Best Air Compressor Under $300

Introduction

Are you trying to get a good air compressor for less than $300? In that case, you’ve found the right article – I’ll be sharing five of the top air compressors under $300 with you in this post. When selecting the best air compressor under $300, it’s vital to take into account a few technical factors, like the PSI, CFM, Duty Cycle, and Tank Size requirements, which are all based on the tools you plan to utilise the compressor to power.

Second, there are what I would refer to as the commercial considerations, such as the initial outlay of money and ensuring that the compressor is robust and long-lasting. In light of this, you should also check the compressor’s warranty to ensure that, in the event of a problem, you can get it serviced or replaced.

Bear in mind that you won’t get the perfect air compressor for under $300 – there will always be compromises at this price point. But both the scientific and business aspects of selecting an air compressor for $300 or less will be covered in greater depth below.

Additionally, if you’re looking to spend more or less than $300, have a look at our other guides:

Best Air Compressor For Under $100

Best Air Compressor For Under $200

Best Air Compressor For Under $400

Best Air Compressor For Under $500

Top 5 Air Compressors Under $300

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

★★★★★
$208.00
Buy On Amazon
amazon.com

Features

  • Brand: ‎California Air Tools
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎18.5 x 14 x 13.5 inches
  • Capacity: ‎2 Gallons
  • Voltage: ‎110 Volts
  • Item Weight: ‎35.3 Pounds
  • Sound Level: ‎60 dB
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎3.1 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Maximum Power: ‎2 Horsepower
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Amperage Capacity: ‎8 Amps
  • Manufacturer: ‎California Air Tools- Home Improvement
  • Part Number: ‎2010A
  • Item Weight: ‎35.3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎18.5 x 14 x 13.5 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎Mexico
  • Item model number: ‎2010A
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎1.0 hp
  • Color: ‎Silver
  • Style: ‎1.0 Hp & 2.0 Gal
  • Material: ‎Aluminum
  • Pattern: ‎Air Compressor
  • Horsepower: ‎1
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Special Features: ‎Ultra Quiet
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 Year Limited Warranty

Description

  • Ultra Quiet only 60 Decibels
  • Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs
  • 2.0 Gallon (Rust Free) Aluminum Tank
  • Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
  • 3.10 CFM at 40 PSI      2.20 CFM at 90 PSI 
  • Ultra Quiet only 60...

SuperHandy Air Compressor 6.3 Gal Tank Fill in 150 seconds Max 120 PSI Ultra Quiet, Oil Free, Mechanical Pressure Gauge, Heavy Duty Steel Tank for Tire Repair, Construction, Nail Gun, Pneumatic Tools

★★★★★
$249.99
$179.99
Buy On Amazon
amazon.com

Features

  • Brand: ‎SuperHandy
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Capacity: ‎6.3 Gallons
  • Sound Level: ‎60 dB
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎2.2 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Maximum Power: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Manufacturer: ‎SuperHandy
  • Part Number: ‎GUT106-FBA-TR
  • Item Weight: ‎51 pounds
  • Package Dimensions: ‎25.5 x 24 x 9.5 inches
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No

Description

  • SPECS and CAPABILITIES - This ULTRA-QUIET Air Compressor and Tire Inflator, 1HP 6.3 Gallon Tank runs at a lower RPM (1700); This unit has a 1/4" inch NPT Quick Connect Coupler and a reliable Mechanical Pressure Gauge to monitor the PSI range. Time to Fill Tank 150 seconds; OUTPUT 3.0CFM @...

Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor, 64 Decibel 4.5 Gallon Peak 1.3 HP Max 150 PSI, Oil-Free Air Pump, 3 CFM @ 90 PSI Portable Air Compressor W/Wheel for Garage, Workshop, Jobsite SAQ-1413

★★★★★
$299.99
$239.00
Buy On Amazon
amazon.com

Features

  • Brand: ‎Stealth
  • Model Name: ‎STEALTH Work Site 4.5 Gal Air Compressor
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎18 x 16 x 22 inches
  • Capacity: ‎5 Gallons
  • Voltage: ‎120
  • Item Weight: ‎62 Pounds
  • Sound Level: ‎64 dB
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎3 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Maximum Power: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Manufacturer: ‎STEALTH
  • Part Number: ‎SAQ-1413
  • Item Weight: ‎62 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎18 x 16 x 22 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎China
  • Item model number: ‎SAQ-1413
  • Material: ‎Alloy Steel
  • Wattage: ‎950
  • Horsepower: ‎1
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Maximum Pressure: ‎125
  • Measurement System: ‎Metric
  • Included Components: ‎6’ Electric Cord x 1, User Manual x 1, Stealth SAQ-1413 Air Compressor x 1
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎Limited Lifetime warranty

Description

  • 【Ultra Quiet & 3 Times Long Life】Stealth Innovative Quiet System Air Compressor Have Been Tested To Be Up To 80% Quieter And Qualify To 3 Times Longer Life Than Standard Induction Motors
  • 【Powerful Outputs Maintenance Free】Peak 1.3 Horsepower Induction Motor Drive The Dual Air...

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal

★★★★★
$227.79
Buy On Amazon
amazon.com

Features

  • Brand: ‎California Air Tools
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎26 x 14 x 23 inches
  • Capacity: ‎8 Gallons
  • Voltage: ‎110 Volts (AC)
  • Item Weight: ‎48 Pounds
  • Sound Level: ‎60 dB
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎3 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Maximum Power: ‎2 Horsepower
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Amperage Capacity: ‎8 Amps
  • Manufacturer: ‎California Air Tools- Home Improvement
  • Part Number: ‎8010
  • Item Weight: ‎48 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎26 x 14 x 23 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎Mexico
  • Item model number: ‎8010
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎8 gal
  • Color: ‎Silver
  • Style: ‎Steel
  • Pattern: ‎Air Compressor
  • Horsepower: ‎1
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 Year Limited Warranty

Description

  • Comes complete with Wheel Kit & Air Filter | No hose included | Consider you will need a ¼” Universal / Industrial Male Quick Connector to attach your hose to the air compressor
  • Product dimensions – 26" L x 14" W x 23” H | Max Pressure – 120 PSI | Voltage – 110V / 60 Hz | Min...

DEWALT Air Compressor Combo Kit with Brad Nailer (DWC1KIT-B)

★★★★★
$229.99
Buy On Amazon
amazon.com

Features

  • Manufacturer: ‎Dewalt
  • Part Number: ‎DWC1KITB
  • Item Weight: ‎37.3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎20 x 17 x 19.5 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎China
  • Item model number: ‎DWC1KITB
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Style: ‎Kit
  • Power Source: ‎Air Powered
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Sound Level: ‎75.5 dB
  • Number of Handles: ‎1
  • Switch Style: ‎Sequential trigger
  • Special Features: ‎Magazine capacity of 100
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 year limited warranty on Compressor

Description

  • DWFP12231 Brad Nailer drives 18ga nails from 5/8" to 2" length.
  • DWFP55126 Compressor offers 2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump, 6 gallon (22.7 L) tank and 165 max PSI
  • Tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment and tool-free jam release
  • Low 75.5 dBA for a quiet work...

What Is An Air Compressor?

Air compressors play an important role in many industries ranging from construction, automotive, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, manufacturing, welding, food processing, agriculture, firefighting, oil & gas, refrigeration, pest control, landscaping, mining, medical, pharmaceutical, transportation, heavy equipment, home improvement, among others. They provide compressed air needed for various applications such as pneumatic tools, metal forming, heating, cooling, cleaning, painting, and many more. Air compressors are used for industrial purposes, domestic usage, and agricultural use. These devices are available in different sizes, shapes, designs, and power ratings.

PSI Requirements

Pressure supply systems require pressurized air for operation. Pressure supply systems usually consist of two parts, namely, the pressure regulator and the air compressor. The pressure regulators regulate the amount of pressure delivered to the air tool while the air compressors produce high volumes of compressed air. A typical air compressor has a maximum rated output of 100 psi or 6 bar. Most air compressors do not exceed their capacity and run at lower pressures than specified. For instance, if an air compressor runs at 50 psi, then it means that the actual working pressure is 40 psi.

In the $300 and under price range, most compressors will still be able to produce a decent PSI of 125 to 150 – plenty for most domestic and home shop requirements.

CFM Requirements

Compressed air is required for most of the uses mentioned above. The rate of flow of compressed air is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). An air compressor produces a constant amount of airflow irrespective of the load placed upon it. The performance of an air compressor is determined by the size of the motor and the speed at which it rotates. The horsepower rating of an air compressor determines the output of the device.

In the $300 and under price range, you’ll be looking at machines with no more than 5 CFM @ 90 PSI.

See our guide What Is Air Compressor CFM for more information.

Duty Cycles

The duty cycle of an air compressor is the period of time it can run at 100 PSI and a typical ambient temperature of 72° F before needing to be shut down.

The air compressor must maintain a consistent volume of air flow (CFM) and pressure during each working cycle (PSI). Since various compressor types have varied duty cycles, this is a crucial consideration if you want to utilise your air compressor for heavy-demand jobs over an extended length of time.

The duty cycle would be 60%, for instance, if an air compressor ran for 10 minutes before stopping 5 minutes later. Depending on the application, an air compressor’s duty cycle varies. Some air compressors run constantly till the end of their useful lives, whereas others only run occasionally.

In general, the duty cycle of the majority of consumer-level compressors in the $300 and under price range is around about 60%. In rare cases, larger compressors may have capacity ratings that are higher than 100 percent for gas-powered systems.

See our complete guide What Is Air Compressor Duty Cycle for more information.

Horsepower Requirements

The amount of work that a motor is capable of doing is measured in “horsepower” Pressure and flow matter more than a strong motor when assessing if your compressor will work for you since newer, more effective compressors may do more with less horsepower. By doing more with less horsepower, you may also save energy and generate larger returns throughout the compressor’s lifetime.

For the under $300 price bracket you’re not going to get an extremely powerful air compressor – perhaps 1 or 2 HP at most – but an air compressor only has to be powerful enough to meet the requirements of the system. The horsepower of an air compressor are expressed in watts. The horsepower of an air compressor is directly proportional to the torque produced by the motor. Torque is the force applied to rotate the shaft of an electric motor. The horsepower of an electric motor is calculated using the following formula: HP Torque x RPM.

Tank Size

The compressor’s tank volume, which is expressed in gallons, determines how long it can continue to create air until the motor kicks in to repressurize the tank. The longer a constant level of air pressure can be generated, the bigger the tank must be.

Although tanks may have a volume of 1 gallon to 80 gallons, a single power tool may only need a 4 gallon tank at most.

However, the number of tools that will be utilising the tank simultaneously has a considerable impact on the needed capacity, so if you want to use your compressor for heavy-duty operations, think about getting a more expensive air compressor with a larger tank.

Most units under $300 will have no bigger than a 6 gallon tank at most.

Noise Level

Before selecting a compressor under $300, consider where it will be utilised and how it could impact the neighbours. Even though they are small, some compressors are loud. In the past, models without oil were louder than variants with oil. Fortunately, technology has finally solved the problem, and these days you can even get an ultra-quiet air compressor for around $300.

Oil-Free Pump vs Oil Lubricated Pump

Since they are lubricated, certain air compressors’ moving parts need continual maintenance. For both airtight performance and effective operation, lubrication is necessary.

However, oil-free compressors are also readily accessible. In lieu of an oil chamber, these compressors include an intercooler and an oil-free pump. In general, oil-lubricated air compressors are a more dependable alternative for continuous use, such as in industrial settings. However, oil-free compressors are often lighter, more affordable, and need less maintenance, making them ideal for use at home. Most air compressors priced under $300 will be oil-free units.

See our guide Oil Vs Oil-Free Air Compressors for lots more information on this.

Portability / Size

A portable air compressor is the best option if you need to transport your air compressor about your home, garden, or between sites. For instance, some air compressors are light and portable, while others are heavier but include wheels, making them more transportable. Typically, a portable air compressor weighs less than 40 lbs—depending on your point of view!

The majority of units are most likely to fit into the portable compressor category if they cost less than $300.

Cost

You need to decide if buying a used air compressor is right for you. Buying a new machine may seem like the best option, but there are some drawbacks to purchasing a brand new unit. These include the initial investment, long term costs and the possibility of having to buy additional parts later on.

A new air compressor will usually last longer than any second hand model. However, you should always check the manufacturer’s warranty and ensure that it covers any potential problems that could occur during normal use.

Reviews

When choosing an air compressor, it’s important to know whether others have experienced similar issues. When looking at reviews, it’s not just the overall rating that matters – you want to get a feel for the customer support offered by the company. Are they willing to answer questions via email or phone? Do they offer a return policy? Will they even refund customers who aren’t happy with their product?

Durability / Materials

For $300 or less, you may not be able to get an air compressor with a cast iron pump and tank. Most compressors in this range will be aluminium tanks with welded seams – fine for domestic and light shop work, but not as durable as the heavy duty cast iron based units in the higher price brackets.

Warranty

If you’re buying a used air compressor, it’s worth checking the manufacturer’s warranty to see what kind of coverage you get. Some manufacturers give you full protection while others only cover repairs under certain conditions.

It is a good idea to purchase from a third-party merchant like Amazon since they often accept returns and you can typically deal with them directly if there are any concerns in the near term. They will refer you to the manufacturer for problems that will last for a while.

Maintenance

It’s important to note that regular maintenance can extend the life of your air compressor. Check out the manual and follow the instructions carefully. Make sure that you keep all components clean and lubricated. Also, check the air filter regularly and replace it if necessary.

Air compressors come in two main types: electric and gas powered. Electric models tend to be cheaper, quieter and easier to maintain. Gas units run cooler and produce less noise. They do require more space though.

What size air compressor do I need?

The size of the air compressor depends on what type of task you want to perform. If you’re inflating tires, you’ll probably need a smaller one. But if you’re using a tool like a nail gun or impact driver, you’ll need a bigger air compressor with more horsepower.

A typical household uses about 10 pounds per hour of compressed air. Depending on how often you use your equipment, you might need to purchase a large capacity unit. You can always add additional compressors later, if needed.

We have a comprehensive guide on size called What Size Air Compressor Do I Need which provides you with all the information you need on sizing.

 

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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