Are you seeking the best air compressor for various painting projects and aerial task activities? Well, to perform effectively, you need a powerful and versatile air compressor. But, it can be a little tricky to find the ideal one. An air compressor is a pneumatic tool that yields sufficient air pressure to help you get through important tasks like pushing paint, pressure washing, cleaning, inflation etc.
To put a brake on all the worries, we’ve done some in-depth analysis and cherry-picked 7 best air compressors for spray painting. Reading this article will help you get to know about some of the most functional machines out there. Without further ado, let’s start with the best one right away.
What are Air Compressors for Spray Painting?
Do you know which paint spray guns typically use an air compressor? The most common types of HVLP (High Volume, Low Pressure) spray painters use the air compressor. Besides, these air compressors use a motor to consolidate air and get an immense amount of air pressure from a tank to power air devices.
Air compressors are so helpful that you can use them with various air tools without a problem. For instance – just a single air compressor is enough for painting as well as to supply pneumatic pressure for nail guns, tire pumps, and other devices.
With the superior versatility these air compressors provide, you could do various types of DIY jobs like painting cars, staining fences, etc.
Top 7 Best Air Compressors for Painting
If you don’t have too much time, you should look at our top 7 picks below. But we will suggest you keep reading to get vital knowledge about the best air compressors for spray painting.
- Best air compressor for painting – CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Air Compressor
- Best air compressor for spray painting – California Air Tools 8010 Air Compressor
- Best air compressor for painting cars – Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor
- Air compressor for painting house – PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor
- Best DIY air Compressor – DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
- Best air compressor for painting furniture – BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor
- Best small air compressor for painting – Senco PC1010 Air Compressor
Different Types of Air Compressors for Spray Painting
There are uncountable types of air compressors that can be found in the market. Therefore, it’s not possible to list all of them. Consequently, we’ve listed the most common air compressors – pancake air compressors, hot dog air compressors, and pontoon air compressors.
Pancake Air Compressors
Due to their squashed, “pancake” shape, they are widely known as Pancake air compressors. The most highlighting matter of them is these compressors are very user-friendly. Hence, they are lightweight, economical, easy to use, and the perfect airbrush compressor.
Pancake air compressors are superb. The reason is they are highly stable and they are perfect for various smaller projects. Meanwhile, you can’t use them for more significant tasks.
Hot Dog Compressors
Their lengthy tank size resembles the fast-food product called “Hot Dog” – they are known as hot dog compressors. They usually have a 1 to 3-gallon capacity. Additionally, they are capable of handling bigger painting projects compared to the previous ones we’ve discussed.
But they are definitely not lightweight or you can’t carry them with much ease like pancake air compressors.
Pontoon compressors contain twin tanks. Both tanks contain a centrally-mounted motor. Further, they will resemble a pontoon boat. These air compressors are workhorse air tools. They can also supply a massive percentage of higher max psi than their competitors.
Meanwhile, pontoon compressors are designed to provide backup for large painting projects. They can also supply immense pressure for a large variety of power tools.
Our Recommendation of The Best Air Compressors for Spray Painting
You’ll find an array of air compressors on the market. But, it’s too difficult to find the right one from such massive options. Now, check out the list of us. Here, we will discuss the 7 Best Air Compressor for Painting 2022 Guide.
Let’s jump –
1. CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Air Compressor – Best Overall
Craftsman is one of the top-notch tool manufacturing companies in the world. You’ll always find their products in the most prominent hardware stores. Besides, it comes packed full of features. So, your painting task will be much more straightforward and highly effective.
If you operate various types of air tools, this will be one of the perfect devices for you. You can do smaller painting tasks easily with this. One of the most significant traits of this air compressor is that it doesn’t need any maintenance. Hence, the only thing you’ve to care about to draining its tank and that’s it.
With 2.6 SCFM, this device is such a boss compared to its competitors. Since it has a 6-gallon tank, you don’t need to worry about recharging it in the middle of your project. The 6-gallon tank is the biggest reason behind its high durability and long lifecycle.
Furthermore, the 6-gallon tank offers a powerfully built construction to the compressor. However, this gadget is astonishingly lightweight. It only weighs 32.5 Pounds. For this reason, you can transport it anywhere without a hassle.
This pancake air compressor is widely famous for doing an excellent job in industrial-grade tire refills and many other air machines. Moreover, this product comes with a 13-piece accessory kit. This is why beginners with no experience can use this machine quite easily.
The 13-piece assisting equipment includes a 25 inches PVC air hose, blowgun, safety nozzle, rubber tip, clutch, etc. Besides, this product has all the capability to paint your car quickly. That’s the reason it is a superb air compressor for car painting.
In fact, this air machine comes with a 1-year warranty period for extra security purposes. If something happens to this device, you’re protected and don’t have to worry! Besides, it’s quite an excellent product for people who love spray paint.
What We Like
- Astounding PSI and SCFM
- The massive 6-gallon tank, along with a 13-piece accessory toolkit
It is certainly not the most powerful device. But you can complete the smaller projects with it quite comfortably. Moreover, it is a low-price machine and one of the best for air compressor painting tasks. The Craftsman is such a classy product and this model is perfect, especially for beginners.
2. California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor – Best for Spray Painting
The California Air Tools Compressor is quite a large tank. It contains an 8-gallons compressor. But it is capable of storing more volume. On top of that, if you want to purchase an air compressor with the lowest noise, this air compressor will be perfect for you.
Further, the California Air Tools can produce 2.2 CFM air at 90 PSI. The 2-horsepower motor is one of the quietest models available on the market with only 60 decibels noise level. You can compare it to a conversation between two lovers in a cinema hall! Hence, the recovery time is superior under low and high pressures.
The robust 1.0 HP works at a speed of 1680 RPM. This air compressor comprises two pressure control gauges. One is a thermal overload protector and another is a low amp draw. However, they don’t have any negative impact on the product’s overall performance.
One of the most prominent attributes of this California Air Tools 8010 is an oil-free air compressor. The oil-free pump can deliver good performance in various temperatures and uneven terrains. If you have to work in a crowded place where noise is a big issue, this product can help you immensely overcome the situation.
Another massive advantage of this air compressor is that it fills up so quickly. It only takes around 3 minutes to fill up while recovering in half a minute when the pressure falls due to usage. Hence, the product is made of steel and aluminum. This is why this air compressor is so much sturdy.
Moreover, that’s why it is so durable and possesses a long life cycle than most other compressors. It is a hot dog compressor and the weight of the product is 48lb. Therefore, it’s not so easily portable as the previous one.
But you can still carry it without facing a massive challenge. Thanks to its oil-free pump, you don’t need to spend much on this device. It also doesn’t need high maintenance. In addition, the CAT 8010 comes with a 1-year warranty.
What We Like
- It is too quiet and portable
- Large tank
- It swallows lower power
If you’re working in a place where a noise-free environment is very much needed, you can use this product. It will be highly suitable for you in such a case.
3. Makita MAC2400 – Best Air Compressor for Automotive
This is another powerful air compressor for paint spray. Makita is also a renowned company that has produced superior air compressors for a long period. If you want to get the optimal power in your hands, this device could be perfect for you. Besides, it comes with a Big Bore cylinder and piston.
For this reason, it can make a swift recovery process when the tank losses pressure. The powerful 2.5 HP 4-Pole motor can generate 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI. This is why the productivity of this compressor is so high and the noise is very low.
The cast iron pump has two-cylinder air compressors which are capable of supplying optimal volume and air pressure. Moreover, this compressor has two smaller cylinders and a cost-effective motor. That’s the reason it got superior strength. Thanks to the incredibly productive motor, it can recover quickly after running out of air pressure.
Besides, this compressor can hold an optimal pressure of 130 PSI. MAC2400 also features low power consumption AMP. It can effectively decrease the number of fired switches at the beginning. Due to the low AMP, the air compressor takes a little time to start. As a result, you can continue working without a hassle.
On the other side, it is an oil-lubricated compressor. That’s why it runs much quieter. The durable and long-lasting cast iron can resist wear and tear to the product. Thus, it enhances the lifecycle of this device. It is also extremely lightweight and portable. The MAC2400 air compressor is removable for easy maintenance.
Additionally, this air compressor is highly stable as it is made of superior ingredients. Makita’s air compressor comprises a massive industrial air filter. For this reason, it promotes great coherence while in use and works to keep airflow in check. The compressor also runs too smoothly. Additionally, it is a very good compressor for painting cars.
The construction of this air compressor is entirely robust. It features a roll cage construction. For this reason, it can stand against any type of hit quite impressively. Overall, it is a fantastic product and can easily meet your needs.
What We Like
- Due to the roll cage construction, it is protectable from harsh environments
- The vast industrial air filter can guarantee superb efficiency
- Cast iron pump ensures high durability
This is such a more extensive and highly potent air compressor in this list. If you’re a professional and heavy-DIYer, you’ll surely like it. Hence, it is also one of the best air compressors for automotive.
4. Porter-Cable C2002 6-Gallon Air Compressor – Best for Painting Walls
The Porter-Cable C2002 is one of the most popular air compressors available on the market right now. It can ensure excellent value for money. Remarkably, it is one of the best air compressors for painting walls. Besides, this pancake air compressor is highly stable due to its rubberized feet and water drain valve.
Further, this air compressor contains a 6-feet hose. It can deliver 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi. Thanks to its oil-free pump, it is incredibly durable and doesn’t require any maintenance. There are two regulated air couplers. For this reason, it can support two users.
Moreover, this product is extremely lightweight. The weight of the air compressor is only 30lb. You can easily carry it to any place without a hassle. Hence, this air compressor can generate a maximum PSI of 150.
When you first see this model, you could think that there’s no extraordinary in it. But, it’s wrong. This is such a well-designed model with superior performance. This air compressor’s manufacturing place is in China. It got its wide recognition due to its ease of use and reliability.
The tank got vast capacity while it is immensely suitable for all spraying requirements. If you live in a super cold temperature, this product will suit you. The reason is its whole package includes a protective cover and the low amp 120-volt motor got no problem to start in a freezy condition. Further, you can use it for various purposes like painting walls, fences, etc. You can also store them in a garage or workshop quite easily. It is also one of the best airbrush compressors.
What We Like
- Awesome design for maximum stability
- Due to 6-gallon tank, you can use it for larger projects
The Porter-Cable C2002 is such a great air compressor for various DIY jobs. If noise isn’t an issue for you, you can easily use this economically rated product.
5. Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake – Best DIY Air Compressor
There are multiple 6-gallon spray painting air compressors you’ll get in the market. But we can assure you that Dewalt DWFP55126 is one of the best options for its great workability. Hence, this air compressor can produce 2.6 SCFM of air at a pressure of 90 PSI.
The highly capable motor offers superior performance with an optimal pressure of 165 PSI. Hence, the power tool is an oil-free compressor. It is actually a usual scenario for a 6-gallon air compressor. Since the device is oil-free, you don’t have to add any extra oil while using this compressor.
For this reason, it significantly decreases cost. It also doesn’t need much maintenance. You have to drain unused air from the tank when you complete your task with the compressor. The console cover safeguards to control and is easily removable to enable effortless repair.
Besides, the Dewalt DWFP55126 is easily portable. The weight of the product is 30lb. Hence, you can carry it without a problem from one place to another. The product’s handle is made of stainless steel. Therefore, it is highly durable and can handle pressure.
The product consists of 2 universal couplers. This is why it can be used by two users quite easily. Moreover, this pancake compressor is it is unimaginably quiet. Thanks to its 75.5 dBA, it doesn’t produce loud sounds and thus, it is exceptionally suitable for commercial and residential use.
Furthermore, this air compressor stays cool almost all the time. You won’t have to face any overheating issues or other performance related problems. The universal connectors supply enormous flexibility, while the large extension cable can operate in broad areas.
If you want to purchase this one, you can be sure that you’ll get a lot of functionality. In addition, DWFP55126 comes with a 1-year warranty.
What We Like
- Lightweight and the construction is so thick
- Sturdy carrying handle
- Has rubber feet on the bottom
The DeWalt Pancake Air Compressor features a lot of astounding functions. Although it is a bit expensive product, it could provide a good value of money.
6. Bostitch BTFP02012 – Best Air Compressor for Painting Furniture
The Bostitch Air Compressor is an easy-to-use product. Although it’s built for the user’s convenience, you will get enough power from this one. As it is an oilless compressor, there’s no need for hard maintenance of this product. Bostitch is highly reliable if you want to do mobile DIY tasks or movable construction painting due to its easy portability.
Further, the capacity of the air compressor is 6-gallons. It can produce an optimal pressure of 150 PSI. Hence, it also has a 2.6 SCFM when at 90 PSI. This air compressor contains a high flow regulator. With this, you can easily control the pressure.
The overall weight of the product is less. Its weight is only 29lb. Therefore, you can take it anywhere without spending much energy. Due to the only 79 dBA operational noise level, it doesn’t produce much sound. So, you can work in a quiet environment with this product.
Furthermore, this tank possesses a very thin diameter. As a result, you can store it conveniently. It’s loaded with a highly effective motor that can run even in harsh weather without any struggle. In addition, the robust construction helps quick startup.
What We Like
- The motor is so powerful
- It has a massive 6-gallons capacity
- Lightweight and potent construction
It’s a high-class product with superior features. It works with various DIY projects. Highly recommended.
7. Senco PC1010 Portable Hot Dog Air Compressor
This is a small air compressor. You can use it for regular tasks. On top of that, it’s not a product for more significant projects. The Senco PC1010 Air Compressor is suitable for home repairing tasks. With its 1 Horsepower, it can perform various jobs without a problem.
Further, the Senco PC1010 can generate around 40 drives per minute. It’s more than enough to complete interior paint jobs. The compressor only contains a 1-gallon capacity. As we’ve said already, this product is for smaller projects, it’s easy to guess that they’re lightweight and portable.
Senco is a perfect spray for beginners who has no idea of painting tasks. If your device requires a high CFM to operate, this product isn’t for you. You can only do simple interior tasks with this one. But, the versatility of this air compressor is quite remarkable. It’s also easy to maneuver as you can take it anywhere you go.
Hence, this air compressor is designed to have an ultra-quiet operation. You won’t feel even a thing with this one.
What We Like
- Motorized for added power
- Very lightweight and easily maneuverable
- 1 Horesepower peak
This compressor is light and well-built. It’s also super quiet. Moreover, you can do various smaller projects with this one.
How to Choose Best Air Compressor for Spray Painting
When you are in the market to buy an air compressor, you could get confused to see the sea of these products. It’s a pretty standard thing. From the above discussion, it’s easily surmisable that not all air compressors are the same.
Besides, different compressors have different agendas. Some are made to do heavy-duty tasks, while others complete smaller projects. You have to select the product according to your need. Since different compressors are usable for different devices, you have to choose the right one.
Let’s see some important factors that could help you narrow down your list to buy a perfect one. Here we go –
Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM)
The truth to be told, this is the most important criteria before considering buying an air compressor for paint spraying. You can measure how quickly a compressor can deliver air with this one. CMF will direct you to how much time a compressor can catch up and how much workload it can endure.
Yes, it can’t tell you the run time indeed. However, it can tell you the volume capacity that a specific compressor can supply. It’s basically an air volume indicator.
Unlike most air tools, painting needs a continuous supply of compressed air.
Horsepower is another crucial factor to consider. A 1 to 2 HP motor is more than enough for households and other smaller projects. However, you might need a bigger HP motor for more significant projects. The 2 HP compressor needs at least 40 CMF at 40 PSI.
The tank size of the air compressor is such an essential component. The most compressor in our list contains vast 6-gallon tank. Hence, it is big enough to handle many DIY projects very sophisticatedly. But you have to spend more energy to move the compressors with bigger tank sizes.
On the other hand, smaller tanks mean that you can carry them without a much problem. They are easily portable from one place to another. You have to thoroughly think about which projects are you working on and act according to them.
The noise of a compressor is undoubtedly a bigger issue. It’s highly crucial if you’re working in a congested place. Moreover, it can even make a highly negative impact on your ear in a long run. Generally, air compressors can range between 40 decibels to 80.
After 70 decibels, it will start harm which could be a significant issue for you. Don’t take any risk and purchase earmuffs in these cases.
Weight is another essential aspect you should look at before making a final decision. This is the main determining factor about the portability of the product. If the product is too heavy, you won’t carry it so easily. But, if it is lightweight, you can take it anywhere with much ease.
Yes, it’s undeniable that you need heavy-duty air compressors if you want to complete larger painting projects. But, one thing is sure: lightweight objects are primarily easy and comfortable to use.
Air compressors are running through the high-powered motor. So, they emit heat and friction. It’s true for popular oil-less compressors used by DIYers. But, if you don’t intend to sacrifice the overall quality of the painting, you should work in a well-ventilated place.
A roll cage can safeguard the main elements of the air compressor. Your compressor can be crushed without it. If you have a superior roll cage, there’s no chance of getting crushed or damaged. So, before buying the air compressor, ensure that your choice-able product has this thing.
No, we aren’t talking about whether the color or design will fit your style or not. Instead, we are talking about the style of the compressor. We’ve previously discussed that there are three types of air compressors are available on the market.
Selecting the right one is incredibly crucial. Verily, you have to consider the right style that fits your work. Otherwise, things could be backfired for sure.
The motor is the primary driving agent behind the efficiency of the compressor. When the tank emits, it fills up as soon as quickly. Most air compressors possess an HP rating between 1 to 5. Besides, the higher the number, the compressor’s effectiveness is much more and it has a greater capacity tank.
CFM calculates the rate of airflow. If you use a spray gun, airflow is such a massive factor you have to consider. It’s easy to guess that pancake air compressors contain small-sized motors and fewer tank spaces.
It ultimately has an enormous impact on CFM. The reason is there’s no adequate airflow to provide a superior finish. Hence, this will be the best decision to get a compressor with a CFM between 10 and 15 at 90 PSI. That’s the best possible way to know whether the air compressor will work with the spray gun or not.
Most people purchase an air compressor for painting purposes. Although painting is the main reason behind its purchase, you should consider using it with other devices (e.g, spray gun, staple gun) during the assessment of technical specs.
Presence of Oil
Oil compressors are pretty expensive but highly durable. On the other hand, oil-less compressors are maintenance-free until the Teflon coating tear apart. In the past decade, oil-based compressors have been noise-free. But things have changed a lot in recent times due to technological modernization.
Noise differences of comparable models are no longer can be seen nowadays.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
What are air compressors used for?
Air compressors are used for multiple purposes. But, the most common reasons behind using them are in everyday life, refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners. They are also used to cool the vehicle engines, sanding, clean tight spaces, etc.
What Size Air Compressor is the Best for Painting?
It actually depends on the thing you’re going to paint. If you are about to do a more enormous task, you will undoubtedly need a larger tank capacity as well as a high-powered engine. If you want to finish light-duty to medium-level tasks, 4 to 10 gallons tank size is enough.
On the other hand, if you are going to handle a larger project, around a 10-gallon tank will be recommendable for you.
What size compressor to paint a car?
If you want to paint a car, then a 6-gallon air tank will be appropriate for you. Yes, you can go higher if you want. But you can complete the job with a 6-gallon tank we can assure. A larger air tank indicates that you’ll have adequate airflow. And, there’s basically no chance you will stop midway while painting the car.
What is the best air compressor for painting cars?
It can’t be answered directly. If you’re looking for the best air compressor for painting cars, we suggest you seek a pressure of a minimum of 15 psi. 10 Horse Power compressor is more than enough for painting a car.
Nevertheless, you can purchase large compressors so you can direct other applications through them.
Spray painting is such a challenging procedure for sure. That’s why you need a suitable air compressor to make it easy. Hence, we can assure you that our available options will meet your needs. Whatever you need, we think we’ve covered for you.
If you already read this guide of our top 7 best air compressors for spray painting, we think you will definitely know what you will have to look for in order to purchase an air compressor for painting and various smaller and high-level projects. The reason is we’ve selected our products through multiple types of research and analyzed them from various criteria.
It’s a complicated process to choose a suitable air compressor. However, if you read this article carefully, we think you’ll get a good idea of a high-quality air compressor for spray painting. So, which one you’re going to buy? Or, do you have any opinion regarding our article? You can drop your selected one or share your opinion in the comment box below. Thanks for staying with us! Happy shopping!
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