Compiling reviews of the best air compressors of 2021 for home use wasn’t easy because there is a lot of choice on the market today. There are portable air compressors, stationary air compressors, electric corded compressors, battery-powered models and of course some great gas models.
The ones we’ve included here are some of the most popular choices of 2021 because they combine a wide range of features and reliability in one package. Without any more delays, here are the reviews.
1. Husky C271H
The best all-around air compressor for home use
The Husky C271H air compressor made the top of our list because of its range of great features. The 27-gallon air tank is hard to beat and the maximum pressure of 200 PSI is impressive as well. It is a little on the heavy side at 101 pounds, but if portability isn’t your main concern this is a great product at a great price.
YP score: 8.3 | Design: 9 | Portability: 7 | Ease of use: 8 | Features: 9
We’ve always been a fan of Husky’s line of air compressors and so it wasn’t a surprise that we chose the Husky C271H air compressor as best all-around air compressor. This machine holds its own with any other air compressor you’ll find on the market today for under $1000 and it’s actually under $400. We chose to keep our reviews limited to those under $1000 for the most part as we felt this was a realistic budget for most homeowners.
The most obvious stand out feature of this compressor is its sizable 27-gallon tank which is one of the largest on the market. It’s also capable of a respectable 200 PSI and that’s more than enough for the tasks most of us will use it for around the home. Husky has also included a set of easy to read gauges on this machine and a quick connect system. The motor on this model is a relatively powerful 1.7 HP and it operates at a quiet 78 decibels. We also liked the fact that they included a high flow regulator.
If portability is important to you then you may not like the weight of this machine which is 101 pounds. It’s also a corded model so you will need to remain within reach of a power outlet. The 2-year warranty is okay, but we would have been happier if Husky had extended this to 3 or 4 years.
2. Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2840-20
The best cordless air compressor
There aren’t many great cordless air compressors on the market in 2021 and the Milwaukee M18 Fuel (2840-20 model) is easily our favorite. With a powerful 18-volt lithium-ion battery it’s capable of performing any job that corded or gasoline powered models can. It’s nice and lightweight at just 31 pounds and super quiet operating at just 68 decibels. The air tank only has the capacity for 2-gallons when full, but that wasn’t a deal breaker in our opinion. This is a great compressor if you have your heart set on a cordless model.
YP score: 7.8 | Design: 8 | Portability: 8 | Ease of use: 8 | Features: 7
We wanted to include at least one cordless air compressor in our reviews, but only if it was able to meet standards comparable to the best home air compressors on the market today. After an extensive search we found one that met our strict criteria – the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2-gallon compact quiet compressor which we felt was the best cordless model available in 2021. This is a great compressor, priced under $400 that’s ideal for home use.
The fact that this compressor is battery-powered is only one of many things it has going for it. It also happens to be one of the quietest compressors on the market operating at 68 decibels. The 18-volt battery also provides plenty of power for operating pneumatic tools or just filling up a car tire. This Milwaukee compressor weighs in at just 31 pounds making it easy to move around anywhere you need it and it has an impressive 3-year warranty.
There are a couple of issues with this model that did concern us. First, the air tank is a little on the small side at just 2 gallons. Also, because it is a battery powered tool you do have to keep an eye on your charge or have a secondary battery on standby.
3. Makita MAC5200
The Makita MAC5200 air compressor is a great machine because it strikes the right balance between affordability and great features. A quality air compressor under $400 is hard to find. We think the 5.2-gallon air tank is ideal for home use and it has plenty of power with its 3.0 HP motor. It’s also highly mobile with wheels and a folding handle. We just wish they included a better warranty than 1-year. If they did we’d rate this product much higher.
YP score: 7.5 | Design: 8 | Portability: 7 | Ease of use: 7 | Features: 8
Another contender for the title of best air compressor for home use is the Makita MAC5200 electric single tank air compressor. This is another competitively priced machine well under $400 and it’s packed full of features you won’t find on other similarly priced compressors for home use.
The firs thing we noticed about this model is that it has great power supplied by its 3.0 HP engine. It also boasts a 5.2-gallon air tank which is better than the majority of affordable air compressors on the market. Additional features include a set of wheels for easy movement, a folding handle for easy storage and a handy compartment for storing your tools and accessories. They seem to have thought about all the little details when designing this air compressor.
On the negative side the maximum pressure with this machine is limited to 140 PSI. That is enough for most home jobs, but you may have trouble if you need a little more pressure for nailing or similar jobs. We were also disappointed with the warranty on this compressor – it’s only good for 1-year.
4. Dewalt D55146
The best budget air compressor
The Dewalt D55146 electric air compressor was one of our dark horses in the battle for best air compressor for home use in 2021. It’s a well designed machine and we felt the 4.5-gallon air tank was ideal for home use. The price tag doesn’t hurt either at less than $350. When you combine this with a maximum air pressure of 225 PSI we feel this is a great buy for any homeowner.
YP score: 7.8 | Design: 8 | Portability: 7 | Ease of use: 8 | Features: 8
We weren’t surprised to find that Dewalt makes one of the best air compressors for your home garage or workshop. The Dewalt 4.5-gallon portable air compressor is a well designed machine that combines a quality build with a great price and great features. Priced under $350 it’s one of the best bargains on the market in 2021 and our choice as the best budget option on the market.
One of things we liked best about this machine was the layout of the controls – they’re on the front face of the machine and they’re easily accessible. There are two air pressure gauges for tracking air levels on the control panel. The quick connection couplers are also located conveniently right next to those pressure gauges. With a 4.5-gallon air tank and a maximum pressure of 225 PSI this compressor is more than up to the task of most home projects. Dewalt has also placed it on wheels and included a nice wide handle to make it easy to move around when you want to position it for the next project.
While this compressor is relatively quiet at 78 decibels it is a bit louder than some of its competitors so you may disturb other family members when you’re using it. It’s also a bit on the heavy side at 90 pounds – that is manageable but it may be better to have assistance when you want to list. This compressor also has a disappointing 1-year warranty.
5. Campbell Hausfeld TF211201AJ
The best stationary air compressor
If it wasn’t for the high price tag of close to $2000 the Campbell Hausfeld TF211201AJ stationary electric air compressor would have had a real shot at being awarded as our choice as best compressor of 2021. With an 80-gallon air tank it has few rivals in this feature category. With a 7.5 HP motor and 230 volts of power it outperformed most of its competitors in these areas as well. When we discovered that they’ve included a 3-year warranty as well we found it easy to recommend this compressor.
YP score: 7.2 | Design: 9 | Portability: 4 | Ease of use: 8 | Features: 8
One of the main reasons we didn’t choose the Campbell Hausfeld TF211201AJ as our best air compressor is the price tag at just under $2000. It may exceed the budget of many homeowners looking for another tool in their DIY tool chest. It is our choice for best stationary air compressor though and we just couldn’t leave it out of our reviews.
Easily the most eye catching feature of this compressor is its impressive 80-gallon air tank which will hold enough air for any project. This machine can keep any tool going for an extended period of time such as nailers, air sanders and other common pneumatic tools. The 7.5 HP engine and the 230 volts it can achieve are impressive as well. It also comes with a 3-year warranty so you can be confident in its quality.
There were a couple of things that concerned us about this machine other than the price. It’s the heaviest compressor in our reviews at 540 pounds so you’ll want to choose a spot in the garage for it and leave it there. Also, it’s maximum pressure is only 175 PSI – that’s not bad, but there are far less expensive machines on the market with better specifications.
6. California Air Tools 20020
The California Air Tools 20020 air compressor strikes the right balance between affordability and great features. Priced in the $550 range it fits most budgets and features like the 20-gallon air tank make it highly competitive. It has plenty of power generated by the 2.0 HP motor and 70 decibels it’s one of the quieter compressors in our reviews. The maximum air pressure of 125 PSI is a little underwhelming, but it’s still enough for household jobs.
YP score: 7.3 | Design: 7 | Portability: 7 | Ease of use: 8 | Features: 7
The California Air Tools 20-gallon 2.0 HP ultra-quiet electric air compressor is one of the most reliable models on the market today. It has a ton of great features, but it’s still priced reasonably in the $550 range. We love the layout of this machine and we felt it couldn’t be left out of our list of reviews.
The first thing that caught our attention with this California Air Tools compressor was the 20-gallon air tank which we think is the ideal size for home use. With a 2.0 HP motor it has enough strength to keep your tools running with the power they need to get the job done. At 70 decibels this model lives up to its claim of being ultra-quiet – that’s only a little bit louder than the conversation at the family dinner table. After repetitive use it only takes about 60 seconds to build back up to maximum PSI which means you don’t have to continuously pause in the middle of jobs.
On the downside, the maximum pressure achievable with this compressor is only 125 PSI – that’s considerably less than most of the other models we’ve reviewed. It also weighs in at 114 pounds so you won’t want to move it around a lot when you’re in the middle of a job – it’s best to find a good spot and leave it there for the duration of the project to avoid injury.
Other Compressors Worth a Look
There are so many great compressors available for home use in 2021, it was difficult to choose the top ones to review. There are always one or two that you leave out that could easily make it to the final reviews. We developed our honorable mention section so that we could give you some more great options that deserve every consideration. Below you’ll find the compressors that just missed our original reviews.
Ingersoll Rand SS3L3
The Ingersoll Rand 3 HP stationary electric air compressor just missed our main review section but it still has a lot to like. It boasts a large 60-gallon air tank and a powerful 3.0 HP motor. It’s not overly noisy at 85 decibels and has a decent maximum air pressure of 135 PSI.
We only included one battery-powered air compressor in our original reviews, so we thought this section would be a great place to add another. This Ryobi compressor provides up to 120 PSI of maximum pressure and it’s relatively quiet at 78 decibels. It’s also priced well under $200.
One thing that’s not disputable is that there’s clearly a great deal of choice if you’re in the market for an air compressor for home use in 2021. We chose the Husky C271H air compressor as our number one choice, but any one of the products we’ve reviewed here are a great option for any home.