Air Compressors

7 Best Small air compressors

Best small air compressors review and buying guide

Are you looking for a small air compressor but you hesitated in picking the one as it will perform the function as the larger one or big one?

Of course yes!

The size from 2 cubic feet to 3 cubic feet is considered to be small, while also keeping in mind the power you need to run your air tools, the portability, space, and sound level before going to buy it.

The small air compressor is the best choice for both DIY users and professionals who need something small, portable, and powerful enough to handle their final trimming and finishing work.

The small air compressor users mostly like to use comes in different sizes, in which 3-gallon and 6-gallon air capacity air compressors are widely used and preferred. The price of these small air compressors is also cheap and affordable. 

In this guide, we picked all the best small air compressors having excellent features. Let us start to explore them one by one.

Review of the 7 Best Small Air compressors in 2022

List of best air compressors:

1. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor | Best Small air Compressors | Best Overall

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)
  • The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free, maintenance-free pump for convenient use
  • 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump enable long tool run time with quick recovery of the electric air compressor
  • BOSTITCH high efficiency motor of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application [14 GA or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • 78.5 dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment
  • 29 lb. weight makes unit easy to carry and store


  • 6-gallon air capacity tank
  • 150 maximum psi
  • High-efficiency motor
  • 78.5 DB noise level
  • High flow regulator and couplers
  • Oil-free pump
  • Easy to operate


What is the best Pancake Air Compressor?

This small air compressor is a power-pack and can handle all types of air tools perfectly. This small unit has a maximum of 150 psi pressure, the 6-gallon air capacity tank has enough amount of air to operate for hours.

The oil-free pump is said to maintenance-free and the high-efficiency motor starts quickly even in cold weather.

The high flow regulator and couplers ensure the best performance of your air tools while their small size and weight make them portable, and also storable in small places.

The sound level is not high to bother you during work.

  • High-performance
  • Starts quickly in cold weather
  • Under budget
  • Maintenance-free
  • Easy to carry and place
  • Item does not include hose or gun kit

2. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor | Small Portable Air Compressor | Runner up

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece...
  • The portable air compressor is proudly made in the USA with Global Materials in Jackson, Tennessee
  • PORTABLE: 6 gallon capacity maximizes portability and stored air for CRAFTSMAN air compressor
  • NO MAINTENANCE: Durable, oil-free pump of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for long-life and no maintenance
  • PRESSURE: 150 Max PSI to ensure adequate cut-inch pressure for a variety of applications
  • QUICK RECOVERY TIME: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allows for quick compressor recovery time


  • Quick compressor recovery time
  • 6-gallon air capacity tank
  • 150 maximum psi
  • Oil-free pump
  • Easily starts in low temp


Which one is the best portable air compressor in Craftsman Brand?

This little air compressor bears very nice features to compete with the best ones around. This Small craftsman air compressor is best for 6 gall of its machine.

This compressor is light and small, very easy to carry and store. It has 150 psi maximum pressure and maintains its pressure at 90 psi mostly.

The oil-free and maintenance feature ensures its durability while the good quality motor starts even at the lowest temperature conditions.

It has 2.6 scfm @ 90 psi which allows quick compressor recovery time.

Besides its lightweight, the sound level is just 70 DB. Moreover, if you are interested in these Craftsman branded air tools review this 2022 guide.

  • 70 DB noise
  • Oil-free pump
  • Durable
  • 150 psi air pressure
  • One-year warranty
  • Includes 13 piece accessory kit
  • Little bit expensive

3.Makita MAC100Q Quiet Series, Electric Air Compressor | Best Small Compressor | Best Buy

Makita MAC100Q Quiet Series, 1/2 HP, 1 Gallon Compact, Oil-Free, Electric...
  • Quiet Series design at only 58 dB for operator and crew comfort; ideal for indoor use
  • Runs at a lower RPM (1, 750) resulting in longer motor and pump life
  • Complete roll-cage construction provides protection to withstand a variety of job-site, transporting, and storage environments
  • Oil-free dual-piston pump designed for maintenance-free operation
  • Efficient 1/2 HP induction motor provides .7 CFM at 90 PSI with a maximum tank pressure of 135 PSI


  • Very quiet
  • Very small
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Runs at lower RPM
  • Oil-free dual-piston
  • One-gallon air capacity
  • ½ hp motor


Is Makita the best air compressor that is portable and easy to use?

This small air compressor has just a one-gallon air capacity tank, can inflate different objects, and also best for small air tools like small nailers and staplers. For home use, it is the perfect budget choice.

The ½ hp motor can provide a maximum of 135 psi air pressure, while the oil-free dual-piston allows maintenance-free long-lasting performance.

At just 58 dBA, it’s ideal for indoor use during the case and base establishment, trim and finish carpentry, bureau or furniture making, and then some. The MAC100Q runs at a lower RPM(1750), bringing about a longer engine and pump life.

Complete roll-cage gives insurance to withstand an assortment of places of work, moving, and capacity conditions.

  • Lightweight
  • 135 psi maximum pressure
  • Durable
  • Efficient
  • Cheap
  • Not appropriate for large tools

4. Campbell Hausfeld 3 Gallon Portable Air Compressor with Nailer & Connection Kit (DC030097E) | Best Small Portable Air Compressors | Best Budget

Campbell Hausfeld 3 Gallon Portable Air Compressor with Nailer Kit...
  • Ideal for a wide range of stapling, brad nailing, hobby painting and inflation projects
  • User friendly design – easy to read gauges make for accurate pressure control; The oil free pump makes for maintenance free operation
  • Portable – Weighing only 24 pounds, its compact design makes transportation from job to job easy
  • Included Nailer & Connection Kit comes with: 2-Inch 2-in-1 Brad Nailer & Stapler (1pc), 2-Inch Long brad nails (100CT), 1-Inch LG., ¼” crown staples (100CT), 1/4-Inch (M) Industrial Coupler (1pc), 1/4-Inch (F) Industrial Coupler (1pc), 3mm & 4mm Hex Wrenches (1pc each), 25-Foot Recoil Air Hose (1pc), 1/4 in. (M) Industrial Plug (1pc), and PTFE Sealant Tape (1pc)


  • Best for finishing work and hobbyist
  • Oil-free
  • Light and portable
  • 125 maximum psi
  • 3-gallon air capacity tank
  • Very easy to operate


How 3 gallon portable air compressors are best to use for all purpose?

If you are a hobbyist and looking for a tiny air compressor or want to look after some maintenance work at home then this 3-gallon air compressor is best for you.

This small portable compressor for home use has 125 psi maximum air pressure which is best for projects like stapling, brad nailing, painting, and inflation.

This unit is oil-free and maintenance-free which makes it durable, it’s also user-friendly, easy to operate, and carry around because of its only 24 lb weight.

The compressor runs on a standard 120V outlet while the gauges allow the user a nice view of pressure.

It also includes a 2-in 1 brad nailer and stapler kit. We have reviewed some small portable air compressors that are enlisted here.

  • 3-gallon air capacity tank
  • 125 psi pressure
  • Portable
  • User friendly and durable
  • Only for small projects

5.DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor | Small Quiet Air Compressor | Amazon Choice

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)
  • 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI pump, enable long tool run time with quick recovery for the portable air compressor
  • High efficiency motor of the electric air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application. [14 ga or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • 78.5 dBA noise level of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for a quiet work environment
  • High flow regulator and couplers of DEWALT portable air compressor are designed to maximize air tool performance
  • Long life oil free pump for maintenance free operation


  • 165 psi maximum air pressure
  • High-efficiency motor
  • High-flow regulator and coupler
  • Quiet
  • Easy to operate


How much this 6 gallon Dewalt air compressor is best for home use and for commercial use?

The Dewalt 6-gallon small air compressor has a maximum of 165 psi air pressure which means it is offering more run time for tools and also will handle almost all air tools with ease. Its high-efficiency motor can start up with-in seconds in extreme weather conditions.

The high-flow regulator and coupler ensure 100% air tools performance while its oil-free pump will not let you think about its maintenance.

Its small size and pancake design makes it fit in congested and narrow places and very easy to carry around the job site.

It is best for both DIY users and hobbyists because it can run a variety of pneumatic tools. Also, the 75 DB sound level will not put any pressure on your ears.

This small and powerful air compressor besides all its nice-looking features is very easy to use. For example, you can make the best use of it for filling the air in your car tires in an emergency.

To get maximum from this air compressor it should be located at least 12 inches away from the wall or other obstructions that will interfere with the flow of air. This Dewalt small air compressor is just 6 gall. If you need a higher capacity of Dewalt air compressors, review this 2022 guide.

  • Quiet
  • Maximum 165 psi
  • Oil-free maintenance-free
  • Portable
  • In some cases, it leaks after some period

6.California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S | Best Compact Air Compressor | Best Value

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor,...
  • Ultra quiet only 56 Decibels
  • Oil-Free pump for less maintenance & costs
  • Lightweight for easy transporting - 29 lbs
  • 1.0 gallon steel tank
  • Powerful 0.6 HP (rated / running) - 1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI


  • Ultra-quiet
  • Oil-Free pump
  • Lightweight
  • 1.0-gallon steel tank
  • Powerful 0.6 HP (rated / running) – 1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI


Is this California air compressor is ultra quiet in nature?

The California Air Tools Light and Quiet 1P1060S Portable Air Compressor is intended to be one of the calmest small compressors in the business having just 56 DB of sound. The .6 HP engine works at just 1680 RPM making less clamor and less wear. The Oil-Free Motor with a Single Piston Pump configuration is designed for superior and solidness. The 1.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is Lightweight (29 lbs) making it extremely simple to carry in and out of the shop or home.

The Oil-Free Single Piston pump intended to have a daily existence cycle before wear of 3000 Plus hours contrasted with other similar compressors with life patterns of 250 hours or less. The Oil-Free pump takes into consideration used in a wide range of temperatures (cold) and lopsided territories This air compressor produces 1. 2 CFM @ 90 PSI permitting you to utilize staplers, brad pneumatic nailers, finish nailers, nailers, and blowguns. This air blower is extraordinary for the carport and ideal for cleaning and expanding tires, beds, toys, and sports balls. This tiny air compressor is ideal for anybody working inside where the commotion is a significant issue.

California Brand is here to fulfill your all types of tools. Review its latest Guide.

  • .6 hp motor
  • 56 DB sound level
  • 120 psi maximum pressure
  • Portable
  • Oil-free
  • 1-gallon air capacity
  • Check the fitting before use

7.Senco PC1010  | Best Small Shop Air Compressor | Best Runnerup amazon choice

Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Matte Finish and Trim Portable Hot...
  • Lightweight and portable--easy to carry from site to site as you work
  • One horsepower peak ,1/2 horsepower runningand one-gallon capacity
  • Ideal for a range of renovation and home improvement jobs, as well as for hobbies and crafts
  • Delivers 20 to 44 drives per minute
  • Backed by a one-year warranty


  • Lightweight and portable
  • One horsepower,
  • one-gallon capacity
  • Ideal for a range of renovation and home improvement jobs, as well as for hobbies and crafts
  • Delivers 20 to 44 drives per minute
  • Backed by a one-year warranty


This small air compressor is also best for small finishing works at the job. This tiny but powerful air compressor plays out all the positions continuously with 1 Horsepower when on-top and ½ Horsepower while running while having only one-gallon air capacity it can operate handy air tools like nailer, stapler, etc.

The 65 DB noise level makes it one of the quietest small air compressors while its lightweight allows you to move it easily around.

  • Durable and efficient
  • Quiet
  • 125 psi maximum pressure
  • 1-gallon tank
  • Portable
  • Takes some time to fill the tank

Some tips before buying the small air compressors | Buying guide 2022

The HorsePower actually tells you how powerful your compressor is to run your tool. In a small air compressor, we assume one hp up to three hp will be excellent to handle finishing jobs.

Air pressure
Air pressure is denoted as per square inch (PSI). The amount of PSI that is adequate to run your apparatus relies exclusively on the size of the planned instrument you are working with. Generally, a PSI of 90 is adequate for any apparatus to perform better.

The strong and tough air compressor will handle air tools very well which will result in quality work, so don’t hesitate to spend a little bit more on durability.

The more will be the power and size the price will also be at the rising side but most commonly the small air compressor price ranges from 100 $ to 200 $.

Note: to know more about buying check this information.

The Benefits of Best Small Air Compressors

Beneath referenced are a portion of the advantages that are accessible while utilizing  an air compressor for different positions:

  • The instruments last more.
  • It is better and quiet for the general climate.
  • The positions are performed a lot faster.
  • The outcomes got are proficient.
  • The adaptability of the employment increments.
  • It better suits small storage areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are small air compressors mostly oil-free?

The oil-free air compressor needs less or no maintenance. They are also less powerful as compared to oil compressors but the power they bear is enough to operate small jobs and finished work.

What is the reason for using the small air compressor?

The small air compressor plays a secondary role in the job, they come into play in finishing work and commonly used for DIY jobs. Their size and weight also have an important role in different circumstances.

What is the best air compressor for DIY users?

The small air compressor having a 3 to 6-gallon air capacity tank having 90 plus psi pressure is good for DIY and home users. While hobbyist and paintbrush, users should prefer a one-gallon air compressor.

My verdict

Before going to buy a small air compressor you should better know for what purpose and for what type of air tools you need it. Always remember the specification you required. We have tried our best to list all the best small air compressors for home use, so it’s up to you which one better suits your job. In this article, we reviewed the best all-around and runner-up small compressors, both of them obtain nice features, and also the first one costs 100$ and the second one is under 150$. We also mentioned the Amazon choice which is based on a high rating and has got some demanding features.

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