10 Best Brands of Air Compressors: You Can’t Go Wrong With These

There are a lot of air compressor brands out there. And since a compressor isn’t the smallest investment, it’s a good idea to learn which brands are the best. This is often harder than it sounds. It means doing a lot of research to determine the factors that make a good compressor company. But, to save you a lot of time, we’ve put together a list of the best brands of air compressors. We’ve done the painstaking research for you, and you’re sure to find a great compressor on this list!

1. DeWalt

DeWalt is a name you’ve probably heard before. They make a wide range of tools, including air compressors. It was founded by Raymond DeWalt in Pennsylvania in the 1920s. DeWalt invented the radial arm saw and the DeWalt company’s first big product was a unique and configurable woodworking machine.

They saw expansion during World War II when helping with the war effort. DeWalt was bought by Black & Decker in 1960. They launched a power tool line in 1992, and the rest is history. 

Types of DeWalt Compressors

DeWalt makes a lot of different compressors. These range in size from 1-gallon all the way up to 120-gallons. They also offer both oil-free and oil-lubed compressors. These smaller compressors are ideal for home use, but the medium and larger versions can be used for things like construction, painting, and automotive. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About DeWalt Compressors

What we like:

  • 3-Year Warranty – DeWalt compressors come with a limited 3-year warranty, which is better than the typical 1-year warranty for other comparable compressors.  
  • Quiet Operation – Some DeWalt compressors are also relatively quiet, which is a definite plus. 
  • Powerful and Lightweight – For a lightweight and powerful compressor for home use, you can’t go wrong with DeWalt. 

What we don’t like:

  • Customer Service – One of the major complaints with DeWalt is their customer service in case something happens with the compressor. 
  • Price – DeWalt does have a higher price point than other comparable compressors. 

DeWalt compressors are made in the USA from global materials. This means most of the parts are made in Mexico, India, China, or other places around the world. Then the parts are assembled in the USA. For more information on DeWalt compressors, check out our article: Are DeWalt Compressors Any Good? What You Need to Know.

2. Bostitch

Bostitch started making wire stitches and machines. The company was founded in 1896. Bostitch invented a very early version of those staplers that are found in nearly every home and office around the world. 

They were originally known as the Boston Wire Stitch Company but changed their name to Bostitch in 1930. After World War II, they started making industrial tools and expanded out to other tools from there. It wasn’t until 2013 that now-parent company Stanley Black & Decker started selling Bostitch tools in large chain box stores. 

Types of Bostitch Compressors

Bostitch doesn’t have a huge selection of air compressors. They mainly sell compressors that are good for home use and things like brad nailing, finish nailing, frame nailing, filling tires, and other low-CFM air tools. However, they do sell some larger compressors that can be used in automotive and various construction industries. Most Bostitch compressors are ideal for use around the home and with smaller air tools. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About Bostitch Compressors

What we like:

  • Long-Lasting – Bostitch compressors are well-known for their longevity. When used in the home, it’s common for them to last many years.   
  • Quick Fill Times – Bostitch compressors are known for their quick fill times. And although they’re not ideal for constant use, the quick fill times ensure that you can work without waiting too long for the compressor to recharge.  
  • Oil-Free Models – Most Bostitch compressors feature oil-free pumps, which is great because they don’t require oil maintenance or replacement. 

What we don’t like:

  • Warranty – The standard warranty for Bostitch compressors is 1 year. This is pretty standard, but because it’s shorter than other compressor brands, it may be good to purchase extra coverage. 
  • Gauge Readings – One of the complaints for Bostitch compressors is that their pressure gauges can be off. The most common variance is 2 PSI or so. 

Like DeWalt, Bostitch compressors are made in the USA with materials sourced and manufactured around the globe. For more information on Bostitch compressors, read the article: Bostitch Air Compressors: All Your Questions Answered

3. Craftsman

Craftsman was originally formed by the Sears company in 1927. Their tools appeared in the Sears catalog that year. While the tools sold under the Craftsman brand have been made by various companies over the years, they were most recently bought by Black & Decker. Of course, Black & Decker outsources their tool manufacturing, which includes air compressors. 

They use different manufacturers to make their air compressors. They’re often assembled in the USA from materials sourced from around the world, like many other compressors on this list.  

Types of Craftsman Compressors

Craftsman air compressors are available in several different sizes. The smallest ones are 1.5-gallons and the largest ones are 33-gallons. These air compressors are best used for small projects around the house. The larger compressors do offer higher CFM ratings, and so can be used with larger air tools. But they aren’t ideal for most industrial uses that require constant airflow. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About Craftsman Compressors

What we like:

  • Pricing – Perhaps the most attractive thing about Craftsman compressors is their pricing. They’re one of the more cost-effective options on this list.  
  • Consistent Quality – It’s true that Craftsman air compressors are outsourced, but they still manage to maintain consistent quality. You know that you’re getting a good compressor with the Craftsman brand. 
  • Portable – All the Craftsman compressors available are portable. The smaller models have carrying handles, and the larger ones have wheels.  

What we don’t like:

  • Not Ideal for Commercial Use – Craftsman compressors are made for home use and light construction work. If you’re looking for a compressor for only commercial use, Craftsman is not ideal.
  • Loud – Many of these Craftsman compressors are pretty loud, so if you’re looking for a quiet compressor, you may want to try another brand.  

Craftsman air compressors come with a standard 1-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee. This is important to keep in mind because many Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty. Their air compressors do not. For a more in-depth look at these air compressors, read this article: Craftsman Air Compressors: All Your Questions Answered

4. Porter-Cable

Porter-Cable was founded by R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E Cable in Syracuse, New York in 1906. They started manufacturing power tools in 1914 and in the 1920s they came out with the portable belt sander. The company was bought in 2004 by Stanley Black & Decker, who still owns the brand. Their headquarters are in Stanley, TN. 

Types of Porter-Cable Compressors

Porter-Cable air compressors are comparable to other similar compressors in the Black & Decker family. Like most of the other air compressors on this list, they’re made for use in the home and for light construction industries. Most of them are small, ranging in size from 1.5 to 6-gallons. They do have some larger compressors for sale in 20-gallon and 80-gallons sizes. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About Porter-Cable Compressors

What we like:

  • Cost and Quality – The combination of cost and quality makes Porter-Cable air compressors a great purchase for homeowners. 
  • Trusted Brand – The Porter-Cable brand has been trusted for a long time in the tool world. The name carries weight, and the parent company Black & Decker is also trusted. 
  • Portable – For those that need to move their compressors around, the Porter-Cable models are great. They have wheels or carry handles. 

What we don’t like:

  • Noise Levels – One major complaint with Porter Cable compressors is their noise levels. They’re on the louder side, which can be jarring. 
  • Warranty Info – Porter-Cable doesn’t make clear their warranty information. It takes some digging to find out the standard warranty, which is 1 year. 

Porter-Cable is a good brand for those who want a compressor for use in the home garage or workshop. They’re also good for use with smaller air tools. For a more in-depth look at these air compressors, read this article: Porter-Cable Air Compressors: All Your Questions Answered. 

5. Makita

Makita is a Japanese company that was founded by Mosaburo Makita in 1915. It started off selling and repairing electric motors. But by 1958, the company had moved into manufacturing power tools such as electric planers, circular saws, and drills. 

In the late 1970s, Makita released their first cordless power tool, a drill, which had a longer run time and shorter charge time than other cordless drills on the market. A few years later, they launched their first air compressor. They have factories all around the world in which their air compressors are made. 

Types of Makita Compressors

Makita doesn’t make big stationary compressors. Instead, they stick to making small but powerful air compressors that can be used for a variety of jobs. They’re mainly ideal for use at home and in construction. The small but powerful compressors deliver higher CFMs than other compressors of similar size. They make air compressors from 1-gallon up to 10-gallons in size. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About Makita Compressors

What we like:

  • Powerful – Makita uses a special design on many of its air compressors, making them more powerful than others on the market. They deliver more air per minute and refill faster than many other home-use compressors. 
  • 30-Day Guarantee – All Makita compressors come with a 30-day guarantee, which means you can return them if you’re not satisfied for any reason. 
  • Reliable – It may come as no surprise to some, but the engineering that goes into Makita compressors is excellent and makes for a reliable compressor. 

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy – Makita compressors are heavier than other models. This is because of the technology and heavy-duty materials they use to make them. It makes for a long-lasting compressor, but one that can be a pain to wheel or carry around. 
  • Small Tanks – Makita compressors have small tanks, which can be bad for those who use compressors with constant-use air tools like spray paint guns or sanders. 

Most Makita compressors are made in Japan, but they also have factories around the world. These locations include China, Mexico, Germany, the US, and Thailand. For a more in-depth look at Makita air compressors, see the article: Makita Air Compressors: Everything You Need to Know

6. California Air Tools

California Air Tools is an air compressor manufacturer founded in San Diego in 2002. They started with a team of professionals familiar with the air tools industry. They make “Ultra Quiet” air compressors that are among the quietest in the business. They make compressors and air tools as well. 

Their assembly plant in San Diego employs twenty people. They also have factories in Mexico. 

Types of California Air Tools Compressors

California Air Tools compressors come in two different lines. One is consumer-grade and the other is contractor grade. This is convenient for those looking for compressors for home use versus commercial use. They make a variety of sizes. They include oil-free dual-piston pumps for long life and powerful operation. The large pistons allow the compressors to compress air faster, which means less downtime. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About California Air Tools Compressors

What we like:

  • Powerful – The design of these compressors allows them to be powerful and quick-filling. This is great for those who do both basic tasks and use medium-size air tools. 
  • Quiet – California Air Tools makes Quiet Flow air compressors that are among the quietest in the business. People who use these inside love their low noise levels. 
  • Longer Life – The larger pistons allow these compressors to operate at lower RPMs, which can make for longer life as well as quieter operation. 

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy – For portable air compressors, these aren’t the lightest in the world. Even though they have wheels, they can be a bit cumbersome. 
  • Short Warranty – These compressors only come with a 1-year warranty, which is not the best.

California Air Tools assembles their air compressors in California, but they don’t do the manufacturing there. Most of their compressor components are made in Mexico and then assembled in the US. But if you’re looking for a quiet, medium-sized compressor, this brand is a good choice.  

7. Stealth Air Compressors

Stealth is a brand of air compressors under the parent company Alton Industries. Alton has been in the tool business for 15 years, making them a relative newcomer. But Stealth air compressors are quickly becoming popular among DIYers and those working in construction. These compressors are quiet, powerful, and come with one of the best warranties in the business. Their US headquarters is located in Illinois. 

Types of Stealth Air Compressors

Stealth offers seven air compressors in varying sizes. They range in size from 1-gallon up to 20-gallons. These compressors are called Stealth for a reason: they all are incredibly quiet compressors with low decibel ratings. They start easily in cold weather and are all easily portable. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About Stealth Air Compressors

What we like:

  • Great Warranty – Stealth air compressors come with a limited lifetime warranty on the pump and motor. This is one of the best warranties in the business.  
  • Quiet – These compressors are quiet enough that you can have a conversation next to one that’s running. They’re great for those who mainly use compressors indoors. 
  • Easy to Move – These compressors come with either a carrying handle on the smaller models or wheels on the larger ones, making them easy to move around. 

What we don’t like:

  • Customer Service – One of the main complaints about this company is their lack of sufficient customer service.  
  • Price – Stealth compressors are a little more expensive than box-store budget compressors. 

Stealth compressors are made in China. But anyone that is concerned with this should consider the limited lifetime warranty on the pump and motor. This is much better than the 1-to-3-year warranties on other compressors that are assembled in the USA. 

8. Rolair Air Compressors

Rolair is a Wisconsin-based air compressor manufacturer that was first incorporated in 1959 as Associated Engineering Corporation (AEC). The company first started offering compressors and ventilation fans for barns. They offer a wide range of compressors that are well-known throughout many industries. 

Types of Rolair Air Compressors

Rolair compressors come in many different types and sizes. They offer hand-carry compressors that are best used in the home and for trim. They offer wheeled gas and wheeled electric compressors, plus both gas and electric stationary models. This wide range of compressors means that they’re used in a wide variety of industries, including construction, automotive, and industrial. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About Rolair Air Compressors

What we like:

  • Powerful Build – Rolair compressors built to last. Some customers actually mention the words, “Built like a tank.” 
  • Duty Cycles – Many Rolair compressors offer 100% duty cycles, making them great for jobs that require constant airflow. 
  • Powerful Pumps – The belt-driven air compressors from Rolair feature Italian-built pumps known for their quality and long life. 

What we don’t like:

  • Warranty – Rolair air compressors only come with a 12-month warranty against defects and workmanship.   
  • Price – Rolair compressors come at a price. They’re more expensive than other box-store compressors. 

Some Rolair compressors are assembled in the Wisconsin factory. Their other models come from other countries such as Taiwan. They have both oil-free and oil-lubricated models and most of them feature roll cages for protection on the job site. They’re consistently well-reviewed by customers in all different industries. 

9. Ingersoll Rand Air Compressors

Ingersoll Rand is a company that makes a wide range of air compressors for various uses. These include small compressors for home and construction use, all the way up to large stationary compressors for major industries. These include single- and two-stage reciprocating air compressors, centrifugal compressors, and rotary screw compressors. The company was originally formed in 1905 after the merger of an Irish and an American drilling company.   

Types of Ingersoll Rand Air Compressors

Ingersoll Rand air compressors are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Most of these compressors are a little more than people need for everyday home use or simple framing. However, they do make some small models that deliver high airflow rates. Their compressors are used for everything from construction to industrial applications. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About Ingersoll Rand Air Compressors

What we like:

  • Powerful – Ingersoll Rand compressors are generally more powerful than other compressors of comparable size. Both in terms of CFM and motor HP. 
  • Assembled in the USA – Ingersoll Rand is now a US-based company and they assemble their air compressors from parts sourced from around the world.  
  • Easy to Use – While these compressors are definitely heavy-duty, they’re easy to use and good for those with little air compressor experience. 

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy – Ingersoll Rand’s compressors tend to be heavier. This is thanks to their heavy-duty construction and oil-lubricated pumps.    
  • Price – You do have to pay a premium for these compressors. They’re not cheap, but many customers insist that they’ll last a lifetime. 

Ingersoll Rand is a trusted compressor company. They offer a ton of different compressors and even build giant stationary ones used in heavy-duty applications. The compressors come with a 1-year limited warranty, but they’re also designed for easy component replacement for a lifetime of use. 

10. WEN Air Compressors

WEN is an American company founded in 1951. They’ve been manufacturing power tools ever since then. Their headquarters is located in Illinois. They make a wide range of tools and power tools, including things like saws, grinders, nailers, generators, and tool chests.

Types of WEN Air Compressors

WEN offers a small line of air compressors that are comparable to other box-store compressors such as Craftsman and DeWalt. The compressors are best used for homeowners, DIY work, and framing. They’re generally not great for more heavy-duty jobs that require high CFM or constant airflow. 

What We Like and Don’t Like About WEN Air Compressors

What we like:

  • Oil and Oil-Free Models – Although they have a limited range of models, they do offer some oil-lubed and oil-free models. It’s good to have the choice. 
  • 2-Year Warranty – One thing that sets WEN compressor apart from other big box store compressors is the 2-year warranty. This is double the typical 1-year warranty for other compressors.   
  • Easy to Move – These compressors are made to move. They have no-flat wheels and handles for easy transport. 

What we don’t like:

  • Loud – WEN compressors tend to be loud. They certainly aren’t quiet, so if you want a quiet compressor, you may want to look elsewhere.    
  • Customer Service – Some customers have complained about the lack of great customer service from WEN. 

WEN’s air compressors are made in China. However, for DIYers and those who want a compressor for everyday use, WEN compressors are attractive due to their low price and quality build. They are comparable to other compressors with major name brands you may recognize.

Justin

Justin is a full-time blogger with a passion for anything DIY. When he's not hanging out with his wife and son, you can find him putting the finishing touches on yet another home project he's taken on. He's also the creator of AllAboutAirCompressors.com.