The best air compressors on the market: our selection

By | November 1, 2021

The air compressor is a complex system that compresses air for cooling. To facilitate the process, water or oil is usually used. The purpose of compression is the preservation of air. Once compressed, it can be used to fill cylinders or to be ejected at high speed, for example to paint the walls of a house.

Air compressors are widely used in domestic and professional work. Without going too far, in all mechanical workshops you will find one of these systems. They are able to perform a wide range of tasks which is why, in this article, we want to help you buy the best air compressor on the market.

  • Air compressors are very versatile tools. They can be used for drilling holes, cutting materials, making marks on stone or pouring concrete.
  • They can be used at home to paint, varnish or apply liquid plastic products. They are also useful for cleaning tasks or for inflating car tires.
  • There are several types of air compressors in the market. The most common are electro-portable ones, which are compact and lightweight.
  • In the industrial sector, the most used are pneumatic ones, larger and more powerful. Both types are popular because they allow you to perform many tasks at low energy consumption.

The best air compressors on the market: our selection

Air compressors are complex systems, offer great possibilities of use and are quite complicated from a technical point of view. Choosing the right one for you from the wide variety of models available can be difficult. That is why we have chosen the best on the market, to facilitate your purchase decision.

  • ABAC Pole Position B20
  • Original Fengda FD186
  • ABAC Montecarlo
  • Einhel 4020495 TH-AC 190 / 6l
  • Mistral

ABAC Pole Position B20


This compressor has a large 24 liter compressed air storage tank. The electric motor with a power of 2 HP, has a suction capacity of 170 liters of air per minute and can express a maximum pressure of 8 bar. Equipped with wheels and top handle, it can be easily transported anywhere.

Buyers rated it as an excellent, quiet machine with a powerful air jet. Included in the packaging, the user manual is easy to understand, clear and intuitive. Considered by many to be a “jewel”, it is also recommended for professional use and is ideal for a gift of sure effect.

Original Fengda FD186

Original Fengda FD186 - Professional Model Airbrush Compressor with Air Box / Pressure Switch / 3L / 4 bar / Auto Stop

Mini compressor with small dimensions (33x15x34 cm) and light weight of 6 kg. Its noise level is less than 60 db to work without causing too much disturbance. The oil-free air (pressure) vessel has a capacity of 3L. The pressure gauge allows you to adjust the pressure from 0 to 4 bar. Suitable for airbrushes with 0.2-1 mm injectors.

The reviews are almost all 4 and 5 stars. It is considered an excellent and versatile product, as well as light, manageable and powerful. It is particularly suitable for airbrushing, but can be used a little for everything. Especially appreciate the quietness and also the power. Someone complains that it gets a little warm in use.

ABAC Montecarlo


Compressor with mechanical power of 2.0 HP and pressure of 1.5KW. It weighs 32 kg and this makes it easier to reach 2850 rpm. The compressed air tank has a capacity of 50L, which makes it one of the compressors with the largest capacity. Equipped with a condensate drain valve, it allows to expel potentially dangerous substances for the stability of the product.

Reviews define it as a powerful, efficient and quality product. Despite its important mass, it can be moved with ease, thanks to its wheels. Suitable for various jobs and uses, such as tire inflation or wall painting. Value for money considered to be 5 stars.

Einhel 4020495 TH-AC 190 / 6l

Einhell Compressor Tc-Ac 190/6/8 Of 1100 W, Max. 8 Bar, Oil Free / Maintenance Free Motor, 6 Liter Compressed Air Tank, Pressure Gauge, Quick Coupling, Safety Valve, Handle

The Einhell compressor delivers a power of 1100 W, is equipped with a pressure gauge and a quick coupling to regulate the pressure. It reaches 4000 engine revolutions per minute and has an output power of 139 L / min at 0 bar, 77 L / min at 4 bar and 60 L / min at 7 bar. It has a tap for the drainage of condensate from the tank and to prevent and reduce noise it is equipped with an anti-vibration foot.

Those who bought this compressor were satisfied with its performance, compact size and robustness. Recommended for both domestic use and for semi-professional jobs and airbrushes. Some users report the lack of the gun and the hose (sold separately).


Mistral, Compressor 50 Lt Oil Italy 8 Bar 2 Hp 2 Manometers 2 Connectors 170L / M

The Mistral oil compressor of 50 liters and 8 Bar has a power of 1500 Kw, is equipped with 2 pressure gauges and 2 connectors with quick coupling, one with air outlet regulation, the other direct. It is possible to connect to the latter various tools such as the sandblaster which requires 8 direct bars. The air flow is 170 L / M and the decibels produced are 97.

Defined by buyers as very good and of excellent workmanship, valid for do-it-yourself jobs, inflating an inflatable boat, car tire pressure, painting or varnishing and also for gardening or even for dusting. Someone reports that, when not in use, it discharges after a few days. a little noisy, outdoor use is recommended.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about air compressors

Air compressors are complex systems, with heavy pieces and parts whose purpose must be understood before they can be used. Furthermore, there are a variety of different models on the market. It is important that you know what a compressor is before buying it. Read on to get all the answers to the most frequently asked questions.


What is an air compressor?

Air compressors are fluid machines built to increase pressure and move certain types of fluids called compressibles. These fluids can be gases or vapors. The process is performed by an exchange of energy between the machine and the fluid, creating a flow of energy, increasing the pressure and forcing it to flow.

Like pumps, compressors move liquids. Unlike the former which are hydraulic, the latter are thermal, as their fluids undergo a change in density and temperature. Unlike fans and blowers, compressors significantly increase the pressure, density and temperature of fluids.

What features does an air compressor have?

Air compressors consist of many parts. However, the most important are the tank and the flow rate. With the exception of the compact models, these systems have an accumulation tank of different sizes. Its capacity will indicate which model is the most appropriate. The greater the capacity of the air, the greater the power it will generate when it is blown out.

Each compressor is able to guarantee a certain flow rate and a certain pressure with a different power. To calculate the compressed air needs, it is necessary to take into account the use that will be made and the consumption of liters per minute required. You can calculate consumption by adding up the individual usage of each tool you use.

How is the air flow calculated?

First, to calculate the airflow, you need to set the average flow rate for each of the instruments you are using. Also (for professional use), the number of employees who will work with the same air compressor must also be added. To calculate the total reach you just need to multiply the average reach by the number of employees.

Below, we present a list of other factors to consider when calculating the flow rate and air needs:


Factors Features
Power Measure in CV (horsepower). Air compressors usually range from 1.5hp to 5hp.
Work pressure most machines do not require pressures exceeding 6 bar for their operation.
Power source There are two types: electric and petrol. The former are the most common, just plug them into a power outlet. Petrol pumps are ideal for outdoor work, where there is no electricity.

What are air compressors used for?

Air compressors have a wide variety of uses. Compressed air can be used for simple tasks such as blowing away wood remnants or metal shavings after cutting. Some models can be used as a vacuum cleaner. In general, they are very versatile and you can use them for DIY housework or professional work.

At home you can use them for the application of some products, or for painting, varnishing and cleaning. They can also be used to inflate car or bicycle tires. Industrially, they are used for drilling, screwing, brushing, grinding, fixing or removing screws and even for precision cutting on metal.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air compressors?

When buying an air compressor you should keep in mind the advantages and disadvantages of the product. The pneumatic energy they produce is very safe, as it is non-combustible and usually does not cause accidents. Furthermore, this type of force is very economical and the compressors have a very low energy consumption.

Air compressors have a wide range of uses and, at first glance, it seems they are all advantages. However, as with any equipment, there are some drawbacks that are good for you to know. Below, we present a table with the advantages and disadvantages of air compressors.


  • Low-priced energy. The fluid that produces the energy is collected from the atmosphere.
  • Safety. The risks of accidents are very low. Air is neither flammable nor explosive.
  • It does not contaminate.
  • Tools and equipment that connect to the compressor flow can operate at very high speeds.
  • They are easy to assemble and transport.
  • The air coming out of the compressor has high temperatures. This causes condensation which could damage the instruments.
  • During operation, the compressor produces a lot of noise.
  • Compressed air does not generate large forces.
  • Periodic maintenance is required as the engine suffers.

What types of air compressors are there?

There are many types of air compressors on the market. These, although it may seem to the contrary, are constantly evolving. Manufacturers have spent years researching new models and designs that adapt to different market needs. Here is a list of existing compressor types:

    • Air Compressors : Designed to compress gases above atmospheric pressure. In general, the compressors always work above 3 bar.
    • Fans : Compress gases at very low pressures, close to atmospheric pressure.
    • Blowers : They also work at low pressure, although not as low as that of fans. They are very similar to normal compressors, but with a pressure of less than 3 bar.
    • Vacuum pumps : They are very similar to compressors, but instead of compressing and expelling the air, what they do is suck it. They are able to drop to values ​​below 1 atmosphere. They can be used as compressors, but only in very specific applications and with very low pressure values.
    • Booster compressors: compressors that operate with suction pressures higher than atmospheric ones. They are usually installed in combination with traditional compressors, to increase the pressure at which the compressor operates.
    • Volumetric compressor : The operation of these compressors is based on the decrease of the volume of air in the compression chamber. In this way, an increase in the internal pressure occurs until it reaches the expected value, at which time it is released.
    • Dynamic Compressors : These compressors base their operation on molecular acceleration. Air is drawn from the impeller through the inlet bell and accelerated to high speed. The absorbed air is discharged into the diffusers located near the impeller, where the kinetic energy is converted into static pressure. From this point the air is released to the system.


How does an air compressor work?

Air compressors base their operation on the transformation of electrical power, generated by an electric or combustion engine, into mechanical energy. This, in turn, will become pneumatic energy by compressing the air to the pressure required for the use of different types of tools or machinery.

The air compressor receives energy by moving an electric motor and transforms it into pressure energy, compressing the air it sucks in and storing it in a tank. There are also belt driven compressors, these industrial models are more powerful and designed for professional and heavy work.


What kind of maintenance does an air compressor require?

Air compressors need some care to keep them running smoothly. They are complex equipment with movable and vulnerable motors and parts, such as pipes, which could become damaged over time. As in any complex instrument, it will be important to respect some maintenance rules.

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The duration of the compressor and the quality of the work performed are directly related to adequate maintenance. Here is a list of steps to follow for the safe care and use of an air compressor:


Recommended steps Essential steps
Periodically check the engine oil level. Change the lubricant as it dries or sludge starts to appear. Some modern compressors do not need lubricant. Regularly empty the water that accumulates in the boiler and filter through the drain valves.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for engine maintenance. Check the operation of the safety valve. Clean the air filter after each use and check it periodically.
Blow out the dust accumulated in the cooling fins. Install the air compressor on a flat floor and fix it on the rubber blocks of the legs to avoid vibrations.
Leave at least half a meter of space around the compressor so that the fan can cool the engine. Clean the guns and application equipment after each use.

What safety measures should I consider when using an air compressor?

In addition to proper maintenance, certain safety measures must be taken into account when using air compressors. It is very important to observe all these measures to make it work properly and avoid accidents. Here is a list of some of the most important security measures:

    • Check: The pressure gauge and safety valves to avoid excess pressure inside the tank.
    • Overhaul: The condition of the cable and internal connections of the motor to avoid wear that could cause shorts and explosions.
    • Place: The air compressor in a place that does not obstruct the passage of workers. If it is in a passageway, it correctly marks its position to avoid bumps and falls.
    • Check: The state of the pressure limiters and safety valves.
    • Make sure: That the air temperature at the chamber outlet is working properly and is regulated.
    • Install: The compressor at a safe distance from walls and obstacles that prevent cooling.
      Anchor the equipment correctly so that it does not move or fall on users.
    • Use: Always appropriate protective clothing. In this case it is essential to use safety glasses and hearing protection.

Purchase criteria

To purchase an air compressor, you need to know the system and its features. There are many different models that make purchasing choices difficult. To make the process easier, here are some of the most important criteria to consider. Read on to choose the best air compressor on the market:

  • Power
  • Industrial or domestic use
  • Connections
  • Tank capacity
  • Scope
  • Accessories
  • Mobility


To choose an air compressor, we must consider many factors that directly intervene in the execution of the instrument. One of the most important is the power of the compressor. Manual or portable compressors usually have low power, around 2 HP. It may seem like a low power, but it will be enough for a housework.

The 4 HP compressors are ideal for any job. Powerful enough for all housework and many professional tasks too. They are heavier, but usually incorporate wheels. Compressors with more than 4 HP of power are intended for industrial use, are used for cutting metals and for heavy construction work.

Industrial or domestic use

The smaller air compressors are designed for the home. Portable models are designed to be carried in the trunk of the car. They are perfect for an emergency on the road and to keep the air level of the tires of a car, motorbike or bicycle stable. These are usually less powerful and cheaper.

If you will be using them in an industrial setting, you should choose more powerful models. These can be used to connect them to drills or pneumatic hammers. For professional use, for example, in maritime transport or for riveting thick metal sheets, suitable templates are required. This equipment is more durable and expensive.


Air compressors usually work in conjunction with other equipment. For example, we can use them with an air gun to blow away the splinters of a cut. To connect the equipment to the compressor you need to have the appropriate connections. This is a point not to be overlooked when buying a compressor.

First, you should consider the type of electrical connections it has. Some models incorporate self-winding cables to take up little space. The pipe must have adequate resistance to the compressor operating pressure and be flexible. The diameter of the connections must also be adequate for the joints.

Tank capacity

Tank capacity is one of the most important technical characteristics of an air compressor. The volume of air that can accumulate directly affects the power and will determine the use you reserve for it. Smaller or manual models do not have tanks, so their use will be very limited, for example to inflate the wheels.

The industrial and professional models have tanks with capacities ranging from 4 to 8 liters. These are designed for more continuous and demanding use. You should always choose it based on its use and the number of tools you plan to use at the same time. You can’t afford to run out of air.


Flow rate is another of the fundamental aspects of an air compressor. The flow rate and the pressure of the compressed air are the factors that will decide the use that can be given to the instrument. Each model guarantees a different flow rate and pressure. It is important to know the total air consumption that you need in your job.

We have already explained how the air consumption factor is calculated. As a general rule, for every horsepower of the compressor, a flow rate of 100 liters of air per minute can be achieved. We recommend that you calmly analyze your needs, as it is a shame to choose a model that does not offer a necessary range for your projects.


To use the compressor correctly, its accessories and positioning must be taken into consideration. Some manual compressors have lights and LCD screens, these models are ideal for home use, for example to take them in a car. Compact systems usually include batteries or roll-up cables.

Air filters are one of the most important parts of compressors. These filters must be cleaned periodically to avoid breakdowns. Some models have lubricant-free engines, however, for normal models, the oil must be changed from time to time. Finally, the pipes must be of the proper diameter.


Mobility is a factor you should take into consideration when buying. The home and compact models are much easier to carry. They are usually very small and are designed to fit in the trunk of a car or even on a bicycle. Some run on battery or self-winding cables so they don’t take up space.

Even the heaviest and most professional equipment has mobility options. Although they usually weigh around 20kg, they have wheels and handles to carry them comfortably. In these cases, we recommend checking if the legs have some kind of suction cup or locking system for better fixation.

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