Best Cheap Air Compressor (With Dominant Quality And Longevity)

Cheap Air Compressor

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Cheap air compressors have become most familiar to homeowners and DIYers. They are easy to use, convenient, and affordable, as they help to complete regular tasks from inflating car tires to nailing.

However, there are so many inexpensive air compressors available, and they are different in size and types, such as 1-gallon, 2-gallon, 6-gallon sizes are most familiar for their portability and ease of operation. It can be hard to choose the perfect one that’s chock full of features from those many models.

Thankfully, we have tested 15 cheap air compressors from different brands and compared them with the premium competitor’s units.

Furthermore, we got the seven most affordable compressors of different sizes.

Quick Pick – Top 6 Inexpensive Air Compressors

Cheap 1-gallon air compressor – CAT-1P1060S

We recommend this cheap 1-gallon portable air compressor for most homeowners, DIYers, and trim carpentry works. This ultra-quiet running air compressor produces 1.2CFM at 90PSI, which allows you to use staples gun, brad nailer, finish nailer, airbrush, and blowing gun. Its weight is only 29 pounds, very lightweight and easy to transport. It takes only 53 seconds to fill the tank in full pressure at 120PSI. And it takes 17 seconds to recover the tank pressure.

Cheap 3-gallon air compressor – Stealth SAQ-1301

Stealth SAQ-1301 is the cheapest option in the 3-gallon category. It opens the chance to upgrade your oldest and noisy 1-gallon or 2-gallon  air compressor. It is quieter in operation, serves 2.5CFM air at 90PSI, and takes 1 minute 43 seconds to fill the tank pressure from zero to max 150PSI. Its mighty 1HP motor pumps up the air quickly and takes lower time while recovering the pressure level.

Cheap Air Compressor With Nail Gun – Bostitch BTFP3KIT

If you need an air compressor to complete regular household tasks. Such as inflating car tires, blowing the dust off from tools. And if you think some essential nail guns will add extra value to woodworking jobs, this air compressor combo kit from Bostitch is one of the most affordable deals today. This Bostitch BTFP3KIT offers a 6-gallon oil-free air compressor, 18GA brad nailer, a 16 GA finish nailer, a 3/8 pneumatic staple gun, a 15 feet 1/4-inch PVC air hose.

10-Gallon Budget air compressor – California CAT-10020C

Where’s 6-gallon air compressor is noisy and fails to serve adequate air for framing, roofing-the California Air Tools 10020C can start from there. It’s an ultra-quiet 10-gallon air compressor unit with, noise rating is 70 Decibels, where the competitors produce noise above 85DB. The air flowing capability is 5.30 cubic feet per minute, allowing you to run all kinds of air-hungry nail guns. Also, according to its tank size and airflow, you may use it for hobbyist painting and might be used to supply air into an impact wrench for a while. It could be removing lug nuts with an impact gun. It can also be a small task like removing lug nuts using an air impact wrench.

1-Gallon air compressor comparison chart, including price – Which one is affordable?

Model

Tank Size

CFM At 90 PSI

Motor Power

Noise Rating

Average Price

California CAT-1P1060S

1-Gallon

1.20 CFM

0.6 HP

56 Decibels

122$

Senco PC1010

1-Gallon

1.4CFM

1/2 HP

65-70 Decibels

144$

DEWALT D55140

1-Gallon

0.75 SCFM

286-Watts

71-80 Decibels

160$

Makita MAC100Q

1-Gallon

0.7 CFM

1/2 HP

58 Decibels

170$

Cheap portable air compressor – California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S

1-gallon air compressor - CAT-1P1060S

The California CAT-1P1060S offers the ultra-quiet operation, higher airflow on its category, lower maintenance oil-free pump, and other valuable features, affordable price tag, lightweight, and easy to transport making it our top choice for a cheap portable air compressor.

With 1.2 CFM airflow at 90 PSI, this portable cheap 1-gallon air compressor can inflate car tires and blow the dust off from electronic appliances. Also, it has the capability of holding lower air hungry tools with adequate air.  

In addition, it is equipped with an oil-free pump that requires lower maintenance than an oil-lubricated unit. So, you are free from tracking the oil level in the maintenance period.

Like many other top-branded 1-gallon air compressors, the California CAT-1P1060S is equipped with a quality motor that runs at 1680 RPM and creates less noise than competitors. Surprisingly, it deserves your appreciation for its lower noise level. Our comparison list shows that this California CAT-1P1060S is the quietest portable unit that offer at lower price.

The California CAT-1P1060S is the best cheap 1-gallon portable air compressor, and It’s chock full of features. If we compare its price and features with competitors, it deserves 9 out of 10. 

3-Gallon air compressor comparison chart, including price – Stealth SAQ-1301 is value for money.

Model

Tank Size

CFM At 90 PSI

Motor Power

Noise Rating

Average Price

Campbell Hausfeld DC030098

3-Gallon

0.4 CFM

‎0.33 HP

60 Decibels

± 177$

Craftsman-CMXECXA0200341

3-Gallon

2. 6 CFM

1.5 HP

80 Decibels

± 180$

Stealth SAQ-1301

3-Gallon

2.5 CFM

1.0 HP

65 Decibels

± 191$

Makita MAC320Q

3-Gallon

2.6 CFM

1.5 HP

60 Decibels

± 260$

We listed four 3-gallon air compressors. Their retail price is relatively closer. First of all, Campbell Hausfeld is a 3-gallon air compressor, lower in price, but it is an under-powered unit, serving a lower amount of air.

The second one is the craftsman 3-gallon unit, which offers better quality at a low price, but is very loud in operation and unsuitable for indoor use.

And the 4th one is the Makita 3-gallon compressor. It’s a top-notch air compressor, provides higher airflow, makes less noise in operation, is best for indoor use, but demands a higher price. 

Therefore, we opt for the Stealth SAQ-1301, comparing its features and price with competitors.   

Cheap 3-gallon air compressor – Stealth SAQ-1301

3-gallon air compressor - Stealth SAQ-1301

Stealth SAQ-1301 offers an ultra-quiet 3-gallon air compressor. If your budget is very tight and you are looking for an air compressor to upgrade the old 1 or 2-gallon unit with a new one that won’t burn your pocket, consider the Stealth 3-gallon portable air compressor. This familiar, Stealth portable 3-gallon air compressor, it’s chock full of features. However, It costs much less and offers high-end quality with sustained airflow. 

Though it has plenty of airflow capacity than the competitors, it can handle medium nailing jobs, but won’t supply adequate air for air-hungry tools, such as framing guns, paint sprayers, and impact guns. 

We have tested this budget air compressor. Let’s see how it performed?

How much does it produce noise while running?

The manufacturer claims it is much quieter and creates less noise. Notably, in the test, we measured, our decibel meter shows 67DB from 3feet away.  

How many shots you’ll get with using nail guns?

To begin with a 16 gauge nailer, we got 20 shots before the compressor kicks on. However, after 34 seconds, it recovers the tank in full pressure.

Secondly, it makes 28 shots using an 18 gauge nail gun. To make it ready for work, the first time, you have to wait 1 minute 42 seconds to fill the tank from zero to maximum pressure 150 PSI, which is not bad if we compare it with its competitors.

Air compressor with nail gun combo – Which one for you?

Model

Tank Size

CFM At 90 PSI

Noise Rating

Average Price

Bostitch – 3-Tool Combo kit

6-Gallon

2.6 SCFM

78.5 Decibels

± 199$

PORTER-CABLE – 3 Tool Combo kit

6-Gallon

2.6 SCFM

76.5 Decibels

± 289$

DEWALT – 1 brad nail gun

6-Gallon

2.6 SCFM

75.5 Decibels

± 229$

CRAFTSMAN – 3 tool combo kit

6-Gallon

2.6 SCFM

72 Decibels

± 269$

The air compressor with nail guns combo is the most familiar choice for several reasons. They offer plenty of features, with a big size 6-gallon air storage tank, which includes two or three nail guns, best for beginners to start from zero. And cost much less than buying nail guns and compressor separately. 

We enlisted four compressor combo kits from the most popular brands. The Bostitch, PORTER-CABLE, CRAFTSMAN included three nail guns. Whiches, a 3/8 crown staple gun, an 18-gauge brad nailer, a 16-gauge finish nailer, and a 1/4-inch 15-feet PVC air hose for air supply.

But the Dewalt includes an 18-gauge brad nailer and a 1/4 size air hose only.

Both four models are relatively closer in features and serve the same airflow, and tank size is identical if we compare with each other. Except for Bostitch, the Dewalt, porter-cable, and craftsman demand higher cost.

Where’s Bostitch air compressor combo serves everything at an affordable price.

So, now we can declare that the Bostitch air compressor with the nail gun is the most affordable combo kit.  

Cheap air compressor with nail gun – Bostitch – BTFP3KIT

Cheap Air Compressor With Nail Gun - Bostitch BTFP3KIT

Nowadays, 6-gallon pancake air compressors are most familiar to all DIYers and professionals. Its large tank, quick recovery, and opens up the possibility of using other pneumatic tools, like, brad nail gun, finish nailer, and other low air consumption tools.  

This Bostitch BTFP3KIT includes a brad nailer that can shoot 18GA nails from 5/8-inch to 2-inch, a 16 GA finish nailer that opens the chances to drive finish nails from 1-1/4-inch to 2-1/2-inch. The last tool included a crown stapler, which can drive 3/8-inch staples from 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch. You may use it for upholstery repair jobs. And a 1/4 size PVC air hose is included with the tools that can serve air on your first project. 

Cheap 10-gallon air compressor: Which one is worth the investment?

Model

Tank Size

CFM At 90 PSI

Noise Rating

Average Price

WEN 2289

10-Gallon

4.0 CFM

Above 80 Decibels

± 215$

Stark Portable

10-Gallon

3.5 CFM

Above 80 Decibels

± 229$

Craftsman – CMXECXA0331042

10-Gallon

4 CFM

Above 85 Decibels

± 332$

California Air Tools 10020C

10-Gallon

5.30 CFM

70 Decibels

± 460$

Make sure, what types of jobs would you do with a 10-gallon air compressor?

If it would be used for car tire inflating or nailing, a portable 3-gallon or 6-gallon size is enough to get the job done.

You probably need a 10-gallon compressor unit for your woodworking shop or garage, where nailing and running an impact wrench is a regular task. Occasionally, it may be required for painting jobs.

According to your criteria, I suggest the California Air Tools 10020C, it’s costs higher, but it is ultra-quiet, best for indoor use, besides serves much airflow than the cheaper ones. I can guarantee you won’t get unsatisfied with its service.

Okay, let’s dive into the full review of this California Air Tools 10020C, does its features worth your investments?

Best 10-gallon Budget air compressor –  California Air Tools 10020C

Gallon Budget air compressor - California CAT-10020C

Anyone looking for a quiet 10-gallon air compressor with portability and impressive airflow will be satisfied with the California Air Tools 10020C. This 10-gallon quiet air compressor offers a 2HP powerful lower amp draw motor, maximum tank pressure 125PSI, 6.40 CFM airflow at 40PSI, and 5.30CFM at 90PSI.

The 5.30CFM airflow at 90PSI is ideal for getting optimum performance from all types of nail guns. Besides that, it may supply adequate air for a 1/2inch moderate air-hungry impact gun. Also, it is capable of supporting occasional spray painting jobs. You must have to consider a proper size air hose when using an impact wrench. 

Top 30-gallon air compressor, with their airflow capacity and price comparison chart.

Model

Tank Size

CFM At 90 PSI

Noise Rating

Average Price

Husky C303H

30-Gallon

5.1 SCFM

Above 80 Decibels

± 323$

Industrial Air ILA1683066

30-Gallon

5. 3 CFM

Above 85 Decibels

± 791$

DEWALT DXCMLA1983054

30-Gallon

5.7 CFM

Above 85 Decibels

± 866$

Industrial Air ILA1883054

30-Gallon

5. 7 CFM

Above 78 Decibels

± 885$

A 30-gallon air compressor is not considerable for inflating and blowing the dust off from tools; a portable compressor unit can easily handle those jobs.

When a 10, and 20-gallon size compressor fails to run moderate air hungry tools like impact guns, paint sprayers, plasma cutter, then a 30-gallon unit is required Instead of those smaller kids.

However, we listed four 30-gallon compressors from the most familiar brands, which differ between their motor power, air output capacity, and price range.

Cheap 30-gallon air compressors are loud and serve lower air, which is insufficient to hold regular pneumatic auto repair tools. You have seen they are relatively closer in price, despites, creating enormous differences in airflow and noise level.

After all, comparing all essential functionalities, our experts suggest going with  Husky 30 gallon unit.

Cheap 30 Gallon Air Compressor – Husky C303H

After all of our research and comparing all models, we are confident that the husky 30-gallon is the best inexpensive air compressor in its category. It didn’t fill the tank faster or emit more air than the other models that we have tested. It works as usual like competitors. The only thing that has grabbed my attention is its price. It serves everything you expect from a 30-gallon compressor, which is 350$ less than the competitors.

Compared with the other 30-gallon compressor, the Husky C303H is considerably quieter. It has the two largest 9 in wheels assembled in the factory, making it easy to move on uneven job sites.  

The Husky C303H has a max pressure rating of 175 pounds per square inch(PSI), and it is very high for a 30-gallon air compressor. Most of the competitor ranges the pressure from 135 to 155 PSI.

The husky air supplying capacity is relatively similar to others, can emit 5.1 SCFM at 90 PSI, capable of keeping up 3/8 to 1/2 inch impact wrench, hobbyist painting, framing, roofing, HVLP painting with continuous airflow.