6 Best Quiet Portable Air Compressors of 2021

To use air tools, you need an air compressor. It is also useful when you have tires to inflate. For home or small workshops, a quiet portable air compressor is an ideal choice.

Here are my top picks for the best quiet portable air compressor:

Here are the best quiet portable air compressors:

  • Best Overall: DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
  • Best For Blowing Out Sprinkler System: California Air Tools Air Compressor
  • Best For Light-Duty Construction Site Applications: Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
  • Best For Inflating Tires: Metabo HPT Air Compressor
  • Best For Bolting Projects: Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor
  • Best For Workshop: Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
6 Best Quiet Portable Air Compressors
Best Overall
DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
    Best For Blowing Out Sprinkler System
    California Air Tools Air Compressor
      Best For Light-Duty Construction Site Applications
      Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
        Best For Inflating Tires
        Metabo HPT Air Compressor
          Best For Bolting Projects
          Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor
            Best For Workshop
            Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

              Best Overall: DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

              DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
              Pros
              • Portable yet powerful
              • Easy start up in cold weather
              • High flow regulator and couplers
              • Oil-free pump for less maintenance
              • Quick recovery

              Cons
              • Loose assembly

              DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is my pick for the best overall quiet and portable air compressor. This is a 6-gallon compressor with a 0.9 HP motor. It delivers 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI or 3.7 CFM at 40 PSI. This capacity and air volume are sufficient for all DIY tools.

              Moreover, the motor is highly efficient and easy to start in cold weather. The high-flow regulator and couplers are ready for increased performance. Besides, the pump is oil-free so the compressor does not require maintenance often.

              However, a big drawback of DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is that it arrives loosely assembled. You should check if the compressor reaches the tank pressure (165 psi). If it does not, there may be some parts, especially the pump or valve, that are assembled not tightly. You can easily fix it with a crimp tool.

              DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor Specifications

              Size

              17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches

              Horsepower

              0.9 HP

              Noise Rating (DPA)

              75.5 dBA

              CFM @ 90 PSI

              2.6 SCFM

              CFM @ 40 PSI

              3.7 SCFM

              Maximum Pressure

              165 psi

              Highlight Features

              High-flow regulator and couplers; Oil-free pump

              Verdict

              DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is portable yet powerful, sufficient for all DIY tools.

              Best For Blowing Out Sprinkler System: California Air Tools Air Compressor

              California Air Tools Air Compressor
              Pros
              • Super quiet
              • Oil-free pump
              • Compact and lightweight
              • Usable in cold weather
              • Affordable

              Cons
              • Low output

              California Air Compressor is suitable for light tasks, such as blowing out sprinkler systems or inflating small tires. It features a 1-gallon tank and a 0.6 HP motor that is usable in cold weather. The air volume at 90 PSI is 1.2 CFM and at 40 PSI is 1.6 CFM.

              Being a compact and lightweight compressor, California Air Compressor is also super quiet and affordable. The pump is oil-free for less maintenance and for cleaner air output.

              California Air Tools Air Compressor Specifications

              Size

              12.5 x 14.7 x 14.8 inches

              Horsepower

              0.6 HP

              Noise Rating (DPA)

              56 dBA

              CFM @ 90 PSI

              1.20 CFM

              CFM @ 40 PSI

              1.60 CFM

              Maximum Pressure

              120 psi

              Highlight Features

              Oil-free pump

              Verdict

              California Air Compressor is suitable for light tasks like blowing out sprinkler systems.

              Best For Light-Duty Construction Site Applications: Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

              Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
              Pros
              • Powerful output
              • Sturdy and durable build
              • Oil-lubricated pump for cooler operation
              • Low AMP draw & Copper finned discharge tubing
              • Large automotive air filter

              Cons
              • Heavy and loud

              Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP is the choice for power. It features a 2.5HP motor for 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI and 4.8 CFM at 40 PSI, which is suitable for light-duty construction site applications. The 4.2-gallon tank is enough for two nailers.

              Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP has a roll cage construction with an iron-cast pump, big-bore cylinder and piston. This build is pretty sturdy and durable, which withstands impacts at the construction sites. The pump is oil-lubricated for cooler operation and reduced wear. Moreover, the compressor draws low APM at start-up and features copper finned discharge tubing to reduce any possible risk.

              The large automotive air filter draws in air faster for greater efficiency. The big-bore cylinder and piston help reduce recovery time. The only drawback of Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP is that it is quite heavy and loud.

              Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor Specifications

              Size

              20 x 18 x 18.75 inches

              Horsepower

              2.5 HP

              Noise Rating (DPA)

              79 dBA

              CFM @ 90 PSI

              4.2 CFM

              CFM @ 40 PSI

              4.8 CFM

              Maximum Pressure

              130 psi

              Highlight Features

              Copper finned discharge tubing; Large automotive air filter; Roll cage construction; Iron-cast pump; Big-bore cylinder and piston

              Verdict

              Makita Big Bore 2.5 HP is sturdy and powerful, for light-duty construction site applications.

              Best For Inflating Tires: Metabo HPT Air Compressor

              Metabo HPT Air Compressor
              Pros
              • Compact and lightweight
              • Barely noticeable operation sound
              • Steel roll cage construction
              • Oil-free pump for less maintenance
              • Industrial regulator and gauges

              Cons
              • Higher price than the California Air Compressor

              This Metabo HPT Air Compressor is as small and lightweight as the California Air Compressor (no. 2 above). Both are for light tasks such as inflating tires and super quiet – the noise level is less than a normal conversation.

              The California Air Compressor is a bit more powerful than this compressor, while this compressor has a more sturdy construction. It features a steel roll cage construction and rubber grips to protect the components inside. In terms of price, this compressor costs a bit more than the California Air Compressor.

              Besides, this Metabo HPT Air Compressor features an oil-free pump for less maintenance and industrial regulator and gauges for easy and accurate PSI adjustments.

              Metabo HPT Air Compressor Specifications

              Size

              14 x 14 x 13.5 inches

              Horsepower

              0.5 HP

              Noise Rating (DPA)

              59 dBA

              CFM @ 90 PSI

              0.8 CFM

              CFM @ 40 PSI

              1.3 CFM

              Maximum Pressure

              125 psi

              Highlight Features

              Oil-free pump; Industrial regulator and gauges

              Verdict

              Metabo HPT Air Compressor is small, lightweight, and super quiet yet pretty sturdy.

              Best For Bolting Projects: Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor

              Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor
              Pros
              • High capacity & good power
              • Pretty quiet for its power
              • Oil-free dual-piston pump
              • Large wheels for easy transportation
              • Rubber-grip steel handle

              Cons
              • Takes a long time to fill

              Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor has an 8-gallon tank, which is a large-enough capacity for small commercial projects. It features an induction motor for easy start-up, which is powerful enough to produce 2.4 CFM at 90 PSI or 3.5 PSI at 40 PSI. The compressor is pretty quiet for its power.

              Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor features an oil-free dual-piston pump for less maintenance. The large wheels and a large rubber-grip handle for easy transportation. However, it takes a long time to fill. So if you just want to run air tools for DIY light tasks, this compressor may be a bit inconvenient.

              Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Air Compressor Specifications

              Size

              11 x 23 x 26 inches

              Horsepower

              1 HP

              Noise Rating (DPA)

              68 dBA

              CFM @ 90 PSI

              2.4 CFM

              CFM @ 40 PSI

              3.5 CFM

              Maximum Pressure

              125 psi

              Highlight Features

              Oil-free pump; Large wheels; Large rubber-grip handle

              Verdict

              Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor has a high capacity for small commercial projects.

              Best For Workshop: Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

              Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
              Pros
              • Compact yet pretty powerful
              • Super quiet for its powerful
              • Maintenance-free & 3 times long life
              • Cold weather start & Quick recovery
              • Sturdy and stable construction

              Cons
              • Pretty heavy

              Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor is a perfect choice for workshops. I highly recommend this compressor. It features a 1.3 HP motor to produce 3 CFM at 90 PSI or 4 CFM at 40 PSI, which meets the needs of medium workshops. The tank is 4.5 gallons, not so much; however, the recovery time is great – it takes only 70 seconds from empty to full. Impressively, the noise level is only 64 dBA – this can be considered the quietest compressor at the given power level.

              Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor has a rock-solid construction. This stable and sturdy construction makes the compressor pretty heavy. However, with 6-inch wheels and an upright roller, you can easily move it around. Moreover, the pump is oil-free for maintenance-free performance.

              Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor Specifications

              Size

              19.7 x 16.1 x 22.1 inches

              Horsepower

              1.3 HP

              Noise Rating (DPA)

              64 dBA

              CFM @ 90 PSI

              3 CFM

              CFM @ 40 PSI

              4 CFM

              Maximum Pressure

              150 psi

              Highlight Features

              Oil-free pump

              Verdict

              Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor is the quietest compressor at the given power level.

              How To Choose The Best Quiet Portable Air Compressor?

              Here are some specs you may want to pay attention to when choosing a quiet portable air compressor:

              • Weight and portability: Unless you want to bring the compressor to different job sites, weight is not so important. A heavy compressor with wheels and handle is also easy to move around in your workshop or garage. Besides, you may want the compressor to be compact.
              • Horsepower: It depends on your need to choose the horsepower range. For inflating tires or blowing out sprinkler systems, you won’t need more than 1 HP. For workshops or light commercial projects, you may need at least 2 HP.
              • Noise level: Some compressors are super quiet, even quieter than a normal conversation; however they are not so powerful as well. If noise is your main concern and not the power, you may find a less-than-60dBA compressor with a 0.5 HP motor.
              • Oil-free vs oiled pump: An oil-free pump requires less maintenance and delivers cleaner air. An oiled pump is cooler while operating and prevents corrosion, so may have a longer life.
              • The ability to start in cold weather: When it comes to electric air compressors, you won’t have to worry about this one. However, if you want to get a fueled air compressors, remember to check if it is easy to start when it’s cold.

              Which Brands Make The Best Quiet Portable Air Compressor?

              DEWALT

              6 Best Quiet Portable Air Compressors of YYYY

              DEWALT is an American icon in the power tool industry. It was founded in 1923. With nearly a century of making power tools, it has a world-wide reputation of great-performance and highly-durable products. Their air tools and air compressors are among the best with sturdy constructions, great portability, and high efficiency.

              Makita

              6 Best Quiet Portable Air Compressors of YYYY

              In terms of well-built products, no nation can beat Japan. Makita is a Japanese manufacturer of motors for all types of machines. You’ll be surprised by how every detail of Makita’s air compressors is delicately taken care of. It was founded in 1915, even older than DEWALT. With more than 100 years of reputation, Makita’s quality is something you can trust. Moreover, Makita is also well-known for their wonderful aftersales services.

              Stealth Compressors

              6 Best Quiet Portable Air Compressors of YYYY

              Stealth Air is not as famous as two brands above; however, it is still a brand that you can trust. Stealth air’s compressors are pretty new in the market, yet quickly gained popularity thanks to their impressive quiet technology. I highly recommend Stealth Air for portable, durable, powerful yet quiet compressors.

              FAQs

              Why do I need an air compressor?

              If you have air tools, such as an air impact wrench or an air drill, you need an air compressor to use these tools. Besides, an air compressor is also useful for inflating tires or blowing out sprinkler systems.

              Are portable air compressors the quietest?

              Yes. Portable air compressors tend to be very quiet. However, the power level of them is not so impressive as well.

              What makes an air compressor noisy?

              Vibrations of the motor are a source of noise. Frictions between metal parts are another source of noise.

              What's better oil or oilless air compressors?

              An oil-free pump requires less maintenance and delivers cleaner air. An oiled pump is cooler while operating and prevents corrosion, so may have a longer life.

              Should I keep air in my compressor?

              You should release the air and open the drain valve to let out the moisture inside. If you use the air compressor every day, you can leave it pressurized, just remember to drain water at least once a month.

              Conclusion

              For home or small workshops, a quiet portable air compressor is an ideal choice. Above are my 6 picks for the best quiet portable air compressor. I hope this article can help you choose an air compressor that suits your needs.

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