best 6 gallon air compressor

Which 6-gallon Air Compressor Is Ideal For Most Of Your Air Tools?

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Quick Answer

  • After powering all kinds of nail guns, including framing guns, inflating tires, and blowing off dust, our experts selected the BOSTITCH Air Compressor Kit as the best 6-gallon air compressor. It can hold all your nail guns, inflating jobs, and other home-around jobs with its 150 PSI tank pressure and 2.6 SCFM of air emitting capacity.
  • If you want a 6-gallon compressor with higher airflow capacity and higher tank pressure, the Metabo HPT Air Compressor will suit you better. Its airflow capacity and tank pressure outstand all the competitors. Though it’s a bit expensive, our expert team recommends this compressor for professionals. 
  • Those professionals, woodworkers, and homeowners want a 6-gallon air compressor, but the noise is an issue, then you may consider the FORTRESS 6 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor. It’s very expensive compared to any air compressor in its category, and the retail price might be twice of the standard models.

What to consider when shopping for a 6-gallon compressor?

Airflow capacity and pressure:

Usually, most 6-gallon air compressors are specially designed for nail guns and medium-duty air tools such as palm nailers, blow guns, small impact wrenches, and very small paint sprayers. They are available at a pressure ranging from 150 PSI to 200 PSI. And an airflow capacity ranging from 2.5 CFM to 4 CFM (cubic feet per minute). The higher tank pressure means it can run your tools a bit longer than standard, and the higher air-emitting capacity means it can run multiple air tools simultaneously.

Tools you will run:

This is the most important thing you must pay attention to. First of all, ensure how much air volume your tools require to run properly. For example, airbrushes require a very low amount of compressed air at a pressure of 20-30 PSI. Nail guns can shoot nails at a pressure of 90 PSI, but in terms of framing nailers, they require more air volume when making a shot than brad or finish nailers. On the other hand, paint sprayers, impact wrenches, and air sanders continuously require a higher amount of airflow. Our expert recommends a standard 6-gallon air compressor for those who want to inflate tires, nailing, and do other light-duty jobs. 

Noise level:

We measured that most of the oil-free 6-gallon compressors have a noise level above 85 DBA. If the loud noise is a concern, and you will use the compressor inside your garage and where noise is a major issue, then have a look at a quiet compressor.

Looking for the best 6-gallon air compressor to buy? Here’s what our expert found.

BOSTITCH 6-gallon air compressor

BOSTITCH 6-gallon air compressor

The BOSTITCH 6-gallon air compressor is closely identical to all the competitors in its class, including Craftsman, porter-cable, and Dewalt. But there are minor exceptions to the Dewalt. Dewalt has a pressure level of 165 PSI, which is more than the BOSTITCH, but in terms of airflow capacity, both have a similar spec as 2.6 SCFM.

The BOSTITCH has a 150 PSI maximum tank pressure, 2.6 SCFM of airflow at 90 PSI, and a noise level of 82 DBA. The oil-free pump motor takes 2 minutes and 40 seconds to fill the tank pressure at a maximum of 150 PSI from empty. It’s faster than the Dewalt 6-gallon models. 

Now the question is, what is this compressor ideal for?

This BOSTITCH compressor can hold two finish and brad nailers and a single framing nailer with no issues. This compressor can serve all your needs, from inflating to blowing off dust out of home appliances and tools to powering up the most common nail guns at job sites.

Best 6-gallon pancake air compressor [Metabo HPT the tank]

Best 6-gallon pancake air compressor

Consider the Metabo HPT [the tank] Air Compressor if you are a contractor or looking for a compact yet powerful 6-gallon compressor for your home garage. This pancake compressor has a 4 CFM airflow capacity and a maximum 200 PSI tank pressure. It performs remarkably superbly on holding two framing nailers simultaneously, even it can hold you with any 1/2 in impact wrench for removing lug nuts with no issues. 

The only drawback our tester found was its loud noise, which we measured nearly 83 DBA. 

If we talk about the performance of this compressor, the first thing that should be appreciable of this compressor is its oil-free compressor pump, which means that you don’t have to put oil into the pump. All the moving parts are pre-lubed and don’t require maintenance. You will find the pump type is identical to all the compressors in its category, but the motor air pumping capacity is 1.5X more than regular models. 

We found that the compressor can fill the 6-gallon tank at 200 PSI within three minutes and 25 seconds, which is so fast considering the tank size and higher pressure. Also, the pressure recovery time was superb. We measured it in nearly 27 seconds. 

How we test 6-gallon air compressors

Our first test set, called the proper permanence test of each air compressor, includes evaluating how each air compressor quickly builds the maximum tank pressure and how many nail guns they can run simultaneously. Do they produce adequate power to run regular inflating, nailing, framing, and paint spraying jobs in the home garage? 

The second test set includes how easy each compressor is to carry around the job sites. We also look at how quickly they can build pressure from the motor kick on point to maximum pressure level. We also look at the features each compressor offers, like quick couplers, pressure gauge position, how accessible the pressure adjusting knob is, the drain valve position, and what kind of valve they have used. 

In addition to the performance test, we inspect each air compressor’s noise rating, how portable they are to move around the busiest job sites, the cord length, and how sturdy the carrying handle is.  

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Hi, Eddie T. Jones and I am the author of I have been working with household appliances, tools, outdoor gear, and gardening tools for several years. I publish unbiased comparisons based on user reviews, expert reviews, and test results. I hope you like the website.

Best regards, Eddie T. Jones

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