A quality air compressor doesn’t have to break the bank and to prove that we created this review article for the best budget air compressors under $100.
We reviewed six products that fit our strict guidelines for the budget-conscious consumer that doesn’t want to sacrifice quality for price. We hope you find these reviews helpful.
These are the Best Cheap Air Compressors under $100:
1. Ridgid OF60150HB
It wasn’t an easy choice, but we settled on the Rigid 6-gallon compressor as the best overall air compressor under $100. It’s a great little machine that combines a simple design with practical features with a small learning curve before you get started with using it.
Just like all of the compressors reviewed in this article it’s typically priced under $100 at most retail locations.
We liked this Ridgid air compressor for a number of reasons starting with its design. There are only a couple of controls to familiarize yourself with and it plugs in wherever you have an outlet. Its simple universal push-to-connect couplers allow you to hook up and get started in seconds.
We also liked the 1/4 turn ball valve tank drain that lets you drain the tank with just one quick turn. With 150 maximum PSI, you should have more than enough air pressure for most jobs and it’s lightweight at just 35 pounds.
When you combine all this with an impressive 3-year warranty what you get is a great bargain for under $100.
This compressor isn’t ideal for everyone though. It’s a great air compressor for home use but you’ll need something a little more powerful for commercial jobs. It’s also a corded electric model so you are limited to using it where there’s an available power source to connect to.
One other common complaint about this machine is that it is a bit loud.
- Simple controls.
- Quick draining tank.
- 150 max PSI.
- 3-year warranty.
- Not enough power for commercial use.
- Can be noisy.
This is a basic and practical air compressor that gets the job done and the price is right. We loved its design simplicity and you can’t beat its 3-year warranty. As long as you’re using this machine primarily as a home tool you won’t be disappointed.
2. Husky 0300816
Every air compressor we’ve included on this list has some unique characteristics that make it stand out in a competitive product category. Husky’s hot dog air compressor is an affordable option that initially caught our attention because of its impressive 8-gallon tank capacity.
This model was our runner-up for best budget air compressor and it only lost out by the slimmest of margins.
It wasn’t just the 8-gallon tank that convinced us of this compressors merits. It also comes with a set of wheels and a nice long handle that make it easy to move around while you work without risking a back injury. That’s a good thing because this machine is a bit on the heavy side at just over 80 pounds.
This is an oil-free machine which makes it easier to keep it and yourself clean while you work. It’s also fairly quiet when you operate it producing just 83 decibels on average while you work.
This compressor does have a couple of issues. As we’ve already mentioned it is a bit on the heavy side. Also, it may take a while to air larger items so it’s better for use at home and not on the job site.
Keeping in mind that this is a budget air compressor, not surprisingly, parts on this compressor tend to wear out a little quicker than you might expect with a more expensive model.
- Comes with wheels and handle.
- Max 150 PSI.
- Large 8-gallon tank.
- Low noise.
- Heavy – approximately 60 pounds.
- Parts may wear quickly.
This Husky 8-gallon air compressor is a great little machine for the price. It is a little on the heavy side, but they’ve compensated for this well by including wheels and a nice large handle.
With 150 PSI it can handle most of your needs although it is a bit limited in horsepower so it’s better used for home improvement projects and not for the job site.
3. Husky 3300113
If a low-cost and portable air compressor is what you’re looking for, Husky’s 1-gallon air compressor fits the bill. At just under $100 it’s a bargain and a great buy if you’ve been seriously considering an air compressor around the home.
This is one of the quietest and lightest air compressors on the market today. It’s also easy to use with a few simple controls that don’t require a lot of extra time learning how to use.
For an inexpensive air compressor, this 1-gallon Husky model has some great features. It’s only 27 pounds which means it really is a portable unit in every sense of the word.
As we hinted at above it’s also amazingly quiet – this machine operates at just 60 decibels and that makes it easily the quietest model we’ve reviewed. The body of the machine is mostly steel making it quite rugged and it has rubber grips for comfort when you are carrying it.
There are a couple of drawbacks that prevented us from rating this machine higher. First of all, it is a corded model so you do need power nearby to use it. Also, it’s not the most powerful air compressor on the market today with a motor that operates at just 0.5 horsepower. The 1-gallon tank is also a bit underwhelming.
- Weighs just 27 pounds.
- Quiet operation
- Rugged steel design.
- Rubber comfort grips.
- Only 0.5 horsepower.
- Small 1-gallon air tank.
This lightweight Husky air compressor has a lot going for it. We loved how quiet it is at just 60 decibels and at just 27 pounds it’s easy to move it without the risk of injury.
If this was a cordless machine and had a little more horsepower we’d rate it much higher, but these are two important features that can’t be overlooked.
4. Powermate VX VNP0000101.01
The most budget-friendly air compressor on our list is the Powermate VX 1-gallon pancake air compressor. This low-cost model retails for around $80 meaning it will fit just about any budget.
If you’ve been holding off buying an air compressor because of the price that’s no longer a major barrier. It may not be the most powerful option on the market, but it’s more than enough for home use.
One of the biggest pluses of a corded electric air compressor like this is you never need oil and you don’t have to fuel it or charge it. As long as you have a power outlet nearby you can use the compressor any time.
It comes with a 25-foot air hose so you can easily reach different objects without having to move it. If you do need to move the compressor that’s not a major problem as it weighs just 14.2 pounds. This Powermate compressor is also pretty quiet operating at just 83 decibels.
On the negative side, we were disappointed with the warranty on this machine – it’s just 1-year. The 1-gallon tank isn’t ideal either. Once again this is a corded air compressor and that means you’re limited to where you can use it – there has to be a power outlet close by.
- Low price.
- No need for fuel or oil.
- 25-foot air hose.
- Weighs only 14.2 pounds.
- Only 1-year warranty.
- Small 1-gallon tank.
For a budget machine the Powermate VX VNP0000101.01 is surprisingly capable. It does have a limited tank capacity, but for small tasks around the home it can easily keep up. At 14.2 pounds it’s easy to move it around and we were impressed with the generous 25-foot air hose.
Overall this is a great deal and a great choice for homeowners.
5. Wen 2281
The inexpensive Wen 1-gallon air compressor is a great choice if you need an air compressor for jobs around the house.
There aren’t too many bells and whistles on this model, but it has everything you need for general household tasks whether you’re using your pneumatic tools or airing up a tire on your car. This is a tool every homeowner needs in their garage on standby when needed.
The Wen 2281 air compressor has a practical hot dog style tank that makes it more stable than other designs. We also like the fact that they’ve included two gauges – one to measure the internal pressure in the tank and one to measure the airflow while the tool is in use.
It’s nice and lightweight too at just 24 pounds. When in use the noise level is about 70 decibels so it’s nice and quite as well. Cap it all off with a 2-year warranty and you’ve got a great compressor at a great price that’s ideal for home use.
It is only capable of 125 PSI though which is a bit less than some of its main competitors. The air tank is a little on the small size as well with just a 1-gallon capacity.
- Weighs only 24 pounds.
- Quiet operation at 70 decibels.
- Dual gauges.
- 2-year warranty.
- Only a 1-gallon air tank.
- Capped at 125 PSI.
We have no problem recommending the Wen 2281 portable air compressor to any homeowner. At just 24 pounds it’s lightweight and easy to transport. We like the stability of the hot dog style tank and the dual pressure gauges are great for monitoring your air pressure.
It would be better if it was capable of achieving higher PSI, but 125 PSI is enough for most household tasks you’re likely to use it for.
6. Viair 98C
The small yet powerful Viair 98C air compressor is a capable machine that can be used for a variety of DIY tasks. It’s one of the cheapest air compressors around and while it doesn’t boast a lot of extra features it does what it’s supposed to do – provide compressed air when you need it.
Its built-in thermal overload protector makes it one of the safest compressors for home use. The Viair 98C uses 13 amps and that’s enough for standard tasks such as blowing up tires or inflatable guest beds.
What we really liked about this compressor though is that it’s extremely quiet and lightweight. It weighs just 3 pounds and operates at 34 decibels so you can take it with you wherever it’s needed and you won’t disturb everyone else in the house while you work.
A major drawback of this compressor is that there are no pressure gauges for you to track internal pressure and airflow. It can only fill 1-gallon tanks at most as well. Also, it’s peak pressure is 130 PSI which is a little underwhelming.
- Weighs only 3 pounds.
- Quiet operation at 34 decibels.
- Easy to use.
- No pressure gauges.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, quiet air compressor without a whole lot of extra features the Viair 98C certainly fits the bill.
It’s the lightest machine we reviewed at just 3 pounds and one of the quietest operating at a maximum volume of 34 decibels. It doesn’t have any gauges to monitor pressure, but that isn’t a major issue in most circumstances.
There are an impressive number of good-quality air compressors available in 2023 for under $100. We’ve reviewed the ones that caught our eye, but there are others as well.
At the top of our list is the Rigid 6-gallon electric air compressor, but there isn’t a great deal that separates any of the compressors on this list. We think having choice is a good thing and it’s obvious by the number of great machines we found to include in our reviews that there’s plenty of it in this product category in 2023.