Best Air Compressors For Painting 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

If you’ve got to paint that car, get the best paint applicator for the top result. And which is the right tool for this type of trade? It simple, work with the best air compressor for painting. To get the best model, you’ve got to learn a few tricks.

In this post, I will show you how to get the best quiet air compressor. I will again take you through the best portable air compressor reviews and buying guides. What this means is that by the end of this post, you should be well equipped.

You will be able to get the best gas air compressor for your use and learn how to choose the right compressor for painting. Please take a look at what I’ve got for you, and more importantly, read the buyer’s guide.

Our Top Pick Air Compressor For Painting 2021

Model Price Capacity Max
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
Check Price 20 Gallons 135 PSI 1.6 HP 159 Pounds
Dewalt DWFP55126
DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor
Check Price 6 Gallons 165 PSI - 30 Pounds
DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
Check Price 20 Gallons 155 PSI 1.9 HP 166 Pounds
California Air Tools 2010A
California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor
Check Price 2 Gallons 120 PSI 1 HP 35 Pounds
CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor
Check Price 6 Gallons 150 PSI 1 HP 32.5 Pounds

Top 8 Best Air Compressors For Painting Reviews

1. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor

The first best air compressor for painting that I highly recommend is the Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor. This is an electric corded compressor that is extremely reliable.

More importantly, the compressor is easy to use, affordable, and best for newbies who intend to learn how to use this machine.

Looking at the features, you will realize that this compressor has so much to offer. For starters, the compressor has a 1. 6 HP capacity. Thanks to the dual-voltage induction motor that it uses to keep the job on point.

The motor is wired for use with the standard 120-volt outlets and is readily convertible to 240-volt applications.

Apart from that, this is one of the best quiet air compressors. With a 135 max psi when in use, this compressor makes less noise.

It delivers 6. 2 CFM when working at 40 psi and at 5. 3 CFM just about 90 PSI. That’s not all. This compressor is designed from cast-iron. As such, it is highly durable and will leave you with a better experience.

The industrial compressor is belt-driven and offers a 20-gallon capacity. Its vertical tank allows it to carry more paint for a longer working period.


  • Belt Driven Air Compressor
  • 6 HP Capacity
  • Dual-voltage induction motor
  • Uses standard 120-volt outlet
  • Convertible to 240-volt applications
  • 135 max PSI
  • 159 pounds

    • Cast-iron
    • 20-gallon capacity
    • Vertical tank
    • Durable
    • More paint for longer work
    • Oil-lubricated pump
    • Pneumatic tires
    • Easy mobility
    • UL certified


    • Corded limits movement

2. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor

Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor

With just a 6 gallon capacity, the DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor is arguably the best portable air compressor. It will carry less weight and as such enable you to transport it or move it easily.

The air compressor for painting is again compact in size and comes with easy-to-push-around tires. As if that’s not enough, the compressor only weighs 30 pounds as is, therefore, best for quick jobs.

But why else do I call it the best gas air compressor? First, this compressor delivers a 165 max PSI. This is huge and will give you some of the quickest jobs that you may dream of.

Nonetheless, there is a high-efficiency motor that makes it easy to start up this compressor in cold weather.

In addition to that, the compressor includes an extension cord application that ensures you get a continuous power supply for a better and constant work rate.

With a lower noise level of 75.5 dBA, this model is again quiet and offers you one of the best work settings.

Even so, the air compressor for painting has a slightly smaller paint storage capacity. At just 6.0-gallon tank capacity, you could easily make more refills than you would with the above compressor for painting.


  • 165 max PSI
  • Power Supply 120V
  • 10 amps universal motor
  • 0-gallon tank capacity

    • High flow regulator
    • Continuous power supply
    • Durable casing
    • Easy to use models
    • Highly portable
    • Lower noise level
    • Couplers for better performance


    • May overheat in tight spaces

3. DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Like the first best air compressor for painting that we reviewed, the DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor gives you one of the largest tank capacities.

The 20 gallons best quiet air compressor from DEWALT is highly reliable and will work best for some of the most demanding painting jobs.

It offers several features and will give you 7.0 CFM at 40 PSI and an additional 5.7 CFM at 90 PSI. Nonetheless, the air compressor has a 155 PSI maximum pressure if you are looking at optimum tool performance.

As I mentioned, the compressor for painting has a 20-gallon capacity. This is one of the largest capacities that these portable tank compressors for painting will offer.

The painting compressor is, however, weighty and sits at 166 pounds compared to the model above.

If you are opting for this model for your paint jobs, there isn’t any reason to worry as the compressor has pre-attached pneumatic tires that offer maximum portability.

Its dual voltage motor is again wired for the standard 120-volt outlet and could easily be converted for 240-volt applications.

And lastly, the best feature that I love about this compressor is that the painting compressor is equipped with a quick-set regulator and working pressure gauges.

Use these gauges to regulate how you work with this best portable air compressor once it is switched on.


  • 166 pounds
  • 155 PSI max PSI
  • 20-gallon capacity
  • Tank and working pressure gauges

    • Pre-attached pneumatic tires
    • Maximum portability
    • Dual voltage motor
    • Standard 120 volt outlet
    • It can be converted for 240-volt application
    • Quick-set regulator


    • Slightly weighty

4. California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor

California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor

Now to the best portable air compressor, the California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor is the real deal.

It is highly portable, thanks to its 2.0-gallon capacity. This best gas air compressor is extremely light and will hardly need any help when moving.

Because of its small tank capacity, the painting compressor is again light in weight and hardly hits 35 pounds.

The ultra-quiet painting compressor only gives out 60 Decibels in vibration and, as such, prevents any form of noise pollution.

It uses an electric pump and therefore leaves you with an oil-free pump for less maintenance and low costs.

Personally, apart from the 2.0 gallon offering less weight for quick movement, transportation, and management.

It offers a rust-free aluminum tank that I really love. This type of tank is highly durable and will give you a better management.

With a powerful 1.0 HP/ 2.0 HP peak motor, using this compressor is easy and reliable. You will get over PSI and an ultra-quiet touch.

Even so, you may find its small tank capacity hard to use as you will have to get more refills to keep up with your work rate.


  • 60 Decibels
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • Less Maintenance
  • 0 Gallon
  • Aluminum Tank
  • Powerful 1.0 HP Motor

    • Easy to move around
    • Weighs less than 36 pounds
    • Easy to store in tight spaces
    • Durable rust-free tank
    • Best for newbies


    • Requires more refills

5. CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor

CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor

Onto the next best air compressor for painting, the CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor, you will get more features and high-end efficiency.

With a 6-gallon capacity, the pancake-type air compressor for painting maximizes portability. It again ensures and easy storage and a more compact design.

The air compressor weighs slightly above 30 pounds and is therefore easy to move around when working alone.

The model is easy to store and wouldn’t be a bother at all in the tight spaces. In addition to that, this air compressor uses a durable and oil-free pump which maximizes the lifespan of the whole machine.

Thankfully, it is an electric model and, as such, has zero maintenance. If you want the best results for quicker jobs, you can easily get 150 maximum PSI which gives an adequate cut in pressure at any time.

Such a pressure level is ideal for a variety of applications and allows for quick compressor recovery time.

At 120 volt gauge, this model works with regular power outlets. It will easily start-up in cold weather and offers a 13-piece accessory kit.

For easy use, there is the PVC air hose, coupler, and plug assembly that you will work with for easy connections.


  • 30 pounds
  • Oil-free pump
  • Electric model
  • 150 maximum PSI
  • 120-volt gauge
  • 13 piece accessory kit

    • Blowgun with plug
    • Blowgun with safety nozzle
    • Tire gauge
    • Rubber tip for nozzle
    • Three inflator adaptors
    • 1 year limited warranty


    • No pneumatic wheels

6. California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor

The California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor works more or less the same as the sister above. Even so, there are slight differences that may occur and which could easily influence your choice.

So which features does this model has? First, this model has an 8-gallon capacity. This is easy to manage and will leave you with better painting works with minimum refills.

Apart from that, this model comes complete with its wheel kit and air filter for easy maintenance. It is slightly compact and measures 26″ L x 14″ W x 23” H.

While that may look okay, the beauty doesn’t end there. This best air compressor for paint works offers a maximum pressure of 120 PSI.

It uses 110V outlets and has a noise level of about 60 dBA. In short, this model is easy to use since it minimizes the noise pollution levels as much as possible.

There is the Oil-Free Pump model that again minimizes the maintenances and leaves you with a much more enjoyable painting experience.

Thanks to its powerful 1.0 HP/ 2.0 HP peak motor, you won’t have any problems starting up this air compressor for painting.

One difference that this model has to its sister above is this. This model is designed from a large steel air tank, while the other comes in an aluminum tank.

Nonetheless, they are both lightweight and will enable you to have easy transportation, movement, and storage.


  • Max Pressure – 120 PSI
  • Voltage – 110V
  • Noise level – 60 dBA
  • 5 Amps Motor
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • Powerful 1.0 HP Motor

    • Large 8.0 gallon
    • Steel Air Tank
    • Lightweight (48 lbs)
    • Use in a variety of temperatures
    • Best for new users


    • No hose included

7. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor

PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor

The other air compressor for painting that sounds more like its sister above is the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor.

The C2002 model from Porter has so much to offer. Like the sister above, it has a six 6-Gallon, tank capacity. The tank enables you to work for longer and will carry enough paint for continuous spray.

More importantly, the tank has a pancake design which gives it a unique touch and an attractive look.

That’s not all. You will get a 150 PSI at a maximum which is a tank pressure that stores more air for your work. This means longer tool run times and enjoyable touch.

The compressor offers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI which allows it to enjoy quick compressor recovery time.

The six-gallon pancake-style tank is for stability and includes the best water drain valve and an additional set of stable rubber feet.

Even so, there is the low-amp 120-volt motor that starts easily even in cold weather. So you don’t have to worry about hard starts.

So what difference does this model have with the sister above? This one comes with no accessory kit. Instead, you will have to buy the required accessories for a more convenient work experience.


  • Low-amp 120-volt motor
  • Extension cord
  • Oil-free pump
  • 150 PSI

    • Six-gallon capacity
    • Pancake-style tank
    • Water drain valve
    • Stable rubber feet
    • Long life and no maintenance


    • No accessory kit

8. Makita MAC5200 Air Compressor

Makita MAC5200 Air Compressor

Finally, the best quiet air compressor that wraps up our best gas air compressor reviews is the Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor.

First, this compressor’s tank capacity is not bad. At 5.2 gallons, you will enjoy a less exhaustive painting experience.

It is designed with a cast iron pump which is very reliable. The pump has a big bore cylinder and another piston that is engineered to maximize the recovery time and provide improved performance.

In addition to that, this air compressor has a powerful 3.0 HP motor. The motor produces 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI and ensures that you’ve got increased productivity.

The pump is further lubricated for the coolest running temperatures and minimal wear. You will get reduced wear due to the durable cast iron cylinder that covers the pump.

The pump is removable and will ensure that you’ve got an easy maintenance experience. And if you want easy movement, this model has a foldable handle and a low profile design.

The design ensures that you enjoy easy storage too. In addition are the rugged wheels for easy job site portability.

A built-in storage compartment is conveniently added to provide the best storage space for air fittings and even accessories.

Use it in a variety of temperatures or even uneven terrains and get one of the best compressor experiences.


  • 5-gallon capacity
  • 0 HP
  • Built-in storage compartment
  • Air hose wrap:
  • 120V capacity
  • 8 Amps motor

    • Built-in thermal overload
    • Universal Quick Coupler
    • Folding handle
    • Low profile
    • Easy storage
    • Rugged wheels
    • Best job site portability
    • One year manufacturer warranty


    • Needs Male Quick Connector

Best Air Compressor for Painting: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

With that said, here are some of the top factors that you must consider when buying your best gas or air compressor for painting.

Air Compressor (Tank) Type

The first thing that you’ve got to look at is the tank type. Well, this might not appear so obvious from the start. However, when it comes to choosing the best air compressor for painting, it is an essential factor.

The gas-tank type will give several dimensions to the machine that you are using; it will give an aesthetic touch, amount of volume, and, more importantly, influence the type of pressure that your machine produces.

Some of the most common types of tanks that you will find when dealing with air compressors for painting include.

  • Aluminum
  • Steel

Since they are designed from different types of materials, these materials again determine the weight, durability, and efficiency of the tank. Aluminum is often light and corrosion-free, while steel is heavy and durable.


The amount of pressure that a compressor machine is able to produce is denoted in PSI. This means that the higher the PSI, the higher the pressure. As such, having this type of painting machine will give you more speed and a fast job compared to a model with lower PSI.

Even so, CFM is again essential when it comes to painting compressor machines. CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. It is the most common way that airflow is measured.

The airflow shows the amount of air a fan which means that if the CFM is higher, then your fan is more efficient and, as such, moves more to wrap up your job faster too.

Horsepower (HP)

What is the rate your painting machine works in reference to the motor or engine? A more efficient or powerful engine will give greater horsepower. This depends on the capacity of the motor too.

If your motor produces more power, then its capacity should be higher too. The power produced by a motor is directly proportional to the capacity of the motor.

Even so, make sure that you choose a motor with a higher capacity, more power, and at the same time no overheating issues. This means looking for a brushless motor with a higher capacity for a faster job and a powerful engine.

Oiled versus Oilless Air Compressors

While both compressors may work exactly the same, looking for an oilless air compressor could be an advantage. Oilless models have less maintenance and, as such, will help you to save time and money.

The other model, on the other side, needs frequent maintenance. Even so, it has the capacity to provide you with a better experience if you follow the user manual.

Noise and Noise Reduction

The level of noise is measured in Decibel. The higher the decibel, the higher the noise. Look for a model that prevents noise pollution by regulating the level of vibration or noise produced when painting. At 60 Decibel, such a compressor machine will be a good one to go with.

Operating Considerations

Is the on/off switch easily to find? What type of setup must you make before using the air compressor machine? What guidelines does the user manual put across? Are there accessories that you should combine when using this model?

Whatever the case, make sure that you’ve got all the operating tips with you. The simpler the user manual, the better. Avoid any complex manuals.

Tank Size

What is the tank volume? How many gallons of paint can the air compressor for painting hold? If you have a higher number of gallons, then it means you will get more work done with minimal refills, and that saves time and energy.


Every best quiet air compressor model uses a motor. The higher the motor capacity, the more powerful the engine. Look for a high-capacity motor with no heating issues. A brushless model will be the best.

How to Setup Air Compressor

Simpler setup benchmarks mean a faster job with no frustrations. In no time, your best portable air compressor will be up and running, and so will your paint job. Make sure that you get easy to learn and set up a compressor for your use.


Finally, determine how the compressor paints. Is the paint smooth, uniform, and easy on the surface? The best gas air compressor or an air compressor should give you a smooth touch with fewer complications.

Additional Information: What You Must Know

Now that we have seen most of the things that we may need when looking for the best air compressor for painting, it is time to see if there are other tips that will come in handy. Take a look and these extra tips.

How We Chose Our Best Air Compressor for painting

The first thing that we will start off from is how we chose the best gas air compressors that we have here.  Well, the process is a no-brainer, really. Like the other top models that you may have used before, here is what we did.


We looked through what feedbacks and reviews the previous users had about these air compressor models. These gave us a clearer picture of the type of experience that we would find if we used the same.


Apart from the reviews, we also looked at the user ratings. It is these ratings that determined how suitable the models are for general paint use. As such, we concentrated on the best-selling machines with over 4.5 start ratings.


Again we took our time to experiment with the models that we pooled. This is an easy part that determined a quick elimination depending on how the compressor painting machine used air and painted.

NOTE: finally, with all said and done, we compared the air compressor paint machines that we remained with to determine the top eight models that we have included in our best air compressor reviews.

Best Quiet Air Compressor Maintenance Tips

Apart from the above, we should look at the best maintenance tips for an air compressor. Here are some that I’ve captured.

Clean Your Compressor Machine

This is the first thing that you have to do. If you clean the machine, you will maintain the best efficiency. Make sure that the paint-tank is cleaned whenever you finish painting. The machine should also be clean.

Oil and Change Machine Parts

If you are working with a machine that requires oiling, make sure that it is done. Proper oiling will mean more efficiency. And there are parts to change, such as filters for gas compressor models; this too should be done.

Follow the User Guidelines

In addition to the points above, it is important that when using the best portable air compressor, you follow the user manual. If you do, your compressor machine will have fewer hitches and, in so doing, enjoy a longer lifespan.

Make Use of the Compressor Warranty

More often than not, the best gas air compressor machines will come with a warranty. Do not try to fix your compressor in case of manufacturing damage. Instead, make use of the warranty to enjoy the best repair with a recommended efficiency level.

Store Your Compressor Properly

Finally, make sure that you store your air compressor in the right way. Proper storage is a better way of ensuring that you get to enjoy a longer lifespan. It ensures that your compressor sustains no damage coming from negligence.


What size air compressor do I need for painting?

The compact size is good. This means a model that’s easy to store even in the tightest spaces. It should be portable, too, so that you find it easy to move around when you need to paint an area quickly.

How many CFM do I need for spray painting?

While there are air compressors for painting that have ratings lower than 10 CFM, we recommend a compressor CFM of about 12 CFM.

How much PSI do I need to paint a house?

For a house, walls, or even a car, a 90 PSI rating should be fine. This means having a lower CFM that’s easy to manage with these types of compressors.

What compressor is good for painting cars?

The DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor with a 6-gallon capacity and a maximum of 165 PSI since it gives you a better range to work with.

Our Top Three Recommended Products

Now, last but not least, I am going to include the top three best air compressors for painting that we highly recommend.

Editor’s Choice: Industrial Air IL1682066

The first best quiet air compressor is our editor’s choice. The reason that this best air compressor for painting is highly recommended by us is this. The model has the largest tank capacity. This means fewer refills and more work.

It is a Belt Driven Air Compressor that boosts its efficiency while at the same time allowing it to have an easy maintenance touch.

The model has a powerful motor which makes the work easy, and is an electric corded compressor that makes it extremely reliable.

It uses the standard 120-volt outlet and easily converts into 240-volt applications when the need arises.

Premium Pick: DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 Portable Air Compressor

For the premium pick, we have the best portable air compressor that gives much more than just portability. It offers the best of both worlds.

The DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor has a 20-gallon tank capacity too.

It is affordable and, more importantly, will minimize the level of maintenance as much as possible. This model is equally electric and offers a maximum of 155 PSI.

Its portable tank is pre-attached to pneumatic tires so that you can get maximum portability. Thanks to its dual voltage motor, the usage is simpler.

Budget Pick: California Air Tools 2010A

This best gas air compressor gets the budget pick because of its simplicity. The model is highly portable and has a 2-gallon capacity.

Its tank is designed from aluminum and is, therefore, the lightest that you can get here. The model is easy to work with and, more importantly, is affordable. With a 1.0 HP, this is the model that you can use to practice.


As we come to the end of our reviews of the best air compressor for painting, I believe that you have mastered the art of making the right choice. You can now choose a model that suits your needs and one that you can quickly learn how to use.

The right air compressor for painting should be easy to take care of. As such, you should again get the best quiet air compressor to prevent noise pollution, among other things. Take your time to ensure that your model is again compatible with several other accessories.

When choosing the right option, you must focus on your needs while at the same time looking for the best portable air compressor since these tools require moving around the site when applying for a paint job.

Jacob Bean

Jacob Bean

Hi There, This is Jacob, a Professional woodworker since 2005. I created this blog to share my whole life woodworking experience. stay touch with me here and twitter.

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