Best small Air Compressor – let us review them for you!

If you are looking for the best small air compressor for your garage or shed or workshop, then let us review some of the best air compressors for you.  In case you haven’t noticed, there is a wide range of air compressors out there, and each of the different models have their own purpose in life.

For example, some small compressors are built specifically to carry in the car in case you need an emergency tire pump.  So we have looked at some 12 v tire inflators for you.  Other small air compressors are built specifically to store in the shed for those small jobs around the house.

The Best Small Air Compressor

The best small air compressor is designed for portability, which is important when you need to use the air compressor in different places around the home or work site.  You can even choose a small air compressor to carry in the back of the truck.  The best small air compressors are useful for those situations where you need to operate air tools when there is no other power supply.

Another advantage of the best small air compressor is the fact that they are generally much quieter than some of the larger models on the market.  However, some machines are quieter than others, so if you want a small quiet air compressor, then you need to pay attention to the noise level rating in these air compressor reviews.  Noise level is measured in decibels on a logarithmic scale, and for a rise of 3 dB, the noise level is actually double!

Some small quiet air compressors are rated at around 60 dB, which is no louder than two people talking.  However, don’t be fooled into thinking that another small air compressor that is rated at 72 dB is also quiet.  That level is it 4 times louder, and more like a noisy party than a quiet conversation.  You need to be aware of the noise level before buying a small air compressor.

Small Air Compressor – more powerBest small Air Compressor reviews

But if you want more power from a small air compressor, then it is likely to make more noise, as well as vibration, and more power can also result in a heavier air pump and motor, and that means a larger machine.  So you need to draw a line somewhere in terms of power, performance and noise level.  The good thing is that the best small air compressors these days are capable of supplying compressed air over 100 PSI, and sometimes even higher, if you have a specific requirement for a higher pressure rating.

Small Air Compressor – flow rate

Best small Air Compressor reviews
The best small air compressor might be limited in terms of flow rate, due to the smaller volume air tank and smaller air pump.  This problem can be overcome by limiting the number of outlets and the number of tools you can use.  For example spray painting requires a high flow rate in terms of CFM, so you will have to be prepared to pause every once in a while to allow the air compressor to recharge the storage tank.


If you require an air compressor to meet higher capacity flow rate or high pressure specifications, then it is unlikely that even the best small air compressor can meet the additional output requirements, and moving up to a larger capacity machine is the way to go!

Here is a list of the best small air compressor reviews that may be of interest if you need a small air compressor for your shed, garage or workshop.


Best small Air Compressor Reviews

1.  Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Air Compressor

1. Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Air Compressor
1.  Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Air Compressor
Key Features: Big Bore Air Delivery - Power - Sturdy

The Makita MAC2400 air compressor is a small air compressor with a big heart and a big bore!  With a 2.5 Horsepower motor, it can recharge the twin stack compressed air tank in no time at all.  This means you that you can expect some short delays if you need to operate at the maximum air pressure of more than 100 PSI, but for lower capacity, this small air compressor will be able to supply all your power needs.

The Makita MAC2400 is a quiet small air compressor, which operates between 70 and 80 dB.  This best small air compressor is excellent for noise reduction with a quiet motor and oil lubricated air pump.  Makita are renowned for making some of the best motors and pumps, and this one is no exception.  With air cooled fins on the pump, a cast iron air tank, and easy to use drain valve, this small air compressor is built to last.

The Makita MAC 2400 air compression runs quieter, it runs smoothly, and it generates enough power to run many different types of power tools in your shed or garage.  Good for applications such as nailing, grinding, sanding, and even spray painting.  You will never run out of jobs for this excellent small air compressor.


  • Accessory kit including a pressure regulator
  • Big Bore Air Compressor Pump
  • High durability


  • Compressed air up to 100 PSI
  • Can run higher PSI for short periods


2.  Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor

2. Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor
2.  Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor
Key Features: Excellent Performance - Quiet Performance - Impressive Longevity


The Bostitch CAP1512-OF air compressor is also a contender for best small air compressor.  It is a compact machine built for many applications from the home handyman as well as the professional tradesman.  Bostitch is a manufacturer of specialist air compressors, and even though the CAP1512-OF is a small air compressor, it comes with features that are more advanced than its small size would suggest.

The 1.5 Horsepower motor drives a 2.8 CFM air pump, and can recharge the 1.2 gallon tank in minutes.  All of this is very impressive when you consider that the maximum operating pressure is a very useful 150 PSI, which is a rating that you might come to expect from a much larger air compressor.

Despite these impressive ratings, the Bostitch CAP1512-OF one has to remember that this machine only a small air compressor.  Weighing just over 10 kg this is one of the best small air compressors on the market, and makes transport a breeze.  It comes with a purpose built roll cage, with built in handle, and wheels to transport with.  The best small air compressor is totally self sufficient, with a build in cable holder, on board tool storage, hose storage, and protective frame for the pressure gauges.

Although not the quietest air compressor in the range, the Bostitch CAP1512-OF can outperform many of the best small air compressors on the market.  If you need power and performance, but don’t want to carry a huge unit around, then the Bostitch CAP1512-OF may be the perfect choice!


  • High reliability
  • Impressive durability
  • No sound pollution


  • Heavy design
  • Very sturdy


3.  DeWalt D55140 One-GallonTrim Compressor

3. DeWalt D55140 One-GallonTrim Compressor
3.  DeWalt D55140 One-GallonTrim Compressor
Key Features: Excellent Performance - High Pressure - Quiet Performance - Impressive Longevity

The DeWalt D55140 One-Gallon air compressor is a powerful yet small air compressor.  Built around a one gallon air tank, this compressor can provide a maximum air pressure of 135 PSI, but with a compromised flow rate, below 1 CFM.  Whilst the operating pressure is high enough to drive most power tools, the flow rate is not very high, which means that the operator may have to pause operations whilst the air tank recharges.

If you don’t mind the reduced flow rate, and can live with the fact that the air pump needs to run more often to keep the air tank recharged, then this small air compressor is a very attractive option.  Weighing in at around 30 pounds, the DeWalt D55140 one gallon air compressor is very lightweight and portable by hand.  This best small air compressor is also a little quieter than some other models, at under the 70 dB range.

The DeWalt D55140 is built from solid cast iron components, has a purpose built protective cage, and a protective control panel with easy to read pressure gauges.  This small air compressor has the added ability to manually change the output air pressure.  There is no risk of over inflating tires or sports equipment.  But if you want to dial up maximum air pressure, then that is as simple as turning the dial.

One of the best small air compressors that we have reviewed, the DeWalt D55140 has enough air pressure to compete with serious air compressors, yet small enough to take with you whenever you need to get the job done.


  • Lightweight design
  • High pressure air compressor
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to store


  • Suitable for small tasks
  • Unsuitable for long-term use


4.  Porter Cable PCFP02003

4. Porter Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor
4. Porter Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor
Key Features: High Power - Low Noise - Impressive Performance

The Porter Cable PCFP02003 air compressor is configured as a pancake air compressor, with a squat shaped air tanks at the base and the motor and air pump mounted on top.  This means the Porter Cable PCFP02003 is an extremely versatile and portable small air compressor.  It weighs around 12 kg, and is based on a 3.5 gallon air tank.

The good thing about Porter Cable air compressor is the oil free air pump, which is easy to maintain.  The motor runs off 120 volt power supply, and supplies compressed air at a healthy 2 CFM at a pressure of 90 PSI, up to a maximum air pressure of 135 PSI.  Like many other pancake air compressors, it is not the quietest machine on the market.  But that is a trade off for the sturdy cast iron construction, and excellent reliability.  This small air compressor is however, a very useful tool to have in the shed.  It can handle a wide variety of jobs, but simply store it away until you need it next time!


  • Customized design
  • Low amperage motor
  • Quiet operation


  • Plastic guard

Check out the Porter Cable PCFP02003 at Amazon.


Do you still want the best small air compressor?

How small can you go???


5.  Porter Cable CMB15 lightweight air compressor

5. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
5. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
Key Features: Efficient Operation - Easy Maneuverability - Lightweight Design

The Porter Cable CMB15 might be the one you are looking for!  This unit is a very small air compressor, driven by a 120 volt motor, with an operating pressure of 150 PSI.  The stunning performance from this best small air compressor needs to be put in perspective.  It cannot operate at the maximum air pressure for a prolonged period of time.

The Porter Cable CMB15 has been designed as a neat package with an enclosed frame to protect all the moving components.  This is a big plus, as it also protects the dials and gauges.  It comes with many of the common tools and components that you need to work and maintain this small air compressor.

The Porter Cable CMB15 is an excellent the best small air compressor as a starter kit for anyone who needs to run a small air compressor.  Excellent for those who don’t need a large, cumbersome unit taking up space in the garage.


  • Customized design
  • Low down times
  • Protective shroud


  • Replacement parts are hard to locate
  • Parts can wear down due to regular usage


You want more?  Do you want to see the smallest and lightest on the market???


6.  Kensun heavy duty tire inflator!

6. Kensun heavy duty tire inflator
6. Kensun heavy duty tire inflator
Key Features: Best Seller - Impressive Longevity - High Durability - Speedy Recovery


The Kensun tire inflator is a micro sized air compressor that is built for pumping tires, as well as sporting goods, and other lightweight tasks.  Weighing in at only 2 kg, this is our pick for the smallest air compressor for your money.

It has been designed into a compact size of just 300 mm by 170 mm by 120 mm, which means it can fit into the back of any car or truck.  You always know you can rely on this little beauty to get you out of trouble.  It comes with several inflator accessories so that you can pump a wide range of vehicles, including cars, bikes and tucks.

Have you ever needed to blow up balloons for a kids birthday party – no much fun is it?  Well that is until now, the Kensun air compressor / inflator can make any pumping job fun.

If you want the reassurance of a simple portable tire inflator that is always close to hand, then you can’t go past the Kensun small air compressor!


  • Customized design
  • Low down times
  • Best Seller


  • Replacement parts are hard to locate
  • Parts can wear down due to regular usage

Check out the Kensun Heavy Duty Tire Inflator here at Amazon. Protection Status




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