 RPM from the 1 HP motor, as it contributes to the quiet performance. To crown it, this air compressor is designed for durable performance.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 22.0″L x 11.0″W x 25.0″H

Weight: 53.0 lb.

Oiled / Oil-Free: oil-free

Capacity: 4.7 gallons

Power Source: corded electric

HP (Horsepower): 1 HP

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 160 PSI

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 1680 RPM

Noise Rating: 65 decibels

Package Includes: 1 air compressor

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to set up
  • Durable

Cons

  • Build quality no-so-impressive
  • A few faulty deliveries

3. Freeman PE20V1GCK 1 Gallon 20 Volt MAX Cordless 1/3 HP Portable Electric Oil-Free Air Compressor Kit

(#1 Battery-Powered Cordless Compressor Recommendation)

The definition of a great portable air compressor for auto air tools is compactness and convenience, alongside provision of prime features. All these qualities are contained in the tiny but relatively powerful Freeman PE20V1GCK air compressor for automotive air tools. Powered by a 4 Ah lithium-ion battery and quick charger via a 1/3 HP electric motor, this unit provides enough power to drive 700 brad nails per charge.

The oil free design of the air pump is highly regarded by DIY users and contractors alike. For easy and comfortable use, the product has a padded carry handle, a steel 1/4″ universal quick connect coupler, and 2 easy-to-read gauges for tank pressure and output air pressure. You can use the compressor any type of floor without worrying about damage thanks to the 4 no mar anti-vibration rubberized feet. There is no need for an electrical outlet; the 20 volt 4 Ah lithium-ion battery gives enough power. This also means you can take the machine to any automotive work.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 14.76 x 10.11 x 11.34

Weight: 14 pounds

Oiled / Oil-Free: oil-free

Capacity: 1 gallon

Power Source: battery-powered

HP (Horsepower): 1/3 HP

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 120

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute):

Noise Rating: 78

Package Includes: 1 Gallon 20 Volt Cordless 1/3 HP Air Compressor; Rechargeable 20 Volt 4 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery; Quick Charger

Pros

  • Low maintenance
  • Portable
  • Accurate and easy to use

Cons

  • No replacement 4ah batteries

4. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Air Compressor, 2 HP

(#1 Oil-Free Compressor Recommendation)

California Air Tools is in the league of the likes of DeWalt and Craftsman in terms of creating the best air compressors for automotive air tools. Like other products from the brand, the California Air Tools 10020C doesn’t disappoint. Apart the impact wrench, this air compressor can power anything you give it. It has a powerful 2 horsepower motor that feeds a 10 gallon air tank. This tank delivers up to 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI. Its height, the longest dimension is 35.9 inches, so this machine is easy to haul away or store. Don’t get it wrong; the tank can allow the unit to supply air for hours.

How big is your automotive project? If you need to work the two of you, never worry; the California Air Tools 10020C features a pair of quick release connectors for two tools. One of the most remarkable things about this product is the minimal noise (about 70 decibels) that is low compared to many units within the same class.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 16 x 15.1 x 35.9

Weight: 82.5 pounds

Capacity: 10 gallons

Power Source: corded electric

HP (Horsepower): 2

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 125 PSI

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI

Noise Rating: 70 decibels

Package Includes: 1 air compressor

Pros

  • Fast recovery time
  • Low maintenance
  • Sizeable tank
  • Powerful motor

Cons

  • Some users find it heavy
  • May have tumbling problems due to vertical design

5. Craftsman 1.5 Gallon 3/4 HP Portable Air Compressor

(#1 Portable Air Compressor Recommendation)

If all you need is an air compressor to tackle small projects thoroughly, then we would recommend this highly portable air compressor from CRAFTSMAN. As this unit reiterates, the reputed brand prioritizes customer preferences in designs. In the CMXECXA0200141A, convenience and portability are the biggest design focal points.

This product weighs in at 24 pounds- approximately the weight of a Basenji. It has a 1.5 gallon hotdog air tank that stores sufficient air at a max pressure of 135 PSI. With the powerful air pressure, the machine can accomplish a variety of automotive tasks including cleaning working areas and tools, hobby painting, bolting and tire inflation.

Air compressor users like low maintenance products. The CMXECXA0200141A has an oil-free pump, so no much attention needed to keep it going. Coupled with a Q235b steel housing structure, you can be sure to use this product for your products for years.

For user convenience, this portable air compressor features an ergonomic handle. It is safe and easy to use, with features such as safe valve, standard quick coupler and highly sensitive gauge exciting reviewers.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 11.5 x 16.3 x 16.8 inches

Weight: 24 pounds

Capacity: 1.5 gallons

Power Source: corded electric

HP (Horsepower): 0.75

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 135

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 1.5

Noise Rating: 87 decibels

Package Includes: 1 x 6 feet power cord, 1 x ball valve, 1 x user manual, 1 x air compressor, 1 x quick coupler

Pros

  • Compact
  • Delivers a lot of air
  • Light/portable

Cons

  • Pressure adjustment a bit complicated
  • A bit noisy

6. Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit

(Amazon’s Choice for ‘RV Air Compressor’)

The Viair brand may not be the first on the lips of many, but the Viair 400P RV Automatic Portable 12V air compressor is surely an amazing product. You will probably not find an easier and more ingenious way to inflate tires. This compressor is powered direct to the car battery with alligator clamps. As long as the car engine is running, there is no need for worries about tire inflation.

It is a high end product that shows in the swiftness of inflating a tire (completes in five minutes). This superior performance is supported by a 150PSI Max Working Pressure and 2.3CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI. The Viair 40047 comes with a cable long enough (30 feet) to reach every RV tire. This product has an impressive operating time. You never have to worry about the unit shutting off before filling all the tires.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 10.87 L x 5.83 W x 7.48 H

Weight: 10.75 pounds

Capacity: 2 gallons

Power Source: direct current from engine

HP (Horsepower):

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 150PSI

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 2.3

Package Includes: 1 air compressor, tire inflation gun and gauge, build in pressure switch, air hose, RV accessories and a carrying case.

Pros

  • Stable operation – no vibrations
  • Relatively quiet
  • Long air hose
  • Works really fast
  • Sturdy design

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

7. Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 30-Gallon Horizontal Tank, Portable, Single-Stage Compressor

(#1 Recommendation for High-Powered Tools)

For bigger and more professional automotive tasks, a unit more powerful and dynamic is necessary. The Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 makes an excellent option for pairing with high powered automotive air tools. It is designed for jobs like bolting, tightening, inflation, sanding and paint spraying.

While built for durability and tough tasks, this machine is user friendly. Its horizontal 30-gallon ASME tank combined with an ergonomic handle and sturdy wheels make transportation and storage in small shop or garage possible.

Plug it in for automotive tasks with confidence that the VT6271 will deliver up to 135 PSI and 10.2 CFM @ 90 PSI. This is enough for most powerful air tools in the garage. Remember that this is coming from a compressor rated at 5,000 life hours. The oil lubricated two-cylinder pump enhances longevity. This air compressor may be powerful, but it operates quietly. That explains why this unit is so popular for automotive air tools, even for home garage applications.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 46 x 21 x 31

Weight: 163 pounds

Capacity: 30 gallons

Power Source: corded electric

HP (Horsepower): 3.7

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 135

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 10.2 CFM at 90 PSI

Noise Rating: 70 dB

Package Includes: Air compressor accessory

Pros

  • Powerful performance for adequate CFM
  • Storage simplified by horizontal design
  • Impressive pressurization time

Cons

  • Poor packaging in some instances

8. BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit, 2-Tool (BTFP2KIT)

(#1 ‘Tools Included’ Recommendation)

Interested in the best compressor with tools included? A great option would be the BOSTITCH BTFP02012. It is a reliable machine for inflating your car tires, considering it has a tank size 6 gallons big and provides up to 2.6 SCFM. The set contains a 25′ 15-foot air hose to ensure that each of the tires is reachable.

Compact in design and weighing a paltry 41.8 pounds, this unit is highly portable. So, go with the machine anywhere you want to fix your car and probably do other things with the tools. Talking of tools, the BTFP2KIT kit contains a straight finish nailer and a brad nailer!

Another advantage of this air compressor is zero-maintenance requirement, which is promoted by the long life oil-free pump. With its high efficiency motor, this machine can start even in winter. Consider using this garage air compressor because its 78.5 dB operational noise level is manageable in most scenarios.

The biggest selling point of this air compressor is the 2-tool set, but several other things make it worth the money. Relatively quiet, compact and user-convenient-you have every reason to consider this product.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 21.13 x 19.5 x 18 inches

Weight: 41.8 pounds

Capacity: 6 gallons

Power Source: corded electric

HP (Horsepower): 0.8

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 150

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 2.6 SCFM delivered 90 PSI

Noise Rating: 78.5 dB

Package Includes: 1) 6-gallon Pancake Compressor, 1) 18GA 2 in. Brad nailer, 1) 2-1/2 in. 16GA Straight Finish Nailer, 1) 25′ Air Hose.

Pros

  • Fills extremely fast
  • Loud but manageable
  • Quality design
  • Set of tools included

Cons

  • A few packaging complaints
  • Price fluctuation

9. California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 HP 2.0-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor, Silver

(Our #1 Recommendation for a quiet compressor)

Yet another product from California Air Tools makes this list, reiterating the superiority of this brand. The most outstanding feature on this air compressor is its ultra-quiet performance at 60 decibels noise rating. User convenience is also evident on this product, given that it also lightweight and maintenance-free. An oil-free pump is the easiest to maintain.

Even better is the fact that the 2010A is made for longevity with an unbeatable life cycle of 3000 plus hours. Comparable air compressors for automotive air tools rarely last beyond 500 hours. You can use it in a variety of terrains and temperatures without loss of performance. The power from the 1.0 HP (SP-9413) motor operating at 1680 RPM is suitable for a wide range of automotive jobs.

Specifications

Product Dimensions (inches): 18.5 x 14 x 13.5 inches

Weight: 35.3 pounds

Capacity: 2 gallons

Power Source: corded electric

HP (Horsepower): 1

Max. PSI (Air Pressure): 120

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): 2.20

Noise Rating: 60 decibels

Package Includes: 1 air compressor

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Super quiet
  • Short charge and recovery time

Cons

  • A couple of minor design flaws

Conclusion

The best compressor for automotive air power tools doesn’t have to be the most portable, with the highest PSI or highest capacity. Your specific needs and how you intend to use the equipment is king. Once you outline these, getting the best unit should be the least of your trouble.

The products we have listed have qualities to satisfy the needs of different users. With units that are oil-free, portable and user friendly, you will definitely find an air compressor that will make your next automotive project successful.

If you are on a budget, we recommend the Hyundai HY5508. A product that offers power, portability and low maintenance is irresistible. It will help you perform a wide range of automotive projects, including spray painting.

Are you wondering where you would put your money for the best value? Consider buying the CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K. At its price tag, this air compressor is excellent as it will power a wide range of automotive tools. Yes, the air compressor may not be awe-inspiring or standout, but CRAFTSMAN is an established brand. Adding to the money value aspect, this product has an accessory kit.

For the battery powered cordless air compressor, our straightforward choice is the Freeman PE20V1GCK. What impresses the most is the low weight. This compressor is powered by a 4 Ah lithium-ion battery, is low-maintenance and highly portable. It also has the power to keep your projects going.

For high power automotive air tools, you have the Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 that delivers up to 135 PSI and 10.2 CFM @ 90 PSI. This product has a sizeable tank and is durable. It operates quietly unlike many other options this powerful.

Here are our other recommendations:

Best Oil-Free Compressor:

Best Portable Air Compressor:

Best for Tool Inclusion:

Hopefully, these reviews and buying guide have helped you select the best air compressor for your automotive project. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Jeff Stelling

Jeff Stelling is an air compressor obsessive who has been working with compressors for over 25 years, since he was an apprentice engineer in the mid 90’s. He designed Aircompressorcompare.com to offer technical guidance and buying advice for compressors.

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