5 Best Portable Air Compressor 2017- Buying Guide

Air compressors are undeniably essential accessories for home and commercial usage.

Lately, they have become popular in households as tools for inflating tires, spraying, and in repair work at home. Most likely, you have used them, and you did not even know it! Air compressors come as standalone appliances while some come as part of machines such as a refrigerator.

Wikipedia defines an air compressor as a device that converts power using either motor, electricity or gas into potential energy stored as compressed air.

Air compressors have multiple uses at home, business and industries. At home, they are used for leisure and routine maintenance such as paint spraying, DIY Auto repairs, air blowing, and inflating pool toys. Also, air compressors are used to power tools including as nail guns, sanders, drills, staples and spray guns. They ensure that work is done efficiently and safely.

Our Best Portable Air Compressor 2017 Review list comprises only the best machines that we considered based on performance, portability, power and price.

Best Portable Air Compressor Comparison Chart

ItemPressure (PSI)Weight (Pounds) 
Viair 00073 70P (Editor's Choice)1005.5 Check Price
Kensun D1002404.5 Check Price
Slime 40022 (Best Budget Air Compressor)351.9 Check Price
SuperFlow HV-411204.5 Check Price
DeWalt D55140 (Heavy Duty air Compressor)13524 Check Price

Best Portable Air Compressor 2017 Review

1.The Viair 70P portable air compressor- Editor’s Choice

The Viair 00073 70P portable compressor works on 12 Volts AC power and offers a maximum of 100 PSI working pressure.

The 00073 70P model is compact and can easily be stored and moved around in its delux carry bag. Bring it to your office, garage or camping trip alongside other equipment. 

In the tradition of VIAIR, this model has passed several durability tests, audits, and other certifications, which guarantee its durability and reliability. 

This compressor has an excellent price for the offered quality and durability, so when picking the best portable air compressor, keep this on in mind.

Viair 00073 70P Features and Specifications

This compressor is fast, and it needs approximately 4.5 minutes to inflate a standard tire. Also, unlike most of the other air compressors, the machine works smoothly and quietly.

The quality of this 70P compressor is excellent, and the manufacturer guarantees it durability which makes this purchase worthwhile. 

Viair 00073 utilizes a lower electrical current and works with lower running temperatures, so there is a smaller risk of this compressor blowing a fuse or stopping work to wait for it to cool down. 

It comes with a screw for attachment to the valve of the tire and a reliable gauge.

Motor type, size, and power of the unit

One of the most striking features of the Viair model is its compact size and portability, making it possible to carry it to any place where it is needed using the accompanying carry bag.

Although Viair 70P is in the smallest class of air compressors, it is powerful enough to quickly inflate 225/60/R tires via an adaptor for the socket for the cigarette lighter in the car. The 150 PSI gauge makes it easy to monitor the machine’s pressure. 

The 12V permanent magnetic motor offers a reliable service and sufficient air pressure to resolve problems with flat tires quickly.

The dimensions of the unit are 9.2 x 8.5 x 8 inches, and it weighs 5.5 pounds.

Easy maintenance

The pump is oil-free and thus durable and requires little or no maintenance, such as oil replacement.

Accessories and parts included

The 70P air compressor comes in a package with an inflation tip kit including 3 different tips, a 150 PSI gauge, vibration isolators and an accessory power plug. It also has a sufficient 16ft power cord to connect the compressor to the car’s lighter and a 4ft air hose. 

As a bonus, this compact yet powerful air compressor comes with a delux bag for easy storing and carrying the air compressor and all of its accessories.

Also, you can purchase an extra digital tire gauge and a 6-foot portable compressor extension hose for the appliance as well.

Summary Review

This tire inflator is an outstanding 12V portable machine for light and medium duty inflation tasks. The device is small in size and lightweight, so it can comfortably fit in the bonus carry bag.

Apart from using it to inflate your car tires, use it to inflate bicycle and lawnmower tires as well as powering tools. 

Vair 00073 70P is our top pick for best portable air compressor due to its portability, efficiency, and popularity among customers.

2. Kensun D1002 air compressor – Best for Home and Outdoor Use

The multifunctional Kensun D1002 air compressor is worth considering when choosing a tire inflator for use both at home and when on the road.

It operates on DC 12 Volts and AC 100 Volts, so you can easily plug it into your wall socket at home, or in the lighter socket of your car and use it right away.

Kensun D1002 is one of our choices for the best portable air compressor for home and outdoor use due to its professional build quality and multiple usages. Although it is pricier than other compressors of its size, it is worth every penny. 

It features a solidly made screw-on inflation tip, which is suitable for all types of tire rims, and also has two additional inflation tips for mattresses, balls, and other items which require inflation. D1002 inflates tires and other inflatable items in just a few minutes.

General overview of the motor, size, and power of the unit

The Kensun D1002 can be powered both via home electric outlet (110V) and car lighter outlet (12V), making it ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

Kensun weighs only 4.5 pounds and can easily be stored and carried around in the carry bag, along with all the extra accessories included in the package. It has been tested for tires of up to 31 inches and has been found to pump a maximum of 40 PSI, and an air flow of 11 liters per minute.

Minimum maintenance required

The pump doesn’t need an oil change, which means that no maintenance needed to keep it working smoothly and efficiently for years.


The Kensun D1002 comes with a 21.7in (55cm) long, high-quality air hose, and a 9ft 10in DC (car) power cord, which makes it perfect for reaching the tires or other inflatable items without too much of a hassle, as well as a 6ft 7in AC cord for 110 Volts. 

The compressor includes three different inflation nozzle adaptors, a screw-on nozzle for all tire types and others for pumping balls, camping equipment, sports gear, and beach toys.

Summary Review

I highly recommend this portable air compressor, especially because of its multi-functionality, and the fact that you can easily use it indoors and outdoors. It is compact and can be stored and carried a car.

Kensun D1002 is easy to use, highly functional, requires almost no maintenance. It is constructed with high quality materials for durability and longevity. 

The power cords are sufficient to reach all tires when attached to the car cigarette lighter outlet, and still, you can use it indoors by just connecting the AC cord to a 110 Volt electric outlet.

Overall, Kensun D1002 is the best portable air compressor if you are looking for an efficient, portable and powerful air compressor.

3. Slime 40022 tire inflator- Best Budget Air Compressor

The Slime 40022 tire inflator, is a superb 12 Volt device that secured a slot in our top 5 list of top rated portable air compressor, mainly due to its amazingly bright LED digital display – perfect for use at night or in dusky conditions.

After you enter the required pressure, the air compressor will pump the right amount of compressed air and then stop instantly once you have reached the desired pressure via its “Inflate-Right” technology.  

Slime 40022 tire inflator is easy to use and operate. All you need to do is to plug it into the cigarette lighter socket of your car, attach the air pipe to the tire valve, set the required pressure level and switch it on. 

Use it in the darkest nights without the need for a flashlight. No matter where you are or what time it is, Slime tire inflator got you covered. It has rubber on its feet to prevent it from sliding around and for added stability.

The Slime 12 Volt compressor has a screw-on tire inflator nozzle, which allows for a secure fit and is much more universal than the regular “clip-on” adaptors, and works with most types of rims.

Size, power and motor type

The Slime 40022 inflates a standard car tire in 6 minutes with a maximum pressure of 35 PSI.

The unit’s dimensions are 2.8 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches, and it weighs a mere 1.9 pounds. It is compact and small enough to fit in the trunk of any car. 

Maintenance requirements

The 280 Watt motor of this portable air compressor requires no maintenance since it doesn’t need oil to work, meaning that you won’t need to get your hands dirty with oil.

Extras and accessories

The Slime tire inflator has a handy compartment that comfortably fits the air hose and the electric power cord when it is not in use.  The easy reach of this compressor from the lighter socket to all the tires of the car is made possible by the 12 ft cable and the air hose.

The compact and efficient air compressor comes with a metal ball needle adaptor as well as an accessory adaptor tool for inflating.

Summary Review

True, it may not be the quickest air compressor out there, and it slightly louder than other air compressors, but Slime 40022 is one of my picks for the best portable air compressor because it is: inexpensive, reliable, compact, light and has an auto-stop function for easier use. 

Its bright green LED display shows the PSI level of the tire and can be used without a problem even if you get a flat tire on a dark road at night. The screw-on connector for the tire valves makes this compressor an almost universal tire inflator for most different types of tire rims.

Its digital gauge is very precise, so all you need to do is to input the required air pressure level and let the compressor do the rest. It will automatically switch off the air compression when the pressure in the tires reaches the required level.

4. SuperFlow HV-41 Air Compressor- Best 120v Portable Air Compressor

SuperFlow HV-41 is a home air compressor powered via a 120 Volt outlet, which makes it perfect for inflating tires in the garage or pumping air mattresses and camping inflatables.

It has a powerful motor and provides quick and efficient inflation of the tires and other high-pressure blow-up gear. 

The device features an accurate gauge which will ensure that you get the correct readings for the air pressure levels and that you never pump too much or too little air in your tires or other inflatable items.

Size, power and motor type

This 120 Volt air compressor is compact enough to be easily carried and stored at home or in the car when not in use.  Its dimensions are 11 x 7 x 6.2 inches, and the unit weighs 4.5 pounds.

The motor is powerful and delivers a maximum of 120 PSI and has a maximum amperage of 2 amps.  The running time of the motor and compressor is 10 minutes before there is a need for recovery and filling up.  

SuperFlow HV-41 is a compact compressor powered by a direct drive motor which eliminates the risk of interruption of the air compression that may leave the tire under-inflated.

Maintenance requirements 

The device requires zero maintenance and therefore, a perfect choice if you are looking for an air compressor that is cheap to use and maintain.

Ease of Use

Plug the air compressor into an outlet in your home or garage and then attach it to the tire valve, and it will do the rest in no time.  When not in use, it takes up just a small space, so you can easily store it in your home, shed, workshop, garage or in the trunk of your car.

Extras and accessories

The SuperFlow HV-41 compressor has a 9 ft power cord and a 2.6 ft air hose which are sufficient for easy reach and handling of the inflation of all tires without too much effort. It comes with two raft adapters and a needle connector for tires and other high-pressure inflatable items.

The unit has an illuminated gauge which is accurate in measuring the air pressure of the tires or other inflatables. The gauge makes it possible to pump just the right amount of air in each of your tires or other inflatable items, without the risk of over or under inflating them.

Summary Review

This tire inflator is very easy to use, and even though it is quite compact, it has proven to be efficient and robust. 

It is excellent for home, garage, and other indoor use. Since it can’t work with 12 Volts, it is not suitable for an emergency car air compressor for the road, but still, it is an excellent device which will quickly pump your tires in your garage or any other blow up item that needs inflation. 

The Superflow HV-41 air compressor is compact, lightweight and can easily be stored or carried around whenever you need it.  If you are looking for a budget friendly and the best portable air compressor, check out this device. 

5. DEWALT D55140 air compressor- Best Heavy Duty Air Compressor

The DeWalt D55140 Air Compressor is a top choice for best portable air compressor in the higher-end and heavy-duty category. It has a 1-gallon air tank, and a powerful motor capable of providing maximum air pressure at 135 PSI.

Although D55140 is a high-end device, it is relatively quiet (with a low 69 decibels rating). The motor is oil free and has a maximum 2.6 amps.

The device is made out of cast iron and weighs 24 pounds. It is a sturdy, durable and compact tool that can be carried anywhere and stored in a small space. 

The DeWalt D55140 is the best portable air compressor for heavy-duty functions and is efficient not only as a tire inflator but also as a tool for carpentry and woodwork jobs. Also, it is handy for testing plumbing lines.

The cast iron construction plus the added roll cage and protection frame will ensure that this compressor stays intact and undamaged by wear and tear while performing different types of work.

Size, power and motor type

This portable tire inflator weighs 24 pounds and 9 inches high which is quite compact for such a powerful tool.  The machine allows one-hand carrying and operation. 

The motor is 2.6 amps and can deliver 0.75 SCFM @ 90 – 135 PSI Max. The high motor power makes the device one of the most powerful portable air compressors, with a quick start-up, and little time necessary for recovery.

Maintenance requirements

The motor is oil free and very durable.  It requires no maintenance and oil changing or adding, which will save you the trouble of oil refilling or from spilling oil over your work.

Extras and accessories

The Dewalt D55140 Heavy duty air portable compressor has a universal adaptor nozzle that allows for a quick and easy connection to pneumatic tools. 

Also, it has a ball draining valve used for efficient draining of the tank, plus a power cord that can conveniently be coiled around the cord wrap for better and easier storage.

Summary Review

DeWalt D55140 is a heavy duty compressor that performs several functions efficiently and safely. It has an excellent running time, quick recovery and impressive power of the released air pressure.

The design and make of this unit is very sturdy, and it will endure any accidental damage which can often occur in the workplace. Perfect for pneumatic tools, this air compressor is one handy portable device for people who work in the carpentry and woodwork business. 

With this device, you will not have to worry about getting jobs half-done because the machine lacked enough power. If you are looking for a compact and heavy-duty device, DeWalt D55140 is the best perfect choice.

Frequently Asked Questions about Air Compressors

How much pressure (psi) is needed?

The pressure discharged by the compressor must exceed the psi requirement of all pneumatic tools or other machines requiring power.

(psi- pounds per square inch)

How much air flow (cfm) is needed?

Cfm is the measure of air flow that the portable air compressor can create. Cfm is stated in two different forms i.e. piston displacement (PD) or actual cubic feet per minute (acfm). Acfm reflects the real amount of usable compressed air.

Choose a compressor that exceeds the psi and cfm requirements of your equipment so that you are not underpowered. The best results are attained when you purchase an air compressor with 1-1/2 times more cfm than your equipment require.

(Cfm-cubic feet per minute)

How much horsepower is needed?

The horsepower is directly proportional to the cubic feet per minute rating of the air compressor. 

The higher the horsepower, the higher air (cfm) compressor can deliver. However, do not rely solely on the horsepower when selecting the best portable air compressor.

What size tank is needed?

A portable air compressor has a tank that provides a reserve of air to meet peak flow and pressure demands. The larger the tank, the more reserve is available. Tanks can either be vertical or horizontal.

What electricity supply is available?

The power supply is an important factor that you should consider when buying an air compressor. 

Where a three phase and single phase compressors are available, the best option is a three phase air compressor because it produces more efficient producers of compressed air that the single phase equivalent units.

Single-phase compressors of up to 2.5 hp can operate from a 240v 13 amp power supply, except the new 3 hp low current models. 3.0 hp and higher must run from a 240v 30 amps supply. When possible, choose large air compressors that you require to allow for expansion.

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Jason is an electrical engineer with 15 years experience in handling appliances and gadgets. He has assembled, dismantled, tested and reviewed thousands of machines to help you get only the best. When not at work, he loves hiking, camping and fishing.

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