5 Best Portable Air Compressors in 2023

5 Best Portable Air Compressors in 2023

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air compressor tires

A portable air compressor is a handy tool to add to your DIY toolkit. They’re compact, easy to use, and ideal for inflating tires in a jam. 

These machines are versatile and can be used in many industries for various tasks, including filling car tiles and gas cylinders, clearing debris, powering pneumatic tools, and more. The best portable air compressors will save you time and effort when working on your daily tasks.

But finding the perfect cordless air compressor for your needs can be tricky. 

Search “portable air compressors” online, and you’ll find hundreds of devices that claim to be the best at inflating tires or powering pneumatic tools. 

Which one should you pick?

We’re here to cut through that clatter. We researched the top models, evaluating performance, portability, tank size, and price, and narrowed our choices to these five models. But before we get to our top pics, let’s start with the basics.

What Is a Portable Air Compressor Used for?

A portable air compressor is a cordless device that can be stored in your trunk and used to add compressed air to your tires, pool accessories, sports balls, and more. It’s portable because it doesn’t need to be plugged into an electricity supply to run. 

A portable air compressor is great for home use because it can easily be moved wherever needed. This device is designed to pull in air, compress it, and release the compressed air to fill a car tire, operate a pneumatic device, or blow away dust and debris. 

Are Portable Air Compressors Worth It?

In short, Yes. A portable tire compressor can prove very useful if you encounter a puncture on the road in the middle of nowhere. 

Moreover, it can prove convenient at home by making your work easier. For instance, cleaning carpets, cars, and upholstery is superbly accomplished using a cordless air compressor. These devices are affordable, so buying one won’t pinch your pocket hard. 

Is a 2-Gallon Air Compressor Enough?

It depends on the work you intend to use your compressor for. 

For heavy-duty tasks, like pressure washing extended driveways, a 2-gallon air compressor is not enough. For tasks that require only quick bursts of air, like powering a pneumatic nail gun, a 2-gallon air compressor will suffice. 

If you’re looking for an air compressor for your garage, a 2 – 4-gallon tank is enough. You don’t want to get an industrial-size machine unless you want to turn your home garage into a workshop. A 2–4-gallon tank is enough to fill up car tires and power most pneumatic tools. 

What Is a Good PSI for a Portable Air Compressor?

PSI, or pounds per square inch, measures how much pressure an air compressor can deliver. The higher the PSI count, the more powerful a compressor is. 

Most portable air compressors deliver between 100 – 150 PSI.

Anything within this range should be enough to cover most of your household tasks, so buying a product in the range of 125 to 150 will have you covered. 

When buying a portable air compressor, ensuring your compressor’s hose suits your intended operations is important. If your tires need 100 PSI to get inflated, consider a device with a PSI equal to or higher than this number. In this case, a device with 120 PSI will suffice. Always ensure your device has a higher PSI than it’s needed by the things you need to inflate. 

What Can’t You Do with a Portable Air Compressor?

Most portable air compressors usually have a 1 – 6-gallon tank. These devices can perform a wide range of household tasks, including:

  • Pumping air into car tires
  • Spray painting furniture
  • Powering pneumatic guns

However, due to their small tank size and low PSI, portable air compressors can’t complete heavy-duty tasks or be used in industrial applications.  

For example, a portable air compressor can’t be used for spraying crops or running pneumatic machinery in manufacturing plants. They can also not be used for operating laundry presses in dry cleaners or for commercial cleaning jobs. 

How Much Do Portable Air Compressors Cost?

The price of a portable air compressor can vary significantly, depending on the brand and how much power you need. The price can range from $30 for the most basic units to over $350 for the powerful, ultra-premium models. 

The 5 Best Portable Air Compressors on the Market

Without further ado, here’s our roundup of the best cordless air compressors on the market based on our testing, customer sentiment data and recommendations from our community:

1. AstroAI Cordless Tire Inflator – Best Overall

best air compressors for home garage header
Photo credit: Danny Ashton

Rated one of the best portable cordless air inflators with over five thousand positive customer reviews on Amazon, the AstroAI Cordless Tire Inflator will surely not disappoint. 

This inflator features a dual power supply (DC 12V power supply and 20V rechargeable Lithium battery), so you’ll never have to worry about running out of battery during the trip. 

Performance-wise, the AstroAI is a beast of a portable inflator. This unit can deliver 160 PSI, enough to meet the demands of four tires at a time. It also comes with a digital LCD, taking a different path from the analog units common today. 

You can preset the pressure values you want, and the unit will automatically shut off once this value is reached. The LCD screen will display your desired values and the current tire pressure.

While this tool is advertised as a tire inflator, it can pump up any inflatable products and other household tasks. The inflation speed of this machine is remarkable. You can fully inflate tires of varying sizes in less than 4 minutes.

Key Features

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Power source: Battery powered
  • Sound Level: 80
  • Maximum Power: 150 watts 
  • Weight: 4.13 pounds

What We Liked

  • Dual power supply to ensure you’ll never run out of battery
  • An impressive 160 PSI
  • Fast charging
  • It can continuously work for 20 minutes

What We Don’t Like

  • Constructed with low-grade materials
AstroAI Cordless Tire Inflator Air Compressor 20V Rechargeable Battery Powered 160PSI Portable Handheld Air Pump with 12V Car Power Adapter Digital Pressure Gauge for Cars Motorcycles(C2)
  • 【METAL INFLATABLE STRUCTURE】: It’s composed of metal cylinder and metal gear, it could continuously work for 20 minutes, the maximum air pressure could reach 160psi, meet the needs of 4 tires at a time, more efficient and faster to use.
  • 【DUAL POWER SUPPLY】: DC 12V power supply and 20V rechargeable battery pack power supply make the inflation more easily. The bottom is stable enough. You don't have to worry about it running out of the battery during the trip. This item includes a battery and a charger(The Battery and Charger are also sold separately).
  • 【AUTOMATIC SHUT OFF&LCD PRESENT MORE】: Preset the value you desire and the air compressor will automatically shut off when the value is reached. The back-lit LCD screen will display both the desired tire pressure value and the current tire pressure. The unit of air pressure can be switched among bar, kpa and PSI.
  • 【FAST INFLATION&CHARGING】: Air/Electricity The 20V working voltage provided by the rechargeable battery can inflate fast, tires of size 195/65/R15 can be filled in just 4 minutes. The 2000mAh high-efficiency rechargeable battery can charge 4 tires of the same size at a time, and the exclusive charger allows the battery to go from 0 to full in just 1 hour.
  • 【MULTIPLE PURPOSE&EASY TO USE】: The air compressor is compatible with SUVs, cars, motors, bicycles, and basketball-size inflatable products. Note: not suitable for large truck tires. Attached with an exclusive storage bag, easy to carry. The LED light also allows you to inflate in the dark.

2. Makita DMP181ZX 18V

Makita DMP181ZX 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless High-Pressure Inflator, Tool Only

Makita is a renowned Japanese manufacturer of power tools with over 100 years of experience in the industry. The company has a rich history of making quality, reliable tools, and the Makita DMP181ZX exemplifies the company’s prowess in the air inflators department. 

Boasting 160 PSI, the DMP181ZX is powerful enough to inflate even truck tires quickly and easily. You can inflate vehicle tires, bicycle tires, sports balls, and more. 

The DMP181ZX offers three speed settings: high, medium, and low. You can set the pressure speed you want, which will reflect in the digital display. 

And similar to the AstroAI inflator, you can preset your desired pressure levels, and the compressor will automatically stop once this level is reached. This helps prevent overfill. Moreover, it even comes with an LED light to illuminate your work area. 

Carrying this unit is also easy, thanks to the ergonomically designed handle with a rubberized grip that provides increased comfort. 

Key Features

  • Voltage: 18V
  • Power source: Battery powered
  • Maximum Pressure: 160 PSI 
  • Weight: 5.24 pounds

What We Liked

  • Delivers an impressive 160 PSI for inflating tires of all sizes
  • Ergonomically designed handle 
  • Has an LED light to illuminate your work area
  • Competitively priced

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t come with a charger
Makita DMP181ZX 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless High-Pressure Inflator, Tool Only
  • Powerful high-volume pump for faster inflation; delivers up to 160 PSI
  • Conveniently tops off cars and light truck tires with speed and ease
  • Easily inflates vehicle tires, bicycle tires, sports balls, and more
  • Auto-stop function automatically stops inflation when preset air pressure is reached to prevent overfill
  • Three speed settings (High/Medium/Low)


DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX* Air Compressor Kit, Cordless, 2.5 Gallon (DCC2560T1)

DEWALT is a renowned global manufacturer of power tools for the construction, manufacturing, and woodworking industries. Their FLEXVOLT DCC2560T1 air compressor kit is one of the best in the industry today. 

This FLEXVOLT air compressor is compact, portable, and lightweight—weighing only 21.5 pounds. DEWALT says it can drive up to 1,220 nails on a single charge. 

Manufactured in the US, this powerful air compressor gives you all the necessary convenience. It produces 79 dB of noise, which is not too noisy by industry standards. It also features a patented regulator that makes adjusting the pressure more accurate and faster. 

Performance-wise, the DCC2560T1 delivers the necessary power to complete all your tasks. It delivers a maximum pressure of 135 PSI and provides 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI. This is enough pressure and airflow to complete various household applications. 

Product Features

  • Voltage: 60V
  • Power source: Battery powered
  • Sound Level: 79
  • Maximum Pressure: 135 PSI 
  • Weight: 21.5 pounds
  • Tank size: 5.5 gallons

What We Liked

  • Maximum pressure of 135 PSI
  • Comes in a durable roll cage for protection
  • Has a one-turn regulator 
  • Rubber fits for maximum stability

What We Don’t Like

  • Bulkier compared to other units on our list
DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX* Air Compressor Kit, Cordless, 2.5 Gallon (DCC2560T1)
  • Up to 1,220 nails per charge**
  • Brushless motor paired with a heavy duty oil-free pump of the portable air compressor provides cordless convenience with the power of a corded tool
  • The cordless air compressor features OneTurn regulator for fast, accurate pressure adjustments
  • DEWALT portable air compressor is lightweight and portable at only 21.5 lbs
  • Heavy duty roll cage for jobsite application

4. Milwaukee M18 Quiet Air Compressor

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 2 Gallon Compact Quiet Compressor

Milwaukee is another big and reputable brand in the power tools game. Their M18 Portable Air Compressor ticks all the boxes you’d want in an inflator. 

First, it’s incredibly quiet, producing only 68 dB of noise. Compared to other air compressors on the market today, the M18 can be considered ultra-quiet, ideal for household use. 

Secondly, it’s a powerful air compressor. This 2-gallon compressor delivers 135 PSI max and can drive up to 1,600 nails on a single charge. 

And if inflation time concerns you, you’ll be glad to know that the M18 is incredibly fast. This unit can inflate a tire to 30 PSI in one minute. It has an 18V battery, a quiet pump, and a quick-connect air hose coupler. 

Product Features

  • Power source: Battery powered
  • Sound Level: 68 dB
  • Maximum Pressure: 135 PSI 
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Tank size: 2 gallons

What We Liked

  • The battery can work with other power tools
  • Drives up to 1600 nails per charge
  • Quiet while running – produces 68 dB of noise
  • Impressive 135 PSI

What We Don’t Like

  • No alternate power source

5. Freeman PE20V1GCK Cordless Portable Air Compressor Kit

Freeman PE20V1GCK 1 Gallon 20 Volt Cordless 1/3 HP Portable Air Compressor Kit with 4 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery and Charger – 700 Shots per Charge

If you want the best bang for your buck regarding portable air compressors, the Freeman PE20V1GCK is your best bet. 

This compressor kit goes way beyond the competition, providing a versatile air compressor that runs on a rechargeable battery, 4 Ah Lithium-Ion batteries, and a charger. 

Powered by a high-capacity 20V battery, the PE20V1GCK can drive up to 700 fasteners per charge and 60 pieces per minute. The battery can be fully recharged in 90 minutes. And with an impressive 120 PSI, this machine can handle almost every household task. 

This one-gallon cordless air compressor is versatile and compact, perfect for handling inflation jobs and powering pneumatic tools. While it doesn’t have a digital display, it comes with two easy-to-read gauges that allow you to monitor tire pressure. 

Product Features

  • Voltage: 20V
  • Power source: Battery powered
  • Sound Level: 78
  • Maximum Pressure: 120 PSI 
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Tank size: 1 gallon

What We Liked

  • Compact and lightweight, weighing only 14 pounds
  • Impressive max pressure of 120 PSI
  • Charger and 4 Lithium-Ion batteries included
  • Quick charging

What We Don’t Like

  • Battery drains charge fast
Freeman PE20V1GCK 1 Gallon 20 Volt Cordless 1/3 HP Portable Air Compressor Kit with 4 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery and Charger – 700 Shots per Charge
  • Superior Performance: Oil-free 1/3 HP electric motor drives up to 700 fasteners per charge and 60 pieces per minute to increase productivity for construction contractors and DIYers
  • Cordless Portability: Air compressor powered by high-capacity 20 volt 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery featuring enhanced battery life, power level indicator, and 90 minute recharge time
  • Construction Applications: Perfect for powering pneumatic tools and handling inflation jobs, such as refilling a flat tire on the side of the road
  • Compact, Lightweight, and Durable: Steel 1 gallon hotdog tank is easily portable and built to last
  • 2 Easy-to-Read Gauges: Monitor tank pressure and output air pressure at a glance

Wrapping Up

Portable air compressors are must-have tools in your DIY toolkit. 

Since these tools are usually cordless, you can move them easily wherever needed. These portable compressors can save the day in the event of a puncture on the road and also prove valuable for a variety of household tasks. 

We hope our guide will help you find the perfect portable air compressor for your needs. Feel free to comment and share!