Best Air Compressor for Painting – Top 5 Reviews, FAQs, More

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In our experience:

It is a very challenging task to find the Best Air Compressor for Painting. 

This is exactly why we have tested the most popular air compressors and compiled this list for you.

In today’s post, you’ll know which air compressor is the best for your requirements.

Top Pick

When we think about a versatile, this compressor immediately comes to mind. Furthermore, it is very silent. Warranty is also offered with this product.

Runner Up

This air compressor offers an amazing design, durability and quick recovery time. We noticed that this compressor is lightweight and affordable.

Also Great

As the name suggests, this compressor is the best in noise reduction. It works great in cold weather. A good thing is it needs very low maintenance.

The products mentioned above are the ones that we found most convenient to use and overall, gave a better performance than the rest. 

Now that you are familiar with the top 3 air compressors, let’s get right into it and start reviewing the top 5 Best Air Compressor for Painting.

Best Air Compressor for Painting - Top 5 Reviews

1. All-Around Best Air Compressor for Painting - Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor Review

An air compressor that doesn’t make noise, has a warranty and is durable sounds like something that is made-up, right? This compressor covers all of those needs and goes one step further by being versatile. You can use it for nailing, stapling, inflation and hobby painting. 

After using this compressor, we were very impressed by the low maintenance pump.

Moreover, the handle attached to the compressor makes it easy to transport. This compressor is a worthwhile investment because it will last a long time.

Features of Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Air Compressor – Best Air Compressor for Painting

  • Weighs 54 pounds
  • 26 X 14 X 23 inches in dimensions
  • 120 psi pressure
  • 1-year warranty
  • 1.00 horsepower
  • Comes with a warranty
  • Good noise reduction
  • The pump doesn’t require maintenance
  • Very durable
  • Versatile
  • Does not come with an air hose

Are you looking for a versatile, maintenance-free and durable air compressor? Then, this is the most ideal product for you.

2. Low-Cost Air Compressor for Painting - PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor Review

In a world where the prices of air compressors are relatively high, this has a low cost making it an absolute steal. The simple yet elegant design not only makes it look good, but also allows you to store more air inside it for a longer runtime.  

This air compressor is easy to use without any prior knowledge. To make matters simpler, it comes with an instruction manual as well. 

Being a low-cost compressor is one thing, but to be this durable is something that genuinely amazed us.

Features of PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Compressor

  • Weighs 31.3 pounds
  • 19 x 19 x 18 inches in dimensions
  • 1.00 horsepower
  • 150 psi pressure
  • 1-year warranty
  • Sturdy
  • Comes with a warranty
  • Fast recovery time
  • Pancake design stores more air
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Has a bit of noise to it

Looking for a compressor that is affordable and has a great design? Well, look no further because this product ticks all those boxes.

3. Ultra Silent Air Compressor for Painting - California Air Tools 5510SE Oil-Free Review

When we were using this air compressor, there was no noise at all. Usually, compressors are noisy and not ideal for indoors but not in this case. On top of that, the oil-free piston pump ensures that it gives a good performance and does not require maintenance.

After seeing the weight of this product, many people worry about how they are going to move it around. It is quite simple due to the wheels and handles attached to the compressor making it easily portable.

Additionally, it has a long hose attached to it for easy maneuvering. 

Features of California Air Tools 5510SE Ultra Quiet 

  • Weighs 54 pounds
  • 26 x 14 x 23 inches in dimensions
  • 25 feet hose included
  • 120 psi pressure
  • 1-year warranty
  • Makes minimal noise
  • Satisfactory in cold weather
  • Low maintenance needed
  • Easy to transport and carry
  • Good length of hose attached
  • Not recommended for large projects

This product is perfect for people looking for a silent and portable compressor that is good for indoor use.

4. Heavy Duty Air Compressor for Painting - DEWALT D55154 1.1 HP Continuous 4-Gal Electric Air Compressor Review

If you are looking for an ergonomic and efficient air compressor, this is the ideal product. Due to a paneled design, it is very easy to use this compressor. It is capable of delivering excellent results in both small and large projects.

The cast-iron cylinder frame ensures that this compressor is very enduring. Moreover, the rubber handle on this device greatly reduces the fatigue experienced by the user.

Additionally, it supports two universal quick couplers which ensures that more than one tool can be used at a time. 

Features of DEWALT D55154 1.1 HP Continuous 4-Gal Electric

  • 44 pounds weight
  • 19.8 x 24 x 22 inches in dimensions
  • 125 psi pressure
  • 1.1 horsepower
  • 1-month warranty
  • Lightweight compared to others
  • Durable due to cast-iron cylinder
  • Portable due to wheels
  • Stylish design
  • Rubber handle does not stress your hands
  • Not suitable for cold weather

Are you searching for a stylish, long-lasting and heavy-duty compressor? Then this is what you should keep your eyes on.

5. Best Portable Air Compressor for Painting - DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 225-PSI Hand Carry Compressor Review

An air compressor weighing 80 pounds is the most portable when compared to the rest? It sounds impossible but this is the case for this compressor. The wheels and handle make it so much easier to move around.

The thing that impressed us most is its powerful 1.6 horsepower motor. This enhances your efficiency and effectiveness a lot. 

This compressor isn’t only good-looking, but it also has a vertical storage space for increased efficiency. 

Features of DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 225-PSI Compressor 

  • 225 psi pressure
  • 1.6 horsepower
  • 80 pounds weight
  • 33.5 x 44.8 x 24.5 inches in dimensions
  • 1-year warranty plus 1-year free service
  • Powerful motor
  • Tires allow you to easily move it
  • Very enduring
  • Vertical storage allows you to easily place your things
  • Great value for money
  • Air hose is not included

This is a powerful, portable and well-made air compressor. If you want those things, then this is what you are looking for. 

best air compressor for painting

Buyers’ Guide


Now that we are familiar with some of the air compressors, let’s take a look at what features you should consider when purchasing one.

Cubic Feet per Minute

Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) is a really important thing to consider in an air compressor. A higher CFM will mean that the model compresses the air faster and gives higher performance. If the CFM settings do not match your needs, you will have to stop your work more often to adjust them. This is done in order to get the correct pressure according to the kind of work you are doing.


A larger sized tank usually means that the air compressor can get more work done. But you must see whether or not you require a big compressor or a portable small one. Smaller compressors are relatively cheaper when compared to larger ones. This can also be dependent on the storage area that you have. If you cannot store a big compressor conveniently, then no point in investing in that as you will only create problems for yourself. 


The power of the compressor is an extremely significant thing to keep in mind. A more powerful compressor will have a stronger motor inside it and will give a higher pressure. If you want to do large projects or in some cases use multiple tools at once, then investing in a powerful compressor is the way to go. Otherwise, a less powerful compressor can fulfill all your needs and will also cost less. 

What are the various types of air compressors?

  • Pancake 

Pancake compressors are very portable, have a good design and their tank volume is around 1-6 gallons. These compressors usually have a low-profile which allows you to easily carry it or move it around. They also have an oil-free pump which does not require maintenance. This can save the user a lot of time and ensure that the product lasts for a long time. 

  • Hot Dog

If you want to do a project that requires a powerful model, then Hot Dog compressors are the way to go. These compressors power-up items like airbrushes. Due to being powerful, they have a heavier and larger tank but they also do not require maintenance. Because they are heavier than compared to the pancake compressor, we suggest that you get one that has a handle attached to it. That will make it much more convenient to move it around and it will not fatigue you.

  • Twin-Stack

These are also considered as heavy-duty air compressors. The major difference between these and Hot Dog compressors is that the Twin-Stack has 2 tanks attached to it. This means that they have a much larger capacity when compared with the other two types, making them more convenient for professional users. Usually, due to the 2 tanks, they weigh quite a lot but some models include things like wheels or handles that can make them portable and easy to transport.

How do I maintain my air compressor?

As with all things, you must take care of your air compressor to ensure that it gives you maximum performance and output. Otherwise, you will either have to replace the compressor or get a new one entirely. The first thing you must do is to take a look at how many hours you used your compressor in a week. Another thing that you can do is to frequently clean out the air intake so that there are no performance hits. You should also change the oil and keep the fuel tank clean. These things can ensure that your compressor has a longer life span and gives a good output. 

Should I go for a portable or stationary air compressor?

This purely depends on a couple of things like what kind of project you are doing and your needs. If you know that the project that you are doing will require you to move around quite a bit, then definitely go for the portable air compressor otherwise you will be in a difficult spot. Usually, the stationary compressors have a more powerful motor and a larger capacity tank. So if those are your needs, then you will have to sacrifice portability. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I attach a filter to my air compressor?

A filter is a necessity when it comes to air compressors. This is because a filter keeps all the dust and unwanted materials separated from the compressor and allows it to perform to its fullest. Using the right filter will ensure a longer life span of the compressor.

Is the size of the tank an important thing to consider?

This mostly depends on your needs and the size of the project. If you have to work on a larger project and you do not want to spend a lot of time on it, then going for a larger tank is recommended. Otherwise, a smaller tank should be sufficient for your needs.

What is the purpose of a regulator?

There are two types of regulators. One is gun-mounted and the other is the wall-mounted. The former is good for DIY enthusiasts and people who wish to use it in their home whereas, the latter is perfect for professional use. 

What is the difference between Oiled and Oil-Free compressors?

The oiled compressors were the only ones being used in the past but they require a lot of maintenance after each use. These types of compressors are heavier and more durable whereas the oil-free compressors are lighter but do not require any maintenance.

How can I reduce the noise that my compressor makes?

Many air compressors make a lot of noise and are not recommended for indoor use. But there is a way to counter this. You can get intake silencer filters to reduce the noise or you can block the compressor’s noise by inserting an Expansion chamber muffler.

What does horsepower mean in terms of an Air Compressor?

The more horsepower, the more powerful the motor will be. If you are in need of an air compressor that can handle large scale projects without losing efficiency, then you must look for the compressors with more horsepower.

What are some of the advantages of using an Air Compressor?

The biggest benefit of an air compressor is that it is an extremely safe machine to use. They are very simple to use as well and most of the compressors require little to no maintenance whatsoever. Air compressors are also very efficient and versatile.

What is the purpose of a pressure switch?

A pressure switch is something that turns the motor of the compressor on or off depending on the pressure being used. If you are using less pressure, then the motor will turn off to save electricity. 

Is the air cooler a necessary feature?

An air cooler plays a very significant role in the air compressor. It ensures that the flow of the air is good and it keeps the compressor from overheating. This allows you to work on your project for a long time before having to stop.

Can I drain the water in my tank automatically?

You can get an automatic tank drain installed in your air compressor that will automatically drain the water when it feels the need to do so. You can either install a float actuated, electronically actuated or a timed actuated drain for your compressor. 

Are the Air Compressors easy to use or do I need to be experienced?

The great thing about air compressors is that they are very simple and easy to use even for someone who is inexperienced. If you are having problems operating the compressor, the majority of the models come with detailed instruction manuals. 

Do I need to do frequent maintenance on my air compressor?

This depends on the model of the compressor. If you are using an oil-free compressor, then you do not have to do any maintenance at all. Otherwise, you should look at the instruction manual because it has all the details regarding maintenance and cleaning.

Final Verdict

The Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Air Compressor is the winner of today’s post. Its unique features such as its versatility and durability allow it to shine above the rest of the air compressors. 

It also comes with a warranty. This allows you to get it replaced in case it ever breaks down or does not work as intended. Not only that but this air compressor is very silent and is suitable for indoor use.

With that being said, this brings us to a close on our post about the Best Air Compressor for Painting.

We hope that these reviews will help you in choosing the air compressor that is perfect for your needs. 

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